Best Open Face Fishing Reel 2023

Sergio Smirnoff

Hello, my name is Sergio Smirnof, and my goal with FishReeler is to provide a valuable resource for anglers of all levels, from beginners to experienced veterans. I hope that my passion for fishing and dedication to the sport shines through in the content I create and inspires others to get out on the water and catch some fish!

Table of Contents

Open Face Fishing Reels Uncovered: Your Complete Guide to Reel Excellence

Discover the World of Open Face Fishing Reels

Open face fishing reels, also known as spinning reels, are essential tools for anglers seeking versatility and ease of use. These reels have gained popularity among both beginners and experienced anglers due to their unique design and functionality. Selecting the right reel is crucial to a successful fishing experience, and this article will provide you with the knowledge needed to make an informed choice. The following sections delve into the basics of open face fishing reels, discussing their main components, how they work, and the advantages and disadvantages of using them.

πŸ’₯Mastering the Basics of Open Face Fishing Reels

Unraveling the Anatomy of Open Face Reels

Open face fishing reels, or spinning reels, are a type of fishing reel that features a fixed spool mounted parallel to the rod and an exposed bail wire that rotates around the spool to guide the line onto the spool when reeling in. The main components of an open face fishing reel include the spool, bail wire, handle, drag system, and gear system. These parts work in unison to provide a smooth and effective fishing experience.

Demystifying the Mechanism Behind the Reels

When casting with an open face fishing reel, the angler opens the bail wire, allowing the fishing line to flow freely off the spool. As the angler casts, the weight of the lure or bait carries the line off the spool. After the cast, the angler closes the bail wire, which then wraps the line back onto the spool when the handle is turned. The drag system creates resistance on the spool, allowing the angler to control the amount of line released when a fish pulls on the line, preventing the line from breaking. The gear system multiplies the force applied by the angler when turning the handle, making it easier to reel in fish.

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Open Face Fishing Reels

Pros:
  • Ease of use: Open face fishing reels are simple to operate, making them ideal for beginners.

  • Versatility: These reels are suitable for various fishing techniques and can be used with a wide range of lures and baits.

  • Less line twist: Spinning reels are less prone to line twists and tangles compared to other reel types.

  • Longer casts: The design of open face reels allows for longer and more accurate casts.

Cons:
  • Lower line capacity: Open face fishing reels typically have a smaller line capacity compared to baitcasting reels, which can be limiting when targeting larger fish or fishing in deep water.

  • Limited power: Spinning reels may struggle with heavy loads and larger fish due to their gear system.

  • Wind knots: Open face reels can be prone to wind knots, which occur when the line forms a loop that becomes tangled around the spool or guides.

Understanding the basic components and functionality of open face fishing reels, as well as their advantages and disadvantages, is essential for any angler seeking a versatile and user-friendly reel option. By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision when selecting the perfect open face fishing reel for your needs.

Best Open Face Fishing Reel Reviews

Shimano Exage 10000-FC Reel

Finding the best open-face fishing reel can be a challenge. There are too many open face fishing reels on the market that it is difficult to know which one is best for you.

To make things easier, we will be looking at different types of open-face fishing reels, looking at their pros and cons. You should always do your research before purchasing an item so you know what to expect, without doing your research it can be difficult to know if you have made a decision that will work in the long run.

The best open face fishing reel is not just about the size of the actual reel, it’s also about the fishing rod that will be attached to it.

If you are an angler looking for the best open face fishing reel for your fishing rod, then you should consider different types of reels including baitcasting reels, spinning reels, and fly fishing reels. A few other points to keep in mind are your preferred style of fish and the types of fish you hope to catch.

We will look at each type of reel separately in order to help you find the perfect one for your needs.

Do you enjoy fishing but don’t want to deal with the hassle of a full-sized reel? If so, an open face fishing reel may be perfect for you. These reels are typically smaller and easier to use, making them a great choice for novice anglers. But with so many options on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best open face fishing reels available today.

In this article, we will take a look at the best open face fishing reels on the market and provide an overview of their features. We hope that this information will help you choose the right reel for your needs.

1# Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel

Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Left/Right
Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
Ball Bearings: 8+1

The Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel is perfect for anglers who demand the best in performance and quality. It features a one-piece X-crafting aluminium gearbox, computer-optimized machined aluminium gears, and a lightweight graphite rotor with Everlast bail.

The Rocket line management system ensures efficient and smooth line transfer, while the braid-ready machined aluminium spool provides easy lure attachment. The 8 stainless steel HPCR bearings plus 1 roller bearing provide optimal smoothness and power, while the K-Clutch anti-reverse delivers consistent drag pressure throughout the cast. And with its carbon matrix hybrid drag system, this reel can handle even the most challenging fish with ease.

