Best Trout Budget Spinning Reel Under $100

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Here is our review of the best trout spinning reel under $100. 

Trout fishing is a great hobby. Trout is known for getting easily frightened. It requires you to have the right gear to get the most out of your trout fishing trips. 

In this article, we’re presenting 5 budget spinning reels that we think are the best in the market for trout. We also kept them under 100 dollars for those on a tight budget. We will review each one of them mentioning its specifications, top features, and what we like most about it.

We also included a buying guide section to help you choose which one is suitable for you and to know what to look for in your next spinning reel. 

Top 5 Best Trout Spinning Reel Under $100

A spinning reel with a blue fishing line

Picking the right spinning reel isn’t an easy process. You also need to look for certain specifications in order to get one that is suitable for trout. Here is our list of budget spinning reels for trout: 

  1. Pflueger President Spinning Reel
  2. KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel
  3. Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel
  4. Penn Pursuit III Spinning Fishing Reel
  5. Shimano Sahara Fi 



Pflueger President Spinning Reel

Top Features

  1. 10 Stainless steel ball bearings. 
  2. Anti-reverse bearing. (can be turned on and off)
  3. Braid-ready spool. 
  4. Sealed drag system and slow oscillation gearing.
  5. Graphite body and rotor.
  6. One-year warranty.

Specifications

Material: Graphite and Aluminium.

Available sizes: 20 to 40.

Bearing count: 7 stainless steel in 20 sizes and 10 in other sizes. 

Gear ratio: 5:2:1

Handles Material: Stainless steel.

Weight: 0.46 pounds. 

Line Capacity: 4/100 to 10/230.

Overview

If you’re looking for an affordable, yet quality spinning reel with a braid-ready spool, Pflueger President is one the best spinning reel and might be the one for you. The reel uses 7 stainless steel ball bearings which deliver corrosion resistance and smooth casts. 

The body and rotor are made of graphite, The graphite is lightweight, corrosion-resistant, durable, and strong enough to hold large trout. The handle is made of Aluminium which enhances durability. It also has a dimpled design that fits hands and gives a better grip. 

When it comes to weight, the reel is 10% lighter than other models provided by Pflueger. The lighter weight eases the strain on your hands. The drag is made from corrosion-resistant stainless steel and the drag washers are sealed. This offers high protection against saltwater. It’s of the front drag system type. 

The line capacity is also good with 4/100 lb/yd of monolines in the smallest sizes and up to 10/230 in larger versions. The reel is also versatile. You can use it either with a light artificial lure or live bait. 

It’s worth noting that although some components are made from corrosion-resistant materials, this spinning reel isn’t a good choice for saltwater applications and is more of a freshwater spinning reel. Saltwater will find a way in and eat out the interior of the reel and shorten its lifespan.

Pros

  • Smooth operations.
  • Precise Casting.
  • Lightweight and corrosion-resistant. 
  • Durable fishing reel made of stainless steel. 
  • In addition to trout fishing, it also works well for bass fishing. 
  • You can buy it in trout combo versions with a trout rod

Cons

  • You have to grease it regularly (more frequently than other reels) to keep it in the best state. 
  • Setting the drag is a little tricky. 



KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel

Top Features

  1. Sealed with K.I.S.S which protects it from water and dirt.
  2. 10 + 1 stainless steel ball bearings.
  3. High-density EVA grips.
  4. Aluminum handle. 
  5. Shark Fin Braid Ready aluminum spool.
  6. Triple Disc Carbon Fiber system.
  7. Oversized stainless steel main shaft.

Specifications

Material: Graphite.

Handle Material: EVA and Aluminium

Available Sizes: 1000 to 5000.

Line Capacity: 20/200 30/170 to 50/220 to 60/190.

BB: 10 + 1 stainless steel.

Gear Ratio: 5.2:1

Max Drag: 33-39.5lb

Weight: 7.4-10.6 oz

Overview

Kastking Sharky III is one of the famous top-budget spinning reels that I recommend you try. It’s designed to be smooth and durable in a variety of fishing environments. It comes with KISS protection (Kastking Intrusion Shield System) which increases durability. This unique system helps keep the body, spool, and rotor protected from dirt and water. 

It offers 10 double-shielded stainless steel which is corrosion resistant. The high number of BB delivers ultra-smooth casts. An additional feature is its anti-twist line roller which removes the line tangles and prevents the formation of bird nests. 

The handle is made from high-density EVA grips. They are not as comfortable as cork. They also tend to absorb moisture which causes them to feel slippery in your hands. However, if you’re a durability lover, they are more durable than cork handles. 

Kastking Sharky III spinning reel comes in sizes from 1000 to 5000. The drag system (Triple disc Carbon Fiber) is pretty strong and can hold up to 39.5 pounds in big sizes and 33 pounds in smaller sizes. It’s enough to lift large trout species. It offers a braid-ready Aluminium spool with a rubber middle section which means you can spool braid lines directly on it which gives more braided line capacity. It also provides easy and problem-free retrievals. 

