Best Saltwater Spinning Reel Under $200

Last Updated: January 24th, 2020

Finding a saltwater spinning reel on a budget isn’t easy, especially when you need one that can handle salty conditions and big fish too. Fishing in the ocean puts you and your up against the toughest conditions and fish out there. If your reel can’t handle it, there’s going to be tears when it seizes up or you end up losing that fish of a lifetime. Luckily, we have made this review of the best saltwater spinning reels under $200 to help you find the best one for your fishing needs

OUR TOP PICKS

Okuma Cedros High Speed Spinning Reel, Silver, Blue & Gold, CJ-40S
Okuma Cedros High Speed Spinning Reel
  • Large line capacity
  • Great quality materials
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SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel, 4.7:1,6.2:1 High Speed, Max Drag 33Lbs, Smooth Fresh and Saltwater Fishing Reel
SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel
  • Light
  • Good caster
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Quantum Cabo Saltwater Spinning Fishing Reel, Size 40 Reel, Changeable Right- or Left-Hand Retrieve, Magnum CSC Drag System, SCR Aluminum Body and Side Cover, Silver/Blue
Quantum Cabo PT Spin Reel
  • Large line capacity
  • High max drag
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Penn Spinfisher V SSV3500 Spinning Reel
PENN Spinfisher V
  • Live Liner system
  • Great drag
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PENN 1338219 Battle II 4000 Spinning Fishing Reel
Penn Battle II
  • Good gears
  • Durable
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STRADIC 2500FL HG STRADIC-US
SHIMANO Stradic FL
  • Lightweight
  • Casts well
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Abu Garcia Revo Inshore Spinning,Blue,Black,40
Abu Garcia Revo Inshore Spinning Reel
  • Light
  • Great for casting
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Daiwa BG6500 BG Saltwater Spinning Reel
Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel
  • Smooth, powerful drag
  • Big lin capacity
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KastKing Sharky III Spinning Fishing Reel,Size 2000
KastKing Sharky III
  • Large line capacity
  • A high maximum drag
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PENN 1403983 Slammer III Spinning
PENN Slammer III Spinning
  • Large line capacity
  • A smooth, fast retrieve
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Okuma Cedros High Speed Spinning Reel

Okuma Cedros High Speed Spinning Reel, Silver, Blue & Gold, CJ-40S

This reel has been made for a life at sea and has been specifically made for jigging. It comes with a customized jigging handle to help you wind as fast as you can.

It’s made from brass and aluminum, making it very durable. The reel has a high gear ratio for a quick retrieve and a very large line capacity. The gears have been covered with a special corrosion-resistant coating to ensure their longevity.

The drag on this reel has some good stopping power with a max of 33lbs, it’ll handle most situations but I would be a little nervous hooking a 100kg tuna with it. It’s made of a multi-disc oil felt system making it smooth and it’s sealed with Okuma’s watertight hydro-clock technology. 

It’s quite a light reel which will make for easy casting but the body is hard to get open so maintaining will take some time.

Pros

  • Large line capacity
  • Great quality materials
  • Well made
  • Durable
  • Made for jigging

Cons

  • Max drag is average
  • Not easy to maintain
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SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel

SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel, 4.7:1,6.2:1 High Speed, Max Drag 33Lbs, Smooth Fresh and Saltwater Fishing Reel

This reel is made for inshore fishing, is light and a great caster. The body, rotor and side plate are made from aluminum making it durable and corrosion-resistant.

The spool and sides are sealed to protect the gears and bearings from salt and dirt. This will help the reel survive the salty conditions and give it a long life at sea. The spool is braid-ready and easy to fill up with an even line lay.

The larger models of this reel have enough line capacity and drag to be used in the surf but don’t go offshore with it. The drag has a max of 33lbs and is made from a carbon fiber disc system. It’s smooth but can be a little catchy on occasion. The drag is not sealed and you’ll need to give this reel some constant care and maintenance.

The gear ratio is a bit low on the reel and this reduces your retrieve rate. You’ll need to wind fast if you want your bait in quickly.

