Recommended Spinning Reels for Bass Fishing

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Written By Russ Egan

Russ is a professional fisherman with over 20 years of experience. He has fished all over the world for more than two decades, primarily for saltwater game fish but also for local trophy fish. Russ comprehensively tests and reviews all his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. There is nothing he prefers than heading down to his local tackle store, buying the latest fishing reel, and taking it to the water to test.


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The best spinning reels for bass are a 2500-sized model, have a gear ratio of 6.2:1, 140 yards of 10 lb mono line capacity, 15 lb of max drag, corrosion-resistant materials, and high-performance ball bearings.

The Penn Spinfisher VI is my top choice because of its durable construction, corrosion-resistant design, and high performance. It features a full metal body, sealed HT-100 drag washers, and is available in Live Liner, Bail-less, and Long Cast Models. It is ideal for bass anglers who value longevity and want their reel to last for decades.

I will cover some must-have features and some high-quality spinning reels for bass fishing. These top-rated reels comprise awesome features such as smooth retrieve, maneuverability, reliable operation, compact design, and overall customer satisfaction.

This article is part of my Complete Guide to Bass Fishing series that you might be interested in. I have also put together a guide for the best spinning reels overall if you are interested in a more multi-purpose tool.

Best for Bass
Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Reel

Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Reel

  • Saltwater Ready
  • IPX Waterproof Seal
  • HT-100 Drag Washers
  • Stainless Steel Ball Bearings
  • Full Metal Body
Best Lightweight
Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel

Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel

  • Saltwater Ready
  • DuraGear Brass Gearing
  • Titanium Coated Line Guide
  • Improved Dura Clutch
Best Value for Money
KastKing Speed Demon Elite Spinning Reel 

KastKing Speed Demon Elite Spinning Reel 

  • Lightning Fast 42 IPT Retrieve Rate
  • Stunning Red and Black Design
  • 10+1 Stainless Steel Ball Bearings
  • Lightweight and Durable Aluminum and Stainless Steel Build
  • Incredible Value for Money

1. Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Reel

Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Reel
  • Saltwater Ready
  • IPX5 Waterproof Seal
  • HT-100 Drag Washers
  • Stainless Steel Ball Bearings
  • Full Metal Body
Update July 2023 - At ICAST 2023 the Penn Spinfisher VII was released. This model comes with new technology, improved materials, and better specifications.

After testing more than a dozen reels for use on bass fishing, we decided that Penn Spinfisher VI spinning reel is another great option for most anglers.

The PENN Spinfisher VI features IPX5 sealing so that if it gets hit with a wave, or lets it ride in the spray on the way home, you don’t have to panic about saltwater getting into the drag system or gearbox.

Why I Like It:

A Full Metal Body keeps the CNC Gear System in the right alignment under heavy loads. Durable construction with side plate and rotor and aluminum bail wire makes it unique from the rest. It is available in live liner, standard, long cast, and bail-less models.

The HT-100 drag washers are placed in a fully sealed spool to provide the stopping power needed for giant saltwater fish. 

The Penn Spinfisher is my top recommendation as the best spinning reel for bass angling because of its performance, specifications, and affordable price tag. It is extremely durable and well designed with enough drag to handle even the largest trophy bass.


  • Silky-Smooth Drag  
  • Instant Anti-Reverse Bearing
  • Watertight Spinning Reel
  • Sealed Slammer Drag System


  • Live line feature can fail

2. Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel

Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel
  • Saltwater Ready
  • DuraGear Brass Gearing
  • Titanium Coated Line Guide
  • Improved Dura Clutch

If you one of those who wants a great spinning reel at a reasonable price? The Abu Garcia Revo SX series will be the best choice for you. The strength, quality, and durability are brilliant so far. 

It comes in several sizes and models. The smallest options are 10 and 20. Another small option is REVO2 SX30 which is a bit heavier. And the medium size reel is 40 which is great for large flathead. SX10 and SX20 are designed for finesse anglers.

On the other hand, SX30 and SX40 are perfect for big fish. Though both 30 and 40 come with a common specification, they will perform well for fresh, salt, or inshore water. This reel is an absolute joy to use. The COG technology has eight stainless steel bearings and AMGearing which is pure comfort, especially under the heavy load of a significantly large fish.

