How many times have you heard that the more expensive the reel, the higher the quality? This could not be further from the truth – innovations in technology and a competitive market have resulted in excellent quality spinning reels that don’t empty your wallet.
The truth is that you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a great spinning reel – in this article, we will prove that to you by telling you about the best spinning reels under 100 dollars.
In order to help you make an informed decision, we are going to break down the pros and cons of each model so you can determine which reel suits your particular requirements. We have also included a section on how to pick a spinning reel and what to look for when shopping for one. Read on to find out more!
Quick Overview – Top 10 Best Spinning Reels under $100
- KastKing Centron Spinning Reel – High-quality reel for freshwater fishing.
- KastKing Valiant Eagle Series Spinning Reel – Lightweight and durable reel.
- Daiwa BG Spinning Reel – A reel that is both smooth and durable.
- RUNCL Titan II Spinning Reel – Excellent drag with high-quality components.
- RUNCL Roraima Spinning Reel – A reel with excellent retrieval that eliminates fatigue.
- KastKing Megatron Spinning Reel – High powered and aesthetically pleasing reel.
- Okuma Avenger Spinning Reel – A lightweight reel perfect for beginners.
- Pflueger President Spinning Reel – A smooth retrieval reel perfect for freshwater fishing.
- Penn Battle II Spinning Reel – Professional and durable reel.
- Sougayilang Spinning Fishing Reel – High-quality reel on a budget.
Best Spinning Reels under 100 Dollar Reviews
You don’t have to break the bank to get a high-quality spinning reel – we’ve got a list that can prove that. We’ve broken down our top picks for best spinning reel under $100, from pros and cons to suitability to the buyer.
1 KastKing Centron Spinning Reel – High-quality Reel for Freshwater Fishing
The Centron 500 is a graphite and aluminum spinning reel that is ideal for lightweight fishing and ice fishing. Since it is lightweight as well as ensures smooth retrieval, it is a great reel for those looking for a comfortable experience.
The left/right interchangeable handle design takes the strain off anyone’s wrist which is useful for those who stay out on the water for long periods of time.
The reel is also lightweight which minimizes fatigue and strain. Not to mention, the left/right handle design makes the reel more inclusive, since left-handed people can also use it.
The reel is made out of materials that will last. It has a hardened metal main shaft, high tensile strength, a mesh drive gear, a power launch lip, and precision machined pinion gear.
It comes with stainless steel ball bearings ensuring smoothness. The anodized aluminum construction makes it durable. However, it should be noted that the ball bearings are not sealed for protection which may not ensure durability when it comes to saltwater fishing.
The drag system is excellent with the drag going up to 20 lbs. With 10 ball bearings, it will be very smooth. It also has an anti-reverse for increased smoothness and internal grooves for lube retention.
Why We Like It
Being one of the most affordable reels on this list, it does not compromise on quality. It has a lightweight design with plenty of drag and is made out of high-quality materials to ensure durability.
This is an excellent choice, especially if you’re just starting out and don’t want to invest too much in a reel.
However, that does not mean that intermediate users cannot benefit from it. It isn’t just excellent for the price – it’s excellent in general. However, advanced users may want something with more power, especially if they are going after bigger fish with more fighting power.
- Very affordable
- Lightweight & Durable
- High-quality materials
- Right and left hand interchangeability
- The ball bearings are not protected
- Not suitable for saltwater fishing
This is definitely a spinning reel we would recommend to beginners, since it is not only affordable but also high-quality. It provides good value for money since it provides both functionality and durability.
2 KastKing Valiant Eagle Series Spinning Reel – Lightweight and Durable Reel
The Valiant Eagle spinning well is a graphite reel with an extremely durable body. Despite this, it remains lightweight and provides a powerful drag with its strong carbon drag system.
The lightweight of the reel reduces strain especially when being used for long periods of time. It also has a light EVA handle knob which is especially comfortable and provides extra control. Additionally, the ball bearings ensure a smooth experience.
With anodized aircraft aluminum, this reel is very durable. The anodized aircraft aluminum combined with the shielded ball bearings makes it suitable for saltwater fishing as well.
The reel has a stabilizer rod, a waterproof drag system, and an expanded pinion system to maximize strength and durability.
This reel boasts an expanded pinion design and a brain line-ready spool. This ensures a great catching experience. The ball bearings also assure the user of the smoothness when fighting against the fish. It also boasts a 6.2:1 gear ratio for speed and 22 lbs of fighting power.