Pros

  • Light
  • Good caster
  • Well-made
  • Durable
  • Partly sealed

Cons

  • Drag can be glitchy
  • Low line capacity
  • Low retrieve rate
  • Drag isn't sealed
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Quantum Cabo PT Spin Reel

Quantum Cabo Saltwater Spinning Fishing Reel, Size 40 Reel, Changeable Right- or Left-Hand Retrieve, Magnum CSC Drag System, SCR Aluminum Body and Side Cover, Silver/Blue

This spinning reel has been made from Quantums own aluminum that’s designed to remove impurities and therefore weak spots where corrosion may latch on.

The spool has been made to release lines in tight coils to reduce friction for an increased casting distance. It’s braid-ready but the line can bunch up when you fill the reel and may take some time to get right.

On the largest model, the line capacity and max drag are huge. The drag is made from a carbon fiber disc system and is assisted by ceramic washers to make it smooth and durable. The reel is not sealed but they have coated it with a corrosion-resistant primer to help it survive the salt.

The anti-reverse on the reel can fail to engage on rare occasions and the largest model is very heavy. If you plan on casting all day, look at a smaller, lighter model.

Pros

  • Large line capacity
  • High max drag
  • Durable
  • Well made

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Braid can bunch up
  • Not sealed
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PENN Spinfisher V

Penn Spinfisher V SSV3500 Spinning Reel

Penn makes great spinning reels and you wouldn’t be said if you bought the Penn Spinfisher, promise. The reel is watertight, fully sealed for a long life at sea. The body, rotor, side plate, and bail wire are all made from heavy duty aluminum for durability.

The drag is made from Penn’s renowned HT-100 Slammer drag system. It’s sealed, powerful, smooth and stops big fish quickly. The retrieve rate is fats and combined with a drag, you can put a lot of pressure on a fish when you need it. 

This spool is braid-ready and comes with capacity rings marked at 1/3, 2/3, and full capacity. This makes filling the reel very easy and you’ll always know how much line you have to work with. 

It is a bit heavy and will get tiring to cast with all day. The seals on this reel do let a little bit of water in but they don’t let it out. How annoying is that? You’ll have to take it apart to dry it fully.  

The reel includes a live liner mode so you can use a little drag when you’re live- baiting. It’s quiet though so pay attention while you do it.

Pros

  • Live Liner system
  • Great drag
  • Durable
  • Good line capacity
  • Quick retrieve

Cons

  • Quiet clicker
  • Heavy
  • Hard to fully dry
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Penn Battle II

PENN 1338219 Battle II 4000 Spinning Fishing Reel

Penn has done it again and made a great saltwater spinning reel – the Penn Battle. It’s durable thanks to the aluminum body, it’ll take some abuse while keeping the gear alignment nice and tight. The gear ratio on this is no joke and it gives the reel an astounding retrieve rate, your baits will be skipping across the water if you want them to be.

The drag used the HT-100 Slammer drag, a multi-disc carbon system with ceramic washers. It’s smooth, powerful and will stop any fish in its tracks. The drag is not fully sealed and will need to looking after. 

Thew spool is braid ready with line capacity rings making it super easy to fill. The main gear can fail after a few seasons but it is rare, if it does happen it’s cheap and easy to replace. The spinning reel is heavy for long casting days, but you’ll need the heaviness against big fish. 

Pros

  • Good gears
  • Durable
  • Great drag
  • Fast retrieve

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Main gear can need replacing after a season or two
  • Not fully sealed
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SHIMANO Stradic FL

STRADIC 2500FL HG STRADIC-US

Shimano has made this saltwater spinning reel with a full metal body to ensure high rigidity. This makes it impact resistant and stops the body from flexing while you’re winding against a load. This drives all your power into the retrieve, making it super-efficient.

The drag is Shimano’s CrossCarbonDrag which is super smooth and sensitive thanks to its adjustability. The bearings are stainless steel and shielded to stop salt or dirt from getting in there. The reel is also sealed to prevent anything from getting to the inner workings. 

The reel includes the G-FreeBody system that moves the center of gravity closer to your hand for easy casting. 

