After an article on top-rated reels under $100, I just realized that we should mention some of the best spinning reels under $50. Our main goal is to serve and presents anglers with all the best options within their budget without major quality compromise.
Spinning setup is relatively cheaper than baitcasting setup. So it was easy to find the best options in spinning reels under $50 as compared to bait casters. Although you might be missing some high-end features of expensive reels, surely the below-mentioned reels wouldn’t disappoint you with a missed catch.
Following is the list of the best spinning reels under $50 along with a buying guide shared to highlight some factors that should be considered before buying any cheap or expensive fishing reel.
Top 3 Picks for the Best Spinning Reels Under $50
- Available in 500 to 4000 sizes
- 5.0:1, 5.2:1, and 6.2:1 Gear Ratio
- 4 to 19 lb. Max drag power
- Propulsion Line Management system
- Graphite reel body
- 4+1 shielded Stainless Steel
- 2500 to 8000 reel size
- 6.2:1 Gear Ratio
- Aluminum 5+1 ball bearing
- 500 to 4000 reel Sizes
- 14 lb. Max Drag Power
- 5.2:1 and 5.8:1 Gear Ratio
List of Best budget spinning reels Reviewed in Detail
Isn’t that amazing that a Shimano spinning reel is available at a cheaper rate i.e. under $50? Shimano reels are mostly durable and decently perform, fight against aggressive fish smoothly, and bear wear and tear.
Shimano Sienna is a well-reputed fishing reel and one of the best options for trout fishing. It is versatile too being available in 6 different sizes i.e. 500 to 4000 and gear ratio options i.e. 5.0:1, 5.2:1, and 6.2:1. It beats many expensive reels with its performance.
Its standout feature is that it is suitable for both fresh and saltwater fishing conditions. Just rinse it and give it a freshwater wash and all set. No regular disassembling of its parts for oiling is required, so it is a suitable option for shore and inshore fishing, especially the beginners.
Its propulsion line management system also plays its part in the reel’s smooth operation and casting ability. Overall, as an avid angler, I have used this reel on several occasions, and it has exceeded my expectations every time.
- It is made from high-quality materials that are resistant to wear and tear
- Suitable for a wide range of fishing techniques and environments
- Responsive Drag System
- Ambidextrous Handle
- Can easily throw lures at a longer distance
- The line can occasionally get tangled or twisted, mostly faced by beginners. But it is a relatively minor issue that can be mitigated with proper line management techniques
- Heavier than other brand spinning reels
PENN pursuit III Nearshore is an excellent choice for anglers who want a versatile spinning reel that can handle a variety of fishing styles especially boating and surf fishing.
It is also available in multiple sizes. However, its bigger sizes are slightly higher in price than $50. You can stick to 2500 to 4000 sizes, they all are within budget.
Its standout feature is its smooth drag system that performs more than the expectations from low-budget reels and finely works under heavy loads. This powerful drag system of size 4000 can handle up to 15 pounds of weight. Suitable for medium-sized fresh and saltwater catches.
It’s a fast-moving reel with a 5.3:1 to 6.2:1 gear ratio making it ideal for fast-moving fish catches.
Additionally, the body is graphite, no plastic covering is added and the 5 ball bearings are shielded and of stainless steel material providing a smooth and efficient operation in saltwater fishing conditions too.
- Have higher max drag ratings
- Smooth drag
- Shielded Ball bearings
- Braid-ready spool, no backing required
- Fast Line retrievals
- No ideally lightweight weighs more than 8 oz.
- Needs regular oiling and freshwater washing, after saltwater exposure otherwise the internal components might get corroded with time
The bass anglers and other avid fishermen searching for a reliable and smooth fishing reel for finesse fishing techniques, Abu Garcia Silver Max is the best option having similar features to PENN pursuit but relatively at cheaper rates.
The standout feature is its lightweight structure. You can easily spend hours of fishing in the water without any arm fatigue. It has a graphite body and aluminum spool that offers a perfect balance between power and weight.
It’s a recommended reel for freshwater fishing conditions due to its aluminum ball bearings and aluminum spool which aren’t fully corrosion-resistant. Although the ball bearings are smooth and durable but not fully shielded.
It has a gear ratio of 5.2:1 and 5.8:1, making it ideal for slow retrieves. It allows you to set the reel to free-spool, giving the fish time to take the bait before setting the hook. The drag system can handle up to 14 pounds of weight, making it suitable for catching larger fish.
It is ideally the best spinning reel for freshwater but not designed for saltwater surf fishing conditions.
- Lightweight reel
- Best for finesse bass techniques
- Smooth drag
- It’s rocket line management system reduces line tangles and allows proper line laying on retrievals
- The best option for beginners
- Not suitable for saltwater
- The reel components aren’t fully resistant to corrosion
KastKing Summer and Centron are two spinning reel models of the same series. These two reels are one of the best ultra-light reel options available for pan fish.
These reels win the ball bearings race with 9+1 ball bearings, the highest count in this list ensuring a smooth and effortless operation.
Additionally, the KastKing Summer Spinning Reel features a powerful drag system that can handle up to 17.5 pounds of weight, allowing you to catch larger fish without snapping the line.
With a spool size of 5/6, it can hold up to 200 yards of braided fishing line. Overall, the KastKing Summer Spinning Reel is an excellent choice for anglers looking for a reliable and affordable spinning reel.
