Top 14 Best Salmon Fishing Reels

  • Reading time:21 mins read
  • Post category:Fishing Reels / How To
  • Post last modified:June 3, 2022

Salmon fishing is one of the most popular types of angling, and for good reason: salmon are powerful and challenging to catch. It is an adventure that can provide a lifetime of memories. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced fisherman, having the right gear is essential for a successful trip. If you’re looking to reel in a big salmon, you need a great salmon fishing reel.

Best Salmon Fishing Reel Reviews

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the top-rated salmon fishing reels on the market. We’ll also provide tips for choosing the right reel for your needs. So if you’re ready to tackle some big fish, read on!

1# Shimano Stradic FL Spinning Reel

Shimano Stradic FL Spinning Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Left/Right
Gear Ratio: 6.0:1, 6.4:1, 6.2:1
Ball Bearings: 6+1

Shimano’s Stradic FL Spinning Reel is a professional-grade reel designed to deliver the smoothest and most consistent performance possible. Featuring Hagane construction, X-Protect waterproofing, and an advanced micromodule gear system, this reel is engineered for power and durability. The SR-Concept ensures smoothness and stability, while the Power Roller II ensures that your line stays managed throughout the casting process.

Pros
  • Hagane construction for power and durability

  • X-Protect waterproofing for all-weather use

  • Advanced micromodule gear system for smoothness and stability

  • SR-Concept ensures smoothness and stability

  • Power Roller II keeps line managed throughout the casting

Cons
  • Pricey compared to other options

  • It Maybe too powerful for some anglers

2# Quantum PT Smoke S3 Inshore Spinning Reel

Quantum PT Smoke S3 Spinning Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Left/Right
Gear Ratio: 6.0:1
Ball Bearings: 11+1

Introducing the Quantum Smoke S3 Inshore Spinning Reel – our most advanced reel yet. Featuring our new Reel Engine Design 2.0™, this reel is built to last with all-aluminium uni-body construction and SCR Alloy with full SaltGuard Protection. The C4LF Carbon-fiber Razor Rotor 2.0 ensures super smooth oscillation, while the Line Management System 2.0 provides improved line control and casting performance. And for those who demand the very best, we’ve added our PT Anti-Corrosion ball bearings for unbeatable corrosion protection.

Pros
  • All-aluminium uni-body construction

  • SCR Alloy with full SaltGuard Protection

  • C4LF Carbon-fiber Razor Rotor 2.0

  • Line Management System 2.0

  • PT Anti-Corrosion ball bearings

Cons
  • Cannot handle big fish

3# PENN Battle III Spinning Reel

PENN Battle III Spinning Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Left/Right
Gear Ratio: 6.2:1, 5.6:1, 4.7:1, 4.2:1, 7.0:1
Ball Bearings: 5+1

Battle-tested and approved, the PENN Battle III Spinning Reel is perfect for anglers who demand the very best. With a full metal body and side plate, this reel is built to withstand the harshest conditions. The sealed stainless steel ball-bearing system ensures consistent performance, while CNC Gear Technology provides exceptional torque and durability. And with its HT-100 Carbon Fiber Drag Washers, the Battle III can take on any fish imaginable. So don’t go into battle without your Battle III by your side!

Pros
  • Full metal body and side plate

  • Sealed stainless steel ball-bearing system

  • CNC Gear Technology

  • HT-100 Carbon Fiber Drag Washers

  • Premium quality at an affordable price

Cons
  • It is not made for saltwater

  • It can be difficult to switch from lefty to righty retrieve

4# Van Staal X Series Spinning Reel

Van Staal X Series Spinning Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Left
Gear Ratio: 4.75:1
Ball Bearings: 7+1
Max Drag: 42 Lbs.
Reel Weight (oz): 21.6
Line Capacity: 15/400
Braid Capacity: 40/500
Recovery: 33.5″ Per Turn

The Van Staal X Series Spinning Reel is the original no-nonsense, bailless surf spinning reel made especially for the rigours of surf fishing. This reel delivers maximum performance on every cast, with a sealed, waterproof drag system that kicks out tremendous drag force at lockdown. With its massive line capacity, you’ll be able to bring that big striper, cobia, or tuna to your feet in no time.

