Spinning reels come in a range of sizes, shapes, and materials. But you don’t need to break the bank to get a quality spinning reel. We have reviewed the top 10 spinning reels under 100 to find you the Best Spinning Reel Under 100.
If you are in a hurry:
Now, let us move to our in-depth reviews.
Top 10 Best Spinning Reels Under $100 Compared
Last update on 2022-09-24 / Paid links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
When the fish are out and jumping you need a high-performance spinning reel to bring them in. A quality reel should provide a good cast and strong retrieve.
To help you pick a reel in the $100 dollar range, we’ve reviewed some of the top-rated reels on the market.
Here is our pick of the Best Spinning Reels Under 100:
- KastKing Sharky 3
- Penn Pursuit III
- Shimano Sedona Fi
- Sharky Baitfeeder
- Okuma Ceymar C-65
- Penn Fierce III
- Pflueger Supreme XT
- Centron 5000
- Shimano Sahara
- KastKing Summer
So without any further ado, let’s take a look at each model in more detail.
Best Spinning Reel Under 100 Reviews
KastKing Sharky III
When you are ready to start fishing like a pro the Sharky III is one of the most popular spinning reels out there. It is a lightweight high-quality spinning reel you can use to catch large fishes up to 39 lbs. It is suitable for both saltwater and freshwater fishing.
KastKing Sharky III is an attractive reel of the box. You will notice its solid build and smooth movement of gears. You will not find a better spinning reel that handles or performs as well at this price.
The box may look small but it packs one of the top-rated spinning reels on the market. You will also find the cleaning and maintenance instructions in the box.
It comes with a large spool and a handle in the box. You can attach the handle to the spool by uncapping the handle hole and placing the handle in the spool hole and turning it like your reeling in a fish. Make sure to screw in the cap on the other side of the spool.
KastKing is well known for manufacturing quality reels and fishing gear at affordable prices. They a one-year peace of mind warranty.
Penn Pursuit III
Penn Pursuit III is an amazing spinning reel loaded with many features. It uses top-quality materials for bringing in the biggest fish. The all-metal design makes it ideal even for harsh use.
When you open the box, you will find the reel in two pieces wrapped up in plastic. To assemble you place the reel handle on the main part of the spool and turn it like you would if you were reeling in a fish. When it locks then you are all set to place some line on and ready to go.
You can feel the quality of this fishing reel when you first pick it up. It is all set for you to attach to a tackle and start reeling in the massive fish like a pro. It is stylish as well as easy to use.
The lightweight 4+1 ball bearings system provides an amazing power to reel in larger fish. Each component of this reel ensures you land the fish no matter the size.
Penn Pursuit is an awesome addition to any fishing tackle. It stands up against even more expensive spinning reels. Professional anglers recommend it to beginners due to its superior performance and affordable price.
Penn Fishing Tackle Mfg. Co. has been manufacturing fishing equipment since 1932 and has a great reputation. It works hard to give the fishing community high-quality gear at affordable prices. Penn Pursuit comes with a one-year warranty for any defects in material or workmanship.
Shimano Sedona Fi
I needed a new offshore saltwater reel and there was no doubt that I would buy Shimano Sedona Fi.
The specs include a 5.0:1 gear ratio and a 3+1 ball bearing mechanism. The weight is a little less than one pound. The line retrieve is 39 inches and the max drag is 24lbs. As far as spinning reels go you cannot get much better on power.
Shimano Sedona Fi spinning reel gets its power from the cross-carbon drag. It makes the drag very smooth without sacrificing power. If you hit something big you will definitely feel the power while reeling the fish in. I have caught Flounder and King Salmon on this spinning reel.
Shimano Sedona Fi uses Hagane gears for extra smooth reeling. It’s super strong and helps me bring in the big saltwater fish. I use it for offshore fishing, but you can use it for inshore as well.
