Spincast reels are often misunderstood in the fishing world, if not forgotten about altogether. Over the years, spincast reels have gained the reputation of a beginner’s weapon, rather than a seasoned angler’s first choice. While spincast reels are perfect for beginners to learn how to fish, they can also be a nice option when you want to throw light tackle. Having a spincast reel ready to go can allow you to change your strategy on the fly with relative ease.
The beauty of a spincast reel is in its utmost simplicity. Spincasters bring you back to your younger years when you were first learning to fish, not worrying about technical specs, just casting a line and reeling it in. A spincast reel is perfect for when you just want to pick up a rod and leisurely fish.
To operate a spincast reel, simply click down with your thumb and the reels throws your line straight from a covered spool. If you buy a quality reel, there is usually zero risks of a tangle, and nothing to worry about other than adjusting the drag on a dial. Once your drag is set, it simply clicks and cast.
Below we’ll look at the 7 best spincast reels you should consider adding to your gear set. When researching spincast reels, there are a few main features to pay attention to the gear ratio, ball bearings, and drag system.
The gear ratio is a number that will be shown, for example as “4.1:1” and represents the number of times the spool turns over in the reel every time you turn the handle. The first number, 4.1, refers to the number of times the spool turns over, and the second number, 1, refers to the number of times you reel in a full rotation. In this example, it would be 4.1 spool turns for every rotation of the handle.
What this number means is the speed at which you can reel in your line. So, the higher the gear ratio, the “faster” the reel is.
The more ball bearings a reel has is directly related to the smoothness of its operation, and the lifespan of the reel. The purpose of bearings is to prevent friction from occurring between the inner workings of the reel. While more bearings are always better, the material that the ball bearings are made from is equally important when it comes to their durability.
The drag on your reel is a brake that slows down how fast your line unspools when you hook a fish. Instead of being able to pull out line by swimming away, the fish will face resistance based on the amount of drag you have applied. Typically spincast reels feature a drag dial on the side of the reel that you can adjust based on the size of fish you expect to catch. The higher the drag, the better equipped the reel is at hauling in a monster fish.
Who Makes the Best Spincast Reels?
Let’s start by identifying the key players in the spincast reel business. The companies that make the most reliable spincasters are Zebco, Pflueger, Daiwa, and Abu Garcia.
Zebco is the most recognized name in the spincast game, having been the original manufacturer of spincaster, and we will undoubtedly be revealing the Zebco spincast reels at the best price.
1. Best High End Spincast Reels
The cream of the crop in the spincast world, this beauty is named the Zebco ZB310BX3 Bullet. It comes equipped with an extra spool of line featuring its Quick-Change spool specialty. The Bullet also features an industry leading dual-bearing ZeroFriction pick-up pin design. Inside of the forged aluminum body with double anodized cover is an incredible 9-bearing system with a continuous anti-reverse clutch. Simply put, the Bullet is the best spincasting reel that money can buy.
2. Best Spincast Reel Under $75
If the Bullet isn’t right for you, the clear cut best spincast reel under 75 dollars is the Zebco Omega ZO3Pro. The Omego Pro was the first seven-bearing spincasting reel of its kind, and continues to be a testament to the durability of the Zebco brand. While the Bullet upped the ante with nine bearings, the Omego Pro stands far above any other spincast reel as far as ball bearings go. The fun doesn’t stop with the bearings, as the Omego Pro is equipped with a triple-cam multi-disc drag system, and a 3X positive pickup system.
Just as you would expect in a high-end spincast reel, the Omego Pro also showcases an auto bait alert, an oscillating spool to fend off any tangles, and an all-metal construction with aircraft-grade aluminum covers.
3. Best Casting Spincast Reels
The award for the best casting spincast reels comes down to the aforementioned Zebco Bullet, and the Zebco 33 Platinum. With an impressive 4.1:1 high-speed gear ratio, ultimately the award goes to the 33 Platinum. The Zebco 33 is a classic reel and this is the best version to date. It features an all-metal design, with five ball bearings and continuous anti-reverse. The 33 comes pre-spooled with 100 yards of 10-pound Cajun line.
