Best Spinning Reels For Bass – 2019 Review Report

One of the most popular methods of scoring a multitude of bass species in North America involves a spinning reel.

These reels are a great pick because they are versatile, easy and fun to use, and above all, effective.

This article will take you through some tips and tricks when it comes to bass fishing spinning reels and some of our favorite picks on the market. 

Comparison Chart of the Best Spinning Reels For Bass

Product

Our Rating

Price

​Penn Battle II

Penn 1338220 Battle II 5000 Spinning Fishing Reel

Best Overall

​Daiwa BG Spinning Reels

Daiwa BG2500 Daiwa BG Saltwater Spinning Reel-BG2500 Medium Light/Heavy - 1 Each

Runner-up

​Shimano Spirex FG Spinning Reel (6.2:1)

Shimano Spirex FG Spinning Reel (6.2:1), Medium Light, 4 Pounds/140 Yards

Best for the Money

​Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 4000 XG FB

Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 4000 XG FB Spinning Fishing Reel With Front Drag, STCI44000XGFB

​Abu Garcia Revo SX

Abu Garcia REVO2SX10 Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning, REVO2SX10: 6-Pound/110-Yards, Black, Red

What Size of Spinning Reel is Best for Bass?  

There are a range of spinning reels an angler should choose from when looking to fish for bass. But first, you should identify a few things like having in mind what size bass you will be targeting and the weight you’d feel comfortable with. 

Generally, you’ll want something between the 10-35 size range. The lower end of that scale tend to be more lightweight, easier on the wrists, and overall better for targeting smaller species of bass and panfish. The higher-end are a little more robust and can handle larger bass, as well as other large fish species. 

How We Chose These Models  

When it comes to bass spinning reels, great picks should have several qualities in common that come together to make an attractive buy. The majority of our favorites list include some, if not all, of the following:

Powerful Drag System

Control is an important aspect of bass fishing. A high-tech drag system can provide this for an angler. In general, the higher the pressure power, the better. However, having a drag that can give at least 10-15 pounds of stopping power is essential. If you’re planning on targeting larger species', you may want to seek out something higher. 

Quality-Made Construction

One of the tell-tale signs of an awesome spinning reel is the material used in construction. If you want something more heavy-duty, try for a reel that uses anodized aluminum. Otherwise, graphite is a solid choice. 

Solid Gear Ratio

The more gears in your spinning reel, the faster your retrieval will be. Having quick retrieval is a nice feature for bass fishing and the standard is usually around 6:1. If you want more cranking power, go lower, if you want more ease of use, go higher. 

Quick Take - The Best Spinning Reels for Bass

These are our recommendations for the best spinning reels for bass:

  1. Penn Battle II
  2. Daiwa BG Spinning Reels
  3. Shimano Spirex FG Spinning Reel (6.2:1)

Review of the Best Spinning Reels for Bass  

We’ve put together a solid list of choices for any bass angler looking for a new spinning reel. Take a look! 

Best Overall:
Penn Battle II

Penn 1338220 Battle II 5000 Spinning Fishing Reel

Pros

  • Smooth Casting
  • Beautiful Design 
  • Thoughtfully-Constructed
  • Sturdy, Powerful Drag System 
  • Created With Very Durable Materials

Cons

  • Very Heavy 
  • Line Capacity May Be Lower Than Advertised
  • Not Comfortable to Use for Long Spans of Time 

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers of the Penn Battle II reel were satisfied with its features overall. Those who purchased noticed many things, mainly focusing on the quality of construction and its smooth, sturdy drag system. Buyers were less enthused by the weight of the reel, which can be hard on the wrists and arms through a day of fishing

Why it Stands Out to Us  

The Penn Battle II earns the top spot on our favorites list for several reasons. The main draw comes from the solid construction— this reel is super-durable and obviously thoughtfully-designed. This is a reel that could easily last season after season.

Who Will Use This Most

The Battle II is a reel that performs exceptionally for jigging. It’s also a good choice for entry-level anglers who want to try their hand at bass fishing for the first time. It’s very reliable, not expensive enough to break the bank, and provides great performance when it comes to big and small fish alike. 

