Over the years, we have gone through quite a number of saltwater spinning reels. This has made us wary about how much we spend on this gear as the amount can begin to rack up after a while. So, as we were planning our next offshore trip, we decided to check out the best saltwater spinning reel under 50.
As you can imagine, there are some obstacles to putting a price limit on your saltwater fishing gear. Thus, we had to work a little harder to find spinning reels that could withstand briny conditions, larger fish, and keep our bank accounts intact.
If you want to avoid the same level of hassle, then this is the guide for you. Here you can find our top options as well as our reviews. We also have a helpful buyer’s guide below.
Saltwater vs. Freshwater Spinning Reels
The first thing to know when on the lookout for good saltwater spinning reels is to understand how they are different from their freshwater counterparts. This is because as a whole, freshwater spinning reels tend to be more common. Therefore, you need to understand why some of these mechanisms will not work for your preferred fishing trip.
To begin with, saltwater spinning reels are built and designed to be sturdier than freshwater reels. This is for two purposes. First, saltwater is more corrosive than freshwater and so your reels must be able to contend with these salty conditions.
On a similar note, a number of saltwater spinning reels also have sealed components. This means that the bearings, gearboxes, and drag systems are sealed to prevent saltwater from getting in and washing away the grease.
Then there is the fact that saltwater areas – particularly offshore – have larger fish. They don’t just weigh more, they often put up a better fight as well. Thus, you need a tougher reel to be able to reel in these kinds of catches.
Since saltwater reels have been designed to catch larger fish, they are equipped to take on larger lines and lures. So, you shouldn’t be surprised if most of the reels offered are for higher pound test lines.
What to Look For in a Saltwater Spinning Reel
Now, let’s narrow down the exact features that you should be looking for in a saltwater spinning reel:
Since corrosion is a big issue with these kinds of reels, it is important for you to select a reel that is made from a material that is corrosion-resistant. The exact material used does vary from one manufacturer to another. Nevertheless, you will find that aluminum alloys are rather popular.
Most good quality alloys are typically non-corrosive. Just to be sure, though, you should check that the spinning reels specifically contain non-corrosive properties. Of course, other elements such as protective coatings, a sealed system, and smoother components can certainly help to prevent damage from setting in.
Line capacity is actually rather important when choosing a spinning reel for saltwater fishing. Not only will you be trying to lure in larger fish, but your prey will have a much better escape route. So, if you don’t want to lose out on a catch, you are going to need more line on your reel.
So, always look for a reel that has a greater line capacity. When trying to determine which line capacity is best for you, consider the type and size of the line that you are using. Then, make certain that the reel can hold as much of it as you will need on your fishing trip.
Sure, you need a reel that is tough and heavy-duty. However, it is just as important to make sure that the reel is as lightweight as possible while supporting these features. Since saltwater fishing offers up larger fish, you will often be using larger lures or bait. To offset this weight, your gear needs to be rather light so that you don’t get tired easily.
Weight also becomes a factor on longer fishing trips. If you are planning on spending hours at a time out on the water, then the weight of your reel is important. If you want to stop tiring yourself out, opt for a lighter reel.
Many anglers believe that with saltwater fishing, max drag is the best. This, of course, is because you are trying to reel in larger fish. Nonetheless, the size and weight of the fish isn’t the only thing to consider when selecting the drag.
The max drag should also depend on how much you can handle. So, if you have average arm strength (as most anglers do), max drag is going to wear you out. To stay on the safe side, it is best to stick with a drag of around 15 to 17 pounds.
Of course, if you are looking for some truly big fish, then you will certainly need to go higher up with the drag. Just make sure that you can handle it, though.
Also read: Best Spinning Reels Under 50
Saltwater Spinning Reels Under 50
Below, you will find our reviews for the saltwater spinning reels that we rated as being the best:
- Introducing the Rapid fresh and saltwater spinning reel featuring an anti-corrosive coating for salt...
- The Rapid offers an enhanced thicker main shaft, stainless ball bearings, and a carbon fiber drag...
- Exquisite craftsmanship employing advanced production technologies and outfitted with high quality...
- The Rapid also features a sealed aluminum spool and rotor structure, preventing water and sand from...
- The Rapid is a fast, powerful, durable reel suited for heavy freshwater and light saltwater use....
If you are looking for value for money, then this is certainly the spinning reel for you. It has high-class components for a surprisingly low price.
This results in a tougher, more durable reel that can take on all the abuse of a saltwater environment. The reel has also been specially designed to help you deal with those larger species out in the open water.
This rod is also easy to handle, even for novices that may be new to the sport. All of these features combined make it one of the more effective reels on the market.
What We Like:
- Protective Properties: this isn’t a reel that is going to be corroding anytime soon. The coating on the stainless steel components counteracts the saltwater action. Also, the shields on either side of the bearings ensure that no water can get inside.
