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Best Spinning Reel for Catfish

Last Updated: 24.04.24

Spinning reels for catfish – Buying Guide, Reviews, and Comparison


If you just want to find what the best catfish spinning reel is but you don’t have the time to do a proper research, the following paragraph should be able to help you find the best option. After considering the catfish spinning reel reviews that had the best customer ratings as well as the overall quality and reliability of each product, we have concluded that the Sougayilang 13+1 BB Light Weight Ultra is the one to bear in mind. Using the latest technology available, this is a super light and yet powerful device that provides the user with a smooth experience. Suitable for both saltwater and freshwater, this is a truly versatile product that can easily adjust to different conditions and activities. What’s more, this option features a fully adjustable cast control with an s-curve oscillation system. If the Sougayilang 13+1 BB Light Weight Ultra is unavailable, we recommend you consider the Fin-Nor Mega Lite as your second-best option.



Comparison table


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5 Best Spinning Reels for Catfish (Reviews) in 2024


We know that finding a good reel for catfish can be an intimidating task, especially once you consider the wide variety of alternatives available for sale. To help in this matter, we have compiled a list of the products that met our rigorous criteria for quality, affordability, and reliability.  



1. Sougayilang Spinning Fishing Reel Ultra Smooth 13+1


If a high-quality product is what you desire, the Sougayilang 13+1 BB Light Weight Ultra has you covered. By using the latest technology available in the industry, you get a reel that uses a wide variety of materials in order to achieve the lightest body that can still maintain the strength you are used with and that you require.

You also get a powerful tool that can help you fight even the most aggressive catfish without risking it escaping your grip. Reeling is also smoother than ever due to the ball bearing system that this option employs.

You will be able to use the Sougayilang 13+1 BB Light Weight Ultra for both saltwater and freshwater which means that you get a versatile product that can be used to catch a great variety of fish and that also allows you to expand your list of activities.

For better control, this item features the use of an adjustable cast control with an s-curve oscillation system that will allow for a good line winding. The handle is also easy to use, and due to the rubber casing, it is comfortable to the touch while also allowing for a good grip even when your hands are wet.


The reel is made of high-quality materials that are sturdy and lightweight at the same time, allowing you to enjoy the same flawless design for many years from now on.

It comes with a collapsible handle which makes it the perfect item for both lefties and right-handed people. The handle is also lightweight and offers a comfortable grip, meaning you won’t experience hand fatigue.

You can choose from four sizes and three colors, allowing you to enjoy the right style according to your own personality or needs.

The ultra-thin streamline body is suitable for a wide array of fishing types, including boat fishing, rock fishing, reservoir ponds, lakes, rivers or streams.


Although made with anti-corrosive materials, the reel is not designed for fishing in saltwater, according to some customers.

Other customers claimed the entire construction seems flimsy which doesn’t make it suitable for regular fishing.

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2. Fin Nor Mega Lite Spinning Reel


This affordable alternative has all the features you would expect to get from a quality reel but at a price that is impossible to beat. The Fin-Nor Mega-Lite has the advantage of having one of the most popular brands behind it, a brand that is known for their cutting-edge technology that allows for even their lower-end products to perform similarly to their premium ones.

The Fin-Nor Mega Lite features a new MegaLock infinite anti-reverse clutch to help your line stay secure, which can, in turn, make the difference between catching a fish and having it escape. The interchangeable right and left hand retrieve system makes it so that no matter if you’re left or right handed, you will always have the most comfortable grip.

The forged and machined Braid-Ready spool guarantees that your tool will be able to handle even the most aggressive fish. You not only get a body that is built to handle a lot of force but also one that is lighter than other alternatives at this price range. The use of various materials allows for the construction of a body that is built to last while also offering a comfortable and straightforward experience.


The greatest advantage of this budget-friendly reel is the infinite anti-reverse clutch. This allows the line to keep steady at all times, helping you focus on your fishing skills solely.

The product is lightweight and made of high-quality materials, reducing hand fatigue after long hours of fishing. It can be used on all types of weather without corroding.

Thanks to the interchangeable handle, the reel is the perfect choice for both right-handed and left-handed anglers.

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


If you’re not an avid angler, there are some other spinning reels for catfish that might be suitable for your budget.

