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10 Best Deep Sea Fishing Reels In 2020 [Reviews & Buying Guide]

best deep sea fishing reels

Deep-sea fishing can be fun and interesting. However, with the wrong tools, you may find this activity quite tricky. Plus, nothing makes you more disappointed, like losing a big catch simply because a part of your fishing tool is defective.

Fishing reels are a vital part of the fishing equipment and they can come in different types. The type you choose should depend on your preferred fishing technique or the type of fish you are interested in catching. 

A good fishing reel will make it easier for you to retrieve your line from the depths. Since the best deep sea fishing reels are made of corrosion-resistant materials, you will be sure to obtain a strong, durable, and efficient fishing tool if you invest in a good one.  Read on to find out which model potentially suits you the most.

best value

  • Very smooth drag without much stress on the angler's hand
  • Anti-reverse capacity
  • Excellent drag capacity
  • Very versatile and suitable for multiple fishing environment

Premium

  • Stronger than graphite or die-cast aluminum spool - Made of cold-forged aluminum
  • Packed full with top quality features and very effective
  • Offers very fast casting
  • Very Durable

1. Shimano Stradic XG 5000FK – Top Pick

Shimano Stradic XG 5000FK is one of the most recent fishing reel models made in Malaysia. It bears the latest Shimano technological ideology termed Hagane. Hagane refers to increased strength, longevity, reliability, and higher performance in reels.

Its Hagane gear system, coupled with the X-ship feature, provides a highly effective line cast and retrieval system with less stress on the hands.

Shimano Stradic XG 5000FK also features S A-RB bearings that are shielded on both sides to protect bearings against sand and salt interference. The reel also prevents backlash and wind knots. Using cold-forging technology on its aluminum spool enhances its longevity.

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2. Penn Spinfisher V SSV10500 – Best Value

Penn Spinfisher is an excellent spinning reel made with a long-lasting metal body. The reel body is constructed to be watertight so it can perform excellently both in sand and saltwater environments. It features the HT-100 Slammer technology in its drag system, which gives the reel a very smooth drag without much stress on the angler's hand.

It also has a friction trip ramp to keep the bail trip in check as angler cast the line. Its five ball bearings are made of durable stainless steel and have the anti-reverse capacity. This type of reel can cast both monoline and braided lines for deep saltwater fishing.

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3. Shimano Stella Swb Saltwater Spinning Reels – Premium Pick

This is another Shimano reel with a different Absolute Power philosophy backing its construction and functioning. The main technology in this reel is the SW-X concept. Its spool is stronger than graphite or die-cast aluminum spool because it is made of cold-forged aluminum.

The X-Ship technology pairs the bearings along both ends of the pinion gear, giving the needed gear alignment to handle very heavy catch. The steel also features X-Drag which makes anglers to resist force from larger fish that may fight against the reel. It also comes with an anti reverse feature to prevent back-play in roller bearings and make hook setting faster.

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4. Penn 1338215 Battle II 1000

This is another excellent deep water fishing reel from Penn. It is made of durable metals. The ball bearings are resistant to corrosion and fully protected from sand and seawater. The bail wire is made of durable aluminum to ensure durability and efficiency. The reel supports the use of both monoline and braided lines for casting.

It also comes HT Carbon 100 drag technology to give an effortless yet powerful drag system. Its five stainless steel ball bearings offer premium fluid cranking and powerful anti reverse performance.

Where the size of the fish is of great concern, Penn 1338215 Battle II spinning reel should give you the confidence required to secure a huge catch.

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5. KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel

Kastking Rover is a very effective baitcasting reel. It is specially built for fishing at great depths in seas. Its body is now fortified with strong anodized aluminum plates on the sides. It features rugged spool, which is made of brass and offers higher winding efficiency than many other reels.

The Kastking Rover reel comes with legendary Carbon Fibre Drag and the new Cymbal Washer technology. These two together give a drag capacity of about 30 lbs.

The reel also features doubly shielded ball bearings made of steel to improve cranking efficiency. It is a reel meant for anglers who like to improve their fishing skills by using various fishing techniques.

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6. Shimano Saragosa SW

In this reel, the unique Hagane philosophy, X-ship, and Propulsion Line Management technology all come to stand. The line propulsion technology enables anglers to cast lines deeper into seawater without awfully knotted lines or experiencing backlashes.

