Reels for deep sea fishing – Buying Guide, Reviews and Comparison
If you want to find the best fishing gear, but you don’t have time to go through the buying tips and reviews prepared by our research team, this short paragraph should tell you everything you need to know about the best deep sea fishing reel. After analyzing a lot of feedback coming from both amateur and professional fishermen, we have concluded that the Penn SQL30LW is the best because it has been rigorously tested for performance and durability by anglers around the world. To ensure that it is strong enough for deep sea fishing it is constructed from graphite, which has the added advantage of being lightweight. It also comes with multiple ball bearings so you can be assured of a smooth and reliable performance. If the Penn SQL30LW is unavailable, you should consider the KastKing Rover as it is a reliable alternative both in terms of performance and quality.
Our Top Choice
Having been tested for durability and performance by experienced and beginning anglers alike, this Penn model has eventually won itself the reputation of an excellent deep sea fishing reel. It’s made of graphite, therefore enabling anglers to benefit from a lightweight and durable construction. Since it features two stainless steel ball bearings, it’s easy to see that it is perfectly balanced.
It’s not exactly the most affordable product in the line, which might put various prospective buyers off.
If getting a high-quality trolling reel is what seems to be on your mind, the Penn Squall SWL30LW is just the right unit to invest in.
This KastKing baitcaster is versatile and durable and will perform just as great both in freshwater and saltwater conditions. The reel is smooth and strong enough to handle heavy fish, but since it features a lightweight construction, you won’t feel a lot of strain in your hand. Since its drag capabilities range up to 20 pounds, it’s a good match for most species.
Some buyers say that the design of this alternative is a bit on the small side, which is why handling it might be tricky.
Since the KastKing option is built for extreme performance and incredible durability, it goes without saying that it’s worth every penny.
Also To Consider
This model is quite durable as its side plates and body were made of machined anodized aluminum, and its main and pinion gears were constructed from stainless steel. This device also features a quick-shift II two-speed system as well as a drag system that allows for easy retrievals. What is more, the aluminum body of the choice is anti-corrosive and, thus, suitable for saltwater use.
The drawback that a handful of owners pointed to is that this device is rather expensive when compared to its counterparts.
Given that this device was created to provide users with great results, this unit is highly effective mainly because of its broad range.
11 Best Deep Sea Fishing Reels (Reviews) in 2023
A deep sea fishing reel is just as important as your rod, and there are several makes and models to choose from. While we can’t pick the right gear for you we can help you make an informed decision, which is why we have the best deep sea fishing reel showcased below.
1. Penn Squall SQ/LW – 710 Yds
It’s not hard to see why this is often considered the best reel for deep sea fishing. It has been tested for performance and durability by experienced anglers around the world, and often exceeds their expectations.
It is constructed from graphite so it is durable and lightweight, which also makes this reel a great choice for trolling on the bottom. Since every component on the reel is designed for use in saltwater, rust and corrosion won’t be a problem.
With 2 stainless steel ball bearings and one for anti-reverse you can rely on a smooth performance every time you release the line.
Thanks to the drag washers you can easily set the hook before the fish swims away, and it also makes it a little easier when you are fighting to bring your catch in. You can also find this designed for left and right hand fishermen.
The reel’s drag system remains cool and responsive even under heavy loads. This offers you the power needed to subdue a variety of species that just won’t quit.
The innovative drag system makes use of both sides of each washer to deliver power and smooth drag across the entire drag curve.
Since the brand treasures versatility, the unit is easily adaptable due to its customizable handle. Moreover, the reel comes with all the tools you need for the adjustment process.
Lastly, note that the tool allows for smooth cranking because it rocks two stainless steel ball bearings that eliminate rotor back-play.
As a downside, we should mention that the reel’s auto-line function does not evenly distribute the line onto the spool. It bunches it on just one side mostly, which can be annoying sometimes.
You only get one color option, so keep that in mind if you like matching products.Buy from Amazon.com
2. KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel
With its durable and versatile design this baitcasting reel can be used for fresh and saltwater applications. It comes with an aluminum spool and side plates that are anodized to prevent rust and corrosion, along with a stainless steel shaft and worm gear.
This ensures that it is strong enough to handle large saltwater fish, while still be lightweight enough to use for trolling.
When you are casting the “clicker” alarm will ensure that you know that line is flowing freely, without startling any nearby fish.
Since it comes with multiple ball bearings you can enjoy a reliably smooth performance, and there is also an anti reverse bearing. With drag capabilities up to 20 pounds this reel can handle almost any fresh or saltwater fish.
