Few can argue the spinning reel isn’t an essential piece of fishing tackle. Used in freshwater, salt water and the sweet water that connects the two — it doesn’t really matter where you’re fishing or what you’re targeting, there’s likely an ideal spinning reel for you. From catching tuna on poppers to drop-shotting for largemouth bass, spinning reels are a top option. Even anglers targeting white marlin and sailfish sometimes opt for spinners, especially when slow-trolling small ballyhoo. No doubt about it, the variety of options and prices of today’s spinners is extensive.
Plus, spinning reels flat-out last if you take care of them. But at some point, the design, material and tech updates in the latest spinning reels are too much to pass up. So even if you can’t retire your old favorite reels, you probably find yourself researching what’s available each new season. Check out these options available right now in 2023, plus some brand-new spinning reel models for 2024. Reels are listed in alphabetical order. Or click directly on a manufacturer in the bullets below:
Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel
Abu Garcia’s Revo spinning reels underwent a complete redesign in 2022, consisting of fresh looks and upgraded components. New for the Revo spinning models, the lineup features an asymmetric, aluminum one-piece frame for a more compact reel design. You’ll notice this change in their four main reels: the Revo Rocket, Revo SX, Revo Winch and Revo X spinners.
While remaining extremely rigid, the four different Revos are very lightweight. Built with the new AMG2 gear system that is 17 percent larger than the previous generation of Revos, the system provides this lineup with improved gear strength and a wider range of gear ratio options.
The Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel was designed with balance, performance and durability at the forefront. Key features in this model include an asymmetrical X-Craftic body design for a more compact body, Zenon inspired body design to help reduce overall weight, 8+1 HPCR bearing system, and friction-free main shaft design. The Revo SX SP30 has a 6.2:1 gear ratio, 11 pounds of drag, and line capacity of 180 yards of 10-pound braid.
- Models: 10, 20, 30, 40
- Price: $169.95
- Site: abugarcia.com
Daiwa Exceler Spinning Reel
Daiwa’s Exceler family of reels can be described as a blend of appealing aesthetics, smooth operation, and steadfast drag capabilities — all within the accessible price range of $100.
“We embarked on a journey of reinvention with the Exceler series,” explained Marc Mills, senior marketing manager at Daiwa. “Our first step was to craft a lighter version by embracing the cutting-edge Zaion V carbon fiber body. This shift not only reduces the weight of the new Exceler but also aligns its performance with existing models in larger sizes.”
The original Daiwa Exceler LT made waves as a budget-friendly reel rivaling pricier counterparts. In this new generation, the Carbon Light Material takes a backseat to the Zaion V body, producing a lighter framework with heightened structural integrity. A proprietary Tough Digigear generates robust gear engagement and longevity. And a ball bearing-supported Advanced Tournament Drag (ATD) results in smooth and reliable drag performance.
“Furthermore, we adopted the innovative Airdrive Rotor, a departure from the conventional air rotor,” said Mills. “This new rotor not only trims down weight considerably but also enhances overall agility. Accompanying this shift, we redesigned the bail, introducing the slender yet robust Airdrive Bail. Opting for a solid bail wire ensures durability and resilience against bending during regular use.”
- Models: Sizes from 1000 to 6000
- Price: $99.99 – $119.99
- Available: Fall 2023
- Site: daiwa.us
KastKing MegaJaws Elite Spinning Reel
The KastKing MegaJaws Elite spinning reel is an affordable option for any freshwater angler interested in finesse fishing. Using light lines and small lures, especially with techniques such as casting micro jigs or drop-shotting for bass, feel confident making precision casts. The MegaJaws Elite boasts a gear ratio of 6.2:1, striking a balance between speed and power.
Some specific features of the MegaJaws Elite spinner help it stand out. A lightweight and shallow spool minimizes line coil and maximizes casting distance. The stainless-steel line roller and double-shielded stainless-steel bearings (10 + 1) generate a smooth retrieve. KastKing uses zinc alloy for the main drive gear to balance strength and weight, cutting out unnecessary bulk. And an aluminum pinion drive gear, equipped with a carbon fiber drag system, produces a smooth and seamless controlled feel when anglers are fighting fish.