Video review

Pros
  • Best-in-Class drag system

  • Smooth retrieve

  • 10 stainless steel bearings

  • Lightweight design

Cons
  • The bail wire is a little too flimsy

  • It’s not the best option for saltwater fishing

2# Daiwa Saltiga Spinning Reel

Daiwa Saltiga Spinning Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Left/Right
Gear Ratio: 5.8:1
Ball Bearings: 12+1

The Daiwa Saltiga Spinning Reel is an excellent reel for your next big game fishing adventure! With its Magsealed body and 12+1 bearing system, this reel provides smooth performance and power, while the oversized aluminium handle knob ensures easy handling in any situation. So don’t wait any longer – get yourself a Daiwa Saltiga Spinning Reel today!

Pros
  • Smooth reeling

  • Strong drag system

  • Saltwater resistant

Cons
  • High Price

3# Shimano Vanford Spinning Reel

Shimano Vanford Spinning Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Left/Right
Gear Ratio: 6.2:1, 5.6:1, 5.1:1, 6.0:1, 6.4:1

Shimano Vanford Spinning Reels is suitable for anglers of all levels. From ice fishing to bass fishing, these reels have impressive features and a lightweight design that will make your time on the water more enjoyable. The cross carbon drag system ensures smooth, consistent performance, while the X-protect water-resistance technology keeps your reel functioning flawlessly in any condition.

Video review

Pros
  • Lightweight design makes it easy to use

  • Cross carbon drag system ensures smooth, consistent performance

  • X-protect water-resistance technology keeps the reel functioning flawlessly in any condition

Cons
  • Heavy

4# Okuma Makaira Spinning Reel

Okuma Makaira Spinning Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Left
Gear Ratio: 5.8:1
Ball Bearings: 9+1
Max Drag: 66 Lbs.

Looking for a reel that can take on saltwater fish with ease? Look no further than the Okuma Makaira Spinning Reel. Featuring 66 lbs. of drag power and a Hydro Sealed body and drag, this reel is designed to handle even the biggest fish out there.

The Forged aluminium body, side plate, and rotor are coated in full-body corrosion-resistant coating to ensure longevity, while the Machined aluminium anodized spool with LCS lip provides excellent line control. With a 9 + 1 system with HPB bearings and dual anti-reverse, this reel is packed with features to make your fishing trip a success. So come on – cast your line and see what Makaira can do!

Video review

Pros
  • 66 lbs of drag power

  • Hydro Sealed body and drag

  • Forged aluminium body, side plate, and rotor

  • Machined aluminium anodized spool with LCS lip

  • 9 + 1 system with HPB bearings and dual anti-reverse

Cons
  • The Reel’s line capacity is not very high, with just 165 yards of 10 lb. mono

  • It does not have any visible spool tensioning system, which can be seen as a disadvantage by some fishermen

5# PENN Clash II Spinning Reel

PENN Clash II Spinning Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Left/Right
Gear Ratio: 6.2:1, 7.0:1
Ball Bearings: 8+1

Introducing the PENN Clash II spinning reel – a hard-charging reel designed to handle anything an inshore quarry can dish out. The Full Metal Body and sideplate construction is solid, while the Hydrophobic Line Roller Bearing and Clutch Armor System keep contaminants at bay.

The advanced CNC Gear Technology provides smooth operation, while the 8+1 system with stainless steel bearings ensures long-lasting performance. Add in the high-performance HT-100 Carbon Fiber Drag Washers, and you’ve got a reel that’s ready to take on any fish or saltwater challenge.

Video review

Pros
  • Hard-charging reel designed to handle anything

  • Solid construction

  • Hydrophobic Line Roller Bearing and Clutch Armor System keep contaminants at bay

  • Advanced CNC Gear Technology provides smooth operation

  • 8+1 system with stainless steel bearings ensures long-lasting performance

  • High-performance HT-100 Carbon Fiber Drag Washers

Cons
  • The Penn Clash II is heavier than other models

  • It lacks a drag knob, which can make it difficult to adjust the settings on the fly

  • It does not come with an extra spool

6# Shimano Stella FJ Spinning Reel

Shimano Stella FJ Spinning Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Left/Right
Gear Ratio: 6.0:1, 6.4:1, 6.2:1
Ball Bearings: 12+1
Max Drag: 20 Lbs.

The Shimano Stella FJ Spinning Reel is the pinnacle of spinning reel performance. It offers super smoothness, silent operation, and incredible strength – perfect for even the most demanding anglers. The Superior Corrosion Protection ensures that your reel will stay in great condition, while the X-Protect feature keeps it safe from water infiltration.

The MicroModule Gear II system provides ultra-smooth gear changes, while the Extra-strong Hagane gearing ensures long-lasting power. The SilentDrive system keeps your line moving quietly without disturbing fish, and the Redesigned rotor creates less friction for smoother operation. The Low Friction Roller Clutch minimizes torque on your line, while the DLC Line Roller protects it from wear and tear.