Why I Like It:

The design of dominant black is elegant. A touch of grey and red trims gives a super sports appeal. More than anything, it comes with a notable reduction in weight compared to its previous model. The combination of one-piece aluminum gear and carbon body makes it pretty lightweight.

Abu Garcia are famous for their baitcasting reels, but the Revo SX is a top quality spinning reel that is ideal for bass angling. It is full of the latest technology and specifications that can’t be beaten.


  • Very lightweight  
  • Everlast Bail System Ensures Rigidity
  • Very Smooth Drag
  • Interruption-Free Cranking Handle


  • Can air knot easily

3. KastKing Speed Demon Elite Spinning Reel

KastKing Speed Demon Elite Spinning Reel 
  • This Has Quickly Become One Of My Favorite Reels
  • I Love The Lightning Fast 42 IPT Retrieve Rate
  • Stunning Red and Black Design
  • 10+1 Stainless Steel Ball Bearings
  • Lightweight and Durable Aluminum and Stainless Steel Build
  • Incredible Value for Money

I was sent the Speed Demon Elite by KastKing and was instantly impressed. I was fully expecting an entry level reel based on the price tag alone, but as soon as I picked it up and spun the handle I knew this is a high quality reel.

Unlike most other spinning reels, it has a high gear ratio that is perfect for bass fishing. At times you will need to slow down your retrieve because it brings in so much line at once, especially for slower deep-diving crankbaits.

It is incredible lightweight but is durable from its premium materials. I took it down to my local freshwater lake and loved its performance.

I genuinely believe this is one of the best value for money options on the market at the moment. It does have some performance issues that I will outline below, but don’t let that stop you from taking advantage of the affordability. KastKing don’t sell their reels through the major distributors so they can afford to pass on their savings to the customers.

Why I Like It:

First and foremost – its the price tag. When I first picked up this reel I was shocked – it is built entirely from premium materials – aluminum and stainless steel with carbon fiber.

This is one of the best value for money spinning reels I have ever seen. If you are budget conscious but still want a high performance reel with premium specs, have a look at the KastKing range.

I also love the high speed gear ratio at 7.4:1. This makes it one of the fastest retrieving spinning reels and is one of the few that I would consider choosing over a baitcaster when fishing with fast moving jerkbaits for bass.


  • Stunning red and black ‘demon eye’ design
  • Fast gear ratio with 40+ inch per crank retrieve rate
  • Premium reel with an affordable price tag


  • Only available in 2000 and 3000 sized models, so it does lack some versatility
  • The 2000-sized model only has 125 yards of 10 lb mono line capacity which is a little low for my preferences
  • The line did catch on the spikey design features at the base of the spool infrequently

4. Daiwa BG Spinning Reel

Daiwa BG Spinning Reel
  • Saltwater Ready
  • Braid Ready - No Mono Backing Required
  • Machined Aluminum Housing
  • Infinite Anti-Reverse System

The Daiwa BG saltwater spinning reel is the best fishing reel for anglers or enthusiasts who prefer a classic “Hard Bodyz” body and increased strength.

The Daiwa BG high-quality components, and industry-leading ingenuity, make this one lean, fish-fighting machine. Equipped with a “Hard Bodyz” machined body, its aluminum frame along with the side cover gives internal part stability. 

Why I Like It:

To increase the strength of corrosion and scratch resistance, This Daiwa Bg has a Black Anodized body and cover. The ABS spool works to maximize the core diameter. Plus the reversed taper lets no dead line buried in the core for longer and easier casting.

It’s also braid-ready. The aluminum screw-in-handle design offers zero movements between the handle arm and main gear, offering the angler both control and confidence when rotating the handle.

The Air Rotor is 15% less in weight than ordinary rotors, as its unique shape cuts out the extra fat while distributing stress evenly for added strength in a lightweight design.

Daiwa is renowned for producing durable reels, and the BG is no exception. This reel will perform just as well on day 1000 as it does on day 1. If you want to buy a reel that is robust enough to last for a lifetime, pick a Daiwa.


