7 Best Trout Spinning Reels + Buying Guide


Updated on December 9, 2022 by
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The best spinning reels for trout are 2500-size with 15 lb of drag, a gear ratio of 5.5:1, and 200+ yards of 6 lb mono capacity, such as the Daiwa BG.

Fishing can be a great activity for those who partake in it. It’s great on a river or a lake or even in the sea. One of the most popular fish that people want to catch is Trout.

The reason Trout are so popular amongst fishermen is because they are often found in incredibly beautiful places surrounded by wonderful nature to look at. 

If you find that Trout fishing is something that you could find very enjoyable then to give yourself the best advantage at catching some Trout you should definitely use a spinning reel, most experienced fishermen have found the best success when Trout fishing when they are using a spinning reel. 

One thing you can do to maximize your success is to use a spinning reel that synchronizes with your rod. This can help you be much more accurate when casting your line out, this will help you catch the most fish you can in the area. 

It’s important to use a reel that is most accurate as it you will often be fishing in minute parts of a lake for Trout so you don’t want something that can cause lots of water activity as it could lead the Trout to scurry off to quieter parts of the lake that will leave you very unsuccessful in you fishing trip.

It is important that the reel works to the best of its ability and isn’t clunky for example when reeling in. You also want it to be fast to leave less chance for the fish to escape.

Let’s get started in our list of the best trout spinning reels.

ImageFeaturesScorePrice
Best Overall
Pflueger President Spinning Reel

Pflueger President Spinning Reel

  • 10 stainless steel ball bearings
  • Graphite body and rotor
  • Lightweight graphite reel construction.
  • Braid ready spool
  • HT-100 carbon fiber drag system provides powerful drag
9.5
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Most Durable
Daiwa BG Spinning Reel

Daiwa BG Spinning Reel

  • Saltwater Ready
  • Braid Ready - No Mono Backing Required
  • Machined Aluminum Housing
  • Infinite Anti-Reverse System
8.8
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Best Budget Option
Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel

Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel

  • Saltwater Ready
  • 7+1 Ball Bearings
  • Multi-disc Drag System
  • Extremely Lightweight Design
8
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How We Rate Products

I thoroughly review all products to measure their performance, durability, and value for money. This is done through bench and field testing to check how the product performs. This testing results in an overall score that I give to all products. All metrics are scored out of 5.

Performance

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? We also interview expert anglers on their experience to build a broader and more comprehensive view on the performance under multiple conditions.

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

Durability

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 materials of construction, the quality of the workmanship, and the servicing requirements. There are also bonus points for manufacturers’ warranty.

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

  • Test 5: Pull it apart to check the grease and oil levels, how difficult it is to maintain, and whether any 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 we test and evaluate fishing products.

1. Daiwa BG Trout Spinning Reel

Performance – 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Durability – 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Value for Money – 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Daiwa BG spinning reel is an excellent choice that is of a very compact design. It is a lightweight reel and can be bought in several different models that you can select when determining what works best for your specific needs.

If you need a heavy reel for saltwater then this is perfect for you but if you need a lighter reel for freshwater then you may find that the Daiqwa series can also be perfect considering it comes in different models. 

What I Like About It

The incorporation of innovation and high quality of the spinning reels by Daiwa really is incredible. The spinning wheels possess a HardBodyz body and on the side too, this creates a lightweight air design, the spool is made from a dynamic cut aluminum line that has a waterproof drag incorporated into it. 

You shouldn’t need to worry about water seeping through to the reel because it has a carbon ATD machined Aluminum screw in the handle of it. So don’t worry about the size of the trout you’re looking to reel in as the series of reels also has different bearings that are made available for perhaps bigger sized Trouts. They all also have an anti reverse feature.

