15 Best Spinning Reel under 100 Dollars: No Compromise on Quality for Budget!

Spinning reels are probably the most common and popular types of fishing reels among anglers. Their simple yet practical features make them a must-have for any fishing activity. 

Whether you’re going for smaller ones like bass, redfish, and crappie or for some deep shore species like Amberjack, Marlin, Snapper, Swordfish, and even sharks, having a well-made spinning reel will help you get the most out of your angling adventure. 

Even though we all want one, buying well-made spinning reels can take hundreds even thousands. 

For that reason, we have gathered some of the top-rated, highly-reviewed spinning reels from the market to help you look at the best options available within a respectable budget.

On our list, you will find the top 15 best spinning reels under $100! Yes, you only need a hundred dollars to get a durable and fancy fishing buddy for your next trip.

What is a Spinning Reel?

Even though it seems like a fairly modern invention, the history and origin of spinning reels date back to the 4th century, China. 

A painter called Ma Yuan, from the Song Dynasty, created a painting called “Angler on a Wintry Lake” in 1195. In that painting, the fisherman is using a fishing rod with a spinning reel!

A spinning reel is a type of fishing reel that uses a stational spool on the side with a revolving metal arm to catch and retract the line as the handle gets turned. 

It is set on a fishing rod to wind and stow the line. Almost every angler and pro fisherman uses a spinning reel.

In the west, people started using spinning reels quite recently, specifically in the last century. 

In 1930, after World War II, a wealthy American man named Bache Brown went to France and developed this small device with a wheel that can be used with a fishing rod to easily retract fish after catching them.

The design was quite simple but created a revolution and brought a whole new era for the fishing industry. 

By the 1950s, the market was filled with spinning reels from different brands, all quite similar to the original one. You can read the full history of spinning reels here.

Over the last century, the fishing reel industry has seen countless development and scientific research to figure out the best spinning reel design. When the first one was invented, it was created to catch generic smaller freshwater fishes. 

Now there are so many amazing brands that create remarkable spinning reels that can catch huge saltwater fish, even sharks!

Want to know the best saltwater fish ever anglers should catch? Check here.

Why Use a Spinning Reel

You might be wondering why you need to specifically upgrade to a spinning reel when there are so many different types of fishing reels out there. The answer is quite simple and logical. 

For starters, spinning reels are really lightweight. This is a great advantage as you can throw your lure really farther. 

Almost all spinning reels nowadays use a lightweight but strong metal that helps to cast to a very distant point without much physical effort from your side. 

If you use a baitcasting reel, a strong wind is a huge problem for you. But with a spinning reel, you can cast across the wind without any issue whatsoever. 

Spinning wheels are easily swappable between your left and right hands. This means there is no issue of adjustment. You can hold the reel however you feel comfortable. 

The main reason to use a spinning reel would be its affordability. This is the core reason why most passionate anglers use spinning reels. They are very affordable, well made, and can last you a really long time. So it’s quite an economical choice.

If you are a beginner to a semi-decent angler, using a spinning reel is the best way to learn how to fish properly. It’s pretty self-explanatory and helps you catch your dream fish without much hassle. So the question is, why won’t you use a fishing reel?

Benefits of Spinning Reel

If we haven’t made that clear yet, spinning reels have many many added benefits compared to other reel options. To make it easier for you, here are some key benefits of using a spinning reel:

  • Spinning reels are very simple and easy to use.
  • You can easily swap spools or lines without much inconvenience. 
  • The spools do not get tangled.
  • Spinning reels can throw very far away due to its lightweight nature. 
  • They are ideal and can be used for many different types of tackles,
  • Ideal for many different types of fishing whether it’s freshwater or saltwater. You can even do deep shore fishing with a high-quality fishing reel.
  • Spinning reels can easily adjust your drag during your fight with a big fish. No other reels can do this. 
  • Really easy to maintain. 
  • Perfect for beginners as well as professional fishermen. So very versatile in functionality. 

