Inshore fishing reels – Buying Guide, Reviews, and Comparison
In case you’re looking for the best reel for inshore fishing yet have little time to spare on countless reviews, you’ve landed in the perfect spot. We’ve done all the work, so you don’t have to compare gear ratios, frame materials, drag performance, and price. We’ve scoured the internet for some of the best models out there and have come up with a list of 3 we think you should give a look to. Out of these, we recommend the Shimano Stradic FK. Made by the legendary Japanese manufacturer, the Stradic FK comes with a body made of highly-resistant Hagane metal, durable bearings, precise gears, a propulsion line management system and other features to improve casting performance as well as reduce vibrations and back-play. In case this model is sold out, you might want to check out the runner-up – the Quantum Cabo CSP40PTSE.
Our Top Choice
As powerful and resistant as a Japanese sword, the Shimano Stradic FK harnesses the qualities of Hagane steel to ensure that users get a reel that offers superior crank power. The way the structure of the reel is designed eliminates the typical flexibility that can be seen in other similar products and thus makes sure that you will be able to pull a strong fish out of the water. The superior attention to detail makes this reel a must-have for anglers.
There is no anti-reverse lever on this model, something that a few buyers found disappointing.
If you want top-notch quality, you can’t go wrong with this reel from Shimano.
Crank power is what qualifies, most and foremost, a reel for inshore fishing. Fighting a big fish requires proper equipment, and that’s exactly what this model offers. Smooth action is the second thing that makes you come on top when struggling to pull a trophy fish out of the water, and, again, this model has what it takes. The eight smooth ball bearings contribute to proper performance, and you will be more than satisfied with its action.
Some buyers say that the reel feels a little heavy, which can be a bit taxing for some anglers.
A great pick for someone who needs proper crank power and smooth action.
Also To Consider
The type of materials used for making fishing reels matters and the Abu Garcia ORRA2 makes a first great impression with its frame and side plates made from X-Crafted alloy. Resistant to tough conditions, it manages to develop a lot of crank power while, at the same time, it makes sure that you won’t feel a strain in your hands. The reel is more lightweight than other models on the market. The MagTrax brake system is an added plus.
There are a few minor complaints in regards to the size of the reel, as some people thought it would be larger.
Equipped with all that’s needed for inshore fishing, it is also lightweight.
7 Best Inshore Fishing Reels (Reviews) in 2023
Because time is precious and you probably have a lot of other things to do instead of studying dozens of models on the internet, we have gathered information on the very best fishing reel models so that you get to make the right choice. Below you can find our list of top 3 inshore reel reviews.
1. Shimano Stradic HG Freshwater Spinning Fishing Reel
Utilizing Japanese Hagane metal, the Shimano Stradic FK is a highly-resistant spinning reel which combines strength with durability to provide both experienced and enthusiast anglers with a tool they can rely on. This reel is resistant to impact and other mechanic forces while minimizing flexibility in order to provide a lot more crank power. The spool is made of cold-forged aluminum which makes it extremely resilient and durable, ensuring long-term use.
Thanks to the use of the X-Ship Technology, each pinion gear is equipped with a high-quality double-shielded S A-RB bearing which ensures smooth action, longer casting distances as well as reduced friction between parts and thus better performance and less wear. The incorporated Dyna-Balance technology virtually eliminates retrieve vibration while also providing the angler with increased sensitivity to fish movement.
With the Propulsion Line Management System, you can cast at longer distances without fearing knots or backlashes, while the Sure Stopper II eliminates back-play. The Fluidrive II comes with a polished master gear which increases retrieve performance. Shimano Stradic FK comes with six ball bearings as well as a roller bearing.
To provide more crank power, this model is made to be rigid and resist any kind of mechanic forces applied to you.
The material used for its body is cold-forged aluminum, so you can expect it to be both durable and lightweight, two traits any angler wants to see in a fishing reel.
