Spincasting reels were invented in the 1940s. Before that, fishing required a lot of preparation and expenses. So, taking a spincast reel and heading to the waterfront to start your fishing day was definitely a breather in relation to before.
These reels are known for being light, comfortable and straightforward. You press the button, cast, and press it again in order to retrieve your line. It really doesn’t get any simpler than that. For that reason alone spincast reels are mostly categorized as amateur reels. Every fisherman must have started with a good old spincast reel.
This reel is basically a middle ground between a spinning reel and a floating bait which allows for accuracy while maintaining affordability. Moreover, these reels do not require a lot of maintenance, and they are fully capable of landing crappie, bass, trout, catfish, and a lot of other species.
The thing is, these days everything has evolved, and spincast reels are no different. Companies have truly upped their game regarding these reels, making them a stable in every fishing-gear trunk. One last thing is that spincasting reels are the most affordable type amongst their peers.
Throughout this article, we will show you our top picks for spincast reels so that you can choose the best spincast reel for you.
List of the Best Spincast Reels:
- Zebco Authentic Spincast Reel
- Omega Pro Spincast Reel
- Zebco ZO3 Spincast Reel
- Pflueger President Spincast Reel
- Abu Garcia Abumatic 170 Spincast Reel
- Zebco Platinum Spincast Reel
|Spincast Reel||Weight||Maximum Drag||Ball Bearing||Gear Ratio|
|Zebco Authentic Spincast Reel||8.5 oz.||10 lbs.||1||3.6:1|
|Omega Pro Spincast Reel||8.1 oz.||10 lbs.||6+1||3.4:1|
|Zebco ZO3 Spincast Reel||13 oz.||7 lbs.||6+1||2.9:1|
|Pflueger President Spincast Reel||9 oz.||6 lbs.||5||3.4:1|
|Abu Garcia Abumatic 170 Spincast Reel||9 oz.||10 lbs.||3||3.9:1|
|Zebco Platinum Spincast Reel||9.7 oz.||1 lb.||5||4.1:1|
The 6 Best Spincast Reels in 2021
This specific reel is one of the pioneers of spincasters. If you ask any fishing veteran, they will tell you that they have used this reel at one point in their fishing careers. It is, in fact, the most famous spincast reel in the market.
This classic has a graphite frame that allows it to be lightweight, flexible and easily portable. It weighs only 8.5 oz. It has a gear ratio of 3.6:1 and a fine drag system with a maximum of 10 lbs. One exciting feature on this reel will be the built-in hook holder which maintains access to the hook point from both sides of the reel while still managing to hide it.
Moreover, it has been designed with a new gear train which eliminates annoying noise and makes the whole thing a lot more sensitive. The handle on this reel is made out of durable metal and rubber stocks. These two features make the handle extremely durable and enhance it with a secure grip. It’s also interchangeable from left to right in order to suit all anglers.
The spool on this reel comes with 100 yards of 10 lbs. Cajun line, which is quite impressive. This reel has a single high-quality stainless steel ball bearing which boosts functionality along with the anti-reverse system.
That’s not all as this reel has been built with concepts such as durability, strength, comfort, and ease of access in mind. It allows you to cast considerable distances quite accurately and has a smooth retrieval. It is, of course, a closed spool, which saves you a lot of preparation and maintenance time.
The only downside to this reel is the fact that some people have reported minor drag issues while others say that it feels cheaply made.
- Interchangeable handle
- Pre-spooled line
- 100 yards of 10 lbs. Line
- Cajun line
- Feels cheap
- Minor drag issues
The final verdict regarding this reel is that it is a perfect choice for anyone. Even the complaints regarding it are not consistent and cannot be considered deal-breakers. Everything about it screams simplicity and precision. It is a perfect choice for both an amateur fisherman and an experienced one.
This is the second reel on our list, and it is also made by Zebco. The Omega Pro is a reel that’s designed to last. It is made entirely out of air-craft aluminum along with metal gears; it weighs 8.21 oz. It boasts 6+1 ball bearings with the anti-reverse one being instant. The bearing system allows for on-point casts and excellent retrieval thereupon you can use this reel for crankbaits, spinners, and live bait easily.
Moreover, it boasts a gear ratio of 3.4:1, air-craft aluminum caps, aluminum spinner head, and T-7075 drive gear with one drive, which all contribute towards the smoothness of your fishing process. The drag system here is the ultra-smooth Multicam one with a maximum of 10 lbs.