Pros

  • Can handle large fish species. 
  • Offers a variety of sizes. 
  • You can use it for both freshwater and saltwater fishing applications. 
  • A graphite body that is lightweight and corrosion-resistant.
  • Affordable price. 
  • Completely sealed system.
  • A high number of quality ball bearings.
  • Has the ability to both right and left retrieval.
  • Nice packaging.

Cons

  • Occasional line retrieval issues.
  • Poor support for manual and repair parts.
  • Not very durable.

Note: please be aware the Kastking Sharky III spinning reel sizes are smaller than the standard in the market

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Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel

Top Features

  1. Multi-disk drag system.
  2. Anti-reverse roller bearing.
  3. Precision machine-cut brass pinion gear.
  4. Corrosion-resistant blade body design and materials
  5. Machined Aluminium spool
  6. Ergo Grip handle (in C-65 size only)

Specifications

Material: Synthetic.

Handle Material: Aluminium.

Available Sizes: 2500 to 8000.

Line Capacity: 210/2 (0.12) 110/4 (0.17) 70/6 (0.22) for monofilament.

BB: 7 + 1 Aluminium.

Max Drag: 5 lbs.

Weight: 0.5 Pounds.

Overview

Okuma Ceymar is one of the most powerful lightweight spinning reels on the market. It’s characterized by being suitable for saltwater and freshwater applications. The reel features a corrosion-resistant design that is suitable for a variety of water conditions.

The drag system is composed of multi-disk which delivers more reliable dragging with the maximum being 5 Ibs. It’s also smooth and strong enough to hold big catches like catfish and aggressive bass in addition to trout.

The Spool is made of Aluminium which is durable and remains in good shape after using braided lines. The handle is ergonomically designed for more cranking power during fights. It also delivers better control.

The reel’s variable sizes make it suitable for various species. Starting from C-10 which is suitable for smaller and lighter catches to C-65 which can get you big game species using pier and jetty. 

Pros

  • High value for the price. 
  • Compact size. 
  • Smooth and sufficient drag system.
  • Versatile.
  • Wide range of sizes. 
  • Durable.

Cons

  • Slower gear ratio.
  • Though it’s smooth, it’s as smooth as other models.
  • Though it’s suitable for saltwater fishing, saltwater might cause some damage. 



Penn Pursuit III Spinning Reel

Top Features

  1. HT 100 drag system technology.
  2. Graphite body.
  3. Instant anti-reverse mechanism.
  4. Machined and anodized aluminum superliner spool

Specifications

Material: Stainless steel, Aluminium, Graphite.

Handle Material: Stainless steel.

Available Sizes: 2500 to 8000.

Line Capacity: 250 yards, 151-pound braid capacity.

BB: 4 + 1 stainless steel.

Gear Ratio: 6.2:1

Max Drag: 5.4 Kg.

Weight: 335 grams.

Overview

Penn Pursuit III is one of the serious fishing reels that you have to try someday. It works in various water conditions like lakes, streams, or ponds. You can use it either for saltwater or freshwater fishing.

It uses HT 100 drag technology which makes it extremely competitive. This drag system is tough and keeps its smoothness even under heavy use. It’s good to have this drag system at this price range. 

This version comes with a new size (2500). It’s extremely light and suitable for small fish species. The smaller sizes from 2500 to 4000 come with a 6.2 gear ratio, while the larger ones come with 5.6 and 5.3 in an 8000 size. 

Penn Pursuit III offers a super line gasket which is a braid-ready spool. It eliminates the need for mono backing. The body is made of graphite which as said before is lightweight, durable, and corrosion-resistant. The spool is made from aluminum with metal side plates to protect the gears. 

The reel delivers 4+1 stainless steel ball bearings. It’s not the highest number in our collection, however, it’s still smooth. Stainless steel is corrosion-resistant, but you’ve to take good care and cleaning to get the most durability possible out of the reel.

Pros

  • Instant anti-reverse. 
  • Durable. 
  • Affordable price for high quality. 
  • Suitable for saltwater fishing. 
  • HT-100 drag system.

Cons




Shimano Sahara Fi 

Top Features

  1. G free body.
  2. Hagane gear system.
  3. X-ship Technology.
  4. Graphite frame, rotor, and side plate.
  5. Various sizes are available.

Specifications

Material: Graphite and Aluminium.

Handle Material: Aluminium.

Available Sizes: 1000 and 5000.

Line Capacity: 6/200, 8/140, 10/120 for Mono and .10/150, 15/145, 30/100 for PowerPro line.

BB: 4 + 1.

Gear Ratio: 5:1

Max Drag: 20 lb

Weight: 8.8 oz

Overview

I like that Shimano Sahara Fi is full of impressive features. Let’s start with its G-free body. Its aim is to make the reel more comfortable by making the gravity center closer to the rod. This reduces the fatigue experienced while holding this reel. 