- Excellent Drag: the carbon fiber drag system works to provide a maximum drag of up to 33lbs to catch those really large fish in open water.
- Lightweight: a hollow dynamic rotor and line spool cuts down on air resistance and provides a lighter rotation feeling to give the sense of a lightweight reel.
- Excellent Casting Capabilities: the oscillation system layers the line onto the spool in a nice, uniform manner, reducing friction and allowing for longer casts.
What We Don’t Like:
- Average Knob: the knob isn’t made from the best material and isn’t nearly as durable as the rest of the reel.
- SUPER SMOOTH - super lightweight fishing reel built with a high percentage fiber reinforced graphite...
- HIGH POWERED - 12 ball bearings + 1 instant anti-reverse bearing,The machined aluminum spool...
- DURABLE- The R-Spider DL Inshore Spinning Reel also features a super rigid C4LF carbon-fibre rotor,...
- LIGHT WEIGHT - Hollow frame design and computer balancing system combined with high performance and...
- YOUR ALL-PURPOSE SPINNING REEL:One Bass R-spider DL fishing reel is a great choice for everything...
If you want an easy-to-manage reel with a smooth performance, then this saltwater reel will suit you perfectly.
While it really shines in saltwater conditions, this is a reel that will function beautifully in a number of different environments.
Its tough-as-nails exterior is enhanced even more by components and features that produce a finely-tuned performance.
So, whether you are trying to reel in a cagey fish or a monster that is putting up a fight, this is the reel to help you out.
What We Like:
- Corrosion-Resistant Features: the anti-corrosion bearing system and the drive gear ensure that this spinning reel will stand up well to all salty conditions during your fishing trip.
- Great Drag: the carbon fiber drag system and the zinc alloy drive gear work to ensure that you can enjoy a max drag of up to 39.5lbs.
- Smooth Performance: smooth ball bearings combined with a one-way anti-reverse feature gives you one of the smoothest performances possible.
- Lightweight Design: a hollow frame design and computer balancing system work to create a high-performing, low weight reel.
What We Don’t Like:
- Lower Line Capacity: this reel may not be able to hold nearly as much line capacity as you would like it to.
- MOST POWERFUL TRANSFORMER IN FISHING – KastKing MegaTron transforms the industry with the roll out...
- RIGID ALUMINUM SKELETAL FRAME - The KastKing MegaTron spin fishing reel is built for enormous...
- PRO LEVEL QUALITY GEARS – MegaTron spinning reels provide maximum performance and strength for all...
- MORE POWER – KastKing MegaTron spinning reels are waiting for you to handle the biggest fish....
- FLUID PERFORMANCE - You will be amazed at the dynamics and faultless mechanics of KastKing MegaTron...
This saltwater spinning reel scores quite a few points with its excellent design. As a result, it offers up performance and durability in equal measure.
If you are someone who isn’t too careful with their gear, then this reel will serve you well. The numerous protective components mean that saltwater is kept out of the most important features in this reel.
The rough-and-tough components only tell half the story, though. These well-machined parts move smoothly, allowing every action to click easily into place when fishing.
What We Like:
- Protective Features: the reel is made from aerospace aluminum alloy to prevent it from corroding in saltwater. At the same time, the graphite body panels and rotor prevent water from getting to the internal components of the reel.
- Excellent Design: the presence of seven double-shielded ball bearings and an instant anti-reverse means that you can have one of the smoothest and most efficient reels out on the water.
- Great Drag: the triple-disc carbon fiber drag offers up 30lbs of excellent, hesitation-free drag every time.
- Great Line Capacity: the line capacity for both mono and braided line is excellent, allowing you to place a greater volume on the reel.
What We Don’t Like:
- Higher Weight: this reel is a bit heavy to handle, especially for longer periods of time.
- Smooth & Balanced System: 10+1 precise stainless steel shielded bearings, stronger NCTM (No...
- Saltwater-Rated Ball Bearings: The spinning reel features 10+1 precise stainless steel shielded...
- CNC Aluminum Vented Spool: The spinning reel is equipped with a CNC-machined aluminum spool, allows...
- Oversized Ergonomic EVA Knob: The fishing reel comes with oversized ergonomic high density EVA knob,...
- Triple Carbon Fiber Washers: The sealed drag system is constructed with premium triple carbon fiber...
This is an incredibly designed spinning reel that ensures there is plenty to enjoy about it from the durable features to the smooth operation.
In particular, each component of this spinning reel is incredibly well-coordinated. As such, the stress is evenly divided, giving you a reel that offers up a frictionless performance.
The drag capacity on this spinning reel makes it suitable for more novice anglers. You can reel in some pretty big fish without needing to make as much of an effort.
What We Like:
- Suitable for Saltwater Conditions: the saltwater-rated ball bearings and the sealed drag system work to keep the reel working perfectly in all saltwater conditions.