Our Top 15 Picks- An Overview

Best OverallOkuma Ceymar Spinning Reels
Key Features:
01. Multi-disc drag system
02. 7BB + 1RB for ultimate smoothness
03. Quick set anti-reverse roller bearing
04. Precision, machine cut brass pinion gear
4.7Check Latest Price
Best for SaltwaterPenn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel
Key Features:
01. HT 100 Carbon fiber drag system
02. Fluid cranking with sealed ball bearings
03. Superline spool system
04. Full metal body, side plate, and rotor 
05. Instant anti-reverse
4.7Check Latest Price
The Smoothest DragKastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel 
Key Features:
01. 10+1 high quality double shielded ball bearings
02. Instant lock anti-reverse
03. Stainless steel hardware
04. Aluminum handle
05. Extra line capacity
4.5Check Latest Price
Best BudgetKastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reels
Key Features:
01. Attractive, brilliant finish
02. High strength two color anodized aluminum spool
03. Power launch lip for farther casting
04. High tensile strength graphite frame
05. Compact and lightweight design
06. Superior drag system
4.5Check Latest Price
Most DurableDaiwa BG Saltwater Spinning Reel
Key Features:
01. Black Anodized machined aluminum housing
02. Oversized Digigear system
03. Solid screw-in handle with air rotor
04. Dynamic cut aluminum ABS spool
05. Braided Line ready spool
06. Waterproof drag system
4.7Check Latest Price
The FastestPiscifun Carbon X Spinning Reels 
Key Features:
01. High speed 6.2:1 gear ratio
02. 10+1 double-shielded stainless steel bearings
03. Triple premium carbon drag washers
04. Carbon frame, rotor, and cover
05. CNC machined ‘NEST’ spool
06. Direct screw-in handle
4.6Check Latest Price
Most Brand ValuePflueger President XT Spinning Reel
Key Features:
01. 10 bearing system
02. Corrosion resistant stainless steel ball bearings
03. Aluminum main shaft
04. Aluminum pinion gear
05. Five spool sizes
06. Sealed drag system
07. Braid ready spool
08. Rubber cork knobs
Check Latest Price
Best Entry-Level Saltwater PickPENN Pursuit III Spinning Fishing Reel
Key Features:
01. HT 100 carbon fiber drag washers
02. Corrosion-resistant graphite body
03. 4+1 stainless steel bearing system
04. Available in six different sizes from 2000-8000
4.7Check Latest Price
Best Bass Fishing ReelPflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel
Key Features:
01. Graphite body and rotor
02. 7 stainless steel ball-bearing system
03. Sealed drag system
04. Braid ready spool
05. Instant anti-reverse feature
4.7Check Latest Price
Most Professional DesignKastKing Crixus Spinning Fishing Reel
Key Features:
01. CNC machined aluminum spool
02. Folding machined aluminum handle
03. Dynamic line roller
04. 5+1 double shielded stainless steel ball bearings
05. Smooth carbon fiber drag
4.6Check Latest Price
Most Weather-ResistantCadence CS8 Spinning Reel
Key Features:
01. 9 stainless steel ball bearings
02. 1 instant anti-reverse bearing
03. Magnesium frame with carbon composite rotor & side plate
04. Carbon fiber drag system
05. Oversized ergonomic EVA handle
06. 1-year warranty
4.5Check Latest Price
Best for BeginnersSHIMANO Nexave FE Spinning Fishing Reel
Key Features:
01. Front drag
02. AR-C spool (aluminum) & Varispeed II
03. 3 shielded stainless steel bearing with 1 roller bearing
04. XT-7 frame
05. Ideal for all types of freshwater fishing
4.5Check Latest Price
Best for Inshore FishingCadence CS5 Pro Spinning Reel
Key Features:
01. 8 stainless steel ball bearings and 1 instant anti-reverse bearing
02. Carbon composite frame, side plates, and rotor
03. Carbon fiber drag system
04. Oversized ergonomic EVA handle
05. Machined aluminum spool 
06. Aluminum pinion gear and stainless steel main shaft
4.5Check Latest Price
Most VersatileSougayilang Fishing Reel
Key Features:
01. Attractive brilliant finish
02. 13+1 ball bearing and one anti-reverse bearing
03. CNC aluminum spool with free spare graphite spool
04. Premium quality inner part with hardened metal 
05. Right/left interchangeable fishing reel
06. Superior drag system
4.3Check Latest Price
Most StylishPiscifun Flame Spinning Reels 
Key Features:
01. High quality 9+1 ball bearings
02. Anti-corrosion Zinc drive gear
03. Triple drag washers
04. Braid ready and unique X shape spool
05. Crisp click sound
06. Even line lay
4.5Check Latest Price

Top 15 Spinning Reels under $100 Reviews

After hours of research and reading numerous reviewers on the internet, we have decided, all of these 15 top spinning reels under $100 have great features and functions that make them stand out from the rest. 

Each of them were selected for specific features. In that sense you can say, all of them are number one based on the purpose they were created to serve. So without further ado, let’s get straight into the review

01. Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reels (Best Overall)

Okuma Ceymar Spinning reels come in a variety of different sizes for you to choose from. Used by professionals all over the world, this fishing reel is reliable in terms of quality and performance. 

Each Okuma reel is designed for specific needs. For example, the C30 and C40 model is ideal for freshwater fishing. This is their intermediate size that fits the majority of the anglers among us.   

The C55 is popular for its inshore saltwater fishing. With its 240-yards of 15-pound monofilament line, you can use this for striped bass, redfish, snook, and many more shallow-water fishes. 

The C65 is great for pier, jetty, and big water fishing. This model comes with an oversized ergo grip for ultimate cranking power.

No matter which model you choose,  Ceymar spinning reels have a powerful, multi-disc drag system. With quick-set anti-reverse roller bearings. 

The sleek design with a smooth mechanism creates a fantastic fishing experience. You will fall in love with its fluid 8-bearing drive system with precision elliptical gearing.

This Okuma Spinning reel comes with a forged aluminum handle that provides you complete control and comfort. 

