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The Best Spinning Reels under $300

DAIWA SALTIST BACKBAY LT

The Best Spinning Reels under $300 1The standard for inshore and back bay saltwater fisherman country-wide has arrived. The Saltist Back Bay LT Reel employs our revolutionary HARDBODYZ design- utilizing an aluminum metal alloy, giving maximum strength and minimizing weight. These design features combine to create one of the lightest, strongest reels on the saltwater market. The Magsealed main shaft employs a magnetic oil that repels intrusion from saltwater without compromising performance.

The machined aluminum alloy DigiGear™ assures smooth, rugged performance with digitally milled gearing to maximize the efficiency of the gear-tooth interaction. Ideally suited for 8- and 10-pound test mono and equivalent braid, the Saltist Back Bay LT is Daiwa’s state-of-the-art interpretation of the perfect light tackle backwater spinning reel. The standard for inshore and back bay saltwater fisherman country-wide has arrived.

Daiwa Saltist Backbay LT Features

  • Air Bail
  • Air Rotor
  • Aluminum Body
  • ADT Drag
  • Digigear
  • Magseal Body
  • Price Range $200-210
The Best Spinning Reels under $300 2

Daiwa Saltist Backbay LT

The Best Spinning Reels under $300 3

Pros

Cons

• Extremely smooth

• Not all bearings are corrosion resistant

• Light weight

• Only 2 sizes

Model

Bearings

Braid Yd/Lb

Ratio

Max Drag​​ 

Recovery Rate

Weight

3000LT

6BB + 1

15/190, 20/160

5.6 : 1

15.4

33.2

9.9

4000LT

6BB + 1

20/160, 30/120

5.6 : 1

15.4

35.3

10.6

DAIWA BG MQ

The Best Spinning Reels under $300 1Daiwa is proud to introduce the next generation of BG spinning reels to saltwater anglers of all stripes, this time with a one-piece Monocoque aluminum body. Light and strong like a Formula One racing car, the reels are lighter and stronger through use of monocoque body technology. In terms of application, the reels are designed for everything from inshore to heavy offshore fishing with models like the BGMQ2500D-H perfect for speckled trout to models like the BGMQ20000 designed to withstand the pressures of fishing giant bluefin tuna.

With the Monocoque design, the reel body serves as a stiff and distortion-proof frame, which is handy and compact at the same time. It offers more rigidity, more stability, and bigger gears. The Water Resistance is superb and the Monocoque body offers more power and torque as a result.

The reels also feature an all-aluminum frame and Digigear technology.  Compared to most of the competition, the gears are between 20% to 40% larger. The gears also feature a larger tooth pattern, giving the gears a much longer gear life and durability than competitive reels. Tests reveal a gear life that is one to three times the length of competitive reels.

Daiwa BG MQ Features

  • DIGGER

  • MONOCOQUE (MQ) no sideplate

  • REAR WEIGHT DESIGN

  • WIRE THROUGH DESIGN

  • HORIZONTAL LINE TIE

  • HEAVY-DUTY HARDWARE
  • Price Range $220-250
    The Best Spinning Reels under $300 5

    Daiwa BG MQ

    The Best Spinning Reels under $300 3

          Pros

          Cons

    • Larger/Stronger main gear

    • Smaller spool sizes than the BG

    • MQ body does not have screws

     • 9 Seals

     • Impoved spool lip for more distance

    Model

    Bearings

    Braid Yd/Lb

    Ratio

    Max Drag​​ 

    Recovery Rate

    Weight

    2500D-H

    6BB + 1

    10/250, 15/185

    5.7 : 1

    22.0

    21.5'

    8.3

    3000D-XH

    6BB + 1

    15/250, 20/220

    6.2 : 1

    22.0

    36.8'

    9.3

    4000D-XH

    6BB + 1

    20/280, 30/200

    6.2 : 1

    26.4

    39.1'

    10.1

    5000D-H

    6BB + 1

    30/230, 40/160

    5.7 : 1

    26.4

    37.8'

    15.3

    6000D-H

    6BB + 1

    30/320, 40/240

    5.7 : 1

    26.4

    39.9'

