Top Fishing reel brands

The 12 Best Fishing Reel Brands and Most Popular Reel Models

I’m sure we can agree there is a ton of fishing reel brands covering a variety of gear options and price points. You may think classifying the 12 best brands is a little presumptuous as I may interpret the value of a brand differently than you do. And that’s completely fair. That said, these are the top brands that we’ve chosen on experience, durability/quality, technology, customer service and finally how they have adapted to the changing fishing industry.

Along with the top brand histories and what they’re known for, I’ve included their best selling reels (that are still being sold) and their higher end (premium) reels. Remember this article is focused on reels and not rods or other fishing gear. These reels are strictly spinning, casting and spincast and do NOT include fly or centerpins reels.

If you want to focus on the best type of reels, see my review pages:

12 Top Fishing Reel Brands

#4​​Abu Garcia
#8​​13 Fishing
Penn Fishing Logo

Penn Fishing Overview

Machinist Otto Henze began working for the reel manufacturer Ocean City Manufacturing Company shortly after he immigrated to America from Germany in 1922. 10 years later, he rented a loft a few blocks away and started his own reel company. He impressed Miller Auto Supply Company with his innovative designs, and they offered him a production contract.

The reel that put his fledgling company on the map is his second design, the Long Beach. It was the first reel to incorporate both a casting lever and a star drag wheel. The Long Beach was an instant hit with surf anglers and charter fishing guides.

His wife, Martha, took over operations after his untimely death in 1948, and the small company grew into a globally recognized brand.

What They’re Known For

Penn got its start as a saltwater fishing gear manufacturer, and that reputation holds today. Their signature reel, the Senator, has been a mainstay in the saltwater fishing scene since its debut in 1936. 220 different models are currently in production, and they are all considered to be among the most dependable for ocean fishing.

Best Selling Penn Reel

PENN Battle II Spinning Inshore Fishing Reel, Size 3000 (BTLII3000), HT-100 Front Drag, Max of 15lb, 6 Sealed Stainless Steel Ball Bearing System, Built with Carbon Fiber Drag Washers
  • PENN BATTLE II SPINNING INSHORE REEL: The PENN Battle II offers aesthetically pleasing design, durable performance and an attractive price point as just a few of the many reasons why so many anglers fish this reel.
  • DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: Full metal body, sideplate and rotor help to maintain precision gear alignment in the toughest battles. Features a sleek Black/Gold/Smoke design.
  • SMOOTH, EFFICIENT GEARS: Recovers at the rate of 35" | 89cm with every turn of the crank. Gear ratio of 6.2:1. Right/left handle position for all anglers. Size 3000 reel.
  • 6 TOTAL BEARINGS: The Battle II fishing reels feature 5 sealed stainless steel ball bearings plus one instant-anti-reverse bearing, providing fast hook-ups.
  • HT-100 FRONT DRAG SYSTEM: Built with carbon fiber drag washers for a max drag of 15lb | 6.8kg, this system will exhaust the fish without wearing you down. Mono Capacity yd/lb: 200/8 165/10 120/12. Braid Capacity yd/lb: 250/15 180/20 130/30.

High End Penn Reel

PENN 1403984 Slammer III Spinning Multicolor, 5500
  • Full Metal Body, side plate, and rotor
  • CNC Gear technology
  • IP67 Sealed body and spool design
  • Sealed Slammer drag system with Dura-Drag
  • 6-plus-1 stainless steel bearing system
Shimano Logo

Shimano Fishing Overview

Shimano got its start in 1927 as a bicycle parts manufacturer in Japan. They became known for their precise engineering and ingenious innovations of existing gear technology. They pioneered in-hub gear systems. It wasn’t until 1970 that the American division of the company broke into the fishing reel niche, but their success was immediate.

The company revolutionized the reel industry while still in its infancy. In 1972, just a couple years after entering the tackle market, they introduced their DUX Auto series of spinning reels. This line featured a special cog system that automatically shifted into a higher gear when the angler set a hook.

What They’re Known For

Shimano is known for innovation. After the game-changing DUX Auto series. They introduced the Bantam 200 reel, which was the first ultra-light baitcaster. The world wasn’t quite ready for a computerized reel, but Shimano built one anyway. It was very big, because it had a micro-computer inside that controlled the motorized spool.