The EVA handle knobs are what make this so easy to use. Any anglers who have been fishing for a while would be able to feel the difference between a normal reel and this one!

Pros:

  • Light and smooth performance.
  • Ideal for medium to smaller fishes.
  • All aluminum body and fast gear ratio.
  • Solid build, durable.
  • Sensitive and precise retrieval. 
  • Great for ice fishing.
  • Good value for money.

Cons:

  • The 5 to 1 gear ratio can be a bit slower compared to other reels of this size.

Why We Like This:

The Okuma Ceymar Spinning reels are great for any small to medium species of fish. The reel is very smooth and easily retractable which is really all you need to have an awesome fishing experience. 

02. Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel (Best for Saltwater)

Penn Battle II is considered to be one of the best Saltwater reels under $100. It’s practical, sleek design and efficient performance make it a favorite among many. 

This fishing reel comes with an HT 100 Carbon fiber drag system that keeps the reel smooth even under the highest pressure. The carbon fiber layer prevents any friction or heat buildup from happening.

Penn Battle II has five shielded stainless steel ball bearings that make it extra strong and durable. You can use it in the ocean under high water pressure and it still won’t bend. It is also rust and corrosion resistant which is crucial for any saltwater reel. 

The ball bearings provide an excellent anti-reverse system that adds extra comfort while dragging. You don’t have to worry about accidental slipping. 

The Superline spool system requires no backing whatsoever. The spool also allows easy loading and is braided line ready. 

The Penn Battle II spinning fishing reel is made from Aluminum and has a solid metal body. This makes the reel extremely strong but makes it quite heavy compared to other brands. 

Pros:

  • Built to last.
  • High range reels.
  • Requires no backing.
  • Corrosion-resistant. 
  • High range with durability.
  • Full metal body.

Cons:

  • The weight is heavy due to its full metal body.

Why We Like This:

Penn Battle II is one of the most used and tested saltwater spinning reels in the world. It is extremely durable and built to survive harsh sea weather. So perfect for any types of saltwater fishing.

03. KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel (The Smoothest Drag)

KastKing Sharky is a next-generation spinning reel that looks great, performs well, and resists salty weather. The tough construction is excellent for both freshwater and saltwater fishing!

Even though they are built tough, the whole fishing reel is actually really lightweight. This is because the KastKing SHaarky III is built with a high percentage fiber-reinforced graphite body and rotor. 

Sharky III fishing reel comes with a reliable and smooth triple disc carbon fiber drag that can handle up to 39.5 lbs or 18 kg. 

You get an oversized stainless steel main shaft and strong precision mesh manganese brass pinion gears with it. So you can understand why it has the reputation for being super long-lasting. 

Sharky III spinning reels come with a protective design called K.I.S.S. which is short for KastKing Intrusion Shield System. 

This system is really innovative and highly effective. It helps to keep water and dirt out of the spool, body, and rotor. So no amount of saltwater can damage this fishing reel.

The retrieval of this fishing reel is really smooth. If you choose to use the Shark Fin Braid-Ready Aluminum Spool, you won’t have to use any backings whatsoever. 

Pros:

  • High-density EVA grips.
  • Really smooth system.
  • No need for backing.
  • Presents braid line from slipping.
  • Anti-twist line roller.
  • Durable and sturdy.
  • Lightweight construction.
  • Affordable. 

Cons:

  • Too small for offshore kayaking. 

Why We Like This:

Smooth is the word that comes to mind when you use this spinning reel. The mechanism is really effortless and lightweight. 

You don’t feel any pressure on your hand. It is also very lightweight and affordable!

04. KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reels (Best Budget)

KastKing is a great brand for high quality spinning reels as they specialize in fishing equipment. Their Summer and Centron 3000 model is just proof of that.

KastKing Summer line offers the best value with the highest features possible. This model is lightweight and sleek, making it look very modern and stylish. If you give this to anyone who loves fishing, they will be overjoyed just by the look of this spinning reel. 

The Summer and Centron 3000 is made with a narrow graphite frame design and computer balancing system. The result is a highly performative, compact spinning reel. 

This fishing reel comes with a superior drag system, meaning it can handle up to 17.5 lbs. The main shaft is made out of hardened metal which makes it really solid and resistant. It has mesh drive gear and precision machined pinion gear that feels strong and powerful. 

One of the key things about all KastKing designs is their smooth performance. This one has nine quality ball bearings and one instant-stop one-way anti-reverse bearing. This makes Summer and Centron spinning reel ultra-smooth. 

Pros:

  • Lightweight and compact.
  • Resists corrosion.
  • Effortless casting. 
  • A precision pinion gear system.
  • Left/right interchangeable handle. 
  • Attractive finish, very giftable.
  • Premium quality inner parts.

Cons:

  • The reel is a bit heavier compared to other models.

Why We Like This:

If you are interested in a lot of innovative features but within a respectable budget, this is the one for you. Plus it looks really gorgeous and stylish!

05. Daiwa BG Saltwater Spinning Reel (Most Durable)

Daiwa BG is a digitally cut spinning reel with precision gears and seven ball bearings. It is one of the most versatile spinning reels on our list. You can use it for inshore, offshore, or even shark fishing!

