Best Freshwater Fishing Reels 2020

A fishing reel is the most important part of your fishing gear arsenal, so you will need a good reel that will improve your fishing success! Since you came across our article, we promise that you will find the best freshwater fishing reels and give you some piece of useful fishing advice.

Best Spinning Reel

This baitcasting reel is smooth enough, you will be able to cast like a pro. It features superior durability and comfort thanks to the big aluminum handle with Eva foam knobs.

• Durable
• Super silent high-speed line retrieve
• Side-plate oil port

Best Baitcasting Reel

A great spinning reel that can be used with light or heavy baits at an incredible price.

• Affordable
• Up to 26.5 lbs of drag
• 4.9:1 and 5:2:1 gear ratios

Best Fly Fishing Reel

This reel fishes as well as it looks. The Piscifun Sword Fly fishing reel series is just the perfect fit for every angler, especially for beginners who use WF Fly lines.

• Mid-arbor design
• Accurate click drag and silent retrieve
• Corrosion resistant

Best Trolling Reel

This trolling reel is the perfect combination of durable, affordable, and portable. It also features a convenient depth counter.

• Affordable
• Durable
• Depth (line) counter

What type of fishing reel do you need?

Depending on what type of fishing you plan on doing, you will need different types of reels. Thus, you will need a reel according to the technique (spinning, baitcasting, trolling or fly fishing) and target fish.


Spinning reels are great for beginner fishermen since they are easy to operate. Just flip the bail, put a finger on the line and cast, close the bail, then simply turn the handle to reel it back in.

Spinning reels are great for lighter baits like soft plastics or live bait so that you can cast further.

For this technique, you will need a lightweight reel as you are constantly casting and retrieving a fishing lure. A durable drag system is absolutely necessary because it will “fight” the fish so you can finally land it.


Unlike spin casting, baitcasting is a more difficult technique and it is preferred by experienced anglers. Baitcasting reels allow for more accuracy when casting so that anglers can use lures such as jigs, spinner baits and crankbaits with pinpoint accuracy.


Fly fishing is one of our favorite freshwater fishing techniques and it is believed to be successful for many fish species. The fly fishing reel is completely different than baitcasters or spinning reels.

Fly fishing reels have a large arbor and a simple drag system. When comparing fly fishing reels, you should take into consideration the arbor and main shaft-gear. High-quality materials will make the difference and also protect your line.


Trolling reels are mostly used for catching fish in deep water, especially from boats or fishing kayaks. Fishermen troll for everything from crappie, bass and walleye to trout, salmon and huge saltwater species such as tuna, sailfish and marlin. It’s an excellent way to cover a lot of water to prospect for fish that are actively feeding.

The main things you should look for in the best trolling reels is strength/durability and a line counter for depth measurement.

Best Spinning Reels

Best Spinning ReelsMain Feature
1. KastKing Baitfeeder ReelHigh Quality Ball Bearings
2. Penn Spinfisher VHigh Performance Drag System
3. Shimano Sienna Fe Spinning ReelBalance and Lightweight Reel

1. KastKing Pontus Baitfeeder Spinning Reel

KastKing is a new Company and it is growing really fast. They launched some good products and the KastKing Pontus is one of them. Actually, it is an advanced version of a previous KastKing model and the new features are incredible.

There are 4 models available and the manufacturers shaved the weight and the result is a lightweight reel for casting or spinning. You can use it both with small or big lures. Furthermore, the 10 ball bearings will give you a smooth retrieve and the CNC spool makes things easier especially for long distance casts.

It is the best spinning reel on the market at the moment especially if you take a closer look at the drags. The triple washer discs are able to hold powerful fish and the most important thing is that it is available at an affordable price. Finally, it is one of the best bass fishing reels and it casts quite far.

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2. Penn Spinfisher V Spinning Reel

One of the best freshwater spinning reels is the unbelievable Spinfisher V made by Penn. There 13 sizes available and it is an improved version of some previous Penn models. Since you are reading this review, you are probably interested in getting a nice spinning reel.

Remember that the technique of spinning requires extremely lightweight gear and this model is light like a feather. Surprisingly there are no downfalls and we can see that there are only benefits.

The Penn Spinfisher utilizes some special technologies like Water Tight or Sealed Drag System. Specifically, these technologies protect the reel from saltwater so you can be sure that nothing gets in the gearbox. To my way of thinking, you should rinse your reel after each fishing trip.

What is not to love? The high-quality spool? The supreme durable drag? I am sure that Penn created a masterpiece once again. Just like my father says, you buy Penn once in your life!

Penn Spinfisher V

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When it comes to best freshwater fishing reels, we should not exclude Shimano from our list. The Sienna Reel is a really good spinning reel, especially if you want to invest in a good reel for almost all occasions.

There are three sizes available and if you want some extra power that will be able to “fight” big fish like pikes or big bass, choose the 4000 model. Overall, Shimano focuses on the drag system and that’s why the reel can even handle heavy fish.

Many anglers tried this reel and admit that it works very smooth with no vibrations. In fact, there are not only many unique features, but the drag system is hard like a tank.