The Shimano Stradic has been designed for inshore use with its average max drag and line capacity. I wouldn’t take it offshore. The reel is not fully sealed and you’ll have to maintain it well.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Casts well
  • Durable
  • Good line management
  • Smooth, efficient retrieve

Cons

  • Low line capacity
  • Not fully sealed
  • Average max drag
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Abu Garcia Revo Inshore Spinning Reel

Abu Garcia Revo Inshore Spinning,Blue,Black,40

This saltwater spinning reel has been made for inshore use as the name dictates. The aluminum body, aluminum gears, and carbon drag are all made to stand up to corrosion while being durable,

The drag is easy to adjust, smooth and powerful. The reel comes with the Rocket line management system which helps you cast far and accurately. The spool is made from aluminum and is braid-ready for easy filling. 

It’s a light reel and made for casting all day on the flats or creeks you might find yourself on, it won’t handle monster fish though unless you can chase them in a boat.

In rare cases, the reel can stick and the bearings start to grind.

Pros

  • Light
  • Great for casting
  • Quick retrieve
  • Durable
  • Perfect for inshore fishing

Cons

  • The fishing reel can stick after some use
  • The bearings can grind after a while
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Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel

Daiwa BG6500 BG Saltwater Spinning Reel

This is one of my favorite saltwater spinning reels. Daiwa made with to last and handle big fish with an excellent price tag. It’s made from heavy-duty aluminum to handle the salty conditions. The Digigear System gives you a smooth and fast retrieve, great for lure fishing.

The spool is braid-ready and has a huge line capacity. When combined with the powerful, waterproof drag, the fishing reel is perfect for targetting big offshore species. The pick up on the bail reduces twists and loops for easy casting.

This saltwater reel is heavy due to its big fish design and will be tiring to cast with. The roller on the bail is not very corrosion resistant but this is rare and easy to replace if it happens.

Pros

  • Smooth, powerful drag
  • Big lin capacity
  • Sealed drag
  • Durable
  • Good retrieve rate

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Bail roller is not corrosion resistant
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KastKing Sharky III

KastKing Sharky III Spinning Fishing Reel,Size 2000

This a very light fishing reel for what it can do. This is thanks to the graphite body, which is light, durable and corrosion-resistant. The drag is, smooth, powerful and made from a carbon fiber triple-disc system. The max is 39.5lbs which is enough for most situations. The line capacity is very large and combined with the drag, gives you a fishing reel that you can target big fish with. 

The retrieve is smooth and quick but the line can knot and bunch. This will get on your nerves over time. The reel includes a braid-ready spool, aluminum handle, and anti-reverse. It is said to be sealed but there are reports of it failing after being used in saltwater. I’m not sure I would trust the seal on it and you’ll need to take extra care with it.

It’s not the highest quality saltwater fishing reel and parts do fall off it on occasion. Perhaps they tried to do too much with too little on this one.

Pros

  • Large line capacity
  • A high maximum drag
  • Light
  • Easy to cast
  • Good value

Cons

  • Can fail in after saltwater use
  • Wind knots happen
  • Line bunches on retrieve
  • Parts fall off
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PENN Slammer III Spinning

PENN 1403983 Slammer III Spinning

Penn have updated the slammer to this model and somehow made it even better. The body, rotor and side plate are made of aluminum like the old models, keeping their durable design.

The line capacity is huge, especially on the largest model and if you’re planning on catching monsters in the surf, look at this saltwater reel closely.

The retrieve is super fast and smooth, you’ll get your line in quick and be able to put a lot of pressure on a fish.

The drag has been upgraded, is even smoother and tougher, plus the max on the largest model is 60lbs. That is huge!

The reel is sealed with their PIX6 design that covers the body and spool. This protects the drag and gearbox for a lifetime of salty punishment.

There is an auto bail-trip on the 3500-5500 models and the 6500-10500 models come with a manual bail trip. Overall this saltwater fishing reel is designed for any salty situation with its combination of reel features. It is heavy and if you’re planning on casting all day, pick a model that is lighter.