Although most customers appreciated the sturdy and reliable construction, this reel is mainly intended for professional fishermen and women who don’t mind spending extra when it comes to quality.

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3. Okuma Avenger ABF Graphite Bait Feeder Reel


What makes the Okuma Avenger Baitfeeder stand out from other alternatives on the market is the use of their patented on and off auto trip bait feeding system. This feature allows anglers to dispense their spinning reel spool effortlessly so that the bait can run freely. Customers that have tested this features agree that it has saved them a lot of time and improved their performance.

The use of a quick-set anti-reverse allows you to engage the reel in one direction so that you get a rock-solid hooks sets. For a smoother operation of the reel, the Okuma Avenger Baitfeeder uses a multi-disc drag system that is Japanese oiled for a smooth yet firm performance.

The corrosion-resistant graphite body removes the one downside of graphite, allowing it to be used in saltwater. This means that you can now make use of the light yet durable material without worrying that you won’t be able to use it for saltwater fishing.

The rigid and die-cast aluminum handle design ensures that the one part of the devices that has to handle the greatest force is up to the task. This will not only guarantee that your purchase will last for longer, but due to the rubber casing of the handle knob, you will also have a firm and comfortable grip.


Made of top-quality and sturdy materials, this item is resistant to corrosion, which makes it a suitable choice for year-round use.

It comes with an included auto on/off bait feeding system that will ease your work and help you focus solely on your fishing skills.

The reel is available in no less than six different sizes, according to the size and the weight of the fish you want to catch. For fish up to 20 pounds, we suggest choosing the ABF 40 size.

The product comes with six stainless steel ball bearings to improve the overall balance.


Although most customers agreed on the performance of this reel, some others complained about the handle. It is made of plastic and aluminum, with the metallic part ending up destroying the plastic teeth.

If you usually fish in saltwater, we suggest looking for additional reels.

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4. KastKing Sharky II Fishing Reel Smooth Spinning Reel


The KastKing Sharky II is an alternative that is designed to be a strong yet light spinning reel that is more efficient and more fisherman-friendly for both beginners and professional anglers. With a new design that is both beautiful and potent, customers can get a fantastic product that has an improved body, rotor, spool, and gears that are both lighter and stronger which results in an amazing casting that is more durable than ever.

For the number of features you get, you would expect this option to be anything but affordable, but thankfully the KastKing Sharky II offers the best bang for the money. You get 10 + 1 corrosion resistant MaxiDur beatings that are butter smooth, and due to the corrosion resistant coating, they will also last you for a very long time.

The precision mesh brass gears and the stainless-steel shafts are strong and tough enough to help you battle even the bigger fish without risking damaging your product. You can use this option with up to 48.5 lbs of triple disc carbon fiber max drag capability that will help you catch your monster fish.

The KastKing Sharky II is also known for its versatility that makes it perfect for a wide array of uses, including but not limited to catfish, freshwater bass fishing, trout, salmon, pike, perch and much more.


The item is specifically designed for professional anglers, hence its power. It is made of high-quality materials and comes with an improved rotor, gears, spool, and body.

The bearings are corrosion-resistant, while the shaft is made of stainless steel, perfect for a touch of toughness, especially when you’re fighting against big fish.

It is lightweight and strong, ensuring spectacular casting and less hand fatigue. Therefore, you can use it on a regular basis for long periods of time.

This spinning reel is versatile, perfect for fishing a wide variety of fish, including trout, pike, catfish, salmon or bass. Moreover, it is a wonderful option for both saltwater and freshwater.


Although it works great in the beginning, the reel is not designed to last forever. After a few months of regular fishing, you might find out that the drag is not working, allowing the line to be easily pulled out.

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5. Yoshikawa Carp Fishing Reel Baitfeeder Sea Spinning Reel

The Yoshikawa Baitfeeder is the most affordable option on our list, but once you look at the number of features it can offer, it will be hard believing it to be true. As the name implies, the main feature of this alternative is the baitfeeder lever. When it is on, the rear drag plays and when it is off, by flicking the lever back, the front drag is engaged.