Furthermore, this reel enjoys ceramic pins and a ceramic line guide which both aim towards eliminating friction and therefore boosting the sleekness of the reel as a whole. The spool on this reel comes with 85 yards of Cajun red 6 lbs. line already spooled on it, plus a spare spool.
Comfort has not been forgotten when designing this reel, which is why the handle here has an extended dual no power handle which can come in quite handy. Besides, the handle can be switched from one side to the other in order to suit both left and right-handed fishermen.
The only downsides to this reel are the fact that the drag system can be a bit too sensitive and the line capacity could’ve been expanded.
- Air-craft aluminum
- 6+1 ball bearings
- Ceramic pins
- 10 lbs. Drag system
- Extra-sensitive drag system
- Small spool capacity
With every new model that Zebco creates, it seeks perfection, and this reel is no different. It has a lot of options and features that will make it appeal to a lot of fishermen. Perhaps if you work enough with the drag system, you would get a feel for it, and therefore it won’t be an obstacle anymore.
Another Zebco reel, this company just keeps creating high-quality reels that cannot be overlooked. This reel is chock-full of options that place it amongst the first choices when you are looking for a spincast reel. It has heavy-duty strength aluminium covers which make it extremely durable. This reel weighs 13 oz.
It boasts a gear ratio of 2.9:1 plus a more than one disc robust drag system with a maximum of 7 lbs. It has 6+1 ball bearings with the anti-reverse one being instant. The ball bearings are made completely out of stainless steel which expands the lifespan of the reel significantly. It also has a line capacity of 85 yards.
This reel comes with an extra spool and is designed with a quick change spool system. Furthermore, it is a button spin caster, and this button is completely sealed and made out of soft-touch in order to maximize the anglers’ comfort and give them a more secure grip.
Other interesting features include a level wind system, an oscillating spool, ceramic line guide, and ceramic pick up pins. All of these features combine together in order to give you a fatigue-free fishing experience.
The only downside of the reel is that it could’ve been a little bit faster with its casts and retrievals. Yet, keep in mind that an accurate slow move is a lot better than a clumsy fast one.
- Seven stainless steel ball bearings
- Air-craft aluminium
- Ceramic guidelines and pick-up pins
- Extra spool included
- A little heavy
This reel is filled to the top with options and features that will attract a considerable number of anglers. It is incredibly smooth and ergonomically designed to make you as comfortable as possible when fishing. Still, always try the reel in your hand before purchasing it just to make sure that its weight is fine for you.
Although Zebco has been dominant for the past three models, Pflueger has decided to give it a run for its money. This reel is reliable, robust, and has an attractive design. The silver/blue/grey paint makes it stand out amongst its peers. However, its appearance is the least of its various merits.
The reel is made out of svelte aluminium and titanium which shoots reel into a whole other level of protection and anti-corrosion. It also allows anglers a lot of freedom as it comes in four different sizes in order to suit the needs of different fishermen.
It weighs 9 oz, has a gear ratio of 3.4:1 and 4+1 ball bearings that are entirely made out of stainless steel. The anti-reverse bearing here is instant, and along with the multi-stop system, it will give you the smoothest performance ever.
Moreover, it boasts an exceptional drag system which is front haul with oil felt washers that make using this reel a piece of cake. Plus, it has a maximum of 6 lbs.
When the company designed this reel, its exterior appearance was not their only success. The reel design on the inside is awe-inspiring as well as it is designed ergonomically with a reliable release.
The knobs on the reel are large oblong ones with an extra layer of positive grip. This layer ensures the security of your grip and therefore may make the difference between a trophy catch and a fishing story.
The spool is also made out of aluminium and is quite capacious; that’s why you can cast long distances with remarkable accuracy. Moreover, it has EVA handles, so it is pretty comfortable to use.
Some deficits that have been noticed with this reel include the fact that it doesn’t pair easily with a rod and that it could break at times.
- Excellent drag system
- Five ball bearings
- Could break at times
- Tiresome pairing process
This reel definitely deserves to be a runner-up for the Zebco models. It comes with a lot of options and features that will certainly make your fishing trip a lot more blissful than it would’ve been. Plus, it comes for an affordable price.
This is the first reel that we see on this list by Abu Garcia, and since this company is more specialized in baitcasters and baitcaster reels and rod combos, their attempt at a spincaster came out a lot stronger than a considerable number of its peers.
