Finding a spin reel to suit your angling needs can seem like a daunting task for the simple fact that there are so many out there. Where once our reel market was dominated by big Japanese brands Shimano and Daiwa – which still produce excellent reels – we now have even more to choose from. The truth is, there are likely many reels out there that will suit your needs, but all these reels will have their own strengths and weaknesses.
For most people getting into sport fishing, a spin reel will be their first port of call. Generally, novice anglers won’t be starting their angling journey chucking big poppers at giant trevally or drone fishing off the beach, so something in the 1000-2500 size range and in the $100-300 price bracket is on the cards here. Estuary species such as bream, whiting and flathead or freshwater battlers like bass, sooty grunter and trout are common targets for entry level anglers; they’re also heavily targeted by seasoned piscators as well!
With this in mind, you’ll want to consider how deep you want to dive into fishing. If you’re just testing the water and want a cheap but sturdy lightweight spin reel for general light-tackle angling, there are a few great options available. The Rapala X-Spin Spin Reel, Okuma Alaris Spin Reel and Shimano Sienna Spin Reel all have ball bearings and if sprayed lightly with freshwater after saltwater use will last long enough to forge plenty of angling memories. All these reels are available for under $100, so if you decide angling isn’t for you, there’s no major damage to the hip pocket!
If you’ve decided that you’ll be angling fairly regularly and want something more versatile, tougher, more ergonomic and hard-wearing, there are a stack of fantastic options for under the $300 mark! Shimano’s Stradic FL Spinning Reel, ATC Virtuous Spin Reel and Alvey Orbitor are perfect for the more serious angler, and great for a range of light tackle applications.Whichever reel you choose, be sure to avoid submerging them completely in saltwater if possible, and always tighten the drag and spray with freshwater after use in saltwater. Loosening the drag right off when storing them (after they dry) in between trips goes a long way to preserving the reel as well. It’s not uncommon for reels to last 10 years or more if looked after correctly and serviced regularly, so in this way you can think of each reel purchase as an investment!
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