For amateur anglers, nothing beats a good old spinning reel. Not only do these gears provide reliable performance, but they are also beginner-friendly and easy to navigate. That is not to mention how spinning reels are affordable for most fishermen.
If you are about to embark on a fishing trip and need an economical yet highly functional reel, let’s have a look at the best spinning reel under $50!
Best Spinning Reels Under $50 – Top 7 Fishing Spinning Reel
|Product images||Product names||Editor's rating||Price|
|Penn Pursuit III Spinning Reel||Best Overall|
|Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel||Best Lightweight Comfort|
|KastKing Summer And Centron Spinning Reel||Best Reviews|
|Piscifun Flame Spinning Reel||Best For Trophy Fishing|
|Mitchell 300 Spinning Reel||Best For Silent Performance|
|Pflueger Trion Spinning Reel||Best Construction|
|Sougayilang Fishing Reel||Best For Ball Bearings|
Penn Pursuit III – Best Overall Spinning Reel
At the top of my list today is the Penn Pursuit II spinning reel, a product best known for its durability. Spinning reel made from corrosion-resistant graphite and aluminum, this model is sturdy and robust, promising a long-lasting lifespan.
Thanks to the external coating, feel free to bring the reel along when it comes to saltwater fishing, as the saline solution cannot impair the internal details. As far as the smoothness is concerned, the drag system is oiled-felt, effectively minimizing the friction and ensuring no backlash throughout the entire fishing process.
But the charms of this product do not end there. Penn Pursuit III also prides itself on the comfortable user experience, including an ergonomic handle for the best grip and an anti-reverse bearing for the fastest line retrieval.
While there are only 4+1 ball bearings, they are all from shielded stainless steel, so you do not have to worry about the quality. For an item that costs well under $50, you cannot possibly get more pleased with what the model has to offer.
However, Penn Pursuit III is not without flaws. There have been some complaints about the faulty size, especially the 4000. Therefore, make sure you double-check with the manufacturers and see if they sell the correct size you need.
- Highly durable.
- Can be used for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.
- Oil-felt drag system and anti-reverse bearing.
- Ergonomic design.
- Few ball bearings.
- Incorrect 4000 size.
Okuma Ceymar – Best Ultralight Spinning Reel
Next up, it is time to evaluate the Okuma Ceymar ultralight spinning reel. This brand is famous for its computer balance construction, which results in a high spinning speed with virtually no wobble. For people who are new to the game, Okuma Ceymar is a trustworthy tool to start getting the hang of spinning reels.
One should not miss the 8 stainless steel ball bearings, coupled with the unique elliptical design regarding the mechanical features. This way, both your retrieval and casting will be a piece of cake.
And have I mentioned how lightweight this model is? Weighing merely 0.5 pounds, you can swing it around all day without feeling sore in the arms! The firm handle adds ease of usage, allowing anglers to spin the reel without any difficulty.
Furthermore, Okuma Ceymar is compatible with both monofilament and braided fishing lines, which gives you even more flexibility. Whatever your target is, the product can easily accommodate your needs.
That being said, Okuma Ceymar is not designed for extensive use. The product tends to be in peak condition for roughly two years before deteriorating. This model might not be the best bet if you want a built-to-last reel.
- Computer balanced design for better performance.
- Lightweight and comfortable to use.
- 8 ball bearings.
- Compatible for various purposes.
- Quality goes down after 2 years.
KastKing Summer And Centron – Best Lightweight Spinning Reel
With more than 6000 ratings on Amazon, KastKing Summer and Centron spinning fishing reels amaze customers with their impressive sales record. So what is it about this product that makes it such a coveted item?
At first glance, KastKing Summer And Centron Lightweight Spinning Reel stand out with its light blue and black coating, creating a modern, masculine look. The reel body is made from graphite, providing a sturdy build quality yet still managing to be lightweight and compact.
As for the spool, you can expect anodized aluminum, essentially strengthening the durability of the overall item. Should you want a satisfying spinning reel in terms of both appearance and robustness, you cannot go wrong with this model.
But what I find particularly interesting about KastKing Summer and Centron is its high-powered motor. The manufacturers incorporate a Superior Drag System with up to 17.5lbs of power, combined with the hardened metal main shaft, precision machined pinion gear, and the mesh drive gear.
When confronted with aggressive fish, these features will be very helpful, as they allow you to put up a good fight.
On the other hand, the knob and handle of this spinning reel appear to be too small-sized. If rotated or pressed firmly, dents and cracks are likely to happen there.
- Plenty of customer testimonials.
- Appealing look.