Best Selling Shimano Reel

SHIMANO Sedona 1000FI, Freshwater Spinning Fishing Reel
  • With its updated design and cold forged HAGANE gears, the Shimano Sedona spinning reel offers a number of significant performance upgrades at an affordable value
  • Incorporates Shimano’s flagship HAGANE gearing that provides long-lasting, strong, and durable performance and smoothness giving anglers the strength for both inshore and offshore action
  • Features double-anodized machine-cut spools for increased line capacity while keeping the body compact
  • Equipped with a Propulsion Line Management System that provides longer casting distances while preventing backlashes and wind knots from forming
  • Max Drag: 7 lbs. / Gear Ratio: 5.0:1. / Weight: 7.6 oz. / Line Retrieve: 26" / Bearings: 3BB + 1RB – PowerPro Line Cap: 15/85, 20/65 – Mono Line Cap: 2/270, 4/140, 6/110

High End Shimano Reel

Daiwa Logo

Daiwa Fishing Overview

Daiwa came into being just as “Rock Around The Clock” hit number one on the charts in 1955. They focused on a single line of spinning reels at first. Growth was slow and steady. In 1966, they opened a sales and distribution center in Culver City, California to handle what became an impressive share of the Western Hemisphere’s fishing tackle market. Today, they are known for quality and a commitment to fine craftsmanship.

What They’re Known For

The manufacturer is heavily entrenched in the freshwater rod and reel industry, although they do offer some pretty good saltwater options. The saltwater reels are expensive, but offer a glimpse of Daiwa’s industry-leading innovation. Most of their freshwater reels are of the spinner and baitcasting variety, with just a few fly and trolling reels.

Perhaps their two most well-known reel lines are the HD and LT. The HD stands for “heavy duty,” and these reels feature strong sealed ball bearings. LT stands for “light and tough.” They are made of lightweight alloys and are very comfortable to use.

Best Selling Daiwa Reel

Daiwa BG8000 BG Saltwater Spinning Reel, 8000, 5.3: 1 Gear Ratio, 6+1 Bearings, 53.30" Retrieve Rate, 33 lb Max Drag, Black/gold
  • Black Anodized Machined Aluminum Housing ( inch Hard Bodyz inch Body and Side Cover), Over-sized Digigear (Digigear System)
  • Solid Screw-In Handle, Air Rotor, Dynamic Cut Aluminum ABS Spool
  • Braided Line Ready Spool, Waterproof Drag System, Carbon ATD, Line Per Handle Turn: 53.3 inch
  • Manual Return Bail (4500 and Larger), 6BB+1RB, Gear Ratio: 5.6:1, Drag Max:33
  • Line Capacity (Lb. Test / Yards): 20/550, 25/440, 30/370 J-BRAID: 50/730, 65/590, 80/440

High End Daiwa Reel

Daiwa 5.6:1 Gear Ratio 9 Bearings Saltist Spinning Reel, 37.40"
  • Magsealed line roller and main shaft
  • "HardBodyz" body and side cover
  • Light weight Air Rotor design
  • Air Bail–tubular stainless for lightweight strength
  • Line Capacity (Lb. Test / Yards)-MONO: 10/200, 12/170, J-BRAID: 20/240, 30/190
Abu Garcia Logo

Abu Garcia Fishing Overview

Many of today’s most widely recognized fishing tackle manufacturers got their start with totally unrelated products, and Abu Garcia is no different. They started out making watches and taximeters in the 1920s. But demand for those products bottomed out during WWII. The company turned to Göte Borgström, the founder’s son, for direction on which way to go. The Swede loved fishing, so he began to design reels.

His designs caught the attention of the largest importer of fishing gear at that time, the Garcia Corporation. Sales were rather lackluster at first. It was the Ambassadeur line of reels that really got the fishing public to take notice. That was in the late 1950s, and the rest is history. The company has changed hands many times, but their popularity and the value of their reels have remained steady.

What They’re Known For

Antique Abu Garcia reels can go for thousands of dollars. A quick check on sites like eBay confirms both the rarity and astronomical cost of old Abu Garcia tackle. Nowadays, the manufacturer is best known for its smooth spinning reels and its low-profile freshwater baitcasters.

Best Selling Abu Garcia Reels

Abu Garcia 1365366 Black Max Low Profile Reel, 6.4: 1 Gear Ratio, 5 Bearings, 26" Retrieve Rate, 18Lb Max Drag, RH, Boxed
  • Lightweight design with one piece graphite frame and side plates
  • 4 stainless steel ball bearings
  • Clear tip design for strength and sensitivity
  • MagTrax brake system boosts range and accuracy of casts
  • Compact bent handle and recessed reel provide an ergonomic grip
Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C4 Conventional Reel, Size 6600 (1292716), 4 Stainless Steel Ball Bearings + 1 Roller Bearing, Carbon Fiber Star Drag, Max of 15lb | 6.8kg
  • LIGHTWEIGHT CONSTRUCTION: The spool of the Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C4 Casting Reel is made from machined aluminum, which provides strength without adding excess weight. This Swedish made Casting reel is both durable and lightweight at 10.9 oz.
  • RECOVERY RATE: Recover 30” | 76cm of line for every turn of the crank. Gear ratio of 6.3:1. Made with the Duragear 2 gear system to increase gear strength.
  • SYNCHRONIZED LEVEL WIND SYSTEM: Provides even line lay and a smooth retrieve. 4 stainless steel ball bearings plus 1 instant anti-reverse bearing provides smooth operation for any fishing experience.
  • DRAG SPECS: Carbon Fiber Star Drag, Max: 15lb | 6.8kg. The Carbon Matrix drag system provides smooth, consistent drag pressure across the entire drag range. Mono Capacity yd/lb: 320/12. Braid Capacity 310/30.
  • RIGHT HANDLE POSITION: The ergonomically designed compact bent handle and star give you all-day comfort. Pin centrifugal brake gives you consistent brake pressure throughout your cast.