Video review

Pros
  • Super smoothness

  • Silent operation

  • Incredible strength

  • Perfect for demanding anglers

  • Superior Corrosion Protection

  • The X-Protect feature keeps the reel safe from water infiltration

  • MicroModule Gear II system provides ultra-smooth gear changes

  • Extra-strong Hagane gearing ensures long-lasting power

Cons
  • The reel is a bit pricey

  • Some anglers may find it too smooth for their needs

7# Pflueger President XT Spinning Reel

Pflueger XT President Spinning Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Left/Right
Gear Ratio: 5.2:1, 6.2:1

The Pflueger President XT Spinning Reel is perfect for anglers looking for a high-quality reel that is also light and smooth. It has been enhanced with features like a braid-ready spool and a strong carbon handle, making it one of the best values on the water.

Video review

Pros
  • Smooth performance

  • Has a braid-ready spool and is strong enough for braided line

  • Carbon handle

Cons
  • The carbon handle may break if improperly handled

8# Daiwa Fuego LT Spinning Reel

Daiwa LT Fuego Spinning Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Left/Right
Gear Ratio: 6.2:1, 5.3:1, 5.2:1
Ball Bearings: 6+1

The Daiwa Fuego LT Spinning Reel is designed with ergonomics in mind. Its machined aluminium handle can be adapted to right- or left-hand retrieve, and its sleek design is both strong and durable. Plus, it’s lightweight and easy to carry around thanks to its carbon-infused housing.

With an Air Rotor and Air Bail, the reel delivers extremely smooth performance, while the DigiGear computer-driven gear design ensures precision accuracy. The Magsealed technology protects the main shaft from moisture and corrosion, making it a great choice for avid anglers. And if that wasn’t enough, the Fuego LT comes with a powerful drag system for those big catches.

Pros
  • Lightweight and easy to carry around

  • The sleek design is both strong and durable

  • Machined aluminium handle can be adapted to right- or left-hand retrieve

  • Air Rotor and Air Bail deliver extremely smooth performance

  • Magsealed technology protects the main shaft from moisture and corrosion

Cons
  • It can be challenging to adapt the handle to left-handed retrieve

9# Shimano TwinPower SW Spinning Reel

Shimano SW TwinPower Spinning Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Left/Right
Gear Ratio: 6.2:1, 5.7:1, 5.6:1, 4.9:1
Ball Bearings: 10+1

Shimano TwinPower SW spinning reels are built on a rugged Hagane body with an advanced Infinity Drive system for ultimate performance. X-Shield technology keeps salt water away from the internals, ensuring smooth retrieves. Lighter models incorporate the proven-tough Cross Carbon Drag stack, while the larger 10000 and 14000 models boast Shimano’s extreme Heatsink Drag, which aggressively dissipates frictional heat away from both the spool and the line.

Video review

Pros
  • Hagane Body for ultimate performance

  • X-Shield technology keeps salt water away from the internals

  • Incorporates the proven-tough Cross Carbon Drag stack

  • Shimano’s extreme Heatsink Drag aggressively dissipates frictional heat

Cons
  • None

10# Lew’s KVD Spinning Reel

Lew's KVD Spinning Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Left/Right
Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
Ball Bearings: 9+1

Cast out with the Lew’s KVD Spinning Reel and experience unmatched power and precision. This top-of-the-line reel features a Zero Reverse one-way clutch bearing for consistent smoothness, while the S-curve oscillation system ensures accurate line placement. The thick aluminium bail wire keeps your line tangle-free, while the double anodized knurled machined aluminium spool provides added durability. The Smooth, powerful, and consistent DuraMax drag system allows you to easily land big fish.

Video review

Pros
  • Zero Reverse one-way clutch bearing for consistent smoothness

  • S-curve oscillation system ensures accurate line placement

  • Thick aluminium bail wire keeps your line tangle-free

  • Double anodized knurled machined aluminium spool provides added durability

  • Smooth, powerful, and consistent DuraMax drag system

Cons
  • Reels don’t come in small sizes

  • Heavier than most comparable reels

11# Tsunami Shield Spinning Reel

Tsunami Shield Spinning Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Right
Gear Ratio: 4.9:1, 5.1:1
Ball Bearings: 4+1

The Tsunami Shield Spinning Reel is designed for saltwater use, with tight seals to keep the salt out. With 10-13 internal shields to protect critical components, it’s ready for whatever you throw at it. The heavy-duty bail and machined aluminium spool make sure your line doesn’t skip a beat, while the CF3 carbon-fiber drag system provides smooth, strong performance.

Video review

Pros
  • Supports saltwater use

  • Heavy-duty bail and machined aluminium spool

  • CF3 carbon-fiber drag system

Cons
  • The reel is not designed for freshwater use

12# Daiwa BG Spinning Reel

Daiwa BG Spinning Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Left/Right
Gear Ratio: 5.6:1, 5.7:1, 5.3:1
Ball Bearings: 6+1

Daiwa BG spinning reels are tough, lightweight, and well-balanced for a smooth cast every time. With its oversized gears and carbon ATD drag system, this reel can handle any fish you might encounter – from freshwater to saltwater. The Hardbodyz body and side cover keep your gear looking good as new season after season.

