Although baitcasting reels dominate tournaments, many anglers know that spinning reels can be just as effective at largemouth fishing.

If you don’t like baitcasting reels or are looking for a single-rod solution for all your fishing, a spinning reel is the right choice.

We are here to help. Below, you will find a detailed buying guide and reviews of some of our favorite spinning bass reels:

A quick glance at the top spinning reels for bass.

  • Cadence CS8– The Best Spinning Reel For Bass Money
  • Penn Battle II– The Most Powerful and Durable Spinner for Bass
  • Shimano Stradic Ci4+– The Best Premium-Price Spinning Reel For Bass
  • Okuma Ceymar– The Best Budget Spinning Reel For Bass
  • Pflueger President

Reviewed: Best spinning reels for bass

Cadence CS8– The Best Spinning Reel For Bass Money

CS8 Spinning Reel,Cadence Ultralight Fast Speed Premium Magnesium Frame Fishing Reel with 10 Low Torque Bearings Super Smooth Powerful Fishing Reel with 36 LBs Max Drag & 6.2:1 Spinning ReelCS8-2000

Drag:16 lbs. Maximum 16 lbs
Ratio of gears: 6.2:1 (32″ per turn)
Line capacity:160/6
Bearings 9 + 1 roller bearing
Weight: 7.3 oz.


Drag:19 lb. Maximum weight
Ratio of gears: 6.2:1 (35″ per turn)
Line capacity:150/10
Bearings 9 + 1 roller bearing
Weight: 7.4 oz.


Drag:Maximum weight: 20 lbs. Maximum weight: 20 lbs
Ratio of gears: 6.2:1 (38″ per turn)
Line capacity:220/10
Bearings 9 + 1 roller bearing
Weight: 8.5 oz.

You’re likely to know that Cadence reels have impressed me over the years. The CS-8 is a perfect example of why.

The CS-8 series is light, strong, smooth, durable and lightweight. It’s comparable to more well-known brands like Shimano.

I recommend the 2000, 3000 and 4000 sizes of reels for bass fishing. Each size should be paired with a suitable rod. Each option has the same 6.2:1 gear ratio. However, as you increase in size, your retrieve per turn increases from 32 inches to 35 inches to finally 38 inches. This is a great speed for largemouth fighting and a good pace for all techniques.

The CS-8 range, which is the largest spool, offers a reasonable length of line and a good size for its weight.

Cadence uses a carbon-fiber drag system. I find the CS-8 series to be a joy to fish. You won’t need a drag setting between 19 and 20 pounds, even if your line is 60-pound braid. But you can be sure that you have enough power for heavy-weight lines. The drag system is smooth and silent, with no skips, stops or hesitations even at low settings.

Aluminum is used to make the main shaft and pinion gear. While not as strong as Shimao’s Hagane, they are still very smooth and provide confidence-inspiring torque.

Casting is also great with no complaints from bail after a long and hard season on the water.

This durable, lightweight reel is difficult to beat.


  • High quality construction throughout
  • Strong aluminum gearing
  • Excellent drag system
  • Great durability
  • Casting is really beautiful


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Penn Battle IIThe most powerful and durable spinning reel for bass

PENN 1338219 Battle II 4000 Spinning Fishing ReelBTLII2000

Drag:Maximum weight: 10 lb Maximum weight: 10 lbs

Ratio of gears: 6.2:1 (30″ per turn)

Line capacity:240/4, 180/6 and 125/8

Bearings 5 + 1 roller bearing

Weight: 9.8 oz.


Drag:Maximum weight 12 lbs. Maximum 12 lbs

Ratio of gears: 6.2:1 (33″ per turn)

Line capacity:255/6, 175/8 and 140/10

Bearings 5 + 1 roller bearing

Weight: 10.3 oz.


Drag:Maximum 15 lbs. Maximum 15 lbs

Ratio of gears: 6.2:1 (35″ per turn)

Line capacity:200/8, 165/10 and 120/12

Bearings 5 + 1 roller bearing

Weight: 12.3 oz.

Saltwater anglers are likely to be familiar with Penn’s iconic Battle II series reels. They are less well-known than the world of bass fishing but they are worth a close look.

Penn makes reels that can withstand bomb damage. The Battle II series is made for surfcasting. These reels can withstand anything Mother Nature throws at them, from salt spray to wind-blown sand, and I’m sure they will outlast it all.

The 2000, 2500 and 3000 bass reels are excellent. They offer outstanding drag performance and big spools. The 3000 can turn the strongest, most powerful bass back to your boat with its tough gears.

This series has a lot to offer. Large spools are large with high capacities and spools that have been pre-marked make it easy to track your remaining lines.

Sealed bearings are also available on the Battle II, which is a nice feature that ensures long-term durability.

This reel features a carbon fiber drag system that delivers incredible performance. The drag is designed for real-world applications such as reds, stripers and amberjack. You can trust it to handle even the largest bass. The 2000 is no exception. At 10 pounds, the drag has enough power to handle a 30-pound test, if not, it will.

The Battle II’s biggest flaw is its weight. These reels don’t look trim and are a little heavier than other competitors for their size.

