5 best trout spinning reels – Reviews & Buying Guide

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What is the best spinning reel for trout? How to choose the right reel? These questions and other related questions are often being asked by many Anglers. We all know the importance of reels in Executing high-efficiency fishing operations, so you should choose your fishing reel carefully to get top performance and comfortable fishing time.

We did our research and In this article we will answer all your questions about the best spinning reel for trout, keep reading.

Top picks

  1. Abu Garcia Revo SX (Best Overall)
  2. Pflueger President Spinning Reel (Best Budget)
  3. Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel (Best Lightweight)

Methodology

You’re probably asking, we chose those specific spinning reel for fishing trout. So here are the factors we consider while doing our comparisons and choosing the best reels for you:

1. Materlal: there are a lot of materials used for making fishing gear. However, these materials are not all the same in terms of quality and effectiveness. Different materials work a lot better for various fish species. 

2. Durability: Nobody wants to change his spinning reel every couple of months. So, during our research we focused on durability.

3. Ball Bearings: Ball bearings are a pretty important part of a quality spinning reel. We focused on high quality ball bearings made of good materials. We also cared to get a good number of ball bearings for good smoothness. 

4. Drag System: This point is self explanatory. If you need to catch fish, you need strong and smooth draggins to get the best results. 

5. Comfortability: It’s a big part of the equation. If you’re spending long days fishing, you need lightweight and comfortable spinning reels. This includes the handles and the design. 

6. Customer reviews: Too many sellers will claim that they have the best ever fishing gear with the most affordable price. But, honestly, this is not always the case. We cared enough to check customer reviews and to make sure of the quality of the product. 

Best 5 Spinning Reels For Trout Fishing

A black spinning reel

In a hurry? Here is our list:

  1. Abu Garcia Revo SX
  2. Pflueger President Spinning Reel
  3. Okuma Epixor XT Freshwater Spinning Reel
  4. Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel
  5. Penn Pursuit III



Abu Garcia Revo SX (Best Overall)

If you like smooth, well-balanced reels, you’re most probably gonna like the Revo SX. Its design has been making some great progress recently. The new design is operating at a high level of efficiency and capacity thanks to using the moulded C6 (IM-c6) carbon body design, which includes a gearbox consisting of one piece of aluminium.

How does aluminium gear design improve the performance of Revo SX?

The aluminium gear design has improved the latest model of Revo SX by making it lighter than previous generations. It also improves its rigidity. You also get a better feeling and outstanding durability while using this aluminium gear design. The main shaft is also made of stainless steel providing corrosion resistance against salt water. The rotor is made from lightweight graphite.

This spinning reel offers stainless steel HPCR bearing. They contain 8 stainless steel ball bearings in addition to one roller bearing. The stainless steel is highly corrosion resistant which makes it suitable for saltwater fishing, besides its durability characteristics. Regarding the number, 8+1 ball bearings is a pretty good amount that can deliver high performance and smoothness. 

Revo SX comes with its Amgearing System. This system provides better smoothness and increases durability through precision Machined gears. It also features a computer-optimised gear design which is considered one of the most efficient gear systems. 

For the dragging, Revo SX features a carbon matrix hybrid drag system. You can rely on this drag system to provide a smooth and enjoyable performance. In addition, The IM-C6 (Insert moulded C6) body design delivers a lightweight construction that keeps your gears in proper alignment for a great performance. 

I like that you can better control the line coming off the spool by using its rocket spool lip design. Moreover, the slow oscillation provides an even line lie with the various line types out there. The Handle comes with an EVA knob. Honestly, Cork is more comfortable than EVA grips. However, EVA grips are more durable and can absorb moisture and sweetness. So, if you’re looking for durability, this is the way to go. 

I probably have covered most of the important points. Other features that you may be interested in are the reel comes with a braid-ready spool and a k-clutch anti-reverse system.

Is that reel so great that it has no cons? 

Actually, No. Some anglers reported that the spin-free reverse clip usually snaps a little plastic clip inside the rear part of the reel. The solution is that you will have to toss it when it happens. 

The Anti-reverse system isn’t that great either. Its plastic component cannot be fixed and it gets broken. It would have been much better if they had metal pins surrounding the anti-reverse from inside. 

Pros

  • Very well balanced and incredibly smooth.
  • The drag is outstanding and allows fishing a lighter test fluorocarbon compared to a braid so casting is a breeze.

Cons

  • The spin free reverse clip will snap a little plastic clip inside the rear of the reel so you will have to toss it.
  • Poor quality, The spinning reels reverse spool will break and as this plastic component can’t be fixed, so they should be a metal pin that surrounds the anti reverse spring inside.



Pflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel (Best budget spinning reel for trout)

Pflueger is a company that has been in the field of reel manufacturing for many years and this makes their name liked by many anglers. Pflueger President spinning reel is one of their most famous reels and it’s even available to be bought with its own rod as a combo. 

Coming to the features, The reel is constructed from Graphite which delivers the lightweight and sensitivity required for fishing trout. The handle is made from aluminium which is pretty strong and makes you confident while fishing. 

The gear ratio is 5.2 which is a medium one and suitable for trout fishing. Coming to functionality, The reel contains 9+1 stainless steel ball bearings. The stainless steel is corrosion resistant, so you will be comfortable fishing trout in saltwater. Also, 10 ball bearings are pretty good in this price range. 

The reel features are braid ready spool. A braid ready spool means that you can use the spool without having to put monofilament lines as a packing. So, if you’re a braided line fan, you will like this feature. Pflueger President also features a HT-100 drag system which is strong and smooth at the same time. It’s also much better than the previous generation when it comes to durability. 

On the downside, I don’t like that the ball bearings aren’t sealed. This might be an issue for saltwater applications and might make it unsuitable for it. As a solution, make sure to rinse the reel after every use. However, it’s not the best option for saltwater fishing. Also, it kinda looks and feels cheap which is making me uncomfortable. 

Pros

  • Anti reverse system. 
  • Cheap trout spinning reel.
  • Lightweight thanks to its graphite construction. 
  • Accurate casting. 
  • Smooth operation.

Cons

  • Looks cheap.
  • The bail is kinda hard to flip.
  • Setting the drag in the middle is a bit tricky, but once you’re done, it works fine.
  • Casting distance isn’t the best, but it’s accurate.



Okuma Epixor XT Freshwater Spinning Reel

Okuma Epixor XT is one of the standout products from the Okuma line. It delivers a lightweight and good performance reel and a good price. Let’s talk first about its construction:

The side plates and rotor are made from graphite. As previously mentioned, graphite is pretty cool for trout fishing, because it’s lightweight and sensitive. It also features a carbon fiber construction with Torsion Control Armor frame design. What is a Torsion Control Armor frame?

It’s an Okuma special design that maximises reel stability by the removal of reel stem twisting and keeping the gears aligned. As a result the reel is stronger and more durable. 

The reel also features a slower spool oscillation which reduces the speed of line travelling through the spool. As a result, there is less friction and less drag on the lead. Why should you like this? Because it improves the accuracy and distance of casting. 

Just like previously recommended reels, Okuma Epixor XT features stainless steel ball bearings that are durable and of good quality. It doesn’t have the same number as Pflueger President (10BB compared to 7BB in Epixor XT) which is considered a drawback. However, they are enough to do the job. 

For the dragging, the reel offers multi-disc, Japanese oiled felt drag washers. It delivers buttery smooth dragging and can lift up to 19lbs which works good for trout fishing. 

Coming to the drawbacks, I think a Cork handle would have been much better than an EVA handle. Cork handles are generally more comfortable and sensitive than EVA ones which is especially required for trout fishing. Also, The drag system isn’t as fast as other options and it slips sometimes. The line holders aren’t the best. 

Note: This reel runs small, so you should be cautious when choosing the size you need. 

Pros

  • Very smooth dragging. 
  • The frame is  very rigid and lightweight. 
  • Slow oscillation system. 
  • Affordable price and high value for the price and performs better than many reels in higher price ranges. 

Cons

  • Not suitable for saltwater fishing.
  • Slow dragging system.
  • The body and rotor feels like plastic.
  • Bad line holder. 



Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel (Best Lightweight spinning reel for trout)

Okuma Ceymar is one the best seller reels in Okuma company of all time. If you want a lightweight spinning reel that world both for saltwater and freshwater fishing, I probably would recommend this one for you. It offers variable sizes starting for the small ones for light species to big sized ones like C-65 for big game species. Now, Let’s head to the features: 

The reel is constructed from graphite which is lightweight, strong and corrosion resistant. The handle and spool are made from durable Aluminium. The handles are ergonomically designed, but they are EVA handles knobs. For trout fishing, I don’t think they are the best options because they provide lower durability and sensitivity compared to Cork handles. 

The reel comes with an anti reverse roller bearing. It prevents the reel from turning backwards which helps you to focus more while fighting your catch. The reel features its smart Okuma RESII computer balancing. This system allows the reel to spin at higher speeds causing any bouncing or wobbling action to the rod. 

Okuma Ceymar spinning reel features a multi-disk dragging system. The dragging system works well and delivers smooth casting and retrieval. It’s also easily adjustable. While the drag is suitable for small fish like trout, it’s also strong and can hold large species like Catfish, depending on the size you will choose. 

