10 Best Spinning Reels for Bass Fishing in 2021

Bass fishing is a great pastime that many anglers enjoy, but nobody wants to spend hours fishing only to get frustrated with the reel that you decide to bring along. That’s why getting a reel that gives you the best performance possible is so important.

Some of the best reels that you can use for bass fishing are spinning reels. Not only are they a great choice if you want to catch some bass, but they are also great all-around types of fishing reels that offer great performance if you ever want to use bait such as crankbait and light jerkbait.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best spinning reels for bass fishing right here so that you can have a much easier time deciding which one is the right choice for you. Taking a look at features such as the bearings, handle, and gears are essential in picking the reel that is the best fit for you. 

1. Shimano 16 Stradic Ci4+ C3000 Spinning Reel

The Shimano 16 Stradic Ci4+ C3000 spinning reel offers tons of benefits that make it one of the best spinning reels you can pick up for bass fishing. For starters, this reel features a super lightweight build that is sure to remain comfortable even during long fishing sessions.

Just because the reel is lightweight does not mean it lacks any drag power. You can rest assured that there is more than enough drag power present so that you can have a comfortable and easy time reeling in your catch.

Lighter weight means you also get the added benefit of easy retrieval should your rod accidentally fall into the water below, since the reel will assist in allowing the entire rod to float rather than sink.

This reel is also quite resilient when it comes to handling saltwater, so if any dirt, debris, or other substances get into the reel assembly itself you won’t have to worry about breakage or malfunctions (so long as you keep it maintained and clean between outings). The Core Protect casing should assist in providing the best waterproofing available to protect the core parts of the reel.

The Stradic Ci4+ features a New Magnum Light Rotor that keeps the overall build of the reel light while offering you a quicker response and more strength.

Another feature of this reel is the HAGANE Gear that offers a strong and smooth mechanism for your gear, along with X-Ship, which offers more power while providing a very smooth feeling when reeling in a catch.

You get some options between a slow and fast gear assembly, and also you can choose to use small-medium, super small, small, medium, or normal spools depending on your preference when you’re out fishing for bass.

Features:

  • Hagane Gear
  • AR-C Spool
  • S-ARB
  • One-Piece Bail
  • Core Protect
  • G-Free Body
  • MGL Rotor 
  • X-Ship System


Pros:

  • Super smooth reeling and casting
  • Lightweight and very comfortable
  • Advanced features built-in for more versatility and effectiveness
  • Sturdy protection of inner pieces

Cons:

  • A bit pricier than other mid-range inshore spinning reels
  • Smaller anti-reverse switch when compared to similar models

Full Review: Shimano 16 Stradic Ci4+ C3000 Spinning Reel

2. Abu Garcia Revo Premier Spinning Reel

Abu Garcia brings forth a dependable and very useful reel in the form of their new Revo Premier. This reel has many new features when compared with previous iterations of the reel, and one of the more notable ones is the IVCB6L braking system.

This is an internal locking brake system that allows you to lock or unlock certain pins within the said braking system, giving you more control and adjustment for when conditions require more or fewer pins. There is also an external dial that can be tweaked if you need to make smaller adjustments on the fly.

Increased distance between the spool and the line guide means that you get a much greater casting distance and less friction between the line and spool when you make your cast. Open-water anglers will most likely love this feature as it allows them to cover quite a bit of water at a speedy pace.

The Revo Premier also sports a very competent drag system, meaning that you won’t have to worry about any bass stealing a bit of your line out of your reel once you catch them. With 24 pounds of drag total, you shouldn’t notice any slippage even against bass that puts up a fight.

You will notice that the Revo Premier dispenses the line super smooth and provides you with little to no surging.

It’s also comfortable, with a carbon handle that makes longer fishing sessions feel like nothing at all.

Features:

  • C6 Carbon Rotor
  • AMGearing System
  • Various options for size

Pros:

  • Very well built
  • AMGearing system offers precision gear control
  • C6 Carbon Rotor makes the reel lighter without sacrificing power
  • Various size options
  • Comfortable and ergonomic
  • Classy look
  • Affordable without cutting on quality

Cons:

  • Suited for freshwater use
  • Only comes in four different sizes

Full Review: Abu Garcia Revo Premier Spinning Reel

3. Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel

Yet another product from Abu Garcia and still from the Revo series of reels, we have the Revo SX. This spinning reel is a great choice if you want to do some freshwater angling and catch some bass. 

Every part of the Revo SX is designed with durability in mind, meaning you can get tons of use out of this reel before it ever starts to show wear and tear. A smooth cast and lightweight feel come together to make it ultra-comfortable to use as well.