Video review

Pros
  • Lightweight and well-balanced for a smooth cast

  • Oversized gears and carbon ATD drag system can handle any fish

  • Hardbodyz body and side cover keep your gear looking new

Cons
  • It may be too lightweight for some anglers

13# Lew’s Speed Spin Spinning Reel

Lew's Speed Spin Spinning Reel

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Specification

Gear Ratio: 5.2:1, 6.2:1, 5.3:1
Ball Bearings: 6+1, 9+1

When it comes to your next fishing trip, you need a reel that can handle whatever fish you’re trying to catch. With its rugged graphite body and skeletal graphite rotor, the Lew’s Speed Spin Spinning Reel can take on any terrain – and any fish. Plus, its double-anodized aluminium spool ensures smooth, reliable performance all day long. And with its fold-down aluminium handle and Combat Grip, this reel is easy to use – even when your hands are wet.

Video review

Pros
  • Graphite body and skeletal graphite rotor can take on any terrain

  • Double-anodized aluminium spool ensures smooth, reliable performance

  • Fold-down aluminium handle and Combat Grip make it easy to use

Cons
  • The spool is anodized aluminium, which could potentially corrode over time

14# Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris Signature Series Spinning Reel

Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris Signature Spinning Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Left/Right
Gear Ratio: 6.0:1, 5.7:1
Ball Bearings: 9+1

The Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris Signature Series Spinning Reel is one of the highest-quality and most affordable reels on the market. It features a strong and smooth 1-piece aluminium frame, a perfectly balanced rotor, and super-lightweight construction. The Micro-Pitched Gearing System ensures effortless power transmission, while the 10-bearing (9+1) system provides ultra-smooth performance. The included Powerlock instant anti-reverse makes for easy braking, and the water-resistant 6-disc felt/aluminium drag ensures consistent casting control in any environment.

Pros
  • Strong and Smooth 1-Piece Aluminium Frame

  • Perfectly Balanced Rotor

  • Super Lightweight Construction

  • Micro Pitched Gearing System for Effortless Power Transmission

  • 9+1 Bearing in Gearbox for Ultra Smoot Performance in any Environment

  • Includes Instant Anti Reverse (Power Lock) to Easily Brake (Easier Casting Control)

Cons
  • It can be difficult to get replacement parts

15# Mitchell 300 Spinning Reel

Mitchell 300 Spinning Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Left/Right
Gear Ratio: 5.2:1, 5.1:1
Ball Bearings: 7+1

Introducing the Mitchell 300 spinning reel – a top-quality reel designed for serious anglers. With its machined, double-anodized aluminium spool, 8 bearing system, and powerful multi-disk drag system, this reel is tough enough to handle any fishing situation. And with its performance, it’s easy to make those critical catches. So don’t settle for anything less than the best – get the Mitchell 300 spinning reel today.

Video review

Pros
  • High-quality construction

  • 8 bearing system for smooth performance

  • Multi-disk drag system for powerful fishing

Cons
  • It can be less responsive than other reels

Exploring the Various Types of Open Face Fishing Reels

Piscifun Flame Spinning Reel

Spinning Reels: The Crowd Favorite

Spinning reels are the most common and widely used type of open face fishing reels. They are characterized by their fixed spool and exposed bail wire, which make them easy to use and versatile across a range of fishing conditions. Spinning reels are ideal for casting lightweight lures and baits and are well-suited for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. Key features of spinning reels include their smooth drag system, easy-to-use casting mechanism, and suitability for a wide variety of fishing techniques.

Underspin Reels: Unleashing the Underdog

Underspin reels, also known as trigger spin or closed face reels, are a variation of the spinning reel with a unique design. These reels feature an enclosed housing that covers the spool, with a line-release button or trigger mechanism on the bottom. Underspin reels are particularly popular among beginners and young anglers because they are less prone to line tangles and are generally easier to cast. While not as versatile as spinning reels, underspin reels are an excellent option for light tackle fishing and offer a user-friendly experience.

Fly Reels: For the Sophisticated Angler

Fly reels are a specialized type of open face fishing reel designed for fly fishing, a technique that uses lightweight artificial flies to imitate the natural prey of fish. Fly reels have a simple design, consisting of a spool and a basic drag system. Unlike spinning and underspin reels, fly reels have a large-arbor design to accommodate the thicker fly line and backing. The primary function of a fly reel is to store the line and provide controlled resistance when a fish takes the fly. Fly reels are not suitable for all fishing situations, but they excel in fly fishing environments such as rivers, streams, and lakes.

Delving into the Unique Features of Each Reel Type

🧿Spinning Reels:

  1. Easy to use, suitable for beginners and experienced anglers alike
  2. Versatile, can be used in various fishing situations with a wide range of lures and baits
  3. Less prone to line twists and tangles
  4. Capable of long and accurate casts

🧿Underspin Reels:

  1. User-friendly, ideal for beginners and young anglers
  2. Enclosed design reduces line tangles
  3. Excellent for light tackle fishing
  4. Easy casting with the trigger mechanism

🧿Fly Reels:

  1. Specifically designed for fly fishing techniques
  2. Large-arbor design to accommodate thicker fly lines and backing
  3. Offers controlled resistance when a fish takes the fly
  4. Ideal for use in rivers, streams, and lakes

In summary, there are several types of open face fishing reels available, each offering unique features and benefits suited for different fishing situations and techniques. Spinning reels are versatile and user-friendly, making them a popular choice for many anglers.