  • The Carbon Automatic Tournament Drag  
  • Increased Torque
  • Internal Part Stability
  • Scratch Resistance


  • None

5. Shimano Vanford Spinning Reel

Shimano Vanford Spinning Reel
  • Lower Weight than its Predecessor
  • Extremely Durable
  • Long Casting Distance
  • Full of Shimano's Latest Technology

Another addition by many angler’s favorite reel manufacturer – and certainly my own favorite – is the Shimano Stradic – although recently replaced by the Shimano Vanford.

The Vanford is full of Shimano’s latest technologies that give it better performance, a higher gear ratio, and lower weight. If you liked the Stradic Ci4+ then you will love the Vanford. The one weakness in its predecessor has been eliminated by the addition of carbon drag washers.

Why I Like It:

A great combination of style, durability, and performance – you won’t go wrong with any Shimano reels due to their X Ship and X Protect gearing design, bearing system, and corrosion-resistant coatings.

While the Shimano Vanford comes with a premium price tag, it performs at the highest level. Even the largest model weighs under 8 ounces, so if you want a lightweight reel without sacrificing performance, pick the Vanford.


  • The reel only weighs under 6 ounces, which is extremely lightweight and can help reduce muscle fatigue.
  • The magnum-light roto gives long casting distances and a smooth retrieve.
  • It has a strong body with a metal cover and dragging knob.


  • It does come at a higher price range than the Stradic Ci4+ but with its improved performance I still believe it is great value for money.
shimano vanford

6. Penn Battle III Spinning Reel

Penn Battle III Spinning Reel
  • Saltwater Ready
  • HT-100 Drag Washers
  • Extremely Durable Material
  • Wide Range of Sizes Available
  • High Speed Options for Fast Moving Lures

Last on our list, but certainly not the least is the Penn Battle II reel. Specially designed by this reputable manufacturer, this reel is worth your consideration.

Why I Like It:

The full metal body construction including side plates allows it to maintain precision gearing with a smooth retrieve, even under heavy load. It has an instant anti-reversing bearing, aluminum bail wire, and carbon fiber drag washers.

I also like the line management system that reduces the frequency of birds nesting knots on your spool.


  • Very high max drag can fight trophy bass
  • Highly durable construction with a full metal body and carbon fiber drag washers


  • The larger sized reels in this model can become quite heavy
  • The bearings don’t have a comprehensive sealing system so make sure you thoroughly flush your reel with freshwater
Penn Battle II

7. Pflueger President Spinning Reel

Pflueger President Spinning Reel
  • 9+1 Stainless Steel Ball Bearings
  • Oil Coated Drag Washers
  • Lightweight Graphite Body
  • Comfortable Rubber Handle Knob

The Pflueger President Spinning Reel is a high-quality fishing reel popular with bass anglers, particularly due to its 10-bearing system which gives a smooth performance in casting and retrieval.

Why I Like It:

It has a graphite body which is strong but keeps the weight down and has a 5.2:1 gear ratio which is spot on for bass. The drag is stainless steel and the bail arm is aluminum for corrosion resistance.

Available in both left and right-hand retrieve designs, the weight is between 6.2 – 11.5 ounces depending on the size.


  • Features 10 ball bearings which give a smooth retrieve feel and has roller bearings that allow for instant-stop auto-reversing.
  • Excellent rotor and gearbox.
  • The aluminum cover with giver enamel makes it lightweight and durable.


  • Not suitable for saltwater fishing
  • Lower max drag than alternate options
Pflueger President Spinning Reel

8. Pflueger Supreme Spinning Reel

Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning Reel
  • Long Distance Casting Reel
  • Extremely High Line Capacity
  • 10 Corrosion Resistant Ball Bearings
  • Sealed Carbon Drag System

Another high-quality reel from Pflueger is the Supreme. It comes with a magnesium rotor and body and a bearing system with a 9 bearing count. The spool is designed to be braid ready so you don’t need to back your line with mono, allowing it to hold a higher braid fishing line capacity.

Why I Like It:

Along with the President, it was a 5.2:1 gear ratio in the 2500 model, but the larger reels have a 6.2:1. The 4000 size reel has a 38″ retrieval rate per crank and 200 yards of 20 lb braid capacity with a 14lb max drag – it can handle anything a trophy bass can throw at it.