Molded out of C6 Carbon for the body and featuring an aluminum gearbox you can rest assured that this reel will last. The line management system is great as it combines well-established systems like the Rocket Spool lip design and the Everlast bail system. Both of these systems work together to keep the line flat no matter how you fish or what weight of lure you decide to use.

The AMGearing system and Carbon Matrix drag system also make the reeling experience as smooth as possible, while you also don’t need to worry much about handle playback due to the Clutch anti-reverse system.

Features:

  • Rocket Spool lip design
  • Everlast Bail system
  • AMGearing system
  • K-Clutch anti-reverse switch system
  • X-Craftic Gearbox
  • 8 HPCR bearings
  • IM-C6 body
  • Flat EVA knob
  • Lightweight and durable design

Pros:

  • Durable and sturdy
  • Lightweight
  • Very comfortable
  • Features a great bail system
  • Superior back-play options with a braid spool

Cons:

  • No spare spool included
  • The lightweight nature of the reel does mean it is prone to knotting

Full Review: Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel

4. Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning Reel

The Pflueger Supreme XT is renowned for how light it is. In fact, it is one of the lightest reels in its entire class, and when compared to other reels with similar specs none come close. The reel doesn’t slack in other aspects, either. There are tons of features that come packed with the Supreme XT that make you wonder how it can stay so affordable.

Its lightweight magnesium body and rotor make it very light, but still capable of saltwater fishing. Of course, when bass fishing you won’t need to worry about that much, and the lighter and more comfortable the reel the better.

It also features a sealed drag system made out of carbon fiber that can handle longer runs with big fish while keeping out the elements and preventing damage. If you prefer using braided line then you will enjoy the braid-ready spool that this reel features.

And of course, this reel is durable and will last you a good while. All of these features combine to bring you a reel that is well worth its price point.

Features:

  • Lightweight build
  • Unique 10 bearing system
  • Very smooth cast
  • Braid ready spool
  • Saltwater suitable
  • Sealed drag system
  • Magnesium body
  • Magnesium rotor
  • Carbon fiber handle
  • Carbon inlay drag knob

Pros:

  • Ambidextrous
  • Super lightweight
  • Extra comfort
  • Very affordable
  • Braid ready spool
  • Anti-reverse system
  • Very smooth and sealed drag system

Cons:

  • Only comes in four sizes
  • When using a braided line, it can get caught within the bail roller sometimes

Full Review: Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning Reel

5. Shimano Spirex 2500FG Spinning Reel

The Shimano Spirex 2500FG is part of Shimano’s Spirex FG line of reels. It sits in the mid-range of the Spirex reels and therefore is slightly heavier than the lightest model, the 1000FG. That means that it is optimized for catching fish that are small to medium size, making it perfect for bass fishing.

It weighs in at 10.6 ounces which means that it is still lightweight enough to be comfortable during longer fishing trips. You get five stainless steel bearings that are resistant to wear and will last a good while if maintained and cleaned properly between uses. You also get on extra bearing in case anything happens to one of the ones already in the reel.

With a max drag at 9 pounds and a retrieve of 32 inches per revolution, you will have quite an easy time reeling in your catch. You can also use braided line with the cold-forged-aluminum spool on this reel, making it versatile and ready for any situation.

Features:

  • Five bearings with 1 extra
  • Propulsion line management system
  • Quickfire II cast system
  • Graphite frame
  • Cold-forged aluminum spool
  • Fluidrive II gear finish
  • No roller bearings

Pros:

  • Lightweight frame
  • Sturdy cold-forged aluminum spool
  • Comfortable rubber handle grips
  • Rotor side plate
  • Quickfire II makes casting easy
  • Good rear-drag system

Cons:

  • Bait feeder isn’t the best for beginners

Full Review: Shimano Spirex 2500FG Spinning Reel

6. Penn Battle II & III Spinning Reel

These two reels crafted by Penn come loaded with many advanced features that make bass fishing super easy and showcase exactly why they are some of the most popular reels among today’s anglers. 

These reels sit in a very nice spot by balancing quality, durability, and value together to bring forth a very competent reel that lots of bass fishers will adore. The drag features on these reels are HT-100 carbon fiber washers that give a very smooth and reliable performance when fishing.

Five stainless steel bearings and one roller bearing coupled with an instant anti-reverse bearing and heavy-duty aluminum bail wire serve to make the entire experience when fishing more controllable and manageable, even if things don’t go exactly the way you plan.