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Best Baitcasting Reels

Best Baitcasting ReelsMain Feature
1. Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting ReelGood Magnetic Brakes and Stability
2. Lixada Baitcasting ReelMany High quality ball bearings
3. Abu Garcia Silver MaxDurable reel with innovative features

1. Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel

Just to start out with, baitcasting is not an easy technique, so you will need some skills to perform some good casts. However, this is a matter of the reel. If the reel is smooth enough, you will be able to cast like a pro.

The Piscifun Torrent baitcaster should definitely be on the list with the best freshwater fishing reels, as it pairs innovation with versatility! If you take a closer look at the product, you will see that it features a stiff and durable drag system. The gear is made of brass and the carbon washers are there to provide power and smoothness.

We can talk about superior strength and comfort thanks to the big aluminum handle with Eva foam knobs. You should take into consideration that winding is also important.

Consequently, Piscifun equipped the reel with a magnetic brake system and double line shafts. Noteworthy is the fact that there is a small hole in the side plate just to lubricate the reel.

Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel

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2. Lixada 12+1 Ball Bearings Baitcasting Reel

As all avid anglers know, the amount of ball bearings does not play an important role. We would like to agree with this perception. The truth is that the quality of ball bearings will improve and expand the reel’s lifespan.

The Lixada Baitcaster reel has 13 ball bearings, 12 plus one roller bearing and the magnetic brake system will help you with the casts. It is quite lightweight and most people use it for medium-size fish.

The frame is crafted of aluminum and generally speaking it has a nice sporty design.

Lixada Baitcaster

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3. Abu Garcia Silver Max Low Profile

Out of the box, Abu Garcia was and is one of the leading fishing gear companies and it is world-wide known. The Silver MAX series is a unique and these reels are value-for-money products.  If you are facing some difficulties with your casts, this reel will be your next baitcasting buddy.

The frame is made of graphite which is a lightweight material and it is available for right or left hand retrieve. This model will cover every freshwater angler and the flawless performance will surprise even the most demanding fisherman.

It will give you a nice feel thanks to the special technologies made by Abu Garcia. However, the biggest surprise is that it is affordable and there are features that you will find only in expensive reels.

Abu Garcia max

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Best Fly Fishing Reels

Best Fly Fishing ReelsMain Feature
1. Piscifun Sword Fly ReelGood Drag System
2. Okuma SLV DiecastLarge Arbor

1. Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel 

This reel fishes as well as it looks on the picture! When you will have to load your fly fishing reel with a good fly line, the arbor must be extremely smooth and reduce line memory.

The Piscifun Sword Fly fishing reel series is just the perfect fit for every angler, especially for beginners who use WF Fly lines. The stainless steel drag will protect it from rust and corrosion.

Additionally, the bearings have some rubber rings, so water does not come in. You can use it with different types of fly lines, but we recommend the Weight-forward line which is better for long-distance casts.

The construction is made of 6061-T6 aluminum alloy which is not only lightweight but also saltwater safe. Salmon or trout anglers who fish in waters with high levels of salinity will surely appreciate this feature.

Piscifun Fly Fishing Sword Reel

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2. Okuma SLV Diecast Aluminum Fly Reel

The silkiest and smoothest like butter drag system ever made. The Okuma SLV DiecastThe fly reel features a large arbor and it is made of aluminum so you will not face any problems with saltwater or rust.

The large arbor makes it ideal for every fly line type and it comes in 13 sizes, so you can select the best choice for your fishing style. In addition, it is both suitable for right- and left-hand anglers.

In the large arbor, you can store a great capacity of fly line and the multi-disc cork drag system will reduce the pressure applied from the fish. Finally, it is a good and affordable reel for fly fishing with flies or even soft baits.

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Do not forget to pair your fly fishing reel with a nice fly fishing vest where you can attach your lures and flies!

Best Trolling Reels

Best Trolling ReelsMain Feature
1. Okuma Magda Pro LineBalance and Long Casts
2. Isafish Spinning ReelHigh strength graphite frame material

1. Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Levelwind Trolling Reel

Well, Okuma is one of the best fishing reels manufacturers and thousands of anglers rely on this brand. The Okuma Magda Pro is a really powerful reel which you can use for different fishing techniques.

The secret? The innovative drag system technology developed by Okuma! The technology includes a lubricated gear system which decreases the heat. When high pressure is applied, heat is the number one factor which can destroy your reel.

The gearing system includes 2 ball bearings in order to give you a smooth fishing experience and you can choose between 6 models with different pound test. Overall, it is a nice simple reel and it can be used for many fishing situations.

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2. Isafish Spinning Reel Trolling Boat Fishing Reels

Looking for the best freshwater fishing reels? Do you love trolling with heavy or lightweight lures? Then, you should take a closer look at the Isafisj Spinning Reel designed for trolling. The most incredible feature is that it has an automatical metal wire in order to avoid winding.

The special fish alarm bell will inform you in case you have a fish on the hook and overall it is a good reel that fits every trolling rod. We would not glorify the product, as it does not have a strong drag system, but it is suitable for freshwater fish.

Last but not least, the handle is quite big and the knob slightly oversized, but it is not necessarily a disadvantage.

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Wrapping Up

Finally, the world of fishing reels is not as complicated as you thought. There are some features and you should choose the reel according to your technique and fish you are after.