Spinning reels under $100 offers many good choices. Which one to choose is the problem many anglers face. Spinning reels at too low of a price is low quality and will not perform or last long. Reels over $100 are for serious anglers looking for the best. Where does the average angler look for a good spinning reel? There are a few items to look at before buying.
The materials used in spinning reels vary. It does have an effect on quality and performance. Sometimes the environment determines which reel to use. Freshwater and saltwater pose different needs and concerns in fishing tackle. Choosing the wrong reel leads to premature failure in equipment or performance. Knowing the difference saves money in the long term.
- Abu Garcia Spinning Reels
- Daiwa Spinning Reels
- Lews Spinning Reels
- Penn Spinning Reels
- Pflueger Spinning Reels
- Shimano Spinning Reels
The majority of reels use metals or composites for the frames. The material has an effect on the overall weight of the reel. Casting lures all-day will lead to tired arms and hands with a heavier reel. Live bait fishing is not a problem. Choose a reel based on use.
Saltwater causes oxidation on reels made out of metal. Freshwater does damage to the parts also. These environments are harder on equipment. Tackle needs to be made from corrosion-resistant materials. The tackle must have proper maintenance also. These are reels with features that help with protection from the elements. This includes bearings, frames, guides, and handles.
The materials used also need to keep the weight down. The composites are lighter than metals. Some parts need to be metal but the body, frame, handle and a few others use the composites or plastics. Metal parts are the spool, gears, and bearing. These parts take more pressure. Parts without pressure can be lighter non-metallic composites or plastic.
Spinning Reels Under $100
A spinning reel under $100 but over 40-50 dollars is a good range. The low-cost offerings have inferior parts or construction. The old saying “you get what you pay for” holds true with fishing equipment. A twenty or thirty-dollar reel is the same as a Bic lighter, a disposable item. Cheap reels last a few months or a year or so depending on how much use. Anglers fishing more often, need to increase their budget.
Abu Garcia has reels for any budget. The lower-priced reels are good for beginners or people fishing seldom. The Max series is fine for those anglers. An angler spending more time on the water needs a better reel.
Abu Garcia Revo X Spinning Reel
Revo X is the only reel they make at the price suitable for people fishing regularly. Built-in a graphite body with an alloy frame gives the Revo lighter weight and strength. The graphite rotor adds to lowering the weight. A braid ready aluminum spool is light and takes the pressure. Braid ready spools end the need for a mono backing for the braided line. The spool lip allows the line to come off easier helping to make longer casts. The rocket line management combines spool, bail, and oscillation. Making them work together for better performance.
- Light, tough IM-C6 carbon body.
- Corrosion-resistant X2-Cräftic alloy frame
- Graphite rotor with Everlast bail system
- Braid-ready machined aluminum spool
- Rocket Spool Lip Design
- Rocket Line Management System
- Slow Oscillation for even line lay
- Stainless steel mainshaft and internals
- Smooth 6+1 system
- HPCR™ stainless steel ball bearings plus roller bearing
- Silky-strong Carbon Matrix drag
- Large, comfortable PVC handle knobs
Using slow oscillation achieves better line lay on the spool. Uneven line lay is the cause of many problems casting with spinning reels. Stainless steel shafts and internals resist rust and corrosion. Plus are stronger than plastics. An adequate number of bearings improve the smooth operation. A carbon matrix drag outperforms the felt drags found on low-cost reels. Losing fish is often due to poor drags.
Daiwa offers two quality spinning reels for less than $100. These reels provide performance at a good price. Daiwa reels are dependable and long-lasting. In other words, they offer value to a budget-conscious angler. Anglers wanting to stay lower at price will like the Daiwa line-up.
Daiwa Exceler LT Spinning Reel
The Exceler LT is the higher-performing Daiwa reel. The drag is 22 lbs max on the reels except for the 1000 size. It has an 11 lbs drag. A higher drag lets an angler pull harder on stubborn fish when needed. Pulling a bass out of cover is not a problem. The compact size helps with weight reduction.
- High performance at an affordable price
- Built with Daiwa’s Light but Tough technology
- Compact size; fatigue-free handling
- Carbon Light Material Housing
- Aluminum Air Spool reduces weight
- Carbon-composite Air Rotor
- Tough, lightweight Digigear drive
- 5+1 ball bearing system with roller bearing
- Machined aluminum handle
Besides the compact size, the graphite carbon body further aids in less weight. The rotor is a carbon composite also. A 5+1 bearing system is the main reason for the smooth operation. Daiwa”s Digi-gear technology helps with smoothness. A larger gear is used creating better engagement. Coupled with more than needed drag power the reel is a solid performer.