If you have ever had your reel stop working or rust up, or just lost the ability to fish big fish, then you will understand why so many anglers choose the Battle II.


  • Amazing build quality throughout
  • Strong, real-world proven gearing
  • High capacity and a marked spool that will help you keep track your line
  • Great drag system
  • Unrivaled durability
  • Casting is really beautiful


  • A little heavy

Shimano Stradic Ci4+ The Best Premium-Price Spinning Reel For Bass

SHIMANO Stradic CI4 2500FB HG Freshwater Spinning Reel2500FB

Drag:Maximum weight: 18 lbs. Maximum weight

Ratio of gears: 5:1

Line capacity:200/6, 140/8 and 120/10

Bearings 6 + 1 roller bearing

Weight: 6.7 oz.


Drag:Maximum weight: 18 lb. Maximum weight

Ratio of gears: 5:1

Line capacity:230/6, 170/8 and 140/10

Bearings 6 + 1 roller bearing

Weight: 6.7 oz.


Drag:22 lbs. Maximum weight

Ratio of gears6.2:1

Line capacity:240/6, 200/8 and 160/10

Bearings 6 + 1 roller bearing

Weight: 8.11 oz.

Shimano is synonymous with quality.

The Stradic Ci4+ Series is a great spinning option for bass and one of the most expensive reels you can buy. However, don’t expect this excellence to be cheap. This reel is also our most expensive!

The Stradic is slimmer and more lightweight thanks to space-age technology and materials.

Each model comes equipped with a Hagane system that drives a 5 to 1 gear ratio. You’ll be amazed at how smooth the 2500 glides on a glass table. The 2500 still has enough torque to pull big bass from deep cover or turn them on the motor.

The Stradic’s drag system is as smooth as it gets, providing more power than you will ever need. They function flawlessly.

The spools are small so capacity is not great. The Stradic has one problem. These reels are lighter in weight and have slower retrieval speeds. Although they pull like a V-8, these reels can’t hold the line nor offer the speed of larger competitors.


  • Incomparable build quality in all areas
  • Hagane gearing is strong and probably the best available on the market
  • The best market drag
  • Casting is really beautiful
  • Super lightweight


  • Small spools are used to reduce weight and retrieve data quickly.
  • It’s expensive!

Okuma CeymarBest Budget Spinning Reel For Bass

okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel- C-30C-30

Drag: Maximum weight 13 lbs Maximum 13 lbs

Ratio of gears: 5:1 (25″ per turn)

Line capacity:200/6, 160/8 and 110/10

Bearings 6 + 1 roller bearing

Weight: 8.2 oz.


Drag: Maximum weight 13 lbs Maximum 13 lbs

Ratio of gears: 5:1 (29″ per turn)

Line capacity:270/8, 190/10, 170/12

Bearings 7 + 1 roller bearing

Weight: 10 oz.

Okuma’s Ceymar Series are a good value for money, comparable to better-known brands such as Cadence or Pflueger. I have one and it is amazing!

The C-30 and C-40 offer remarkable strength, durability and smoothness, making them very difficult to beat.

These reels have strong felt drag systems which, while not as powerful as carbon fiber, are still very affordable. They have been flawless, I have had no problems with them, and they work well at higher settings.

You won’t feel overwhelmed by big fish with 13-pound drag settings.

The spool size is acceptable, but it should be reduced. However, retrieval and capacity suffer, but that is to be expected if you don’t have space-age materials or high prices.

Durability is also a great trait.

This is a case where a product can be more than its parts. Although each component is likely inferior to other reels on the list, the total performance of the reel is surprisingly impressive, surpassing Shimanos which cost twice as much (but not Stradic!). The drag is simple and reliable, the spool casts accurately, and the gearing works well on large, heavy fish.

The Ceymar series is an excellent budget option if you are looking for something simple.


  • Beautiful build quality
  • Strong gearing goes beyond its price point
  • Good drag
  • Beautiful casting
  • Performs as a more expensive reel


  • Small spools are used to reduce weight and retrieve data quickly.

Pflueger President

Pflueger PRESSP30X President Spinning Fishing ReelPRESSP30X

Drag:Maximum weight: 10 lbs. Maximum weight: 10 lbs

Ratio of gears: 5.2:1 (25.3″ per turn)

Line capacity:255/4, 130/8, 145/6, 130/8

Bearings 9 + 1 roller bearing

Weight: 8.8 oz.


Drag:Maximum weight 12 lbs. Maximum 12 lbs

Ratio of gears: 5.2:1 (28.1″ per turn)

Line capacity:230/6, 185-8, 155/10

Bearings 9 + 1 roller bearing

Weight: 10.7 oz.


Drag:Maximum weight 12 lb Maximum 12 lbs

Ratio of gears: 5.2:1 (31.6″ per turn)

Line capacity:285/8. 230/10. 195/12

Bearings 9 + 1 roller bearing

Weight: 11.5 oz.

Pfluger’s President series is loved by as many people as peanut butter. It’s difficult to spend a day on water without at least one reel from their series. It’s been catching crappie and largemouth fish for decades.

The President is a mid-priced reel, but it punches above its price. It’s quiet and competent and performs season after season. That’s not a small compliment, as veteran anglers will tell you.