Pros
  • No need to buy new spools for bait

  • Good for surf fishing and other rough water applications

  • A sealed, waterproof drag system that kicks out tremendous drag force at lockdown

Cons
  • It is quite heavy

5# PENN Spinfisher VI Long Cast Spinning Reel

PENN Spinfisher VI Spinning Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Left/Right
Gear Ratio: 4.8:1, 4.3:1
Ball Bearings: 5+1

Serious anglers know that when it comes to getting the most out of their gear, you need a reel with a sealed drag system. That’s why the new Penn Spinfisher VI Long Cast Spinning Reel is such an excellent choice. With its full metal body and side plates, plus CNC Gear technology, this reel can handle even the most strenuous fishing trips.

And with its IPX5 Sealed body and spool design, you’ll never have to worry about your line or drag system breaking down – even in the harshest conditions. So if you’re looking for a reel that can handle everything you throw at it, look no further than the Penn Spinfisher VI Long Cast Spinning Reel.

Pros
  • Full metal body and side plates

  • CNC Gear technology

  • IPX5 Sealed body and spool design

Cons
  • The reel is a bit heavy

  • It can be difficult to get used to the feel of the reel at first

6# 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.

The Okuma Makaira Spinning Reel is designed with one purpose in mind: to dominate saltwater big game fish. With astonishing drag performance and functions like a conventional lever drag, this reel doesn’t mess around when it comes to bringing in the big ones. Plus, with 66 lbs. of drag power, you can be sure that even the strongest fish won’t be able to break free. And if that wasn’t impressive enough already, the full-body corrosion-resistant coating ensures lasting durability, even in the harshest conditions.

Pros
  • Dominates saltwater big game fish

  • 66 lbs. of drag power

  • Outstanding drag performance

  • Full-body corrosion-resistant coating

Cons
  • The reel is a bit heavy

7# Shimano Stella SW Spinning Reel

Shimano Stella SW Spinning Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Left/Right
Gear Ratio: 5.6:1, 4.9:1, 6.2:1, 5.7:1
Ball Bearings: 13+1

The Shimano Stella SW Spinning Reel is the toughest, smoothest, and most durable spinning reel in saltwater. Its IPX8-rated waterproof body ensures that it can withstand any environment, while its all-metal HAGANE Body and rotor design provide exceptional rigidity and stability.

The X-Rigid Rotor design also reduces inertia for smooth, easy operation, while the X-Protect water-resistant roller protection keeps your gears safe from the elements. And with a 13+1 bearing system and S-ARB stainless steel ball bearings, it’s ready to handle whatever you throw at it.

Pros
  • The Reel is the toughest, smoothest, and most durable spinning reel in saltwater

  • Its IPX8-rated waterproof body ensures that it can withstand any environment

  • The X-Rigid Rotor design also reduces inertia for smooth, easy operation

  • With a 13+1 bearing system and S-ARB stainless steel ball bearings, it’s ready to handle whatever you throw at it

Cons
  • No Anti-Reverse

  • Limited Drag System Adjustments

8# Daiwa Procyon AL Spinning Reel

Daiwa Procyon AL Spinning Reel

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Specification

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

The Daiwa Procyon AL Spinning Reel is good for professional anglers. With its DIGIGEAR technology and Advanced Tournament Drag (ATD), you’ll have a built-in advantage while fighting fish. The Long Cast ABS spool’s lip design eliminates wind knots and maximizes casting distance, while the generous cut-outs in the rotor reduce overall weight.