Why We Like It
Because of its anodized nature and shielded ball bearings, the reel is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. We love this versatility that it offers within its price range.
Its strength, durability, and versatility make it a great reel for all users, whether they are beginners or advanced fishermen.
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Lightweight yet durable
- High-quality with great fighting power
- 10+1 shielded ball bearings provide smoothness
- Lightweight ergonomic handle
- On the more expensive side
This reel, although a little more expensive than others on this list, is excellent. It’s suitable for both saltwater and freshwater fishing has great fighting power, and does not compromise quality or appearance. It can be perfect for both amateurs as well as professionals and provides good value for the money.
3 Daiwa BG Spinning Reel – A Reel That Is Both Smooth and Durable
The Daiwa BG spinning reel is perfect for saltwater since it is durable and anti-corrosive. In addition to being anodized, it also brags a waterproof drag system.
This reel is not as lightweight at some of the other reels on this list and weighs almost 2 lbs. As such, it may cause strain and fatigue when fishing for long periods of time.
However, with 6 ball bearings, it provides smoothness in both casting and retrieval.
With its anodized, machine aluminum cover, this reel is strong, scratch-proof, and non-corrosive. With a solid screw-in handle, high-quality ball bearings, and an aluminum ABS spool, this reel excels when it comes to durability.
There’s a reason this reel is popular, despite its relatively high price tag – it outperforms almost every other reel on this list.
Its oversized gear makes it extremely powerful, provides great fighting power, and maximizes control. With its ABS spool and waterproof drag, it’s one of the most effective spinning reels out there, and it’s no wonder that this is an exceptional reel.
Why We Like It
Since this reel is versatile, being great for beginners as well as advanced anglers, it is also versatile in terms of location, since it is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater. It provides control and power, making it a great choice for those who can afford it.
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Durable, water-resistant, anti-corrosion
- Smooth casting and retrieval
- Suitable for saltwater fishing
- Lots of control
- Great fighting power (suitable for larger fish as well)
- Suits beginners and advanced users
- Relatively expensive
- Not lightweight like the rest of the reels on this list
Although the Daiwa BG Reel isn’t as lightweight as other models, it has excellent power with 33 lbs. drag and a solid screw-in handle.
It is extremely durable, can be used in saltwater, and is suitable for professionals as well as amateurs. We do recommend it to anyone who does not mind the price tag.
4 RUNCL Titan II Spinning Reel – Excellent Drag With High-Quality Components
RUNCL Titan II is affordable as well as high-quality. With its full metal body and special protection feature for the main body, rotor, and spool, it is a durable reel that will last for years.
With 9+1 shielded stainless steel bearings, this reel ensures smooth casting and retrieval. It also has a metal braid grip and prevents slipping.
With a two-color, anodized full metal body, the Titan II is extremely durable. The rotor is protected by phosphate coating to prevent wear and tear. A 168-hour salt mist test ensures durability in saltwater and effectively protects against saltwater corrosion.
The bearings are also shielded stainless steel. Furthermore, the reel has solid brass pinion gears as well as a strengthened aluminum drivetrain.
Protection for the main body, spool, and the rotor is guaranteed, and the signature shield system protects against water, sand, and dirt.
The Titan II ensures a balanced performance with its smoothness from the stainless steel shield bearings and the strong, precision solid brass pinion gears. There is also a multi-disc carbon drag system which goes up to 44 lbs, making it excellent for larger catches.
Why We Like It
One of the main reasons this is such an excellent option is because it provides professional-level equipment at an extremely reasonable price.
It’s far from the most expensive item on the list and yet keeps up with its smooth performance, high durability, and 44 lbs fighting power.
- Extremely durable
- Suitable for saltwater fishing
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Amazing quality at an affordable price
- The reel is not ideal for heavier bait
For what it’s offering, RUNCL would be justified in charging a lot more for the Titan II. It delivers a great performance at a very affordable price.
5 RUNCL Roraima Spinning Reel – Reel with Excellent Retrieval That Eliminates Fatigue
In addition to being one of the most affordable reels on this list, it is also one of the most comfortable with its lightweight body, ergonomic handle, and smooth retrieval.
With its ergonomic handle and oversized EVA knob, this reel is lightweight and comfortable to hold which is especially useful when out on the water for longer periods of time.
The ball bearings make for smooth retrieval. The metal braid grip is also great since it ensures no slipping and keeps hands comfortable.
