Best Steelhead Spinning Reel

Last Updated: 19.04.19

Steelhead spinning reels – Buying Guide, Reviews, and Comparison

If you’re short on time and all you want is to find what the best steelhead pinning reel is, you can rely on this short paragraph to give you all the information you require. After looking at what consumer steelhead spinning reel reviews and professional fishers had to say, we’ve come to the conclusion that the Okuma Helios is the one that you should consider. What makes this product stand out is the extremely lightweight design which at just 8.8 ounces will allow you to fish for longer periods of time without getting tired. The Okuma alternative is not only light but also durable as the C-40X long strand carbon fiber construction makes this product 50% stronger than standard graphite-framed reels. It is also a perfect alternative to be used in cold water as this option can hold up to the elements without freezing. In the unfortunate event that the Okuma Helios is unavailable, we believe that the Abu Garcia Revo is the second-best alternative.



Comparison table




Our top choices


We know that selecting the best spinning reel for steelhead can be a challenge, especially if you’re a beginner. To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a list with some of the critically acclaimed options available for sale today.



Okuma Helios


If you enjoy spending hours and hours fishing and want the best product for the job, the Okuma Helios is exactly what you need. The lightweight design makes this a perfect choice for people that don’t want to take breaks as at just 8.8 ounces this alternative won’t add a lot of weight to your setup which means that you’ll be able to spend a few extra hours practicing your favorite hobby without feeling tired.

This product might be light, but that does not mean in any way it is also not durable. By using a cutting edge C-40x long strand carbon fiber construction, this choice will be able to handle a lot of force. As a plus, you also have an aluminum and brass gear system. This mix of materials makes this option 25% lighter and 50% stronger than most alternatives on the market.

Using this option is also extremely easy, and you will not have to struggle to catch your steelhead as the gear is smooth. In fact, customers are so happy with this product and how easy it is to operate that they believe the Okuma Helios feels more like an extension of their hands because of how easy it is to use.

Click to see the price on Amazon!





Abu Garcia Revo


A perfect choice for beginners and experienced anglers alike, the Abu Garcia Revo is a quality product that seeks to provide the best experience to as many customers as possible. It uses an eight stainless steel HPCR bearings which had customers impressed with the smoothness that it offers. Add to that the fact that the product comes with increased corrosion protection and you have yourself an alternative that is built to last.

The gear design that uses only the most recent technology such as computer optimization makes the gear system used in the Abu Garcia Revo one of the most efficient in its price range. For a smooth and reliable drag performance that will help you catch even the biggest of fish, this option uses the latest carbon matrix hybrid drag system.

To ensure a better casting accuracy, the Abu Garcia Revo uses its Rocket Spool Lip design to control the rate at which the line comes off the spool. This neat feature works together with the Rocket Line Management System which improves the versatility of this product by allowing for additional control, no matter of the type of fishing line that you are using.

Buy from for ($159.95)





Shimano Sienna FE


If you’re looking for a product that offers a great combination of durability, bearing quality and power and all in a lightweight body, the SHIMANO SIENNA FE is the one for you. Using an XGT-7 body that gives this option great durability, you can be sure that the strength of this product is more than enough to enable you to catch even the most aggressive of fishes.

The use of XGT-7 composite also makes this product quite compact as well as lighter and stronger. The internal mechanism is protected better than ever which means that you get something that will last for longer and be able to withstand even extreme weather and environments.

With a drag power of 9 lbs is more than enough to help you catch even larger steelheads. As a plus, the use of the Dyna-Balance design will help get rid of uncomfortable vibrations that can occur when you retrieve.

To top it all off, the SHIMANO SIENNA FE is also the most affordable pick on our list. This makes it an ideal choice for beginners that don’t want to commit to an expensive purchase. Even by paying a fraction of what other more costly alternatives may cost, you still get a quality purchase that does not compromise in any area.

Buy from for ($35.49)





Daiwa Fuego


The Daiwa Fuego is a versatile product that is great for a huge variety of applications, including, but certainly not limited to steelhead fishing. It uses an air rotor that cuts a few ounces out of the total weight of this option, allowing for better sensitivity and an overall smoother experience.

The machine cut aluminum handle is exactly what you would expect, easy to maneuver without requiring a lot of force. The handle knob is made out of comfortable EVA which is not only soft to the touch but also firm enough and with a great grip even when using with gloves or with a wet hand.

