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The 5 Best Spinning Reels

To quote The Men in Black “these are the best of the best”.  These reels are fully sealed with gaskets.  Theorectly they can be reeled while underwater without damage.  They are precision machines that can last a lifetime.  Prices range from the Tsunami at $370 to the Shimano at $1550.

Van Staal X

The 5 Best Spinning Reels 1

The VS X-SERIES Bail-Less Reels are constructed of aircraft-grade aluminum and have a fully sealed construction that so many anglers love. Updated with a new patented waterproof sealed drag system that puts out a wider range of pressure, they also have a drag knob that clicks so that you have more control of your drag while you are on the beach. The new X-Wrap™ oscillation system results in an ideal line lay for braid or mono.

Van Staal VS Features

  • Fully machined 6061 aluminum body
  • Fully sealed body and spool design
  • Titanium main shaft
  • Stainless steel spiral-bevel gear system
  • Bail-Less system
  • Price Range $664-$979
The 5 Best Spinning Reels 2

Van Staal VS X

The 5 Best Spinning Reels 3

 

 

      Pros
      Cons

• Indestructible

• Cost

• Only the highest quality components

• Maintenance must be factory performed for a fee

• You can crank it underwater

• Spool is not braid ready

• Large line capacity and strong drag

• Optimal line lay

Model

Anti-Reverse Feature

Bearings

Braid Yd/Lb

Color

Drag

Ratio

Drag

Recovery Rate

Spool

Weight

VS100

Instant Anti-Reverse

6

350/20

Silver or Black

Carbon Fiber

4.8:1

30lb

27"

AL

12.2 oz

VS150

Instant Anti-Reverse

8

440/30

Silver or Black

Carbon Fiber

4.8:1

30lb

30"

AL

12.5 oz

VS200

Instant Anti-Reverse

8

500/40

Silver or Black

Carbon Fiber

4.25:1

42lb

33.5"

AL

21.6 oz

VS250

Instant Anti-Reverse

8

600/50

Silver or Black

Carbon Fiber

4.25:1

42lb

36.5"

AL

22 oz

VS275

Instant Anti-Reverse

8

400/80

Silver or Black

Carbon Fiber

4.25:1

42lb

40"

AL

24 oz

Van Staal VR

The VR Reels are the latest evolution of Van Staal spinning reels. Fully sealed, with a lightweight 6061 aluminum construction, and a powerful waterproof drag system. They come from the factory with a bail and a bail-less conversion kit so you can fish them however you like.

Van Staal VR Features

  • Fully machined 6061 aluminum body
  • Fully sealed body and spool design
  • Stainless steel spiral-bevel gear system
  • Includes bail-less kit.
  • Price range $509-$609
Van Staal SV

Van Staal SV

The 5 Best Spinning Reels 3

      Pros

      Cons

• Offer a conversion from bail to no bail

• Spool is not braid ready

• Fully sealed

• Still expensive

• Only the highest quality components


• Self-maintenance

Model

Anti-Reverse

Bearings

Braid Yd/Lb

Color

Drag

Ratio

Drag

Recovery Rate

Spool

Weight

VR150

Instant Anti-Reverse

13

440/30

Silver

Carbon Fiber

4.8:1

35lb

34"

AL

18.7 oz

VR175

Instant Anti-Reverse

13

530/30

Silver

Carbon Fiber

4.8:1

40lb

38"

AL

19.1 oz

VR200

Instant Anti-Reverse

13

500/40

Silver

Carbon Fiber

4.8:1

40lb

40"

AL

19.6 oz

VR50

Instant Anti-Reverse

14

360/20

Silver

Carbon Fiber

6.3:1

25lb

37"

AL

8.9 oz

VR125

Instant Anti-Reverse

13

400/20

Silver

Carbon Fiber

4.8:1

35lb

32"

AL

18.3 oz

VR151

Instant Anti-Reverse

13

450/30

Silver

Carbon

4.8:1

35lb

34"

AL

18.7 oz

VR175B

Instant Anti-Reverse

13

530/30

Black

Carbon

4.8:1

40lb

38"

AL

19.1 oz

VR200B

Instant Anti-Reverse

13

500/40

Black

Carbon

4.8:1

40lb

40"

AL

19.6 oz

VR201

Instant Anti-Reverse

13

500/40

Silver

Carbon

4.8:1

40lb

40"

