Which Fishing Reels Works Best (Buying Guide for Dummies)

A fishing reel does precisely what the name tells you and it is the main element when it comes to fishing. However, these devices are all except simple and easy to choose. You must know that there are quite a lot of factors and types out there.

So, before asking yourself which fishing reels works best, make sure you know how to use one properly. This guide will be providing you with some insight on how to narrow your search based on important factors. You can also check out our reviews and best rated models below.


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Different Types of Fishing Reels

There are a lot of different types available on the market at the moment and each one is specific. It basically means that each type is designed for a different purpose and comes with its own features.

In order to be able to get the best fishing reel units, you must choose the most suitable type. Here we will discuss the most popular types of the fishing reels.

1. Spinning reels

They are precisely what the name tells you. The main difference compared to other reels is in the wire which can be flipped in order to release the line or to lock it in place.

This also makes them look completely different than any other type. 

In addition, these reels are the most common and the oldest of them all. We must add that they are perfect for beginners. You will learn how to use them within minutes and they offer superb results.

2. Baitcasting reels

Here we can see that the main difference is in the lack of line twist. But, the reels of this type are more than just sophisticated and designed for heavy-duty purposes.

They offer impressive accuracy, especially over a longer distance and they are perfect for professional. 

The only drawback you can see is the overall complexity. These fishing reels require some time to master and they are all but simply to use.

Here we can see two sub-types. The first one is rounded reels, which are the best when it comes to holding as much line as possible. They are also very desirable and look modern. We will recommend them for professionals. The second sub-type is reels which are low-profile. They hold less line and they are faster, lighter and more appealing for beginners.

3. Overhead reels

These are more professional reels which come handy if you are planning to use them for offshore fishing.

Obviously, they are different than other types. You can see that the type holds as much line as possible and they are perfect for long distance. And yes, they are heavy-duty models.

4. Fly reels

Fly reels are purpose-made for fly fishing only. They are round, massive and they are basically the same as they were 50 years ago.

The main advantage is the precision. Also, some models are designed for a specific type of fish. You must be good at fixing a fishing reel if you choose this type.

What To Consider When Buying A New Fishing Reel

Now when you know all about the main types, you should know something about the main factors to consider. As we have mentioned, fishing reels are sophisticated and complicated devices, so there are a lot of things to understand before you make your final decision.

1) Comfort

Believe or not, the first factor is the comfort you will get from your new reel. It must meet all your requirements and it must be able to fit perfectly in your hand. After all, you will use a reel for decades and every minute when you go fishing, so comfort is a must.

2) Gear ratio

The next best thing is to consider the gear ratio. Unless you are an engineer, there is no easy way to understand this. However, we will explain it as simply as possible. The gear ratio is basically how many times the spool will rotate after you used the reel’s handle. Slower models have a rating as 5.1.1 meaning that each rotation of the handle will rotate the spool 5.1 time. There are faster models as well, with a rating of 7.1.1.

3) Inches Per Turn

This is a related factor with the previous one. Basically, it means or explains how much of line will be drawn with each handle rotation. More means a higher space and a more appealing result for some users.


This is a factor that can be explained as the difference3 between cheap and expensive, high-end fishing reels. It is based on the amount or number of bearings inside the reel. More of them make the reel more pleasant to use and more durable. Less of them make a reel cheap and with a lower lifespan.

5) Drag

It can be described as the suspension of a car. This literally means that there is some, limited line movement during fishing and especially during battles. It has a huge effect on high-end reels for the big catch.

Who Makes The Best Fishing Reel?

Here are the best or the most popular brands of fishing reels available on the market at the moment. Each one comes with a special set of advantages and specialties.


The US-based company which has been with us since 1881. Of course, the made the first reel back in 1916 and it was a masterpiece. They are still known for making some of the best and the most durable fishing reels in general.

Read the review of one of the top product from Pflueger, ie the Supreme XT.


They are best when it comes to mid-range fishing reels. Each unit is well-made and comes with a high level of attention to details. They are also focused on offering reels which are powerful and accurate.

Read our detailed review here

13 fishing

They can be known as a brand which makes the most futuristic reels. They are advanced and they even look different than any other fishing reel you can possibly find. Professionals who like having something different love this brand.

You can find out more on this brand here.


This brand comes from Japan and they use the latest materials and technologies all in order to make the best and the most suitable fishing reel available on the market. We can add that they are the perfect choice for beginners and professionals at the same time.

Interested? Read our verdict here.


We hope our guide has help you identify which fishing reels works best for you. Before buying one, make sure you have considered the purpose of why you need one first. Then, work your way to find the best brand and model that most fits your style.

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