Pros

  • Great in both Freshwater and Saltwater.
  • Lightweight design.
  • Waterproof spool

Cons

  • Can make a strange grinding noise when being used.
  • Saltwater Ready
  • Braid Ready - No Mono Backing Required
  • Machined Aluminum Housing
  • Infinite Anti-Reverse System
  • Lower Max Drag
  • Heavier than Alternatives

2. Pflueger President Trout Spinning Reel

Performance – 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Durability – 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Value for Money – 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Pflueger President Spinning Reel is a great reel for catching Trout. This reel features a 10 bearing system that has bearings that are made of anti corrosive metals making it very unlikely that the reel will rust or corrode when being exposed to saltwater. The reel’s body is of a lightweight design made of graphite.

What I Like About It

This reel also features a sealed drag system, which requires very low maintenance and needs to be rinsed off afterwards. This should last for a very long time, it’s rare that it will become damaged presenting a failed drag. 

A Good drag system is important as it will make sure that the reel is smooth and slow oscillation causing the least amount of disruption to the water.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Anti corrosive metals.
  • Sealed Drag system.

Cons

  • Sealed drag should be washed after every use.
Best Overall Spinning Reel
Pflueger President Spinning Reel
9.5/10Our Score
  • 9+1 Stainless Steel Ball Bearings
  • Oil Coated Drag Washers
  • Lightweight Graphite Body
  • Comfortable Rubber Handle Knob
  • Drag Isn't Enough for Large Saltwater Species

3. Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel

Performance – 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Durability – 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Value for Money – 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is yet another great Trout fishing reel. This is a lightweight spinning reel providing you with the most comfort when using it as it won’t way you down making you feel fatigued. It has a 8 bearing drive system which also has elliptical gearing to give its user the most precision. 

What I Like About It

The Okuma Ceymar’s spool is made from aluminum which gives it a very strong build whilst also being incredibly lightweight. To guarantee the user its maximum usage of the product the ball wire is made from extremely heavy duty solid aluminum which has a bigger sized line roller. 

The reel can spin at a high speed as it features the Okuma RESII computer which is used to balance and rid the reel of any chance of wobble. 

Pros

  • Bearing drive system.
  • Lightweight
  • Durable

Cons

  • Doesn’t mention what type of drag it is, whether adjustable or fixed.
Best Budget Spinning Reel
Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel
8/10Our Score
  • Saltwater Ready
  • 7+1 Ball Bearings
  • Multi-disc Drag System
  • Extremely Lightweight
  • Lacks Powerful Drag System
  • Low Gear Ratio Isn't Suited for Fast Moving Lures
  • Lacks the Features of Premium Brands

4. KastKing Sharky III Spinning Reel

Performance – 3/5 ⭐⭐⭐
Durability – 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Value for Money – 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The KastKing Sharky III spinning reel is of a lightweight design as well as an anti corrosive drive gear which will stop it from becoming rusty or corroded when being exposed to Saltwater. The reel has lots of power to it with its 39 pound triple disc and carbon fibre drag that allows it to be incredibly smooth when reeling in a fish. 

What I Like About It

It also provides an anti twist line roller which stops the line from twisting at any process of the casting or reeling in. The reel also has a stainless steel main shaft which is oversized and has mesh manganese brass pinion gears.  This is what stops fish from being able to swim away when being reeled in. 

KastKing has also designed a water resistant program which is called K.I.S.S, this ensures that dirt and water stay from the reel and will always be protected. 

Pros

  • Stainless steel oversized shaft.
  • Water resistant 
  • Great drag

Cons

  • Only suited to one side and cant interchange properly for right handed or left handed people. 
  • Kastking Intrusion Shield System
  • Powerful Drag System
  • Lightweight
  • 10+1 Stainless Steel Ball Bearings
  • Non-reversible Handle

5. Shimano Sedona FI Spinning Reel

Overall – 3/5 ⭐⭐⭐
Performance – 3/5 ⭐⭐⭐
Durability – 3/5 ⭐⭐⭐

The Shimano Sedona FI spinning reel is of an incredibly durable design, it has been cold forged with HAGANE gear. Which will adequately show how durable and how strong the reel is and will last you years before you need to think about replacing it. 

