Best Saltwater Spinning Reels

10 Best Saltwater Spinning Reels In 2018 | Reviews & Comparisons

Offshore fishing requires specialized reels to withstand the harsh ocean conditions and handle the big fishes. They are made of high-end corrosion resistant materials which are different from most freshwater or conventional reels.

With so many options, finding the best saltwater spinning reel can get tricky quickly. We did intense research of the top brands and gone through tons of user reviews to come up with our list of the 10 top saltwater spinning reels.

This guide will help you find the best offshore spinning reels from the top brands for all your deep sea, pier and surf fishing needs.



Gear Ratio

Max Drag (lb)

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Best Saltwater Spinning Reels | Top Picks & Reviews

These days, we see several brands offering their best saltwater spinning reels for the money. Some manufacturers have been in the industry longer than others, making them well reputed when it comes to quality. Others, however, despite being referred to as ‘new entry’ offer options that are not just of good quality, but affordable at the same time.

Still, this is challenging on the part of beginners, in particular, who might not know where to start. To help you out with this task, we have come up with a list of reviews showing the features of the top 10 spinning reels for saltwater, combining factors including quality, performance, and affordability.

01. Penn Slammer III

Penn Slammer III

Penn Slammer 3, the ICAST award-winning spinning reel is back with multiple innovative features to fulfill the most demanding needs of an angler. It is a heavy-duty open-faced reel trusted by many charter captain for its ability to hook and hold fish from a boat or shore.

The Slammer III is stronger than ever thanks to its full metal body, side-plates, and rotor. The CNC cut brass main gear and brass pinion gear ensures extreme durability, smoothness and cranking power.

The diecast aluminum spool adds a bit of weight but it helps build strength and reduces rotor flex under heavy loads. The braid ready spools come with line capacity rings on both sides of the spool for a better view. The bail wire is made of high-quality material and the models 3500-5500 comes with automatic bail trip.

This heavy duty fishing reel is designed for the meanest blue water fishes which demand a smooth drag system. Penn employed there proprietary dura-drag system  which helps fight large fish and prevents water from entering the drag system and gears.

Our View

The Penn Slammer 3 is a top quality spinning reel constructed of high-end material. The weight is a bit on the higher side compared to other reels in the category, but it makes up with performance and durability.

The automatic bail trip is an important feature, especially for beginners which the models 6500-10500 lacks. It might strain your gear system if you forget to close the bail on these models. If you are used to automatic bail trip, a model between 3500-5500 is for you.

At A Glance:

Model#: SLAIII5500
Mono Line Capacity (lb/yd): 8/425, 10/320, 12/235
PowerPro Line Capacity (lb/yd): 15/390, 20/320, 30/250
Max Drag (lb): 30
Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
Line Retrieve Per Crank (Inches): 40”
Ball Bearings: 8+1
Weight (OZ): 14.7
Retrieve: Reversible

02. Shimano Thunnus CI4

Shimano Thunnus CI4

The Shimano Thunnus CI4 is a lightweight surf fishing reel that is powerful enough to handle most ocean fishes. The CI4 is Shimano's response to all the anglers looking for a lightweight reel which provides ease of use and functionality.

The Thunnus CI4 is a full carbon fiber body and aluminum rotor making it lightweight and sturdy.

The CI4 is exceptionally smooth thanks to its 6 S-SUS bearings and premium gears which ensure liquid reeling of the fish.

This reels one of a kind main and bait runner drag system ensures smooth line feed thus making it the most efficient live bait spinning reel on the market.

At A Glance:

Model#: TU12000CI4
Mono Line Capacity (#Test/yd): 8/240, 10/200, 12/160
PowerPro Line Capacity (# Test/yd): 15/270, 20/190, 40/145
Max Drag (lb): 15
Gear Ratio: 4.8:1
Line Retrieve Per Crank (Inches): 30”
Ball Bearings: 6+1
Weight (OZ): 12.7
Retrieve: Reversible

03. Shimano Saragosa SW

Shimano Saragosa SW

The Saragosa SW is Shimano's latest addition to the offshore lineup designed for blue water anglers.

The Saragosa SW is a powerful spinning reel designed to tackle the meanest off shore fishes, thanks to its heavy duty drag (up to 22 lb).

The reel features an aluminum body and a cold-forged aluminum spool making it lightweight and tough. The added Power Roller 3 Line Roller with Dyna-Balance ensure the elimination of spool wobble reducing line twist.

The S A-RB shielded ball bearing ensures a tight seal which eliminates sand, salt water or other debris from entering.

At A Glance:

Model#: SRG5000SW
Mono Line Capacity (#Test/yd): 10/240, 12/195, 14/165
PowerPro Line Capacity (# Test/yd): 20/245, 30/225, 40/175
Max Drag (lb): 22
Gear Ratio: 5.7:1
Line Retrieve Per Crank (Inches): 38”
Ball Bearings: 5+1
Weight (OZ): 16
Retrieve: Reversible

04. Penn Battle II

Penn Battle II

The Penn Battle 2 is an extremely powerful reel designed for pro-offshore anglers looking to hunt and conquer the big saltwater species.

The Battle II offshore spinning reel is the younger sibling of the Penn Battle, Clash and Conflict reels.

The reel is a full metal construction with an aluminum bail wire making it durable and strong.

The reel’s metal rotor comes with a rubber gasket that helps prevent line slips, i.e. you can use a braided line without monofilament or electric tape backing. The wide spool design ensures low line memory and also comes line capacity rings for better line tracking.

The Battle 2 features HT-100 Versa-Drag carbon fiber drag system which delivers a smooth drag on heavy load (up to 30 lb on the 8000 size). This high-end drag provides the strength needed to hold on a longer fight from your boat, pier or surf (20% more from the previous model).

The Battle II Fishing Spinning Reel ensures a smooth cranking thanks to its 5 stainless steel ball bearing. It also features an instant anti-reverse bearing that helps prevent rotor back play

At A Glance:

Model#: BTLII5000
Mono Line Capacity (lb/yd): 12/225, 15/200, 20/135
PowerPro Line Capacity (lb/yd): 20/420, 30/300, 40/240
Max Drag (lb): 25
Gear Ratio: 5.6:1
Line Retrieve Per Crank (Inches): 36”
Ball Bearings: 5+1
Weight (OZ): 19.8
Retrieve: Reversible

05. Abu Garcia Revo Inshore

Abu Garcia Revo Inshore

The Abu Garcia Revo Inshore is designed to tackle surf and inshore saltwater environment. The reel is built with carbon fiber making it lightweight thus improving balance.

The Revo’s braid ready sleek aluminum spool has high line capacity which enables longer casting distance.

The Revo In shore features smooth Carbon Matrix drag which helps eliminate line and rod snaps while fishing big fish.

The reels amazing features and value for money make it the best inshore spinning reel for beginner anglers.

At A Glance:

Model#: REVO2INS40
Mono Line Capacity (lb/yd): 10/230
PowerPro Line Capacity (lb/yd): 14/250
Max Drag (lb): 17
Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
Line Retrieve Per Crank (Inches): 40”
Ball Bearings: 6+1
Weight (OZ): 9.4
Retrieve: Reversible

06. Shimano Baitrunner D

Shimano Baitrunner D

The Shimano Baitrunner is a classic live bait spinning reel from Shimano that is designed to catch and hold onto the big ocean fishes.

This Baitrunner Offshore spinning reel is well known for its anti-reverse feature. The Super Stopper II, Shimano's proprietary anti-reverse mechanism helps eliminate back-play thus making it accurate all the time.

The Cold Forged Aluminum Spool makes the reel durable and lightweight. This rotor makes use of counter-weight for better balance thus reducing spool wobble and vibration. The Propulsion Line Management System helps increase casting distance eliminating wind knots.

