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You’ve probably discovered that there are lots of different options when it comes to spinning reels, which can make it difficult to choose one. What size will you need? And what features might be useful?
There are several things to consider before you settle on a reel, which is why we have put together this guide on how to choose the best spinning reels for bass fishing.
Top Picks: Spinning Reels For Bass Preview
- Shimano Stradic Ci4+
- Abu Garcia Revo Premier
- Daiwa BG Spinning Reel
- Okuma Helios Lightweight
- Lew’s Mach II Speed
- Shimano Spirex FG
- Lew’s Mach Speed
We’ll guide you through the features and help you decide which one might be the right fit for your next bass fishing adventure.
Why Choose A Spinning Reel For Catching Bass?
Easy To Use
Spinning reels are probably known for being easy to use. And that can make them great for catching bass, as they can be easy to cast even if you’re a beginner; unlike baitcasting reels which can often take some time to get used to.
Cast Light Lures
Spinning reels can be ideal if you want to use lightweight lures, as you will probably find that you can cast them longer distances with a spinning reel compared to a baitcasting reel. This can, perhaps, make them better suited to finesse presentations.
It can also be easier to cast under trees and around cover with spinning gear compared to baitcasting gear, which can be helpful if you want to skip tubes into these areas. This can be particularly useful for bass fishing because bass can often be found hiding in these sheltered locations.
One of the things that can make spinning reels easy to use is that they are designed not to create backlash when you’re casting. Baitcasting reels can often cause line backlash if you haven’t quite mastered the casting technique.
This can make spinning reels easier to cast when it’s windy, as baitcasting reels can often struggle in windy conditions.
Left And Right Handed
Unlike most baitcasting reels, spinning reels can often be changed to suit either a right handed or left handed angler simply by switching the position of the handle. This can make it easier, as you can share reels with friends and family and you don’t need to find specific right handed or left handed reels.
What Features Should I Look Out For?
The weight of your reel will often be important because it can affect your comfort. A lighter weight reel will likely be more comfortable to hold and use over a long period. But you may also want to consider the weight of your rod when considering the weight of your reel.
You will probably not want to have an ultra light rod paired with a heavier reel, or this may impact the performance of both your rod and your reel.
You will probably notice that there are many types of materials when it comes to reel construction. Graphite, carbon fiber and aluminum are frequently used materials on spinning reels, with carbon fiber often being lighter than graphite, and graphite usually being lighter than aluminum.
However, aluminum can be a stronger material than graphite, as can carbon fiber. Many spinning reels will often have a corrosion resistant coating that helps to strengthen the material against water damage. If you plan to fish in saltwater, corrosion resistant components will likely be essential.
Ball bearings, and often roller bearings, allow the reel’s moving parts to function smoothly. Generally, the more ball bearings the reel has, the smoother it is likely to be. Yet, this is not always the case, as it can also come down to the materials that are used in the bearings.
If the bearings are corrosion resistant they should make the reel smoother to operate. A lot of bearings will often be made from stainless steel but they can also be shielded or sealed, which can boost their durability and performance, making them less susceptible to corrosion.
Gear ratio is the amount of times the spool spins with each rotation of your handle. So, for example, if you have a gear ratio of 6.2:1, your spool with turn 6.2 times with each single turn of your handle.
Video: Understanding Gear Ratio Of Fishing Reels
A gear ratio of 6.2:1 is usually considered a high speed reel, which can be useful for buzzbaits, for example.
A slow speed reel is usually considered to have a gear ratio of 4:1, which can be useful for jigging.
Medium speed reels will often have a gear ratio of around 5:1, which can be a good option if you’re looking for versatility.
What Size Reel Is Best?
Bass spinning reels can vary in size because of the varying sizes of bass that there are and the type of presentations that can be used to catch them.
A lot of the times, bass spinning reels will be between 1000 (or 10) and 4000 (or 40), with the lower number more often being suited to the smallest bass or the lightest presentations. Also, generally, the lower the number, the lighter in weight the rod will be.
A good all around spinning reel might be around the 2500 size, as this can offer you versatility when it comes to lure presentations, as well as different sizes of bass.
The line you want to use might determine the size of reel you will need, and vice versa. For example, if you want to fish using heavier line, for bigger bass, you may find that a larger size of reel may be more suitable.
Most reels will state their line capacity and this can give you a good idea of whether or not it will be suitable for the size of line you want to use. While you can go one size either way on the stated line capacity, you shouldn’t really use line outside of its recommendations, as this could affect the performance of the reel.
Most of the line capacity ratings are designed for monofilament fishing line, but they can also usually be used with braided line. However, because of the narrower diameter of braid, you will generally be able to get longer line on the spool compared to the monofilament capacity.
What Bait Works Well?
Artificial lures can work well with spinning reels and can be useful when used with finesse techniques, which can be lucrative when bass are not actively feeding or in clear water where they might otherwise be spooked.
Stickbaits, grubs and worms can be ideal in a range of conditions but can be useful when used with spinning reels, either by drop-shotting, shaky head rigging or wacky rigging.
There are also many other types of lures that work well for bass and can be used with spinning reels, including topwater lures, such as frogs.
Video: Giant Bass Caught (with Tiny Frog Lure!)
What Size Braid Should I Use?
Braided fishing line tends to be a lot thinner in diameter than monofilament line, which usually means you can spool more line onto your reel, while maintaining or increasing the pound test strength.
This is because braided line tends to be stronger compared to monofilament of the same diameter.
Many reels will state the braided line capacity in addition to the mono line capacity. The size you should use will usually depend on the size and capacity of your reel. Generally, for a 2500 size reel, a braided line of around 5 to 12 pound test strength might be a good choice, but it will usually depend on the capacity of your reel.
