Reels for striper fishing – Buying Guide, Reviews, and Comparison
We know how it’s like to be searching for top fishing gear. You might not have the time and patience to go through the buying tips our research team has prepared, so we think a quick read of this paragraph is going to tell you just what you need. We checked the reviews and analyzed a lot of feedback from professional and amateur fishermen and our research suggests that the Penn Fathom is the best. It has very good construction materials consisting of aluminum, stainless steel, and improved fiberglass. The 2-speed setting is a terrific advantage for a sea fishing when you need to adapt from fast reeling to battling big fish. It also has small size and weight, which makes it easy to use and ideal for maneuvering. If you can’t get your hands on the Penn Fathom 2-Speed, then you should consider the Shimano Torium HGA for the purchase as it is a reliable alternative in terms of performance and quality.
Our Top Choice
The reel has been constructed using high-quality materials. The gears are strong and the lever drag is efficient. It’s a versatile product, as you can use it for trolling or bottom fishing. Most customers praise the high speed retrieve and perfect size and weight.
The reel capacity close to the real value, but it depends on the type of line, fill-up level, and installation tension. Also, the rod clamp nuts are a bit soft.
The reel offers serious advantages at a reasonable price so you should consider it a worthy investment. There are no deal-breakers.
The Shimano Torium series has a great new design that makes it much more compact than conventional reels. It’s a versatile piece of gear, well-adapted to jigging as well as to bottom fishing. The perfect ratio and inches per crank allow a very fast retrieve. The construction is ideal for saltwater.
It is smaller than the original series, so balancing the rod and reel could require a bigger size. The design makes the star drag come close to the speed control knob.
This is a really good reel for medium sized stripers. The quality is comparable to that of high-end reels, so keep this option in mind.
Also To Consider
The reel is made from the highest-quality materials that are tested for reliability and durability. The frame and side plates are lightweight and corrosion-resistant. One major upgrade with this unit is the lower reset button that eliminates unwanted reset of the line counter.
One downside with this reel is the noise that it makes. Even with the clicker off, the unit still produces a lot of noise, which can get aggravating quite fast.
This model offers excellent durability, performance, and a smooth drag, all packed in a lightweight design. It can be used for both salt and freshwater fishing.
10 Best Reels for Striper Fishing (Reviews) in 2023
We took our own advice seriously and our chase returned some great results. By following the guide and comparing some products, we came up with some choices. We decided to show you the trophies so we showcased them below.
1. Penn Fathom Lever Drag 2 Speed
The Penn Fathom 2-Speed has full metal body and sideplates and uses Dura-Drag material for the lever drag. It contains a Phenolic agent meant to prevent carbon fiber breakdown. The double dog ratchet anti-reverse give it the strength it needs to fight the sea battles.
The reel gives you the possibility to use a quick shift 2-speed system. The series has a gear ratio going from 2.5-to-1 to 6.1-to-1 in the high-speed mode. The 2-speed feature is well appreciated by fishermen who need to vary their cranking for multiple fishing techniques.
The Penn Fathom series offers narrow reels are ergonomic and easier to handle. The narrow spool will increase the speed of your reeling by enhancing the number of inches per crank.
Its versatility is terrific. Depending on the purpose you have in mind, you can choose the perfectly suited model. You’ll find the right gear for the lighter-weight jigging, live-bait, and light-trolling, heavy-duty jigging or trolling and grouper fans.
The first thing customers notice when taking the reel out of the box is the small weight and size, making it a highly maneuverable piece of gear. It should count a lot when you’re out for a day of fishing.
The materials used in the reel are high quality. The bearing balls, as well as the gears, are made of stainless steel and the frame is aluminum-made. The Fathom Lever-Drag uses improved carbon fiber.
The 2-speed is a feature most sea fishers would like to have on their reels, but not all products have the compact size and efficient switch that would make them efficient. This one does.
It provides smooth retrieve and nice casting. It is just what you need for consistent performance.