Underspin reels provide an easy casting experience, particularly for beginners and those using light tackle. Fly reels, while specialized for fly fishing, offer a simple design that allows for controlled line resistance in specific fishing environments. By understanding the features and benefits of each type, you can choose the best open face fishing reel for your needs.

Picking the Perfect Open Face Fishing Reel for You

SHIMANO Sienna 4000FE Spinning Reel

Matching Your Reel to Your Fishing Goals

When selecting an open face fishing reel, it’s important to consider the species you plan to target and the environment in which you’ll be fishing. For instance, if you primarily fish in freshwater environments and target smaller species, a spinning or underspin reel may be more suitable. Conversely, if you’re fishing in saltwater or targeting larger species, a spinning reel with a higher line capacity and a strong drag system might be more appropriate. By identifying the type of fishing you intend to do, you can narrow down the options and choose the reel best suited to your needs.

Finding the Ideal Reel for Your Skill Set

Your skill level as an angler plays a crucial role in determining the right open face fishing reel for you. If you’re a beginner, you may find that an underspin reel or a spinning reel with an easy-to-use casting mechanism is the best choice. As you become more experienced and want to experiment with different fishing techniques, you might prefer a versatile spinning reel with more advanced features. Ultimately, the reel you choose should align with your skill level and allow for growth and improvement.

Smart Budgeting for Your Perfect Reel

Budget is another important factor to consider when selecting an open face fishing reel. Fishing reels are available at various price points, with some entry-level models costing under $50 and high-end reels reaching into the hundreds. It’s essential to establish a budget that suits your financial situation and ensures you get the most value for your money. Keep in mind that while it’s important to invest in quality equipment, you don’t always need the most expensive reel to have a successful fishing experience.

Decoding Reel Specifications and What They Mean for You

Lastly, when choosing an open face fishing reel, it’s crucial to analyze the reel’s specifications. Factors such as gear ratio, line capacity, and drag system can significantly impact the reel’s performance and suitability for your needs. For example:

Factor Explanation
Gear Ratio The gear ratio determines the speed at which the line is retrieved. A higher gear ratio allows for quicker line retrieval, which is beneficial when targeting fast-moving species. A lower gear ratio provides more power for reeling in larger fish.
Line Capacity Line capacity is the amount of fishing line a reel can hold. A higher line capacity is necessary when targeting larger fish or fishing in deep water.
Drag System The drag system controls the resistance applied to the line when a fish pulls on it. A smooth and reliable drag system is essential for preventing the line from breaking during a fight.

By carefully considering these factors and selecting a reel with the appropriate specifications for your fishing needs, you can ensure a successful and enjoyable fishing experience.

Top Open Face Fishing Reel Brands and Models to Look Out For

DAIWA PROCASTER 4000X Reel

Familiarizing Yourself with Industry Leaders

There are numerous open face fishing reel brands available in the market, each offering a range of models catering to different fishing needs. Some of the most popular and respected brands include:

  • Shimano
  • Daiwa
  • Penn
  • Abu Garcia
  • Pflueger
  • Okuma
  • Lew’s

These brands are known for their high-quality products, innovative designs, and exceptional performance. When looking for a top-quality open face fishing reel, these brands are a great starting point.

Reel Reviews: Uncovering the Best Models for Your Fishing Needs

πŸ¦–Freshwater Fishing:

Shimano Stradic FL: This spinning reel offers a smooth drag system, a durable Hagane body, and impressive line capacity. It’s suitable for various freshwater species and techniques.

Pflueger President Spinning Reel: A reliable and affordable option, this reel features a smooth 10-bearing system and a sturdy graphite body, perfect for freshwater anglers on a budget.

🐧Saltwater Fishing:

Penn Battle III: This spinning reel is designed for saltwater use, with a full metal body, HT-100 carbon fiber drag system, and 5+1 sealed stainless steel ball bearings for corrosion resistance.

Okuma Cedros CJ-65S: This high-speed spinning reel is built for saltwater fishing, featuring a dual force drag system, a corrosion-resistant aluminum body, and a fast gear ratio for quick line retrieval.

🎑Big Game Fishing:

Shimano Stella SW: This top-of-the-line spinning reel is built for heavy-duty saltwater and big game fishing, with a high line capacity, powerful drag system, and a range of advanced features to handle the toughest fish.