What I Like About It

The spool is known as double anodized and cut finely by a machine to improve its line capacity, whilst still making it a compact design. With its line management system you’ll find that you can cast at a much further rate.

The line management system will also prevent any knots from occurring. Which any experienced fishermen will tell you is an incredibly irritating thing to keep happening the reel isn’t made correctly. 

Pros

  • Line management system
  • Durable
  • Strong

Cons

  • No anti reverse function.
  • High Speed Option Available
  • Hagane Gearing
  • Resdesigned Rotor and Drag
  • 10 Year Warranty
  • Lower Max Drag
  • 3+1 Ball Bearings Cause a Rough Drag
  • No Anti-Reverse Function

6. Piscifun Honor Spinning Reel

Performance – 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Durability – 3/5 ⭐⭐⭐
Value for Money – 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This reel has been specifically designed with experienced fishermen in mind. It consistently provides a high quality performance and is very durable. This reel has an anti-corrosive Zinc drive gear and a 10 + 1 Shielded bearing system. 

It has a very good quality carbon drag and is water resistant. Which will again show how durable the reel actually is. 

What I Like About It

It has a smooth line roller which will prevent it from causing any knots or tangles. It also has a EVA knob which will allow you to fish in any weather and not lose your grip on the reel. 

Its high quality design is what makes it so welcomed by experienced fishermen. If you are inexperienced then this should definitely be something you invest in as it truly is one of the best on the market.

Pros

  • Anti corrosive Zinc drive gear
  • Good quality Carbon drag
  • Water resistant

Cons

  • No mention of how much the reel weighs.
Piscifun Honor XT Spinning Reel
7.2/10Our Score
  • Anti Corrosive Zinc Drive Gear
  • Good Quality Carbon Drag
  • Water Resistant Sealing
  • 10+1 Stainless Steel Ball Bearings
  • Poor Casting Accuracy
  • Can't Turn Off the Anti-Reverse Feature

7. Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel

Performance – 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Durability – 4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Value for Money – 3/5 ⭐⭐⭐

The Abu Garcia Revo SX spinning reel is a lightweight one at that, so you know if you’re planning a long day of fishing you won’t feel fatigued from using this specific reel. The reel will make sure to remain aligned under serious stress meaning you will have the ability to catch an extremely hard pulling fish.

What I Like About It 

It has a C6 Carbon body which  ensures its lightweight design and durability. It also features a rocket line management system which gives you the most control when using the reel, it allows the casting to be a much more accurate process. 

With this reel you will truly feel how smooth and accurate it really is and like previously mentioned with its carbon body it will show some serious strength and be durable enough to last the user for many many years of fishing. 

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Rocket line management system ensuring accuracy
  • Durable due to its carbon body

Cons

  • No mention of its ability to deal with corrosion or how water resistant it is.
  • Saltwater Ready
  • DuraGear Brass Gearing
  • Titanium Coated Line Guide
  • Improved Dura Clutch
  • Extremely Lightweight Design Can Be Vulnerable to Damage
  • Largest Model is 4000 Sized

Trout Spinning Reel Buyers Guide

Reel Size

The size of the reel is shown in numbers and the larger the reel size the better it is for catching bigger fish. The most common reel sizes in trout fishing are the 1000 to 2500. These ensure that although you will have to put effort in you won’t be gasping for air after catching a trout.

Reel size is important for when you are considering which is the best particular reel for you, you may already know that the fish you want to be catching aren’t the biggest fish so a much larger reel size might not be the best idea for you but if you think that you are going to be coming up against some very big fish then it is probably best you purchase a bigger reel size.

The heavier the reel is also means it will have much more power in its drag as well as line capacity.