The reel also features a left/right retrieve, making it inclusionary for left-handed users, and reducing strain on the wrist by allowing the capability to shift weight.
The solid pinion gear and the stainless steel main shaft make sure that the reel is strong and durable. Additionally, it is equipped with a CNC-machined aluminum alloy spool.
The CNC-machined aluminum alloy spool is especially useful since it ensures that the fishing line is spread properly and minimizes line twist. This results in more effortless casting. The triple-disc drag system boasts drag up to 17.5 lbs. which makes it ideal for larger catches.
Why We Like It
One of the most affordable options on this list, the reel still manages to be high-quality and delivers a great performance. Despite being lightweight, it is durable, powerful, and boasts drag up to 17.5 lbs.
- Affordable & Lightweight
- Smooth & Durable
- Ergonomic handle
- Easy grip
- Precise ball bearings
- Right and left-hand retrieval
- Works well in saltwater
- Some users have reported difficulties with the anti-reverse mechanism
It’s a great product for the price. With excellent retrieval, durability, and an ergonomic handle, this should be great for those starting out.
6 KastKing Megatron Spinning Reel – High-Powered and Aesthetically Pleasing Reel
A mid-range reel made of aluminum and graphite, the Megatron is also suitable for both right and left-handed anglers and brags impressive drag power.
With graphite body panels and rotor, the reel is lightweight and thus, prevents fatigue when on the water for long periods of time. The ball bearings ensure a smooth performance. The grip is also strong, and prevents slippage, making it more comfortable.
The aerospace aluminum alloy skeletal frame is extremely strong. The main drive gear is made of zinc alloy and the pinion gear is made from solid brass.
Both are built to ensure maintenance against tough conditions. The double-shielded stainless steel ball bearings are safe from corrosion in saltwater.
With the precision-machined zinc alloy main gear and brass pinion gear, the user is guaranteed a smooth performance.
The design also boasts an anti-reverse along with 7 stainless steel ball bearings, which function well in both freshwater and saltwater. The triple-disc, carbon drag boasts up to 39.5 lbs of drag. The instant anti-reverse also results in quick hooksets.
Why We Like It
The geometrical, bionic design of the Megatron is not only attractive but also helps reduce weight while maintaining strength. Boasting over 30 lbs of drag, it’s a great investment for beginners and pros alike.
- Suitable for freshwater and saltwater
- Smoothness & Lightweight
- Great fighting power, over 30 lbs of drag
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Very durable with Strong grip
- More expensive than other similar options
The reel offers a lot for its price and is an affordable option for those who want high quality on a low budget.
7 Okuma Avenger Spinning Reel – A Lightweight Reel Perfect for Beginners
A mid-range reel used by various professionals, this is a high-quality and lightweight reel that caters to both beginners and advanced anglers.
The rotor equalizing system gets rid of spool wobble, and results in great alignments and smoother cranking. The oil-soaked washers also result in smoothness. The graphite body and rotor result in a lightweight design, which reduces fatigue and wrist strain.
The retrieve is also reversible and can be switched between hands.
The precision gearing system decreases friction and results in longer line life. The cyclonic airflow decreases air around the rotor, making the drying time faster and minimizing corrosion. The graphite body and rotor also ensure a longer lifespan, compared to an aluminum body.
The gearing system ensures increased distance and greater accuracy. The quick-set anti-reverse also makes sure for great hooks, and the flow roller system reduces line twists.
Why We Like It
The Avenger is great for both freshwater and saltwater fishing and is quite strong and durable. It is also smooth, lightweight, and suitable for left and right-handed folks, making it a great option for beginners and intermediate anglers.
- Lightweight graphite body
- Anti-corrosion & Smoothness
- Suitable for freshwater as well as saltwater
- Right and left-handed retrieve
- Contains some plastic parts which may not be as durable
- The spool is not braid ready
- Low gear ratio
Lightweight and versatile, this reel is an excellent find at an affordable price. With reversible retrieve and anti-corrosion properties, it seems to be a smart investment.
Although a great buy, this is suitable for beginners and intermediate anglers. Advanced anglers may not be happy with this reel, and should consider opting for other reels on this list.
8 Pflueger President Spinning Reel – Perfect for Freshwater Fishing
One of the most lubricated and smooth reels, Pflueger’s President reel is comfortable without compromising on durability and functioning.
With a graphite body and motor, the reel is lightweight, and therefore, will not cause fatigue when on the water for long periods of time. The 10 ball bearing system also makes sure that the retrieve is smooth. The oil felt drag also provides consistent drag pressure.