This spinning reel is built with a “Hard Bodyz” machined aluminum body that can handle any amount of pressure. This means you can use it for larger fishes effortlessly. Daiwa BG has a black anodized body and body cover which makes it corrosion and scratch-resistant. 

The solid screw-in handle is excellent for retracting under pressure. The smooth and trusty mechanism performs extremely well. 

The design provides little to no movements between the main gear and handles. This means you get maximum control while rotation. 

The air rotor on Daiwa BG weights around 15% less than any other rotors on the market. Due to the sleek design, the pressure gets distributed evenly and provides maximum efficiency in action. 

The dynamically cut ABS spool has maximized core diameter and reversed taper. This means you get less friction and easier and faster casting. The spool is also braiding ready.

As we have mentioned earlier, this spinning reel comes with a seven-bearing drive system. Or with their 4000 and larger sizes, you will get infinite anti-reverse. It also has carbon ATD aka automatic tournament drag that provides the smooth performance we all want. 

The Daiwa BG spinning reel comes with an oversized DigiGear system that increases the gear-tooth contact points. This gives your gear a longer life with increased power. It’s a really good choice for anyone who is serious about their angling.  

Pros:

  • Smooth performance.
  • Practical and functional design.
  • Durable construction.
  • Lightweight yet tough.
  • Very easy to clean.
  • Great value for money. 

Cons:

  •  You have to oil the main shaft otherwise it will squeak. 

Why We Like This:

This is a one of a kind, hard as nails spinning reel. You can take it with you for the wildest adventures, safari and so much more. The construction is so solid that you won’t be able to even scratch the surface. 

06. Piscifun Carbon X Spinning Reels (The Fastest)

Piscifun Carbon X spinning reel is thoughtfully designed and well crafted to provide you a feather-light experience. Their Carbon X 2000 is a great budget pick with high precision angling. 

This spinning reel has an all carbon fiber body, rotor, and side plates which makes this only 5.7 oz in weight. With the Piscifun Carbon X, you won’t get hand fatigue after fishing all day. 

This model has a 6.2:1 gear ratio that gives you a buttery smooth experience. The high-speed retrieval is perfect for any angler from beginners to pros. You get a stronger grip and control to catch the biggest fish.

The 10+1 shielded stainless steel ball bearings give Carbon X its signature smoothness. It is also corrosion resistant which means you can use it for both saltwater and freshwater angling. 

The Piscifun Carbon X comes with a consistent and powerful drag of up to 33lbs. It has sealed rubber rings that protect your drag from being compromised by water or air. The triple premium carbon drag washers reduce the line break rate.

The direct screw-in handles give you a really easy assembly system and save your time in changing hand retrieval. 

This spinning reel also comes with CNC hallowed technology that provides you a solid yet lightweight spool. So you do not need any backing at all. 

Pros:

  • Really smooth mechanism.
  • High gear ratio for fast retrieval.
  • Very lightweight and compact.
  • Excellent drag.
  • Solid and durable construction.
  • A solid long term investment.

Cons:

  • The line management has issues where the drag can sometimes loosen on its own.  

Why We Like This:

The 6.2:1 gear ratio is really impressive as this makes the reel really quick. Fast retrieval is very useful especially if you are a clumsy angler or do not have much experience with fishing. Even for professionals, this is very beneficial. 

07. Pflueger President XT Spinning Reel (Most Brand Value)

If your main goal is to find a durable yet affordable spinning reel, then Pflueger President XT is a really good option you will enjoy. 

Pflueger is a name all fishermen and anglers know really well. 

Being in this industry since 1881, this brand has a 139-year long history and experience in crafting fishing reels and other fishing equipment. Needless to say, they truly know what they are doing. 

This small reel comes with ten bearings that provide a smooth and effortless mechanism. Not even the most high-end reels have this many bearings nowadays. 

You also get five different spool sizes from size 20 to 40. So a good range for all anglers out there. 

The President XT spinning reel has a precision-machined aluminum main shaft. It weighs only 5.6 ounces due to aluminum construction. This makes this reel 30% lighter than standard stainless-steel options.

This spinning reel has 6.2:1 ratio of retrieval which means it retrieves 32 inches of line at a time. This is a really good rate considering it’s such a small reel. The faster retrieval of this spinning reel makes it really effective in action. 

The spools are braid ready which is very convenient and helpful. The rubber on the Pflueger President XT keeps the braid from spinning when you are winding it up. 

Another great feature of the Pflueger President XT spinning reel is its sealed drag system. The system is encased in the graphite body which makes it corrosion resistant as well. This also released drag pressure and friction. 

At the end of the shaft, it has rubber cork knobs. These knobs are really good at preventing friction even when they are wet. The knob also makes the spinning reel more durable and sturdy. 

All of these great features come in a very affordable price range which makes it even more incredible!