What Could Be Improved and Why?  

The glaring issue that comes up with the Penn Battle II reel is the overall weight of the reel. The full metal body, although durable, is much too heavy to feel comfortable throughout a longer fishing trip. If Penn could incorporate some graphite into the construction of this reel, it would likely result in a more comfortable feel overall. 

Bottom Line

Although this reel may be a little heavy for some anglers, it definitely doesn’t overshadow the overall solid performance and action. The durable materials and construction come together to create an incredible reel choice for novice and expert anglers alike. 

Daiwa BG2500 Daiwa BG Saltwater Spinning Reel-BG2500 Medium Light/Heavy - 1 Each

Pros

  • Attractive Design 
  • Quick and Smooth Retrieval
  • Created with Durable Materials
  • Versatile Action for Different Techniques 
  • Powerful Enough to Handle Bass of All Sizes

Cons

  • Bulky and Weighty
  • Hard to Spool Line  
  • Needs to Be Cleaned Often to Keep in Good Working Order

What Recent Buyers Report

The majority of reviews for the BG spinning reels from Daiwa were super-positive. Those who purchased praised the construction of the reel, focusing on the durability of the materials, which results in the power needed to pull in large bass. Although it does have an attractive design, many users say it is too heavy to be comfortable.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We are pretty big fans of Daiwa and this BG reel was an easy pick for our favorites list. We love that it is not only attractive on the outside, but its also constructed well, making it powerful and reliable overall. One of the main draws of this reel is the super-smooth, quick retrieval, and casting.

Who Will Use This Most

Because this reel is not incredibly expensive, it’s a great pick for anglers who are looking for a more luxury-style reel without spending a fortune. It includes many of the features that an expensive reel would provide and it works just as well. 

What Could Be Improved and Why

Like some of the other reels on our list, the major complaint with the BG reel is the weight. It is very heavy due to the materials and construction, which can be pretty isolating to some anglers. This weight results in an uncomfortable fishing experience at the end of the day. 

Bottom Line

Although this Daiwa reel could be improved in terms of comfort, this issue shouldn’t cause you to overlook the excellent performance it provides on the water. The BG Reel has very attractive features, plus silky casting and retrieval, making it an awesome choice for all bass fishermen. 

Shimano Spirex FG Spinning Reel (6.2:1), Medium Light, 4 Pounds/140 Yards

Pros

  • Smooth Action
  • Very Cool Design
  • Great Value for the Price
  • Smooth-as-Butter Casting
  • Speedy Casting and Retrieval

Cons

  • No Instant Anti-Reverse
  • Clicking Noise on Retrieval 
  • Handle Style is a Little Awkward for Some

What Recent Buyers Report  

Recent buyers of the Shimano Spirex FG were very impressed by this spinning reel’s casting ability. The majority of praise surrounded its silky smooth, long casts, as well as its quick and efficient retrieval. Some users didn’t appreciate the handle design, which came up as a complaint in several reviews. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

We were impressed by this particular Shimano reel’s ability for casting. Some spinning reels don’t allow for desirable length in casting, but the Spirex FG does an incredible job, providing smooth-as-butter action and great control. 

Who Will Use This Most

This is a great choice for anglers who rely on distance-casting to target their desired species of bass. This may be a good option for bank fishing or dock fishing. But overall, we’d recommend this reel to any angler who wants reliable, consistent casting performance. 

What Could Be Improved and Why

The common complaint that runs through many buyer reviews has to do with the style of handle, which some say is awkward and impedes the retrieval process. Though some do say it’s fairly easy to get used to, it is different and may throw you for a loop if you’ve never had a reel with that particular handle style. 

Bottom Line  

Overall, the Spirex FG is a great little reel that comes at an incredible value for anglers on a budget or any angler looking to step up their casting game. It is a smooth operator and an easy recommendation on our part. 

Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 4000 XG FB Spinning Fishing Reel With Front Drag, STCI44000XGFB

Pros

  • Consistent Casting 
  • Corrosion-Resistant
  • Super Small and Light
  • Created With Durable Materials
  • Can Be Used in Salt or Freshwater

Cons

  • No Anti-Reverse
  • May Require Oil Before Using 
  • Doesn’t Have an Automatic Bail

What Recent Buyers Report  

For buyers of the Shimano Stradic, the main praise had to do with the reliable and consistent performance they experienced with the reel in both freshwater and on the ocean. Buyers were impressed with the durable construction and material choices, but many were disappointed by the lack of anti-reverse. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This reel ends up on our bass fishing spinning reel list because of its solid overall performance in a variety of angling settings. We appreciate the consistency of the reel when it comes to casting and retrieval, and we also love the materials used in construction. This is a reel that won’t break after one season.

Who Will Use This Most

Because this reel can be utilized in both fresh and saltwater, we’d recommend it to anglers who need a little more versatility in their angling gear. It has great action for different techniques, so it's a good pick for any angler who wants something consistent and easy to use. 

What Could Be Improved and Why

The Stradic is lacking in some special features that are pretty common in many reels, which causes complaints among buyers. This reel doesn’t feature anti-reverse, which isn’t a huge deal for some anglers, but others claim it is a deal-breaker for them.

Bottom Line  

The Shimano Stradic is a very easy recommendation from us. While it may not be the fanciest product in terms of special features and attributes, it does the job well, providing consistently reliable performance for angling of all styles and techniques. 

Abu Garcia REVO2SX10 Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning, REVO2SX10: 6-Pound/110-Yards, Black, Red

Pros

  • Well-Balanced 
  • Silky Smooth Casting
  • Powerful Drag System
  • Easy to Install Braided Line
  • Constructed With High-Quality Materials

Cons

  • Some Parts Rust Easily 
  • Prone to Wind Knotting
  • Bail is Awkwardly Placed

What Recent Buyers Report  

Abu Garcia is a very popular company among anglers and the reviews for the Revo SX definitely reflect this. Buyers were very pleased with the balance, construction, and special features of this reel. Some were not so happy with certain aspects, including some design elements. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Abu Garcia Revo SX earns a spot on our list because of its value in terms of price and performance. This is, basically, a luxury reel at a middle-of-the-line price point. We’re seriously impressed by its smooth-as-butter casting, its consistent drag system, and awesome construction.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a great reel for beginners because it doesn’t have a ton of special features to figure out, it’s reasonably priced, and it is pretty incredible when it comes to fishing performance. The set up is easy, it’s braided line ready, and can be used for many different bass fishing techniques.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Although there weren’t many complaints in common among anglers when it came to the Revo SX, some did comment on the placement of the bail wire. Those who were unhappy with it complained that it got in the way of casting, resulting in faulty performance.

Bottom Line

Overall, we're impressed with many aspects of the Revo SX from Abu Garcia. It’s a great reel and can be used for fishing for bass of all shapes and sizes. We like that it provides consistent performance and is super easy to operate.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Before jumping into a purchase, the best way to guarantee a solid reel is to consider your own wants and needs for the product. Take a look at your fishing technique and other details of your angling gear to decide on the best spinning reel for you. 

Size of Fish

One of the first and most important aspects to consider is the size of fish you plan to target. If you’re on the hunt for trophy fish, you’ll want to purchase a reel that's on the heavier-duty side of the spectrum. If size isn’t of much importance to you, it’s a good idea to go for something a little smaller that won’t be as tough on your wrists.

Techniques​

Although you can achieve a lot with a spinning reel, some fishing techniques require a more powerful drag, higher gear ratio, etc. Make sure you know what your preferences are before purchasing so you can cater your reel towards your angling style. 

Fishing Line

If your line of choice is a braided line, you probably need a higher line capacity on a spool than someone who uses strictly monofilament. Also, make sure that if you prefer braided line, your reel is considered “braided line ready” to avoid any potential mishaps. 

Conclusion  

Overall, a spinning reel is a great choice for any bass angler looking to step up their fishing game. Remember the important qualities every great spinning reel should possess and you’ll be on your way to angling success. Happy fishing! 

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