The improved RXA catfish reel just became even sturdier. It features reinforced hard anodized aluminum side plates and spool, plus precision machined brass gears that are going to double its lifespan.
Moreover, it comes with the industry-first stainless steel worm gear and steel shaft. The other components were also enhanced for superior corrosion protection.
The fatigue-reducing oversized non-slip EVA grips will show you that the brand created a premium product and not a cheap imitation.
The versatile wonder is ideal for a myriad of fishing techniques, and it has a fantastic design that combines durability with functionality without costing a fortune, which is impressive.
As one buyer noticed, the drag of the reel seems wimpy at first. However, it seems to be a problem that doesn’t persist as the unit loosens up.
Also, it seems to make some weird noises once in a while, which is not ideal.Buy from Amazon.com
3. Penn International VIS 2 Speed Fishing Reel
This reel is well made and highly durable as its main and pinion gears were made of steel, while its overall body was constructed form anti-corrosive aluminum. Given its design, this item is light in weight and suitable for numerous fishing applications.
Because of the Dura-Drag system that this choice uses, you will be able to handle any situation even under extreme drag circumstances. This item was built using import and domestic components. Line capacity rings have also been added to its design.
This model has a 2.3:1 gear ratio in high speed that is said to drop to 1.1:1 in low gear. Even more so, this device features a five-bearing system, and it includes a double dog ratchet anti-reverse. This reel is regarded as rather large when compared to its counterparts as it is capable of spooling 1330 yards of 100-pound mono and 870 yards of 150-pound mono.
This option features a five-bearing system, and it also comes provided with a double dog ratchet anti-reverse. This choice is also somewhat comfortable according to other anglers that have tried it.
Because it was made with aluminum frames and main and pinion gears that are manufactured from stainless steel, this item can certainly pass the test of time.
The seller argues that, because of its design, this model won’t corrode easily. On top of that, this particular choice is known for its exceptional structure and durability.
For extra convenience, the product also comes fitted with line capacity rings that can prove rather practical.
Although this product was manufactured from what it claims to be lightweight aircraft grade aluminum and steel, it is not necessarily light in weight.
There have been users that pointed out that this device is not necessarily budget friendly. However, most of those that invested in it said that it is worth the extra money, given its outstanding performance.Buy from Amazon.com
4. Penn Fathom Star Drag Conventional Baitcast Reel
If you are looking for a deep sea fishing reel that can withstand all the trials and tribulations that come with the territory for this type of fishing, the Penn Fathom Star may just be the one model that you should get and no other. A fishing reel used by professional anglers all across the world, this model has a few important advantages you can’t overlook.
It is essential to know that each product of this type is tested extensively for quality before being made available to customers, so you can expect superior craftsmanship and only high-grade materials. All the components of this model are chosen to create a perfect whole for consistent results.
The reel is lightweight, so it will not hamper your tackle setup, and you will love how quick it is on the retrieve. Casting and recasting your line is easy when you have this reel to serve you. The manufacturer takes pride in the Live Spindle design picked for this reel that makes it so dependable.
Another thing that you should know is that the Penn Fathom Star is among the longest models of its kind available. Gear alignment won’t be an issue, as this reel is designed to withstand heavy-duty applications.
If you want a reel with smooth action, you definitely want the Penn Fathom Star that comes equipped with the HT-100 drag system, well-known for its performance.
The Live Spindle design is one of the vital advantages offered by this reel that makes it one of the longest available, and also easy to cast again and again.
Its quick retrieve is one of the crucial aspects of this fishing reel since you will have to depend on such a trait when you go deep sea fishing.
Even heavy loads won’t cause any misalignment of the gear, as the metal body and side plates will keep it in place and provide you with excellent results.
You can rest assured that only the best materials are used for all the components in this reel.
One buyer says that he would have appreciated if the reel had come with instructions on how to cast it properly, which may be considered an overlook from the company’s side.Buy from Amazon.com
5. Penn Senator 2 Bearings 2.5:1 Baitcast Reel
Penn is a company with a longstanding reputation in making fishing equipment, so there is no wonder that more than one reel from it makes it to our list. There are plenty of things to like about the Senator, a design launched by Penn some time ago that still enjoys a lot of popularity, particularly since the model has undergone a series of improvements over the years.
The overall quality of the materials used in the making of this reel is outstanding. The side plates are reinforced with stainless steel rings, and the spool is made from anodized aluminum, to make sure that the reel won’t catch any rust and corrosion when used for longer times. The main gear is made from marine-grade bronze, while the pinion gear is made from stainless steel.