Pros:

  • Durable construction.
  • Powerful sealed drag system. 
  • Very fast retrieval rate.
  • Lightweight and sleek design.
  • Exceptional performance.
  • Very good grip due to the rubber cork knob.

Cons:

  • The spools are prone to tangle. 

Why We Like This:

When it comes to fishing reels, this century-old company really has an upper hand. This reel is simple and does exactly what it says. It is also super durable for frequent use. 

08. PENN Pursuit III Spinning Fishing Reel (Best Entry Saltwater Option)

The best thing about the Penn Pursuit III fishing reel is it’s incredible and smooth drag system. Made for a very lightweight graphite material, this reel is extra weightless and easy to use. 

This spinning reel comes with the HT100 drag system. This drag system in itself is enough reason to pick Pursuit 3 fishing reel. It’s high quality, reliable, and practically designed to give you the ultimate ease. 

Probably one of the core things about the Penn Pursuit III spinning reel is its value. You get a well made and carefully crafted product within a respectable price range. It does basically all the things a higher-priced spinning reel would do.

Due to it being corrosion resistant, you can use this fishing reel for both freshwater and saltwater angling. It’s incredibly versatile and comes in many different sizes. 

Pros:

  • Lightweight and easy to carry.
  • Corrosion and rust-resistant.
  • Perfect entry saltwater fishing reel.
  • Strong drag system.
  • Easy to disassemble and clean.
  • Very affordable.

Cons:

  • Not ideal for serious and larger-scale fishing. Not for pros.

Why We Like This:

Penn Pursuit III spinning reel is ideal for those who enjoy occasional angling and looking for a good value option. The drag system of this reel is what sets it apart from others. 

09. Pflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel (Best Bass Fishing Reel)

Pflueger President spinning fishing reel is a great way to have the quality of a premium reel for budget-minded anglers. This fishing reel has been enhanced and engineered to give the best performance no matter what budget you might have. 

The innovative design makes it stand out among many other similar reels. It is ultra-light and strong due to the graphite body. Graphite construction makes it very easy to use and carry without compromising the strength. 

The multi-disc drag system of the Pflueger President spinning reel gives it a smooth and powerful drag. You can adjust the drag even after the catch is on. It features stainless steel for ultimate durability. 

The Pflueger President comes with really great casing control. It has fixed spools that make it really easy to cast smaller baits. The casting distance is also noteworthy. It can reach very far without much effort from your side. 

This spinning reel comes with seven stainless steel ball bearings. Due to the stainless steel body, they are corrosion resistant and work seamlessly together. The balls reduce friction and provide ease of movement when you have caught a heavy one. 

The anti-reverse feature of Pflueger president spinning reel is another feature that everyone really enjoys. The one-way clutch bearings make it so effortless and fun. 

Pros:

  • High-quality construction.
  • Stylish and modern design.
  • Excellent casting distance.
  • Smooth drag system.
  • Very affordable.

Cons:

  • Can only be used for freshwater angling. 

Why We Like This:

If you are within a strict budget but still want the best spinning reel for bass fishing, look nowhere else on our list. This is a superior reel that offers great quality and longevity.  

10. KastKing Crixus Spinning Fishing Reel (Most Professional)

The KastKing Crixus Spinning reels series is designed to help you fish like a gladiator! Known for its incredible knockout performance, this reel is a great high-quality option within a reasonable budget. 

The spinning reel comes in a rigid graphite frame. Graphite is famous for its durability and natural lubricating feel. The whole structure is very light and comfortable to hold all day long without much issue. 

It uses durable Zinc Alloy to make the main drive gear. The pinion gear is made out of solid brass. Needless to say, these are much stronger materials than some of the premium reels out there. 

The KastKing Crixus spinning reel features a CNC machined aluminum spool and aluminum handle arm. This material creates a truly fantastic handle that can carry a lot of weight. 

Having a total of five double-shielded stainless steel ball bearings with an anti-reverse bearing makes this grill really corrosion-resistant and high retrieval rate while fishing. The fast and smooth performance is very convenient especially if you are a beginner angler. 

You can use this for many different types of fish as KastKing Cirxus offers a wide range of sizes. The convenient reversible handle is ideal for both left and right hand retrieval. The handles also fold away for easy transport and storage. 

The dynamic line roller of this affordable spinning reel is made to prevent casting performance and to provide extensive durability in harsh weather. 

The drag power of this reel is another selling point. It’s hard to imagine getting such a comfortable dragline from a cheap spinning reel. 

This reel can handle up to 17.5lbs of weight which is excellent for deep-sea fishing. KastKing Crixus spinning reel has a gorgeous look with its bold white with a black spartan color scheme. It’s bound to catch attention when you are out there fishing with your buddies. 

Pros:

  • Lightweight yet strong. 
  • Very professional reel.
  • Quiet, smooth performance.
  • Wide size options.
  • Strong retrieval power. 
  • Reliable and comfortable. 
  • Very affordable.

Cons:

  • The bail trigger release tends to get jammed. 

Why We Like This:

This is an excellent professional styled spinning reel for beginners. So anyone who is intimidated by spinning reels yet wants to master it the right way should look into the KastKing Crixus spinning fishing reel.