High End Abu Garcia Reel

Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast Low Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel, Size 60LP, Black/Smoke, Left Hand Position
  • ABU GARCIA REVO TORO BEAST REEL: Built to take on the toughest species in freshwater and saltwater alike, with an X2-Cräftic alloy frame and sideplate for increased corrosion resistance. DuraClutch design provides improved engagement and durability.
  • RECOVERY RATE: Recover 34” | 86cm of line for every turn of the crank. Gear ratio of 6.2:1. High-strength Duragear brass gear offers strength and capability during intense action.
  • 6 STAINLESS STEEL BEARINGS, with 5 HPCR bearings and 1 roller bearing. Instant Anti-Reverse provides smooth operation for any fishing experience, protecting against losing tension once your hook is set.
  • Carbon Fiber Star Drag POWER STACK CARBON MATRIX DRAG SYSTEM: A premium drag, featuring a max drag of 25lb | 11.3kg. Magnetic/centrifugal Infini brake system allows almost limitless adjustability to handle any fishing situation.
  • Left HANDLE POSITION with dual handle design. Extended bent handle grants increased cranking power for hard-fighting species.
Pflueger logo

Pflueger Fishing Overview

Originally known as Enterprise Manufacturing Company, E.A. Pflueger Company was born in 1880 as a fishing tackle manufacturer. A few years after its birth, Pflueger forever revolutionized the fishing tackle market with the introduction of lures that glow in the dark. The company enjoyed tremendous success as a lure and hook maker, but it wasn’t until 1916 that they began to make reels.

Their first reel was the Pflueger Baitcast, which was an instant hit. But it would be almost 40 years before they came out with their first reel. Even today, the company does not have such a wide variety of reels as most others. They do, however, enjoy some of the best brand loyalty in the industry.

What They’re Known For

Pflueger has focused mostly on rod and reel combos. They offer a very good value, with some of the cheapest products on the market, and the public has responded by making some of their combos the best selling year after year. Baitcasters, spinners, fly and trolling reels are all in their freshwater lineups. They also make saltwater rigs, but they haven’t yet captured a significant share of that niche.

Best Selling Pflueger Reel

Pflueger President Spinning Reel, Size 30 Fishing Reel, Right/Left Handle Position, Graphite Body and Rotor, Corrosion-Resistant, Aluminum Spool, Front drag System
  • PERFORMANCE MEETS VALUE: Pflueger President spinning reels combine smooth operation with a price that won't break the bank. With a balanced mix of performance, quality, and value, this reel is "The Smart Choice."
  • SIZE 30 SPINNING REEL: Features a graphite body and rotor for lightweight, corrosion-resistant fishing reels. The aluminum handle and soft touch rubber knob are suitable for Right/Left handed anglers.
  • RECOVER 25.3" | 64cm for every turn of the crank. Slow oscillation gearing provides a tight line lay for improved casting and control. Gear ratio of 5.2:1. Features an Aluminum spool.
  • SEALED OIL FELT FRONT DRAG with a max drag of 10lb to help tire out the fish, so you can reel in the catch. The 10 ball bearing system plus Instant Anti-Reverse ensures smooth operation for any fishing experience.
  • LINE CAPACITY: Mono Capacity yd/lb: 255/4 145/6 130/8 for optimal casting distance and accuracy.

High End Pflueger Reel

Pflueger SUPXTSP30X Supreme XT Spinning Fishing Reel
  • Spinning fishing reel delivers smooth, reliable performance in a feather-light magnesium frame. EVA Knob - high density EVA, lightweight comfort
  • Sealed carbon washers exert powerful drag that remains smooth under pressure
  • Smooth operation with 10 stainless steel ball bearings and SMARTretrieve technology
  • Braid-ready spool allows braid to be tied directly to spool
  • Slow oscillation gearing, lightweight carbon handle, and EVA knobs offer smooth, comfortable cranking
Lews Logo

Lew’s Fishing Overview

Lew Childre Jr saw the need for fresh bait in his hometown on the gulf coast of Alabama. He and his wife, Bebe, started selling shrimp to the local anglers. This small venture slowly grew to a little bait and tackle shop. But Childre was frustrated with the rods of the day. He started to grow his own bamboo for making his own rods.