The X-Ship technology improves gear efficiency and keeps the spool running as smoothly as possible.

The roller bearings are shielded on both sides to prevent the action of sand or saltwater. Rubber gaskets are used in its drag system to give increased protection against corrosive elements.

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7. KastKing Sharky III Spinning Fishing Reel

This spinning reel is highly versatile for catching fish in a variety of saltwater environments. The body is built with high-quality fiber-reinforced graphite exterior to give lasting protection to the entire reel.

Its gear system combines careful alignment of the shaft and the triple carbon fiber disc to provide a highly efficient drag system. Anglers can expect to secure a single fish weighing up to 15 kg without much struggle with the reel.

Kastking Intrusion technology, otherwise referred to as KISS, ensures that no part of the reel is left vulnerable to corrosion. The line capacity on this reel is quite superior to other reels of the same category.

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8. Penn International VISX 2 Speed

This reel comes with its unique quick-shift gear system, which makes angling various sizes of fish possible in deep water. For instance, you can easily switch to the lower gear when retrieving a larger fish caught on the hook.

The greater gear is ideal for catching medium-sized and small fish. Switching between gear is very easy, so you don't have to waste time readjusting the reels. Its external cover is made of durable anodized aluminum. It also features the anti-reverse capacity to ensure that anglers have no issues with the line when casting in deep waters.

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9. Okuma Azores Saltwater Spinning Reel

Okuma is a rising brand in the fishing reel market. The Okuma Azores Z-series is noted for their high levels of efficiency for fishing in saltwater. They all feature the Dual Force Drag technology, which enhances their drag system to measure up to 40 lbs. in drag capacity. The entire body is made of die-cast aluminum. The dual anti-reverse feature keeps the line intact during casting and prevents backlashes.

The spool shaft is made oversized so it can offer better efficiency to the reel. For beginners, this fishing reel will be an excellent option. It is quite cheap yet durable and gives lots of features that beginners and anglers with an intermediate skill level will find useful for improving their skills.

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10. Burning Shark Trolling Reel Saltwater Level Wind Reels

Burning Shark reel is very efficient when using the trolling fishing technique. Its gear ratio makes it quite efficient for use in great depths. Despite being rugged and corrosion-resistant, it is lightweight.

There is a well-position rod clamp on the reel for easy attachment. It also comes in up to three different sizes with slight differences in specifications to suit angler's particular needs.

The drag system is made of Dartainium, which offers a whopping 40 lbs. of drag capacity. The line capacity on the reels is also impressive, as it is sure to reach deeper into the sea. Its aluminum spool ensures that long casts are made faster by spinning very quickly.

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8 Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Deep Sea Fishing Reel

You need to be familiar with the types of fishing reels you can find in the market before you decide which model suits your needs. Below is a brief description of the different reel types. Depending on the skill level of the angler, the preferred fishing technique, and the fishing environment, here are some types of reels you'll find.

If you are looking for the right types of reels to go with your fishing preference, do check out our article on the best fishing reels where we have grouped them into their own specialized categories.

1. Types of reels

Centre-pin wheel reel

If you prefer using the fly fishing technique, this type of reel is for you. Flies are used as baits in fly fishing. These types of reels generally lack a locking mechanism. Once a fish is caught, the angler will use his/her palms to keep the pressure on the spool. This type of reel is suitable for beginners and good for catching small fish.

Spinning reel

The spinning reel has a locking mechanism that controls the length of a line in the water. It also has a pulley system that allows the line to be released and drawn easily. There is also a line guarding mechanism which prevents the line from drifting from the various depth.

Spinning reels are often attached to the end of the rod. It prevents backlashes, which may be difficult for beginners and anglers with intermediate skills to handle. The spinning reel can be used on virtually all rods. The spinning real is good for angling medium to fairly large-sized fish. However, experienced anglers use it to catch bigger fish as it has excellent drag capacity.

Baitcasting reel

This type of reel is usually attached to the top of fishing rods. It has a very long history of being used for fishing. The bearings make line casting easier. Left-handed persons can experience some inconvenience using this reel because its crank handle is often attached to the right.