- Models: 2000, 2500, 3000
- Price: $139.99
- Site: kastking.com
Okuma Inspira ISX A Spinning Reel
Okuma pushed the boundaries with their latest reel, the Inspira ISX A spinner, combining stability, silkiness, and new tech that promises to satisfy anglers. Crafted with precision, the Inspira ISX employs Okuma’s patented diecast aluminum Torsion Control Armor (TCA) technology. A departure from conventional single side-designs, the TCA’s dual-arm configuration offers increased torsional and flex resistance under pressure. This translates to improved strength, dependable rigidity, and strict alignment of its internal components.
The addition of Okuma’s exclusive Proprietary Flite Drive system further accentuates gear stability. Complemented by a multi-disc Carbonite and stainless-steel drag washer system — and fortified with 8BB+1RB stainless steel bearings — the Inspira ISX guarantees that smooth feel while fighting fish.
Weighing just 7.1 ounces, the spinning reel still produces 24 pounds of maximum drag capacity. Its oversized HDGII main gear, coupled with a machined brass pinion gear, means that anglers can expect a workhorse. The reel’s machined aluminum screw-in handle design, paired with lightweight TPE handle knobs, ensures comfort during extended fishing trips. A RESII: Computer balanced Rotor Equalizing System adds the final touch, offering balanced, reduced rotor wobble, and smoother operation.
- Models: 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000
- Price: $99.99 – $104.99
- Available: Early 2024
- Site: okumafishing.com
Penn Spinfisher VII Spinning Reel
Penn Fishing’s upgraded Spinfisher VII spinning reel is a result of the company’s commitment to quality. Designed for anglers who want reliability and raw cranking power, the newest Spinfisher VII is a no-brainer. The Spinfisher series is not new; in fact, it’s been a popular choice for inshore and surf applications for years.
That trend continues with the Spinfisher VII, which boasts a fully sealed HT-100 carbon fiber drag system. The drag system works overtime, protecting against water intrusion and delivering fish-stopping power. The Spinfisher’s new CNC gear technology also takes center stage, combining robust all-brass gearing and 5+1 sealed stainless-steel ball bearings. You’ll also notice on the latest model a specialized line keeper that can hold heavy leader material. Other features that carry over from previous generations include the IPX5-sealed full-metal body and spool design.
The Spinfisher VII is available in 18 models, catering to various fishing styles. From finesse fishing with 2500-size reels to offshore fishing with the largest 10500 model, this reel family covers it all. Long Cast, Live Liner, and Bail-less options are also available. The drag pressures across the reel family range anywhere from 15 to 50 pounds, upping the fish-stopping power as the reels grow in size. The Spinfisher VII can also be factory-matched with a graphite composite rod in 11 different available combo options.
- 18 Models Available
- Price: $179.95 – $289.95 (Reels) | $209.99 – $289.99 (Combos)
- Available: September 2023
- Site: pennfishing.com
SEVIIN GSW Spinning Reel
SEVIIN reels was born from St. Croix’s seven decades of rod-building expertise, a legacy of family ownership, and an unwavering commitment to anglers worldwide. The SEVIIN GSW series of saltwater spinning reels, a cornerstone of SEVIIN’s 2024 product lineup, is a testament to years of initial designing, engineering and product testing.
“Our new GSW was designed from an entirely blank slate with the goal of creating a strong and powerful family of saltwater spinning reels that deliver uncompromising performance and reliability with exterior design aesthetics that look like nothing else on the market,” detailed Robert Woods, SEVIIN Reels’ product manager.
A shield against the corrosive ocean environment, the GSW reels feature fully gasketed side plates and blade seals on the spool shaft. This feature prevents salt spray intrusion but still allows freshwater rinsing after every trip. These protective measures protect the GSW’s core, featuring a 6 + 1 shielded stainless-steel bearing system, a robust multi-stack carbon fiber drag system backed by stainless-steel components, and meticulously engineered precision-hobbed hard-brass pinion and die-cast drive gear.