While on a trip to Japan to find the best bamboo, he met some Japanese investors who loved fishing almost as much as he did. They decided to help fund his idea for a new type of reel with a teardrop shape. Soon after, in 1979, Lew’s Speed Spool Baitcaster was born. It was a big hit at bass tournaments, paired with his pistol-grip rods.

What They’re Known For

Lew Childre & Sons Inc. is still known for the types of reels that put them on the map. Those teardrop reels are very popular today, and it’s hard to find a better one outside of Lew’s line of reels. They mostly make baitcasters, but there are some spinning reels that are widely used by American fishermen.

Best Selling Lew’s Reel

LEW'S (MC1SH) Fishing Mach Crush Speed Spool SLP Series, Baitcasting Reel, Fishing Reel, Fishing Gear and Equipment, Fishing Accessories
  • Lew's MACH CRUSH SPEED SPOOL: Baitcast reel features a strong and lightweight, Super Low Profile (SLP) graphite frame and side plates
  • SPEEL SPOOL FISHING REEL: Reel features a machined and double anodized aluminum U-shape 32 millimeter spool and a high strength solid brass main gear and crank shaft
  • ZERO REVERSE: Premium 10-bearing system with double-shielded stainless steel ball bearings and Zero Reverse one-way clutch bearing
  • MULTI-SETTING BRAKE (MSB): Externally-adjustable dual cast control system utilizing both an external click-dial for setting the magnetic brake, plus 4 individually disengage able disk-mounted internal brake shoes that operate on centrifugal force
  • BAITCASTING REEL: Reel features a double-anodized aluminum spool tension adjustment with an audible click and a rugged carbon fiber drag system which provides up to 20 pound drag power

High End Lew’s Reel

Lew's Custom Inshore SLP 7.5:1 Right Hand Baitcast
  • Lew's custom inshore speed spool: Baitcast reel features a 1-piece aluminum frame with C45 gear side plate and graphite palming side plate, and a strong, lightweight carbon handles side plate and graphite palm side plate
  • Zero reverses: Premium 10-bearing system with sealed corrosion resistant stainless steel ball bearings and zero reverse 1-way clutch bearing; Double shielded stainless steel bearing
  • Baitcasting reel: Features a machined, double anodized aluminum deep U style 32 millimeter spool and a high strength solid brass gearing
  • Multi-setting brake (MSB): Externally adjustable dual cast control system utilizes both an external click-dial for setting the magnetic brake, plus 4 individually disengaging, disc-mounted internal brake shoes that operate centrifugal
  • Fishing reel: The Baitcast reel includes a double-anodized aluminum spool tension adjustment with an audible click and a carbon fiber drag system which provides up to 20 pounds of drag power
Okuma logo

Okuma Fishing Overview

Okuma is relatively new to the field, having entered the fishing tackle industry in the mid-1980s. But they have almost 40 series of reels spanning all the major types: spinners, baitcasters, saltwater, freshwater and fly. Their designs range from minimalist to almost over complicated.

Their product development is based in the United States, but most of the manufacturing is done in Taiwan. This allows the company to stay on the cutting edge of contemporary American fishing trends while keeping prices reasonable.

What They’re Known For

Okuma is known for its budget reels. They have mastered the production process to the point where they can put out dependable and feature-laden reels at a low cost. This makes them particularly popular with beginner anglers who know how to research and find a good product that fills all of their needs.

Many of their mid-priced reels are popular with seasoned fisherman, but they aren’t so well-known as to have a major presence at tournaments or on charter boats.

Best Selling Okuma Reel

okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel- C-30, Black/Red
  • Used by professionals worldwide
  • Tested for reliability and quality
  • Made using the highest quality materials
  • LIGHTWEIGHT COMFORT – Designed with comfort in mind. The soft touch and feel of the light weight, EVA handles knobs, combined with the graphite body construction, bring you a reel that is light and strong starting out at just 6 ounces in weight

High End Okuma Reel

OKUMA FISHING TACKLE Avenger Baitfeeder ABF-40b Graphite Spinning Reel- ABF-40b , 11.3,Silver
  • Made using the highest quality materials
  • Tested for reliability and quality
  • Used by professionals worldwide
  • On/Off auto trip bait feeding system
  • Multi-disc, oiled felt drag system
13 Fishing Logo

13 Fishing Overview

13 Fishing is a newcomer to the game, beginning production in 2012. But this is one company that you should keep an eye on if you follow trends in the industry. As with most other new fishing tackle manufacturers, this one began with a focus on the American market. Rapala’s recent investment is taking 13 Fishing into the global marketplace. This will almost certainly lead to an expansion in the company’s domestic and foreign product lines. We’ll most likely see more spinning reels and possibly fly fishing combos.

What They’re Known For

13 Fishing is, without a doubt, most known for its baitcasters. They offer only a few spinning reels, but interestingly enough, their most popular reel is a spinner.