What I don’t like about this reel is that it’s not as smooth as other reels in the competition. However, compared to its price, you get a pretty good dragging. Also, the reel is made from corrosion resistant materials. But, it isn’t ball bearings sealed which is a negative point for saltwater applications. Just make sure to rinse it after every use and to maintain it cautiously. 

Pros

  • Affordable fishing reel.
  • Lightweight.
  • Durable components.
  • Wide range of sizes.
  • Versatile.

Cons

  • Not as smooth as other models. 
  • Made from corrosion resistant materials, but saltwater may affect it negatively. 
  • The handles slip off sometimes. 



Penn Pursuit III

Penn is one the premium companies in the fishing gear field. Their Penn III spinning reel is a best seller and is hitting the market hard with its HT-100 carbon drag system. To any anglers Penn Pursuit III is a sign of reliability and durability. 

As most of the previously mentioned reels, Penn Pursuit III is made of graphite. I will not list why graphite is good for trout fishing again. So, let’s head to the spool. It’s made from Aluminium with full metal side plates. They work well with graphite and are designed to protect the gear and align them in a proper way. It’s also worth noting the spool is braid ready. 

The reel offers 4 stainless steel ball bearings. It’s a low number compared to other options.. They are also not sealed, but this is expected in this price range. Anyway, the reel operates smoothly with no issues. It also includes a decent anti reverse system that assists in the line pickup. 

What differentiates this reel from its previous generations is its HT-100 dragging system. I know that it’s also provided with some other options on our list. It’s much better than the older oil felt drag. The carbon washers last for much longer and operates more smoothly. 

Something I don’t like in this reel is  that its features are limited compared to the previously mentioned reels. The bail also closes on its own sometimes which might affect the quality of your casting. The reel is also heavier than other competitors. 

Pros

  • Very affordable price.
  • Good dragging system. 
  • Suitable for saltwater applications, but not sealed. 
  • Durable spinning reel.
  • High gear speed (might not be that important for trout fishing)

Cons

  • Limited features.
  • Noisy dragging.
  • The bail sometimes closes on its own.
  • Heavier than other reels. 



What Are The Factors To Consider When Buying Your Next Trout Spinning Reel?

someone holding a silver spinning reel

Every fisherman seeks to acquire a suitable reel that helps him improve the quality of fishing time by catching more fish with comfort and ease.

In these next lines, we will give you a guide to show you how to choose the best spinning reel  suitable for you By clarifying some important tips to put in your mind when buying a new fishing reel. Continue reading:

Material

Reel material refers to body or housing material. Most reel bodies are mainly constructed from graphite or aluminum or sometimes a combination of both. Aluminum housing is stronger than graphite and exhibits less flexibility but graphite is lighter.

Size

It is easy to determine the right size of your fishing reel, As The reel size is chosen according to the following rule. The lighter the line you will use, the smaller reel size you should have. There are various sizes of Spinning reels, so we will provide you a guide list of most commonly reels sizes used: 

1000

It is a small reel size that is considered One of the smallest sizes on the market.

Uses:

It is good for fishing tactics that are made for ultralight lure for targeting some fish species such as perch and even any small brown wild trout. 

2500

It is similar to a 1000 sized reel, As it is also ideal for lighter lure fishing tactics, it is good for spinning, drop shooting or even jigging. But the Only difference between size 1000 and 2500 is that size 2500 has a slightly larger line capacity and spool.

3000

It is the medium size between the 2500 and 4000 reel sizes, so it is considered the perfect size of trout spinning reels. This reel size can accommodate higher breaking strain lines as it has  enough line capacity. It has a stronger drag system, and can keep the overall reel size compact.

4000

The size 4000 has these features which make it ideal for picking larger specimens:

  • Increased line capacity that accommodates higher breaking strains.
  • Higher diameter lines.
  • More cranking power.
  • Increased spool circumference.

The reel size will pick up more line as it has increased spool circumference, its dragging systems will be more bigger so the larger spools can easily accommodate these, which means stronger dragging systems. It is perfect for pike, salmon in and specimen sized trout. 

5000

The 5000 size has been designed for fishing in deep hard flowing rivers where extra cranking power is needed. It has been designed for targeting salmon and more tropical species like GT, barracuda, and even the other hard fighting species.

Weight

Reel Weight is another key factor to consider when choosing a reel. Reel bodies (housing) are usually made from graphite or aluminum. You should choose reel weight suitable for you. If you spend a long time fishing, you have to choose a light reel to avoid fatigue resulting from the load of reel on your wrist and forearm.

Decide whether you’re into saltwater or freshwater trout?

Freshwater

Reels that have aluminum bodies are more efficient for fresh water.

Saltwater

Graphite bodies are a good choice if you are willing to play in saltwater as they are more corrosion-resistant.

