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The 12 Best Bass Fishing Reels 2021

Written by: Catchmefishing
Date Published:  March 11, 2021 
Updated: July 18, 2021
15% off Over 3 Terms on Piscifun Fishing Gear

Best Bass Fishing Reels

When you’re a fishing enthusiast, getting the best bass fishing reels is an important task. Especially when you want to take your fishing skills to a whole new level by enhancing your accuracy and winding.

Speaking of accuracy, fishing reels play an important role in how your final results will turn out. The data from a study shows that consumers spent over 2 billion US dollars alone on fishing reels, rods, and poles. Don’t worry if you’re a European, because fishing reels seem to be getting popular in Europe as well. It was also reported, consumers in England spent about 131 million GBP on fishing equipment.

This proves that you should be expecting competition in fishing sports and recreational activities. Who doesn’t like to impress their peers, right? That’s why in today’s guide, we are going to show you the best bass fishing reels for 2021. What makes them the best bass fishing reels? You’ll know soon enough.

Abu Garcia Revo IKE Spinning Fishing Reel Review
Abu Garcia Revo IKE Spinning Fishing Reel
Latest Price
SHIMANO Stradic FL Spinning Fishing Reel Review
SHIMANO Stradic FL Spinning Fishing Reel
Latest Price
SHIMANO Sahara Fi Spinning Reel Review
SHIMANO Sahara Fi Spinning Reel
Latest Price
PENN Pursuit III Spinning Fishing Reel Review
PENN Pursuit III Spinning Fishing Reel
Latest Price
Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel Review
Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel
Latest Price
Daiwa Tatula LT Spinning Fishing Reels Review
Daiwa Tatula Spining Reel
Latest Price
Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning Fishing Reel review
Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning Fishing Reel
Latest Price
Cadence CS10 Spinning Reel Review
Cadence CS10 Spinning Reel
Latest Price
Daiwa Ballistic LT Freshwater Left/Right Hand Spinning Reel Review
Daiwa Ballistic Spinning Reel
Latest Price
Shimano Vanford F Spinning Reel Review
Shimano Vanford F Spinning Reel
Latest Price
Daiwa Black Widow BR LT Bite N Run Freespool Fishing Reel Front Drag Review
Daiwa Black Widow BR Reel
Latest Price
Penn Slammer III Spinning Fishing Reel Review
Penn Slammer III Spinning Fishing Reel
Latest Price

Comparison Chart

1. Abu Garcia Revo IKE Spinning Fishing Reel

Abu Garcia Revo IKE Spinning Fishing Reel Review

Features

Rocket line management system

If you are someone who believes that bass fishing is highly dependent on casting efficiency, then this feature is here for you. Not only does the rocket line management system provide better control over all the fishing line, but it also improves casting efficiency, which helps improve accuracy as its effect.

The IKE spinning fishing reel is one of the best bass fishing reels out there, considering Mike Laconeli himself designs it.

Carbon matrix drag system

Do not want to feel the fatigues during your strenuous drags? This system feature here is just for you.

The carbon matrix drag system makes sure you get an impressively smooth performance with a maximum dragging capability of 20 pounds. Retrieving a fish becomes one of the easiest things in the world with this system.

Not only that, the wide range of functions make sure you are ready for all sorts of situations whatsoever. A fish can not escape this drag system by swimming deeper into the water. That’s a promise.

What We Like About It?

Besides it being amazingly long-lasting, it’s got quite a nice drag as well. What makes its functionality exceptional, at least for us, is its versatility. Not only can it be used for finesse fishing, but also lightweight search baits.

Pros & Cons

Pros
Highly durable construction
Compatible with all line types
Impressive drag system
Ergonomic handle design for comfort and less fatigue
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Cons
Could use a shallow spool option
The round handle knob can be improved

2. SHIMANO Stradic FL Spinning Fishing Reel

SHIMANO Stradic FL Spinning Fishing Reel Review

Features

Efficiency

The build of the stradic FL spinning fishing reel is such that its strength enhances its efficiency. The HAGANE metal reel body is quite rigid. And that is good because before you say that, it becomes brittle and hard to handle, leading to fatigue; it’s quite the opposite.

