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Best Spinning Reel under $50

Last Updated: 23.09.23

Affordable spinning reels – Buying Guide, Reviews, and Comparison


If you are interested in getting the best spinning reel under $50, but right now you don’t have a lot of time at your disposal, reading this paragraph will help you a great deal. Our research team focused on finding the product that really deserves your hard earned dollar, by analyzing sales figures, social media reactions, and reviews from buyers. This product is the SHIMANO FX, a model that has garnered a lot of positive feedback from customers so far. The lightweight construction is one of the most significant advantages offered by this spinning reel. A unique balancing system called Dyna-Balance is used to eliminate wobble and provide you with a solid experience. This spinning reel is a good option for both saltwater and freshwater fishing. Is the SHIMANO FX no longer available? Then you should pick the Rose Kuli 12+1, instead, as it offers almost the same reliable performance.



Comparison table


The Good
The Bad



5 Best Spinning Reels under $50 (Reviews) in 2023


With so many spinning reels for sale, you may find it difficult to pick the right one. That is why we want to come to the rescue by offering you a short selection of models that will make your choice easier.



1. Shimano FX1000FB Spinning Reel


The SHIMANO FX is one of those spinning reels celebrated by many buyers as being everything you would like to have in a spinning reel with superior performance, but without paying a premium price. It is easy to say that more expensive items are the ideal option, but many people shop on a budget, and this company comes to the rescue by offering a reliable model at a decent price.

The frame, the side plate, and the rotor are all made from graphite, a lightweight material that will help maintain the burden of your fishing tackle to a minimum. If you like spending your days casting your line, such aspects matter.

The spool is made of die-cast aluminum so that it does not add unnecessary weight to the construction. You may be surprised to learn that the SHIMANO FX comes equipped with a few significant technologies designed by the manufacturer.

The Varispeed feature helps with long casts, and you will be accurate each time. The Dyna-Balance is another feature worth mentioning; this eliminates wobble and noise, and you can use your fishing gear without letting the fish suspect anything. The model is created to adapt to both saltwater spinning and freshwater fishing conditions.


The product is made of graphite to ensure a lightweight and easy-to-handle design that won’t cause hand fatigue.

Thanks to the Dyna-Balance feature, your item will remain as silent as possible and won’t wobble in your hand. This will help you focus more on your fishing talents rather than trying to keep the fishing reel steady.

If you pair it with a same-brand fishing rod, this fishing reel will become your number one ally during your fishing game.

The maximum drag is at 4.5 pounds, more than enough to help you catch small and medium-sized fish.


This product can expose you to a series of chemicals that are considered dangerous in certain states. We suggest you wear protective gear whenever handling this reel to avoid getting in contact with the chemicals.

The fishing reel doesn’t come with an instant anti-reverse feature.

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2. Rose Kuli Stainless Steel Ball Bearings Fishing Reel


The superior versatility of this cheap spinning reel is among the things that recommend it most. The Rose Kuli 12+1 can be used when you go saltwater spinning fishing, but it works just as well for freshwater fishing. You can take this reel when you go boat fishing, rock fishing, beach fishing, or on any body of water you can think of, such as rivers, lakes, and artificial ponds.

The configuration of the reel is interchangeable, which means that you can use it if you are left-handed or right-handed without a glitch. For a model this cheap, you may be surprised to learn that it comes with a 12+1 bearing system. Even more, the ball bearings are made from stainless steel, something that you usually see in more expensive models.

The drive gear is dependable, and you can count on this reel when catching larger fish. The gear ratio is 5.2:1, which provides you with a medium action reel ideal for many different situations.

The spool is made from machined aluminum, and it is reliable and robust. The foldable handle is a nice touch, as many people prefer a compact model. All the components are resistant to corrosion, offering you a dependable product you can use for years.


The item is specifically designed to meet the needs of all fishermen and fisherwomen, regardless of their choice of water – oceans, lakes, reservoir ponds or rivers. Therefore, it can be used both in saltwater and freshwater.

It comes with an S-curve oscillation system, suitable for good line winding.

It is versatile, lightweight, and easy to use by anglers. The reel is perfectly balanced for both hands, so you can use it whether you’re a leftie or a right-handed person.

This product benefits from the instant anti-reverse technology and a power drive gear that is equipped for high strength.