AL

19.6 oz

 

Shimano Stella SW

The 5 Best Spinning Reels 5

 

Stella SW has always lead the fishing world in durability, power, and operability.  New Stella SW builds on that tradition.  Stella SW brings unmatched strength, reliability, and ease of use to serious saltwater anglers. Featuring a HAGANE Body, Stella SW boasts a highly rigid metal construction.  This means improved impact resistance and less body flex.  At the heart of the reel, state-of-the-art HAGANE Gears are cold-forged for lasting durability and smoothness.   Infinity Drive technology offers an improved winding experience, optimizing winding torque by 26%.   Silent Drive further improves smoothness by eliminating worm shaft and drive gear play.   An all-new Shimano Heatsink Drag improves performance by transferring heat away from the spool, reducing spool surface temperature by up to 100 degrees.  X-Protect and X-Shield ensure your investment is guarded against the harsh elements of a saltwater environment so you can fish with confidence.  2019 Stella SW is lighter, more powerful, and more reliable than ever before.

Shimano Stella SW Features

  • Power aluminum body
  • X-Rigid rotor
  • X-Rigid body and handle
  • X-Touch Drag
  • X-Ship 
  • X-Shield & X-Protect 
  • Propulsion® line management system
  • Propulsion spool lip
  • SR one-piece bail wire
  • Aero Wrap® II oscillation
  • Paladin® gear durability enhancement
  • Cold forged aluminum spool
  • Ceramic Coating on the entire spool
  • Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) line roller coating
  • 14 S A-RB® bearings (Shielded A-RB)
  • Super Stopper® II
  • No anti-reverse switch
  • Septon®; handle grip – models 10,000 and up
  • Fluidrive® II
  • Dyna-Balance®
  • Price Range $850-$1550
The 5 Best Spinning Reels 6

Shimano Stella SW

The 5 Best Spinning Reels 7

      Pros
      Cons

• Smooth operation

•No anti-reverse off switch

• Line capacity

•Some plastic parts

•IPX8 rating


Model#

Bearings

Braid lb/yds

Max Drag (lb)

Ratio

Recovery Rate

Weight (oz)

4000XGC

12+1

15/230 30/180 50/120

24

6.2:1

40

12.5

5000HGC

13+1

20/245 30/225 40/175

29

5.7:1

38

14.8

6000HGC

13+1

30/290 50/195 65/140

29

5.7:1

41

15

8000PGC

13+1

40/340 50/265 65/215

55

4.9:1

37

22

8000HGC

13+1

40/340 50/265 65/215

55

5.6:1

42

22

10000PGC

13+1

50/360 65/290 80/215

55

4.9:1

40

23.6

18000HGC

13+1

50/600 65/440 80/360

62

5.7:1

51

30.9

14000XGC

13+1

50/400 65/315 80/240

55

6.2:1

53

23.8

20000PGC

13+1

65/490 80/400 100/340

62

4.4:1

41

31.2

30000C

13+1

65/900 80/700 100/570

55

4.4:1

52

34.4

Penn Torque II

The 5 Best Spinning Reels 8The PENN Torque II is designed for heavy-duty fishing from either boat or shore. The Torque II reels feature our new IPX6 Sealed System which keeps water out of the gearbox and drag system. We’re also using our updated Slammer Drag System which now utilizes our proprietary Dura-Drag material. Designed and built in the USA using domestic and foreign components.

Penn Torque II Features

  • Full Metal Body, side plate, and rotor
  • CNC Gear™ technology
  • IPX6 Sealed body and spool design
  • Sealed Slammer® drag system with Dura-Drag™
  • 9+1 stainless steel bearing system
  • Instant Anti-Reverse bearing with silent back up ratchet
  • Superline Spool
  • Line Capacity Rings
  • Price range $700-$800

    The 5 Best Spinning Reels 9

    Penn Torque IIThe 5 Best Spinning Reels 3

Pros

Cons

• Comfortable handle with no play

• Anti-bail switch can fail

• Includes Torx wrench for service

• Cost

• No extereor grooves to hold water


• Bail will switch from left to right side

Model

Anti-Reverse

Bearings

Braid Yd/Lb

Color

Drag

Ratio

Max Drag​​ 

Recovery Rate

Spool​​ 

Weight

5500

Instant Anti-Reverse

10

540/20 400/30 280/50

Gold

Dura Drag

5.5:1

40lb

38"

