best spinning reels under 100 dollars

The 7 Best Spinning Reels Under $100 Reviewed

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If you are in a hurry and want to find out what the best spinning reel under $100 is, then we recommend the Penn Fierce 3 Spin Reel as our #1 choice.

Buying a good spinning reel doesn't mean you have to pay a premium price. There are budget spinning reels in the market today that costs less than 100 dollars but comes packed with features suitable for most anglers.

If this is your first spinning reel, you should be looking for quality and performance without being too expensive. However, if you’re looking to add a new reel to your quiver, then we have a few lined up for you too.

But, before we dive into the detailed reviews, let’s take a quick peek at the top 10 spinning reels under $100 category and what to look for in a budget reel spin fishing.

01. Best for Saltwater Under 100: Daiwa BG Spinning Reel
"Waterproof design, sturdy build makes it ideal for saltwater use."

02. Best Lightweight Under $100: Shimano NASCI FB Reel
"Designed to satisfy all your ultralight fishing needs."

03. Best Bass Reel Under 100: Okuma Inspire Spin Reel
"Good line capacity with strong drag to fight those basses."

04. Best All-Round Performer: Penn Fierce 3 Spinning Reel
"All in one reel that works well for most types of techniques."

05. Best Budget Combo: Cadence CC6 Rod and Reel Combo
"A budget rod and reel for anglers looking for a balanced combo."

06. Best Sub $100 for Beginners: Pflueger President XT Reel
"A high-quality reel under $100 for weekend anglers to get started."

07. Best Cheap Reel: Kastking Sharky 3 Spin Reel
"The most affordable quality reel on our list."

What to Look for in a Spinning Reel that Costs Less than $100?

Before we can answer what to look for in a superior budget spinning reel, let's talk about what to expect from a $100 reel.

Both the $100 and $50 range reels are mainly designed for beginner anglers still learning how to fish. Though, they are popular amongst pros, as they are a great addition as a supporting reel for specific purposes and style. 

A budget spinning reel generally doesn't come with the premium features found in the higher-priced reels. And frankly speaking, as a beginner, you'll not feel the difference.

Generally, the reel will weigh more, have some plastic parts, may not be completely sealed, and will not comes with those sophisticated features.

Anyway, for selecting the right $100 spinning reel, you need to answer TWO main questions.

  1. What water type will you fish the most?
  2. What size fish will you target the most?

If you often fish saltwater from the pier, surf, or other inshore applications, you'll have to pick specific reels from our list that are waterproof or else corrosion-resistant. On the other hand, freshwater anglers have less to worry about corrosion, and any reel on our list will be great.

The size of the fish will determine how much drag, line capacity, and cranking power you'll need. Bigger fish will require more of everything.

Once you have determined where and what you'll fish, it will be easy for you to pinpoint the right reel from our list of the best spinning reel for under 100 dollars.

The 7 Best Spinning Reels Under $100 you can Buy Today

Here you'll find detailed reviews of our line up of the 7 best $100 spinning reels. All the reels on this list are built to perform that receives positive reviews from all level anglers.

Daiwa BG Spinning Reels
Pros
  • Silky smooth and powerful drag to fight big fish
  • Sturdy waterproof construction for saltwater use
  • Comes with a wallet-friendly price tag tag
Cons
  • The weight may tax some anglers on long days of fishing

The Daiwa BG2500 is our choice of the best saltwater spinning reel under $100 as it is built waterproof, sturdy construction, and smooth operation.

The reel's aluminum construction sure adds a bit of weight but makes the reel sturdy. Moreover, the Black Anodization of the body and body cover makes it scratch and corrosion-resistant.

The waterproof carbon drag system on the BG2500 is extremely smooth that prevents your line from breaking during a fight. The sealed drag can produce up to 13.2 pounds of stopping power to fight most inshore species.

The reel comes with a large drive gear that provides smooth performance and extends the gear life. Additionally, it helps transfer more power and added torque on every crank to turn hard fighting species.

The huge spool diameter on this reel allows free line flow and reduces line memory. The braid-ready spool can be filled to the lip without the fear of a line tangle. Moreover, the ABS design reduces line friction, which helps increase casting distance.

With a decent line capacity, you can depend on the reel for surf and other inshore saltwater fishing applications.

Overall, the Daiwa BG2500 is a budget-friendly option for anglers looking for a solid inshore saltwater reel that will perform and last the test of time.

