Saltwater fishing is an entertaining hobby and one that most people assume to be quite costly. Many think they need to splurge on their saltwater gear, but we are here to tell you: you don’t!
There are plenty of saltwater spinning combos for all spinning reel sizes in the market for under $100. In this article, we will introduce you to six. Plus, to ensure that you are armed with the necessary information for smooth-sailing saltwater endeavors, we will provide all the essential information on the reels and rods.
So surely, by the end of this article, your search for the best saltwater spinning combo under $100 will be less murky. Let’s dive right into it, shall we?
- 7 Best Ultralight Spinning Reels (In-Depth Reviews & Buying Guide)
- Best Spinning Reel Under 100$ (In-Depth Review & Buying Guide)
- Best Spinning Reels Under $50 (Review In Detail)
Top 6 Best Saltwater Fishing Spinning Reel Combo
|Product images||Product names||Editor's rating||Price|
|Penn Pursuit III & Pursuit IV Spinning Fishing Reel||Best Reel Combo|
|Daiwa D-Wave Saltwater Spinning Combo||Best Money for Value|
|Okuma Tundra Surf Spinning Combo||Best Appearance & Performance|
|PENN BTLII4000701M Battle II 4000 Spinning Reel Combo||Best for Big Game Fish|
|Shakespeare Ugly Stik Bigwater Spinning Rod||Best Rod Combo|
|PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo||Best Gifting Option|
Penn Pursuit III & Pursuit IV Spinning Fishing Reel – Best Reel Combo
First on our list is this spinning fishing reel combo from Penn. One of the reels is the Pursuit III, while the other is the Pursuit IV. They are both multifilament reels that come in different sizes from 2500 to 8000.
As you can see from the photos above, they are black and gray reels housed in corrosion-resistant graphite bodies. As such, they look sleek and do not render hand fatigue. More specifically, they both weigh less than a pound (.76 pounds).
They offer an H-100 front drag system that can accommodate up to 25 pounds and 5 stainless steel bearings that work together to provide anglers with smooth but strong launching and retrieving.
Moreover, there is an instant anti-reverse feature that guarantees instant hookup, every time. You will never have to worry about rotor back plays, even if you have just started angling.
However, you might want to note that there are no braking systems in both reels. They do not come pre-spooled, and there is no spare spool material either. Still, most users agree that a single spool can last for a long time; many have gone on +75 fishing trips with just the standard spool!
The handles of both reels are ambidextrous and made of stainless steel, which is preferable for the saltwater angling environment. You can dunk it in the water and it will still work solidly when you “fish” it back up.
You will also appreciate that its maintenance is minimal. It is easy to disassemble and clean. Hence, you will get to spend more time fishing than cleaning.
- Corrosion-resistant build
- Does not cause hand fatigue
- Eases launching and retrieving
- Promises instant hookups
- Minimal maintenance
- No braking system
- Not pre-spooled
- No spare spool material
If you want two well-performing reels that make fishing fun and are easy to clean, and you do not mind that they are not pre-spooled or accompanied by a braking system or spare spool material, then this is the idea spinning combo to get!
Daiwa D-Wave Saltwater Spinning Combo – Best Saltwater Fishing Reel
This Daiwa D-Wave spinning combo includes two fiberglass medium power rods and one roller bearing reel. You can choose a 7ft rod length or a 10ft rod length, while the reel can be a size 4500 or 5000.
The handles of the rod can be moved to the left or the right side, and it is simple to operate, even if you are new to fishing. There is a solid backbone that ramps up your confidence while handling bigger fish. Furthermore, there is a spring in the tip that serves as leverage for long-distance swift flinging.
The spool has a graphite body and rotor construction. Although it does not come with a line, it is meant for you to use any line you want. We recommend using 10-pound monolines or braided lines; either type can go up to 300 yards.
It is best to pair it with medium lures, from 3 to 4 pounds. You can use it for light to medium surf fishing or catfishing. The combo delivers fantastically quick casts without hiccups, although it can be a bit heavy. Nevertheless, in terms of design, you will like that it can separate into pieces for easy transport and storage.
