The Best Spinning Reels for Bass in 2020 (Buying Guide)

Kenneth ReavesEdited by: Kenneth Reaves
Michael DarmontReviewed by: Michael Darmont

Last Update:

The Rundown

Best Overall: KastKing Summer and Centron
“A fantastic lightweight spinning reel with 9-ball bearings and a 17.5 lb. drag powerhouse that comes in so many colors and sizes to choose from — perfect for any angler really.”

Runner-Up Option: KastKing Sharky III
“A first-class reel that comes with a 39.5 lb. triple disc drag, a special shield system, and double-shielded bearings perfect for anglers who love catching tough fishes. With this, you’ll always feel like a champ.”

Premium Option: Daiwa Bg
“This sleek black aluminum reel has premium features like an oversized Digigear and an ABS spool feature that anglers who frequently pursue large fish will lovethere’s no doubt about it, it’s worth buying for sure.”

For fishermen, a quality reel is worth its weight in gold, and the use of a premium spinning reel is just the thing that anglers need to cast with efficiency and quickly land fish they’ve hooked. 

High-end spinning reels have several characteristics that offer significant benefit to anglers everywhere who wish to make the most out of their time on the water.

The following are ten of the best spinning reels currently available in today’s market.

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The Best Spinning Reels for Bass in 2020

KastKing Summer and Centron

Best Overall: Subdued in cost, but not in features

KEY FEATURES

  • Compact, lightweight design
  • High-powered 17.5 lb. drag system
  • 9-ball bearings for an ultra-smooth performance

If you’re on the hunt for a quality spinning reel that is economical in price, you can’t go wrong with KastKing Summer and Centron Reels. This series of reels features a lightweight graphite frame that is compact in design and durable as well. Each Summer and Centron Reel uses 9-ball bearings, ensuring an ultra-smooth performance, free of any hard spots or operational lags.

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The KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reels also feature a powerful 17.5 pound drag system, which gives anglers ample opportunity to win in a fight with even the largest of game fish species. Their systems consist of a hardened metal main shaft, a perfect mesh drive gear, and a precision-machined pinion gear. These components also serve as a point of enhanced durability, as a poor drag system is often responsible for common fishing failures.

Another key characteristic of all the KastKing Summer and Centron reels is their high level of visual appeal. Each reel comes in various color combinations, which allows an angler to select which would best suit their individual taste. Among these color sets include black with blue accents and silver and white.

These reels also come in multiple sizes for use within a variety of applications. From ultralight ice fishing reels to larger catfishing reels, there’s no doubt that there’s a selection in this series that will fit the needs of every angler.

KastKing Sharky III

Runner Up Option: Has the features of a spinning reel and the power of a winch

KEY FEATURES

  • First-class 39.5 lb. triple disc drag
  • Special Intrusion Shield System that prevents water and dirt ingress
  • Includes 10+1 saltwater rated, double-shielded ball bearings

The KastKing Sharky III is a spinning reel designed to tackle the challenge of hauling in the biggest fish on any body of water. It features a first class 39.5 pound triple disc drag system and 10+1 saltwater rated, double-shielded ball bearings that offer unmatched strength and agility. This is the perfect reel for those who regularly fish for catfish, musky, or striped bass, and any kind of hard-fighting saltwater species.

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The drag system of the KastKing Sharky III is engineered for power from every front. The reel’s combination of triple disc carbon fiber clutches, oversized stainless-steel main shaft, and precision mesh manganese brass pinion gears should make the perfect combination for taking on trophy size fishes everywhere.

Another noteworthy characteristic of the KastKing Sharky III is its unique Shark Fin Braid Ready aluminum spool. This spool allows anglers to fit the KastKing Sharky III with braided lines, without the use of backing line, as is a characteristic of many other reels on the market. This is something that many anglers will appreciate, as it saves them the time and trouble of dealing with the intricacies of spooling braid, leaving more time for fishing.

Perhaps most notable about this is the fact that this powerhouse of a reel can be purchased for little more than the cost of a tank of gas.

Daiwa Bg

Premium Option: A high-performance reel that is equally rich in cosmetic appeal

KEY FEATURES

  • Oversized Digigear for increased torque
  • ABS spool for enhanced line capacity
  • Sleek black anodized aluminum housing

The Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel is equal parts form and function, offering anglers a reel that should not only perform to high efficiency, but look good while doing so. This reel features a sleek black anodized, machined aluminum housing, an oversized Digigear for increased torque, an infinite anti-reverse system, and a lightweight Dynamic Cut Aluminum ABS Spool. If you are in search of a high-end spinning reel that offers numerous premium features, then this is just the product for you.