Some braided line will have significantly more strength compared to monofilament line, for example, with some braid being 20 pound test strength but being the same diameter that’s equivalent to a 6 pound mono line.
7 Best Spinning Reels For Bass Fishing
1: Shimano Stradic Ci4+ Spinning Fishing Reel
- Weight: 6.7 ounces
- Gear Ratio: 6.0:1
- Size: 2500
This Shimano Stradic Ci4+ is a lightweight 2500 spinning reel with a gear ratio of 6.0:1. It features a line retrieval rate of 35 inches per turn and has a maximum drag of 20 pounds. It has a durable carbon fiber body with a cold forged aluminum spool, providing added strength.
The reel benefits from having 6 stainless steel S A-RB ball bearings and 1 roller bearing, providing smooth movement and added corrosion resistance.
It also has a Magnumlite Rotor which can make it feel even lighter and is designed to make turning the handle effortless.
As well as the 2500 size, the Ci4+ is also available in sizes from 1000 to 4000, so can be ideal for a range of species and fishing applications.
2: Abu Garcia Revo Premier Spinning Reel
- Weight: 6.5 ounces
- Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
- Size: 20
The Abu Garcia Revo Premier is a size 20 (or 2000) spinning reel that is designed to be lightweight and comfortable to use. It features 11 stainless steel HPCR ball bearings and 1 roller bearing, plus an 11 pound Carbon Matrix drag system, giving smooth performance and operation.
Another feature of this durable spinning reel is the C6 carbon fiber body with carbon rotor and carbon handle.
It also features a machined aluminum spool. To help improve casting, the reel has Rocket Line technology which helps to reduce wind knots and increase casting distance.
The Revo Premier 20 has a line capacity of 120 yards of 8 pound mono line or 175 yards of 8 pound braided line.
3: Daiwa BG Spinning Reel
- Weight: 10.8 ounces
- Gear Ratio: 5.6:1
- Size: 3000
The Daiwa BG 3000 is a durable spinning reel that could be ideal for fishing for bass in open water, as it can allow for longer casting compared to a smaller size of reel.
The Daiwa BG features a 15.4 pound max drag and has a line capacity of 240 yards of 8 pound mono line or 280 yards of 8 pound braid.
The reel benefits from a machined aluminum body that has a black anodized coating to provide added corrosion resistance and prevent scratches.
Another feature of this reel is the lightweight Air Rotor and the large ABS spool which is designed to reduce friction and allow for easier and longer casting.
4: Okuma Helios Lightweight Spinning Reel
- Weight: 7 ounces
- Gear Ratio: 5.0:1
- Size: 30
This Okuma Helios spinning reel is a durable, lightweight reel weighing just 7 ounces.
It features 8 corrosion resistant ball bearings and 1 anti-reverse roller bearing, and is designed to give you the option of using it in either freshwater or saltwater conditions.
The Helios reel has a 13 pound drag and a monofilament line capacity of 240 yards of 6 pound test line.
The 30 (or 3000) size reel can be a good choice if you need a little extra casting distance or if you plan to target larger bass but the reel also comes in sizes 20 and 40 for lighter and heavier weight applications.
5: Lew’s Mach II Speed Spin Reel
- Weight: 8.2 ounces
- Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
- Size: 100
The Lew’s Mach II Speed Spin Reel is a 100 (or 1000) size reel with a line capacity of 120 yards of 6 pound monofilament line.
This can make it a good choice for finesse fishing with lighter lures or for fishing in smaller ponds, where casting distance may be less of an issue. However, it also comes in 200 and 300 sizes.
It features a 9+1 bearing system with double shielded stainless steel ball bearings for smooth functioning and durability.
The reel is crafted with lightweight aluminum with a carbon rotor and a stainless steel bail. The aluminum handle benefits from a Winn Dri-Tac knob, which can be useful in providing grip when your hands or gloves are wet.
6: Shimano Spirex FG Spinning Reel
- Weight: 10.6 ounces
- Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
- Size: 2500
The Shimano Spirex FG spinning reel is a 2500 size reel that can be an ideal size for versatility and could be a good choice for beginners.
It features a gear ratio of 6.2:1 and a maximum drag of 9 pounds, making it ideal for most bass. It can hold 200 yards of 6 pound mono line and has a retrieval rate of 32 inches per crank.
The reel has 5+1 bearings and has a Quick Fire II feature that allows you to cast more easily with just one hand. It is crafted with lightweight graphite in the body, sideplate at rotor and features a cold forged aluminum spool for added strength and durability.
7: Lew’s Mach Speed Spin Reel
- Weight: 9.1 ounces
- Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
- Size: 300
The Mach Speed Spin 300 Reel by Lew’s could be a good all-round bass spinning reel, with a gear ratio of 6.2:1 and a retrieval rate of 32 inches per turn.
It has a line capacity of 145 yards of 10 pound mono line so it could be a good choice if you’re targeting medium to large bass.
It has a 7+1 bearing system with Zero-Reverse technology for smooth performance. The reel also benefits from having a lightweight graphite body and double anodized aluminum spool for durability.
Another feature of this reel is the oversized line roller which is designed to limit line twists, making casting and retrieving easier.
Choosing the best spinning reel for bass fishing doesn’t have to be difficult. Once you can narrow down the type of fishing you want to do and whether you’ll be using light tackle, it can be much easier to choose a reel.
Think about where you plan to fish and the size of bass you plan to target, as this can give you a better idea of the size of reel you might need and whether you’ll need a fast or slow speed retrieval. It can also be useful to consider the weight and durability of the reel.
Do you have a favorite bait for bass fishing with your spinning gear? Tell us about it. And remember to share this guide for others to find their ideal spinning reel.