It is made completely out of machined aluminium in order to make it withstand different fishing conditions. It weighs 9 oz, has a gear ratio of 3.9:1, and is designed with an exceptional ultrasmooth carbon matrix drag system. This system has a maximum of 10 lbs and utilizes the carbon-based friction disk optimally in order to eliminate friction and achieve absolute precision. One more thing is that the drag system is adjustable through a wheel located next to the crank.
The spool here is a far-cast oscillating one that comes already loaded with 12 lbs. Berkley Trilene XL monofilament fishing line. These two options help in keeping the line where it should be and prevent it from getting messed up.
The Abumatic 170 spincast reel has 2+1 ball bearings with the anti-reverse one being instant in addition to brass gear. These options allow for smooth casts, and retrievals and they give fishermen the freedom to cast wider and broader distances quite easily.
The handle on this reel is large with an elongated grip that makes for ultimate security. There are hardly any downsides to this reel. However, we cannot call it an amateur reel as it will take some time to get to know it and become accustomed to how everything operates.
- Strong and durable
- Exceptional drag system
- Instant anti-reverse
If you are an experienced fisherman who wants to try this sort of a hybrid between a baitcaster and a spincaster, then this reel would be perfect for you. However, do not be disappointed by your first attempt since it does take some time for you to get the hang of this fantastic reel.
Back to Zebco again. The Platinum model here is made for anglers that would like to experiment with spincasters in more extreme conditions. The whole thing is made out of metal with stainless steel cover, which makes it more suited for saltwater and extreme conditions.
This reel weighs 9.7 oz, has a gear ratio of 4.1:1 and a drag system with a maximum of 1 lb. Other features include 4+1 stainless steel ball bearings with a continuous anti-reverse.
The spool here is quite roomy and comes with 100 yards of 10 lbs. of Cajun line which allows anglers to fish in deep waters comfortably.
Last but certainly not least, this reel has a bite alarm system which allows anglers to realize the moment anything catches their bait and therefore giving them the opportunity to act quite fast.
- Saltwater compatible
- Deepwater compatible
- Spacious spool
- Five ball bearings
- Continuous anti-reverse
- Small drag
- No oscillation
Well, the drag on this reel might annoy a lot of people. Still, the fact that it is compatible with saltwater and can be used for deepwater fishing can eliminate the disappointment caused by the drag. It is an exceptionally talented spincaster for an affordable price.
How to Pick a Spincast Reel
Now that we have walked you through our six top picks for spincast reels, we will explain a number of options, features, and characteristics that you ought to keep on your checklist when shopping for a spincasting reel. Those options lay the foundation for the smoothness of your fishing process, and the prolonged lifespan of your purchased reel.
Of course, we shall start by discussing the structure of the reel. You’ll want to go for something durable so that it can take the abuse that it will face at the hands of amateurs and children. The three main materials that go into the manufacturing of spincast reels are aluminium, graphite, and carbon composite.
Aluminium is strong and versatile; however, it is on the heavier side. Graphite, on the other hand, is flexible and lightweight. Carbon composite, which is the newest introduction into the fishing gear world, acts as a middle ground between the previous two. It is strong, versatile, lightweight and quite durable, which is why it remains our solid choice.
One more thing is that you want to go for a reel that is wholly sealed especially if you intend to use it in saltwater.
Drag is the resistance that your reel puts up against the escaping fish. Hence, it has to be appropriately set in order to strike that balance between tiring your fish and being able to real it in without snapping the line.
In order for your drag system to accomplish the said balance, it has to be a high-quality one. There are two types of drag system, which are the star drag system and the internal drag system. Nonetheless, the most common system to be seen attached to spincasting reels would be the internal drag one with a dial on the side to adjust it.
The other component of a drag system would be the washers which ought to be either felt or stainless steel. The simplest way to explain how the felt disc friction system, which is the common drag for spincasters, works will be to say that the line passes between felt and metal discs. The discs then apply pressure on it according to the setting that you have already placed.
3. Ball Bearings
Ball bearings are the cogs working inside the reel to keep it moving smoothly. Rule of the thumb with ball bearings is that the more, the merrier. Nevertheless, the quality of ball bearings is what fundamentally matters. A low number of premium-quality ball bearings is ten-times better than a high number of low-quality bearings.
There are two types of ball bearings; stainless steel and ceramic ones. Stainless steel is definitely the more common one as it is a lot more affordable and naturally, corrosion resistant to a huge extent.