The impact resistance that the extreme rigidity brings virtually impacts all sorts of flexing whatsoever, except one type; you flex your bass fishing skills. Because with this build, your actions are directly translated into cranking power, and as someone who uses the best fishing reels for bass fishing, we can say that it truly counts. Every ounce of cranking power counts.

X-ship

How many times have you encountered a fishing reel for bass that comes with problems maintaining gear precision and maintenance? It’s quite common. Gear durability is one of the many things you should look for in the best bass fishing reels.

The X-ship technology ensures that the pinion gear on both ends is supported and that the pinion gear does not lose its alignment with the drive gear. This simply translates into great weight-bearing for the reel without losing the gear's positioning, leading to you losing the catch of the day.

Also, the system eliminates quite a lot of friction between the spool shaft and the gear, enhancing the casting performance of the reel and even allowing for longer casts.

What We Like About It?

It’s one of the best bass fishing reels for saltwater fishing. Although it might be a disadvantage for some, the removal of the anti-reverse lever on this reel has made possible the fishing of speedy fish. Hence if you’re into speedy fishing, then this is something you might like.

Pros & Cons

Pros
CrossCarbonDrag allows a wider range of drag settings.
G-free body technology allows the center of gravity of the reel to shift closer to the rod.
The weight of the reel is more towards the angler’s hand position.
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Cons
A little too pricey. Well worth the value though.
Cannot reverse the reeling direction

3. SHIMANO Sahara Fi Spinning Reel

SHIMANO Sahara Fi Spinning Reel Review

Features

Upgraded drag

Just like its sister stradic FL spinning reel, the Sahara Fi spinning reel also incorporates a built-in x-ship technology.

The fun thing about this technology is that it can be useful to both beginner and experienced anglers alike. Also, the smoothness that results from the x-ship system is quite unbelievable, to be honest. The smoothness also enhances its durability by quite a lot.

Hence, don’t worry about the amount of force and the direction of the angle you’re going to use. It will easily endure it all.

Center of gravity

The center of gravity in the Fi spinning reel is also shifted more towards the rod, just like in the stradic FL spinning reel. Do note that almost all of the best bass fishing reels have their center of gravity shifted more towards the rod.

What does it mean for the center of gravity to be shifted more towards the rod? Good question.

Now, if you know a little physics, you must be aware of how the weight shifts can enhance a force's output.

If the center of gravity was not shifted more towards the rod, it would be hard to set a target accurately, and there are chances for the rod to wobble mid-action. This is something that will destroy your performance.

For the gravity to be shifted more toward the rod, it makes the experience less fatiguing and improves the accuracy and precision by quite a lot. Hence, if you want to look for the best bass fishing reels, make sure you see how its center of gravity is shifted.

What We Like About It?

Another one of the best spinning reels for bass, especially for long casting. The reel can not only cast miles long but is also quite smooth in doing it, and it is something we are a big fan of. Long casting has its benefits, like reaching points where fewer people do, hence increasing your chances of getting the day's catch.

Pros & Cons

Pros
Affordable price
Great durability and performance
HGN gearing system provides smoothness, durability, and efficiency
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Cons
Not the best choice for ice bass fishing
Could use some sort of anti-reversing feature

4. PENN Pursuit III Spinning Fishing Reel

PENN Pursuit III Spinning Fishing Reel Review

Features

Lightweight

Pursuit III features a body made of graphite. And if you didn’t know already, graphite is almost always the material of choice for instruments like these when the brand wants to make them lightweight.

Hence, don’t worry about your arms fatiguing after a nice bass fishing session with one of the best bass fishing reels in terms of weight.

Also, the graphite is corrosion resistant. This is great when you think about all the splashing that goes on in bass fishing. True, there is a big component of patience involved, but where there is water, there is life, plus splashes.

Drag system

The best bass fishing reels will always have some technology concerning their drag systems. This makes sense since drag is one of those things that determines your overall performance in bass fishing.