Some of the owners were concerned with the soft metal nut in the rod clamp and the play in the handle.
Buy from Amazon.com
The Shimano Torium HGA series has been created to bring fishermen the conventional saltwater reel they were expecting for. They are compact, rigid and wield great strength. The reels benefit from a new design that uses the S-Concept body, and that makes them smaller and more durable.
Thanks to the S-Concept body, the reels have a one piece sideplate that gives them rigidity and can fit the fisher’s palm for more comfort. The reel uses a ceramic rod clamp for more reliability and easy installment.
Anodized metal components and an E.I. surface treatment make the item corrosion resistant. The E.I. adds a second layer of protection to the items’ surface, covering all the imperfections, no matter how small.
The drag force of 24 lbs for and the Cross Carbon material that it uses makes the products durable and offers smooth operation. You’ll find it ideal for many large species of fish.
Shimano Torium offers versions of each model for both left handed and right handed fishermen.
All Shimano Torium HGA owners agree that it has the speed and strength that can land a striper in the boat. The gear ratio is ideal for saltwater anglers, who’ll never miss a bass.
The very compact design is meant to keep the reel downsized so that you can comfortably hold it in the palm and make it easily maneuverable for all users.
The drag is very smooth. By using a cross carbon drag that fits high drag pressure setting, performance is always stable.
The corrosive effect of salty seawater is rendered powerless by using perfect design and improved materials. Anodizing is complimented by E.I. surface treatment.
Anglers that are used to the old series could have a hard time adapting to a small size reel, so they are compelled to buy one size up.
Some fishing rods are too thick for the bolts on this reel, so you must check to see if they match.
Buy from Amazon.com
3. Okuma Cold Water Lightweight Graphite Trolling Reel
At the center of this model lies a powerful drag foundation that includes heavy-duty machine cut brass pinion gears, a dual anti-reverse system, and a full Carbonite drag system. The internal components are held together with Okuma’s proprietary Mechanical Stabilizing System that delivers extreme durability and quality.
All these features are packed in a surprisingly lightweight design that makes the reel comfortable to hold for extended periods. This model comes with a lower reset button found on the right side that lets you remove unwanted reset of the line counter. Another great addition is the two-stage anti-fogging technology.
The frame and side plates are made of lightweight, corrosion-resistant materials that will allow you to use the reel for both salt and freshwater fishing. Moreover, this product comes with a one-way roller bearing, two ball bearings, and a traditional design line counter.
The stainless steel bearings aren’t just more durable, but they also deliver smoother control for all your fishing applications.
The unit comes with an excellent machined aluminum spool that features an ergonomic non-slip rubber grip for easier maneuvering of the reel.
It comes with two-stage anti-fogging Clear View Technology that will keep the interior of the line counter window dried and easy to see through.
This model comes with a self-greasing gearing system that delivers better performance, and it also has the benefit of being easier to maintain.
It is very comfortable to use whether you’re fishing on a lake or the sea.
The main downside with this model is the amount of sound that it makes, seeing as the clicker can get very noisy.
The reset button on the feet gauge can get sticky very fast after only a couple of uses, and this makes using it feel icky and unpleasant.Buy from Amazon.com
4. Okuma Cold Water Linecounter Trolling Reel
The unit is made using the highest quality materials and every single component is built to offer the highest possible durability, and that includes the carbonate drag system and the machine brass pinion gears. If you are not yet convinced, the reel is made of machined aluminum and it has a two-tone anodized spool for long-lasting performance and efficiency.
The aluminum construction does indeed make this option extremely sturdy but it also helps it remain very easy to hold, even for extended periods when you’re trying to catch a difficult fish. Thus, if you are the type of angler that tends to wait out on the water for hours and you don’t want to get a heavy reel on your pole, the Okuma model is an excellent alternative.
Because this model is designed for use in territories where steelhead, salmon, striper and walleye swim, it caters to the needs of anglers who catch them, and most of them are left-handed. Indeed, this option is made for left-handed anglers and that is a factor that you will need to keep in mind.