Gear Ratio

Gear ratio is the number of times that the bail rotates around the spool, by a single turn of the reel handle [1]. A medium speed model (5:1) is a good choice if you are gonna to buy one reel, but if you will buy more than one reel, buy a reel that is high-speed and another low-speed reel that will allow you to cover all situations.

Spools

Graphite spools are mostly found on entry level reels. They offer a good robustness and they are also lighter than aluminium spools. But, they are not smooth as aluminium spools, which leads to unwanted dragging when you’re casting.

Aluminium spools are more refined. Aluminum spools are slightly heavier than graphite ones, but manufactured companies usually decrease the spool weight by drilling some holes in the spool, which also can help with spool balance.

Drag Systems

The role of The dragging system is to apply a pressure on hooked fish, and letting out reel line during the fight. So a smooth, high-quality drag system is required to avoid risk of broken lines and lost fishes. The line should pull out steadily, without hesitation, at whatever tension you set the drag. A waterproof sealed dragging system ensures your spinning reels operate smoothly, with durability and added drag power for years to come.

There are two available  types of dragging systems on spinning reels: front and rear dragging. 

1. Front-drag system

offers increased durability and performance more than rear-drag models, as it features multiple and large drag washers.

2. Rear-drag system

Rear-drag controls are more easy to access especially when you are fighting fishes. But it doesn’t stand up as well to bigger, hard fighting fish species.

Ball Bearings

Ball bearings or bushings of Spinning reels are placed within the reel body to provide smoothness, and stability support. Sealed stainless steel bearings are more preferable than bushings as it adds more durability and control. At the bare minimum, reel with at least four ball bearings are more preferable.

spinning reels often contain a roller bearing within its line roller. We can Generally say that greater the number of bearings that reel contains, the smoother performance you will find, so 

Choose a spinning reel with the most ball bearings which your wallet can handle. 

You also need to consider the quality more than the quantity. A quality lower number ball bearings is much more important than a high number of low quality ones. 

Budget

If you put a 100$ budget for Spinning reel, You can find a good quality reel at this price. This list of good price spinning reels has good performance for most kinds of fishing, and it isn’t overly expensive. Also, you don’t want to spend too much money on your fishing gear when you’re still at the beginner phase. 

Use

Spinning reels are designed for different types of fishing styles. Some are designed for targeting large fish, and others for smaller. Some for fishing in freshwater and others for saltwater. You should choose a reel that is suitable for your fishing style.

Frequently Asked Questions

A black spinning reel with a yellow fishing line

Do Bigger Reels Cast Further?

Yes, as spinning reels sizes can directly affect the casting distance as follow:
The larger reels, the longer the coils it will release during the cast. That leads to more lines that will come out of the reel spool in the same period of time.

What Size Reel Is Best For Trout Fishing?

The best spinning reel for trout should usually be a size 10 to 20 but your spinning reel should match the size of the trout and the size of the rivers that you fish. Since trout in small rivers or even in larger rivers don’t get as big as steelhead and salmon do they do not require the same sized spinning reels. If you are using an ultra light rod for small streams at 5 to 6-foot, a reel size from 10 to 15 will help well.

Spinning reels are measured in different ways according to manufactured companies, some companies measure reel size in a range from 10 to 50. Other companies measure reel size from 1000 to 5000. But usually the size 20 is similar to the size 2000 and the size 30 is similar to the size 3000 and so on.

A reel size range from 10 to 20 (1000 to 2000) is good for smaller rivers, as you don’t need to hold much line, as you often walk or chase a running trout.know that your spinning reel should match the rod you are gonna to use. So you can’t use a 14-foot rod with a creek that’s 13 feet wide only. 

Most spinning reels at average size 15 or 20 and 1500 or 2000 model are the best spinning reels sizes for you, If you are going for float fishing, and tend to target trout at average-sized under 16 inches, where a 6 foot to 10-foot rod is used or on small creeks of 12 feet or less.

Can I Use BFS Reels Used For Trout Fishing?

BFS reels for trout are quite popular in Japan. Bait Finesse System reels can cast lures weighing only 2 grams 1/16 oz and rods that were designed for  lighter lures as 1 gram and lighter lines as 1 lb.

Can You Troll With A Baitcaster To Fish Trout?

Yes, the baitcaster allows trolling for trout, and you don’t have to twist the line but you will get with the spinning reel.

Conclusion

In this article We covered the answer for what is the best spinning reels for trout, and We show 5 types of spinning reels and mentioned its features, pros and cons. We also covered some key points for choosing a suitable spinning reel for you and how to match it with trout fishing. We also answered some FAQs.

You can also check more trout fishing gear guides here: