Ocean fishing reels – Buying Guide, Reviews, and Comparison
When it comes to fishing in the open sea, anything but the best ocean fishing reel simply won’t do. You need a reliable tool that you know you can trust to help you bring that perfect catch back home. But finding a proper fishing reel can take a lot of time. Fortunately, we’ve studied and compared dozens of models so that you don’t have to. We bring you some of the most appreciated fishing reels on the market to help you make the best purchase. Out of our product list, the Penn Fathom is our top choice. With a 2-speed design, a sturdy metal frame, some of the latest technology implements and some nifty features, this product is a great addition to any angler’s fishing set. In case this product runs out of stock, our second recommendation is the Penn Torque Gold.
Our Top Choice
For ocean fishing, you need a reel that can truly withstand the challenges such an environment presents. This two-speed model may be right up your alley, as it works in various situations to ensure that you will be able to drag your catch to your boat without a problem. A metallic structure offers excellent durability, and you will notice that the pinion gears are made of stainless steel, for added resistance to rust and corrosion.
The configuration of the reel may not be that easy to figure out.
For heavy loads and quick catches, this reel is just what you need.
While the beautiful appearance of this spinning reel may be the first thing you will notice when you go shopping for such gear, it is its durability that will convince you it is the right choice for ocean fishing. The anodized aluminum construction ensures that rust and corrosion will not become issues during your fishing trips, and even the spool is made from aluminum, to keep its entire weight to a minimum.
The handle could have been smoother, given the price tag.
Convenient to use, this lightweight reel is ideal of ocean fishing.
Not everyone might have a lot of money to splurge on a fishing reel, so this model is created with the needs of such anglers in mind. While the price tag is an important selling point, there are other aspects that make this model from Daiwa a good buy. For instance, its ABS spool lets you use the entire line if need be, something that is important when you go ocean fishing. Built with durability in mind, it is also lightweight.
Some maintenance is required, according to some buyers.
An affordable option, this reel is a good choice for anglers.
8 Best Ocean fishing reels (Reviews) in 2019
Because we know that picking the perfect fishing reel isn’t easy, we thought that you could use some help. After having studied countless ocean fishing reel reviews, we have come up with some of the best out there so that you get to enjoy your fishing adventures to the maximum.
1. Penn Fathom
The Penn Fathom is a 2-speed fishing reel that’s durable, precise and smooth. Its entire structure is made of metal, with a solid aluminum frame and sides. The pinion gears are made of stainless steel, with drilled-out sections that make it a lot lighter without affecting either its strength or speed.
Thanks to the Quick Shift system, you get to instantly switch between different gears, swapping from high retrieval gear to the powerful cranking low speed for heavier catches. With the 60 size model, you also get switchblade harness lugs which are great for adding stability, especially during high-intensity battles with larger species of fish.
This model benefits from the Dura-Drag washers which prevent jerks even when under heavy load and extreme drag. Equipped with 5 shielded ball bearings, this fishing reel is meant to provide you with silky-smooth action on both casting and drag so that you get to enjoy your fishing adventures to the maximum. With this reel, you also get double dog ratchet anti-reverse to eliminate back-play and other problems, especially at heavier drag. You also get to see how much line you’ve got left with the line capacity rings of the spool.
You can count on this reel to be durable, as it is made from solid metal, and designed to last for many years without a mishap.
While the frame and the sides are made from aluminum, the pinion gears are made from stainless steel, thus making the reel resistant to rust and corrosion.
As this is a two-speed reel, it’s nice to have the Quick Shift technology at your fingertips so that you can rapidly switch from high-gear to low-gear.
The switchblade harness lugs are another great touch, as they will give you just the necessary extra edge to fight heavy fish that put up a lot of fight.
Another aspect that makes this reel ideal for heavy loads is the design of the Dura-Drag washers that will eliminate jerkiness.
One thing you might not like much about this model is that it is not fully sealed, which means that water and debris might still wear it out eventually.Click to see the price on Amazon!