Daiwa Regal LT Spinning Reel
Anglers looking for a workhorse type of reel can choose the Regal LT. This is one of the best spinning reels under $100. The 9+1 bearing system delivers smoothness and durability. The added bearings provide support for heavier use running lures. This is why it is called a workhorse reel. The reel has the same carbon frame technology as the Exceler to reduce weight. Plus the air rotor to helps keep the weight lower.
- Redesigned workhorse reel
- Part of Daiwa’s Light but Tough series
- Rigid, lightweight true carbon frame
- Balanced Air Rotor with Air Bail system
- Smooth 9+1 bearing system
- ATD drag for smooth power
- Machined aluminum handle
The ATD drag design uses washer impregnated with specialized grease. This optimizes the yield of the drag during a fight with fish. A good drag is key on any reel. The machined handle is solid, reducing flex. All the power is put into the reel when cranking. Great features in a low-cost workhorse reel. Making the reel, a good value for the price.
Lews is best known for its bass tackle. The spinning reels under $100 are good all-around reels. These reels have ten bearings and other features other reels lack. Anglers that have not considered the Lews brand need to check out a few. The performance, quality, and the price is competitive with any reel on the market.
Lew’s Mach 2 Spinning Reels
An all-purpose reel for anglers of all abilities. The reel has ten bearings providing smooth support in all the key areas. The aluminum body side plate is light and sturdy. Lew’s Dura-max drag delivers strong and smooth performance. A brass pinion gear and stainless steel shaft handle hard cranking. The knurled aluminum spool is braid ready. A C 40 carbon rotor reducing the weight.
- Smooth-rolling 10-bearing system with Zero Reverse
- Aluminum body and sideplate keeps it light and strong
- DuraMax drag system delivers strong, smooth pressure
- C40 carbon skeletal speed rotor with aluminum bail wire
- S-curve oscillation system
- Solid brass pinion gear and stainless steel main shaft
- Double-anodized, knurled aluminum spool
- Speed Lube for smooth, unfailing performance
- Adjusts for right- or left-hand retrieve
The sizes go from 100 to 400, Lews drops a zero on sizes. The drag strength is at or above industry standards. Achieved through an over-sized multi-disc system. The reel has a fold-down handle for storage.
Lew’s Speed Spin
Another all-purpose reel for anglers on a tight budget. The reel does lack a braid ready spool but has the same features otherwise. The reel has ten bearings, graphite rotor, and aluminum body as the Mach 2. Plus the drag and sizes are a match.
- Rugged, lightweight graphite body
- Skeletal graphite rotor with aluminum bail
- Double-anodized aluminum spool
- Fold-down aluminum handle with Combat Grip
- Premium 10-bearing system
- 9 ball bearings plus 1 Zero Reverse roller bearing
- Smooth, reliable over-sized multi-disc drag
- Speed Lube all-weather treatment
The difference between the two Lew’s reels is a matter of convenience. This one needs backing placed on first before using braid. Also, the reel has a 20% lower line capacity. This does affect casting distance.
Penn is a workhorse line of reels. Design by a leader in the saltwater tackle. There reels although a little heavier withstand heavier use and sometimes abuse. Anglers wanting a bigger reel, Penn is the answer. Their sizes go up to Size 6000 on the Fierce II and 8000 on the Fierce III. The reels have a drag to match the size also.
Penn Fierce III Spinning Reel
The Fierce III delivers saltwater performance at modest prices. A full metal body and side plate handle all the stress a fish can inflict on the reel. A braid ready spool with line capacity rings. The carbon fiber drag is designed to handle hard-charging fish. The Techno balanced rotor gives a good feel when retrieving lures.
- Full Metal Body and side plates
- Techno-Balanced graphite rotor
- Heavy-duty aluminum bail wire
- Braid-ready spool with line capacity rings
- 4+1 stainless steel bearing system
- Instant anti-reverse
- HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers
- Incredible value
This reel comes in standard and live liner models.
Sizes available are 2500 to 8000 for medium to extra heavy fishing set-ups. Don’t like baitcasters and fish for big cats, give the Fierce III a try. The drag strength will handle the catfish or bigger fish easily.
Pflueger reels are a favorite of anglers seeking a reel with smoothness. Their reels have good bearings and more than many other reels. Weight reduction is achieved using magnesium, aluminum, and carbon graphite materials.
Pflueger Supreme Spinning Reel
A light and smooth reel. The body, rotor and side plates are magnesium. A braid ready aluminum spool with porting to reduce weight. Solid aluminum bail wire for strength. Also, the reel has two ratios for angler wanting more speed. The reel is approved for saltwater use. A plus for anglers living near the coasts.
