Offshore fishing reels – Buying Guide, Reviews, and Comparison
Finding the best reel for offshore fishing can be a daunting task, especially with so many models flooding the market every month. There are many specifications to compare and lots of features to take into account. So how do you go about choosing the right product for your needs, especially when you need to take into account gear ratios, building materials, and of course, price? We have tried to come up with a definitive list of the best reels for this type of fishing which we think provide the most value to customers. After carefully studying a myriad of options, we have decided that the Okuma Makaira has the best quality and provides the most features for its price. However, since many great things get sold quite fast nowadays, you may need to consider the Fin-Nor Marquesa in case our first recommendation becomes unavailable.
Our top choices
If you’re looking for the best offshore fishing reel but don’t have time to browse the internet and study dozens of products, then our list of top rated products would definitely save you time. Read our offshore reel reviews and find out what they have to offer.
The Okuma Makaira Trolling Reel MK-80WII is perhaps one of the more popular reels in the series, widely appreciated by both novices and experienced anglers. The reel frame is made of high-grade 6061-T6 machined aluminum which provides it with superior strength, precise alignment as well as more tolerance to both pressure and torque.
With the patented T-Bar handle, you benefit from an ergonomic design that’s meant to provide comfort as well as precision due to a correct holding angle and comfortable grip. The gearing is made of corrosive-resistant steel so that you don’t have to worry about fishing in saltwater and damaging your reel.
You also get to enjoy the high-performance Carbonite Dual Force system which uses the popular Cal’s universal reel and drag grease for smooth interaction between parts as well as better protection against wear and corrosion.
This model comes with custom design bearings which not only provide smooth action all-around but also alleviate side load even when heavy drag settings are in use. With gear ratios of 3.1-1 and 4.1:1 you get the versatility you need for a great fishing experience. With the Okuma Makaira Trolling Reel MK-80WII, you get to drag up to 70 pounds at strike and a whopping 100 pounds at full.
This is an excellent offshore fishing reel because it has an aluminum frame with forged side plates, so it is bound to resist years of intensive use and harsh humidity conditions.
The gearing system is made from the brand’s proprietary hybrid corrosion-resistant stainless steel so that salt won’t damage it.
When it comes to drag, the model rocks the Carbonite Dual Force system that features Cal’s universal drag grease for enhanced performance.
The reel’s custom designed thrust bearing alleviates side load on heavy drag settings. This shows that the brand hired experts to create the piece and that it doesn’t lack in any area.
The golden color of the product might be hard to match if you’re the kind of person who enjoys uniformity.
Moreover, the unit sometimes stutters under heavy loads, which can be a bummer for some buyers that expect great things from the brand.Buy from Amazon.com for ($859.99)
The Fin-Nor Marquesa MA3011 is another popular choice for fishing enthusiasts. Made from durable and precisely-machined 6061-T6 aluminum, this drag casting reel is durable and extremely strong and is meant to put up with the corrosive action of seawater. You also get the drag system which is very light but tough due to the use of carbon fiber. This model comes with 5+1 high-quality bearings which are great for resisting side load and are especially useful for the powerful drag setting.
Thanks to its versatile design and different gear ratios, this reel is well-suited for people who want to be prepared for any type of catch. You get a 6.1:1 retrieve gear to drag the catch as fast as possible as well as a powerful 3.1:1 gear for increased torque and an effortless drag of even heavy fish.
With an ergonomic crank handle, this reel ensures a good grip and steady action even in extreme scenarios, while the adjustable clicker tension allows you to easily switch modes with a simple turn of the dial. The advanced continuous Anti-Reverse clutch will ensure that the reel cannot go backward and spoil your catch.
The ultralight model is precision-machined and created from the sturdy 6061-T6 aluminum.
It features one of the strongest drag systems ever put into a reel, without adding any additional weight to the product.
The two-speed model features a fast 6.1:1 retrieve and a 3.1:1 retrieve for even vaster versatility and control. This way, it can be ideal for tournament fishing or stand-up fishing no matter what your technique is.
It rocks a carbon-fiber drag system, and it has a 320 yds./30 lbs line mono capacity. Mostly, the item is praised for its smoothness and for the fact that it is powerful and sturdy.
There aren’t many things that are wrong with the piece, but there were some who believed it might be a bit overpriced, considering the fact it is not especially innovative or unique, and that there are cheaper models available for sale.Buy from Amazon.com for ($419.95)
Fin-Nor Offshore Spin
The Fin-Nor Offshore Spin OFS45 is one of the affordable models in the series. With a strong body, rotor, and side plate made of heavy-duty aluminum, this is an ultra-durable reel that is meant for anglers who want something they can always trust.
The precisely-machined steel pinion gears, shaft, and drive have just the right tolerance to provide you with smooth and steady action whenever you are out fishing while also being extremely durable, so you get a longer service life at a fraction of the price of many other professional models.
The Fin-Nor Offshore Spin OFS45 uses 4 stainless steel bearings which are double-shielded, able to provide resistance to side load as well as give you a smoother feel for the line. You also get an oversized drag with a multi-stack ability, as well as carbon fiber washers. The spool is made of forged aluminum which is lightweight and strong.
The bail arm and power roller work with all other parts to provide you with a powerful 4.1:1 gear ratio which has enough torque for reeling in heavy fish, but is also fast enough for smaller species, so that you get to use the same reel on multiple fishing adventures and take advantage of its versatility.
The Fin-Nor product packs a series of features that are bound to impress you. For starters, it was created to rock a strong aluminum body, side plate, and rotor, all so that it can survive even the most stubborn fish.
Its machined stainless steel drive and pinion gears and center shaft can face salty water and humidity without corroding and without diminishing the unit’s performance.
The model has four double-shielded stainless steel bearings, oversized multi-stack drag, and it features carbon fiber washers and a forged aluminum spool.
Moreover, the powerful 4.4:1 retrieve ratio is enough even for the most demanding fishers out there.
Buyers hate the fact that the reel feels too heavy. It is not a deal-breaker, but it is noticeable to those used to lighter models.
Also, note that its surface is prone to scratches if you don’t store it properly or if you’re not careful while handling it.Click to see the price on Amazon!
Whether this is the first fishing reel you’re about to buy or you’re looking to upgrade an older model, finding the right one for your needs could be challenging. When considering the best saltwater fishing reel, you need to decide on gear ratios, build materials, as well as a budget. So, here are a few things you might want to know before making a choice.
Build quality and features
Most fishing reels are made of a variety of materials, although top models usually use high-grade aluminum for the case and other structure parts. This confers them with durability while also ensuring that they stay lightweight. Some fishing reels may have components made of carbon fibers, as these are even lighter than aluminum and more flexible, but they always come at a higher price.
Rotors, pinion gears, and shafts are usually made of stainless steel for minimum wear as well as resistance to corrosion, since these models are made for saltwater fishing.
The more bearings, the better
You might also want to consider getting a good offshore reel with multiple bearings since these can support heavier side loads and provide for a much smoother feel. The more bearings the reel has the more pressure it can withstand, and the more robust the performance. Some models come with just one or two bearings, while others have 3+1 or even 7+1 bearings for superior performance and durability.
Another advantage is that you can always replace worn bearings and increase the service life of your fishing reel.
Have a budget in mind
Before you go spending all your hard-earned money on the most expensive model out there, you might want to set up a budget first. That way, you can focus on the features which are most important to you, such as weight, performance, resistance or gear ratios. Choose the model that is for sale at the right price for the right reasons and you’ll be surely satisfied with your purchase.