The Shimano Baitrunner D is designed to help you fish live bait from your boat and is highly recommended for fishing the surf, lagoon, pier, or jetty. It is quoted as one of the best saltwater spinning reels by users.

At A Glance:

Model#: BTR4000D
Mono Line Capacity (#Test/yd): 8/240, 10/200, 12/160
PowerPro Line Capacity (# Test/yd): 15/270, 20/190, 40/145
Max Drag (lb): 15
Gear Ratio: 4.8:1
Line Retrieve Per Crank (Inches): 28”
Ball Bearings: 3+1
Weight (OZ): 13.5
Retrieve: Reversible

07. Okuma Cedros High-Speed Reel

Okuma Cedros High Speed Reel

The Okuma Cedros is a high-speed spinning reel that is designed for anglers looking for speed and durability. It is designed for saltwater jigging and is one of the smallest reels of the top offshore spinning reels category.

The reel comes with High-Density Gearing II technology that is designed to put up with saltwater or brackish conditions. The brass gear is also smooth and well aligned for precise gear movement.

The Elliptical Oscillation System is the soul of Cedros open-faced reel. The Elliptically shaped oscillation gears ensure proper line lay and reduce rotor wobbles.

The large Dual Force drag washers ensure smooth and balanced fighting power and help to cool down the drag system quickly.

Many users say the Okuma Cedros is one of the best spin casting reels for jigging for tuna, snapper and jack species.

At A Glance:

Model#: CJ-80S
Mono Line Capacity (lb/yd): 15/420 20/350 25/260
PowerPro Line Capacity (lb/yd): 80/305
Max Drag (lb): 33
Gear Ratio: 5.7:1
Line Retrieve Per Crank (Inches): 46”
Ball Bearings: 4+1
Weight (OZ): 23

Retrieve: Reversible

08. Okuma Avenger ABF "B" Series

Okuma Avenger ABF

The Okuma Avenger ABF “B” open-faced reels are most popular amongst beginner angler and anglers on a tight budget. The ABF "B" and ABF "A" series of reels are different in terms of construction and design.

The ABF "B" has undergone a number of upgrades from its predecessors in terms of form and function. The reel is a compact and streamlined design making it lightweight without compromising strength.

The simple to use but the precise bait-feeder system allows anglers to disengage the spool and allow the bait to run freely. The reel also features an additional drag that allows for precise drag adjustment of the free running bait.

The Avenger has employed machined aluminum spool which makes it sturdy and balanced and helps lay the line evenly.

The new Ergo Grip power handle allows for a strong and comfortable hold while reeling in the catch.

Overall the Okuma Avenger ABF-65b is a top of the line offshore spinning reel with great value for money.

At A Glance:

Model#: ABF-65b
Mono Line Capacity (lb/yd): 12/430 15/310 20/260
Max Drag (lb): 33
Gear Ratio: 4.8:1
Line Retrieve Per Crank (Inches): 36”
Ball Bearings: 6+1
Weight (OZ): 22.1
Retrieve: Reversible

09. KastKing Kodiak Saltwater Spinning Reel

KastKing Kodiak

The KastKing Kodiak is an outstanding saltwater reel for anglers looking to land the largest saltwater trophy fish. It is a spinning reel with brute power and is named after the Alaskan bear "Kodiak".

The use of aluminum makes the reel lightweight yet extremely durable and the 10+1 shielded stainless steel ball bearings makes the Kodiak incredibly smooth.

The New Kodiak comes with a stainless steel main shaft (15% thicker), fortified brass gears, and carbon fiber drag system (up to 39.5 lbs) making it one of the best saltwater spinning reels for all your inshore and offshore needs.