The rear drag is less powerful than the front drag, and it is ideal to be used when the fish is too finicky to fight, allowing you to let the fish pick the bait unaware and protect your gears from a heavy strike. This will help you be able to fight big fish more efficiently as well as protect your rod, line, and lures from damage. A feature that will save you money and time.

With a corrosion-resistant design that uses a stainless steel main shaft, assembly screws and nuts and key metal washers, your product will be safe from rust and any corrosion that saltwater and the tough weather could cause. As a plus, the right and left interchangeable handle is not only comfortable to use but also made out of rigid, die-cast aluminum.


Designed to meet the needs of medium-budget anglers, this reel is perfect for freshwater, making it a great addition when fishing in ponds, rivers or lakes.

It comes available in four sizes, so pick the one that best matches your fishing style and the size or weight of your prey.

The sturdy construction features a graphite side plate and an aluminum spool that ensure a longer casting distance.

The handles are very lightweight and comfortable, also being made of aluminum. They are perfect for both left-handed and right-handed anglers.


Although it can be used in saltwater to some extent, we do not recommend keeping it in saltwater for a long period of time, no matter how good you think you rinse it after each fishing game.

Some other customers complained about it not being sturdy enough, incapable of pulling in big fish. You might have to consider alternatives if you plan on going after the Loch Ness Monster.

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Buying guide


Finding the best spinning reel for catfish can be quite tough once you have your first taste of the huge variety of products the market has to offer. Finding the best option in this sea of choices requires some research and not everyone has that kind of time on their hands.

Thankfully, this is where our buying guide comes into the picture. We have gathered all the useful information from experts and customers alike so that we can pinpoint what are the features the best product should have. If you’re having troubles deciding on what features you should focus on, a quick look at our guide should be of great help.


Choose quality

Before you consider the features of any product, you need to make sure that what you buy is made of only the best materials available and that the manufacturer has made no compromise in terms of quality. Even when buying cheaper products, a lower price should not be an excuse for bad quality.

In order to make sure that you only get the best of the best, there are a few steps you can take. First, purchasing products from a reputable brand is the easiest step that you can take to ensure the quality of your product. There’s a reason why these brands are so well known and they can guarantee in the unlikely event that your product breaks that fixing it and finding spare parts for it won’t be difficult.

Another way of making sure that the tool you choose has what it takes to not only last you a long time but also to face the tasks you put ahead of it successfully is by reading what types of material that particular reel is made out of. To make their product as light as possible, most manufacturers use a mix of materials.

If you want your tool to be reliable, light and yet durable, going for an aluminum body is the best choice that you can make. Graphite is another great choice that can save you some money as it is cheaper than aluminum and can offer a similar experience, seeing as graphite is very lightweight while also maintaining good durability.

If you want a reel that can be used for saltwater fishing we recommend you avoid alternatives that are made from magnesium. While this is a fairly common material in the industry, it can corrode easily and deteriorate when used in saltwater.


Line capacity

Line capacity is an important thing to consider when fishing any kind of fish but even more so for catfish and especially for drift fishing and when targeting deep water fish. As such, since you will have to use heavier fishing line than commonly used for freshwater fishing you will also need a larger line capacity.

A larger line takes up more space and will fill your reel in no time which without an adequate line capacity can make using some catfishing techniques harder. You can be sure that depending on where you plan to fish you will need to employ different techniques and for them to work properly, you will need a reel that is large enough to handle fishing lines with a larger diameter.

When fishing in deeper water or making long casts in deep or shallow flats, or even drifting for catfish, you will need quite a lot of fishing line to get your bait to the right location. Thus, when choosing a product, you should make sure that it has the line capacity that you require.


A good drag system is of the essence

Catfish can exert a significant force on your rod and reel and in order to make sure that that force is not going to break your line or reel, you need a good drag system. When you start reeling your line in, drag starts affecting it. It can allow the fish to pull on the line freely, which can, in turn, allow you to catch it.

A good drag system can enable you to catch an 80 or even 100 pounds catch on test line that has a capacity of as little as 20 pounds. It is also what can help tire the fish out so that you can reel it in more easily. Without a drag system, the line will most likely snap right away, letting the fish escape with your bait and other precious equipment.

For a catfish reel to be complete and ready to land you that big fish, a quality drag system is a crucial feature that you must not overlook.



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