Another thing worth noting is the X-Ship technology used that creates the perfect combination of gears so that there is limited friction between the parts for smooth operation.
Its Dyna-Balance feature is another aspect that will convince you this is a great buy; this technology is used to limit line vibration for consistent results.
Furthermore, the line management system featured on this model makes sure your line doesn’t get knots and tangles.
Some customers mention that if it gets too wet, it will start to reel in too tightly, so that’s a drawback you should remember.Buy from Amazon.com
2. Quantum Cabo PT Spin Reel
The Quantum Cabo Spin Reel CSP40PTSE is a versatile inshore fishing reel that’s meant for people who love to fish in saltwater. Using the latest PT technologies, this reel is resistant to the corrosive action of seawater and lasts for a long time. With a gear ratio of 5.3:1, this reel is bound to give you the perfect crank power and hold up to the toughest inshore battles with fish weighing up to 30 pounds.
This model features eight highly-resistant bearings in total, giving you a smooth feel and improving both casting speed and distance. With a line capacity of 230 yards with a standard 10-pound test, you can bet that you’ll reach further and improve both your skill and chances of returning home with the catch of the day.
The Quantum Cabo Spin Reel also features a Sealed Magnum CSC Drag and Clutch for increased performance and minimum wear, ensuring that seawater won’t affect it in the long term. For even more endurance and protection against corrosion, this fishing reel comes with a TiMag fail-proof system made of titanium, strong and durable PT gears, and a high-grade LMS line management system.
There is hardly a better choice than this model for saltwater fishing, as it is built to resist such conditions without an issue.
Due to the 8-bearing construction, you can expect this reel to operate smoothly, something that will definitely improve your fishing style.
Its line capacity is 230 yards, and you can use 10-pound line without a problem, as the unit has been tried and tested for such conditions.
The Sealed Magnum CSC Drag and Clutch is there to enhance overall performance and is just one of the features that make this model such a great idea for your fishing setup.
Everything, from the reliable PT gears to the line management system in place, is of high quality.
You should bear in mind that the reel is not fully sealed, which means that it might not be as durable as others with such a construction.Buy from Amazon.com
3. Abu Garcia Obra Inshore Baitcaster Reel
If you’re looking for a strong yet lightweight fishing reel, then the Abu Garcia ORRA2 Inshore 1292535 is a great choice. With the frame and side plates made of X-Crafted alloy, this inshore fishing reel is highly resistant and can provide you with a lot of crank power while being relatively lightweight compared to similar products.
This reel offers a smooth feel thanks to its six stainless steel HPCR bearings and roller bearing. You get to improve throwing distance and gain a better feel for the fish while also getting good support against large side loads and pressures. With the added MagTrax brake system, you get to handle larger fish better, while the extended crank handles with resistant PVC knobs enable secure and consistent drag with a firmer grip and better leverage.
The alloy frame and Duragear brass gear are designed to have increased resistance to corrosion so that you don’t have to spoil your fun worrying about damaging your equipment when fishing in saltwater. You get to enjoy silky-smooth action thanks to the hybrid Carbon Matrix system which improves performance throughout the entire drag range while also providing you with the precision that seawater angling requires.
The frame and side plates are made from a unique material called X-Crafted alloy, whose main role is to keep the reel lightweight without sacrificing durability.
Its six HPCR ball bearings are made from stainless steel, and they provide excellent smooth drag so that you can experience the ultimate comfort and performance when using it.
Users also say that they like the MagTrax brake system, which gives them the extra edge when they need to fight big fish.
Another thing that makes this model stand out is the way the crank handles are designed, to allow a better grip and extra leverage.
Equipped with an alloy frame, this reel is made to resist corrosion and rust without a problem.
Some people say that there is still plenty of gear friction, despite the otherwise excellent performance, and that makes them believe that this reel won’t be extremely durable.Buy from Amazon.com
4. Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel
When it comes to a passionate fisherman, the fishing reel must offer you confidence and comfort at the same time. This durable fishing reel is made to resist in saltwater, having its body, rotor, and side plate, fully made of metal.