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Many conventional spinning reels keep a standard diameter, from one end of their spool to the other, which often leaves “dead” line buried at the spool’s core. However, the Daiwa Bg’s Dynamic Cut Aluminum ABS Spool features a reversed taper spool face, which allows for 100% use of the reel’s overall line capacity. This means that the angler will be able to cast farther and reach distant points of interest that might otherwise go unfished.

The Daiwa Bg’s use of an oversized Digigear is also a nice touch, as it allows for a greater degree of gear-tooth contact and increases the reel’s overall torque. This feature should be quite popular with anglers who pursue larger species of fish frequently.

It takes only a single glance to see the level of detail that has been placed into the Daiwa Bg’s external appearance. This reel’s machined aluminum body not offers extensive eye appeal but is even anodized to resist corrosion and scratches. This same anodized surface coating creates a layer of adhesion that should provide long-lasting protection.

Piscifun Flame

Best Lightweight Option: A featherweight reel with heavyweight performance

KEY FEATURES

  • Lightweight graphite frame
  • Powerful 19.8 lb. drag system
  • Ergonomic design for ultimate comfort

The Piscifun Flame Spinning Reel is the perfect choice for those that have grown tired of bulky reels in the past, as it was engineered for the ultimate in angler comfort. The combination of a lightweight hollow graphite frame and an ergonomic grip and handle is enough to make any angler pick this reel up and never want to put it down again. This reel is jam-packed with helpful features, such as a robust 19.8 lb drag system, a smooth 9+1 bearing system, and a braid-ready spool.

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Weighing in at only 8.5 ounces, arm and hand fatigue should be of no issue to anglers who use the Piscifun Flame Spinning Reel. This minimization of weight is largely a product of the Flame’s hollow graphite handle, which eliminates a substantial amount of unnecessary weight. This reel also includes an ergonomically designed handle that is likely to become a favorite feature among anglers who spend long hours on the water.

The Piscifun Flame is built to satisfy the needs of those with serious ambitions toward catching sizable fish. With a 19.8 pound total drag weight, a reinforced metal main shaft, a high quality drive gear, a precisely machined brass pinion gear and triple drag washers, it is highly unlikely that the average angler will encounter a situation that the Piscifun Flame cannot handle.

Braid line can also be used in conjunction with the Piscifun Flame, as its specialized spool is engineered for this exact purpose. There will no longer be any reason to worry about backing your braid with monofilament. Simply spool on your line of choice, then take to the water.

Sougayilang

Most Comfortable: Satisfactory performance at an equally satisfactory price

KEY FEATURES

  • 11 total ball bearings for a seamless operation
  • S-curve oscillation system for uniform spooling
  • Compact, streamlined design for comfortable use

The Sougayilang series of reels carries several noteworthy design attributes, such as an 11 ball bearings internal configuration, S-curve oscillation system, and an ultra-compact profile. What makes this even better is the fact that this reel can be purchased for less than most will spend on bait during any given outing.

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The Sougayilang Spinning Reels have a complex, yet well thought out rotational configuration. With a greater total number of ball bearings than the total of reels on this list, its operation is guaranteed to be silky smooth. This is great for anglers who prefer a cast and wind method of fishing, such as when working a buzzbait or crankbait.

Its S-curve oscillation system slightly slows its spooling in a bid to minimize line twist and kinking. It also features a drag system that is quite similar to those found on many higher-dollar reels. This system uses quality carbon discs, which are sealed from dust and other environmental contaminants, for anglers to maintain a better control over the fight at hand.

KastKing Megatron

Most Durable: Tough beyond compare, yet fluid in its performance

KEY FEATURES

  • Aerospace aluminum alloy frame that can take a beating and then come back for more
  • Durable gears that resist premature wear
  • 30+ pound drag for true fighting potential

If you’re the type who can be rough on their fishing equipment, and so needs a reel that can stand up to anything that mother nature throws at it, the KastKing Megatron is just the thing you’ve been looking for. This reel features an aerospace aluminum alloy frame, a zinc alloy drive gear, and a sturdy, yet lightweight spool, all culminating in a unit that even the most haphazard of anglers will be unlikely to damage or render inoperable.

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The KastKing Megatron features an astounding 30+ pounds of total drag, further adding to its ruggedness. The reel’s drag system uses a series of carbon fiber discs to provide uniform line control and prevent binding.

