Review: 5 best saltwater fishing reels for you

This article is to answer the question I usually get from anglers – What are the best saltwater fishing reels below $100? The first question you have to answer yourself is which fish will you target with these saltwater fishing reels.

We recommend 5 fishing reels that are the best and most suitable for less than  $100 for saltwater fishing, mostly off-shore fishing. Although there are many other reels you can consider, but in our opinion, the following 5 models deserve to be in the top 5 and you can consider them.

Daiwa BG SW

Rating from saltwater anglers: (9.5 / 10)

Top 5 features 

  • Housing with black anodized aluminum (Hard Bodyz Top & Side Cover)
  • Digigear over-sized (DigigearTM System) for waterproof protection
  • Drag Unit to survive extreme pressures in seawater
  • Air Rotor for equilibrium and pain transfer
  • Anti-Reverse (4000 and Smaller), Anti-Reverse Dual System (4500 and Large)

SizeNumber of bearingsAverage traction (lbs.)Gear ratioWeight (oz.)
1500 – 80006+14.4 -335.3:1 – 5.7:18.5 -30

Overview of the Daiwa BG SW Spinning Reel 

Daiwa Black Gold has been sold popularly in the marketplace since 1981 and until 2016, this latest Daiwa BG SW Spinning Reel was launched. What makes these fishing machines so popular is that they are very well manufactured and easy to take care of due to their simple design.

Do not miss any chance if you ever want to buy it. This is a really sleek rod with available sizes ranging from 1500 up to the maximum 8000 for your big battle trout, targeted at catching from small species like Salmon, Mackerel to very large ones. Its waterproof drag function is made of carbon fiber and 6 bearings. This is a great fishing reel for saltwater and I bet its No. 1 position is hard to replace even in the next few years.


Shimano NASCI Spinning Reel

Rating from saltwater anglers: (9.2 / 10)

Our number two choice for the best saltwater fishing reel for less than $ 100 is the Shimano NASCI Vertical Fishing Machine.

Top 5 features

  • Hagane Cold Forged Gearing for smoother recovery
  • Better efficiency and stability thanks to Shimano X-Ship technology 
  • Waterproof Coreprotect to protect from elements under harsh saltwater environments.
  • G Free Body for better strength and weight (as is the case with Shimano Stella)
  • Compact and robust plastic body

SizeNumber of bearingsAverage traction (lbs.)Gear ratioWeight (oz.)
1000 – 50004+17 – 245.0:1 – 6.2:17.6 – 10.6

Overview of Shimano NASCI Spinning Reel

Shimano has long been known for producing fishing reels that take quality and smoothness as the top criteria. The Shimano NASCI is an input quality reel from Shimano, which includes a few of the more costly apps, such as Stradic FK and Stradic Ci4 +. Other features that can be listed are extremely smooth cold-forged HAGANE Gear and X-Ship technology that supports cogwheels with A-RB roller bearings.

The Shimano NASCI comes in 5 versions, all are excellent for you to go fishing in coastal areas. Its body is made of synthetic material so it is very light. One of the advantages of this machine is that it is protected by Shimano water-resistant technology – Coreprotect – a special coating applied to the main areas of the reel to resist corrosion.

This is a great spinning reel to fish every species from small trout to mackerel, sea bass, medium fish, and large fish in the ocean.

Okuma Inspira Spinning Reel

Rating from saltwater anglers: (9.1 / 10)

 Okuma Inspira Spinning Reel

5 outstanding features

  • Features lightweight C-40X carbon base and side plates 
  • 8BB + 1RB stainless steel bearings provide the smoothest wire collecting process.
  • Carbon Fiber Drag with many adjustable tractions.
  • High longevity, smoothness, durability.
  • CFR: Cyclonic Flow Rotor enables faster airflow drying and reduces corrosion.

SizeNumber of bearingsAverage traction (lbs.)Gear ratioWeight (oz.)
2000 – 40008+1135.0:1 6.5 – 9.1

Overview of the Machine Okuma Inspira Spinning Reel

Okuma brand has been on the market for more than 3 decades, still, many fishers are unfamiliar with it because Okuma does not have huge advertising budgets like Penn and Shimano. In 2015, Okuma Inspira was brought to the market. This spinning reel is super light with carbon fiber frames and side panels. With 8 anti-corrosion stainless steel bearings, quick-reversing bearings, and carbon-fiber traction bearings, Okuma Inspira is suitable for most saltwater fish.

The Okuma Inspira provides large-sized reels ranging from 2000, 3000 to 4000 to catch from small trout and snapper to medium-sized snook and redfish.

Penn Battle II Spinning Reel

Rating from the anglers: (9/10)

5 best features

  • Complete metal frame, side plate, and rotor for longevity and power
  • Carbon drag washing machines HT-100 with a fast and solid drag
  • Five sealed ball bearings of stainless steel
  • Superline spool with rings and rubber inlay of braiding already.

SizeNumber of bearingsAverage traction (lbs.)Gear ratioWeight (oz.)
1000 – 80005+19-305.2:1 – 6.2:18.1 – 30.2

Overview of Penn Battle II Spinning Reel

Penn Battle II is often referred to as a quality fishing reel for starters for near-shore fishing. It has gained a reputation for its solid quality and reliability and a quick recovery. With 8 models from 1000 to 8000, it’s easy to find the right size for the fish you are targeting. We fished with Penn Battles with years and basically they ‘re a decent performing resource that won’t cheat.

One drawback of Penn Battle II is that it is a bit heavier for shore fishing. However, with the extra weight of the entire metal frame, you can not automatically fit into a lightweight container. The HT-100 Drag System is constructed from a very smooth carbon fiber disc, which offers traction of 9 lbs to 30 lbs on the 8000 model. To conclude, if you want your roll to feel solid in your hand, you will like Penn Battle II.


Pflueger Purist Spinning Reel

Rating from the anglers: (9/10)

The last fishing machine to reach our top 5 spinning reels for less than $ 100 is the Pflueger Purist Spinning Reel.

Top features

  • The body frame is made of aluminum and graphite
  • Hybrid carbon drag system
  • Machined aluminum coil
  • Nine premium stainless steel bearings
  • Titanium coated rollers
  • Immediate Anti-counter 

SizeNumber of bearingsAverage traction (lbs.)Gear ratioWeight (oz.)
2500 – 40009+16-125.2:17.3 – 11.2

Overview of Pflueger Purist Spinning Reel

If you aim at catching the mid-size species, the Pflueger Purist should be put into consideration. This is a rather lightweight bob with a composite aluminum and graphite frame and a weight of just 8.5 oz for the 3000 edition. Pflueger Purist boasts tight, strong, smooth, and excellent carbon fiber traction for inshore fishing. We rate this reel a little lower than the Okuma Inspira due to traction of 9 lbs compared to 13 lbs on a 3000 size reel.

With 9 ball bearings made of stainless steel and the titanium coated line roller, I am pleased with the quick recovery of the ball and how this ball manages line control as well as by how much this ball manages line management.

Above are the saltwater fishing reels that are considered the best with the budget under $100. Hopefully, SAM AND MARY ca help you choose for yourselves the most suitable ones to have exciting sea fishing experience. 

Read more:  Top 10 Best Pass Spinning Rods Under 100$ with high Quality

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