- Well-Balanced System: all the components are perfectly balanced to ensure that you get a smooth and excellent performance each time.
- Lightweight Design: the vented design cuts down on the overall weight while also distributing the stress more evenly throughout the spool. As such, this is a very comfortable reel to use.
- Good Line Capacity: the line capacity ensures that you can have more line on hand for all your saltwater fishing expeditions.
What We Don’t Like:
- The Handle: it is not very durable
- Exquisite Appearance - The matte black body paired with red aluminum spool, perfectly indicate its...
- Lightweight - Thanks to the relatively narrow hollow graphite body and the lightweight reel gears,...
- Incredible Smooth - 9 quality ball bearings plus one roller bearing paired with precision gears...
- Pure Power - Piscifun Flame fishing reels offers incredible drag power up to 19.8Lb. Plenty great...
- Braid Ready Spool - Only available on high end spinning reels braid ready spool makes the Piscifun...
The mere appearance of this spinning reel alone is enough to make you think that it is in a much higher price category.
Of course, it isn’t just the aesthetics that make this such a notable reel. The performance is incredible as well.
The smooth action, the excellent casting capabilities, and the great drag capacity make it a breeze for virtually everyone to use.
At the same time, the durability and saltwater-secure features mean that this reel is going to last you quite a while under these conditions.
What We Like:
- Smooth Performance: the combination of high-quality ball bearings, a roller bearing, and precision gears engagement, this reel boasts a smooth performance unlike any other.
- Anti-Corrosion Features: the aluminum components and anti-corrosion zinc drive gear ensures that this is a spinning reel that will hold up well in saltwater conditions.
- Great Casting Performance: the balanced rotor and the overall smooth performance encourages even line lay which improves your casting distance quite a bit.
- Braid-Ready Spool: a feature typically reserved for high-end reels, this spinning reel is already equipped for braided line.
- Great Drag: the triple drag washers don’t just offer smooth functions, they also provide a maximum drag of almost 20lbs.
What We Don’t Like:
- Noisy Operation: there is quite a bit of noise when using this reel and it may not be suited to nighttime fishing.
- Lightweight and corrosion-resistant graphite body
- Machined and anodized aluminum spool
- HT 100 carbon fiber drag system provides a powerful drag without sacrificing smoothness
- Ht-100 carbon fiber drag washers
- Superline spool
For this price point, you will be surprised to learn just how much this spinning reel can withstand. Whether it is saltwater or feisty fish, this reel will see you through all your adventures.
At the same time, the low weight and smooth performance mean that you will be able to handle this spinning reel without any issue at all.
While this may not be the most compatible reel on the market, it will definitely serve you well. As such, it is worth the effort required to find a fishing rod that will match this reel.
What We Like:
- Corrosion-Resistant Body: made from graphite, most of this reel has been designed to be corrosion-resistant. This greatly reduces the chances of it being damaged or falling apart even after continuous use.
- Lightweight: the graphite components also help to keep the weight as low as possible, making this reel a breeze to handle for extended periods of time.
- Great Drag: the oiled felt drag system ensures that the drag performance is equal parts smooth yet forceful.
- Smooth Performance: all the well-designed, well-balanced components and the anti-reverse bearing work together to offer a smooth performance unlike any other.
What We Don’t Like:
- Large Reel Seat: due to the large reel seat, you need to check beforehand whether or not this reel will fit your current fishing rod.
The Best Saltwater Spinning Reel
If you want to head to a saltwater fishing spot, you can guarantee that all these reels will serve you well. However, if you want the best performance for your budget, then the RUNCL spinning reel should be your pick. This reel has everything you need in terms of easy handling, great drag, low weight, and more. Not only will you find it easier to catch saltwater fish with this reel, but you will also have peace of mind knowing that it will stand the test of time.
Here are some of the more frequently asked questions about saltwater spinning reels:
Can You Use Any Reel for Saltwater Fishing?
Due to the harshness of the saltwater environment, you can’t use any reel. Reels that haven’t been designed for saltwater use will corrode fairly quickly.
What is the Best Spinning Reel for Saltwater Fishing?
The best spinning reel for saltwater fishing is the RUNCL reel that offers durability and excellent performance.
What is the Difference Between a Saltwater and Freshwater Spinning Reel?
The main differences between these two reels are the materials and design. Saltwater reels are made to be more durable and to handle larger fish.
Are Spinning Reels Good for Saltwater Fishing?
Spinning reels have numerous advantages such as easy handling and extended casting distances that make them good choices for saltwater fishing.
What Makes a Good Saltwater Spinning Reel?
A good saltwater spinning reel needs to be resistant to corrosion, have great line capacity, and be durable enough to handle bigger saltwater fish.
This is all you need to know when looking for and selecting the best saltwater spinning reel. So, follow the tips provided in this guide when making your choice.
This page was last updated on 2022-01-15. Affiliate links and Product Images are from Amazon PAAPI