The soft-touch ergonomic knob is ideal for grip as well as less strain. Both right and left-hand retrieve are available.
The stainless steel ball bearings are corrosion-resistant, ensuring durability. The graphite body also makes this reel durable.
The bail is made of heavy-duty aluminum which should hold up well. The oil felt rag also makes it corrosion resistant. The handle is aircraft-grade aluminum and is very durable.
The sealed drag systems are perpetually lubricated, and thus, smooth. Slow oscillation gearing also minimizes line twist and improves line lay. The ball bearing system also ensures smoothness.
Why We Like It
This is a great reel for freshwater fishing and is excellent when it comes to smoothness and durability. Lightweight, with an ergonomic knob, it also keeps comfort in mind.
- Lightweight and Smooth
- Right and left-hand retrieve
- Durable and Affordable
- The bearing system is not sealed
While this would be great for freshwater fishing, it is not ideal for saltwater fishing since the bearing system is not sealed. That being said, the bearings are anti-corrosion and users have said they are fine if rinsed after saltwater use.
9 Penn Battle II Spinning Reel – Professional and Durable Reel
A reel suitable for professional anglers, the Penn Battle II is an exceptionally strong reel which is suitable for bringing in large fish.
The rubber knob makes for easy grip and ensures comfort even after a long time on the water. The retrieve is also extremely smooth.
With a full metal body, side plate, and rotor, as well as heavy-duty aluminum bail wire, this reel is very durable. The aluminum wire ensures that it will not warp quickly.
Because of its sturdiness, it is suitable for large fish because it does not flex under the pressure. The carbon fiber drag washers also extend the lifespan of the reel. The sealed stainless steel bearings also guard against corrosion.
With 5 stainless steel ball bearings, the cranking is smooth, and the reel has an instant anti-reverse bearing. The HT 100 carbon fiber drag system also ensures powerful drag without compromising on smoothness.
The instant anti-reverse also helps with back play. Drag goes up to 30 lbs, making it great for fighting power.
Why We Like It
Unlike other reels, the Penn Battle II has line capacity rings, which are very useful. It can serve beginners as well as professionals, making it extremely versatile, and is great for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.
- Marked spool capacity
- Sturdy build and durable
- Smooth drag system
- Drag up to 30 lbs & Versatile
- Anti-corrosion ball bearings
- Works in saltwater and freshwater
- Expensive (the most expensive product on this list)
- Not lightweight like other products on the list
One of the best options out there for beginners as well as professionals, this reel is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.
It is important to note that although this is the most expensive item on this list, it is still affordable compared to other reels of the same quality.
10 Sougayilang DK5000 Spinning Fishing Reel – A High-Quality Reel On a Budget
Although this reel is extremely affordable, it does not compromise on quality, and comfort and great functioning in freshwater as well as in saltwater.
The retrieval is right/left interchangeable, reducing strain and fatigue. The CNC machine cut handle is also collapsible for convenience. With 11 ball bearings, the performance is very smooth.
The reel is lightweight and ergonomically designed, minimizing fatigue after long periods of time on the water.
The durable and strong drag knob is corrosion resistant, as are the ball bearings. The metal spool line is also strong, and not easily warped. The metal body is also corrosion-resistant and is a sturdy build.
The dynamic rotor and ultra-thin streamlined body along with the Superior Drag System make sure that the reel has great stopping power.
The mesh drive gear and precision machined pinion gear also increase fish fighting power. The carbon drag system also makes sure to ensure smoothness so there are no line break-offs when catching a fish.
Why We Like It
Not only is this reel affordable, but it is also suitable for many different types of fishing, including shore fishing and pier fishing. In addition to its versatility, it is corrosion resistant and very durable, making for an excellent buy.
- Left/right interchangeable retrieval
- Freshwater and saltwater friendly
- Affordable and Versatile
- The fishing rod is not included in the set
This reel is one of the lowest-priced on this list, making it extremely affordable. However, despite being low-priced, it does not compromise on quality.
Being corrosion-resistant, it is great for both freshwater and saltwater fishing, and is versatile, suitable for both beginners and advanced anglers since it is capable of catching fish of varying sizes because of the strong drag.
