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Best Salmon Fishing Reel

Last Updated: 23.09.23

Salmon fishing reels – Buying Guide, Reviews and Comparison


If you want to find the best reel for your fishing applications but you don’t have time to go through all the reviews or tips that our research team has gathered for you, you can still read this short paragraph. It should tell you everything you need to know about the best salmon fishing reel. We made a thorough analysis of the feedback coming from both professional and amateur fishermen and the apparent conclusion is that the Okuma Magda Pro is the best you can get. It is a lightweight gear using top materials, it provides corrosion resistance thanks to the brass, carbonate and stainless steel components and it offers great convenience by using a self-lubricating system and a line counter. If the Okuma Magda Trolling is not available, you should consider the KastKing Rover Round because it is a reliable alternative for both its performance and quality.



Comparison table


The Good
The Bad



3 Best Salmon Fishing Reels (Reviews) in 2023


By operating with the most important characteristics that should be defining the salmon fishing reels, we made a selection of the top products that are now for sale. You can check the reels for yourself as they are showcased below.



1. Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Levelwind Trolling Reel


The Okuma Magda Pro has been built by using high-quality materials. The side plate rings are made of stainless steel, so it would withstand corrosion. The gear is made of machine-cut brass ensuring mechanical precision and it is equipped with a drag system that uses carbonate.

Fitted with a durable frame and a graphite spool, the reel makes use of adequate materials for a lightweight reel. Graphite and carbonate are not only strong but also light and resistant to deterioration caused by saltwater.  

The Okuma Magda Pro has stainless steel ball bearings and level wind. The level wind guiding system will put the line on the reel with accuracy and efficiency. Furthermore, a self-lubricating gear system has been introduced to keep the reel working with constant effectiveness.

The designers added a mechanical line counter with a rubber reset button. That turns the reel into a great choice for trolling but also good for gauging bait drop.  


The reel has quality materials (chosen for strength, low weight, and corrosion resistance) and it’s well built. The product has been tested for quality and reliability so you can spend your money on it confident that it won’t let you down.

It’s lightweight but powerful, providing fishermen with the needed advantage when they spend long hours on the water. Users agree that it compares to high-priced reels.

Retrieve and drag are working smooth, thanks to a well-assembled gear and a great drag system that uses carbonate as a building material.

The line counter provides you with accurate measurements in feet, enhancing the success of your trolling and catch control.


The button on the counter could get stuck if you use the reel frequently, fortunately, only a few customers complained about this possible malfunction. 

The drag star adjustment changes easily when you reel in big fish.

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2. KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel


The KastKing Rover Round is durable and quality made. It has 6+1 ball bearings in the smaller sizes and 4+1 in the 70-90 models. These shielded stainless steel bearings give it the smooth cast and retrieve any fisherman deserves.

The EVA handle on the reel is just right for reducing fatigue and the 70-90 reels have a T handle with non-slip grip for optimum handling.

It has a carbon fiber Star Drag System that can hold down up to 20 pounds with the help of a centrifugal braking system. Efficient maneuvering is possible due to the line out alarm.

To give it a better chance in the saltwater environment the manufacturer used a full metal body made of anodized aluminum.  The spool is also made of high-grade aluminum, which makes it lighter, stronger and corrosion protected.

The power and performance this gear provides are hard to find in the same range of trolling and round baitcasting reels.


The manufacturer made sure only top quality materials are used for the construction. The use of anodized aluminum, brass and stainless steel is meant to ensure strength and corrosion protection.

The shielded deep race ball bearings have been designed to make operation smooth and are doing a great job.

KastKing Rover Round solved the problem of reel play on the rod. When dealing with large fish the reel tends to change its position but thanks to the built-in rod clamps that is no longer a problem.

You have easy access to a large spool and the release mechanism works well.


It seems the reel is larger and somewhat heavier than some buyers expected, but that is normal considering the amount of metal that was required for a strong build.

Some fishermen find it noisy and not very well lubricated when it’s out of the box.

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3. Pflueger Arbor Spinning Reel


The Pflueger Arbor Spinning reel has been designed in such a way that it stays lightweight and provides sufficient strength. This was managed by using a hybrid body made of aluminum and shielded with a graphite cover. Other components also target the same result.

It uses an aluminum spool that underwent double anodization. Thus, it efficiently combines durability with superior corrosion resistance.

Tougher than other conventional reels, this model sports an aircraft grade aluminum handle. Its extreme durability makes it unbreakable even when you put it under huge stress.

The mechanism has a stainless steel 8 ball bearing system that ensures corrosion resistance as well as smooth operation.

It also has a sealed carbon drag and instant anti-reverse. Carbon is one of the favorite materials at the moment if you need a smooth drag. You’ll find both components capable of supporting a big fish fight at any moment.


It eliminates problems related to your fishing line. By using rubber ribs on the spool Pflueger has helped the line hold onto the spool much better. A rubber handle also reduces slippage when you’re operating.

The reel casts farther away compared to other conventional reels, thanks to the effective gear and bearings. The spool size is also important in this achievement.

It has a drag mechanism that works great and stays dry because it’s waterproof. A good drag on the reel is a must for any fisher.

The product is equipped with a bail arm that doesn’t set off by accident, it only clicks over when you retrieve.


It takes some getting used to, as casting could toss the line farther than expected. missing accuracy.

Someone noticed the handle could come off if you try to crank it in reverse. It’s probably wiser not to test that.  

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Buying Guide


After going through the best salmon fishing reel reviews we were able to identify some of their main characteristics. To help with your search, we made a short guide that clarifies for you some of the essential features.


It’s important to pick a reel that has the right material for the frame. The manufacturers use mainly graphite or aluminum for the construction.

When you’re fishing for salmon you are usually subjecting your gear to the corrosive force of saltwater. That’s why it is better to choose aluminum over graphite.

It’s also better to have an aluminum frame on your reel because it is stronger. When it’s machined from a strong alloy block, the strength of your gear increases.


Ball bearings

They determine how smooth your reel can operate. An increased number of ball bearings will offer better support to the moving parts inside the reel.

In other words, an increased number of ball bearings makes your reel work better and smoother.

When you choose the best fishing reel for salmon don’t forget to check the number and find out whether the ball bearings are shielded or not.


Gear ratio

This mathematical outcome is related to the number of ball bearings in the reel. They intermediate between the handle rotations and the spool winds. A 2:1 ratio means you’re going to rotate the handle once for two spool winds.

A lower ratio gives you more power, but less speed in reeling the line. You will need that cranking power to land the salmon.



You’ll need some control over the rod and fish, especially since salmon are a large species. So drag is an important piece of gear.

The rear drag helps you manage tension during a battle, but a front drag is what helps you more. It has a larger surface and an increased effectiveness so you’ll find it on the best spinning reel for salmon fishing.



The spool has to resist corrosion, so you’re going to choose graphite or aluminum once more. Graphite is lighter and cheaper, while aluminum is stronger. Anodizing also makes a difference, because it increases aluminum’s resistance to saltwater.

The best rod and reel for salmon fishing can only forge a successful combination if the two are perfectly matched. If you already have a rod, balance it with a reel that has proportional size and weight

Try to choose the item by paying attention to the saltwater and freshwater features. You’ll have to decide whether you need a spinning reel, baitcasting reel or a spin-casting reel.




1) Tips and Tricks for Salmon Fishing

2) Freshwater salmon fishing

3) Useful information about fishing reels

4) Spinning Reels: Key Components Of Reel Design



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