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Best Spincast Reel of 2017

by | Jun 10, 2017 | Reviews

Every year, manufacturers pump the market with brand new reels, making it hard to purchase the correct model for your needs. When you pair it down to basic facts, it really comes down to a balance between the price, gear and bearing design, plus the design of the bail and spool.

We’ve selected 5 spincast reels, each offering a slightly different take on the basic design, and all offering a decent compromise between price and build quality.

Summary Tables

Rank#1#2#3#4#5
Product


Pflueger

President®


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Sougayilang

Left/Right


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Zebco

Authentic


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Daiwa

Goldcast


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Zebco

Omega Z03


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Price$$$$$
Rating4.7 Stars4.5 Stars4.7 Stars4.3 Stars4.3 Stars
Gear Ratio4.1:15.2:1/5.1:13.6:14.1:12.9:1
Ball Bearings912+1BB117
ProsA solid spinner that’s well built and designed. Top marks to Pflueger for keeping the price down on such a quality unit too.It's cheapA budget reel that works well.A well-built spincaster from a brand you can trust. Superb quality, silky smooth gears and absolutely no drag. A joy to use!
ConsSome of the design choices are a little odd, such as the holes drilled into the spool surface. We would have taken a slightly heavier yet easier to use spool!It's nastyPlastic parts inside the mechanism point to a reel that’s probably not built to last forever. Still, if your child becomes really interested in fishing, they’ll want to upgrade before that happens – a perfect starter reel.Can be fussy with the line used, a quality 8-pound line works perfectly. Price is at the higher end of our review range.Too expensive for all but the true enthusiast fisherman.

Summary Tables

The Top 5 Best Spinning Reels of 2017!

1. Pflueger President

Our Rating:  4.7 Stars (4.7/5)
Gear Ratio  3.8:1
Weight  11.2 oz
Mono Capacity (Yards/lbs) 90/8, 75/10, 65/12

 

To start off with, we took a middle of the range reel from a highly popular reel manufacturer. Pflueger have been making reels for years, and have a good reputation amongst seawater and freshwater fishers alike.

This reel has a decent body and rotor, with an easy to use spool. It’s also manufactured from a mix of aluminium and stainless steel, perfect for saltwater environments.

Features

  • 4 pounds 100-yard reel.
  • Lightweight graphite design.
  • Braid ready spool.
  • Solid aluminium handle.

In Use

The first thing you’ll notice when using the Pflueger, is the smoothness of the rotor operation. It’s silky smooth and has a feeling of quality unmatched by cheaper models.

The drag is nice and smooth, plus it’s easy to setup and the anti-reverse function cuts in almost straight away. The only issue we have is the weight measurements that Pflueger give. Our advice would be to purchase the next size up in comparison to the type of fish you’ll be catching, this is always good advice but especially useful when purchasing sub $50 spincasters.

2. Sougayilang

Our Rating: 4.5 Stars (4.5/5)
Gear Ratio 5.2:1/5.1:1
Weight 12.3 oz
Ball Bearings 12+1BB

Sougayilang is a relatively unknown brand of spinning reel. Unfortunately, this means it’s difficult to find out if their reputation is good or not!

Still, this reel is packed with features, such as a quality line lay system and aluminium construction – all things we would look for in a quality spinning reel.

Features

  • 5.2.1 gear ratio.
  • Aluminium construction.
  • Line lay oscillator.
  • Left or right handed operation.

In Use

Unfortunately, the Sougayilang disappointed us as soon as we opened the box. There’s no denying that it does feature all the items that we would expect from a quality reel, yet there’s a feeling of cheapness in the construction.

Drag was smooth, yet occasionally hap-hazard on draw. The spool was similar too, with the oscillator failing all too often. Sougayilang do say that the reel is more for freshwater fishing rather than sea, a rather worrying sign that the quality probably isn’t there, and they know it.

3. Zebco Authentic

Model 33

Our Rating: 4.7 Stars (4.7/5)
Gear Ratio 3.6:1
Weight 8.5 oz
Ball Bearings 1

After the disappointment of the Sougayilang, we needed to cheer ourselves up! Thankfully, the next reel tested came from one of the granddaddies of fishing, Daiwa.

The Goldcast is an all enclosed design that features a body made of tungsten carbine and aluminium. The gear ratio is a solid 4.1 to 1 and features technology to smooth the drag.