All in all, if you do want to get a reel that can help you catch that elusive striper efficiently, this trolling reel is more than up to the task.
The Cold Water model is constructed upon a very powerful drag foundation that includes heavy-duty machine cut brass pinion gears, full Carbonite drag system, and a dual anti-reverse system.
The lightweight construction and unique design make the unit fit and feel very well in the hand, which is a good advantage for those who like to stay out on the water for hours on end.
The smooth drag has garnered a lot of praise from the users who have tested the reel, and it is a very important feature that all types of fishing reels should have.
The unit is very affordable especially once you start to compare it with models that offer similar features and that can cost you even twice as much.
There is not much to complain about the Okuma alternative, but it is worth mentioning that the clicker can get noisy, and some anglers found that to be a bit too distracting.Buy from Amazon.com
5. Tica LE200 Striper Bait Casting Reel
The right-handed Striper LE Series is a good alternative for people who don’t yet feel comfortable with the left-handed models that most professional anglers use. With that said, you can still opt for the left-handed model if you so desire. Customers have reported that it feels very comfortable in the hand, and that is achieved thanks in part to its one-piece aluminum frame.
In terms of durability, the aluminum frame and the forged aluminum alloy spool help create a product that is ready to handle all the weather conditions that one can expect while striper fishing. Furthermore, the eight precision bearings is made of rust-resistant stainless steel that will allow the reel to maintain its smooth drag even after months and years of use.
The LE Series is known for the great cranking power and the big power handle which makes it one of the top choices among striper anglers. This powerful and smooth reel also comes with a quick-remove side plate which helps make bating fish not only easier but much more enjoyable for both professionals and beginners.
Furthermore, the instant anti-reverse it comes equipped with will prevent the reel from turning backward and engaging the drag when you don’t want to.
If you’re looking for a model to go trolling, this one has the power you need to help you catch even the most stubborn fish.
The product is built with durability in mind, which is why each component is made of high-quality materials, including the eight stainless steel ball bearings that will provide smooth operation for years to come.
There are two versions that you can choose from, one left-handed and another right-handed, which give customers the freedom to get the one that meets their preferences.
It is lightweight and buyers have mentioned that it feels comfortable in the hand.
It sports an anti-reverse feature and a centrifugal brake system that both beginner and professional anglers will quickly grow to appreciate.
The handle is a bit oversized and some users have reported that it can take a while to get used to it.
One customer said that the reel fits a bit too loose on the rod because it has a mount that is too narrow.Buy from Amazon.com
6. Penn Squall LevelWind
This nifty model comes with a graphite frame and side plates, and marine-grade bronze main gear and stainless steel pinion gear. These materials are recognized for their durability and they will work hand in hand to ensure that the Penn Squall LevelWind will remain your faithful companion when you go striper fishing.
The size of the reel may seem a bit oversized for some, but it helps confer it increased versatility, a feature that makes it a perfect reel for general all round fishing. It boasts two stainless steel ball bearings that are corrosion-resistant so that you can now take your new acquisition out for fishing in saltwater as well.
Another impressive aspect about this model is without a doubt the strength and smoothness that it manages to offer which makes it perfect for trolling. Furthermore, the live spindle design allows it to offer excellent performance when it comes to casting out. It has instant anti-reverse bearings which will eliminate rotor back play.
Lastly, we couldn’t end our review without taking a moment to mention the beautiful design of this model. The graphite frame and the marine-grade bronze alloy on the main gear combine perfectly to create a reel that looks and performs wonderfully.
One of the main benefits that this model offers is its lightweight graphite frame that keeps the weight down without affecting the durability and sturdiness of the reel.
The precision-machined stainless steel pinion gear and the quick high-speed gear ratio are the two features that have garnered a lot of customer praise.
There are very few other models on the market that manage to offer the smooth operation that the LevelWind does.