Although most of the customers agreed on the high quality of this item, some stated that the construction might be rather flimsy. The reel handle screw cap can fall off so pay attention when you are using this fishing accessory.

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3. Shakespeare Crusader Spinning Reel


Another good cheap spinning reel is the Shakespeare Crusader. It would have been a terrible overlook not to include a model from this company, as they are renowned for their decently priced products that also provide excellent performance.

The aluminum spool is cold forged for extra durability, and you will be pleased with the choice of materials, as well as their resistance to corrosion and other types of damage. There are a few things you definitely need in a spinning reel, and one of them is a smooth drag system. This will help you with controlling the line better.

The Shakespeare Crusader comes equipped with multiple discs that will ensure a smooth operation, something that will enhance your fishing experience. The handle can be used by left-handed anglers, as well as right-handed anglers as it comes with a convertible handle.

The anti-reverse system comes with a switch so you can activate it only when you consider it a good idea. The 5.5:1 gear ratio makes this model a reliable option for anyone who is looking for a medium action configuration. The reel works with monofilament line. The accepted line weights are 4/190, 6/140 and 8/100, giving you plenty of choices.


The item is sturdy and reliable, being made of high-quality materials.

It won’t rust or corrode (it’s corrosion resistant), so you can count on it for many years from now on.

The product features a convertible handle, making it the perfect option for both right-handed people and lefties. Therefore, rest assured you will be able to show off your angler skills.

The anti-reverse switch ensures more sturdiness and will help you easily handle this reel.


Although durable and made of high-quality plastic, the reel may not be a good option for professional anglers who are looking for the big catch. It is rather designed for catching small and medium-sized fish, up to 10 pounds.

Some customers claimed that the brake doesn’t fully function as it won’t stop from spinning even if you have the wire down. Therefore, we suggest you practice with this reel before taking it to your next fishing trip.

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4. Daiwa Crossfire Spinning Reel


If you are looking to get good value for your money, the Daiwa Crossfire is the option you may want to jot down in your book. This model may not come equipped with a lot of bells and whistles, but it definitely offers more than you would expect for a model in its price range. Let’s start by talking a little about the bearing system.

The Daiwa Crossfire comes with a 3+1 configuration, and the ball bearings are made from stainless steel, the type of material you would expect in a much more expensive product. It is well known that a few high-quality ball bearings are more important to have than a larger amount that is made from inferior quality materials.

The Digigear feature provides the user with more speed, strength, and sturdiness. The spool is made from ABS aluminum, and it is designed in such a manner that creates a smooth release of the line. These simple aspects can take you a long way and offer you excellent performance for the price.

The handle can fold, taking up little space in the trunk of your car. The Twist Buster feature is nice to have, as it reduces line twist. The maximum drag is 4.4, while the gear ratio of 5.3:1 makes it ideal for fishers starting to get the hang of this sport.


This reel is made of high-quality materials, allowing you to enjoy a sturdy and reliable product that will accompany you in many of your future fishing trips. The spool is made of ABS and aluminum, eliminating the risk of corrosion.

It is available in two different sizes, depending on the type and weight of the fish you want to catch.

The reel provides great action for both saltwater and freshwater, meaning you can enjoy fishing in the sea, in the ocean, in lakes, rivers or ponds.

It comes with an anti-reverse function, allowing you to handle your fishing gear easily, and learning new tricks as well. Therefore, this reel is excellent for both beginners and advanced anglers.


Unfortunately, the Japanese products from Daiwa are only available in limited locations in the United States, so finding the perfect reel for you could prove a struggle. If you come across this item in stock, we suggest you purchase it as soon as possible.

It weighs approximately 10.6 ounces, so it’s not the most lightweight reel on the market.

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5. Quantum Fishing Optix Spin Fishing Reel


There are two major things you need in a spinning reel, and those are excellent performance and good balance. The Quantum Fishing Optix offers both and helps you catch more fish than you would have thought possible when using a spinning reel that costs so little.

The superior performance is assured by the bearing system with three ball bearings that are responsible for keeping your line aligned when casting. In the end, all you need is decent accuracy, and this particular model can help you achieve it.

The spool is made from anodized aluminum and keeps the total weight of the reel to a minimum. Plus, it does not corrode, and that helps with its outstanding durability. The bail wire is made from stainless steel, another material resistant to corrosion and rust (what with it being corrosion-resistant). The overall weight of the configuration is maintained low, for smooth operation.

