Freshwater bass are one of the most feisty species of fish in the world and they have no equal when it comes to angler interest. Every year more people get the fishing bug and decide to try their hand at catching bass. Having the right equipment will mean the difference between a successful outing and the big skunk. Fishing with a spinning rod and reel is the easiest way to get started in your hunt for bass, but which ones work the best? Follow along and gain an understanding of what makes the best spinning reel for bass, and check out the best spinning rods for bass when you’re done. You’ll be needing that too if you haven’t already found one.
Buyer’s Guide To The Best Spinning Reel For Bass & Reviews
What Is A Bass Spinning Reel?
The best spinning reel for bass is a durable piece of mechanics that fits within the specifications required to handle the size and power of angry bass. These reels come with different features that anglers may or may not prefer and it’s where the choices come in. The specs contain such information as line size appropriate to the reel. Anglers can move up or down here a little but bass fishing calls for the same general specs in a spinning reel. Bass fight hard and reel drag must be strong and smooth to handle their protests.
How To Choose The Best Spinning Reel For Bass
With hundreds of spinning reels on the market, how do you go about finding the right one for bass fishing?Furthermore, can you keep the price down and still get a spinning reel properly suited for bass fishing? The best spinning reel for bass doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive to perform and you’ll find all the reviews listed below under the 100 mark.
Bass Spinning Reel Specifications
Most bass fishing will be thought of as a freshwater sport which means that spinning reels don’t require special marine protection. Anglers that want to cross over can find the best saltwater spinning reels on our guide and use these reels for fresh or saltwater.
Freshwater bass call for monofilament line size of 6 to 14 pounds. Anglers can go lighter but risk losing bigger bass and heavier line tends to curl and twist forming wind knots. The answer to heavier line for bass fishing lies in braid. Bass fishermen have learned that braided line of the same size is much stronger than mono and doesn’t tend to curl. Braid can still be difficult to fish with until an angler learns its behavior.
Features Of The Best Spinning Reel For Bass
Spinning reels come with all sorts of different features that manufacturers use for promotion purposes. Take the baitfeeder for example. This feature allows the line on a spinning reel to run out freely until a fish picks it up. A flip of a button engages the drag and with a good hook set, the fight is on. This wouldn’t be such a great feature if you like to cast lures. On the other hand, live bait fishermen would be well served by such a function. Be sure to identify the features that appeal to you and your style when studying spinning reels. You’ll find them listed in the reviews below.
How To Combine Specs And Features To Find The Best Spinning Reel For Bass
As mentioned above, line sizes should fall between 6 and 14 pound mono line and the specs on a spinning reel will tell you which model holds those sizes. The drag should have max setting of at least 10 pounds though 15 – 20 is better. Remember to match the reel specs with the rod you choose as this enables the whole setup to function properly.
The features of the best spinning reel for bass should enhance your style of fishing. The baitrunner feature serves as a good example of what some anglers might prefer. Don’t waste money on features you know you aren’t likely to use. That money can be put into a reel with a stronger drag or reinforced gearing. The list below describes 5 reels that will put any angler on the bass with exact model recommendations.
The Best Spinning Reel For Bass – Top 5 Recommendations
#1 Penn Pursuit II Bass Spinning Reel
The Penn Pursuit II is the perfect crossover reel for freshwater or saltwater bass fishing. It comes in 5 models but bass fishermen want to concentrate on the three lightest. These would be the 3000, 4000, and 5000 models which have a line rating that ranges from 6 to 20 pounds. The PURII5000 borders on too heavy for bass fishing but still accepts 12 pound mono. It would be the perfect model for targeting lunker size bass.
Additional specs of Penn Pursuit II reels include max drag that ranges from 10-20 pounds in the first three models. Pursuit 3000, 4000, and 5000 reels operate on a 5 bearing system. The two lighter reels have gear ratios of 5.2:1 and the 5000 slows at 4.6:1. The gear ratio is measured by 1 turn of the handle vs number of full rotations from the spool.
Rather than put up one main feature, Pursuit II spinning reels offer several smaller ones that add up to a performance reel. An oil felt drag, corrosion proof graphite body, and shielded stainless steel bearings feature the reels saltwater capabilities. Line capacity rings on the spool indicate to angler the amount of line remaining and instant anti reverse prevents any backwards motion.
Penn Pursuit II reels make the grade for bass fishing not only for specs but for durability as well. The graphite body is lightweight and will last several years. Both rotor and spool boast high grade aluminum material, cut by machine for precision gear placement. At the asking price, Penn Pursuit II makes any list of the best spinning reel for bass.
#2 Shimano Spirex FG Bass Spinning Reel
Spirex spinning reels from Shimano make another fine offering for bass specific anglers and have some fancy features to boot. The reels come in 3 models to choose from but the larger 2500 and 4000 come better suited for bass. These 2 reels have a mono line range of 6 to 12 pounds and pack enough punch with max drags of 9 and 15 pounds. Their gear ratio of the 2500 is fast at 6.2:1 and the 4000 slows only a bit at 5.7:1.