Daiwa Saltiga: Designed for big game fishing, this reel boasts a powerful, smooth drag system, a strong yet lightweight monocoque body, and Magsealed technology for exceptional durability.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Pros and Cons of Popular Models

Shimano Stradic FL:

Pros:
  • Smooth drag system, durable construction, versatile for various freshwater techniques

Cons:
  • Slightly higher price point compared to some alternatives

Pflueger President Spinning Reel:

Pros:
  • Affordable, smooth 10-bearing system, sturdy construction

Cons:
  • May not be suitable for heavier fish or larger lures

Penn Battle III:

Pros:
  • Built for saltwater use, full metal body, strong drag system

Cons:
  • Heavier than some other options, may require more maintenance

Okuma Cedros CJ-65S:

Pros:
  • High-speed reel, corrosion-resistant, powerful drag system

Cons:
  • Some users report issues with the bail system over time

Shimano Stella SW:

Pros:
  • High line capacity, powerful drag system, advanced features for big game fishing

Cons:
  • Expensive, may be overkill for casual anglers

Daiwa Saltiga:

Pros:
  • Powerful drag system, lightweight and strong body, Magsealed technology for durability

Cons:
  • Expensive, not ideal for beginners or budget-conscious anglers

In conclusion, selecting the right open face fishing reel depends on your fishing preferences, target species, and environment. By considering the top brands and models available, you can make an informed decision and find the reel that best suits your needs.

Expert Tips on Using and Maintaining Your Open Face Fishing Reel

Securing the Perfect Marriage: Attaching Your Reel to the Rod

To ensure optimal performance and prevent damage, it’s crucial to attach the open face fishing reel to the rod correctly. Follow these steps:

  • Make sure the reel seat on the rod is clean and free of debris.
  • Align the reel foot with the reel seat on the rod.
  • Slide the reel foot into the reel seat, ensuring a snug fit.
  • Tighten the locking ring on the reel seat until it securely holds the reel in place. Be careful not to overtighten, as this may damage the reel or rod.

Mastering the Art of Line Loading and Spooling

Properly loading and spooling the fishing line on your open face reel is essential for smooth casting and retrieval. Follow these guidelines:

  • Open the bail arm on the reel.
  • Thread the fishing line through the first guide on the rod and tie it to the spool using an arbor knot or a similar secure knot.
  • Close the bail arm and begin winding the line onto the spool by turning the reel handle. Keep the line taut to ensure even spooling.
  • Fill the spool to the recommended capacity, usually about 1/8 inch from the edge of the spool.
  • Cut the line and thread it through the remaining guides on the rod.

Cast Like a Pro: Tips and Tricks for Open Face Reels

Using proper casting and retrieving techniques will improve your fishing experience and reduce the risk of line tangling or damage. Practice these techniques:

  • Hold the rod with a firm grip and ensure the reel handle is facing upward.
  • Open the bail arm and use your index finger to hold the line against the rod.
  • Swing the rod in a smooth, forward motion, releasing your index finger to allow the line to flow off the spool.
  • Close the bail arm once the lure or bait has landed in the water.
  • Retrieve the line by turning the reel handle, maintaining a steady pace and adjusting your technique based on the lure or bait being used.

Ensuring a Long-lasting Reel with Proper Cleaning and Maintenance

Regular cleaning and maintenance will extend the lifespan of your open face fishing reel and ensure consistent performance. Follow these tips:

  • Rinse the reel with fresh water after each use, especially if fishing in saltwater or muddy conditions.
  • Dry the reel thoroughly before storage.
  • Periodically disassemble the reel (refer to the manufacturer’s instructions) and clean internal components using a soft brush, warm water, and mild detergent.
  • Apply a light coating of reel grease to gears and oil to bearings and other moving parts.
  • Check for signs of wear or damage and replace any worn or broken components as needed.

By following these guidelines, you can maximize the performance and longevity of your open face fishing reel, ensuring a successful and enjoyable fishing experience.

Troubleshooting Common Open Face Fishing Reel Problems

Untangling the Mess: Dealing with Line Twists and Tangles

Line twists and tangles can cause frustration and reduce the efficiency of your open face fishing reel. Common causes include:

Issue Solution
Incorrect spooling Ensure the line is spooled onto the reel with adequate tension and in the correct direction to prevent tangles and poor performance.
Overfilling the spool Fill the spool to the recommended capacity, typically about 1/8 inch from the edge, to avoid issues with casting and line management.
Using the wrong line Choose a line that is compatible with your reel and suitable for your fishing conditions for optimal performance and reliability.

To fix line twists and tangles, remove the twisted line from the reel and straighten it by stretching it between two points. Replace the line if the twists and tangles persist.

Addressing Drag System Dilemmas

A faulty drag system can make it difficult to control the line tension and may result in lost fish or damaged gear. Common drag system issues include:

Issue Solution
Inconsistent drag pressure Clean and lubricate the drag washers to ensure smooth operation and consistent pressure.
Drag not engaging Inspect the drag components for damage and replace any worn or broken parts to restore proper function.
Unresolved issues If you are unable to resolve the issue, consult the manufacturer or a professional reel repair service for assistance and expert guidance.