Its drag washers are sealed. This means that not only will they be super lubricated all the time, but extraordinarily smooth too. Great for times when you have to reel super fast not to let the fish escape.

What We Like About It?

It’s one of the cheapest and best spinning reels for bass out in the market today, especially for saltwater. And that is something we all must appreciate. But do not worry; it being cheap does not imply that it will be made out of cheap quality materials.

Pros & Cons

Pros
The slow oscillation gear system not only minimizes line twist but also enhances line lay
Carbon fiber drag washers. Corrosion-resistant, smooth, and always lubricated.
Good in withstanding abuses from large saltwater bass fishes
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Cons
Makes a lot of winding noises during reeling
Would’ve been better if it featured an anti-reverse system

5. Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel

Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel Review

Features

Infinite anti-reverse system

Unlike some of the best bass fishing reels we have reviewed so far, this one has an anti-reverse system. This is one reason why we have classified this in the list for best bass fishing reels.

The anti-reverse switch allows you to choose its engagement—the ability to back-reel rather than allowing the drag to fight the fish. Although the technology is not a new one, it is still considered one of the most essential ones by anglers.

Drag system

The drag system is one of the systems you ought to analyze when shopping for the best bass fishing reels. In this case, the drag system is waterproof.

Although it might seem like a significant technology. But if you think of it in the context of durability and smoothness. It does make quite a lot of sense. The waterproof drag system makes Daiwa Bg pretty corrosion-resistant, and it is something we love to find in the best bass fishing reels.

What We Like About It?

Besides featuring tons of power, the reel is quite smooth, although it might not look like it. It’s perfect for some heavy bass fishing and is quite in the affordable range as well.

Also, it will work just fine in both saltwater and freshwater, and the versatility is something we appreciate.

Pros & Cons

Pros
Quite versatile in terms of water type
Waterproof drag system
An excellent price for a nice functionality
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-
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Cons
Just don’t drop it
Can be quite heavy.

6. Daiwa Tatula LT 6.2:1 Left/Right Hand Spinning Fishing Reels

Daiwa Tatula LT Spinning Fishing Reels Review

Features

ZION carbon fiber housing

Now unlike many other lightweight reels, this reel is both lightweight and heavyweight at the same time.

By the looks and feels of it, it is quite lightweight. You’ll have no problems lifting it, and it won’t give you any fatigues.

However, the reel features a high-density body. This makes the reel not only responsive but also quite durable and easy to handle

Air rotor

The reel features an air rotor with an airball. This is quite an innovative technology if you ask us. The air rotor makes retrieval more smooth and makes sure to take away some strain off the rotor, adding more to both the smoothness and durability.

What We Like About It?

It is one of the best bass fishing reels for bass fishing. Just make sure you get the 3000 model for bass fishing for more enjoyable experiences.

What makes this reel stand apart from all other best bass fishing reels is that it is super lightweight and super smooth. The smoothness is quite unmatched. And this is the reason why we like it.

Pros & Cons

Pros
Very lightweight
Smooth and durable mechanics thanks to machined aluminum alloy DIGIGEAR
Smooth retrievals thanks to air rotors
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-
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Cons
Metal handle performance could be improved
The drag shows some dysfunctionality after abusive use

7. Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning Fishing Reel

Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning Fishing Reel review

Features

Ball bearings

The stainless steel ball bearings are what makes this reel stand apart from other best bass fishing reels. The presence of ball bearings makes this more not only soft and smooth but also quite sturdy.

Also, the ball bearings are made out of stainless steel. So you can splash as much water on them as possible; they will not corrode.

Drag system

The drag system, just like many of the best bass fishing reels, features an all-time lubricated, sealed carbon technology.

This means that the reel is practically quite sturdy in its design and choice of materials (magnesium body and all). Hence if you do not break it by brute force, nature will have a hard time decomposing it.

What We Like About It?

We like it because of its butter smoothness. Also, you can cast pretty far with it. The distance control on this reel is just extraordinary.