Features

  • Aluminium and Tungsten Carbide construction.
  • 4.1 to 1 gear ratio.
  • Ultra-smooth drag.
  • Comes pre-wound.

In Use

In contrast to the Sougayilang, the Daiwa absolutely smacks of quality. The spool mechanism and gears work well with little drag, although there is a little noise when it’s hard at work.

One thing we did notice, is that the Daiwa doesn’t like to cast with heavier lines. You’ll probably want to skip a 15-pound line with this reel, and opt for a quality 8-pound line instead. You probably don’t want to spool too much line in there either as the spool can be a little fussy. Possibly check out our reviews of braided line to use.

Apart from that, the Goldcast is a solid reel and extremely well built. It should be able to take on most small to medium sized fish with ease.

4. Daiwa Goldcast

Model GC80

Our Rating: 4.3 Stars (4.3/5)
Gear Ratio 4.1:1
Ball Bearing 1
Weight 11.2 oz

A budget reel, expect this time from a far more well-known brand. The Zebco Authentic is a no-frills reel that manages to pack in all the essentials for well under $20.

  • 3.6.1 gear ratio.
  • Plastic and aluminium construction.
  • Aluminium handle.
  • Enclosed reel design.

In Use

It would be easy to discount the Zebco on price alone, yet what we discovered on opening the box was a reel that’s quite good considering the price. The drag is surprisingly good, and although nowhere near the Daiwa or Zebco Omega (reviewed later), it’s streets ahead of the Sougayilang.

Another winning point for the Zebco Authentic is the build quality. Sure, it’s not as tight as some of the $50+ reels reviewed, yet it’s been built with attention to detail. Our only issue is the amount of plastic inside the reel mechanism, this reel is probably one for smaller fish.

If you’re looking for a budget reel, or something to get children interested in the sport, then the budget Zebco is a much better bet than the Sougayilang.

5. Zebco Omega

Model Z03

Our Rating: 4.3 Stars (4.3/5)
Gear Ratio 2.9:1
Ball Bearing 7
Weight 13.3 oz

Another reel from Zebco, this time operating right at the top of our review budget. Like all Zebco reels, there’s quality built in from the start and a host of features to keep seasoned fishers interested.

Features

  • Stainless steel bearings.
  • Level wind style oscillating spool.
  • 10-pound weigh line weight with 85-yard capacity.
  • 1 year manufacturer guarantee.

In Use

In use, the Zebco Omega is roughly equivalent to the Daiwa. The spool has a lovely quality feel in use with minimal drag and a silky-smooth run out.

Unlike the Daiwa, the Omega will genuinely take a 10-pound line with ease. You won’t find any of the casting issues that plagued the Daiwa with a heavier line. Another benefit to the Zebco reel is the fact it runs in 6 bearings, making it unbelievably smooth compared to the Daiwa.

Zebco also offer an easy change spool system with the Omega. This makes it a breeze to swap out lines and is almost worth the price tag alone.

Of course, there’s a downside to all this awesomeness – that’s the price! It’s right up there at the limit of this review, costing about $55.

This is a fishing reel for the enthusiast and possibly the model you’ll buy after owning something like the Pflueger.

Round Up

At the cheaper end of the spectrum, there’s really no choice! The Zebco Authentic spinning reel has it all and for less than $20. Sure, it might not last forever thanks to some plastic parts used in its construction; however, it’s decent enough to foster a lifelong love for the sport!

If you’re looking at an upgrade from cheaper Walmart or budget reels, then the Pflueger is probably worth looking at. It’s a definite upgrade and features a smooth drag, plus it’s easy to spool up.

At the higher end of the price range, things get a little tougher. For most of our review, the Zebco Omega won hands down against the Daiwa, yet once we fitted a quality 8-pound line on the little Daiwa, it really performed well – smoother than the Zebco if you ask me!

The choice between the Daiwa and Zebco is really a choice on the size of line you run. If you like running a 10-pound line, the Zebco is where it’s at. If, however, you’re happy enough running something like an 8-pound line, the Daiwa just about beats the Zebco to the punch.

One thing I believe I covered well enough during the review, yet I want to say it again. Please, don’t buy the Sougayilang! It’s cheap, nasty, horribly built and not even close to the quality of the Zebco Authentic – steer clear!

  • Best for budget starters: Zebco Authentic Spinning Reel.
  • Best as a budget upgrade: Pflueger President Spinning Reel.
  • Best for enthusiasts: The Daiwa and Zebco Omega, depending on the line you want to use.

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