Specifications:

Model#: 2500 | Mono Line Capacity (lb/yds): 6/210, 8/170 | Braid Line Capacity (lb/yds): 15/190, 20/170 | Max Drag (lbs): 13.2 | Gear Ratio: 5.6:1 | IPT: 33.2" | Ball Bearings: 6+1 | Weight (oz): 9.6


SHIMANO NASCI Compact Spinning Reel
Pros
  • Budget-friendly reel
  • Small and lightweight
  • Silky smooth performance
Cons
  • Not fully sealed
  • The spool is not braid ready

The 1000FB is the smallest model of the NASCI family that is excellent for ultralight, finesse, ice, and other freshwater fishing applications.

The reel G-Free Body design moves the center of gravity closer to the rod giving you the perfect balance on every cast. Additionally, you’ll feel the fish strike better and have less wrist fatigue after a long day on the water.

The reel is made waterproof thanks to the Core Protect technology. This also increases the working life of the reel drastically with a little bit of care.

The Hagane cold-forged gearing along with X-SHIP technology makes the reel exceptionally smooth and powerful even under load. With a low gear ratio of 5.0:1, you can crank in about 26 inches of line per turn of the handle.

The carbon drag produces about 7 lb stopping power which is impressive for a lightweight reel. You can comfortably stop most small freshwater species and add the thrill of fighting larger species.

Overall, Shimano NASCI1000FB is the best ultralight option that is performance-oriented and comes in a sub $100 price range.

Specifications:

Model#: 1000 | Mono Line Capacity (lb/yds): 2/270, 4/140, 6/110 | Braid Line Capacity (lb/yds): 10/95, 15/85, 20/65 | Max Drag (lbs): 7 | Gear Ratio: 5.0:1 | IPT: 26" | Ball Bearings: 4+1 | Weight (oz): 7.6


Okuma Inspira Carbon Frame Lightweight Spinning Reel
Pros
  • Progressive drag provides fine control
  • Excellent line capacity
  • Smooth performance
Cons
  • Not fully sealed
  • Not braid ready

With excellent stopping power, great line capacity, and smooth performance, the Okuma Inspire is a top-rated bass fishing reel under the $100 in my opinion.

The reels carbon fiber drag can produce about 13.2 lbs of fighting power to stop the largest bass from running away with your lure. The progressive drag settings hand you the ability to fine-tune the drag pressure depending on the situation and size of your fish.

The reel can hold up to 215 yards of 30 lb braid, allowing you to cast yards into the water and provide more running space for the large trophy bass.

The gear ratio is at 5.0:1, providing the perfect balance between power and speed, making it fit for all species of bass. The 8+1 stainless steel ball bearings make line retrieve smooth plus the Quick-Set anti-reverse ensures instant hoot set.

Overall, The Okuma Inspira is an excellent reel for bass fishing that is both high-performing and priced below the 100 dollar range.

Specifications:

Model#: 40 | Mono Line Capacity (lb/yds): 8/270, 10/190, 12/170 | Braid Line Capacity (lb/yds): 30/215, 40/150 | Max Drag (lbs): 13.2 | Gear Ratio: 5.0:1 | IPT: 30" | Ball Bearings: 8+1 | Weight (oz): 9.4


Penn Fierce 3
Pros
  • Easy to use, making it ideal for most fishing styles
  • Excellent line management reduces line twist
  • High line capacity and retrieval rate
Cons
  • The reel is heavy

The Penn Fierce 3 spinning reel is an outstanding choice for anglers looking to purchase one reel that performs in most situations but doesn't cost a fortune.

Heavier than many on this list, but the metal construction ensures you have a solid piece of fishing gear in hand that is ready for battle.

The reels 4+1 shielded bearings keeps all sorts of debris out from the reel so you can fish both inshore saltwater and freshwater without any worry.

The spool is braid ready, and the high-quality bail arm reduces line twist, reducing the need for line management.

The carbon fiber drag is smooth and has sufficient fighting power to stop anything from trouts to walleyes up to steelheads.

The reel also comes with high line capacity along with higher line retrieval per turn plus a handle that you can change sides easily. Pair it with the right spinning rod, and you have a quality spinning combo that will do some serious fishing.

Overall, if you're looking for an all-in-one $100 spinning reel, then the Penn Fierce 3 (3000) won't disappoint you.

Specifications:

Model#: 3000 | Mono Line Capacity (lb/yds): 8/200, 10/165, 12/120 | Braid Line Capacity (lb/yds): 15/250, 20/180, 30/130 | Max Drag (lbs): 15 | Gear Ratio: 6.2:1 | IPT: 35" | Ball Bearings: 4+1 | Weight (oz): 11.4


Cadence CC6 Spinning Combo
Pros
  • Excellent casting distance
  • Performance and durability ensured
  • Very affordable (under 50 dollars)
Cons
  • Not completely sealed
  • 1 piece rod design is not friendly for traveling

As a beginner, finding and selecting a good quality spinning reel that is affordable is already difficult on its own. And when you add the hustle of pairing the perfect rod to match the reel, it becomes way taxing and time-consuming.