Best Selling 13 Fishing Reel

13 FISHING - Inception Sport Z - Baitcast Reels
  • 6-WAY CENTRIFUGAL BRAKING SYSTEM - The casting reel is equipped with 6-way centrifugal braking system and Beetle Wing rapid access side plates that allow super easy brake adjustments on the water to adapt to your bait presentation and current conditions.
  • JAPANESE HAMAI CUT GEARING - Japanese Hamai Cut Gearing offers a smooth transition of power from the handle and the advanced drag system with multi-material oversized drag washers provides up to 18lbs of max drag to stop big fish in their tracks.
  • ARROWHEAD LINE GUIDE - The Arrowhead line guide works to increase the fluidity of line release, while a micro click cast control gives anglers the ability to make fine adjustments and accommodate a wide range of bait sizes and weights.
  • OCEAN ARMOR 2 SALTWATER PROTECTION PROCESS - The Inception SZ features Ocean Armor 2 Saltwater Protection for increased corrosion resistance in brackish and saltwater environments.
  • PREMIUM COMPONENTS - This low-profile casting reel incorporates CZB Spool Bearing Technology, Instant Stop Anti-Reverse, High Spin Spool Shaft, EVA Tech Knobs and other features that enhance the performance and feel of the Inception Sport Z.

High End 13 Fishing Reel

13 FISHING - Concept Z3 - Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel - 7.3:1 Gear Ratio - Right Hand Retrieve (300 size) (Fresh+Salt) - Z3-7.3-RH
  • POWERFUL & LIGHT REEL - This is one of the lightest reels of its size on the market but it’s no lightweight. The Concept Z3 boasts an incredible 30+ lbs of drag and HUGE Hamai cut hardened brass H.A.M. gearing to handle fish way out of its league
  • CONCEPT ZERO BEARING TECHNOLOGY - CZB Technology replaces all ball bearing with proprietary new space-age polymer material
  • CORROSION PROTECTION - This light fishing reel constructed using Ocean Armor 2 Saltwater Protection Process to fight corrosion
  • 6-WAY CENTRIFUGAL BRAKING SYSTEM - The 6-way centrifugal braking system allows to adjust the 6 pins of the braking system from under the beetle wing sideplate
  • HD ALUMINUM FRAME AND GEAR SIDEPLATE - Both the frame and gear sideplates of the Concept Z are made out of aluminum, making it incredibly lightweight yet durable against the elements and strong enough to handle large fish
KastKing Logo

KastKing Fishing Overview

Eposeidon was born on the Finger Lakes in upstate New York. The college students who founded it had a vision. They wanted to have a direct connection to fisherman and keep their prices ridiculously low. The kids decided that the best way to realize this vision was to cut out the middlemen and deal directly with the consumers. Their factory-direct venture, now known as KastKing, was almost immediately a success. Even their product development is driven by surveys and suggestions that come directly from anglers who use their products.

What They’re Known For

KastKing is known for their across-the-board low prices and value. The majority of their reels can be had for less than $50, with some costing about half of that. Their reel lineup is more or less equally split between spinners and baitcasters, although the baitcasters are the most popular.

See all their baitcasting reels.

Best Selling KastKing Reel

KastKing Royale Legend High Speed Low Profile Baitcasting Fishing Reel
  • THE KASTKING ROYALE FAMILY - Select a low profile versatile KastKing Royale Legend 7.0:1, or WhiteMax 5.3:1 Low Gear Ratio baitcaster, or an amazing super lightweight all carbon KastKing Stealth 7.0:1 fishing reel and match it to a peak performance carbon graphite KastKing Royale Legend fishing rod for a fantastic KastKing Baitcasting Combo!
  • UNMATCHED – Precision cut brass gear structure (high-strength aerospace grade aluminum precision gear in the Stealth) and carbon fiber drag system delivering 17.5LBs/ 8KG of drag offer the ultimate in a high performance low maintenance baitcasting reel package.
  • PROVEN - We use only the highest quality, anti-corrosion shielded ball bearings to produce the smoothest, quietest casting reel you’ve ever held in your hand. These 11 ball bearings combined with our instant-stop one way bearing clutch delivers long, accurate casts and lightning fast hook sets.
  • TOURNAMENT READY – Experts and pro anglers will appreciate the multi-level, dual braking system for fine tuning and obtaining the longest possible casts. Anglers new to casting reels will rely on the dual brake system to avoid over runs and lost fishing time. Our dual brake system utilizes a 4 pin, internal friction brake that when combined with our powerful 7-magnet, externally adjustable magnetic brake, provides for the ultimate in fine casting control over a wide range of baits and conditions
  • Performance Defined – Only the finest components are used to deliver professional level performance. Hard forged brass/aluminum gears, aircraft grade aluminum spool, high grade comfortable EVA knobs and braid resistant ceramic line guide insert ensure that these casting reels will be your trusted partner every time you hit the water.