- Lightweight and small-sized.
- High-powered performance.
- Fragile knob and handle.
Piscifun Flame Spinning Reel – Best For Trophy Fishing
Most spinning reels under $50$ are reserved for catching small-sized fish only, which makes sense given their limited power and robustness. But Piscifun Flame rocks the market by offering an inexpensive reel capable of catching trophy-sized fish.
Piscifun Flame draws my attention to its hollow body and X-shaped spool, two distinctive features belonging to the Piscifun brand only. The handle is adjustable on both sides, making it suitable for both left-handed and right-handed anglers.
And that is not to mention how the handle is padded with EVA foam sliding, removing any discomfort if you have to hold on to the reel for hours.
As far as the ball bearing system is concerned, the product includes 9 ball bearings and one roller bearing, coupled with precision gears engagement. These make sure you can cast and retrieve the line effortlessly, saving tons of time and effort during the trip.
Last but not least, do not forget about the 19.8lbs drag power that enables fishers to aim for a bigger catch. The triple drag washers and brass pinion gear will increase the sturdiness of your reel, so no more worries about it breaking when fighting with giants.
But still, bear in mind that Piscifun Flame is for freshwater fishing only. When exposed to saline solution, the product gets rusty pretty quickly, which can lower its longevity.
- Exclusive design.
- Adjustable and comfortable handle.
- 9+1 bearings system.
- Best for catching trophy-sized fish.
- Not suitable for saltwater fishing.
Mitchell 300 Spinning Reel – Best For Silent Performance
Another high-quality, economical spinning reel that you should consider is the Mitchell 300 model. Unlike other products within its price range, this model relies on an advanced polymeric frame and an aluminum handle. Together, they ensure Mitchell 300 stays tough and reliable while still being lightweight enough for extended use.
Moreover, the manufacturers put an instant anti-reserve function into the product, shortening the time needed to set the hook and retrieve the fishing line.
This feature works closely with the multi-disk system for consistent drag pressure, which eliminates all the noise generated during the casting process. Say goodbye to deafening reels that get on your nerves!
Finally, remember to check out the Bail Halo design and the line management system. The rotor’s strength counts on these two components to work properly, meaning your chances of failure when going fishing will be significantly lower.
That being said, some customers have voiced their dissatisfaction regarding the reliability of the instant anti-reverse function. Sometimes, it takes a little while to be fully effective, not on the spot as advertised.
- Quiet during casting and retrieving.
- Advanced polymeric body.
- Multi-disk system and anti-reverse for smoothness.
- Bail Halo and line management for effective casting.
- Instant anti-reverse takes time to work.
Pflueger President Spinning Reel – Best Construction
Pflueger President spinning reel draws little attention to its minimalistic design. But underneath this simplicity, you will be surprised to know how many amazing features it holds. Let’s start with the construction, including a removable aluminum handle and a solid aluminum spool.
The standard material boosts the durability of this model but does not make it become overweight. The main gear is properly threaded, which prevents slipping during casting and retrieving.
You should also have a look at the 7 bearing system, made entirely from stainless steel. All it takes is holding the reel a few minutes, and you will realize how solid this item feels. Suffice it to say that a purchase of Plueger Trion can last for seasons.
Furthermore, this product is compatible with a wide range of baits. Whether they are big lures or tiny jigs, the reel manages to work equally impressive. And of course, it would be a mistake to overlook the versatility of Plueger Trion.
While most anglers take advantage of this item for panfish and crappie fishing, others regard this as a bass reel. For such an affordable price, Pflueger Trion proves to be a wise investment.
Sadly, the gear has its own downsides. Some fishers have reported about the malfunctioning anti-reverse, which usually stops mid-way. While this situation is not frequent, it can still be a dampening experience.
- Reliable construction with aluminum.
- Threaded main gear.
- 7 bearings.
- Compatible with baits.
- Suit multiple fishing purposes.
- Faulty anti-reverse function.
Sougayilang Fishing Reel – Best For Ball Bearings
Let’s wrap up my list of the best spinning reel under $50 with a product from Sougayilang. Thanks to its matte black coating, this model charms me with its sleek and rugged appearance. But the reasons why Sougayilang remains a favorite are far beyond its attractiveness.
To be more specific, Sougayilang prides itself on the 13+1 ball bearings, a substantial number compared to other low-end reels. A one-way anti-reverse is also present, reducing friction and improving flawless casting and retrieving. Who says that cheap spinning reels cannot have many ball bearings? This model is here to prove otherwise.