  • 10 stainless steel bearings for corrosion resistance
  • Manganese has been applied to the body and surface which reduces the weight


  • This reel is lightweight and can have trouble balancing during windy conditions
Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning Reel

9. Shimano Sahara Spinning Reel

Shimano Sahara Spinning Reel
  • Decent Quality Reel at an Affordable Price
  • G-Free Body
  • Hagane Gears
  • Graphite Frame, Rotor, and Side Plate

The last bass fishing spinning reel on the list is another Shimano – the Shimano Sahara. It has a G-Free body design which is supposed to move the center of gravity closer to the angler. This will reduce fatigue and improve comfort during long days of casting.

Why I Like It:

It is made from Shimano’s specialist HAGANE body and gearing system and the X-Ship feature (Extra, Smooth, and High Power). 

The 2500-sized model has a 5.0:1 gear ratio, which is just lower than perfect but can hold 140m of 8kg monofilament fishing line.

Anything made by Shimano is a worthy product.


  • This is a good quality reel at an affordable price that gives it great value for money
  • Plenty of Shimano’s latest technologies including G Free Body, Hagane Gears, X-Ship, and Graphite Frame, Rotor, and Side Plate.


  • No anti-reversing system
  • Personally, I found the handle is too close to the spool and kept hitting my knuckles

10. Yoshikawa Baitfeeder Spinning Reel

Yoshikawa Baitfeeder Spinning Reel
  • Saltwater Ready
  • 10+1 Ball Bearings
  • TITAN Graphite Material
  • Anti-Backlash System

Yoshikawa has a winning design with the Baitfeeder Spinning Reel which is far better than their other reels. This model comes in different versions from 3000 to 6000; other versions are 4500 and 5000. They all have a gear ratio of 5.5:1.


  • Weight: 11.9 oz
  • Max Drag 18LB
  • Line Cap.: 8/200, 10/160, 12/120 (Lbs/Yds)


  • Weigh: 15.0 oz
  • Max Drag 28LB
  • Line Cap. : 8/220,10/165,12/130 (Lbs/Yds)


  • Weight: 16.5 oz
  • Max Drag 28LB
  • Line Cap. 10/275, 12/220, 15/160 (Lbs/Yds)


  • Weigh: 18.6 oz
  • Max Drag 28LB
  • Line Cap.: 16/220, 20/170, 24/140 (Lbs/Yds)

The best feature of this spinning reel is the baitfeeder lever which controls up or on. The cranking handle is used to flick back or off. The excellent rear drag works well when the fish is tough to handle. It also comes with protecting gears and free spool. 

Why I Like It:

The blending of corrosion-resistant and TITAN graphite makes it sturdy. The anti-backlash system is surely an added advantage. 10+1 ball bearings give high power. Upgraded materials like superb line lay, internal bail trip, and oiled felt washers are used in this spinning reel.


  • It Works Great In Tough Weather And Saltwater  
  • Super Smooth Appearance
  • It Looks Very Attractive


  • Drag can have some issues

Specification Comparison

It can be difficult to tell the difference between all of these features and benefits. So let’s focus entirely on the data and the specifications. All of this information is based on a size 3000 reel model.

Spinning ReelBall BearingsSuitable for SaltwaterRetrieve RateGear RatioMax DragWeightMono Capacity (6lb)
Penn Spinfisher VI6Yes37 inches6.2:115 lb12.1 oz360 yards
Abu Garcia Revo SX9Yes35 inches6.2:111 lb10.0 oz210 yards
Daiwa BG6+1Yes37 inches5.6:115 lb10.8 oz280 yards
Shimano Vanford7+1Yes35 inches6.4:120 lb6.4 oz230 yards
Penn Battle II5+1Yes35 inches6.2:115 lb12.3 oz210 yards
Pflueger President9+1No31 inches6.2:110 lb7.6 oz145 yards
Pflueger Supreme XT10No33 inches6.2:112 lb8.0 oz230 yards
Shimano Sahara4+1Yes36 inches6.2:120 lb8.8 oz230 yards
Yoshikawa Baitfeeder10+1Yes35 inches5.5:118 lb11.9 oz230 yards
Shimano Spirex 2500 5+1Yes32 inches6.2:19 lb10.6 oz200 yards