Using the wrong line: Choose a line that is compatible with your reel and suitable for your fishing conditions.

Diagnosing and Fixing Bearing and Gear Issues

Bearings and gears are critical to the smooth operation of your open face fishing reel. Common problems include:

Issue Solution
Excessive noise or grinding Clean and lubricate the bearings and gears, ensuring they are free of dirt and debris to eliminate noise and friction.
Difficulty turning the handle Inspect the bearings and gears for damage, and replace any worn or broken parts to restore ease of use.
Upgrading for better performance Consider upgrading to higher-quality bearings or gears to improve the overall performance of your reel.

In some cases, upgrading to higher-quality bearings or gears can improve reel performance.

When to Tackle It Yourself and When to Call in the Pros

Key Point Explanation
Regular Maintenance Perform cleaning, lubrication, and inspections routinely to keep your reel in optimal condition and prevent potential issues.
Follow Manufacturer Guidelines Always adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions when disassembling, cleaning, and maintaining your reel to ensure proper care.
Consult a Professional If you cannot resolve an issue or are unsure how to proceed, seek advice from a professional reel repair service or the manufacturer.

By addressing common issues and troubleshooting effectively, you can ensure your open face fishing reel continues to provide enjoyable and successful fishing experiences.

FAQ: Mastering Open Face Fishing Reels

❓What are open face reels good for?
Open face reels are perfect for beginners or those who are looking for a more relaxed fishing experience. Because the line is visible, it’s easy to see when a fish bites, which makes it easier to set the hook. They’re also great for panfish since they can’t handle large fish.
❓Is open or closed reel better?
There is no definitive answer to this question as there are pros and cons to both open and closed reels. Some anglers prefer open reels because they offer more line capacity and are easier to use for long casts. Closed reels, on the other hand, are more durable and can handle larger fish. Ultimately, it is up to the individual angler to decide which reel is best for them.
❓How do you use an open-face reel?
– Set the tension by rotating the star drag button clockwise to increase it or counterclockwise to decrease it:

  • Position your lure next to your rod’s guide when you cast
  • Rotate the reel handle in a long, controlled back and forth motion until you cast
  • Remember that when fishing with an open-face reel, release the tension slowly when retrieving your lure from the water
  • Hold it tight while fighting a catch.
❓How does an open fishing reel work?
An open fishing reel, also known as a “spin cast reel,” is simple to operate. The line is released by a button on the top of the reel, and the bail (wire hoop) spins around to wind the line back onto the spool. When you’re ready to cast again, just press the button and release it quickly; this will send the lure flying further than if you slowly let go of the button.
❓What is an open face fishing reel?
An open face fishing reel, also known as a spinning reel, is a popular type of fishing reel designed for easy casting and retrieving of the fishing line. It features a spool that is fixed and a bail arm that guides the line onto the spool during retrieval.
❓How do I choose the right open face fishing reel for my needs?
When choosing an open face fishing reel, consider factors like the reel size, gear ratio, ball bearings, and the type of fishing you plan on doing. Smaller reels are better suited for lighter lines and smaller species, while larger reels are ideal for heavier lines and bigger fish.
❓How do I attach an open face fishing reel to a fishing rod?
To attach an open face reel to a fishing rod, first make sure the rod is compatible with spinning reels. Then, loosen the reel seat on the rod, insert the reel foot into the seat, and tighten the seat to secure the reel in place.
❓How do I spool line onto an open face fishing reel?
To spool line onto an open face reel, first open the bail arm. Then, tie the line to the spool using an arbor knot and trim any excess line. Close the bail arm and start winding the handle to spool the line evenly onto the reel. Make sure to maintain tension on the line as you spool it.
❓How do I cast using an open face fishing reel?
To cast with an open face reel, first, hold the rod with your dominant hand, placing your index finger on the line above the bail arm. Open the bail arm using your other hand, and then, with a smooth and controlled motion, cast your lure by releasing your index finger from the line as the rod tip moves forward.
❓How do I maintain and clean my open face fishing reel?
Regular maintenance and cleaning can help prolong the life of your open face reel. To clean your reel, first, remove it from the rod and remove any visible dirt or debris. Then, disassemble the reel according to the manufacturer’s instructions, clean all parts with a soft cloth, and lightly lubricate the gears, bearings, and other moving parts. Reassemble the reel and store it in a cool, dry place.
❓Can I use an open face fishing reel in saltwater?
Yes, open face fishing reels can be used in saltwater environments. However, it’s essential to choose a reel designed for saltwater use to prevent corrosion. After each use in saltwater, make sure to thoroughly rinse the reel with fresh water and clean it properly to ensure its longevity.

Conclusion: A Deep Dive into Open Face Fishing Reels

Throughout this comprehensive guide, we’ve highlighted the importance of selecting and utilizing the right open face fishing reel for your specific needs and preferences. Your choice of the reel can significantly impact your overall fishing experience, making it crucial to find the perfect fit.