The Megatron Spinning Reel also features 7+1 MaxiDur double-shielded stainless-steel ball bearings, which should make for an incredibly smooth operation under a near-infinite number of circumstances. This is perfect when attempting to boat sizable game fish that have no intention of being caught.

Also included is an instant anti-reverse feature, which allows for rapid hooksets. This is a feature that bass fishermen will absolutely love as more often than not, the difference between a successful day of bass fishing and a day spent missing bites ultimately comes down to the speed of one’s hookset.

Okuma Ceymar

Most Versatile: A versatile reel with options for every application

KEY FEATURES

  • Multi-disc, pre-oiled drag system for ample line control
  • Quickset anti-reverse roller bearing
  • Offered in a range of sizes for versatility

The Okuma Ceymar line of spinning reels is offered in a variety of sizes, making it a great option to those who know what features they want, but are looking for a perfectly sized reel for a particular application. This reel includes a number of high-end features, such as a multi-disc, pre-oiled drag system, a quick-set anti-reverse roller bearing, and a high-torque pinion gear.

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Included in the Okuma Ceymar line is the C-30/C-40 for freshwater use, the C-55 for inshore saltwater fishing, and the C-65 for open water excursions. With such a wide array of purpose-specific models, most anglers will be able to easily locate an Okuma Ceymar reel perfectly suited to their needs.

The Okuma Ceymar’s multi-disc, pre-oiled drag system is also sure to be a hit among many anglers. This system uses felt-style discs that provides a consistent drag and line dispersal, leading to a higher degree of versatility when taking on whatever the lake throws your way.

This series of reels also features an anti-corrosive anodized coating, which is great for securing the longevity of a particular reel, as various elements can quickly lay waste to uncoated reels, rendering them unfit for use before you know it.

Pflueger President

Most Reliable: A trouble-free reel engineered to keep you fishing for as long as possible

KEY FEATURES

  • Specialized gearing that prevents lines from twisting
  • Sealed drag system for all-weather performance
  • Graphite body and rotor for a lightweight feel

The Pfluger President is an investment worth making. This reel features specialized gearing that slows oscillation to prevent line twisting and kinks. It’s also fitted with a waterproof sealed drag system, 7-corrosion resistant ball bearings, and a lightweight graphite body and rotor.

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The Pfluger President takes line control to a new extreme by using slow oscillation gearing to prevent the line from being wound in a manner that is too quick for efficient spooling. This causes an even line distribution, which means fewer “birds’ nests”, and more time spent fishing instead of fixing line-related issues.

Also of note is the Pflueger President’s sealed drag system, which resists water ingress and maintains internal lubrication. This should be an immensely popular feature among anglers, as water contamination, and resulting corrosion, can spell trouble for the drag systems of many lesser quality reels currently available on the market. When a drag system becomes compromised, a number of performance related issues soon become evident.

As a further compliment to the abovementioned drag system, Pfueger has used corrosion-resistant, stainless steel ball bearings in their President line of reels. This adds another level of depth to the line’s already impressive weather resistance. As a result, this reel is likely to make it through many seasons without much in the way of mechanical issues.

KastKing Brutus

Most Reliable: Reliability that you can bet your next fishing trip on

KEY FEATURES

  • Lightweight graphite frame and rotor for anglers’ comfort
  • Durable bearing and drive components for pronounced reliability
  • Multi-disc drag system that delivers up to 17.5 pound of stopping power

For those that wish to strike out for the water without any additional thought as to their reel’s performance, the KastKing Brutus is the best choice. This reel is simplistic in design, yet can be as reliable as they come. The Brutus features a 4+1 bearing system, lightweight graphite frame/rotor, and a 17.5 pound drag system. No matter its frequency of use or the conditions at hand, this reel is ready to put to work.

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The KastKing Brutus Spinning Reel uses a host of components that are time tested and known to be dependable and absent of any common points of failure. These components include a zinc alloy main gear, brass pinion gear, and a steel main shaft. Plus, a set of four ball bearings is used to facilitate rotational movement, free of binding or hesitation.

Thanks to the use of a graphite handle, the KastKing Brutus is also lightweight enough to be handled with ease, even during long periods on the water. This alone is likely to make the Brutus a favorite within the reel collections of many anglers. But even more appealing is the fact that it comes at a price point that’s impossible to refuse. This gives budget-minded anglers a little extra spending cash for bait, hooks, and other fishing related needs.