Ceramic is of course a lot more luxurious as it comes with a hefty price tag. Some anglers swear by ceramic ball bearings saying that they do notice a huge difference. While others have stated that the difference is minimal and that there’s no need whatsoever to switch from stainless steel to ceramic ball bearings.
We, however, would advise you to try both and see what works best for you. PS: some cheap models would come with no bearings at all, which is, of course, a recipe for disaster. No need to say that such a reel will not last beyond the shop’s doorstep.
4. Gear Ratio
This is the speed at which you can retrieve your line. The ratio stands for the number of full spins that your spool makes per one full crank of the handle. So, in order to decide on a suitable gear ratio, you have to know what kind of fish you’ll be going for.
Besides, the conditions of the waterfront at which you will be fishing such as wind and other elements as well go into recognizing the speed at which you ought to be pulling your prey in order to not snap your line or lose your catch. An optimum gear ratio for spincasters, in general, would be 2.5:1 to 4.5:1.
5. Line Pickups/ Take-Up Pins
Line pick-ups or take-up pins are hook-like structures that attach to your line and start pulling it into the frame of the reel. Mostly, reels are designed with two to three pins in order to work ideally.
Still, if the reel is made out of a cheap material or has taken quite a violent hit to the line pick-ups causing them to malfunction, you would lose both your line and your bait instantly.
With these components, try to go for either metal or carbon composite as plastic ones are not capable of dealing with such pressure.
Since the spool here is fixed, these pins take over the job of the bail. Therefore they are critical, and that’s the reason why several companies have worked on them and developed the bleeding edge technology. This technology boosts the pick-up system quite a few notches.
6. Trigger vs. Button
This reel is the most straightforward one amongst its peers. Casting requires that you only press a button; however, that’s not the only option. Some spincasting reels come with triggers rather than buttons; they are known as triggerspin reels. We will explain the difference and why you should go for one of them rather than the other.
To simplify matters, a triggerspin reel is designed to be paired with spinning rods while the ones that come with buttons are designed to work with baitcasting rods. It is a matter of preference and how the reel fits in your hand.
7. Anti-reverse System
This is a support system for the line pickup system. If the fish is escaping causing backward motion in your spool, the anti-reverse system will come into play. It will put an end to it by lending a helping hand to the take-up pins in order to restore the norm of the reel and be able to pull the line back into the spool.
Those are the inside components of the reel; therefore, they must be made out of metal in order to withstand the trials of fishing. That’s why we advise you to go for either stainless steel or brass gears as they are both highly durable and corrosion-resistant.
By the way, don’t forget to check the best spinning reels here.
Frequently Asked Questions:
We have gathered up some common questions that will definitely pop into your mind while conducting your search for the best spincast reel in the market, and we have strived to answer them in the most simplified manner.
Are Spincast Reels any Good?
Of course, they are. Their basic and most common use is to train new fishermen and get them accustomed to casting in an accurate way. However, newer models are fitted with technologies and options which allow them to perform just like spinning and baitcast reels.
What is a Spincast Reel Used for?
Teaching kids and amateur fishermen the basics of fishing plus lightweight fishing.
Which is Better Spincast or Baitcast?
There is no such thing as one of them being better than the other. Each one of them has its own merits and usages. Spincast reels are used for lightweight fishing mostly by amateurs, yet anyone can use them. While baitcast reels are made to be utilized by experienced fishermen who are going for trophy catches.
Freshwater vs Saltwater Spincast Reels
Just like spinning reels and baitcast reels, spincast reels models are either designed for freshwater or saltwater. So, it’s vital to know your target fishing spot as that will affect your choice of reel.
If you’re going for saltwater then you ought to go for reels with higher protection such as overall sealing, anticorrosive paint, and stainless steel components. like saltwater spinning reels. Freshwater, on the other hand, is a lot more forgiving with your fishing gear so a few plastic parts on the inside won’t cause a disaster.
To wrap up, spincast reels are handy and versatile, having them amongst your gear will never harm you as you will always find a use for them. If not for teaching your child the basics, you can easily whip it out and do some lightweight fishing.
Nevertheless, our advice is to always go for the highest quality possible with these reels as they already require minimum maintenance so if they’re well made, they will definitely weather the trials of time with you.
Our best spincast reel would have to be the Zebco Authentic Spincast Reel as it strikes a balance between quality, lightweight and affordability. Its runner up will have to be the Omega Pro Spincast Reel as it also brings an impressive package to the table.