High End KastKing Spinning Reel

I’m a big fan of these saltwater Kapstan reels and use them on my kayak for bottom fishing in tidal waters. 

KastKing Kapstan Elite Spinning Reel,Saltwater Fishing Reel,Size 3000
  • Built for Saltwater Fishing: Specially engineered for offshore saltwater fishing. Kapstan Elite Spinning Reel is KastKing’s highest level 100% Waterproof fishing reel at level of IPX6, with up to 15 EverSeal rubber rings to keep water out of the main gear. The KastKing Intrusion Shield System includes labyrinth-style greased sealing grooves that reduce rotational resistance and provide an innovative water-tight seal.
  • Exceptionally Strong & Smooth Drag: This premium saltwater spinning reel is designed with a powerful braking force for reeling in Big Fish. Sizes 3000/4000 have an ultra-smooth triple-disc carbon fiber drag system and 30lbs max drag; 5000/6000 have a quad-disc carbon fiber drag system with 40lbs max drag; 8000 have a special double drag system, that consist of five front carbon fiber discs and one oversized spool carbon disc, to provide 55lbs max drag. Perfect for reeling in big game fish.
  • Super Strong Aluminum Body: Max-strength CNC aluminum frame construction. Sizes 3000/4000 have a carbon fiber rotor for strength with reduced weight. Sizes 5000/6000/8000 have a CNC Aluminum Rotor for extra-strength and power fishing. The large power handle and knob are machined from solid aluminum to provide incredible cranking power. This spinning reel has the strongest overall design for offshore sport-fishing, deep-sea game fishing, and blue water fishing.
  • Ultra-Smooth & Reliable: Each Kapstan Elite reel is equipped with 6 double-shielded stainless steel ball bearings that provide a superbly smooth feel even in rough conditions. Plus one special-designed polymer roller bearing that is high-strength and never rust, and one 8-pin stainless steel one-way bearing to prevent the flywheel from reversing.
  • Aero-Space Quality Gears: Best-in-class HRB 90 high strength aerospace alloy pinion gear with manganese brass gear guarantees extreme durability and a smooth operation. These heavy-duty gears are 20% more durable than Aluminum and 95% more durable than zinc alloys. And the high-capacity CNC aluminum spool has a braid-ready structure, so there’s no need for back braiding when spooling.
Quantum logo

Quantum Fishing Overview

This is a Zebco brand, founded in 1984 to lead the way of their parent company’s innovation and precision-engineered fishing products. They don’t currently offer any fly or trolling reels, but they do have a nice line of baitcasters and spinning reels that range from quite affordable to high end.

What They’re Known For

The brand was almost instantly popular with bass tournament anglers, especially those who preferred low-profile baitcasters for largemouths. It wasn’t long before outdoor writers fell in love with Quantum. It is rare to get through a fishing magazine without seeing some kind of endorsement for this brand. But it isn’t hype. Quantum draws from the years of Zebco’s industry dominance, and they are constantly updating and improving their reels and other tackle products. So there’s a lot to write about. This mostly free publicity helps Quantum to continue its growth season after season.

Best Selling Quantum Reel

Quantum Reliance Spinning Fishing Reel, Size 40 Reel, Changeable Right- or Left-Hand Retrieve, Anti-Corrosive Bearings, Water-Tight Seal, Saltguard Protection, Silver/Black
  • ULTRA-DURABLE PERFORMANCE: Long after its competitors fizzle out the Reliance size 40 spinning reel performance is designed with a durable aluminum body, forged aluminum spool and sturdy one-piece K-alloy handle, to keep on fighting
  • TROUBLE-FREE SALTWATER USE: Quantum Reliance reel features saltguard protection and 6 anti-corrosion bearings (5 + 1) to take on any fish in any element, equally at home in freshwater or saltwater. The roller bearings provide instant anti-reverse for immediate hooksets and super smooth performance for any application
  • WATER-TIGHT SEAL: Ready to go in all elements including rain, sleet or high winds, thanks to the water resistant fully sealing and maintenance free design that protects the reel's bearings, gears and other critical components from water corrosion, sand and wear
  • SUPERIOR DESIGN: This spinning reel is constructed with an SCR aluminum body and rotor, 6.0:1 gear ratio and 37 IPT for a smooth and consistent retrieve. The reel features the convenience of a changeable right- or left-hand retrieve. The ceramic carbon drag system can hold up to 25-pounds of max drag giving you the ultimate in design and strength to reel in your prize catch