    15.2

    8000-H

    6BB + 1

    40/330, 50/280

    5.7 : 1

    33.1

    43.4'

    22.4

    10000-H

    6BB + 1

    50/330, 65/280

    5.7 : 1

    33.1

    46.2'

    22.8

    14000-H

    6BB + 1

    65/330,80/280

    5.7 : 1

    33.1

    48.3'

    22.6

    18000

    6BB + 1

    65/440, 80/330

    5.3 : 1

    30.5

    49.4'

    44.1

    20000

    6BB + 1

    80/440,100/330

    5.3 : 1

    30.3

    52.9'

    44.1

DAIWA BALLISTIC LT

The Best Spinning Reels under $300 1

The Ballistic LT series of spinning reels were designed lighter and stronger in a more compact package. The strength of the Zaion housing is an example of the LT design concept of Light but Tough. At the heart of the reel is a machined Aluminum Alloy DIGIGEAR designed for smoothness, strength, and durability. The main shaft utilizes the Magseal, which prevents water and debris intrusion. The reel is long-casting and extremely smooth employing a 7 Bearing System. With models ranging from 1000 to 6000 size the Ballistic LT line of spinning reels are designed for a wide range of gamefish incorporating many different techniques. The Ballistic LT series of reels is a prime example of Daiwa’s commitment to the LT Concept of modern spinning reel design, smaller, lighter yet stronger.

Daiwa Ballistic LT Features

  • Air Bail
  • Air Rotor
  • ATD Drag
  • Digigear
  • Magsealed Body
  • Zaion Body
  • Price range $230-260
The Best Spinning Reels under $300 8

Daiwa Ballistic LT

The Best Spinning Reels under $300 3

      Pros

      Cons

• Carbon fiber body

• Magseal is not easy to service

• Magsealed

 • Very light for size

 • Corrosion resistant bearings

 • High drag amount for size

Model

Bearings

Braid Yd/Lb

Ratio

Max Drag​​ 

Recovery Rate

Weight

1000D

6 (1CRBB+5BB)+1

6/320, 8/200

5.2 : 1

11

25.5

5.8

2500D

6 (1CRBB+5BB)+1

10/250, 15/185

5.3 : 1

22

29.6

6.3

2500D-XH

6 (1CRBB+5BB)+1

10/250, 15/185

6.2 : 1

22

34.5

6.3

3000D-C

6 (1CRBB+5BB)+1

15/250, 20/220

5.3 : 1

22

31.6

6.5

4000D-C

6 (1CRBB+5BB)+1

20/280, 30/200

5.2 : 1

26.4

32.5

7.9

5000D-C

6 (1CRBB+5BB)+1

30/230, 40/160

5.2 : 1

26.4

34.5

8.1

6000D-C

6 (1CRBB+5BB)+1

30/320, 40/240

5.1 : 1

26.4

36.2

11.1

 

PENN CLASH II

The Best Spinning Reels under $300 10The PENN® Clash™ II is the ultimate inshore reel. Featuring our proprietary CNC Gear™ Technology and HT-100™ carbon fiber drag system, the Clash II can handle any inshore species you hook. The Hydrophobic Line Roller Bearing, along with the Clutch Armor System ensures protection to critical components in all weather conditions without sacrificing weight, while the Leveline® Slow Oscillation System ensures perfect line lay, cast after cast. Available in sizes 1000-5000, the Clash II has the right size for any inshore application.

Penn Clash II Features

  • Full Metal Body and sideplate
  • CNC Gear™ technology
  • HT-100™ carbon fiber drag washers
  • 8+1 stainless steel bearing system
  • Clutch Armor System
  • Leveline® Slow Oscillation System
  • Hydrophobic Line Roller Bearing
  • Price Range $190-350
The Best Spinning Reels under $300 11

Penn Clash II

The Best Spinning Reels under $300 3

      Pros

      Cons

• Light weight

• Casting can be difficult in strong winds

• Sealed drag

• Don’t have some feature of competitors

• High drag for such a light reel

Model

Anti-Reverse

Bearings

Braid Yd/Lb

Color

Drag

Ratio

Max Drag​​ 

Recovery Rate

Spool​​ 

Weight

1000

Instant Anti-Reverse

9

160/6 130/8 110/10

Grey/Black

HT-100

5.2:1

9lb

22"