Pros
  • It is lightweight and easy to use

  • It has a very smooth retrieve thanks to the 11-bearing system

  • You can adjust the braking system to your liking

  • It comes with Drag that gives you an immediate drag response when you set the hook

Cons
  • It is heavier than other reels

9# Quantum Cabo PT Spinning Reel

Quantum Cabo PT Spinning Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Left/Right
Gear Ratio: 5.3:1, 4.9:1
Ball Bearings: 7+1

The Quantum Cabo PT Spinning Reel is designed with professional anglers in mind. It features 8 PT bearings, hybrid ceramic bearings in high-load areas, a sealed Magnum CSC Drag, and a sealed Magnum Clutch for smooth, consistent performance.

The TiMag titanium bail system is fail-proof and magnetic trip ensures it will never open accidentally. And with the LMS line management system and ball-bearing line roller, you’ll have an easier time casting and retrieving your lines. Plus, the SaltGuard 2.0 multi-layer corrosion protection keeps your reel functioning like new even in harsh saltwater conditions.

Pros
  • Hybrid ceramic bearings in high-load areas

  • Sealed Magnum CSC Drag

  • Sealed Magnum Clutch for smooth, consistent performance.

  • Attractive blue design

Cons
  • None

10# 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

Looking for a reel that can take on any fishing situation? Look no further than the Daiwa BG Spinning Reel. This tough and lightweight reel is perfect for both fresh- and saltwater fishing, with a 6+1 bearing system that ensures smooth and consistent performance.

The oversized Digigear machine-cut gears provide power and durability, while the carbon ATD drag system delivers maximum fish stopping power. And to top it all off, the Daiwa BG comes with a machined aluminium screw-in handle for extra strength and longevity. So come on, give this reel a try – it’s guaranteed to outperform the competition!

Pros
  • Best freshwater and saltwater fishing reels

  • 6+1 bearing system ensures smooth and consistent performance

  • Oversized Digigear machine-cut gears provide power and durability

  • Carbon ATD drag system delivers maximum fish stopping power

  • Machined aluminium screw-in handle for extra strength and longevity

Cons
  • If you are fishing in rocky or fast water areas, this reel will not be the best option

  • It is a bit on the expensive side

11# Abu Garcia Elite Max Spinning Reel

Abu Garcia Elite Max Spinning Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Left/Right
Gear Ratio: 6.2:1, 5.6:1
Ball Bearings: 6+1

This Abu Garcia Elite Max Spinning Reel is the perfect choice for serious anglers. It features a smart, durable pro-style design with a lightweight rotor and Everlast bail system. The Rocket Spool Lip Design ensures smooth, accurate casting, while the Rocket Line Management System keeps your line in check. And with its 6 HPCR stainless steel ball bearings and Carbon Matrix drag system, this reel can handle any fish you hook into.

Pros
  • Lightweight rotor and Everlast bail system for easy use

  • Rocket Spool Lip Design ensures a smooth, accurate casting

  • The rocket Line Management System keeps your line in check

  • 6 HPCR stainless steel ball bearings for durability

  • Carbon Matrix drag system for power

Cons
  • It is not as fast as some of the other options on the market

  • Shorter rod handles than other reels

12# Pflueger President XT Limited Edition Spinning Reel

Pflueger President XT Spinning Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Left/Right
Gear Ratio: 5.2:1, 6.2:1
Ball Bearings: 9+1

This is the Pflueger President XT Limited Edition Spinning Reel. It’s a special version that’s lighter and faster than the standard. Plus, it has a graphite body and rotor, braid-ready spool, aluminium main shaft and pinion gear, 10-bearing system, corrosion-resistant stainless steel ball bearings, sealed drag that keeps grit and water away, carbon-fibre handle with rosewood knob – all to provide you with an outstanding fishing experience. So don’t wait – get your Pflueger President XT Limited Edition Spinning Reel today!