The 4/190 fishing line capacity makes the spinning reel versatile enough for various fishing experiences. The 5.2:1 gear ratio contributes to its versatility and makes this model more coveted than many others on the market. The mix of value and performance offered by the Quantum Fishing Optix qualifies it for a place on this shortlist.


This item is made of high-quality materials and comes with a lightweight body, making it the perfect choice for beginner anglers or youngsters.

It features a stainless steel bail wire which is not only resistant but won’t corrode either, allowing you to show off your fisherperson skills for many years from now on.

You can use a wide variety of lines with this reel, including braided ones.

It is great for both freshwater and saltwater, giving you the possibility to fish in the ocean, seas, rivers, ponds or lakes.


Some customers claimed the overall construction of this reel seemed a bit flimsy. The handle has a long throw, and it felt bulky when casting.

This is an affordable option for fishermen and fisherwomen who don’t want to spend a fortune on their next fishing trip. However, the reel itself won’t work wonders on fish bigger than 20 pounds.

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Buying guide


When talking about the best spinning reels, you may expect to pay a lot of money for one that can offer superior performance. But the truth is you don’t have to break the bank only to get a spinning reel that is bound to enhance your experience and success. In this buying guide, we will help you identify the best budget spinning reel, based on a few important aspects.

Feel the fish with a lightweight configuration

You may be surprised to learn that there are the best spinning reels on the market that do not sell for prohibitive prices, yet they still manage to use only top-notch materials. It is true that the resistance and durability of the best spinning reel matters, but you need to look a bit further than that.

You will do well with a lightweight configuration, so the choice of materials should not be based on durability alone. A model that comes with a graphite body is an excellent option because it offers both advantages in the same package. Search for models with aluminum spools, because, again, these provide the benefit of durability, without making the spinning reel too heavy.

There are other advantages to a lightweight configuration. In anglers’ terms, a lightweight reel will let you feel the fish. That is not something easy to achieve, and mainly if you are a beginner and you are just starting to get the hang of things, you will want any benefit you can have. A lightweight spinning reel is an excellent option for you.


Versatility matters

Seeing that you are shopping on a budget (like for a reel under 50 dollars), that means that you are looking for gear that can be used in many different situations. There are a few aspects that come into play here. For starters, a convertible handle for both left-handed and right-handed users can be a good option, if you embark on a fishing trip with your family, and not everyone uses the fishing tackle with the same hand.

Another thing that counts for the versatility of the best spinning reel is whether it is an alternative for both saltwater and freshwater fishing. Specific challenges are associated with these fishing styles, and purchasing a model that behaves just as well in saltwater spinning and in freshwater conditions will save you some money.

A collapsible handle is convenient because it limits how much space the reel will take up. Also, it reduces the possibility to damage the spinning reel.


What kind of maximum drag limit should you work with?

Many of the spinning reel reviews you can read online can tell you about the possibilities offered by a drag system that is dependable and precisely what you seek. That being said, let’s see what maximum drag limit you should agree on, even if you aim to get a model that is cheaper than others on the market.

For instance, if you plan to fish using a 15-pound line, your maximum drag limit should be 5 pounds. It is all about striking a balance and finding what sort of drag system will work for your configuration. The fish you intend to catch plays a role, too. Depending on how large the specimens you will catch will likely be, your choice of fishing line and reel can vary.

The main role of the drag system is to help you play the fish so that it tires quickly during the struggle. You should be the one who doesn’t get tired here, which is why we strongly suggest getting a spinning reel that can help you gain the extra edge during these fights.

The retrieve system should be fast and smooth, too. That is the only way for you to ensure a superior fishing experience that you will want to talk about once you get back home.


Ball bearings and material quality

This cannot be stressed enough. The number of ball bearings is not as significant as you may think. If you compare two models that have the same amount of bearings, but the quality of materials differs, then you should go for the one with the better quality.

Even more, some anglers go as far as to say that you would do better with a bearing system with fewer bearings, but of better quality, than with one that has multiple bearings, but of inferior quality. That being said, a trait you may notice in cheaper models made by renowned manufacturers, is that they come with fewer bearings.

However, they are usually made of stainless steel, the recommended material for these components, and that compensates for the lack of numbers.



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