11. Cadence CS8 Spinning Reel (Most Weather-Resistant)

Cadence is a really known and reliable brand that provides high-quality fishing reels with powerful functionalities. 

Their CS8 spinning reel is a great premium option wishing budget. Made with CMC aka Carbon-Magnesium-Carbon, this spinning reel is 34% lighter and 1.5 times stronger than your average aluminum reels. 

Not only is this super lightweight, but also extremely strong to handle high pressure and harsh weather. The superior drag system of CS8 can handle up to 20lbs of weight. 

Cadence CS8 spinning reels come with machined aluminum spools that prevent your line from slipping. With its carbon fiber drag system, you get consistent pressure. When you include the ergonomic EVA knob, the whole thing simply feels airy. 

Shielded by 9 corrosion-resistant stainless steel bearings and one instant stop one-way anti-reverse bearing, this thing feels like butter. Super smooth and reliable functions make this an angling must-have. 

We have to talk about the value of this fishing reel. It can easily be priced much higher based on the features and construction. But you get this premium quality high-performance spinning reel at a bargain price of under $100.

You also get a 1-year manufacturer warranty and 90 days return policy with a full 100% refund! There is literally nothing to lose! 

Pros:

  • Ultra-lightweight design.
  • Ergonomic and comfortable handle.
  • Smooth and powerful bearing system. 
  • Corrosion-resistant.
  • Great value for money.

Cons:

  • The ball nuts tend to loosen up pretty easily.

Why We Like This:

This is another ultra-lightweight option with durable materials like magnesium, aluminum, and carbon. So you can use this for any time of the year. It is extremely weather-resistant and easy to maintain.

12. SHIMANO Nexave FE Spinning Fishing Reel (Best for Beginners)

Shimano has a lot of cool spinning wheel models but their new Nexave FE has become an instant hit. It is an upgraded version of the very-famous Nexave FD. 

The best thing about this fishing spinning reel is its adjustability. It can be easily adjusted to help the anglers reel for larger and bigger fish. 

This value spinning reel comes with 3 stainless steel ball bearings with 1 roller bearings. The bearings are shielded and made out of stainless steel for a rust-resistant, durable lifetime. 

The ARC spool design used for Shimano Nexave FE reel is patented and one of a kind. This spool reduces line friction, backlash, and even wind knots. How convenient is that!

Shimano Nexave fishing reel has a Varispeed II oscillation system that keeps the line flat on the spool. This helps to create a long casting distance which is perfect for offshore fishing. You can catch trout, perch, and pike with this spinning reel.

This is a top-quality fishing reel that can be used by beginners without much prior knowledge or effort. You can use this spinning reel all day long and even then your hands won’t get fatigued in any way.

Pros:

  • Strong and powerful drag.
  • Fast yet compact design.
  • Very lightweight.
  • Easy to adjust.
  • Long casting distance.
  • Great beginners reel.
  • Value for money.

Cons:

  • The handles tend to get stuck.

Why We Recommend This:

If you are a beginner, you need something that doesn’t intimidate you, something that is easy to manage and fun to carry around. 

For a beginner, simple design and feature is the most crucial thing. This Shimano Nexave spinning reel under $100 does exactly that. 

13. Cadence CS5 Pro Spinning Reel (Best for Inshore Fishing)

Cadence always makes really high-performance fishing gears at an unbeatable price. Their CS5 Po spinning reel is made to be ultra-light with durable functionality. 

This spinning reel comes with a high concentration of meta carbon mainframe. This frame is 53% lighter and 20% stronger than aluminum reels. You also get a machined aluminum spool for robust performance. 

The handle of this fishing reel is made out of EVA and is designed to be ergonomic. So you feel very comfortable even if you have to hold it for the whole day. 

The carbon fiber brake gives the drag a steady, real, and smooth outgoing line. So you avoid friction. The side plates and rotor are also carbon composite for maximum strength. 

The CS5 comes with eight stainless steel ball bearings. The durable corrosion-resistant bearings are great for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. It comes with an anti-reverse system as well.

The lightweight and quality design are perfect for freshwater fish like walleye, trout, and bass. You can use this spinning reel for inshore angling as well! This is a great item that provides excellent value for money. 

You get a 3-year manufacturer warranty with 90 days return policy. Cadence is famous for their extensive customer services. So you get your money’s worth. 

Pros:

  • Comfortable and lightweight construction.
  • Durable materials.
  • Smooth and powerful carbon fiber drag system.
  • Rust-resistant stainless steel bearings.
  • EVA oversized handles with metal handle arm. 
  • Very affordable.

Cons:

  • During retrieval, it tends to make a lot of noise.

Why We Like This:

This is a great reel for gamefishes and inshore species like redfish, speckled trout, and flounder. You can use this reel all day long without any single issue. A great quality reel within budget. 

14. Sougayilang Fishing Reel (Most Versatile)

Lightweight, smooth, strong; this fishing reel is everything a fisherman needs to catch the fish of a lifetime. Sougayilang fishing reel is designed to be high power and durable for extensive use.