4. Best Budget Spincast Reels
Leading the list of the best affordable spincast reels is a well-respected brand in Pflueger, with their Pflueger President Spincast Reel. At less than $40, it’s hard to not buy a few of these reels for the family and call it a day knowing you have a high-quality product that should last throughout the next decade or two.
The President comes with everything you could ask for: a 5-bearing system, dual titanium pins, an instant anti-reverse, and an aluminum core and frame.
5. The Best Spincast Reels for Salt Water
Personally, I would not recommend using a spincast reel on the ocean. These reels are not built for the size or strength of saltwater fish and would be best used just off the shore if used at all.
If you feel like fading my advice and really do want to get a spincaster out on the ocean, the Zebco 808 Saltfisher is the reel to buy. The 808 saltfisher features a quickset with a built-in bite alert, as well as an anti-reverse to keep your line running smoothly. To protect against the elements, the 808 has a corrosion-resistant finish that will keep the reel fishing for years to come.
Truly, though, if you want to fish on saltwater I highly suggest looking into a baitcater or spinning reel.
6. Best Spincast Reels for Bass
The Abumatic 170 Spincast Reel by Abu Garcia is an easy choice as the best spincast reel for bass. The drag is rated for 10 pounds and with a Carbon Matrix drag system, you can always be dialed in no matter what size bass you have on the line. The ultra-smooth Abumatic has four brass ball bearings with a gear ratio of 3.9:1 and comes pre-spooled with Berkley Trilene XL.
When you buy an Abu Garcia you can be confident that detailed thought went into every aspect of the reel. At under $50, you can’t ask for much more.
7. Best Spincast Reels for Trout
Spincast reels can be effective when fishing for trout due to the accuracy gained from their light weight. When quietly approaching trout, it’s nice to know that you have a relatively maintenance free reel that has the ability to place a light bait wherever you need it.
Any of the reels mentioned in this article will be effective against trout, so I’ll take this opportunity to highlight two Daiwa spincast reels: the Goldcast and the Silvercast.
At less than $30, the Daiwa Silvercast is one of the best budget spincast reels on the market. It has a gear ratio of 4.3:1 and comes pre-spooled with 75 yards of 8-pound line. The Silvercast is made from aluminum alloy and is supported by three ball bearings.
The Daiwa Goldcast comes in three different sizes, starting at the size of the Silvercast, with 75 yards of 8-pound line and goes up to 80 yards of 10-pound line, and tops out at 100 yards of 12 pound line. The Goldcast features an oscillating level wind spool to keep your line tangle free. The drag system is multi-disc and there is a selective on/off anti-reverse switch.
Bonus: Best Small Spincast Reels
The Pflueger Trion is the perfect option for those in search of an ultralight spincast reel presenting the best overall value. While compact and lightweight, the Pflueger Trion features a 2-bearing system with stainless steel ball bearings, a high-quality Pflueger Trion Spincast Reel machined aluminum cone, and aircraft grade aluminum handle. Despite its small stature, the Trion also features heavy-duty metal gears and titanium pick-up pins. At less than $30 and only 5.2 ounces, the Pflueger Trion is a high-quality yet affordable option.
What is the Best Line for Spincast Reels?
The best fishing line for spincast reels is almost always monofilament. Typically, most spincast reels cant handle larger diameter line, so mono was always the way to go. While monofilament will still work great in a spincast reel, copolymer will work even better.
The best line for spincast reels, for my money, is KastKing Copolymer Fishing Line. KastKing Copolymer has more stretch than braided line, but less than mono, striking a perfect balance. Most importantly though, KastKing Copolymer has much higher abrasion resistance than monofilament, which is essential given the mechanisms of a spincast reel.
Best Braided Line for Spincast Reels
The best-braided line for spincast reels is going to be a braid that highest the highest abrasion resistance, and the best I’ve found is Reaction Tackle High Performance Braided Fishing Line.