I find myself using Sedona Fi all the time as I love the way it casts. Out of all the saltwater reels in my arsenal, this one has one of the longest casts. The cross-carbon drag keeps the reel smooth when I catch a big fish and it starts running.
I have had this reel for a few months but what I have read is that Sedona Fi lasts a long time. It is one of the best spinning reels under 100 dollars. You get what you pay for and when buying Shimano Sedona Fi spinning reel, you get quality!
Sharky Baitfeeder III comes with a max drag of 26.5 pounds. The dual drag offers you the ability to control the way you capture and reel in your catch.
The carbon fiber front drag is useful for those fish who like to fight. The rear drag is great for either drifting cut bait or live bait. This allows you to pick the bait and take in the line without much resistance for the fish. The fisherman can flip the lever at the right time, or by cranking the reel handle.
Sharky Baitfeeder has a powerful 5.5:1 gear ratio. It offers 33.9 IPT. The line recovery is great, especially when looking at the gear ratio. It helps bring in the big catches that we all hope to come home with.
It is an excellent spinning reel for using big baits or slow-rolling heavy baits in saltwater. You can control the line for smooth and easy casting. The retrieve is nice and smooth without fail.
Another important thing to look at is the bearings. The Sharky Baitfeeder has 10+1 shielded ball bearings. It has 10 bearings inside of the reel and an instant anti-reverse bearing. The reel stops immediately when you try to reel it backward. This offers a strong smooth pull for the fisherman.
Okuma Ceymar C-65
The sheer power of the Okuma Ceymar reel is insane. The reel has a built-in 8-bearing drive system that gives you ultimate flexibility. The complete design of this reel focuses on providing precision and stability.
Okuma Ceymar uses a multi-disc oiled felt drag system. It offers a max drag of 16 lbs., which is more than enough power for a saltwater reel. It has a max line capacity of 35/340, 40/260, or 50/160 mm.
Okuma Ceymar spinning reel comes with a quick-set anti-reverse bearing system that helps to stop slippage. It also has a RESII system to balance the rotor mechanism
The solid aluminum bail wire provides a high point of control for you to manipulate at your will. It has a machine-cut brass pinion gear to secure your catch with precision.
The reel comes with an ergonomic grip that provides great comfort. The lightweight EVA handle is easy to use. It gives your wrists and forearms significant relief.
Okuma Ceymar has a narrow blade design which makes it very versatile in its movements. It comes with a machined two-tone anodized aluminum spool. Also, the graphite body is corrosion-resistant.
You will appreciate the quick-set anti-reverse bearing made from machine-cut brass. The handle is super lightweight and feels comfortable in hand.
Okuma Ceymar comes with a standard 1-year manufacturer warranty. For more information visit the manufacturer’s website.
Penn Fierce III
Penn has a long reputation for making tough reels designed for fighting sportfish. Fierce III is the apex of the Penn spinning reel series. It stands at the peak of Penn’s saltwater spinning reels.
As you unbox your new reel you’ll find the packaging is well designed. It is large enough to house the reel, the crank, cardboard shock padding, and some bubble wrap.
The crank installs on either side and is very easy to change out. Simply unscrew the crank and switch the cap from one size to the other.
Penn Fierce III is a smooth and durable reel out of the box. It uses all aluminum components including a durable aluminum spool. The reel comes with anti-corrosive paint to ensure you have a reel that will serve you well for years.
Penn uses a Techno-Balanced rotor for smooth retrieves. The full metal reel body and sideplate help in keeping gear alignment precise even under heavy loads.
It means a tighter tolerance between the main aluminum gear and brass pinion gear. This reduces play between the gears. As you reduce play, you get extreme cranking power. As you tighten tolerance you also reduce the need for maintenance.
Penn continues to use HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers introduced with the Fierce II. It allows Penn to use both sides of the washer. As a result, Penn Fierce III provides more drag than competitors. It helps you get any inshore saltwater fish into your boat.