The 13+1 ball bearings and one instant stop one-way anti-reverse bearing give it a really smooth performance. The bearings are corrosion resistant as well. 

Sougayilang spinning reels are made with precision brass gears.t he best thing about this type of gear is, they make the reel very strong and durable. So you can use this for any larger size fishes.

The triple-disc carbon drag along with hardened metal main shaft and interchangeable right or left CNC machined aluminum handle makes it very useful for rough usage.

Sougayilang spinning reel comes with a superior drag system that gives really fast stopping power.  The frame of the reel is hollow and designed by using a computer balancing system. This means it’s extra lightweight and easy to carry around. 

This fishing reel is made out of CNC aluminum spool with a free spare graphite spool. These types of spools are really strong and have a lot more line capacity than average ones. 

Did we mention how gorgeous the Sougayilang fishing reel is? This fishing reel has a brilliant finish that looks sleek, stylish, and expensive. The high strength materials of this spinning reel make further casting as well.

Pros:

  • Great to look at.
  • Solid durable construction.
  • Throws well even with light jigs.
  • Smooth drag system.
  • Very comfortable handle. 
  • Great value for money.

Cons:

  • Not suitable for spinnerbait usage.

Why We Like This:

This is a really great gift for both experienced anglers and beginners. The simple yet practical design gives the fisherman a lot of freedom and versatility. You can use it for ocean boat fishing, ocean rock fishing, reservoir pond, lake, river, etc. 

15. Piscifun Flame Spinning Reels (Most Stylish)

The Piscifun Flame Spinning reels come in a matte black body with red aluminum spool. From the outside, it looks really eye-catching and appealing. The performance is far better than it looks!

This spinning reel has a narrow graphite body that makes it really lightweight and easy to carry all day long. Being only 8.5oz, you won’t get any hand fatigue from this fishing reel. 

9 quality ball bearings on this thing make fishing really smooth and fun. Its precision gear engagement along with one roller bearing makes Piscifun Flam a very handy choice for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. 

You get a really powerful draw that can handle up to 19.8lbs. If you pick their larger sized options like 4000 or 5000 ones, you can chase big saltwater species with no extra effort. 

The vast size range is really helpful as everyone will find something for themselves. The anti-corrosion Zinc drive gear is really great for that. 

Pros:

  • Corrosion-resistant. 
  • Beautiful eye-catching design. 
  • Lightweight construction.
  • Solid and durable.
  • Increased drag power.
  • Great value for money.

Cons:

  • Limited casting distance. 

Why We Like This:

If you want something affordable and eligible this is the one for you. The visually appealing and lightweight design will surely catch many attention. On top of that, it has a really powerful retrieval system. 

Buying Guide: Best Spinning Reels under $100

Finding the most perfect fishing reel for yourself is quite a troublesome process especially if you don’t know where to start. There are some key things you need to focus on before looking into any reviews.

Type of Reels:

There are many different types of reels. Each has its own functions and purpose. The three most popular types are:

Spincast Reel:

Often referred to as a “closed-face reel”, the spincast is one of the easiest fishing reels out there. Ideal for beginners, this type of reels has a very basic design. 

They are also really cheap and easy to find. If you go to buy a fishing reel around your house, chances are you’ll end up with one of these. 

Every angler starts with a spincast reel and gradually goes for more advanced ones later. Zebco Rhino Spincast Reel is a great place to start. 

Spinning Reel:

Known as “open-faced reel”, spinning reels are popular for their lightweight design. They are without a doubt, the most popular fishing reel types out there. This article is also about spinning reels. 

Spinning reels are popular because they are highly versatile in functionality. You can use them for both freshwater and saltwater fishing, onshore/offshore fishing and so much more. 

Anyone from beginners to professionals enjoys using spinning reels. They are efficient, affordable, and easy to use. 

Baitcasting Reel:

This is probably one of the most intimidating fishing reels out there. Only pros and hardcore anglers use this kind of reels. This type of reel has extra cranking power and can retrieve larger fishes from far away. 

You need practice and experience to properly use baitcasting reels. They are often really expensive and come in premium quality only. Anything cheaper won’t last very long.

Baitcasting reels are considered to be an investment and only for those who are serious about angling.

The most popular and classic baitcasting reel would be the Abu Garcia Revo Toro Low Profile Fishing Reel.

Strength and Power:

You need to find a spinning reel that can handle heavy pressure. This is because, in order to retract a big fish, the handle and bearings inside the reel need to be really strong. Otherwise, it would just bed or scatter into pieces.

Very low quality, cheap reels do this. So the best way to avoid this is by checking how much pressure the spinning reel can hold. Most spinning reels describe the max limit. 

KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel is a great pick for its strong dragging ability

Size & Weight:

The weight of your spinning reel is one of the crucial factors before selecting one for you. Ideally, the lighter your spinning reel, the easier it is to use. With a lightweight one, you don’t get cramps or fatigue by holding your reel all day. 