Penn Fierce III

Best Retrieval: Elegant in looks, yet formidable to even the most sizable of game fish

KEY FEATURES

  • Advanced HT-100 drag system optimized for performance under significant loads
  • Techno-Balanced Rotor that provides ultra-smooth retrieves
  • An eye-catching Stylish Black/Red exterior design

The Penn Fierce III would be the ideal choice for anglers who spend a significant amount of time on the water in pursuit of sizable game fish, as the unit’s Techno-Balanced Rotor makes way for an ultra-smooth operation, especially when under a load. It also features a hardy HT-100 carbon fiber drag system, a superline spool, and 4 ball bearings. The combination of these factors should allow anglers to pull even the largest of game fish from the deepest depths below with relative efficiency.

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The HT-100 drag system of the Penn Fierce III is unique, to say the least, as it makes use of a series of carbon-fiber washers to provide an even line feed and resistance. Using this high-end drag clutch medium should ease overheating, minimize premature unit degradation, and provide consistent operation under a myriad of conditions.

The Penn Fierce III’s Techno-Balanced Rotor is also remarkable as it optimizes the reel’s feel during retrieval, which further maximizes an angler’s ability to advance forward progress during a fight, without unnecessary binding or resistance. This keeps an angler from fighting too much against their reel and their fish. This level of smooth operation is further aided by the reel’s use of 4 premium-shielded ball bearings, which maximize rotational efficiency.

This reel also looks like a showpiece, featuring a full metal body and side plates, with a sleek black exterior coating, highlighted by vibrant red accents. The Penn Fierce III also includes a stylish aluminum bail wire and spool. If you equipment that inspires looks of admiration, then the Penn Fierce III is the reel for you.

Criteria Used For Evaluation

When choosing the perfect spinning reel, there are a few factors to consider. By keeping the following factors in mind, you will be better equipped to locate a reel that will suit your needs the best.

Criteria #1: Drag System

When the catch of a lifetime is at the other end of your line, the drag system of your chosen reel should be capable of efficiently handling the most relentless of fights.

A reel’s drag system uses internal discs to allow a predetermined amount of slip should a fish pull to the point of nearing line breakage. The most efficient drag systems, when properly adjusted, allow anglers to make the most out of their line’s strength by spooling outward before a fish gets loose. This is vital, as poorly built drag systems can hang, causing the line to snap and the fish in question to get away.

The industry’s highest quality drag systems are protected from outside elements, pre-lubricated, and feature a higher weight working capacity. In many cases, drag systems can sustain loads of 30+ pounds, while still metering line dispersal as designated by the chosen adjustment.

Criteria #2: Bearings

The smoothness of a reel’s operation is a crucial factor in maximizing your productivity on the water, and bearings are a key component in this equation.

Every reel on the market today relies on a system of bearings to facilitate the necessary rotational force for spooling lines. As a reel’s handle is turned, a system of gears rotate the reel’s spool. This spool rides over a set of ball bearings that minimize friction. However, not all bearings are created equally. Many premium reels use 7, 8, or even 10 ball bearings, while substandard reels usually use far fewer than that. Beyond the number of ball bearings that a particular reel uses, it is also important that these bearings be of high-quality and true in their uniformity.

Criteria #3: Comfort

If a reel is not comfortable to use, it’s probably going to be spending more time stashed in your garage than being used in your boat.

Many anglers spend countless hours on the water in a single given year. During this time, cumbersome reels can become inconvenient fast. Reels of this nature results in hand and arm fatigue, which then leads to aggravation. As a result, those who fish often end up swapping these bothersome reels out for more comfortable ones. On the other hand, lightweight graphite-bodied reels are typically far less restrictive and can be a real joy to use, even when fishing days grow long. 

Questions & Answers

What Kind of Fish is a Spinning Reel Best Used for?

The best thing about spinning reels is that they are extremely versatile. They can be used in almost any situation, and so basically it’s really up to an angler as to when and where they will use one. But if you’re really curious, there are a few particular kinds of fish that stand out above the rest as being more heavily suited to the use of spinning equipment. One example would be bass, since spinning reels are great for finesse fishing.

Are Spinning Reels Good for Long Distance Casting?

Spinning reels are one of the two types of reels ideal for long-distance casting, with the other type being a baitcaster. The reason for this is that spinning reels can hold a significant amount of line on their spools. In fact, many spinning reels can accommodate up to a whopping 300 yards of line. While it might be physically impossible to actually cast to that great of a distance, the line is available for use if you’re up to the challenge.

Another reason that spinning reels are excellent for long distance casting is that very little resistance is imparted upon the line when it departs from the reel. The line can flow significantly more freely from a spinning reel than other reel types.