Pflueger Supreme XT
Pflueger Supreme XT is an excellent value reel for the money compared to other reels in the same price range.
The reel comes preassembled in the box, so you don’t even have to put the handle on. It does not come with any spare parts. I take that as a sign that it is going to last for a long time without needing replacements.
The Supreme XT has impressive features that set it apart as a fantastic reel. My favorite is the slow-oscillation gearing system. It moves the spool up and down at a slower rate than other spinning reels so that the line doesn’t get caught or twisted.
The reel body and rotor use lightweight magnesium, while the handle uses carbon fiber. Many anglers consider aluminum reels as stronger. But when I am fishing inshore, the Supreme XT feels so much better in my hand than my aluminum options.
It has a one-piece drag system for a convenient fishing experience. The reel is easy to handle and feels great in your hand.
I have used my Pflueger Supreme for many fishing expeditions to nearby lakes and rivers. I even took it to the ocean on a few occasions.
Although SUPXTSP30X is a small reel size, it has helped me catch more than my fair share of trout, bass, and bluefish. Some of them have gotten up to around ten pounds, but the Pflueger Supreme XT has been able to handle it all.
The Centron 5000 is among the most recommended bass fishing reels out there. It is easy to use and suitable even for entry-level anglers. The premium features and specifications make it one of the most top-rated reels.
Centron 5000 is suitable for both saltwater and freshwater fishing. It uses a high tensile strength graphite frame for resisting corrosion. You can use it in harsh conditions which would wear away many other reels even 5x the price.
You need not bother about breaking this reel. The built quality is great. It uses the finest and the hardest aluminum components for durability.
It is a high-performance reel with a superior drag and precision pinion gear system. Centron 5000 will not disappoint you in any situation.
The reel comes in an attractive, brilliant finish. It has a unique design thanks to the dual-tone aluminum anodized spool. The handle is right and left interchangeable.
Centron 5000 comes loaded with all essential features for most bass anglers. It is one of the top spinning reels on the market.
I’ve always been a Shimano man. Along with so many great things, comes change. Shimano, over the years, has been improving. Yes, the style is still sleek as usual, as we have come to expect. But the technology offered to us is now unmatched.
The new Shimano Sahara Fi spinning reel comes with all the advanced features that you expect from Shimano. It comes with Hagane gear and the X-Ship double-bearing pinion support system.
The reel comes with the Shimano technology for an easy, controlled, and smooth casting of the line. The Hagane gear helps bring in the big bass fishes smoothly. The reel comes sealed to keep water out. It is a lightweight reel as it weighs only 7.1 ounces.
I cannot say enough good things about Shimano Sahara Fi. You will have a tough time finding any negative reviews. Check it out now for yourself!
Shimano Ultegra carries a 1-year warranty. But make sure the serial number remains visible. Otherwise, Shimano may not provide the warranty.
KastKing Summer is an incredible freshwater fishing reel for the price range. The aluminum construction and an intuitive design make it a high-performance reel.
Inside the box, you will find the reel, spool ball bearing, drag knob, a stainless-steel drag washer, key washer, and a stop spring. The box comes with Styrofoam and plastic to protect the reel during shipping.
KastKing Summer weighs 9.9oz. It comes with a max drag of 13 lbs, 64 CMT, and 25.2 IPT. It has a gear ratio of 5.2:1 and a mono capacity of 0.30mm or 10lbs.
The two-color anodized aluminum spool and the graphite frame make it durable. The hardened metal main shaft provides great support.
A modern and ergonomic design makes the reel sleek and attractive. It comes with computer balancing technology that delivers precise performance.
Best Spinning Rod and Reel Combo for Under 100
Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 is the Best Rod and Reel Combo Under $100. It is an affordable option for someone who wants to learn how to fish without spending too much money.
The Ugly Stik GX2 features a 6-foot, medium-power rod with an aluminum, two-piece frame. It also includes a 30-size reel.