High End Quantum Reel

Quantum Cabo Saltwater Spinning Fishing Reel, Size 80 Reel, Changeable Right- or Left-Hand Retrieve, Magnum CSC Drag System, SCR Aluminum Body and Side Cover, Silver/Blue
  • EFFORTLESS FISHING: The Cabo size 80 spinning reel is built for long-lasting, fish-stopping performance, with a convenient changeable right- or left-hand retrieve and Maxcast 2.0 to minimize friction between the fishing line and spool when casting
  • TROUBLE-FREE SALTWATER USE: With its Titanium TiMag fail-proof bail wire with magnetic trip and saltguard protection, the Cabo reel was built to withstand saltwater environments for long-lasting performance. The saltwater SCR corrosion resistant aluminum body and side covers protect against wear and rust from saltwater and other foreign substances
  • SUPERIOR DESIGN: This spinning reel features a C4LF rotor, a 4.9:1 gear ratio and 41 IPT (inches per turn) for a smooth and consistent retrieve. The Magnum CSC drag system can hold up to 50-pounds of max drag giving you the ultimate in design and strength to reel in your prize catch. Ready to go in all elements including rain, sleet or high winds
  • VERSATILE USE: The Cabo reel offers a braided line capacity of 380/65 yds/lbs and a mono line capacity of 330/20 yds/lbs. This reel is for heavy species from catfish to striper and more ready to help you set a new gold standard for angling achievement
  • ROCK-SOLID PROTECTION: All Quantum gear is protected for a rock-solid 5-years from original date of purchase against defects in workmanship and/or materials. Engineered for real-world performance, your Quantum fishing rods, reels, and combos are guaranteed to work as hard as you do, year after year
Zebco logo

Zebco Fishing Overview

Here’s another leading reel manufacturer that was founded by a watchmaker. The company has grown from its first steps in the 1940s to a giant maker of all kinds of outdoor products, but it is still best known for its fishing gear. It has acquired and sold many smaller fishing company’s along its way to becoming one of the biggest and perhaps most famous angling supplier.

What They’re Known For

Board any charter ocean fishing boat, and you are likely to find one of Zebco’s big heavy-duty reels. They have a reputation for quality surf and deep-sea reels.

Another thing they’re known for is the closed-head design spinning reels, sometimes called spincasters, that are so popular for kids. But adults love that they tend to stay tangle-free as well. Some of these bullet spinners made in the 1950s are still in use today. That speaks to the durability and quality that the brand is known for.

Best Selling Zebco Reel

Zebco OMEGA PRO 3SZ SC REEL 10#, Size 30, Black
  • POWERFUL REEL: The Omega Pro Spincast is a closed-cast fishing reel that comes pre-spooled with 10-pound Zebco fishing line. This reel features aluminum covers, an extra Dual-Paddle handle, and a soft-touch thumb button for smooth and easy casting.
  • SMOOTH RETRIEVAL: This reel features 7 bearings (6 + clutch), a 19-inch retrieve rate, right/left hand retrieve, and all-metal gears to stand tough for many fishing adventures to come!
  • RELIABLE: The Omega Pro brings an elevated fishing experience to a trusted spincast. The instant anti-reverse technology on this reel helps you secure your next prized catch, enhancing any fishing trip due to its smooth feel and reliability.
  • VERSATILE USE: With a mono capacity of 85/10, this reel is especially ideal for heavy species such as walleye, bass, catfish, and striper. Set a new gold standard for angling achievement with Omega Pro.

High End Zebco Reel

Zebco Omega Pro Spincast Fishing Reel, 7 Bearings (6 + Clutch), Instant Anti-Reverse with a Smooth Triple-Cam, Dial-Adjustable Disk Drag, Powerful All-Metal Gears, Spare Spool, Size 20,Black
  • POWERFUL REEL: The Omega Pro Spincast is a closed-cast fishing reel that comes pre-spooled with 6-pound Zebco fishing line. This reel features aluminum covers, an extra Dual-Paddle handle, and a soft-touch thumb button for smooth and easy casting.
  • SMOOTH RETRIEVAL: This reel features 7 bearings (6 + clutch), a 19-inch retrieve rate, right/left hand retrieve, and all-metal gears to stand tough for many fishing adventures to come!
  • RELIABLE: The Omega Pro brings an elevated fishing experience to a trusted spincast. The instant anti-reverse technology on this reel helps you secure your next prized catch, enhancing any fishing trip due to its smooth feel and reliability.
  • VERSATILE USE: With a mono capacity of 85/6, this reel is especially ideal for your favorite heavy species such as walleye, bass, catfish, and striper. Set a new gold standard for angling achievement with Omega Pro.
Piscifun logo

Piscifun Fishing Overview

This young company was started in 2013 by two fishing buddies. They are committed to what they refer to as “rapid product updating,” It doesn’t seem, however, that their products are updated all that often. But that isn’t really necessary if you get it right the first time. The company’s reputation is for high quality and functionality, so it seems that the two friends know what they’re doing.