2. Penn Torque Gold
The Penn Torque Gold is a versatile fishing reel that’s perfectly-suited for ocean fishing. It is manufactured according to the highest standards in the United States. The body and sideplates are made of heavy-duty machined aluminum. These structural elements are also anodized in order to preserve their beautiful golden design as well as to increase their resistance to corrosion from seawater or mechanical damage from dents and scratches.
The spool of this model is also made of forged aluminum, making it extremely durable yet ultra-light, capable of keeping the line even under extreme drag settings. Thanks to its line capacity rings, the spool also shows you how much line there is left so that you get to adjust the settings to ensure you don’t lose the catch or put too much effort when dragging.
The pinion gears and the main gears are made of stainless steel which confers them great strength as well as resistance to oxidation or other chemical corrosive agents. With the new Dura-Drag system, all hesitation or jerky movements are eliminated, providing you with the peace of mind that you won’t lose line stability when you need it the most.
This reel is designed to abide by the highest quality standards, and this shows in the durability and overall craftsmanship.
Its body and side plates are made from anodized aluminum, so you can expect the beautiful appearance of this model to last for a long time.
Since the spool is made from aluminum, too, you won’t be surprised to notice how lightweight this reel is, as well as easy to maneuver.
You will find the line rigs to come in handy when you need to know how much line you have left so that you can apply just the right pressure when required.
Extra resistance is provided by the gears made from stainless steel, a durable material that will behave beautifully in saltwater.
Maybe the pricing won’t be to your liking, but in case you don’t mind paying for quality, this reel is everything you could have hoped for.Click to see the price on Amazon!
3. Daiwa Saltist 5.3:1
If you’re looking for an affordable fishing reel that’s both strong and versatile, then the Daiwa Saltist is a great choice. Made of high-quality materials, this fishing reel is made to be resistant to saltwater and the elements and provide smooth fishing experiences every time. With a new ABS spool, you get to use 100 percent of the line without risking it becoming buried.
The main shaft and line roller make use of the modern Magsealed technology which employs a new and efficient Nano Fluid and sealing technology, improving performance and providing increased resistance to corrosion. This model is equipped with durable ball bearings which can last a lot longer than normal stainless steel bearings, ensuring precision and smooth action for many fishing adventures.
The precisely-machined air rotor is designed to weigh 15 percent less than a normal rotor, with an improved shape to make for an even distribution of stress and a structure that is more resistant compared to ordinary versions. With a gear ratio of 5.3:1, this fishing reel can provide you with enough crank power to reel in heavy fish but is also fast enough for a smaller catch, ensuring adaptability for different scenarios.
Created to resist saltwater conditions, the Daiwa Saltist is an excellent pick for anyone who is looking for durability and high performance.
Another advantage is the ABS spool that will allow you to use all the line you have at your disposal, without any risks of becoming unusable.
The shaft and the roller are both sealed with a particular type of fluid that ensures that there is no friction that could cause the reel to become worn out.
You will be pleased to see the ball bearings installed on this reel, as their main goal is to ensure smooth performance.
With an air rotor made to weigh 15% less than regular motors, this reel is lightweight compared to many others on the market.
One thing to bear in mind is that this reel requires a little bit of maintenance so that you can enjoy it for a long time without the need for a replacement.Click to see the price on Amazon!
4. Piscifun Torrent 18LB
This item is a great baitcaster fishing reel since it is a powerful and durable structure. It drags up to 18 pounds by using a carbon fiber drag that can deal even with big fish. The entire structure is also climate-resistant, containing Japanese Hami cut 3604 brass gears.
It features a high-speed 7.1:1 gear ratio that is designed for a versatile angler. The side-plate oil port offers prolonged maintenance. The reinforced gears are water-resistant, providing steady-speed retrievals in a smooth and quiet way. The entire fishing reel weights no more than 8 ounces.
It has four fit carbon drag washers and five effective magnetic brakes that prevent tangling. For more durability, the shielded bearings protect the reel from saltwater and oil wear particles. The stability and the good performance are also given by the double line winding shafts in order to feel confident while fishing.
This fishing reel is strong enough to drag up to 18 pounds.
The speed is one of its main features since it has a 7:1:1 high-speed gear ratio.
It has a graphite composite body that is durable and sturdy.