If you are in the same situation as me, then take a look at the Shakespeare Ugly Stick GX2 combo. A top of the line spinning rod and reel setup that performs well is durable and will save you research time.

The combo comes with a rod constructed out of graphite and fiberglass that provides strength when fighting larger freshwater monsters. This medium-action rod is a single-piece construction which adds to the overall strength and increases sensitivity.

The rod also features a Clear Tip design that helps increase responsiveness and strength.

The combo comes with a lightweight but sturdy spinning reel that is designed with performance in mind. The line capacity is on the higher-end and can reel in pretty quickly.

With this rig on your boat, you can safely battle most small to medium freshwater species without any worry.

Overall, the Ugli Stick combo is an excellent performer that is ideal for anglers looking for a high-quality setup at an affordable price.

Specifications:

Model#: 30 | Mono Line Capacity (lb/yds): 7/225, 6/145, 8/130 | Braid Line Capacity (lb/yds): 6/275, 8/190, 10/160 | Max Drag (lbs): 10 | Gear Ratio: 6.2:1 | IPT: 31" | Ball Bearings: 4+1 | Weight (oz): 11.4


Pflueger President Spinning Reel
Pros
  • Extremely smooth reel with corrosion-resistant bearings
  • Lightweight design makes it easy to cast
  • Unbeatable price tag
Cons
  • Designed for smaller fish species

The Pflueger President XT is a great spinning reel for weekend anglers looking for a solid reel without straining your budget.

The reels 9+1 ball bearings ensure you get perfect smoothness on every retrieval. The bearings are corrosion-resistant making them ideal for both saltwater and freshwater condition.

At 7.6 ounces, the reel is pretty lightweight which makes casting on long days easy and less tiring. With a fast gear ratio, you can quickly reel in your fish as they make a run for the cover.

The sealed drag system prevents debris from entering and keeps the reel in top working order. The spool on the reel is braid ready so you don't have to go through the trouble of backing before spooling the braid on the reel.

The rubber cork handle knob prevents your hand from slipping during a fight if you're fishing in the rain or your hand is wet.

Overall, the Pflueger President XT is a good beginner-friendly reel that is durable, performs well, and comes with a sub $100 price tag.

Specifications:

Model#: 30 | Mono Line Capacity (lb/yds): 7/225, 6/145, 8/130 | Braid Line Capacity (lb/yds): 6/275, 8/190, 10/160 | Max Drag (lbs): 10 | Gear Ratio: 6.2:1 | IPT: 31" | Ball Bearings: 9+1 | Weight (oz): 7.6


KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel
Pros
  • Low gear ratio for the hard fighting species
  • Extremely smooth retrieval
  • Excellent stopping power
Cons
  • 2000 is not ideal for saltwater use

Kastking Sharky 3 is the most affordable option on our list of the best spinning reel under 100.

At 9.2 ounces, it makes a perfect lightweight reel that is ready to cast a very light line and lure with perfect accuracy.

The high efficient carbon fiber drag system can produce up to 33 pounds of stopping power. This gives you the peace of mind that you can fight the biggest size trout or bass swimming in the river.

Once you have your prize fish hooked, the 10+1 shielded stainless steel ball bearings ensure a butter-smooth and effortless retrieve.

Moreover, a gear ratio of 5.2:1 hands you cranking power to turn those big heads towards you. The high-density EVA handle helps add power when reeling in and prevents hand slips.

The reel comes with a pretty high line capacity (20 lbs/200 yds of braid). This will ensure you have enough lines for hard fights and lengthy runs.

Additionally, the spool is braid ready which prevents braid fishing line slippage and the need for backing.

Overall, if you're looking for the most affordable in a sub $100 list, then you cannot go wrong with the KastKing Sharky 3 that is priced below $60 but performs beyond the cost.

Specifications:

Model#: 2000 | Mono Line Capacity (lb/yds): 6/220, 8/190, 10/140 | Braid Line Capacity (lb/yds): 20/200, 30/105, 40/85 | Max Drag (lbs): 33 | Gear Ratio: 5.2:1 | IPT: 27.5" | Ball Bearings: 10+1 | Weight (oz): 9.2


Conclusion

With that, we have come to the end of our reviews of the best spinning reel under $100. These are by no means the only budget spinning reels on the market. These are what we found to be the top of the line in terms of quality, performance, and price.

Whether you fish saltwater or freshwater, like to hook small or big fish, we have a recommendation for you. However, if you're looking to invest in one reel that does it all, then I would suggest you go with the Penn Fierce 3.