The bigger your reel is, the heavier it gets. So if you are looking for a larger sized reel, it is important to look for a material that is lightweight by nature. 

Piscifun Carbon X Spinning Reels is famous for its lightweightness and fast retrieval.

Material:

Usually, spinning reels are made out of aluminum due to its lightweight nature. But some brands also use carbon fiber and magnesium to make it light while being strong and secure. 

Choosing a solid and high-quality material is important because you don’t want your reel to break apart in the middle of your fishing session. 

Always avoid plastic or any other flimsy materials as they can not handle water pressure at all. This is why spending a few bucks is always worth it.

Daiwa BG Saltwater Spinning Reel is the most durable pick on our list. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

01. Are KastKing Spinning Reels Any Good?

KastKing is one of the most famous brands in the fishing industry for their baitcasting reels to make angling fun and easy. They make all types of fishing gear and equipment. 

The best thing about KastKing is, they only create products that are highly practical and efficient. 

They also take direct feedback from the fishing industry before making any new adjustments to their gears. 

So you always get well-thought-out equipment that serves you years without a single glitch. 

02. Are Expensive Spinning Reels Worth It?

Going for basic to high-quality spinning reels, the price can seem like a huge jump for nothing significant. But the truth is, expensive reels are expensive for good reasons. 

There is nothing worse than catching the biggest fish only to lose it the next second because of a cheap reel. This is when you realize the decision to not spend a few extra bucks was a mistake. 

The reason people love expensive reels is that they are way smoother and sturdier than any standard reels. They can take higher weight and pressure and still manage to provide a smooth drag system. They cast better and faster as well. 

The best thing is, you can use them for years and years and become a reliable fishing companion. So considering all this, premium quality reels are something you should look into especially if you are passionate about your angling. 

03. What is the Best Size Spinning Reel for Bass Fishing?

One thing to keep in mind before picking a spinning reel is the size. Even though all sizes of reels can catch fish, the larger the size the more flexibility you get. 

First, you need to ask yourself how big of a bass you want to catch. This is the key point that determines your reel size. 

There are mainly five different size options from small to large: 1000, 2000, 2500, 3000, and 3500. 

We would recommend picking something in between like a 2500 size reel. You get quite a good range and versatility with a size like this. It’s the most used size among skilled fishermen. 

With this size, you would be able to fish bream, trout, whiting, bass, flathead, perch, luderick and so many others. 

Most professional bass fishers use a lightweight model for ease of use. In the end, you should go for something that feels good and comfortable in your hands. Just make sure the size you are choosing is compatible with your spinning rod. 

04. Do Pro Bass Fishermen use Spinning Reels?

Yes, they do but not as the only fishing equipment. Professional fishermen use spinning reels to toss a small crankbait like a light jerkbait. 

The reason is, spinning reels can’t really go too far. Their limitation is in the level of distance they can travel to. 

Baitcaster reels can handle heavier lines and reach a greater casting distance. This is why pro fishermen use baitcasters as their primary fishing reel. But spinning reels always stay on their kit for smaller range fishing. 

05. Is a Baitcaster Better Than a Spinning Reel?

This depends on what you are looking for. Baitcaster reels are ideal for professionals who need heavier lines for larger fishes. Using a baitcaster reel requires a lot of practice and skill, something you need years to adapt. 

Spinning reels, on the other hand, are ideal for both beginners and pros as they can handle small to semi-heavy weight. You can also use them for both fresh and saltwater fishing. 

For us everyday anglers, a spinning reel makes more sense than a baitcaster. But if you have been using a spinning reel for a few years, definitely upgrade if possible. Baitcasters are undoubtedly more effective for larger-scale fishing.

06. Can I Use a Baitcaster on a Spinning Rod?

Theoretically, yes you can. But whether you should do it or not is a whole another question. Baitcaster can be used on a spinning rod but they are really unusual and frankly, ineffective.

Spinning rods and baitcasting rods are built totally differently and for different purposes. Spinning rods are used alongside spinning reels which is basically the opposite of baitcasters.

You need to use a proper fishing rod for a baitcasting reel. Check out our top picks for fishing rods here.  

If you use a spinning rod with a baitcaster around other anglers, they are going to assume you don’t know anything about fishing whatsoever. 

Spinning rods are not meant to be used for heavy work but baitcasters are. So using them together is no good. 

The rod won’t work properly and probably will break, and the baitcaster won’t be able to use its full power. It’s easier to buy a spinning reel than to go through this hassle.

Takeaway

Now that you have gotten our in-depth look into the top spinning reels under $100 reviews, hopefully, you will be able to find something that fits your needs the best way. 

Good, solid material, well-made construction, clever design, and well thought out features are what you should be looking for. Even though $100 is not much for a spinning reel, it’s still a lot of money. So make sure to know exactly what you need and then place an order. 

But if you are confused and do not know where to start, pick something from our top 15 spinning reels list and we promise you, there is no room to be disappointed!

Looking specifically for saltwater spinning reels? Check out our other list here.

Already chosen something you like from our budget list?

Comment down below to let us know!

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