The rod uses a combination of graphite and fiberglass, giving it a solid backbone. It comes with one-piece stainless steel guides and graphite blanks. It’s durable, flexible, and will last you a lifetime.
I have used this rod for a week now and it has performed very well. It feels great in my hand and casts with little effort. It has a sensitive tip that can feel the lightest of bites. But it has an action that will not give up strength for sensitivity.
The reel on this combo is smooth and easy to handle. It features 3 ball bearings and an instant anti-reverse bearing for smooth casting and retrieval of line. You can convert the reel to left-hand retrieve.
The Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Rod and Reel Combo is great for beginners as well as experienced anglers. It has everything you need to get started fishing! I have used it on many occasions and have had great results every time I go out fishing with it.
What to Expect From a $100 Spinning Reel?
You can use a $100 spinning reel for many different types of fishing. But here’s the truth: a $100 reel is not going to be the ultimate spinning reel. So you must know what to expect from a spinning reel under 100 before you buy one.
Heavier Reels. The total weight starts to increase as manufacturers use cheaper materials that aren’t optimized for weight. Heavier reels are not bad. But keep an eye on how much they weigh as long days of use can hurt your wrists.
No Spare Spools. The price of a spinning reel is usually determined by what kind of spool it has. Higher-priced reels tend to come with a spare spool. But a reel with one spool usually costs less. Most reels under $100 come with one braid-ready standard spool. This is perfect as it saves time and money.
Cheaper Materials. To cut costs, reel manufacturers may use cheaper materials instead of quality ones. While it’s not necessarily bad, they do wear out faster and give a less solid feel than durable materials. Finally, you must avoid plastic reels. They break easily and don’t last long.
Unsealed Drags and Bearings. Most cheap reels don’t use a seal to keep dirt and sand out. This is not usually an issue if you fish from the shore or a boat. But if you do so from the beach, at some point it may compromise your reel.
What is the Life Span of Inexpensive Spinning Reels?
Spinning reels are available in a range of price points, from $20 to $200. I’ve been using cheap spinning reels of around $50 for a few years now. And I’ve been performing a life cycle analysis. After all these years of experience with spinning reels, I thought I would share my findings.
The good news is that even the cheapest spinning reels can last a long, long time. The bad news is that if you’re not careful, you could end up wasting your money.
The cheaper reels I analyzed were all made by different companies. All were of different sizes and line capacities. So how did they all die? The answer is simple: they all died of old age.
The main reason they are inexpensive is not that they are not durable. But rather because they are made from cheap materials. They have good power, drag, and performance.
I feel I’ve gotten way more out of my investment than I have out of my expensive reels so far.
Buying Guide: How to Choose a Spinning Reel
If you want to use a spinning reel, you should be careful about what kind of reel that you buy. And here, I’d like to discuss the things you need to consider when buying a spinning reel.
Best Spinning Reel Under 100 for Bass
The bass is one of the most underrated game fish. If you are planning to catch Bass, then you must consider that while choosing a reel.
You need a quality reel for Bass fishing. Generally, saltwater reels cost more as compared to freshwater fishing reels.
Out of all the fishing reels we reviewed, Pflueger Supreme XT is our pick for bass fishing.
I’m often asked how to choose the right spinning reel size. The best way is to ask yourself a few questions.
Where do you plan to fish, lake, river, small streams, or offshore? Are you a beginner or advanced angler? Do you need an average-sized or small-sized reel for a specific fishing type, such as trolling? And what size of fish do you plan to catch? Do you want a reel that can handle large fish (like tuna) or small fish (like trout)?
When starting out on a spinning reel, one must understand that reel size is not always the key to catching big fish. Some of the components of the reel are more important for catching large fish than others.
Line Capacity & Spool Size
Line capacity is the number of times you can retrieve a spool of line from the reel. The capacity of a reel depends on the number of spool slots and the type and size of the line used.