The bail wire is made of heavy-duty aluminum bail that offers impressive durability. The smoothness and power are combined in one single item thanks to the HT-100 carbon fiber drag system.
It comes with 5 sealed ball bearings that are made of stainless steel and one anti-reverse bearing that is fluid-cranking. The superline spool is backing-free, braid-ready, and it has capacity rings noted from ⅓ to full capacity.
The attractive design and the efficiency are combined in one lightweight fishing reel that feels smooth when retrieving and powerful when dragging. It also has a large line capacity and the spool is braid-ready.
This reel has a great gearing as it offers quite a fast retrieval.
It has a durable construction that is made to resist saltwater and different weather conditions.
The aluminum hardware offers this fishing reel sturdiness and durability so you can enjoy fishing a longer period of time.
Its drag system offers you powerful drag without sacrificing smoothness.
The 5+1 bearing mechanism is fluid cranking and it provides great operation and speed, having a gear ratio of 6:2:1.
Backing the line is not needed anymore thanks to the superline spool that is also braid-ready.
The spool has a capacity line counter, marked from ⅓ to full capacity.
It also comes with carbon fiber drag washers.
After long use, some parts may show some corrosion since it hasn’t many corrosion-resistant components.
The piece is mostly made of aluminum which adds some extra weight to this item.Buy from Amazon.com
5. Piscifun Flame Spinning Reels Light Weight Ultra Smooth Powerful
The matte black hollow body, the X-shape spool, and the personalized handle are the main features of this modern fishing reel. If you are a passionate fisherman and you like to experience new places, this fishing reel is great for your fishing trips since it weighs only 8.5 ounces.
The sharp design and the lightweight structure are given by the narrow hollow body that is made of graphite. The aluminum spool and the 9 ball bearings make the entire system work smoothly for a relaxing fishing experience. There is also an extra roller bearing to improve the cast-and-retrieve performance.
For more durability in time, the fishing reel contains an anti-corrosion zinc drive gear. The triple drag washers reduce the breaking line and the rotor helps you spool the line evenly in order to increase the cast distance. The drag power of this product is up to 19.8 pounds.
The combination between the aluminum spool and the narrow graphite body gives this fishing reel a lightweight structure that is great for fishing trips.
Fishing line-breaking is reduced thanks to the triple drag washers.
The 9+1 bearings system makes this fishing reel operate smoothly while it is very strong too.
The drag capacity of the reel is about 19.8 pounds which gives you a wide range of possibilities when it comes to fishing different species.
It comes with a zinc drive gear that is resistant to corrosion and it also has precise mesh teeth to give the reel more strength.
If you have any issues related to the bail dimensions, you should take into account that the bail of this reel is quite large.
The spool is set close to the rod and it may hit your hand while cranking if you don’t pay attention to it.Buy from Amazon.com
6. KastKing Sharky III Spinning Fishing Reel Size 3000
The tough construction of this fishing reel is made to last in most of the weather conditions. This reel also has a lightweight structure that is given by the fiber-reinforced graphite body and rotor. The product has a drag power of 39.5 pounds, even though it weighs only 18 ounces. This incredible drag power is given by the triple disc carbon fiber drag.
The spool is braid-ready and it prevents the braid line from slipping. Using this fishing reel cuts the possibility of backing the line. The aluminum handle and the high-density EVA grips offer you comfort while practicing your hobby.
It comes with 10+1 bearings that provide smoothness and good operation on any weather condition or saltwater conditions. The components are protected from dirt and water thanks to the K.I.S.S. (KastKing Intrusion Shield System) that’s made to preserve the structure for a longer period of time.
The K.I.S.S. system preserves the reel by protecting its hardware from water and dirt.
Its aluminum hardware gives the reel durability.