The GSW’s resilient aluminum alloy body and side covers produce strength, rigidity, and corrosion resistance, while the spool is also crafted from forged, lightweight aluminum. SEVIIN’s GSW series employs an S-Curve design across all sizes, for a slow-and-even line wrap on the spool. Longer casts and minimal line management hassles are a happy result. The larger 6000 and 8000 models include wider rotors and enhanced drag systems, utilizing crafted aluminum die-cast rotors that eliminate rotor flex.
- Models: 3000, 4000, 6000, and 8000 sizes
- Price: $160 – $200
- Available: February 2024
- Site: seviinreels
Shimano Stradic FM Spinning Reel
The Shimano Stradic FM spinning reel is the latest addition to Shimano’s CoreSolid lineup that continues the brand’s legacy. Building on the strong reputation of its predecessors, the Stradic FM is full of innovative technologies.
One standout feature is its InfinityXross tech that extends the gear tooth horizontally, ensuring an even distribution of load. In addition, the Stradic FM utilizes Shimano’s strong HAGANE gearing, plus a MicroModule II gear teeth design for a crisp feel while reeling. The reel’s InfinityDrive generates sturdy rotation and heightened cranking power even under demanding loads. And a newly incorporated Duracross Drag system performs as smoothly as traditional felt, but Shimano says theirs is 10 times more durable.
Shimano’s X-Protect water-repellent coating thwarts water penetration in critical areas, all without introducing that cumbersome rotational feel. One final feature is the Anti-Twist Fin, an elastic polymer placed on the roller’s underside. This addition helps anglers using monofilament or fluorocarbon lines prevent twists that can ruin your fishing day.
- Models: ST1000HGFM, ST2500HGFM, STC3000XGFM, ST4000XGFM, STC5000XGFM
- Price: $199.99 – $229.99
- Site: fish.shimano.com
Toadfish Carbon Elite Spinning Reel
The Toadfish Carbon Elite spinning reel is a winner, mixing balance, lightweight construction and durability. Its aluminum body ensures precise gear alignment and eliminates unwanted flex, paired with a carbon fiber handle that’s lightweight and strong.
The Carbon Elite’s sealed carbon drag system is a must-have, using carbon fiber drag washers to produce that smooth, solid feel when fighting fish. A carbon rotor is also unique, but helps contribute to the strength and light weight of the reel. The 3000-model reel has a gear ratio of 6:1, maxes out at 16 pounds of drag, and weighs 7.8 ounces.
Other components include 7+1 sealed stainless steel ball bearings and an innovative IPX5 sealed system. Strategically placed seals on the drag, rotor, and body help keep out harsh saltwater. Toadfish’s Comfort Control Grips are also a welcome plus, preventing fatigue during extended fishing sessions.
- Models: 2000, 2500, 3000 and 4000 series
- Price: $150
- Site: toadfish.com
Tsunami SaltX II Spinning Reel
The Tsunami SaltX II spinning reel is one of those reels you absolutely need to get your hands on. It just feels bullet-proof in your grasp, and that slight weight radiates pure power. The body and rotor of the SaltX II are constructed from A6061 Aluminum. The design is fully sealed and incorporates 19 seals to ensure optimal protection. The SaltX II also features a sealed Hammer drag system and a braid-ready spool.
The main and pinion gears of the SaltX II are made from digitally optimized S-Drive stainless steel. With 7+1 sealed stainless steel ball bearings, it offers smooth operation. A unique sealed anti-reverse bearing is also included.
The reel utilizes a manually closing bail system with a sealed bail spring. Its one-piece machined handle arm includes a round non-slip power knob. The handle arm is convertible for both left and right hand retrieval. For increased weight savings and durability, the reel incorporates a titanium spool lip, bail wire, and main-shaft.
If you haven’t noticed, the SaltX II reel series is built to protect against the worst saltwater conditions, whether surf fishing for tarpon or offshore fishing for tunas. Plus, the drag stopping power is no joke. The largest SaltX II reel — the 8000 model — weighs 22 ounces, has a 4.7:1 gear ratio, produces 50 pounds of max drag, and handles 400 yards of 65-pound braid.
- Models: 3000, 4000, 6000, 8000
- Price: $399.99 – $459.99
- Site: tsunamifishing.com