With the help of the new HaedBodyz design, your product will be able to respond to even the smallest of tugs while also adding additional durability. The same design also helps reduce some of the weight, making the Daiwa Fuego weigh less than past generations.

The use of corrosion-resistant ball bearings helps make the Daiwa Fuego a tool that is suitable for both fresh and saltwater use. You also won’t have to worry about the mechanism failing which means that your purchase will be future proof and last for longer than the alternatives that lack this feature.  

Click to see the price on Amazon!





13 Fishing ONE3


The 13 Fishing ONE3 is another affordable option that has garnered the appreciation of the customers that have bought and tested it. It offers great quality for the money, in fact, it is quite difficult to find another alternative that offers similar features for a similar price. It’s the perfect tool to use when steelhead fishing.

When fishing with the ONE3, you will be impressed by the advanced grip that this product uses and that will help you maintain your edge. The Evolve Soft Touch Knobs are purposely built to provide you with comfort as well as to ensure a good grip even when fighting to catch big fish.

Add to that the Strong Arm one-piece aluminum handle and you have a product that is ready to face any challenge. The use of high-quality aluminum means that the handle will be light but tough enough never to fail you when it matters. The handle is also carefully designed to eliminate unwanted wiggle and vibration.

By employing only the best materials, the 13 Fishing ONE3 is built with precision components as well as the latest technology and engineering. This allows the customers to get the latest features without having to pay a lot for them.

Buy from for ($39.99)





Buying guide


Finding the best salmon and steelhead spinning reel is not an easy task and requires that you spend a lot of time prospecting the market, time that not everyone has to spare. To help you in this matter, we have compiled the following buyer’s guide to assist you in finding the product you need.

By taking into account the opinion of customers and experts alike, we have been able to pinpoint the features that you should look for in a product. If you’re having trouble picking the best reel tailored to your needs, the guide below should be of use to you.


You want an option that will last

The most important feature that a good spinning reel for steelhead should have is good build quality. You want your option to be built of only the best materials available that put an emphasis on durability. The last thing you would want when purchasing anything is only to be able to use it for a couple of times until it becomes inoperable.

To avoid such a scenario, you need to pay close attention to what your product is built out of. Spinning reels nowadays are made of plastic, aluminum or graphite.  Out of the three, the plastic body is the one we recommend the least because it has a fair share of disadvantages and the only advantage it really has is the low production cost.

We found that an aluminum body makes the best option as it combines the lightweight of the graphite alternative but without sacrificing any strength.

Similarly, you also need to consider if you intend to fish in saltwater or freshwater. For saltwater fishing, a graphite body is the best choice as it will not corrode like aluminum and plastic.  


A product suitable for the task

When fishing for steelhead, you need a product that can do the job right, and for this, you will have to consider both the general rules of steelhead fishing as well as your personal preferences. First, this isn’t an easy fish to catch, but it can sure be one of the most fun to catch.

To make sure that you are well equipped for the task you need to verify that the product you chose is designed to handle rough conditions. Most steelhead love to swim in fast water and unless you have a spinning reel that can handle such conditions you will find yourself having troubles.

Thus, you need to make sure that you have a reel that is durable and that can withstand a great deal of force. Depending on where you fish you might have to decide whether weight or strength is more important for you.


Consider comfort

When you spend hours and hours holding the rod, any ounce that you can spare can make your experience more comfortable, which is why the weight of the reel is also a crucial factor to consider. The lighter your product is, the more you will be able to spend fishing without your hands getting tired.

At the same time, you need to consider that a lightweight design is not always the best choice, especially if the material that is being used is not suitable for the task of fishing steelhead. Graphite is the lightest material that manufacturers use, but unfortunately, it does not offer the same strength that aluminum does.

A plastic body is heavy, and unfortunately, that heaviness does not even add extra strength to the product, as plastic is unreliable for strength and can break easily. If you want a lightweight option, we recommend you avoid a plastic build.


How much are you willing to invest in your hobby?

If some of the options available on the market seem to be more expensive than you would have liked, you shouldn’t worry about it. While spending more will most definitely give you a product that can perform better, you don’t have to worry that a more affordable alternative will not be good enough.

In fact, before committing to a purchase, it is crucial that you consider just how much you want to invest in this hobby. If you have numerous hobbies and fishing is just one of them, you might have to juggle your budget around and buying the best products is not always a viable option.

Thankfully, you can find a lot of options that come at a really good price and that do not sacrifice quality for affordability. These options are great for beginners and novices but for more experienced fishermen that want to improve their performance, better and more expensive reels are advisable.



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