If you want to get a reel that can handle trolling and that is able to hold up well even when you are reeling in the big fish, then you might want to consider this one.
This is a very popular choice that has garnered hundreds of customer reviews, most of which are very positive.
A few customers have mentioned that the unit they received had an auto line that does not distribute the fishing line evenly onto the spool.Buy from Amazon.com
7. Abu Garcia ALTUMDLCSYN 20 Ambassadeur Altum DLC
The Ambassadeur Altum model is designed to make precision line management easier and simpler for both beginner and professional anglers. It has a line counter that is backlit to offer you real-time information even in low-light conditions, and it can be adjusted freely depending on the type of line that you are using.
The lighted digital counter uses a standard watch battery that is readily available in most stores and it can be replaced effortlessly. The reel has a graphite frame and side plates which help cut down on unnecessary weight without sacrificing durability and sturdiness. The lightweight construction makes it a great choice for anglers who like to spend hours baiting fish.
In addition to that, this model also incorporates a highly adjustable drag system that will help protect the line and keep it from breaking when the big fish pull. By cranking the handle just 1.3 of a turn in a counterclockwise motion, the reel achieves a 50% decrease in drag pressure.
This particular feature is very useful especially when you are fishing downriggers since it allows the bait to be dropped easily without the angler having to disengage the reel, making the entire process so much simpler.
The machined aluminum spool and the graphite frame and side plates offer strength and durability without adding excess weight to the reel.
Another nifty feature that this product offers is the lighted digital line counter that will help improve accuracy by showing you how much line you’ve used and how much you have available.
The synchro drag feature will allow the drag pressure to be reduced fast without having to change any of the drag settings.
There are four different sizes that you can choose from, and each one is available in both left-handed and right-handed versions.
The spool can handle 100 yards of line so that you cast the fishing line as far away from the shore as you want to.
One unit arrived with a design flaw that caused the screw that holds the line level in place to be capable of breaking the fishing line.Buy from Amazon.com
8. Okuma Azores Saltwater Spinning Reel
This saltwater reel is a great all-around choice that can be used for anything from baitcasting and trolling, to stick baiting, jigging and popping on the reefs. There are five models in total that you can choose from and they range from a size 50 to a size 90. The choice is entirely to the angler, allowing him or her to get the size that fits the intended purpose.
The Okuma reel comes with numerous features that help it stand out from the other models on the market and one of them is the DFD: Precision Dual Force Drag system. This system uses a stack of felt drag washers on top and a carbonite drag washer under, and their purpose is to dissipate the drag pressure and allow for smoother drag when the reel is under a heavy load.
There is also the carbon mechanical stabilizing system which is designed to prevent the spread of corrosion. It does so by separating the aluminum components from the other internal components and that will enable the unit to handle the harsh rigors of saltwater fishing much better.
Furthermore, the reel is watertight around the wide adjustment knob which is one of the primary penetration points that water usually uses to get inside a reel.
This is a versatile choice that is perfect for all-around fishing, meaning that anglers can get just one reel that can accommodate a wide variety of fishing styles and techniques for freshwater and saltwater.
There are five sizes that you can choose from ranging from 40 to 90, and they all pack the same impressive list of useful features.
A feature that customers appreciate a lot is the extremely smooth drag that provides anglers with a solid hook set each time.
Each component on the Okuma Azores is designed to withstand the harsh conditions anglers experience when they fish in saltwater.
The rotor, sideplate, and body are all made of solid aluminum which is not only strong and rigid but also extremely lightweight.
Buyers are not entirely satisfied with the customer service that Okuma offers, stating that it can take a lot of time to get a replacement part if they happen to need one.Buy from Amazon.com
9. Abu Garcia C3-6500STSPC Ambassadeur Striper Special
This model is built on the Swedish round reel platform that is optimized for striper angling and engineered to deliver great smoothness and performance. It comes with three stainless steel ball bearings and one roller bearing. The high-quality drag system delivers a smooth and consistent drag.