- 8 stainless steel ball bearings
- On/Off instant anti-reverse bearing
- Ultra-lightweight magnesium body, rotor, and side plate
- Carbon-inlay drag design with multi-disc system
- Machined, ported, and double-anodized, braid-ready aluminum spool
- Solid aluminum bail wire
- Approved for use in saltwater
- Sure-click bail
- Anti-twist titanium line roller
The drag is lighter than many other reels. But the quality is superior using the carbon inlay multi-disc system. The reel uses a titanium line roller to reduce line twist. An audible click lets you know when the bail is opened completely. This reel is good for trout and finesse fishing tactics because of the smooth retrieve.
Pflueger President XT
One of the best values on the market. President XT uses aluminum parts to reduce weight. A 9+1 bearing system for durability and smooth operation. The sealed drag prevents dirt and other contamination from getting in. This keeps the drag smooth. The braid ready spool does not need backing used. Tie the braid directly to the spool.
- Light and smooth
- Extreme comfort and balance
- Aluminum main shaft is 30% lighter than stainless steel
- Aluminum pinion gear weighs 60% less than brass
- Strong carbon handle is 21% lighter than aluminum
- Corrosion-resistant stainless steel ball bearings
- Instant anti-reverse
- Smooth, reliable sealed drag system
- Braid-ready spool
The use of graphite and aluminum offer lightweight and strength. A graphite handle with rubber cork knob. You can grip the knob better, even in wet conditions. The lightweight and smooth performance make this reel a popular choice. Among all levels of fisherman.
A lower-cost model of the XT version. It comes with a different handle. The reel uses heavier materials for a few components. This increases the weight to be higher than the XT. The reel will perform the same but the weight will be noticeable. Fishing long hours more weight leads to hand and arm fatigue.
- Lightweight graphite body
- Corrosion-resistant stainless steel main shaft and components
- 9 stainless steel ball bearings (Model PRESSP20 has 6)
- 1 instant anti-reverse bearing
- Machined, ported, double-anodized aluminum spool
- Braid-ready spool
- Slow oscillation gearing
- Smooth multi-disc drag
- Solid aluminum bail wire
- Soft touch knob
- On/off anti-reverse
- Converts to left- or right-hand retrieve
The President has the same drag, bearings, rotor, and spool design as the other models. The slow oscillation provides a better line lay. A good choice for anglers on a tight budget, but is heavier as a downside of the reel.
Anyone asking an experienced angler what reel to buy. Will find Shimano as one mentioned. Shimano is one of the largest fishing product manufacturers in the world. They know what anglers look for and want in the tackle. The spinning reels under $100 is not an exception.
The Sahara is a highly recommended reel. Anglers owning the reel praise the reel as good performing and at a nice price. The reel features graphite frame, rotor, and side plate. Cold forged gearing is going to last. The bearings although fewer do the job. Shimano uses fewer bearings and does not have any problems. The bearings are of a higher quality.
- Smooth power at a great price
- Unparalleled durability and performance
- X-Ship pinion gear support system
- Premium Hagane cold-forged gearing
- Graphite frame, rotor, and sideplate
- 5-bearing (4+1) system
The drag ranges from 7-24 lbs. depending on the size of the reel. The sizes range from a 500 for panfish or trout to a 5000 for large fish. There is a size for many fishing applications. Walleye anglers will like the 3000 and bass use the 4000 sizes. The 3000 is the in-between model for over-all freshwater angling.
Shimano Sedona FI
Anglers wanting more options from Shimano have the Sedona. The reel has more sizes than the Sahara. A Sedona has the cold-forged gearing also. The reel has 3 ratios spread out in the sizes. You can choose a model with high line retrieval rates or one slower. The reel will fit many presentations with lures.
- Significantly upgraded performance, affordable price
- Lighter, stronger, faster, and more durable than ever
- Lighter weight G-Free body construction
- Super-lightweight Magnumlite rotor
- Cold-forged Hagane gears for ultimate durability
- Higher gear ratios (except 1000 size)
- Increased drag power (except 1000 size)
- Smooth, trouble-free 3+1 ball bearing system
The drags match the size of the reels well. They also operate smoothly preventing lost fish. The reel is an exceptional performing reel in the price range. But is heavier than many other reels the same size.
Spinning reels under $100 are common but only specific reels are of higher quality. The materials affect performance and quality. Graphite bodies and parts are lighter. Metal is sturdier and preferred for heavier fishing. An angler needs to think about how they fish and match the reel to the use.