Features of Spirex reels stand out starting with their one hand cast ability. Known as the Quckfire II, the line and trigger auto align which allows anglers to throw one handed casts at will. Another big hit is the Varispeed Oscillating System. This system uses an oval shaped oscillating gear that prevents line from stacking up on either end of the spool. This results in an even lay of line on every retrieve which results in smoother casting.
Additional features that round out Pursuit II reels show through in their propulsion lip management which allows casts to fly extra distance. Fluidrive II offers a larger polished master gear and the Shimano Dyna Balance system prevents any wobble in the rotor. Again at a price that opens eyelids, Shimano Spirex offers their version of the best spinning reel for bass.
#3 Pflueger Supreme Bass Spinning Reel
Supreme spinning reels by Pflueger bring the lightweight yet tough structure that only magnesium can offer. Hailed as the only spinning reel to use a magnesium body and rotor, Supreme models make a fine choice for bass fishermen. Pflueger Supreme spinning reels are available in 4 models, any of which fit the bill for bass fishing. Anglers can choose the smallest 25X model and fish 6 pound test for light line battles. You can go heavy and target trophy largemouth with the 40X. Wrap 10 or 12 pound line on and find the bigger fish. The drag capacities on these reels fall right in line for wrangling bass and land between 8 and 14 pounds max.
Anglers find some very powerful features in Supreme spinning reels besides the lightweight magnesium body and rotor. 9 stainless steel bearings help make the spin smooth as can be and the spool is braid ready. No mono backing is necessary because of the spool design. The combination of an oil felt drag and stainless steel bearings make this a saltwater approved series. Slow oscillating gears manage the line lay and minimize line twist. Looking for the best spinning reel for bass is a breeze with the price and performance of Pflueger’s Supreme models.
#4 Daiwa Fuego Bass Spinning Reel
The Feugo by Daiwa is another fresh to saltwater crossover reel and is available in 4 different size models. Any one of the models will work for bass fishing depending on the your line preference. The lightest 2000 model can fish 6 to 10 pound mono while the heaviest 4000 reel goes up to 14 pound line. The drag is a bit weak on the 2000 but puts more pressure in the bigger 3 models. It ranges between 4.4 and 13.2 pounds.
Fuego reels all spin on a 9 stainless steel bearing system for the smoothest of retrieves. Air Rotor design reduces the aluminum and the overall weight of the reel but maintains its strength. Along those same lines is the Air Bail which uses strong but hollow aluminum to keep the weight down. These points contrast the hard aluminum body of the reel which is narrow but likely the heaviest part of the entire mechanism.
A complete picture of Fuego spinning reel features includes full anti reverse for instant hook sets. Add in precision machined gears and spool, a strong aluminum handle, and comfortable padded EVA knob to complete the picture. Another candidate reveals itself as the best spinning reel for bass in the Daiwa Fuego.
#5 Daiwa Exceler Bass Spinning Reel
Finishing off the list of the best spinning reel for bass is the Daiwa Excelor and it brings many of the same features as their Fuego line. Exceler reels do offer anglers a few more size options with 6 models in total to choose from. All models fit the specification range for bass fishing depending only on angler preference. The lightest reel holds 4-8 pound line while the heaviest takes 10-14 and remaining models fill in the middle.
You’ll find mirrored features in Exceler reels that match those of those of the Fuego like the air rotor and bail. Exceler spinning reels use the aluminum hard body and handle design, same as the Fuego. Features you won’t find in the Fuego are an Infinite Anti Reverse which is an improved system, and a click drag adjustment.
Anglers do lose some function in the bearing system with only 5 instead of the Fuego’s 9. The bearings are stainless steel but lack any anti corrosive properties or shielding. The Daiwa Exceler is the freshwater version of the Fuego and it’ll save you a few bucks if you don’t require a crossover reel. Go heavy or go light, Exceler spinning reels make another top choice for bass fishing enthusiasts.
Identifying Qualities Of The Best Spinning Reel For Bass
As you prepare for your bass fishing adventures remember to spend some time examining your choices of reels. It’s nothing short of a downer to find your reel won’t make the grade when you’re out fishing. You’ll likely lose the fish in the experience and feel you’ve wasted time and money.
When you’re looking for the best spinning reel for bass, it’s important to fall in the right range of line and drag specifications. The reels above provide the generally accepted range for bass fishing but the features also define the use. Saltwater reels can easily be applied to any freshwater fishing but not vice versa. Anglers also understand that though saltwater reels aren’t necessary for most bass fishing, they are built tougher and last longer than freshwater models.
Bass spinning reels that crossover between salt and freshwater do usually run a bit more for the added attention but not by much if you follow the recommendations above. Grab a reel then check out the best spinning rods for bass and leave any questions or comments you think of along the way.