Round bait cast reels are known for their simple design that puts a big emphasis on ease of maintenance. The Abu Garcia product is small in size, and it has very smooth retrieving and casting capabilities. It is very easy to set up, and it handles very well in tight fishing spots.
The braking system delivers excellent results, and the bent handle manages to improve the cranking power, and it is small enough to be held comfortably for long fishing sessions. The unit also uses the new precision engineering technology that Abu Garcia has pioneered. It allows the reel to be lighter, more durable, and to deliver advanced performance.
The extended bent handle, along with the included PVC knob, will enhance the angler’s cranking power and will make it easier to grip the reel.
The high-quality 6-pin centrifugal brake won’t just allow you to slow the spool down, but it will also prevent it from overrunning.
The unit comes with a comprehensive guide that will explain all the features of the reel and how you can use them to get the best results on the water.
The Carbon Matrix drag system delivers a very smooth and consistent drag across the entire drag range to let you handle hard fighting fish.
The handle doesn’t seem to share the same durability as the rest of the components of this product since it can break when battling bigger fish.
It is not the best choice for anglers who are on a tight budget since this option is quite expensive.Buy from Amazon.com
10. Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C3 Round Reel
The first thing that a new customer will notice while glancing at the Ambassadeur C3 is its quality construction that is made from polished aluminum. There is no paint applied to it which gives it a very stylish and high-quality look. What’s more, the seams and edges between the side plate pieces and the frame are all aligned perfectly.
As far as performance is concerned, this model benefits a lot from the brass gearing which gives the reel a very smooth retrieve that allows fishers to feel connected and in control. The handle has a standard size, it’s not too small nor too large, and it does its job very well.
The unit has a drag of fifteen pounds which makes it an ideal choice for striper fishing. It does have the benefit of a stick made of carbon fiber and an aluminum disk within its main gear.
As far as out-on-the-water performance is concerned, the customer reviews have only high praise for this model and they mention that it handles very smoothly and it delivers consistent performance. All in all, the Ambassadeur C3 provides the brute strength that anglers need when striper fishing with a refined style that will make you feel proud of your new purchase.
The three stainless steel ball bearings coupled with the roller bearing help provide the smooth operation that anglers of all experience levels seek.
The unit features a synchronized level wind system that can be used to improve the line stability and lay.
Abu Garcia is a company that is well known for its commitment to providing products that meet the customer expectations and this one is no exception.
The reel has a six-pin centrifugal brake which applies consistent pressure throughout the cast for superior control.
This model is known for its simple design and ease of maintenance which makes it a worthy choice for beginner anglers who are looking to try striper fishing for the first time.
The reel does not have a lot of cranking power, meaning that if you launch it far away from your boat or the shore it can be a struggle to get the bait back to you.Buy from Amazon.com
In search of the best reel for striper fishing, we decided to put on the table the virtues you should be looking for in any saltwater reel.
Materials and build
The best striper reel reviews will advise you to take into account the material used for the construction, and that includes the frame, gear, and spool.
Most quality spinning reel spools are now machined from high-grade aluminum alloy. Graphite is still used in some cases, but producers favor of the tougher metal. Graphite is not as strong as aluminum while magnesium is more likely to corrode when in contact with saltwater.
Some companies are still experimenting with various materials, so you shouldn’t be surprised to see some new types for sale. Some companies use brass for the gear, while others are tackling carbon composites, which are much lighter and still very durable.
Always research the water resistant or waterproof capacity of the reel. If it has blind spots and/or easily corrodible materials, you’ll only enjoy it for a short time.
Cast and retrieve
When you need to know how the reel is casting and whether the retrieve is smooth and fast, you have to start counting the ball bearings. A 7+1 is a pretty common system and it is composed of 7 ball bearings and a roller bearing. You’ll find different systems on different reels.