Plus, there’s always the twisted hand knob of the crank, which is always better than the round type. So, do keep these best fishing reels for bass in mind when you go out shopping.

Pros & Cons

Pros
Silk smooth retrieval
Twisted knob (at least for us)
Corrosion-resistant design
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Cons
Makes some grinding noises during the initial days of use
Braid sometimes gets caught in the bail assembly

8. Cadence CS10 Spinning Reel

Cadence CS10 Spinning Reel Review

Features

Anti-reverse bearing

Anti-reverse bearing is something a lot of people tend to look for when choosing amongst the best bass fishing reels. Lucky for you, though, the CS10 spinning reel comes with a 10 ball-bearing featuring an anti-reverse bearing.

The anti-reverse bearing will allow you to fish not only mechanically unrestrained but also makes sure that you achieve immediate engagement with the target. Something that makes bass fishing not only efficient but also quite fun.

Body

Unlike many other reels featuring aluminum or carbon, the CS10 features a lightweight combination of magnesium and carbon.

Its outer frame is a lightweight design made of magnesium while at the same time featuring a carbon composite construction. Also, the rotor is an elegant design of carbon spinning on 10 corrosion-resistant, lubricated ball bearings.

What We Like About It?

Along with the quality of its built, everything about this reel is quite smooth to feel. From the crank, action to drag system, and anti-reverse switch. All the features seem to compliment each other so perfectly you’ll fall in love with this reel in no time. Also, it is quite durable as well.

Pros & Cons

Pros
Anti-reverse bearing system
Lightweight design
Braid ready, aluminum spool carbon fiber drag system
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-
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Cons
Sometimes makes some noises
The line gets stuck sometimes

9. Daiwa Ballistic LT Freshwater Left/Right Hand Spinning Reel

Daiwa Ballistic LT Freshwater Left/Right Hand Spinning Reel Review

Features

Magseal

Now, this technology is something we are fond of. The magseal quite literally prevents water, sand, and debris from running down the shaft.

Not only does it make the reel more durable, but also easy to clean and lesser pain in the head when fishing. Preventing water will save its metals from self-destruction over time, and preventing debris will allow it to function more smoothly.

Sturdiness

One might easily think of how unstable, and less durable the reel is, but do not be confused by its looks. The company itself claims that the reel is extremely lightweight yet durable.

Also, it is quite small compared to other reels, which improves the hand’s grip on them and the finger’s navigation to its different systems.

What We Like About It?

The way it is built, lightweight and very compact is what is very pleasing for us. The functionalities are pretty much like any other best bass fishing reels out there, but only one thing is improved in it; it’s quite compact. Something to cherish if you have small hands or loose gripping strength.

Pros & Cons

Pros
Compact yet durable design
Magseal technology preventing the inrush of sand and debris
Solid drag
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-
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Cons
Line lay needs a little more improvement
It makes noise when turning the handle sometimes

10. Shimano Vanford F Spinning Reel

Shimano Vanford F Spinning Reel Review

Features

Material

The reel features a Cl4+ material. Something the company came up with themselves. Nonetheless, the material is very rigid, even by the feels of it. You know the reel's drag is not going to be disappointing when you see it has a rigid body.

Also, despite its looks, one might think it must be quite heavy, considering all the rigidity and everything. But it’s quite the contrary. The reel does have some weight, true, but not as much to make your arms fatigue during heavy sessions of reeling and bass fishing. Also, the size is quite good too to maintain an excellent hold on the reel.

MGL rotor

Again by the looks of it, one might see a highly unsymmetrical rotor, and it is not easy resisting the thought of how dysfunctional it can get. But that is completely false. The unsymmetrical design is intentional.

The bail arm mechanism being on the opposite side to the line roller reduces rotational inertia when combined with an optimum rotor thickness and lightweight line roller. All this produces an exceptionally light rotation. And that is something you can go wrong with.

What We Like About It?

As said earlier, the reel functionality of Venford F is very exceptional. And it is something that pleases us in this case. Also, the build is on the quality side, and the retrieval is smooth and easy. For its price point, it is one of the best fishing reels for bass out there.