How to Pick the Perfect Fishing Reel
When going fishing, it is important to know what equipment you’re dealing with, and what kind of fishing reel is suitable for your unique needs. Fishing reels can be categorized into three main types:
- Baitcast reels
- Spincast reels
- Spinning reels
“All three have their advantages and disadvantages, but in this manual, we will focus on spinning reels. Material Choice”
Reels can be made of materials such as aluminum, graphite, or a combination of the two. Both materials have pros and cons – aluminum reels are stronger and have less flex, but graphite reels are considerably lighter.
For those who do not want to put too much strain on their wrists, or those who spend a lot of time on the water, graphite reels could be a better choice.
However, weight, strength, and flex are not the only determining factors when it comes to choosing material – your location also plays a role in this.
Saltwater fishing can benefit from graphite reels since these are corrosion-resistant. The highest quality freshwater reels, on the other hand, are usually made of aluminum.
Reel size corresponds to fishing line size – the lighter the line, the smaller the size of the reel. This is made simple by checking the line capacity information on the reel, which states the middle line capacity.
A 4:1 gear ratio is considered slow, a 5:1 gear ratio is considered medium, and a 6:1 gear ratio is considered fast. This depends on the style of fishing one does.
For those only buying a single reel, a medium speed (5:1) is a good option. High and low-speed reels are good additions for those who can afford them since they provide more variety.
The drag is used to apply pressure to a hooked fish, and to let out the line. If the drag is not smooth, the line can break and the fish can be lost. Thus, reels should have a smooth, high-quality drag, which pulls out steadily at different tensions.
Spinning reels have two drag systems: front and rear. Front drags have the advantage of higher durability and performance, while rear drags are easier to access. However, rear drags are not optimal when battling large, fighting fish.
Innovation in this field in the sealed drag system, which protects the drag system against exposure to the elements, and thus, against slippage and mechanical problems. Waterproof sealed, drag systems are excellent for the durability of the reel.fac1
In spinning reels, ball bearings ensure support, smoothness, and stability. A rule of thumb is the more the bearings, the smoother the reel will be.
Stainless steel bearings are preferable to brushings because of the increase in control and durability. Ensure that your reel has at least 4 ball bearings.
Anti-reverse handles are essential to the perfect spinning reel since they keep the handle from spinning backward, and result in stronger and more accurate hook sets.
Best Spinning Reels under 100 (FAQs)
Even when being specific with the various aspects of the spinning wheel, some buyers do still have questions about the importance of some features, and why some features are chosen above others. We have answered the most commonly asked questions below:
✅ Why should I choose spinning reels?
Spinning reels are the simplest to use and control. They have an open-faced design and are easy to cast. Not only do they cast easily, but they also cast further, and are much more accurate than spin-casting reels.
However, this does result in them being more expensive than spin-casting reels. Spinning reels also have an excellent line capacity, but perform better with lighter lines instead of heavier ones. The reel is mounted under the rod, resulting in the rod feeling more balanced.
This is also useful since the user does not have to strain their wrist to keep the reel in position, as gravity takes care of this for them. The handle is commonly found on the left instead of the right-hand side.
Although spinning reels are excellent for intermediate anglers, beginners can also opt for them. Not only do they offer more accuracy and better distance, they can be mastered quickly with enough practice.
✅ Why are spools important?
Spools are important for smoothness, as well as for casting distance, and are usually made of anodized aluminum or graphite. While graphite is lightweight, aluminum spools are stronger and more rigid under pressure.
✅ Do you have to maintain a spinning reel?
The simple answer is yes. You’ve spent money on your spinning reel, and it makes sense to make sure it stays in good condition, especially so you can perform your best on the water. This does not have to be complicated.
You can take some simple steps to make sure that your reel is well taken care of. After every fishing trip, it is best to clean your reel with some freshwater. A simple spray of water, followed by wiping the reel down should do the trick. Oil can also be added to the spinning mechanism, bail roller, and the part where the spool was.
Now that you’ve read through what to look for, and what makes a good spinning reel, we hope it helps you make the right decision.
In our opinion, a great option to go for is the Penn Battle II Spinning Reel. Because of its durability, versatility, and performance, we believe it’s the perfect option for both beginners and professionals. However, since this is priced high, a budget option that is great is the Sougayliang DK5000 Spinning Fishing Reel.
Although it is a fraction of the cost, it provides comfort, is durable, and functions with high power. It is also saltwater and freshwater friendly, and suitable for beginners as well as advanced anglers, making it an excellent budget option.
This concludes our picks for the best spinning reels under 100, and no matter which of our finalists you choose, you can be assured that you will be investing in high-quality gear that is sure to last you a long time.
Last update on 2020-10-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API