The rod and reel work well together. However, a small aspect that you should be aware of is that the drag system is either very loose or very tight. You might like this or you might not; it is mostly a matter of preference.
However, when the drag is set to loose, the reel is very quiet. You might not hear when a fish has bitten onto your lure. Thus, to ensure that you never lose any of your catches, we suggest attaching a bell to the rod.
The best part is that this combo is incredibly cheap for its value. It is an excellent starter combo if you want to venture into saltwater fishing.
- Cheap for its value
- Serves as a fantastic starter set
- Can cast very far and very quick
- Has a solid backbone and sensitive tip
- Can separate for easy transport and storage
- When the drag system is loose, the reel is very quiet
- The combo is a bit heavy
This is the ideal starter set if you are just venturing into saltwater fishing, and do not have a big budget yet. Its solid backbone and the sensitive tip will ease your entrance into fishing.
Okuma Tundra Surf Spinning Combo – Best Appearance & Performance
This is a 10ft rod and size 80 reel combo that will surely impress you. Although it is slightly expensive, you will get what you pay for. It is made for surf fishing and bank fishing.
Right from the bat, you can see that this combo is good-looking. Its color scheme is black, white, and blue, which is quite sleek and neat. It has a quality, premium feels to it; you will definitely earn praise fishing with this setup.
The rod is made of robust glass fiber and is equipped with aluminum oxide guides. In addition, there are EVA foam fore and rear grips that make the rod easier to handle, especially if you are a beginner. The line weight is 10 to 25 pounds and the lure weight is 0.5 to 2 ounces.
The tip of the rod is blue, which not only ups the aesthetics by matching with the reel but also enhances visibility for long-distance casts or fishing in dim settings. Unlike others where you have to purchase a butt cap separately, there is already a rubberized cap pre-installed to protect the insides of the rod.
The spool itself is metal with three bearings. The operation is smooth, and there is an anti-reverse feature. The drag’s index is solid and easy to navigate. Thus, the drag will certainly not disappoint.
Other little touches that you will appreciate are the line-keeping tab and fantastic bail engagement. The crank handle is durable with minimal flex, and it is even equipped with a small rubberized power handle, which is very grippy, and non-slippy.
- Fully equipped for great performance
- Robust construction for both the rod and reel
- Slightly expensive
If you are not tight on budget and looking for a pretty rod and reel that delivers, you won’t find any better combo than this!
PENN BTLII4000701M Battle II 4000 Bass Spinning Reel Combo – Best for Bass Fishing
Third, on our list is the spinning rod and reel designed for big game fish. This is a tough combo that can take a beating. The body, side plate, and rotor are made of full metal, the bail wiring of the reel is from heavy-duty aluminum, and the handle of the rod is corked for excellent gripping.
Most notably, the combo drag system is carbon fiber H-1000, which impressively converges both strength and smoothness. The max drag weight is 15 pounds, and fluid cranking is possible thanks to the five sealed stainless steel ball bearings and a convenient automatic anti-reverse feature.
The rod itself is firm but flexible. There is a solid backbone that users can rely on to know when they are tapping the bottom or getting a light strike.
Those who have used this reel-rod setup share that they were able to catch fish between 0.5 pounds and 35 pounds, like sea bass, stripers, porgies, catfish, etc. Our recommendation is to use it for flats and inshore fishing.
You may also want to note that it can satisfactorily handle all the typical types of lures, including spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and soft plastic baits.
The spoon that comes with this combo is braid-ready with a line capacity of ‘1/3‘, ‘2/3‘, and ‘full’; you will love that it requires no backing, as well.
The combo is very lightweight, which makes it more portable. However, it comes as one piece, meaning you cannot separate it to chuck into your car. In this way, it can be a bit inconvenient and difficult to carry around.
- Durable build with quality materials
- Impressive carbon fiber H-1000 drag system
- Firm but flexible rod
- Lightweight setup
- Cannot be separated into two
Shakespeare Ugly Stik Bigwater Spinning Rod – Best Rod Combo
Don’t these look like reliable rods? They are long-lasting 12ft rods from Ugly Stik, a brand that has been leading the fishing tackle industry since 1976.