Spinning reel line capacity is measured in pounds of line. This number is important to know when you’re purchasing the line for your spinning reel.
When you’re fishing, line rating can affect your success. The larger the lure, the larger the line rating needs to be.
If you catch a fish with a large lure, you’ll need a big enough reel to handle it! If you’re fishing with a smaller lure, then you have to match that with a smaller line rating.
One of the top things to consider when choosing a fishing reel is the drag system. This is more important with larger-sized reels as you use them to catch bigger fish that can put up more of a fight.
The drag system controls the speed of a spinning reel by changing the angle of the drag wire and the angle of the spool. The drag systems are common in fishing reels, and their use has expanded over the past decade.
The reel’s drag system is a big part of why you want to buy the reel. It has to be better than the competition or you shouldn’t buy it.
You want a drag system that is smooth and allows you to catch even larger fish on smaller lines. The drag should smoothly engage when your hook feels a pull from the fish.
Correct Gear Ratio
The gear ratio is a measure of the amount of line pulled in to overcome a given amount of drag. The larger the gear ratio, the more line needed to overcome drag.
A reel with a large gear ratio will produce a higher speed than one with a smaller gear ratio. A small and lightweight spinning reel
can also be very powerful, but it will be very expensive to manufacture.
The gear ratio determines the spool spins for every single turn of the handle. A 5.5:1 gear ratio means that the spool spins 5.5 times per one rotation of the handle.
The reel with the right gear ratio might not be the most expensive. But it can make a big difference, especially when it comes to catching the fish you want.
A lot of people ask me about which gear ratio I use and what I like.
I’ve found that the best gear ratio for all kinds of reels is one that broadens your fishing opportunities. It should allow you to fish in different situations, and catch more fish.
Recovery Rate of Line
The line recovery rate is usually measured IPT or inches per turn. Different types of reels will recover lines at different speeds.
If a reel has a 35 IPT, it means that with one full rotation of the handle the reel will retrieve 35 inches of line.
High-Quality Ball Bearings
As the spool turns, the bearings inside the reel help to make it smooth. It’s hard to beat the quality, performance, and reliability that comes from stainless steel ball bearings. They are very durable and completely corrosion-resistant. Stainless steel bearings are easy to clean and maintenance-free.
Most budget fishing reels come with four to five bearings. It’s a misconception that the more bearings a fishing reel has, the better it is. You need four or five bearings and you are good to go!
Reels that have 4 or more bearings are great for fishing and give you a smoother experience
Quickset Anti-Reverse Mechanism
A lot of people ask me what anti-reverse is, and what it does. The main benefit of the anti-reverse feature is that it will not allow the line to unwind if you do not want it to.
Most freshwater reels come with an anti-reverse and many anglers use this feature.
Anti-reverse mechanisms are usually controlled by switches or levers placed at the bottom of a reel.
Quality & Durability
The material of the reel makes a difference as well. The reels can be made from aluminum or graphite, with aluminum being more durable but graphite weighing less.
Quality fishing reels should be solid with no flimsy parts. There are some reels that feel cheap and won’t be able to handle tough conditions.
The price of the reel is a big factor in deciding whether to buy it or not. If the reel is too pricey, it may not be worth your money.
A spinning reel is a good deal at around $100. If you like, you can buy a budget reel for even less than $50.
Just to recap, here is our pick of the Best Spinning Reels Under 100:
Last update on 2022-09-23 / Paid links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
KastKing Sharky III is our pick for the Best Spinning Reel under 100. It’s not the cheapest spinning reel on the market, but it’s great value for the money.
KastKing Sharky III is very smooth casting and has a good drag system. It’s got some of the features found in more expensive reels, but without the high price tag. It is an affordable reel with top-rated performance.
We hope you like our pick of the Best Spinning Reels Under $100. If you have any other suggestions then please let us know via the comments section. We will include them in our next update.