The magnetic brake system offers better backlash control.
It comes with 5+1 ball bearings that offer a 30-inch retrieve per turn.
The stainless screws and steel springs offer this product durability and reliable operation.
Coming with double line winding shafts, this fishing reel has strength, performance, and stability.
The quick oil port design avoids losing parts when doing a quick oil on your reel.
The reinforced CNC brass gear provides durability since it is water-resistant.
It also has an attractive design that looks very professional.
The handle bearings and the spool bearings are not quiet and they may squeak.
This fishing reel’s casting distance is not very long.Buy from Amazon.com for ($45.99)
5. Penn Squall LevelWind
This Lever Wind model is designed to work in different saltwater conditions and it is great for big game fish. The side plates, the bronze main gear, the stainless pinion gear, and the lightweight graphite frame are all combined in one durable construction.
The HT-100 carbon fiber drag system is both smooth and powerful. The smoothness is given by the stainless steel pinion gear. There are two ball bearings that are made of stainless steel and one instant anti-reverse bearing that prevents the backplay of the rotor. The handle’s length is adjustable according to your preferences.
The machined spool is made of aluminum which gives it strength and it has line capacity rings that are marked from ⅓ to full capacity. The forged spool is also braid-ready and in combination with the structure of the side plates and graphite frame, they make the entire structure a lightweight one.
The structure of this fishing reel is durable and lightweight, made to resist in saltwater.
The HT-100 drag system is made to hard-pull different fish species and yet remain supple even under heavy loads.
Fluid cranking is ensured by the 2 ball bearings and the anti-reverse bearing.
The length of the handle is adjustable for more comfort thanks to the Versa-Handle system.
Its machined spool that is made of aluminum is also braid-ready.
The spool has line capacity rings marked at ⅓, ⅔, and full capacity to see the remaining line.
It is a powerful item that has a wide drag capacity of 20 pounds.
This fishing reel works smoothly thanks to the stainless steel pinion gear.
This fishing reel is not made for deep-sea fishing so it may not be suitable if you are an advanced fisherman.
The reel is a right-handed one so avoid using this if you are left-handed.Buy from Amazon.com for ($149.95)
6. KastKing Sharky III
This next-generation fishing reel is made to last in all fishing conditions since it has a tough structure. Besides being powerful, this fishing reel is also lightweight due to its fiber-reinforced graphite rotor and body. It weighs no more than 18 ounces but it has an incredible drag power of 39.5 pounds given by the triple-disc carbon fiber drag.
For more strength, this product has an oversized main shaft that is made of stainless steel and mesh manganese brass pinion gears that give precision. The 10+1 shielded stainless steel bearings offer you a smooth and quiet fishing experience.
The backing line is avoided due to the braid-ready spool that also prevents the braid line from slipping. The high-density EVA grips helps you have a great fishing experience during wet conditions. The aluminum handle and the stainless steel hardware offer the product durability in time.
The spool, the rotor, and the body are protected from dirt and water thanks to the K.I.S.S. system (KastKing Intrusion Shield System).
It is a lightweight structure and yet a sturdy piece.
The line tangling is avoided thanks to the anti-twist line roller.
It comes with 10+1 ball bearings that provide force, even when you are fighting with larger game fish.
The retrieving of this model is very smooth and quiet.
The triple-disc carbon fiber drag has a drag capacity of 39.5 pounds, which means you can deal with a lot of fish species from the ocean or river.
The stainless steel main shaft creates a perfect spinning rod to help you cope with any situation.
For more durability, this fishing reel has its hardware made of stainless steel to resist deterioration in time.
You may encounter some problems with the line retrieval which may be uneven.
This model is designed more for left-handed people.Buy from Amazon.com for ($59.99)
7. Daiwa Sealine SL-H
This casting reel is built to work great in the saltwater of the oceans and seas. It is designed for right-handed people and it offers you the possibility of casting on a long distance. The retrieving of this model is very fast and yet very smooth.
The gear ratio is 6:1:1 and the line per handle turn is 35 inches. The structure weighs 16.8 ounces but it drags up to 15.4 pounds. The four ball bearings offer power mesh drive while the spool is specially made for long-casting. The infinite anti-reverse provides a better engage and constantly prevents the reel from turning backward.