As it is designed with a multi-disk drag system, you can expect smooth action all the time and under all circumstances. In case you’re thinking of scoring some trophies, the Senator should be your weapon of choice since there is no shortage of world records and prizes for this reel.
The low gear ratio will help you pull fish from the high depths, and it comes highly recommended for keeping well when heavy loads are involved.
You won’t have to worry about the frame bending under heavy loads since the stainless steel rings reinforcing it make sure that it won’t modify its shape and become unusable.
The model comes with a unique multi-disk star drag system that contributes to the amazingly smooth action that makes it so reliable for deep sea fishing.
Everything in this reel is designed to withstand the hardships that come with deep sea fishing, and only the most durable materials are used in its making.
Resistant to rust and corrosion, it can be used in saltwater conditions without any worries, and its durability will convince you it is an excellent choice.
There are two stainless steel ball bearings installed on the reel, to make the action smoother and increase its durability.
The rubber handle doesn’t appear to be built to last, and there are some concerns regarding its reliability in the long run.Buy from Amazon.com
6. Shimano Torium HGA Master
You might be surprised to see how lightweight this reel feels in your hand. But don’t let yourself fooled by appearances; this reel from Shimano is created with heavy-duty applications in mind. You will find yourself in love with it sooner than you think, the next time you take it with you on some deep sea fishing adventures.
For live bait and bottom fishing, you will discover that this model does a swell job. To talk about its characteristics, it is essential to take note of the high-efficiency gearing system. While powerful and providing enough rigidity to ensure that the reel won’t bend under the pressure put by a massive catch, it still keeps the weight of the reel to a minimum.
You can rest assured that this is a fishing reel that you will be able to use for many years, due to its high durability. Another aspect that contributes to its reliable use is this: the bearings are treated to resist rust, and they are even ten times more resistant to corrosion than regular stainless steel models.
Even more, these bearings contribute to the smooth action of the reel so that your line flows steadily, without getting tangled.
For saltwater fishing of any kind, but particularly for deep sea fishing, this reel is the ideal choice as it is both lightweight and durable.
A broad range of features makes it unbeatable in any comparison to similar reels, and these include, without being limited to, the super stopper and the cross carbon drag.
It is crucial to remember that the ball bearings on this model are like no others you might have found until now, as they are more resistant to rust and corrosion than regular stainless steel ball bearings.
Leverage and power make this model stand out, and it is all because of the high efficient gearing system, one of the essential features present here.
For live bait, large species, and other fish that must be dragged from the bottom of the sea, this model is an ideal pick.
To be reliable, this model needs to be made from sturdy materials, which might make it look a bit bulky and more difficult to handle than others.Buy from Amazon.com
7. Penn Unisex’s WAR30LWLH Warfare Level Wind
Not everyone wants to purchase a reel – or any other piece of fishing equipment – that is good just for one thing. If that’s your case, you will be pleased to hear that the Penn Warfare is highly versatile and can be used in a wide range of applications. At the same time, it is more affordable than other models available, which is a great plus.
Let’s talk a little about the features that make it so great. For starters, it is worth noting that the frame is made from graphite and therefore lightweight, while the side plates are reinforced with aluminum rings that will prevent the frame from flexing and bending under heavy loads.
Furthermore, the HT-100 drag system made from carbon fiber offers you the smooth action required for the user’s enjoyment and ease of use. When you must pull heavy loads from significant depths, you know how important it is to have a dependable drag system.
Another aspect that you might find helpful is having line capacity rings at your disposal. Now you no longer have to guess how much line is left while you’re busy pulling the fish out of the water.
This reel comes equipped with heavy duty drag washers that will behave beautifully even when pulling heavy loads.
You will appreciate the line capacity rings that keep the tabs on how much line you unspooled so that you don’t have to guess how much is left when you’re in the middle of a fight with a strong fish.
Many users like the instant anti-reverse functionality that gives this model even more reliability in the long run.
Another thing you will like about this reel is that it comes available in three line weights so that you can pick the one that’s suitable for your needs.
Because it is versatile and can be used in many different circumstances, it is a sound investment for the budget-minded anglers.
There are some concerns regarding how long this reel will last from customers who comment on the presence of plastic parts.Buy from Amazon.com
8. Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Levelwind Trolling Reel
The first thing you should know about this model is its left-handed configuration, so if that’s not suitable for you, you just need to shop around for another reel. It is important to notice the lightweight construction that makes it an ideal choice for those who don’t want to fight their equipment more than they should fight the fish they’re catching.