Spin cast reel (closed face reel)

Backlash occurs when the line tangles after being cast into the deep. This often happens as the spool moves faster than the lure. It is meant for catching small-sized fish using very light baits. It combines the characteristics of both spinning and baitcasting reels.

The only drawback with this reel is that users may find the lines tangling. Fixing this issue requires dismantling the reel, which can be a hard task for some anglers, especially those who have lesser fishing experience. However, this kind of reel is ideal to begin with, especially for beginners and children. Here is a list of the best closed face reel in the market today.

2. Corrosion resistance

One serious challenge with salt water is that it easily leads to the corrosion of fishing reels. The bearings and gear ratio of some reels may reduce drastically as seawater gets corrosion. You need to be sure that the reel you want to buy is made of corrosion-resistant material.

This will help you save money in the long run. Also, you won’t have to live with the disappointment and inconvenience, using a defective fishing reel.

3. Line capacity

If you must fish in the deep, you need to be sure that your line can reach as deep as possible without hassles. Using a fishing reel that can only support a line of fewer than 200 yards is quite inadequate for deep-sea fishing. You should go for fishing reels that have line capacity ranging from 200 yards and above.

4. The efficiency of gear ratio

You want to have fun while catching fish. The gear ratio of the reel determines how powerful the reel is. It determines how many times you have to turn the handle to cast a particular length of the line.

Some fishing reels have two adjustable gear systems. It is advisable to use the one with a higher gear ratio when retrieving small and medium-sized fish. The one with a lower gear ratio will be ideal for retrieving large fish. If you want to choose reels that have a single gear system, choose those that have a gear ratio between 4.9 and 5.1.

5. Ball bearings

Ball bearings reduce friction on the line and make it easier to cast or retrieve the line. Many deep-sea fishing reels come with ball bearings ranging from 2 to 6. Most decent fishing reels have five ball bearings.

However, reels with lesser the ball bearings can be more suitable for angling larger fish depending on how the bearings are aligned in the reel. A deep-sea fishing reel having more than six ball bearings is good enough to handle very large-sized fish. Those having 3 to 6 ball bearings are good enough for medium and large-sized fish.

6. Capacity for braided lines

Anglers may prefer to use braided lines on their reels instead of monolines. A braided line is considered stronger and more effective for angling larger fish in deep waters. Sometimes, braided lines may be used to extend the length of the line.

Getting a reel that supports the use of braided lines can help you take your fishing skill to a higher level and help you become more effective at catching large saltwater fish. The same reel can support the use of both mono and braided lines. It is advisable to go for the one with dual capacity as you will eventually enjoy both functions.

7. Handle and knob

The length of the handle on the fishing reels also matters if you consider the comfort. Shorter handles may make casting and retrieving lines more difficult than necessary. Using a circular knob on a long handle gives the best fishing experience as you spend lesser energy to retrieve the line.

8. Drag capacity

An excellent drag system should give you accurate signals when a fish has been hooked. It should also be rugged enough to help you withstand the force that may result from the big fish struggling with your fishing tool.

A poor drag system may let go of larger fish easily. If you want to avoid the frustrations that may result from losing a big catch, you should get fishing reels with excellent drag capacity.

FINAL VERDICT

Getting the best deep sea fishing reels may require trying the various top-ranking reels until you find the one that suits your style and taste. However, we have some of the best reels based on different criteria.

Shimano Stradic XG 5000FK is our Top Pick from this list. Apart from being relatively cheap, it offers decent features that both professional and less experienced anglers may need to enjoy their catch. For instance, protection against backlash in this reel is powerful. Also, being able to cast up to 200 yards is quite a feat, if we consider its relatively low price.

Our choice for best value goes to Penn Spinfisher V SSV10500. Despite costing a little above $200, it is quite versatile. You can trust this reel to serve you perfectly regardless of your preferred fishing technique.

Premium choice goes to Shimano Stella SWB. It is by far the most powerful reel on this list. Having 14 + 1 ball bearing and drag capacity of up to 55 lbs., but comes at a premium price.


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Adam Parsons

Hi! I'm Adam Parsons - a fishing enthusiast. I have been fishing for more than 15 years now and I still strongly remember that the toughest part for me was during the learning process. Most guides I read during that time was too technical to understand. Therefore, I make sure that everything I post on dream-guides regarding fishing is written well and easy to understand even if you are a newbie.

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