Recommended Specifications

SpecificationRecommended for Largemouth Bass
Reel Size2500 to 3000
Gear Ratio5.2:1 to 6.4:1
Line Capacity (Mono)8-12 lb test, 150-200 yards
Line Capacity (Braid)15-30 lb test, 150-250 yards
Maximum Drag12-20 lbs
Ball Bearings5-9+
Anti-Reverse FeatureInstant Anti-Reverse
Frame MaterialAluminum, graphite, or carbon fiber
Spool MaterialAluminum or carbon fiber
Line Retrieval Rate25-35 inches per turn
Weight7-11 oz

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best size spinning reel for bass?

The best sized spinning reel for bass fishing is 2500. This gives sufficient power to fight even the biggest largemouth bass without spending too much money on unnecessary line capacity.

You can use anything from a 1000 to 4000 size model for bass fishing, however, the smaller reels will struggle against larger individuals.

How much drag for bass?

The best drag on a spinning reel for bass fishing is 15 lb. This gives enough power to fight against larger individuals.

You can use between 10 and 20 lb of drag when bass angling, however, the 10 lb might struggle when you hook a trophy bass.

How much line capacity for bass?

You need to have at least 140 yards of 10 lb mono line capacity for a bass spinning reel. This allows you to cast long distances, provides plenty of excess line for the fish to fight, and means that you don’t need to re-spool the line every time your line breaks.

What is the best gear ratio for bass?

The best gear ratio for a bass spinning reel is 6.2:1. This is in the medium range and gives the reel enough versatility to fish with a wide range of lures from soft plastics, crankbaits, and topwater lures.
If you want to fish with a fast-moving lure like a jerkbait, then you may want to consider a high speed baitcasting reel.

Best gear ratio fishing reel for different lures

How We Rate Products

Russ Egan and Donny Karr have over 40 years of combined fishing experience. We know the difference between a high-quality reel and a poor alternative.

I thoroughly review all products to measure their performance, durability, and value for money. I conduct bench and field testing to check how the product performs. Each reel is tested for at least 8 hours, with a full test taking 2 weeks. This testing results in an overall score that I give to all products. All metrics are scored out of 5.


The performance score is how well this product fulfills its primary purpose. Does it have all the features and optional extras you need to catch the target species? I also interview expert anglers on their experience to build a more comprehensive view of the performance under multiple conditions.

I take all reels down to my local freshwater lake for bass, or inshore fishing off the beach for redfish.

  • Test 1: I confirm that the max drag meets the manufacturer’s specifications using a calibrated scale.
  • Test 2: I test the maximum casting distance using a 1.0-ounce lure.
  • Test 3: I test the accuracy by casting 10 times into a 3 ft diameter circle at 30 yards.
  • Test 4: I check the versatility and the ability to handle multiple uses by field testing with 3 different lures and baits, by actually going fishing.


Durability refers to how long the product will continue functioning. I twist, bend, and break all the products to check their longevity. This score is for the construction materials, the workmanship quality, and the servicing requirements. There are also bonus points for manufacturers’ warranty.

For products I can’t test for long enough, I also consult experts who have been using them for decades to judge their longevity.

  • Test 5: I pull it apart to check the grease and oil levels, how difficult it is to maintain, and whether sand or salt has deposited after use in saltwater.

Value for Money

The final aspect of the scoring system is the price or, more specifically, the value for money. Value for money is a comparison against the closest alternative products, both by the same manufacturer and other brands.

Overall Score

Finally, I average the three scores of performance, durability, and value for money to give the overall score of each product reviewed.

To see more details, please read the complete guide on how I test and evaluate fishing products.

Final Verdict

Hopefully, the 10 Best Spinning Reels for Bass Fishing will be helpful for you for your next buy. To wrap up this article, we could say each of the spinning reels has entered our list due to their top quality.

I highly recommended the Penn Spinfisher Spinning Reel for your next bass fishing adventure.

We hope you enjoyed our article.

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