The Journey to Fishing Success Starts with the Right Open Face Reel

We encourage you to explore different models and brands to find the ideal open face fishing reel that suits your target species, fishing environment, skill level, and budget. Remember to consider key specifications such as gear ratio, line capacity, and drag system when making your decision.

Embrace the Art of Reel Selection and Maintenance

In addition to choosing the right reel, maintaining it properly is essential for achieving consistently successful fishing experiences. By practicing regular cleaning, lubrication, and troubleshooting, you can extend the lifespan of your open face fishing reel and ensure optimal performance.

Reel in the Fun and Success with Open Face Fishing Reels

Ultimately, the right open face fishing reel, coupled with proper usage and maintenance, can make all the difference in your fishing adventures. We hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights to help you reel in success on your next fishing trip.

It can be difficult to know which open face fishing reel is the best for your needs. This buyer’s guide provides in-depth information about open face fishing reels, as well as reviews of some of the top-rated models on the market. We hope that this article will help you make an informed decision when purchasing your next open face fishing reel. Thank you for reading!

Sergio Smirnoff
Sergio Smirnoff
Professional fisherman with 40+ years of experience.
Fishing and the ocean is a passion of my life. I am passionate about all kinds of sea fishing: fishing from the shore (spinning, float, baitcasting), from a boat, and spearfishing day and night.

I live in Tenerife (Canary Islands) for the last 10+ years and share my daily fishing experiences on my website. Many years of personal experience as a fisherman and the vast experience of my friends allow me to write professionally on any fishing topics (from choosing a flashlight and equipment to deep-sea fishing).

All of my advice is based on practical real-world experience and will be useful to both novice anglers and professionals. Read more about the author.

Affiliate Disclosure: FishReeler.com sometimes gets paid for listings, through sponsors or affiliate programs like Amazon, Ebay, Cabelas, Bass Pro Shop, Shimano, Daiwa, Rapala, Renn, Okuma, KastKing, etс. Clicking a link helps keep FishReeler.com free, at no extra cost to you!

About the author: Each article is verified by the fishing expert Sergio Smirnoff. The articles are written by professional and amateur fishermen with 20+ years of fishing experience.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency. The articles are for informational purposes only, share your opinions in the comments and join the fishing discussions, let's share our fishing experiences together!

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Berseerk
Berseerk
4 months ago

Great article! As an experienced angler, I appreciate the effort put into providing detailed and accurate information on each open-face fishing reel. I’ll definitely share this with my friends who are new to the sport – it’s the perfect resource for those looking to make their first purchase. Thanks for putting this together, FishReeler!

This commenter brings up a great point that the ideal reel largely depends on the size of the fish you’re targeting. They mention owning a few Penn Battle 8000 reels and some Penn Fierce reels, which they find to be excellent choices. Additionally, they have a few Shimano Baitrunners in the 6500 sizes that have consistently performed well. It’s important to consider the type of fish you’re after when selecting the right reel for your needs.

CrocoRock
CrocoRock
4 months ago

This comprehensive guide was a lifesaver for a beginner like me. I had no idea there were so many factors to consider when buying an open-face fishing reel. The detailed explanation of each reel’s features was really informative. Keep up the great work, FishReeler!

You point out that while it is technically possible to use them interchangeably, the results may not be optimal. Spinning rods are designed for use with open-face reels (spinning reels) while casting rods are best suited for closed-face reels (spin-cast reels and baitcaster reels). It’s important to match the appropriate rod and reel for the best performance and results in your fishing endeavors.

JamesRussianBed
JamesRussianBed
4 months ago

Wow, this article was extremely helpful in comparing different open-face fishing reels on the market! I especially appreciated the pros and cons list for each model. It made it so much easier to make an informed decision.

I completely agree with you about the Shimano Spheros SW being one of the smoothest spinning reels out there. Its three-part pinion/clutch seal, which is the same as found in Shimano’s $1,000-plus reels, makes a huge difference in protecting the center of the reel. The line lay on this reel is truly impressive, and even though it’s made primarily of plastic, the Spheros SW is strong where it matters most.

At a $200 price point, I’d also consider the Quantum Cabo PTSE as another great option. However, I’d like to point out that the sizes 60 and up in the Cabo PTSE are superior to the 40 and 50 sizes, which have less effective anti-reverse clutches. It might be a good idea to try out both the Spheros SW and the Cabo PTSE before deciding which one suits your personal preferences best.

DiamondEyes
DiamondEyes
4 months ago

I just purchased the Pflueger President Spinning Reel based on your review, and I must say, it’s truly an excellent reel for the price. The smooth drag system and lightweight design make it a joy to use. Your review was spot on, and I’m grateful for the guidance!

Pandoro
Pandoro
4 months ago

Just wanted to chime in and say that I’ve been using the Shimano Stradic FL for about a year now, and it’s still going strong! Your review captured the reel’s quality perfectly. I can attest to the durability and smoothness of this reel, and I’d recommend it to anyone serious about their fishing game.