The reel is smooth even in saltwater thanks to its Hagane gearing system. Shimano minimizes the cutting work necessary to machine the gears by using cold-forged 3D cutting technology. You can learn more about the hagane gearing system from here

Another feature to talk about is the X-ship gear. It supports the pinion gear from both sides to align everything in the right way and increase durability. It minimizes the friction in the gear leading to longer and smoother casts. 

The frame, rotor, and side plate are made from graphite. Overall, I like that this reel offers good value and quality for an affordable price. 

Pros

  • Quality ball bearings. 
  • High line capacity. 
  • Available in different sizes. 
  • Smooth casting and no friction thanks to the X-Ship technology. 
  • Affordable. 
  • The G-free body reduces fatigue. 

Cons

  • No anti-reverse switch. 
  • The reel isn’t sealed which makes it unsuitable for saltwater fishing.



Things To Consider Before Buying Your Next Trout Spinning Reel

A spinning reel with an orange line

I know that getting that much information can be overwhelming. You also might not know the difference between those spinning reels or which one is suitable for you. You need to understand the basics on which you will choose the right reel. Here is a simple buying guide that we hope will help you:

Material

Most spinning reels are made from Aluminium or Graphite or a combination of both of them. Which one to choose?

It’s a matter of personal preference. Aluminum is the strong and durable one. No one wants to get a reel that gets broken on its first trip. While It seems good, it’s actually heavier.

On the other hand, graphite is a lighter option and is strong enough to handle fish, but not as sturdy as Aluminum. Graphite is also corrosion-resistant and suitable for saltwater fishing. 

Related:

Drag Systems

The drag system controls how much line gets out of the reel during fishing fights. It also applies pressure which wears the fish out of energy. There are 2 popular dragging systems, Front-drag and Rear-system. The names mainly refer to the location of the control. 

Front-drag system

Front-drag systems are harder to adjust and need more experience. But they offer better performance and durability. 

Rear-drag system

Rear-drag system is more accessible and easier to adjust. They are good if you face many fishing fights and need to adjust the drag a lot. 

Spools

The spool is that part of the reel that holds the line. It directly impacts the casting distance and smoothness [1]. You should be concerned about the material and the style. 

For the material, it is the same comparison that we talked about above in the material section. Aluminum is good for durability, while graphite is more lightweight. 

For the spool style, most of the reels come in 2 styles, Skirted spools, and mag spools. Let’s take a closer look:

Skirted spools

It keeps the line out from under the spool. It also protects the front of the reel shaft from water and other stuff. You can also feather the skirt with your finger to apply extra drag while fighting the fish. 

Mag spools

Mag spools are larger than the normal spools that you often see. They are also flattering and offer higher retrieval speeds.  They also decrease bird nests and provide better casts. 

Ball Bearings

Ball bearings are a crucial point to check. They affect the smoothness and casting of your spinning reel. There is a popular concept that the higher the number of ball bearings the smoother the reel. While this is true, you really need to pay more attention to the quality. 

َWhen it comes to ball bearings, quality is more important than quantity. Stainless steel is a good material to begin within budget spinning reels. An average number for a smooth action is 5 ball bearings, but it is also good if you can afford more. 

Budget/Cost

There are thousands of spinning reels out there that you can use for trout. In the lower than $100 range, it’s tricky to choose the best one. 

You need to think of your next spinning reel as an investment rather than an expense. Go for a high-quality reel that can last for many seasons. You won’t regret that choice. 

Gear Ratio

Gear ratio refers to how many rotations your spool performs for every single rotation from the handle. Higher gear ratios (6:1 and higher) are good for small fish. Slower gear ratios (4:1 and lower) are good for bigger fish, though some anglers negotiate that they prefer faster ones. 

For you, If you’re an experienced angler, you probably know which one is suitable for you. If you’re a beginner, I recommend going for a 5:1 gear ratio. It works well with trout and is suitable for you as a beginner. 

Size

The spinning reel size highly depends on the species you’re targeting. You need to know how much line you’re going to spool and get a size according to it. For trout fishing, a 2500 or 3000 spinning reel is generally suitable. 

Don’t forget to pay attention to the line types and their thickness and match your spinning reel size with it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Kind Of Trout Fishing Reels Is Used For Trolling?

Reels that can be used for trolling should be heavier and have greater line capacity and also have higher drag pressure. 

What is the best bait to catch trout?

We recommend choosing some live baits like earthworms, minnows, maggots, and grasshoppers. They work great when used with a paternoster rig by suspending them from a float. If you’re into artificial baits, you can choose power baits or bread dough.

The Bottom Line

It seems like this is the end of our review of the best budget spinning reel for trout under $100. Trout fishing is great, but you need to get the right gear for it. When you’re on a tight budget, it’s a bit tricky to know which one to choose. 

We hope that our review was beneficial to you and good luck on your journey.

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