5 Best Saltwater Spinning Reel – A Buying Guide

Saltwater fishing can be fun and challenging at the same time. Compared to freshwater applications, the tides and ebbs of the sea are difficult to predict. You will never be able to win the bout against aggressive fish if you don't have a reliable rig with you.

The best saltwater spinning reel is one of the essential arsenals that can change the game for every angler. In many instances, the quality of the spinning reel that a fisher has determines the success of his catch. Trust me. I have been placed in the situation where I was wielding a bad reel. It was really a bad day.


I am not saying that I am an expert angler. I just do this as a hobby. But I do have a lot of experience. That's what you get if you live like a modern nomad like me. As a result, I can introduce some of the finest spinning reels that excel in saltwater fishing.

You can check them out below!​

Best Saltwater Spinning Reel On The 2018 Market​

Product Name



Our Rating

1. PENN Slammer III Spinning Reel - Editor's Pick

PENN Slammer III Spinning


2. Daiwa BG Spinning Reels - Runner-Up

Daiwa BG Spinning Reels


3. SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel - Budget-Friendly Pick

SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel, 6.2:1 High Speed, Max Drag 33Lbs, Smooth Fresh Saltwater Fishing Reel


4. Shimano Saragosa SW 25000 - High-End Pick

SHIMANO SARAGOSA SW, Offshore Saltwater Spinning Fishing Reel


5. Okuma Azores Saltwater Spinning Reel - Best Lightweight Saltwater Spinning Reel

Okuma Azores Saltwater Spinning Reel


PENN Slammer III Spinning

After a short stop on its production, the PENN Slammer III Spinning Reel is back on its tracks again. This particular reel has impressive construction and performance, allowing it to withstand a variety of tough situations. After all, it has been engineered for heavy-duty fishing applications. It has a rugged body, as it features a full metal housing, rotor, and side plates.

The CNC gear technology of the PENN Slammer III elevated the casting and retrieval smoothness. You won't suffer from delays and snags whenever you are working your way against a burly fish. Meanwhile, the body of this reel has an IPX6 rating, which means that it is impermeable to water breaches. A 7+1 bearing system ensures that you can seize those seawater trophies.


  • Full waterproof construction
  • Ultra-rugged and durable design
  • Ensures smooth and seamless retrievals
  • Comes with impressive casting accuracy
  • Impressive drag system.


  • No noticeable drawbacks.
Daiwa BG Spinning Reels

The sleek and rugged appearance of the Daiwa BG Spinning Reel is a testament of its quality. It has been engineered so that it can overcome a variety of obstacles in the sea. The body features a black anodized housing, which is made from high-grade aluminum — this kind of built guarantees each angler that it can withstand heavy punishments and fast-paced fishing tournaments.

Meanwhile, the proprietary DigiGear of Daiwa is truly jaw-dropping. You see, of all the spinning reels that Daiwa has ever released, the DigiGear is the biggest drive gear. Of course, if you have large gear, the tooth-gear point-of-contact is further optimized. It enables the gear to have extended life and improved torque. As a result, hunting large species won't be trouble on your part.


  • Features dual anti-reverse system
  • High-grade anodized aluminum housing
  • Screw-in handle is large and ergonomic
  • Comes with a smooth and responsive air rotor
  • Large gear system.


  • If you don't like heavy reels, this one is not for you.
SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel, 6.2:1 High Speed, Max Drag 33Lbs, Smooth Fresh Saltwater Fishing Reel

Not all anglers, especially those who are new to fishing, are willing to invest in high-end rigs. I know a lot of people who started their fishing career with basic spinning reels. Right now, they are duly trained to handle strenuous and complicated fishing techniques. If you want to walk the same path as them, the SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel is a good choice.

Despite being an inexpensive spinning reel, this item is packed with helpful features. The entire body has an anti-corrosive coating so that it can survive the sea. The handle of this item is large so that it can be maneuvered easily. The stainless steel ball bearings have a solid construction. With them, smooth retrievals are always possible. There's also a carbon fiber drag system installed on this item. It will allow you to get large gamefish with zero problems.


  • Full corrosion protection
  • Lightweight construction for easier handling
  • Comes with a powerful drag
  • Ball bearings are all waterproof
  • Drive gear has a refined design for better strength and durability.


  • The drag can come loose, especially when you are setting the hook.
SHIMANO SARAGOSA SW, Offshore Saltwater Spinning Fishing Reel

Even if you are not a fisher, I am pretty sure that you are aware of the brand Shimano. This particular name is already a giant in the fishing industry, having accomplished different tournament-worthy rigs. When it comes to saltwater fishing, their Saragosa SW 25000 is truly peerless. It can be considered as one of the latest offshore spinning reels that they have. It comes with a variety of ergonomics that elevates the performance of the sea water fisher!

The propulsion line management system is still present on this reel. This means that it can always provide excellent spool handling, regardless of the situation. The HAGANE proprietary gear system is also there. The latter ensures that you can cast and retrieve as smooth as possible. The drag, aside from being durable, is also waterproof. It is capable of stopping the meanest gamefish out there. You'll definitely ace any tournaments with this one.


  • All of the hardware is engineered with durability
  • Simple and hassle-free interface
  • Waterproof and powerful drag
  • Offers smooth retrievals
  • Efficient line handling.


  • No noticeable drawbacks.