AL

7 oz 

2000

Instant Anti-Reverse

9

210/8 180/10 165/15

Grey/Black

HT-100

6.2:1

10lb

31"

AL

8.3 oz

2500

Instant Anti-Reverse

9

240/10 220/15 160/20

Grey/Black

HT-100

6.2:1

12lb

33"

AL

8.8 oz

3000

Instant Anti-Reverse

9

250/15 180/20 130/30

Grey/Black

HT-100

6.2:1

15lb

35"

AL

10.1 oz

3000HS

Instant Anti-Reverse

9

270/15 195/20 140/30

Grey/Black

HT-100

7.0:1

15lb

41"

AL

10.8 oz

4000

Instant Anti-Reverse

9

360/15 260/20 185/30

Grey/Black

HT-100

6.2:1

15lb

35"

AL

10.6 oz

4000HS

Instant Anti-Reverse

9

410/15 295/20 210/30

Grey/Black

HT-100

7.0:1

15lb

44"

AL

11.4 oz

5000

Instant Anti-Reverse

9

420/20 300/30 240/40

Grey/Black

HT-100

5.6:1

20lb

38"

AL

16 oz

Penn Slammer III

The Best Spinning Reels under $300 10The PENN Slammer III is back by popular demand. Built for heavy-duty fishing from either boat or shore, and trusted by charter captains all over the world. The Slammer III reels feature our new IPX6 Sealed System which keeps water out of the gear box and drag system. We’re also using our updated Slammer Drag System which now utilizes our proprietary Dura- Drag material.

Penn Slammer III Features

  • Full Metal Body, sideplate, and rotor
  • CNC Gear™ technology
  • IPX6 Sealed body and spool design
  • Sealed Slammer® drag system with Dura-Drag™
  • 7+1 stainless steel bearing system
  • Sizes 3500-5500 have automatic bail trip
  • Sizes 6500-10500 have manual bail trip
  • Price Range $200-330
The Best Spinning Reels under $300 14

Penn Slammer III

The Best Spinning Reels under $300 3

      Pros

      Cons

• IPX6 water resistant

• Heavy

• Heavy duty design

 • Different options for the knob

 • High drag amount for size


 • High drag amount for size

Model

Anti-Reverse

Bearings

Braid Yd/Lb

Color

Drag

Ratio

Max Drag​​ 

Recovery Rate

Spool​​ 

Weight

3500

Instant Anti-Reverse

8

310/10  270/15  220/20

Black Gold

Dura Drag

6.2:1

30lb

37"

AL

13.9 oz

4500

Instant Anti-Reverse

8

390/15  320/20  250/30

Black Gold

Dura Drag

6.2:1

30lb

40"

AL

14.7 oz

5500

Instant Anti-Reverse

8

500/20  380/30  335/40

Black Gold

Dura Drag

5.6:1

40lb

39"

AL

22.4 oz

6500

Instant Anti-Reverse

8

485/30  410/40  355/50

Black Gold

Dura Drag

5.6:1

40lb

42"

AL

24.3 oz

7500

Instant Anti-Reverse

8

530/40  440/50  400/65

Black Gold

Dura Drag

4.7:1

50lb

38"

AL

29.2 oz

8500

Instant Anti-Reverse

8

730/40  600/50  555/65

Black Gold

Dura Drag

4.7:1

50lb

42"

AL

30.8 oz

9500

Instant Anti-Reverse

8

730/50  670/65  435/80

Black Gold

Dura Drag

4.2:1

60lb

40"

AL

40.9 oz

10500

Instant Anti-Reverse

8

845/50  780/65  540/80

Black Gold

Dura Drag

4.2:1

60lb

43"

AL

43.1 oz

6500HS

Instant Anti-Reverse

8

605/30 500/40 420/50

Black/Red

Dura Drag

6.2:1

40lb

48"

AL

24.7 oz

8500HS

Instant Anti-Reverse

8

955/40 805/50 760/65

Black/Red

Dura Drag

5.3:1

50lb

50"

AL

31.3 oz