These rods are particularly ideal for big-game saltwater fish. The construction is a combination of quality graphite and fiberglass. Therefore, you can be confident in all your trophy fish outings.
Despite their sturdiness, the rods are very lightweight. You do not have to worry about them causing hand or muscle fatigue. So, fishing trips are more fun than tiring.
Losing fish because you did not hear them or feel them is a story of the past. You can feel even the slightest nudges on the line with these rods as they are cleverly designed with clear tips for optimal sensitivity.
The rods’ handles are equipped with lightweight, cushy EVA grips, guaranteeing comfort even during lengthy fishing endeavors. Finally, there are stainless steel tuff guides that enable users to eliminate insert pop-outs.
The rod can also be separated into two 6ft pieces, which makes it a lot easier to transport and store.
The distance between grips on the pole of the rod is great for winging baits far out, however, it can pose some difficulties for controlled casting and accuracy. It is also difficult to choke up fish when the polished blank between the grips is wet.
- Sturdy and quality build
- Suitable for big game fish
- Sensitive tip for slightest bite detection
- Lightweight and comfortable to handle
- Equipped with tuff guides for anti insert pop-outs
- Distance between grips can reduce controllability and accuracy
- Does not allow for choking up fish when the polished blank is wet
PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo – Best Gifting Option
Last but not least, on our list, is this rod and reel combo from Plusinno. This is the perfect gift for any saltwater angler; you can pick the setup with a rod and reel or the full kit, including lures, lines, and a carrier case.
The fishing rod pole is made with graphite blank construction and armored with carbon fiber and fiberglass. So, it is very strong and durable. You can rely on it for a long time.
Another great thing about the rod is that it is telescopic. This means that you can set it to multiple lengths for various actions. Moreover, its collapsible mechanism makes it portable and easy to store. By the same token, it is excellent for fishing outings and getaways.
The reel is lodged in a large and short anti-corrosion body to accommodate a deep aluminum spool with double color and one line hole. However, it is made of pretty heavy metal, which entails a bit of resistance and momentum when reeling. This could be good or bad, depending on your personal fishing preference.
Other features worth noting are a thick coiled bail spring and an S oscillation system that promises efficient line winding.
- Make a great, complete-kit gift
- Great mobility thanks to the telescopic mechanism
- Thick coiled bail spring and well-operating oscillation system
- The reel is made of heavy metal, which can cause reeling resistance
About Rod: Material, Length, Weight, Reel Seat
- Material: Rods can be made of bamboo, composite, fiberglass, graphite, and carbon fiber. Each material possesses its own set of pros and cons.
Bamboo rods feel nice and can offer a lot of flex. However, they are very pricey and can break easily.
Composite and fiberglass rods are light, bendy, and sensitive. Plus, they are the most affordable.
Graphite and carbon fiber are incredibly robust and durable. You do not have to ever worry about them snapping. They are the ideal material for big game fish rods. However, they are much more expensive.
- Length: This is another important consideration when searching for rods. Rods come in many different lengths. The common ones are from 7 to 10 feet. However, there are also ultra-long ones of 12 feet.
Short rods typically entail much more accurate and controlled casts. They are more maneuverable and manageable. However, long rods are needed for long-distance casting. It is also preferable while wrestling big game fish requiring leverage.
- Weight: There are light rods and heavy rods. Light rods are easier on the hands and do not cause muscle fatigue. They are also more portable and travel-friendly. Beginners will find light rods much easier to handle.
However, heavier rods provide the necessary leverage to deal with small and large fish that “fight for their freedom”. If you do not have experience with choking to “win over” wrestling fish, then heavier rods may be better.
- Reel Seat: This is the part on the rod where the reel is mounted. Though the reel seat of saltwater rods share the same key components as those for freshwater, the former is a lot larger. There will be different reel seats for different applications, such as casting seats, spinning seats, fly seats, etc.