Drag System

A drag system is how the fish stays hooked to the line that you have cast. It is what applies the resistance on the reel of the actual spool.

A good drag system is very important when catching trout, any experienced trout fisherman will tell you. The drag system ensures that your rod won’t break under the serious stress of a fish pulling away.

A good drag for trout spinning reels is 15 lbs. The heavier the weight means that the drag system will have a certain amount of lbs stopping force in the base. This means you can reel in larger fish with much less effort. This is highly important in regard to fatigue when you are fishing.

Ball Bearings

Bearings are what ensure the reel is of a smooth feel.  The bearings will stop the feeling of grinding you can get when reeling a fish in. It is necessary that a reel can operate at a very smooth level for fishermen to get the maximum level of enjoyment out of their fishing trip.

The above stated are often anti-corrosive or at least resistant to corrosion that you can become exposed to when fishing around saltwater areas. These are specially designed to keep any sort of water out of the reel and are made out of stainless steel which is of course naturally anti-corrosive.

If you find that you can hear or feel a grinding sensation as you reel it may be time for a new reel or at least looking into if the bearings have been damaged over the years of use. This is important to research before making your purchase as you may find that certain bearings work better for certain types of water, such as freshwater.

Reel Weight

Weight is incredibly important in regards to what reel is right for you, just because something isn’t heavy doesn’t mean that it isn’t durable for example. The lighter the reel is often better in the case of fishing as it will stop the user from becoming fatigued when using said reel.

You have to think you are often going to be fishing for a long time and don’t want your arms to ache ruining your experience of fishing. The weight can be impacted by a number of things, one of the main causes for weight is the material that is used to actually make the product.

The above-stated products are all of a lightweight design and often made from some kind of carbon or aluminum. However, it is important that you research what sized fish you are mainly going to be catching, a light rod although easier to hold may not be good at catching the heavier fish’s.

Construction Materials

The materials used are of high importance as a lot rides on it. Are they anti corrosive for example, if they are then being exposed to saltwater won’t be a major problem however if the materials aren’t anti corrosive it is best to avoid saltwater lakes.

You should also factor in what they are made from as this will impact the wait and once again the anti corrosive nature of the reel. The above stated products are either made from, graphite, carbon or aluminum.

These are all great materials to use as they are often corrosion-resistant and very lightly weighted while not impacting the product’s durability. The durability of a product is once again of high importance to the over quality of the product.

As mentioned these are all very durable which is a direct reaction to what they are made out of. Before making your purchase it is highly recommended that you properly research the materials used to ensure that it is in fact the perfect reel for you and your needs.

The materials used are undoubtedly one of the more important things to research when making your final buying decision.

Anti Reverse System

Simply put, this feature is what stops the reel from spinning in the direction that you wouldn’t want it to. It works in cohesion to the drag system and ensures that the fish in question can be reeled without using the entirety of the line on the spool.

Some designs have a system where you can flip the switch of the anti reverse system off and not use its assistance, this of course is down to your personal preference.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the reels heavy? 

The above-mentioned reels are all of a lightweight design which is massively important and helpful when it comes to fatigue. The heavier the reel the more you will become tired throughout the day. The weight is determined by what materials are used which again for the above products are all extremely lightly weighted. 

Is reel size important?

Technically it’s not life or death important, however, it will make your life easier if you know about it. Like mentioned earlier, the bigger the reel size the easier it will be to catch bigger fish. If you use a smaller reel you are just making it more difficult for yourself when trying to catch bigger fish.

Can you catch trout with a fly reel?

Yes, you can catch trout with either a fly reel or a spinning reel. This is two very different fishing styles that use different bait and lures. Fly fishing for trout using a surface-dwelling fly lure in fast-flowing streams to attract hungry trout.


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Captain Ray Stanley

Ray Stanley is a renowned angling writer having been published in numerous Kayaking and Angling Magazines. Ray has entertained and informed thousands of anglers through his writing and seminars.