You can rest assured that the frame won’t flex when you fight strong fish, as the reel has stainless steel rings reinforcing the side plates. It is easy to notice that the reel is designed to behave well in saltwater, and it is resistant to rust and corrosion.
One thing you will like about this model is the line counter. This little thing will take out the guessing work when you are busy catching a fish that struggles a lot. A rubber button helps you reset the counter, so it is easy to use and an add-on you will surely like.
As it comes with a drag system made from carbonate, the weight of the steel is not impacted. Plus, the gear system is self-lubricating, which means that nothing will stop you while you fish.
Only the highest quality materials were used in the making of this reel, designed for deep sea fishing and not only.
The frame and side plates are made from lightweight materials, and they are also resistant to corrosion and rust, which means that you will be able to enjoy this reel for a long time.
Its manufacturer thought about taking this reel through tests before launching it, and according to those tests, it can hold 420 yards of 20 lbs. line without a problem.
Equipped with two stainless steel bearings, the entire mechanism is designed to work smoothly and will resist the test of time.
Last, but not least, the drag system ensures smooth operation and increases performance, while the self-lubricating gear system is a plus.
The line counter appears to get stuck on occasion, according to some buyers who have been using this model for a while.Buy from Amazon.com
9. Penn Fathom Left Handed Level Wind Reel
To start with an important aspect that will impact your decision to buy it, the PENN Fathom Level Wind reviewed here is meant for left-handed users. With that out of the way, let’s talk about the features that make this conventional reel such a good option for most anglers. First of all, this is a strong reel, so adaptable to demanding situations such as deep sea fishing.
The main gear is made from a bronze alloy that has been heavily tested for marine use. You can rest assured that this is a strong reel that will serve you for a long time, no matter how hard you’re using it. Drag power is usually something to be concerned with when you pick a reel for deep sea fishing, and this model from Penn delivers all that you need for maximum efficiency and results.
The Level Wind System is coated with stainless steel, making sure that this model will not be affected by rust and corrosion. Equipped with four bearings, it provides quite decent smooth action, and you will be pleased with its behavior out on the water.
Its heavy duty construction and smooth operation are the main reasons why you should consider this model to be a good option for deep sea fishing.
Strength and precision make the Penn Fathom Level Wind a good option for anglers who want to drag fish out from the bottom of the sea.
The four ball bearings present ensure that the action of this model is smooth and won’t cause any mishaps while you’re busy fighting a fish.
As the main gear is made from marine-grade materials, you can expect it to last long in saltwater conditions.
Keep in mind that this model comes with a full metal body and side plates, and resists flexing and bending, an essential aspect when you try to catch heavy fish species.
The anti-reverse feature makes it convenient and easy to use.
The full metal body may be resistant to flexing and bending, but it must be noted that it is not as good a choice as an aluminum model that is not as heavy on the tackle setup like this one.Buy from Amazon.com
10. Sougayilang Trolling Reel Saltwater Level Wind Reels
This saltwater reel is ideal for deep sea fishing, as it comes equipped with many features that provide you with the durability and sustain you need under such circumstances. First of all, the drag system made from carbon fiber will give you the smooth operation required for the reel to work as advertised.
Many users like the classic appearance of this reel, and you should know that good looks don’t come alone. Equipped with a double dog ratchet system, the reel won’t start reversing when you don’t want it to. Stopping the line is easy, and overall, you are in complete control when you’re using this reel.
Material quality is an aspect that matters when you shop around for a deep sea fishing reel. In this case, the machined aluminum spool won’t catch rust or corrosion while keeping the weight to a minimum. The gears are made from stainless steel, contributing to the superior durability of this model.
No matter how much you throw at this reel, it will behave beautifully and serve you for many years down the road. To prove this, the manufacturer offers a three-year warranty, something you don’t see just in any other fishing reel on the market.
The reliable carbon fiber drag system ensures smooth operation, allowing you to focus more on fishing and less on the equipment.
You can rely on the high performance of this model as it comes with a double dog ratchet system that won’t let the handle reverse when you don’t want it to.
Superior attention to details was paid in the making of this model, as you can tell from the machined aluminum spool and the bakelight side plates.
For increased durability, the manufacturer outfitted this model with 6+1 ball bearings which contribute to smooth performance.
Saltwater conditions won’t be an issue for this deep sea fishing reel, designed to withstand a lot of wear and tear; the model comes with a three-year warranty.
The lever used for releasing the spool will not engage automatically, which is something that might not be to your liking.Buy from Amazon.com
11. Penn Squall Lever Drag
Versatility is essential for a deep sea fishing reel, and that is why the first thing that must be said about this model is that it can accommodate both braid and mono line, for maximum leeway. A complete list regarding line capacity is provided, so you will be able to gauge from the specs if this model is a good idea for you or not.