Its drag washers are Teflon-impregnated which makes them smooth. The side plate and the frame are made of aluminum which is a lightweight material and also a durable one. The power handle makes your fishing experience a comforting one. This reel also offers a short-stroke clutch.
The spool of this fishing reel is adjustable in order to make your job easier.
It has a long-casting capacity so you can enjoy fishing at its finest.
The retrieving is ultra-fast and smooth, with a gear ratio of 6:1:1.
It has 4 ball bearings that offer the entire structure power and make it work smoothly.
This fishing reel’s components are made of aluminum for more strength.
The placement of the handle is low centered so you feel comfortable when you are dealing with larger captures.
It has a centrifugal spool brake to ensure better performance in saltwater.
The handle is convertible, having 2 positions.
This item comes with an infinite anti-reverse.
The drag capacity of this reel is not one of the biggest ones in the reels market, dragging a maximum of 15.4 pounds.
This reel is made only for right-handed people.Buy from Amazon.com for ($97.79)
8. Shimano Tiagra 30 W
This fishing reel is specially built to be resistant in saltwater, having a solid construction. Its features are easy to use in order to offer great performance even for demanding big game fish. The one-piece frame is made of aluminum to offer the structure sturdiness and durability.
The spool is also made of cool-forged aluminum and it works smoothly and fast. The gear ratio is 3:9:1 and it weighs 55.6 ounces. It has a large drag capacity of 34 pounds which makes it great for an advanced fisherman. The line-retrieve per crank is 41 inches/18 inches.
The four A RB ball bearings offer a smooth operation so you can enjoy fishing every time you’re using this reel. The 2 speed gears provide a fast retrieving and the handle offers you grip and comfort to cope while fighting with big fish.
This fishing reel is made to resist in many saltwater conditions and weather conditions.
The solid construction offers you confidence while fishing.
The handles are comfortable and soft and they also offer you good grip no matter the weather conditions.
Its drag capacity is quite impressive since it drags up to 34 pounds.
The aluminum frame gives the product durability and resistance to impacts.
Coming with two speed gears and four ball bearings, this reel works smoothly and fast for a better fishing experience.
The spool is also made of forged aluminum for more sturdiness.
The retrieving process is fast, having a gear ratio of 3:9:1.
It also has a minimalistic design that is combined very well with the efficiency of this fishing reel.
This reel is designed to be used by right-handed fishermen.
The structure of this fishing is not lightweight, so it may be too heavy for you.Buy from Amazon.com for ($599)
Finding the best saltwater reel out of so many models on the market can be tough, especially with so many specifications you might not know a lot about. The good news is that we’re here to help you understand some basics of fishing reels and provide you with top rated reviews so you get to choose what’s best for you.
Single or multiple-speed?
Some fishing reels come with one gear, while others can have two or more speed settings. Deciding on which type to get can be tricky. The more gears a fishing reel has, the more versatile it is. You can use such a model for both heavy fish and smaller catches, and many of these multiple gears can switch from one speed to the next quite easily.
However, more gears usually mean a higher price. Are you willing to pay for multiple speeds? Perhaps you want to specialize in catching a particular type of fish. You might also want lighter equipment, in which case single gears are better. What sort of fishing you want to do should dictate your choice.
Balancing price and quality
If you want the best reel for ocean fishing, you are probably looking at spending a few hundred dollars at the very least. You get to choose the best build materials, multiple bearings, extra features such as Dura-Drag, increased performance and higher drag capacities.
However, if you don’t plan to catch the heaviest fish or turn the passion into a trade, you don’t need to get the most expensive fishing reel out there. A more affordable model could do, and if you learn to master it and consider that you need to upgrade, then at least you’ll know what you want from the new model.
Multiple bearings can make the difference
Most modern models come with multiple bearings. Some have just two on each side of pinion gears, others have multiple bearings, some to increase resistance to side loads, others for smoother action in the roller.
Some of the more expensive models for sale can have 8 (7+1) or even more bearings, and they can definitely make a difference in both performance and feel.