Pros & Cons

Pros
Extremely smooth retrieval
Rigid yet lightweight material
Great quality control
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Cons
A ross carbon drag would’ve made an excellent addition
Makes some grinding noises sometimes, but very rarely

11. Daiwa Black Widow BR LT, Bite N 'Run Freespool Fishing Reel, Front Drag

Daiwa Black Widow BR LT Bite N Run Freespool Fishing Reel Front Drag Review

Features

Tough DIGIGEAR

Daiwa uses the DIGIGEAR process in almost all of its reels. The DIGIGEAR makes sure that maximum performance and endurance are achieved by smoothly and efficiently transmitting the reel's power directly to the angler.

By allowing the perfect meshing of the main gear and pinion gear, DGIGEAR makes sure the extremes of smoothness are achieved while keeping things most durable. Keep in mind that the better the gears have meshed together, the longer the gearing will last.

Cross wrap system

If you’re someone who hates when lines get all tangled up, then this cross wrap system is just for you. Not only that, but it also helps you keep things clean, organized and pleasant to the eyes and hands. The cross wrap system is the key to preventing line spins and tangles.

What We Like About It?

Along with its great power transmission and amazing drag power, we also happen to like how aesthetically it is built. Simply pleasing to the eyes. But it’s not just that; the ATD drag system allows the instant working of the drag without starting resistance. This allows a huge drag power, and that is something to be complimented on.

Pros & Cons

Pros
Light and tough at the same time
ATD drag system
Tough DIGIGEAR process
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-
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Cons
It makes clicker sounds sometimes
Could improve in its size a little bit

12. Penn Slammer III Spinning Fishing Reel

Penn Slammer III Spinning Fishing Reel Review

Features

Heavy duty

The reel is built explicitly for heavy-duty bass fishing, and its build complements its functionality completely. The full metal body, side plate, and rotor ensure that maximum durability is delivered during heavy-duty fishing.

CNC gear

The CNC gear technology allows for making precision gears. With the computer-controlled CNC gear technology, the reel makes sure that the precision main gear and pinion are machined for exact tolerances. This allows not only for extra smooth operation but also adds more to the reel’s sturdiness.

What We Like About It?

We like it because not only is it reasonably priced but also because it can handle big fish. Its heavy dut functionality is what made us classify this into our best bass fishing reels for 2021.

Pros & Cons

Pros
Well built. Smooth operations along with good power to size ratio
Exceptionally smooth drag
An overall nice action
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Cons
The drag does not go too low
The cap on the knob sometimes comes off

The Buying Guide On Best Bass Fishing Reels 2021

Now that we stated all of our favorite best bass fishing reels, it’s time to give you a concise buying guide to know what to look for in the bass fishing reels. Let’s go.

Drag system

If you hadn’t guessed already by our non-sop mentioning of the drag system, guess it now: drag system is one of the most important things to look for in bass fishing reels, or perhaps any sort of fishing reel.

There are 2 basic types of drag systems; front and rear. Which, of course, refers to the location of the drag system. But do know the primary thing that the front drag system features multiple drag washers that are normally large and enhance the reel's durability.

While the rear drag system is much easier to access, which comes in handy when fishing a stubborn fish but do note that the rear drag systems do not enhance the durability of the overall reel and its drag system.

Anti-Reverse Handles

We have also been yapping about the whole article about the anti-reverse handles or anti-reverse systems (whatever you like to call it).

The anti-reverse system (as the name indicates) makes sure the handle is prevented from spinning backwards so that the hook can be set accurately and powerfully.

If you’re a beginner in bass fishing, we’d highly recommend getting a reel with an anti-reverse system until you have perfected your landing to the extent that you don’t need it anymore.

Conclusion

And that’s it for our guide on best bass fishing reels 2021. We know it’s hard to choose a bass fishing reel, but it is always best to start somewhere and see what you like and what you don’t in it. You will eventually make your way into perfection. That’s a promise.

Check out our The 7 Best Bass Fishing Rods which will partner amazingly with one of the reels suggested here.

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