Pros

  • Large line capacity
  • A smooth, fast retrieve
  • Smooth, powerful drag
  • Sealed
  • Durable

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Drag is tight at the lowest setting
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What to Look for

Here are some things to think about before you buy the best saltwater spinning reel.

What are you fishing for?

This choice has a big impact on what kind of reel you get. Do you want a saltwater spinning reel that can handle any fish in the ocean or a reel that’s for just for inshore? If you’re saltwater fishing inshore, you won’t be needing a reel that’ll handle a marlin. If you want a reel you can catch snapper with today and big tuna tomorrow, you’re going to need something a little sturdier.

Line Capacity

Line capacity is closely related to the fish you’re going to target. Some fish take huge runs and you just can’t stop them. If you’re targeting big fish which take long runs you’re going to need a lot of line, and therefore a big line capacity. If you’re saltwater fishing inshore you don’t really need to worry too much about this, but you do if you’re going offshore.

Using Braid

You’re most likely going to be putting braid on your reel if you’re a saltwater fisherman. If you’re a mono person, then this part will not mean much to you. When using braid, you’ll want a braid ready spool on your reel so you can spool it up easily. Most reels are braid-ready these days, but just check before you buy.

How Heavy Is The Reel

Imagine carrying around a heavy bag all day, that’s a similar feeling to having to cast a heavy reel all day. It gets uncomfortable, tiring and can affect your day’s fishing. We don’t want that!

If the fishing you’re doing involves consistently casting, you’ll want a lighter reel. It’ll make your time on the water much more enjoyable. If you’re after huge fish, like giant tuna, there isn’t really a way around the weight issue, the reel needs to be heavy enough to handle the fish.

Corrosion Resistance & Durability

You’re taking this reel into its most harsh environment, salt water. If it’s not built for the distance, it’ll only last a week before you have to take it apart, clean and oil everything and put it back together. And then it’ll break again! Make sure it’s made of corrosion resistant materials and is as sealed as it can be. That’ll help to keep the mean salt out.

Drag, Strong and Smooth

When fishing in the ocean, your drag needs to be as good as it can get. The fish you’re going after take serious runs and you’ll need a reel that can keep up. Make sure the maximum drag on the reel is high enough for the species you want to target. The drag needs to be sealed and made of quality materials. Test the reel before you buy it if you can. Turn the drag to the maximum and pull line off it. It should be very hard to pull off and be as smooth as butter.

Our Favorites

The allrounder of the bunch is the Penn Battle II. This reel will last a long time with some proper maintenance, the drag is excellent, the line capacity is large and it casts like a dream. It’s made up of great materials and will last a lifetime at sea.

Sale
PENN 1338219 Battle II 4000 Spinning Fishing Reel
  • Durable, high range spinning reel ideal for conquering big saltwater game fish
  • Full metal body, sideplate, and rotor and heavy-duty aluminum bail wire offer exceptional durability

The Seaknight Rapid Saltwater Reel is the best one on a budget. The reel has a good enough drag, line capacity and retrieve for targeting big fish. It’s made from quality materials and the spool is sealed to make sure it lasts. The drag is not sealed but that is normal at this price point.

SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel, 4.7:1,6.2:1 High Speed, Max Drag 33Lbs, Smooth Fresh and Saltwater Fishing Reel
  • Introducing the Rapid fresh and saltwater spinning reel featuring an anti-corrosive coating for salt ad fresh water use.
  • The Rapid offers an enhanced thicker main shaft, stainless ball bearings, and a carbon fiber drag system with 15kg/33 pound drag to land the largest gamefish.

My favorite fishing reel is the Daiwa BG. It comes in a range of sizes with all the reel features for any situation. It does this at an amazing price too. It is a bit heavy due to the quality but it will last. The line capacity and max drag are huge, you can go after monsters with confidence that this fishing reel will not let you down.

Sale
Daiwa BG6500 BG Saltwater Spinning Reel
  • Black Anodized Machined Aluminum Housing ("Hard Bodyz" Body & Side Cover), Over-sized Digigear (Digigear System)
  • Solid Screw-In Handle, Air Rotor, Dynamic Cut Aluminum ABS Spool