About Reel: Reel Type, Drag System, Bearing, Weight
- Reel Type: There are many different types of reels, depending on where they are used and what they are used for. The three most common reels are spinning reels, spincast reels, baitcasting reels.
In this article, we introduced you to spinning reels. They are a good choice for beginners because the spinning mechanism is straightforward, and it is easy to learn how to use. Plus, they are very versatile.
- Drag System: This is what puts pressure on the spool to stop more lines from churning out when a fish bites on the lure. So, you can pull the fish without the line breaking. There are different types depending on the reel.
The drag system on spinning reels is run by gears. You should know how to set the drag properly and optimally and how to maintain it, as well. For this, try searching for in-depth tutorials online!
- Bearing: This is what makes the reel rotate and spin. There are shielded, sealed, and open bearings. For saltwater fishing, it is best to look for ones that are shielded or sealed, as they can prevent salt corrosion and have added protection.
- Weight: Reels are not made equal. So, some are lighter, and some are heavier. The weight of the reel should help balance your reel-rod setup.
The way you do this is to raise the tip of the rod parallel to the water and check that you can hold the rod with the reel secured without it tipping to either side.
Are Spinning Reels Better Than Baitcasters For Saltwater Fishing?
While you can use both spinning reels and baitcasting reels for saltwater fishing, the former is often recommended over the latter because it is easier to use. Simply put, spinning reels can be used by both beginners and professionals, whereas baitcasters are only manageable with those who are experienced.
Generally, baitcasters are heavier and bulkier, with more resistance and chances for backlash, which makes them more challenging to master than spinning reels. They are tougher to cast, control, and retrieve. So, when encountering saltwater environments, most people opt for spinning reels.
However, fans of baitcasters will tell you that your throws/launches will be a lot more precise and accurate, compared to if you were using spinning reels. For this reason, just as many people go with baitcasters when saltwater fishing.
It is mainly up to your preference and skill level; assess and decide for yourself!
Main Differences Between Saltwater And Freshwater Spinning Reels
The main difference is that saltwater is made to withstand salt corrosion. Another difference is that since saltwater tends to deal with larger fish, saltwater reels are equipped with bigger line capacities. Furthermore, because of these differences, saltwater reels are often more expensive than freshwater reels.
What Is The Best Rod For Bass Saltwater Fishing?
Above, we have picked out our 6 favorite combos for saltwater fishing, of which all but the first one include rods. These are all great options that you can consider. The best rod is the one that suits your needs, and no one knows that more than you yourself. Assess your wants, preferences, and expectations.
Here is a recap of the rods we have picked out:
|Daiwa D-Wave||Fiberglass rod with a solid backbone and sensitive tip, ideal for beginners.|
|Okuma||Rod with a comfy foam grip and blue tip for enhanced visibility, ideal for surf and bank fishing.|
|PENN||Firm but flexible rod with a sensitive tip, ideal for flats and inshore fishing.|
|Ugly Stik||Sturdy but lightweight 12ft rod, designed to handle big game fish.|
|PLUSINNO||Telescopic rod that can be set to multiple lengths and is very easy to transport and store, ideal for outings.|
Which one do you think fits you the most?
How to Clean Saltwater Spinning Reels
Correctly taking care of and cleaning your saltwater spinning reel will keep it in good condition to deliver the performance you want.
Here is what you should do:
Every day after using it to fish
- Set your reel upright
- Drench a towel in water
- Use the towel to wipe the outer surface of the reel
- Let the reel air dry
Make it a habit to do this every time you finish using it. Don’t wait until corrosion sets in to start cleaning!
Once in a while, give it a deep clean
- Spray your reel with polish
- Use a toothbrush to get rid of any corrosion
- Use a fresh towel to buff it
What you should NEVER do: Hose your reel with high-level pressure. This will drive the salt deeper into your reel and do more harm than good, particularly in the long run.
With that, you have finished our article on the 6 best saltwater spinning combos under $100. We hope that you were able to pick one for yourself from our list and that the FAQs we addressed were helpful to your fishing adventures. Let us know what you thought in the comments. We also welcome any questions! Feel free to share this with your fellow fisher friends as well.