Pros
  • Graphite body and rotor for a lighter, faster reel

  • Braid-ready spool

  • Aluminium main shaft and pinion gear

  • 10 bearing system for smoothness

  • Corrosion-resistant stainless steel ball bearings

  • Sealed drag to keep grit and water away

  • Carbon fibre handle with rosewood knob

Cons
  • It can be challenging to get it to cast properly

13# Lew’s Custom Speed Spin Spinning Reel

Lew's Custom Spinning Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Left/Right
Gear Ratio: 5.2:1, 6.2:1
Ball Bearings: 9+1

This Lew’s Custom Speed Spin spinning reel is suitable for anglers who demand the best in performance and quality. It features a lightweight, all-aluminium body and side plate, as well as a flush-and-drain port design that makes it easy to keep clean.

The C60 carbon skeletal Speed Rotor ensures smooth, consistent operation, while the aluminium bail wire and double-anodized knurled spool help reduce weight and increase durability. The 10-bearing system provides ultra-smooth performance, and the zero-reverse one-way clutch bearing ensures consistent drag pressure when battling big fish.

Pros
  • All aluminium body and side plate

  • Flush and drain port design for easy cleaning

  • Lightweight construction

  • C60 carbon skeletal Speed Rotor ensures smooth operation

  • Double anodized knurled spool for low weight and increased durability

Cons
  • The construction may not be as durable as heavier metals

14# Bass Pro Shops CatMaxx Spinning Reel

Bass Pro Shops CatMaxx Spinning Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Left/Right
Gear Ratio: 4.6:1
Ball Bearings: 4+1

If you’re looking for a top-quality spinning reel that can handle big fish, you need the Bass Pro Shops CatMaxx Spinning Reel. It features a graphite frame, rotor, and side cover for durability, plus a double-anodized aluminium spool and solid stainless steel bail wire to resist corrosion.

The oversized line roller ensures smooth operation on long casts, while the quality 5-bearing system provides silky-smooth performance. And with a maximum drag of 40 lbs., this reel is more than capable of handling even the biggest fish. So don’t wait any longer – order your CatMaxx spinning reel today!

Pros
  • Double Anodized Aluminum Spool and Solid Stainless Steel Bail Wire

  • Oversized Line Roller for Smooth Operation on Long Cast

  • Quality 5 Bearing System for Silky Smooth Performance

  • Maximum Drag of 40lbs – Enough to Handle Big Fish

Cons
  • It has been known to get tangled up with other gear

FAQ

What kind of reel is best for salmon fishing?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best reel for salmon fishing will vary depending on the individual angler’s preferences and needs. That said, some reels are better suited for salmon fishing than others, and it is important to choose a reel that can handle the demands of this type of fishing.
What size reel is best for salmon fishing?
One of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a salmon fishing reel is its size. The size of the reel you need will depend on the size of the salmon you are hoping to catch. In general, you will want a reel that is big enough to handle the largest fish you are likely to encounter in your area. A good size spinning reel for salmon would start at a size 2500 and finish at a size 10000.
How much drag do you need for salmon?
The amount of drag you need for salmon fishing will vary depending on how much weight you’re using and the size of the fish. In general, you’ll want a reel with at least 20 pounds of drag to handle larger fish.
What line do you spin salmon on?
Salmon can be caught on a variety of different line types, including spinning, baitcasting, and fly fishing.

Conclusion

Best Salmon Fishing Reel – TOP-Rated Salmon Fishing Reels. A full-length article answering common questions with product reviews and useful tips about Salmon Fishing Reels Best salmon fishing reel is a great way to catch more fish in less time, but it’s important that you choose the right one for your needs.

This buyer’s guide will help you compare different models based on price range, material type, line capacity, weight and other factors so that you can find the best reel for your needs. We also review some of our favourite reels recommended by experts across North America to make things simple for those who don’t have much experience buying these products or know what features they should be looking out for when comparing them side by side.

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.

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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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