Pfluger uses a sealed feel drag system in his reel. It’s strong and smooth, but it’s not as stiff or durable as the carbon fiber used by more expensive competitors. It’s difficult to imagine that you will be at disadvantage in a fight with a maximum weight of 10 or 12 pounds. The President is also incredibly smooth.

Give it a shot!

Weight-savings cannot be achieved with expensive materials like the Okuma. As a result, you can expect smaller spools with lower capacities and slower retrieves.

Like the Okuma the President is more than its average parts. It’s a fishing legend who does everything you ask.


  • Beautiful build quality
  • Strong gearing goes beyond its price point
  • Good drag
  • Beautiful casting
  • Performs as a more expensive reel


  • Small spools are used to reduce weight and retrieve data quickly.

Are you looking for spinning reels for bass? The pros and cons of spinning reels for bass?

Although bait casters are the most popular in tournaments, spinning tackle can be used to catch bass.

Casting in the Wind

Casting into the wind is a weakness of baitcasting reels. I don’t know if you fish in the wind, but I have seen gusts nearly slow down my lures.

For those who are truly a master at baitcasting, this may not be an issue. But for most of us, it is a great show-stopper. My blood boils watching that bird nest explode from my reel. When the weather isn’t perfect, I choose to use spinning tackle for bass.


Even the most expensive spinning reels will not cost you as much as a quality bait caster. And for almost equal performance, the spinning reel will almost always be less expensive.

This is an important consideration for many anglers. But don’t worry if you’re worried about it. A well-chosen spinning rod can help you catch trophy bass.


It’s easy to cast, easy-to-use, and hard to mess up. That’s spinning tackle in its simplest form.

Bomb-proof simplicity is a virtue for everyone, from beginners to experienced anglers to bad weather fishermen to people who just want to keep their gear clean.

Poor casting distance when using heavy line

The only weakness in spinning tackle is physics.

Spinners use a fixed spool, in contrast to the spinning spool found on a baitcaster.

To allow the line to unfold during a cast, it must slip over the retaining lip at one end of the spool. This creates friction. The larger the line diameter, the more friction it creates. For mono diameters over 10 pounds, this can impact casting distance.

The cost of a spool depends on its design, quality, and line choice.

Sensitivity slightly decreased

The blank is the part that spinners wear on their reels. This creates a gap between your blank or reel foot, and the center section of the spool for larger reels.

A large stripper guide is needed to collect loose line, bring it closer to the blank and feed it to smaller guides as it gets near the tip.

Casting reels, on the other hand, don’t have this problem and casting rods can run smaller guides.

This difference means that casting rods are slightly less sensitive than equivalent spinning rods.

What we look for in a spinning reel for bass fishing


The drag is the most important element of any reel.

A strong, smooth drag is essential to prevent large fish from breaking your line. A perfect system will enable you to pull line without binding or skipping, and ensure that you are always applying the setting.

There are two common designs: one places the drag control at rear of reel, and the other places it on the end of spool.

The drag control can be placed on the spool so that the system applies more pressure and does it more smoothly. This system is by far the best.

Some reels advertise drag settings as high as 20 pounds. This is a huge overkill. Your drag setting should not exceed a third your line’s tensile (for mono or fluorocarbon).

If you are running braided lines that weigh 60 pounds, 20 pounds is the best setting. This will negate the drag’s cushioning effect. Your line should not break, but you want to rip the hook from the bass!

Ratio of gears

The reel’s gear ratio is the relationship between the crank, the spool and the crank. It tells you how many turns the crank makes. A gear ratio of 5.2 to 1 means that one crank turn spins the spool 52.2 times.

This is important for two reasons.

Some lures are best suited for slow, medium, or fast retrieves. A reel’s gear ratio should be matched to the intended purpose of the reel to improve action. A fast reel with a gear ratio greater than 5.2:1 is ideal for topwater lures such as shallow crankbaits or topwater lures to bass.

You should also care about the gear ratio because it shows you how fast it picks up lines.

To keep your line straight when a fast, big bass runs at you, you will need to match its speed!


It is important to have enough capacity. Too little can lead to having to re-spool or switch spools mid-day.


A spinning reel that is good at casting lines less than 10 pounds (mono), can do the job better than any of the best casting reels. Even with heavier lines, it shouldn’t be too far behind its mechanically superior counterparts.


You want your reel to last. I have found nothing more frustrating than equipment failure.

Most spinning reels do not have sealed drag systems. This is usually not a big deal for freshwater. Some do have sealed drag systems, which I would give the thumbs up for their durability.

You should also consider the gearing. Plastic gears aren’t as durable as metal. Metal micro-gearing such as Shimano’s Hagane design improves smoothness and torque when it comes to hard fighting.

Last Thoughts

A spinning reel can handle even the largest trophy bass, while still providing superior performance in all weather conditions. If you are anything like me, you want your tackle to do everything for you, allowing you to fish with multiple species and techniques.

That almost always means that spinning gear is in my boat, according to me.

I hope you found this article helpful in choosing your next spinning reel to bass fish. If not, please let me know!

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