Several things make this model stand out from the crowd. First of all, it is clearly made to withstand saltwater conditions. Because the lever drag provides smooth operation, you will not encounter the common mishaps that occur when there’s too much contact with water.
Furthermore, despite being designed for heavy duty use, this model is lightweight. The frame is made from graphite, a material that is both flexible and durable. It won’t bend or break, but it will behave in such a way that you can easily depend on it even when you’re fighting a strong fish.
There is a two-speed system that lets you switch from high gear to low gear and the other way around. This type of versatility qualifies this Penn fishing reel as a must-have for big game anglers.
Available in three sizes, this fishing reel is designed to cover all your necessities when it comes to deep sea fishing.
Equipped with a double dog ratchet system, the reel handle won’t start reversing despite your will; such traits are important when you’re using your reel for fighting big game fish.
A Dura-Drag system will stop the line and let you pull the fish out of the water, without any fear that it might become unspooled as you struggle to bring your game to the boat.
The lightweight construction ensures that you won’t feel tired after using it for longer times when out on the water.
Because it is a system with two speeds, one high gear, and one low gear, it is more versatile than other models on the market.
Buyers have reported some issues with the braid line capacity, so that is something to pay attention to if you’re set on this model.Buy from Amazon.com
If you want to be successful at deep sea fishing you need the right gear, and this includes a durable and powerful reel. If the reel is not capable of providing you with the power and performance you need, your chances of catching anything are significantly decreased. To help you determine what is the best deep sea fishing reel we have included the following tips in this buying guide.
As stated in the best deep sea fishing reel reviews one of the first aspects to consider is your budget. While you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a high performance deep sea fishing reel, you don’t want to purchase one that is cheaply made just to save a few dollars. There is nothing worse than having your reel break when there’s a large fish on the line just because it was constructed from inferior materials. Another advantage to deciding on a budget is it will help narrow down your options.
There are two types of reels commonly used for deep sea fishing, and the best one for you will often depend on your skill level. Casting reels are often preferred by experienced anglers since they can usually hold more line. This allows you to make the longer casts that are often necessary when you are fishing in saltwater. These reels are also capable of creating a smoother drag, which is always an advantage.
Spinning reels are easier to operate and your line is less likely to tangle, which can be a problem for beginners. While they can’t hold as much line as casting reels, they are still suitable for use for most deep sea fishing applications. Their lightweight construction also makes spinning reels a great choice when you are casting for smaller saltwater fish.
A reel’s power rating will determine its characteristics and when you are deep sea fishing you want one that is classified as medium to heavy. This will ensure that you have the power you need to successful land large saltwater fish, without having to worry about the reel breaking on the retrieval. If you are using a baitcasting reel you will want it to be powerful enough to use 12 pound test line or higher so you can easily handle heavier fish.
Penn Gold Label Series
This reel not only looks great, it is also designed to provide you with a smooth and reliable performance. The body and sideplates are constructed from a durable lightweight metal that can withstand the rigors of deep sea fishing.
The sturdy materials also help to keep the gears precisely aligned so you can successfully bring in large trophy fish.
What really sets this deep sea fishing reel by Penn apart is its two speed gear system. You can easily switch between low and high gears to match the weight of the fish on the line.
The drag washers ensure that there is never any hesitation, and you don’t have to worry about it accidentally changing due to the convenient preset knob.
Like all the premium alternatives from this brand, the reel provides high-performance and an exceptionally smooth, powerful drag. Its body is made from metal, and it features side plates constructed from die-cast aluminum for maximum durability and rigidity.
Other things you get for a reduced price are the Dura-Drag washers, the patented Push-To-Turn preset knob, and a ratcheted lever that maintains the buttery-smooth drag even under extreme loads.
The brand also implemented the Quick Shift 2-speed system which seamlessly shifts into high or low gear. Lastly, five shielded stainless steel ball bearings ensure fluid cranking.
Some past customers have said that the unit is slightly larger than others on the market, so if you have smaller hands, you might need to check that to make sure you’re comfortable with it.
Along the same lines, it is a bit heavier too, but it is not that noticeable if you’re used to chunky products.
1) What to consider when choosing a fishing reel
2) How to choose the best fishing reel for your needs?
3) Saltwater Vs Freshwater Reels – What Is the Big Difference?
4) Difference Between Freshwater and Saltwater Rods & Reels
5) Everything You Must Know About Saltwater Fishing
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