BEST ULTRALIGHT PICK
Abu Garcia Silver Max
BEST BUDGET PICK
Spinning reels are an essential piece of fishing equipment, allowing anglers to cast lines and reel in catches smoothly.
Fishing reels can get quite expensive, leaving budget-conscious anglers wondering if they can still get a quality product without breaking the bank.
The good news is that there are plenty of excellent spinning reels available for under $50. This buying guide will cover the key factors to consider when shopping for an affordable spinning reel and recommend the top options that offer great performance without the high price tag.
- Best Overall Value: Okuma Ceymar
- Best Versatility for All Skill Levels: Penn Pursuit III
- Best Lightweight Performance: Pflueger Trion
- Smoothest Performance: Shimano Sienna
- Best Ultralight Option: Abu Garcia Silver Max
- Best for Maximizing Features on a Budget: Piscifun Flame
Factors to Consider When Buying a Spinning Reel
When evaluating budget-friendly spinning reels, there are a few specifications to keep in mind:
- Materials – Look for reels made of lightweight yet durable materials like graphite or aluminum. These resist corrosion better than steel.
- Bearings – More high-quality ball bearings mean smoother casting and retrieval. At least 5 stainless steel bearings is ideal for smooth performance.
- Gear Ratio – A gear ratio around 5:1 is a good standard balance of speed and torque for versatility.
- Drag – Look for powerful drag systems in the 10-20 lb range made of carbon fiber or oiled felt washers.
- Anti-Reverse – Instant anti-reverse bearing prevents backward reel handle spin for solid hook sets.
- Line Capacity – Match line capacity to your target fish size and fishing style. Larger is better for big fish and saltwater.
- Water Resistance – Saltwater reels need enhanced corrosion resistance. Look for sealed components.
Top Recommended Spinning Reels Under $50
The Okuma Ceymar provides excellent quality at an affordable price-point. With a precision alloy gear system, 7 ball bearings, and multi-disc drag, it’s ready for anything.
The Ceymar’s corrosion-resistant coating makes it perfect for freshwater and saltwater fishing. It’s a great all-around reel for anglers who want reliability on a budget.
At just 5.1 ounces, the Abu Garcia Silver Max is an ultralight reel perfect for long days casting and retrieving. Its carbon matrix drag and 6 ball bearings give it strength and smoothness beyond its size.
For anglers looking for a high-performing but lightweight and portable reel, the Silver Max is a top choice.
Piscifun fishing reels are known for packing in impressive features at extremely budget-friendly prices.
The Flame and Viper X both offer lightweight graphite bodies, 9+1 ball bearings, and adjustable 18+ lb drags for under $50. If getting the most features and performance for the least cost is the priority, Piscifun reels are a leading option.
The Pflueger Trion combines a lightweight graphite body with 6 stainless steel bearings for remarkably smooth casting and retrieval. Its aluminum spool and stainless steel components hold up against corrosion.
Anglers looking for a high-performing but portable and affordable reel will love the Pflueger Trion.
Shimano is synonymous with quality fishing gear, and the Sienna spinning reel delivers super smooth performance thanks to Dyna-Balance elimination of rotor wobble and Propulsion Line Management.
With 4 ball bearings and quality components, it lives up to the Shimano reputation. A great choice for anglers who prioritize smoothness.
Walleye Frequently Asked Questions
What is a good cheap spinning reel?
A good cheap spinning reel under $50 is the Okuma Ceymar. It has a lightweight graphite body, 7+1 stainless steel bearings for smooth performance, and a powerful drag system. The corrosion resistant coating makes it a great versatile and affordable option.
Are expensive spinning reels worth it?
More expensive reels generally have higher-end components like more ball bearings and carbon fiber drag washers. However, models around $50 from trusted brands can still deliver smooth and reliable performance for most recreational anglers if you choose the right reel for your needs. Prioritizing key factors like drag, anti-reverse, and gear ratio when comparing budget models can help maximize quality and value.
What is the best all-around fishing reel?
The Penn Pursuit III is one of the best all-around fishing reels. With 4 stainless steel ball bearings, instant anti-reverse, and a durable graphite body, it combines versatility, durability and smoothness. It’s a great choice for anglers of all skill levels whether freshwater or inshore saltwater fishing.
What rod to pair with walleye spinning reel?
A medium or medium-heavy power fast action rod around 6-7 feet pairs well with a walleye spinning reel. This provides sensitivity to feel bites while having strength to handle walleye runs.
What size spinning reel is best for walleye fishing?
2500-3000 size reel balances line capacity and handling for walleye. Larger 4000+ sizes make sense for targeting trophy walleye or fishing heavy currents.
How do you care for walleye reels?
Rinsing walleye reels after use prevents salt and debris buildup. Occasionally oil bearings and gears with a light reel oil. Store reels indoors away from temperature extremes when not in use.
Is mono or braid better for walleye fishing?
Braided line around 10-20 lb test is ideal for walleye reels. It’s sensitive with zero stretch to detect light bites and strong enough to land hard fighting fish. Use a fluorocarbon leader for invisibility.
What strength fishing line for walleye reel?
10-20 lb braided line matched to the reel size works well. Increase pound test if targeting big walleye in heavy cover. Decrease for finesse presentations.
How many yards of line do you need for a walleye reel?
Around 150 yards of braid on a 2500 reel or 200 yards on a 3000 reel is sufficient. Leave the last 1/8 of the spool empty when spooling.
For anglers on a tight budget, quality spinning reels are still attainable thanks to reliable models from trusted brands like Okuma, Penn, and Shimano. Prioritize key components like drag, ball bearings, and anti-reverse when comparing lower-cost reels. Consider fishing style, size needs, and desired features. With the right choice like the smooth Shimano Sienna or powerful Abu Garcia Silver Max, tight lines and trophy catches are still achievable, even on a budget.