A Superline spool and line capacity rings are also included in these models. The bodies of these reels are also fully made of metal. This provides you with a sturdy, durable, and tough spool that you won’t need to worry about getting damaged so long as you maintain it correctly.

The main difference between the Battle II and Battle III is that the Battle III spinning reel tends to be more durable than its predecessor, sports a stronger main gear, and is smoother out of the box. It is a bit more expensive, but not by much, so it all comes down to preference at the end of the day. 

Features:

  • Full metal body
  • Full metal side plate
  • CNC Gear technology built-in
  • HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers
  • 5 stainless steel ball bearings, 1 roller bearing
  • Line capacity rings
  • Superline spool

Pros:

  • Powerful
  • Very smooth drag
  • Super durable
  • Well priced
  • Simple, “no-frills” look

Cons:

  • While very resistant to water these reels are not totally waterproof
  • A tad on the heavy side

Full Review: Penn Battle II & III Spinning Reel

7. Shimano Sedona FI Spinning Reel

Another quality product from Shimano, the Sedona FI packs some very high-quality features into an affordable and competent package that punches well above its weight. In short, this reel is very light, offers a spectacular cast, and has a price tag that is sure to make you very happy.

The Sedona FI features Shimano’s new G-Free body system. This system offers much better casting, and when paired with the HAGANE Gear system you get much better gear efficiency than ever before. 

The Magnumlite rotor in the Sedona FI has been upgraded to offer better performance such as less start-up inertia, while the line management system is crafted so that it can reduce tangles and backlashes as much as possible.

With improved drag power and more optimized gear ratios, you can tackle any sort of fish you want, and bass fishing is made a breeze due to all of the different features that the Sedona FI includes. 

Overall, this is a very comfortable reel that will reduce fatigue during longer fishing sessions, a competent reel that gives you better castings, and one that brings lots of comfort when jigging. If you are looking for a great all-around bass fishing reel, this is definitely one to check out.

Features:

  • Cross carbon drag
  • G-free body
  • HAGANE gear
  • Propulsion line management system
  • Double anodized and machine cut spool
  • Varispeed oscillation system
  • Comfortable handle

Pros:

  • Tons of features
  • Very well priced
  • Cold-forged HAGANE gear system
  • Great line management system
  • Super durable

Cons:

  • No anti-reverse system
  • Bail arm is a bit stiff, some say

Full Review: Shimano Sedona FI Spinning Reel

8. Daiwa BG Spinning Reel

Daiwa brings a spinning reel that is great for bass fishing and packs a ton of features in its package. There are 10 different models in the BG line, ranging from 1500 all the way to 8000, making this a very versatile line of reels that can be enjoyed by any sort of angler in many different situations.

Lots of the features found in this new model by Daiwa are usually only included in more expensive models, so you get quite a steal when picking up a Daiwa BG spinning reel. Some of these features include the black anodized housing for the drag system. It’s made of machined aluminum, making it very sturdy and durable (and waterproof!).

An air rotor design and other anti-rust ball bearings give you a retrieve that is very smooth and easy to handle. The smoothness of the Daiwa BG really can’t be exaggerated enough – it is comparable to reels that are nearly triple the price.

There is an Infinite anti-reverse system (for models 4000 below) and dual anti-reverse system (for 4500 models up) which means that any back play when setting your hook is removed entirely, making reeling in your catch very easy.

An ABS swept spool means that your line won’t run into any issues almost ever, and the spool can accommodate many different types of lines. The large roller and pickup also help to reduce any line twist or looping that may occur.

And lastly, the Daiwa BG’s waterproof drag system is super smooth, easily adjusted on the fly, and very strong. It won’t let you down when your catch puts up a fight.

Features:

  • Black anodized machined aluminum housing
  • Digigear system (over-sized)
  • Solid handle
  • Air rotor
  • Dynamic cut aluminum ABS spool
  • Braid ready line
  • Carbon ATD drag system
  • 6 ball bearings, 1 roller bearing
  • Infinite anti-reverse system

Pros:

  • Super smooth
  • Sturdy, durable anodized body
  • Very strong drag
  • Priced very well for the features offered

Cons:

  • A bit heavy
  • While the body is anodized the spool is only painted

Full Review: Daiwa BG Spinning Reel

9. Abu Garcia Revo Ike Spinning Reel

This Abu Garcia offering shares many similarities with the Revo4 STX, though there are enough differences to warrant it a worthy purchase for anyone looking for a good bass fishing reel. 