Regarding the capacity, the spinning reel includes a hardened metal main shaft, triple-disc carbon drag washers, and precision brass gears. Rest assured that your purchase is built to last, as these details are all finely made. The interchangeable handle adds the final touch of comfort and versatility to this model, as it can go with all types of fishermen.
Nevertheless, Sougayilang is not at all quiet. The reel can be loud and distracting for the users when reeling in fish. It might not be a deal-breaker, but customers still have to contemplate whether being disturbed is worth the other benefits.
- 13+1 ball bearings system.
- One-way anti-reverse for enhanced stopping power.
- Highly functional.
- Adjustable handle.
- Loud to use.
1. How to choose the right reel size and weight?
Spinning reels vary in size, from small models of 1000 to 3500, to medium-sized of 4000 to 5500, then larger sizes of 6000 to 30000. The bigger a spinning reel gets, the heavier it is. Choosing the right reel size and weight requires you to closely examine what types of fish you intend on catching.
If you are mostly engaged in freshwater fishing or anything under 15 pounds, reel size 1000 to 3500 will suffice. For inshore saltwater fishing or fish under 30 pounds, upgrade your reel to at least size 4000. Finally, for heavy saltwater fishing or fish up to 150 pounds, bring along a reel size 6000 and beyond.
But if we are talking solely about reels under $50$, you will be disappointed to know that they are all in small and medium-size. It is difficult to find a heavy-duty product that costs so little, so your choices are limited from 1000 to 5000 only.
2. How to choose the right gear ratio?
The gear ratio refers to how many times a spool turns whenever a reel handle completes its cycle. If a spinning reel has a 5.1:1 gear ratio, it means the spool revolves 5.1 times for each handle’s turn.
Similarly, a 6.1:1 gear ratio indicates 6.1 revolutions every time you rotate the handle. The higher the gear ratio is, the faster the reels get when it comes to line retrieving.
Many people are under the impression that having a high gear ratio is always better, as anglers can reel in fish as quickly as possible. But it cannot be further from the truth. High gear ratios only work in your favor when you go up against fast-acting, small-sized fish.
Here, the speed of your line retrieval will determine whether you can surpass your catch or not. But strength is more of a priority when it comes to big, aggressive fish. A low gear ratio provides more stability, which means anglers can sustain their position for a long time and win over the fish.
3. Are more ball bearings in a reel better?
Generally speaking, having more ball bearings means the friction is in better control. Thus, you are more likely to cast and retrieve in complete smoothness. This also minimizes the chance of backlash, which is another big bonus.
While the quantity does matter, you must not forget to take the quality into account. Between 8 flimsy ball bearings and 4 double-shielded, stainless steel ball bearings, experienced anglers will go for the latter.
4. What material is suitable for a spinning reel?
Most spinning reels are made from graphite, aluminum, and sometimes carbon. These substances are lightweight but not at the expense of their sturdiness. Usually, you will see a graphite body for effortless usage, while the handles and spools are anodized aluminum for extra robustness.
At the same time, finer details like ball bearings or pinion gears tend to be shielded stainless steel. If a spinning reel fits this description, then you are good to go.
However, in some cases, you need to be extra attentive should you want to go saltwater fishing. Not all spinning reels are corrosion-resistant, especially if the main material is unprotected metal.
Therefore, check with the sellers to see whether your reel can hold against the impact of saline solution.
5. What is the best value spinning reel under $50$?
Out of all the recommended products in the previous section, the best value spinning reel under $50$ should go to the Penn Pursuit III. Apart from the 4 ball bearings, there is nothing to complain about this model.
Not only is it suitable for various fishing purposes, but it also offers the highest level of user experience. Compared to other products of the same price range, it is safe to say that Penn Pursuit III beats them all.
6. What is the difference between cheap fishing reels and expensive ones?
Cheap fishing reels are often less sturdy and reliable than their expensive counterparts. They are made from low-quality materials and tend to break if the tension becomes too extreme.
Furthermore, they include fewer features with limited drag power, which means the application is not as versatile. With a low-end spinning reel, you are not likely to venture far away from freshwater fishing, where you can only catch tiny fish.
On the other hand, costly models are best known for their robustness and consistent performance. Made mostly from aluminum, the product remains firm and hefty, however hard it is bent.
Internal details all come with a protective layer of corrosion-resistant paint, and sometimes they are even waterproofed. This means that your spinning reel stands a higher chance of lasting for years, saving you the maintenance and replacement cost.
Choosing the best spinning reel under $50 is not easy, given the various options available on the market. But now that you have these reviews, make sure to examine them carefully before making your final decision over which reel to purchase.