AL

19.5 oz

7500

Instant Anti-Reverse

10

470/50 390/65 340/80

Gold

Dura Drag

6.0:1

50lb

50"

AL

26.7 oz

9500

Instant Anti-Reverse

10

575/65 490/80 425/100

Gold

Dura Drag

5.1:1

60lb

50"

AL

27.8 oz

5500S

Instant Anti-Reverse

10

540/20 400/30 280/50

Silver

Dura Drag

5.5:1

40lb

38"

AL

19.5 oz

7500S

Instant Anti-Reverse

10

470/50 390/65 340/80

Silver

Dura Drag

6.0:1

50lb

50"

AL

26.7 oz

9500S

Instant Anti-Reverse

10

575/65 490/80 425/100

Silver

Dura Drag

5.1:1

60lb

50"

AL

27.8 oz

Daiwa 2020 Saltiga

Since the first Saltiga was released in 2002, the demand for heavy-duty saltwater spinning reels has constantly increased. The original Saltiga set a new standard for this category and has continually evolved throughout its eighteen-year history. Now, in 2020 Saltiga is re-imagined delivering anglers the most technologically advanced Saltiga ever produced. Extensively redesigned and engineered from drag knob to handle the 20 Saltiga features the most advanced list of features ever, to once again affirm itself as the ultimate saltwater spinning reel. At the heart of the re-design is the brand new Monocoque body. A single-piece body capable of holding much larger internal gearing components is machined from high-strength aluminum to provide unheralded strength and improved sealing. Housed within the MQ body, is a brand-new drive gear, providing gear strength more than double that of its predecessor.

The new MQ body also boasts a new rear cover design, eliminating screws from the underside of the reel to improve against intrusion, the cover is also produced from reinforced ABS to eliminate potential electrolysis with the aluminum body. Improved paint & finishing processes also extend the durability to the cosmetic side, delivering much-improved corrosion protection. Our engineers created a new drag stack, increasing the number of washers to deliver ten times the drag durability compared to the previous model Saltiga. A newly designed aluminum heat-dissipating Drag Knob delivers improved cooling & heat dissipation. A newly designed ABS Long cast spool design offers improved casting performance and enhanced line management.

Magsealed reels utilize Daiwa’s patented technology to apply magnetic oil that can change density and shape when a magnetic field is added. When Magseal technology is applied to the main shaft and/or line roller of a spinning reel, it produces a low-friction seal that keeps water, dust, and grit from encountering the internal components of the reel. The result is a watertight seal with much lower resistance than rubber-type seals.

Daiwa 2020 Saltiga Features

  • Free 5 year clean and service to the original owner with PROOF OF PURCHASE.
  • Monocoque Body

  • 5-year Warranty
  • Magseal Construction
  • 3 Magseal Bearings
  • Air Rotor of Zaion Carbon composite
  • Lightweight ABS Aluminum spool
  • Carbon Drag
  • 14 Bearing System
  • Sealed, Magsealed ball bearing line roller
  • Manual bail trip
  • Dual, full-time infinite anti-reverse
  • Price range 1099
The 5 Best Spinning Reels 11

Daiwa Saltiga

The 5 Best Spinning Reels 3

      Pros

      Cons

• Monocoque body help support larger main gear.

• Price

• Smooth and has more drag than most reels


• Large line capacity


Model

Bearings

Braid Yd/Lb

Ratio

Max Drag​​ 

Recovery Rate

Weight

2500

8 CRBB + 1

20/170, 30/120

5.6 : 1

15.4

33.2

9.5

3000

8 CRBB + 1

20/240, 30/190

5.6 : 1

15.4

37.4

10.8

4000

8 CRBB + 1

30/280, 40/200

5.7 : 1

17.6

39.9

15

4500

8 (1MBB+7CRBB)+ 1

40/340, 50/270

5.7 : 1

22

43.1

22.2

5000

8 (1MBB+7CRBB)+ 1

50/360, 65/310

5.7 : 1

22

47.4

22.9

6500

8 (1MBB+7CRBB)+ 1

65/440, 80/330

5.3 : 1

33

48.7

29.6

8000

8 (1MBB+7CRBB)+ 1

65/590, 80/440

5.3 : 1

33

53.3

30