At A Glance:

Model#: Kodiak 3000
Mono Line Capacity (lb/yd): 8/218, 10/175, 12/131
PowerPro Line Capacity (lb/yd): 80/305
Max Drag (lb): 33
Gear Ratio: 5.2:1
Line Retrieve Per Crank (Inches): 29.9”
Ball Bearings: 10+1
Weight (OZ): 10.37
Retrieve: Reversible

10. Quantum Cabo PT Spin Reel

Quantum Cabo PT

Quantum Cabo PT series of spinning reels became the winner's reel the day quantum introduced it years ago. The PT stands for "Performance Tuned" is completely redesigned for the most avid saltwater anglers.

The reel features sealed drag and anti-reverse system making the Cabo PT making the reel ready for some serious salt water splashes.

The PT comes with a fail-proof titanium bail wire and 8 custom high-grade stainless steel ball bearings allowing it to stand up to the most punishing ocean creature.

The reels LMS line management system and super hard PT gears make it an ideal choice for most offshore anglers.

At A Glance:

Model#: CPS50PTSD
Mono Line Capacity (lb/yd): 14/300
PowerPro Line Capacity (lb/yd): 50/320
Max Drag (lb): 45
Gear Ratio: 4.9:1
Line Retrieve Per Crank (Inches): 35”
Ball Bearings: 7+1
Weight (OZ): 24.2
Retrieve: Reversible

11. Penn Spinfisher V Fishing Spinning Reel

Penn Spinfisher V Fishing Spinning Reel

The Penn Spinfisher V may be the most complete and recognized heavy-duty offshore spinning reel designed for the Big Boys. The
New Penn Spinfisher V is a bulletproof state of the art fishing weapon that can handle the most punishing offshore battle.

The Penn Spinfisher reel was designed with a single goal; to create the most reliable spinning reel the world has ever seen. The Penn Spinfisher V is the fifth generation of the highly popular Penn Spinfisher series.

The reels deep anodized full metal body and side plates ensure corrosion protection from a saltwater condition. The added seals eliminate saltwater from contacting valuable components.

The Spinfisher V is equipped with the new sealed Slammer drag system and over-sized HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers. This drag system essentially increases the drag pressure by almost 2x.

The spool is braid-ready and comes standard with Penn's super line spool design. The line capacity rings help you find out how much line is remaining on the reel.

The reels heavy-duty aluminum bail wire is far thicker and stronger. It features Friction Trip Ramp which prevents premature bail trips.

Finally, the Spinfisher V also includes LiveLiner models that allow for a totally free spool for various live and dead bait techniques.

Our View

The Penn Spinfisher V spinning reel is undoubtedly one the most praised reel because of its ability to handle the most fierce saltwater activities.

The reel comes in with 11 different models ranging from 3500 - 10500 making it one of the most versatile spinning reels of all times. There is a model for everyone from a novice to an experienced angler to complex fishing techniques.

The Penn Spinfisher V is one of the most fierce spinning reels for the punishing open sea.


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    Very durable
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    Butter smooth
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    High-end drag system
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    Can handle huge loads and pressure
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    Corrosion resistant
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    Completely sealed
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    High gear ratio
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    Longer casting distance


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    Considered weak compared to the reels in the same class
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At A Glance:

Mono Line Capacity (#Test/yd): 4/390 to 50/255
PowerPro Line Capacity (# Test/yd): 10/230 to 80/580
Max Drag (lb): 20 to 40
Gear Ratio: 4.2:1 to 6.2:1
Line Retrieve Per Crank (Inches): 30 to 42”
Ball Bearings: 5+1
Weight (OZ): 14.4 to 43.5
Retrieve: Reversible


After summarizing all the features of each of the models mentioned above, no doubt, the Penn Slammer 3 Spinning Reel is the best option that you can take into consideration. The official website of the product highlights all of the features and specifications of this model.

It is a good combination of performance, quality, and affordability. Its high-quality materials and components, availability of sizes, and positive feedback from other anglers make it the best saltwater spinning reel.

With such high quality-spinning reel at your side for your next fishing trip, you can be assured of an all improved experience.

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