They manufacture spinning, baitcasting and fly reels. The company has recently started to gain traction in other fishing gear, like waders, tackle boxes and backpacks. This may or may not shift the focus away from reels, but it seems as though Piscifun’s foothold in the reel niche is strong.

What They’re Known For

At this point, they’re known mostly for large sealed drag fly reels. They also have gotten a reputation for large open-design baitcasters for both freshwater and saltwater. It will be interesting to check back in a few years and take a look at the Piscifun’s line of reels. They may become an industry leader in fly reels, and there’s a possibility that they’ll capture a much bigger saltwater market share.

Best Selling Piscifun Reel

Piscifun Torrent Baitcaster Fishing Reel, 18LB Carbon Fiber Drag, Magnetic Braking System Baitcasting Reel, 7.1:1 Gear Ratio Innovative Low Profile Casting Reel, Left Handed
  • 【Unbeatable Value and Performance】The Piscifun Torrent I is a baitcaster reel that is affordable yet delivers exceptional performance and durability. It is designed to cater to anglers of all levels and comes in a compact size with a concealed side cover release.
  • 【High-Performance】The new double bearing supported pinion gear technology used in this product offers high-performance and delivers a 30% increase in smoothness under load compared to the single bearing supported technology. Plus, the Japanese Hamai cut 3604 brass gears, nickel-plated brass driver shaft, and CNC aluminum spools make this baitcasting reel incredibly strong and reliable
  • 【Adaptable to Your Needs】Piscifun baitcasting reel available in 5.3:1 and 7.1:1 gear ratio options. The 5.3:1 gear ratio model is perfect for crankbaits or slower presentations, while the 7.1:1 gear ratio model quickly picks up fishing line at 30” per turn, making it great for pitching jigs or burning baits at high speed. From cranking to flipping and pitching, the Torrent has you covered.
  • 【Unmatched Drag Power】The Torrent baitcasting reel offers unmatched drag power, with an 18lbs drag system that enables anglers to unleash their fishing potential. The baitcaster reel utilizes advanced triple carbon washers to provide ultimate strength when battling trophy fish, is design to help anglers manage the fight with the fish and increase their chances of successfully landing their catch.
  • 【Ease of Use】Maximize your reel's performance. The unique side plate oil port design of this fishing reel makes it very user-friendly and easy to maintain. This feature not only helps beginners to take care of their fishing reel, but it also helps experienced anglers to perform maintenance work more quickly and easily. As a result, this design contributes to extending the overall lifespan of the reel and ensuring its maximum performance.

High End Piscifun Reel

Piscifun Carbon X Spinning Reels, Light to 7.7oz, 6.2:1 High Speed Gear Ratio, Carbon Frame and Rotor, 10+1 Shielded BB, Smooth Powerful Freshwater Spinning Fishing Reel, 2000 Series
  • 【Feather Light】The Carbon X is meticulously crafted with an all carbon fiber body, rotor and side plate making it one of the lightest in its class, size 500 weighing in at a mere 5.1 oz. The Carbon X greatly reduces the fatigue placed on your wrist over a long day of chasing those trophy fish.
  • 【Consistent & Powerful Drag】3 premium oversized carbon washers give you a best in class up to 33lbs drag power and the sealed rubber ring protects your drag from being compromised by water and dust. These drag features offer you the ultimate experience whether you’re chasing your tournament kicker or spending a day with the kids on the lake.
  • 【Silky Smooth】You will be amazed at the incredible smoothness of the Carbon X, the 10+1 shielded stainless steel ball bearings are critical for increased smooth operation, retrieve performance and corrosion resistance.
  • 【Multiple Retrieves】The Piscifun Carbon X spinning reels features a lightning fast 6.2:1 gear ratio as well as a buttery smooth 5.2:1 in our 1000 model. These 2 gear ratios are the perfect combination, the high speed retrieve helps every angler battle the strong, fast runs of the biggest fish and the moderate speed is perfect for finessing in your next trophy.
  • 【Unique & Innovative】The Carbon X is loaded with incredible features like our reinforced anti corrosion stainless steel main shaft and Zinc Alloy drive gear, direct drive screw-in aluminum handle, hollow nest shaped spool, smooth positive click drag, and high density EVA knob. These features are typically found in reels in a much higher price range, but we are making it affordable for everyone. After saltwater fishing, please lubricate the spinning reel to guarantee its long-lasting smoothness.

Summary of the Top Fishing Reel Brands

There you have it! I’m sure you may have been surprised to see some of these brands as they haven’t been around for very long. Each of the companies has impressed me whether it be their longstanding quality reels, the sexiness of their products (and marketing) and even how I see these companies positioning themselves in a fast paced growing fishing industry.

What do think? Did we miss one (some)? I’d love to hear from you on my contact page. Thanks for taking the time to check out my page. Much appreciation! Jesse

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