SPINNING REELS TOP PICKS
Updated regularly




This page is my answer to the most frequent question I receive; "What is the best....?". The term "best" is subjective, therefore these are what I personally believe to be the best without any claims that it's the ultimate truth. The score given is based on my own formula for judging reliability, structural integrity, longevity, ergonomics, functionality, build quality, and aesthetics, each making up a different portion of the total score according to importance. For instance reliability is the biggest portion of the score, while aesthetics is the smallest. These top picks cover reels from all over the world, hence there would be brands you've never heard of. Have a look, and as always you are welcome to contact me with any questions or thoughts.




Latest Changes:

* Quantum Cabo 100/120 are gone because they have been discontinued.
* Sedona FI in 8000 size and Sahara FI appear on the lists.
* Modern Peerless Bam reels have been added to the Black List.
* Okuma updated the Makaira's roller (click for details), and for the first time since 2014 a reel sweeps others off the top of the golden table.
* The situation with the Saltiga family service got even worse, and they are off for good this time. More details here.
* Shimano Stella SW appears. The issues I highlighted in the review were partially addressed.











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Best general use saltwater reels under $150

Rank
Reel
Score/100
#1
Daiwa BG SW*
64
#2
Okuma Azores
52
#3
Shimano Socorro SW
51
#4
Shimano Sedona FI 8000
50
#5
Daiwa SS Tournament
47
* Regular export version only. The JDM version has inferior construction.

Best general use saltwater reels $150 to $250

Rank
Reel
Score/100
#1
Shimano Spheros SW*
75
#2
Quantum Cabo 60/80 PTSE
74
#3
Quantum Cabo 40/50 PTSE
69
#4
Penn 704Z
60
* Regular export version only. The JDM version has inferior gearing CLICK HERE

Best non-mainstream reels

Rank
Reel
Score/100
#1
Blue Marlin BMC/J*
76
#2
Omoto Severo
71
#3
Tica Talisman
68
#4
Teben Sea
63
#5
Banax SX
43
* The upgraded version. Check the notes on top of the review HERE, and verify you're getting the upgraded version.

Reels I do not recommend


Peerless Bam reels (modern)


Penn Conquer  (Discontinued)
Named "Penn Atlantis" in the UK


DAM Quick Royal / ATC Astromac


Ryobi Carnelian
Also named "Kewl Forge", "Grauvell Kona Molokai", "Tubertini AP Power"


KastKing branded reels


Ajiking Wahoo
Also named "Tuff Tackle Sniper", "Black Marlin BM6500-BM9500", "Latitude SDS Pariah 10000", "XT Dogtooth Terminator", "Eldorado Senturi 16000SSW"


Best budget offshore reels

Rank
Reel
Score/100
#1
Shimano Saragosa SW
78
#2
Fin Nor Lethal 100
76
#3
Shimano Spheros SW*
75
#4
Quantum Cabo 60/80 PTSE
74
#5
Quantum Boca 100/120 PTSE
70
* Regular export version only. The JDM version has inferior gearing CLICK HERE

Finest Offshore Spinning Reels in the World

Rank
Reel
Score/100
#1
Okuma Makaira
93
#2
Shimano Stella SW (4000 to 20000)
89
#3
Accurate TwinSpin (SR12 to SR50)
84
#4
Shimano Saragosa SW
78

Best budget freshwater reels

Rank
Reel
Score/100
#1
Daiwa BG SW*
64
#2
Shimano Stradic FK
60
#3
Shimano Nasci FB
54
#4
Shimano Sahara FI
51
#5
Daiwa SS Tournament
47
* Regular export version only. The JDM version has inferior construction.