The roller bearings or anti-reverse bearings lie beneath the rotor and keep it from spinning backward. A bigger ball bearing system, consisting of more balls and rollers, is a guarantee of a smooth cast and retrieve.
The gear ratio is fundamental when you need to know how fast your retrieve will be. A small gear ratio, a 2.1-to-1 for instance, is what you consider for bigger power, but if you need more spool rations on a crank, search for higher gear ratios.
The higher ratios are what you usually need if you’re trying to configure the best rod and reel combo for striper fishing.
Size and weight
For any experienced angler, it is important to make up their mind when purchasing a reel only after examining the size and weight. If the reel is too bulky, it becomes hard for the fishermen to operate with it. It’s also more difficult to transport.
Heavier gears are unpractical because it’s hard to maneuver them for hours. Not only will your hands get tired, but it will also upset the balance between the rod and reel.
In other words, to set up the best rod and reel for striper fishing, smaller size and lightweight reels are great, as long as they’re strong enough.
Fishing Reels Saltwater Spinning Reel
Using 3D painting and transparent skylight design, this reel is a truly cool gear. Transparency is also a useful feature because you can see when cleaning and greasing are necessary. It’s a good way to prolong the life of the reel.
The producer made sure the item is well built and strong by using metal alloy for the drive gear and a copper alloy for the main axis.
Using a patented parallel winding reel spool makes line spooling more even. That is an advantage when you need more line on the spool and better casting distance.
Using a dual bearing system with 15+3 stainless steel bearings makes the reel one of the top choices for a smooth, quick retrieve.
You’ll be amazed to see how well adapted this product is to saltwater and freshwater alike. Sea, river, lake or pond, panfish, salmon, bass or catfish, the Aber reel can do all of them.
The reel is well built. It has metal alloys in the drive gear, screws and the main axis, graphite side plate and stainless steel bearings. These are all perfectly assembled to provide durability.
Anglers are pleased by the nice balance that the reel brings. Pairing it with the right rod is essential, but so is the size, weight, and drag power that it holds. The computer designed rotor also plays an important part in achieving this.
This is one of the finest products on the market. The 3D painting and transparency, as well as the overall design, make it look awesome.
It has the smooth handling you are looking for and most anglers noticed how operating with it brings them satisfaction.
If you need a very light reel for long hours of lure fishing, this piece of gear could be tiresome. But you should consider that lighter reels offer less balance and strength.
BG2500 Daiwa Saltwater Spinning Reel
Daiwa is a reputable brand that over the years has created some of the most popular fishing reels on the market and the BG Gold is no expectation. This new model uses the same components found in the higher end Daiwa reels but at the same time, the brand manages to keep the price low so that even amateur anglers can afford it.
The unit is manufactured with machined aluminum for the internal structure, and it is a material that has proved its stability and sturdiness time and again, and it can provide the user with years of reliable use. The body and the cover are black anodized to make them more resistant to corrosion and scratches, a process that is more effective than paint or coating.
Another huge advantage of getting the BG Gold is the excellent anti-backlash system which allows the line to flow freely and produce long casts while preventing line twists from occurring.
The air rotor design has also received a lot of praise seeing as it makes the reel feel more balanced and it distributes the stress equally throughout the rotor which gives the reel more strength. Speaking of strength, the product is also equipped with a large drive and high-performing gear which help increase its lifespan, torque, power, and smoothness.
With 10 models and three gear ratios that you can choose from, you can find the right size for all your fishing needs.
The large and tight handle provides minimal movements between the main gear and the handlebar, giving the angler more control and confidence when rotating the handle.
The drag system is waterproof which means that you can safely use this option in the most extreme environments since you won’t have to worry about water getting to its internal components.
The body is black anodized, a feature that allows the black color not to peel or fade as easily as with classic paint or coating and it also helps enhance the look of the BG Gold reel even further.
Unfortunately, this option is quite heavy, and many customers have said that its weight can make it a bit difficult to use properly.
While the body itself is anodized, the spool is painted.