#5. Okuma Azores Saltwater Spinning Reel - Best Lightweight Saltwater Spinning Reel

Okuma Azores Saltwater Spinning Reel

There are a lot of saltwater anglers out there who prefer lightweight reels. Of course, that's an understandable fact. It is difficult to handle a heavy fishing rig on extended periods. Just remember that. If you just want a spinning reel that wouldn't add to the load, the Okuma Azores is the right option. The high-quality construction of this reel didn't add to its weight. Yes. It is solid. But it is never heavy.

Aside from its main selling point, the Okuma Azores also feature other outstanding capabilities as well. It comes with an adjustable drag system so that you can yield it with better precision. The bearings of this reel are made from stainless steel. Therefore, you can always expect a corrosion-free action with this one. It is also capable of longer and controlled casts, thanks to its impressive line system.


  • One of the lightest spinning reels
  • Comes with anti-reverse bearing
  • Coated for rust and corrosion-resistance
  • Impressive dragging force
  • Offers precise and controlled catches.


  • Only suited for less extensive fishing applications.

How To Choose The Best Saltwater Spinning Reel

How to Choose The Best Saltwater Spinning Reel

One should know that the fishing requires multiple rods and reels. You can compare it to golf, where different clubs are needed to make the perfect shot. But of course, this doesn't mean that you need them all.

If the application is saltwater fishing, a spinning reel might come necessary. I am not saying that a spinning reel is specifically built for the seawater. Instead, it is the other way around.

Any experienced angler would tell you that spinning reels are versatile. You can use them in a variety of fishing techniques and fishing grounds. They can also work in different lines, given that you have the right version of the reel.​

Rod And Reel Matching

The first thing that you have to learn is the matching of the rod to the reel that you are to get. The rod is less of a problem because there's no specific need to adjust it. Your focus should be veered to the reels.

When you are buying a reel, you will see that there are specific labels or numbers. These are the indicators of the size of the reel. Figures like 400, 200, and 2,000 are among the example classification of reel sizes.

These numbers specifically indicate the capacity of the spool of the reel. Of course, the bigger the number, the higher the capacity becomes. Furthermore, if a reel has a large spool capacity, this means that its physical size is huge as well.

In saltwater fishing, it is common to spot large species of fish. You will need a large reel to tackle them. Take into account that the drag force is directly proportional to the size of the reel that you are using.

Spool Capacity

Allow me to discuss spool capacity for a while. You see, the length of the line that you can use on a reel is dependent on its spool capacity.

You also have to look at the so-called “pound-test of lines” before deciding the reel size that you are going to use.

But what does this mean? Well, if you are planning to use lines that have higher strength, you need to invest on large reels. After all, these lines--for them to get enough power--have been increased in diameter. Therefore, they have to be spooled on a large reel.

Let me give you an example. When you have a line that has been classified as 300/10lb, it simply means that it can work on 300 yards of a 10-pound test monofilament.

There is a good site that explains the specific reel sizes that you need. As much as I want to discuss them to you here, this guide is simply not the venue for it.

Bearing System Of The Reel

Whether it is saltwater or freshwater, a spinning reel needs to have a smooth mechanism. You will really need a reel that allows you to feel comfortable even on extended usage. On the other hand, the reel that you need should possess the strength to withstand the aggression of fish.

The bearing system of the reel is an indicator of its smoothness. When the bearings are weak, vibrations and noises can be heard on the reel. These sounds are very audible, especially if you are already cranking the handle.

You want a reel that has finely constructed bearings. They are the ones that can give you comfort if you are planning to fish for hours or days. At this point, you have to know that the number of ball bearings is extremely important.

The more, the better. That's how things work when it comes to ball bearings. Perhaps, the best spinning reels are those that contain a multitude of these components. They can do fast and smooth retrievals, regardless of the size of the fish that you are trying to catch.​

Gear Ratio

Another aspect of fishing reels that you have to understand is gear ratio. In fact, it is one of the first things that you have to comprehend, especially if you are new to this sport.

The gear ratio of the reel is the one that tells you about the speed of its retrieval. It can also be said that the gear ratio tells the raw power of the reel.

There are a lot of technical aspects that should be considered when it comes to gear ratio. Among these are the fish that you are going to catch and the techniques that you want to implement.

It can be said that reels that have a ratio of 6.1:1 to 5.1:1 can do fast retrievals. They are extremely responsive, but they don't have enough power. If power is your main concern, then slow gear ratio reels like 4.1:1 are the ideal choice for you.

But what do these numbers mean?

There's nothing that should confuse you here. The first part of the ratio is the number of inches that can be rolled by in a single turn. For instance, if you have a gear ratio of 7:1, it simply means that the reel is capable of retrieving seven inches of line per one handle turn.

This short video will teach you how to use a spinning reel:​


Saltwater fishing is fun and exciting. It is one of the most riveting that you can do while on the sea, especially if you have your own boat. But things would be better if you have completed all the essential gears for this adventure.

The best saltwater spinning reel is one of the necessities that you have to secure before you go aboard. This one can ensure that you can handle different types of fish species on the vast ocean. They provide the right power and precision to get large games and trophies.

That's it for now. If you have some questions or suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comment section below.

Here are some other reels that are you might be interested in:​

5 Best Saltwater Spinning Reel – A Buying Guide
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