So whether is a pan fishing setup or for bigger catches, is the best affordable spinning reel. It is a tested reel for crappie, Walleye, trout, and bass.
The minor downside we found is its low gear ratio i.e. 5.2:1, which makes it relatively slower to retrieve line as compared to other higher gear ratio reels and not as durable as some higher-end spinning reels are against saltwater wear and tear but for their price point, they are an excellent investment.
- Lightweight spinning reel
- High drag ratings
- Greater no of ball bearings
- Smooth operating reel
- Its 500 size is best for ice fishing
- No extra spool added
- Slow line retrieving speed
- Not suitable for saltwater
Mitchell 300 is a game-changer just at this price range. It comprises many innovative features. Use it for a variety of fish species as 180 yards of spool capacity will be enough for landing 14 pounds of fish.
Its performance also boosts up with its multi-disk drag system that allows for smooth and consistent drag pressure, ensuring that even the largest fish can be reeled in without any hiccups. The advanced polymeric body is extremely strong, yet lightweight, making it perfect for long days on the water.
An important feature that makes it superior to other low-budget reels is it is surprisingly quiet, making it perfect for sneaking up on even the most skittish fish.
Its 8+1 ball bearings design ensures its smoothness. Moreover, for those anglers who are tired of dealing with frustrating line issues, Mitchell’s 300 spool and bail design ensures that the line is wrapped around the spool securely, preventing any snags or tangles.
Overall, it’s an easy-to-use reel with a responsive design. The only room for improvement is its handle which often needs to be tightened.
- Lightweight reel
- Quick Drying spool design
- Reduced line tangles and twists
- Smooth drag system
- The handle looses
- Size limitation
- Featuring aluminum bearings and handle the reel components requires regular lubrication to prevent corrosion
Presenting you the last and all-rounder option for both beginners and professional anglers. Okuma Ceymar is sure to perform in any fishing condition. It’s a top-notch performer that wouldn’t break the bank.
Despite its low price, the Okuma Ceymar boasts a number of features that make it stand out from the competition. Its 8-bearing system ensures smooth and efficient performance, allowing for effortless reeling.
Moreover, its cyclonic flow rotor design reduces water intrusion, preventing damage to the reel and prolonging its lifespan. The mesh design on the reel also leads to quick drying.
Spend quality time fishing without any arm fatigue as at just over 8 ounces, this reel is lightweight and easy to handle, making it perfect for long days on the water.
One of the things I love most about the Okuma Ceymar is its versatility. It’s suitable for a wide range of fishing styles, from freshwater to saltwater, making it a great option for anglers who like to switch things up.
Proving its versatility it is available in 6 different sizes and a size description is also mentioned with other specifications. Just follow the guide, pick the right size reel, and be ready to rock on the water.
Due to its slow gear ratio i.e. 5.0:1 and 4.5:1 most anglers use it for medium to bigger saltwater catches. As slow-spinning reels do not retrieve lures before the fish properly engulfs them.
- Corrosion resistant reel
- The smooth and powerful full drag system
- More ball bearings count
- Lightweight reel structure
- Suitable for both fresh and saltwater fishing
- Low Gear Ratio
How to choose the best budget spinning reels
It is important to learn about different reel features before you make a purchase. The basic terms are same whether it’s a reel of 10$ or 100$.
In order to pick the best spinning reel under $50, it’s essential to understand what features to look for in a spinning reel. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a spinning reel:
The gear ratio is the number of times the bail rotates around the spool for each turn of the handle. A higher gear ratio means faster retrieval rates, making it easier to catch fast-moving fish.
The spinning reels below a 5.1 gear ratio are considered slow retrieving reels. Reels with slow retrieval rates are best suited for bigger catches whereas fast ones are recommended for smaller ones.
The drag system controls the amount of resistance applied to the fishing line. A good drag system is essential for landing bigger fish without snapping the line.
Drag pressure can be easily adjusted by front or rear drag adjustments on the spinning reels. It’s up to your personal preference what type of you use.
Ball bearings provide a smooth and effortless operation of the spinning reel. The more ball bearings a spinning reel has, the smoother its operation will be. The least good numbers are 4 ball bearings in a reel.
The spool size determines how much fishing line can be loaded onto the reel. A larger spool size is better for catching larger fish that require more line.
The spinning reels greater than 4000 sizes normally has larger spool with more line capacity. Below this range is rated as ultra-light fishing gear set up best for trout and other pan fish.
The construction material of fishing reels impacts how durable a reel is and at what rate it can handle wear and tear against rough fishing conditions.
The spinning reels can be of graphite, Aluminum, or an enhanced form of graphite i.e. Carbon fiber.
Graphite reels are lightweight and importantly resistant to corrosion. A reliable option for saltwater fishing whereas the aluminum reels are more durable than graphite but not fully corrosion resistant.
Although they perform well under heavy loads and perfect option for bigger-sized catches. All you have to do is regular oiling and maintenance.
The carbon fiber rods perform well in almost all fishing conditions. It is relatively expensive than the other two materials and often used in high-end reels.
At last your preference and style of fishing matter before you buy any fishing reel.
Frequently asked questions
Final Wrap on the best spinning reels under $50
As a novice angler, it is the best approach to start with cheap, low-budget spinning reels. These spinning reels also serve as good backup reels after the pricy giants.
At last, we didn’t expand this list of best spinning reels under $50, as more options create confusion. These are all the top recommendations, maintaining the perfect balance of budget and performance.