This reel is both lightweight and sturdy, making it great for any fishing level.
It comes with an anti-twist line roller to prevent the line from tangling.
The 10+1 bearing mechanism is the main feature that offers the tool power to operate even with big fish.
This reel has a smooth cast and retrieve performance.
It has a great anti-reverse mechanism that allows you to fish in a more professional way.
The drag capacity of the reel is up to 39.5 pounds thanks to the triple-disc carbon fiber drag.
Reeling is balanced and effortlessly.
The line retrieval may be uneven sometimes, depending on the quality of the fishing line.
Switching to the right hand may not be as comfortable as it is for the left hand.Buy from Amazon.com
7. Lew’s Fishing Custom Inshore Speed Spool SLP Series Baitcasting Reel
This product combines some high-quality components like the graphite palm side plate, the aluminum frame with C45 gear, and the carbon handle in one great baitcast fishing reel. This reel is strong, lightweight, and yet comfortable, making fishing easier and more pleasant than usual.
It comes with ten premium bearings with a non-reverse clutch bearing, being made of stainless steel which is also corrosion-resistant. The spool is made of double anodized aluminum in an U-style form that allows you to smoothly cast and retrieve. The solid brass gearing gives the reel strength and sturdiness.
The reel comes with a multi-setting brake system that operates centrifugal. The 20-pounds drag power is given by the carbon fiber drag system. The aluminum spool tension can be adjusted with an audible click. This item is built to work in both freshwater and saltwater. The handle is equipped with knobs for extra grip to face rough weather conditions.
This item combines efficiency and the stylish design in one baitcast reel.
The fishing reel works in saltwater, freshwater, and it is also great for bass fishing.
It has a lightweight structure that allows you to comfortably enjoy fishing.
The 10+1 ball bearings are made of stainless steel to prevent deterioration and they make the mechanism work smoothly.
The spool is made of double-anodized aluminum to give it more strength.
The carbon fiber drag system can drag up to 20 pounds.
It also has some special features like a zirconia line guide, an exclusive patented line indicator, an external lube port, and a patented hook keeper to improve this model.
There is a pad on the thumb bar for more grip in order to face different weather conditions.
If you are using braid, you may encounter some issues like the reel getting green-stained.
This reel is more convenient for right-handed people than for left-handed individuals.Buy from Amazon.com
If you plan on having fun on your fishing adventures, then you really need to get the best inshore fishing reel you can afford. However, this might be easier to say than do. Doing research is time-consuming, and you may have other plans or tasks to attend to. This is why we have created a short buying guide for you to read so that you get a sense for what you should be buying without wasting hours or even days scanning the internet for the best model out there.
Not all fishing reels are created equal
Your fishing gear is as good as your reel. While they serve the same general purpose, fishing reels are designed for specific types of fishing. Some might enable you to cast the line wide and far, and some might be suited to saltwater, some to fresh water, etc. Build quality is also essential, especially when you go after heavy fish, or when you want the best performance possible.
Or you could just go for an affordable reel to try out and then specialize later on, although you still want to ensure that you get a decent model and prevent missing all the fun due to frustration.
Gear ratios matter
When looking at fishing reels for sale, you also want to pay attention to the specified gear ratios. These are extremely important because they will enable you to catch different types of fish. For small but fast fish, you want a gear ratio with a high number, such as a 6.1:1 or even higher.
If you plan on catching larger fish, then you need a smaller gear ratio, such as a 4.1:1. A smaller ratio will provide you with more power and torque so that you can reel in heavy fish without risking breaking the line or losing the catch
How much can you afford to spend?
If you’re just starting out, dishing out hundreds of dollars on a model might not be the best thing to do. You’d be better off with an entry-level model until you get the ropes of this trade. However, you probably don’t want the cheapest fishing reel out there, unless you plan on being frustrated rather than enjoying a great outdoor experience and fiddle more with the reel than catch fish.