Designed by professional bass fisherman, Mike Iaconelli, you can rest assured that this reel is built to perform to the highest standard. It packs many different features into its package and ticks all of the boxes like speed, power, comfort, and of course performance that is needed when bass fishing.

The IVCB-6L braking system that the Revo Ike features are quite free and offers the user great distant casts. The retrieve on this reel is available in three different options for right-handed anglers, and two for lefties. The main gear is crafted out of brass and offers a very smooth feel every time you turn the handle.

The Power Stack Carbon Matrix drag system that the Revo Ike features is great as it offers a maximum of around 24 pounds of pressure. It does this while remaining smooth and consistent, and lets you change the pressure using the clicking dragstar.

When looking at the overall construction and quality you won’t be disappointed, either. It is well crafted and made to be durable, just as Abu Garcia is known for making. It performs very well in bass fishing situations (it should since it’s designed for them!) and is priced very well.

Features:

  • 10 stainless steel ball bearings
  • X2-Craftic alloy frame
  • C6 carbon and aluminum side plates
  • D2 gears
  • Everslik pinion shaft and pawl
  • DuraClutch design
  • IVCB-6L braking system
  • Infini II spool
  • Duragear brass gear

Pros:

  • Looks amazing
  • Well priced
  • Tons of features specialized for bass fishing

Cons:

  • Round knobs may be a turn off for some

Full Review: Abu Garcia Revo Ike Spinning Reel

10. Shimano Sahara FI Spinning Reel

Finally, we have the Shimano Sahara FI. This reel offers some great power and smoothness while keeping everything in a lightweight package. It is also very affordable, coming in at under $100.

The G-Free body that Shimano is known for is featured here, giving you a more comfortable experience during longer fishing sessions. The HAGANE gearing system also makes an appearance, giving you a super smooth feel.

X-Ship renowned gear durability is also a key feature of the Sahara FI, while the durable anodized body of the reel itself is sure to offer you lots of use before it ever starts to show any wear and tear.

Overall, this is a super great choice if you are looking for a great bass fishing reel that doesn’t break the $100 mark.

Features:

  • Sturdy anodized body
  • G-Free Body
  • HAGANE Gear system
  • Propulsion line management system
  • X-Ship gear system
  • Affordable price

Pros:

  • Extremely affordable
  • Packs tons of features into its package
  • Durable and long-lasting

Cons:

  • No anti-reverse

Full Review: Shimano Sahara FI Spinning Reel

The 10 Best Spinning Reels for Bass Fishing

Following is a short buying guide for what you should look for when buying a spinning reel for bass fishing. These are some of the most common things to check for when deciding on what reel is best suited for you.

Weight and Body

Spinning reels come in varying weights, and this is largely dependent on the material used. The material directly impacts the weight. So, aluminum-bodied reels tend to be a bit heavier, but also quite durable. Graphite bodies are more corrosion resistant, but quite heavy. Magnesium bodied reels are very light, but not very corrosion resistant.

Size

If you are using a lighter line then you should purchase a smaller reel and vice versa. 

Drag Systems

When you hook a fish, you apply drag to it and let line out when trying to reel it in. If the drag system is not smooth you risk breaking a line and losing your fish. Look for drag systems that are smooth and non-constrictive, as these are the best for bass fishing.

Ball Bearings

The ball bearings found in spinning reels are responsible for adding smoothness and support, as well as stabilizing your reel. Most often, if the reel has more ball bearings then it will offer a smoother feel.

Anti-Reverse Handles

This is an essential function for spinning reels, as it keeps your handle from spinning back. It keeps your hook sets powerful and ensures they stay accurate. Spinning reels without anti-reverse features are at a severe disadvantage. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Right-handed or left-handed reel?

Choose the type of reel that is most comfortable for you. If you find yourself having trouble deciding, there are many offerings that are ambidextrous, allowing you to find which side is more comfortable for you personally.

Should I buy a warranty?

Many manufacturers offer a warranty on their reels. This is recommended as it can save you a bit of money if anything happens to your reel should it break, get damaged, or lost. 

What are some good brands for bass fishing?

Many of the brands we covered in this review are big names and have established themselves as reliable manufacturers of quality reels and equipment. Penn, Abu Garcia, Shimano, and Daiwa are all excellent options.

In Conclusion

Hopefully, you have found this review helpful and now have a better idea of which spinning reel is best suited for your needs for bass fishing. There are tons of choices out there, and these are just some of the best that are available right now. Each of these reels brings something special to the table, so find the one that best suits you and your needs so that you can get the best bass fishing experience possible.


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