Nothing beats spending the day out on the water at your local fishing hole trying to land a big bass. Whether you’re fishing to release or for food, you’ll feel immensely satisfied when you’re finally able to reel in the perfect fish. But when it comes to bass fishing, having the right equipment is a critical and often difficult step towards being successful.
There are lots of reels on the market and it can be hard to find a good spinning reel for bass fishing if you don’t know what to look for. With this guide, we’ll take you through all the key points you’ll need to know in order to find the best open face spinning reel for bass fishing. Let’s take a look at some of the top options, then we’ll break down all the information you’ll need to make a good decision.
9 Best Open Face Spinning Reels for Bass Fishing – COMPARED LIST
1. RUNCL Spinning Reel TITAN I 2000 – Smart engineering in a slick package
The reel has the RUNCL 9+1 ball bearing system along with a complete shield for the interior parts which means this reel can be used in salt or fresh water without fear of any wear on the parts. The braking system uses multiple carbon-fiber discs to get a good amount of drag when you need it.
Given the very reasonable price, we strongly recommend this reel, or any other in the TITAN I series.
- Lightweight but surprisingly strong
- Smooth action
- Excellent braking
- Does not hold up well with heavier baits
2. Cadence CS5 Spinning Reel – Fast, Light, and Smooth
The CS5 from Cadence has a lot of power in a very light package. This reel is well manufactured with a lot of features that anglers will enjoy. It’s got a very smooth, comfortable feeling on the cast and it’ll be great to use for hours of fishing on your favorite salt or fresh water.
If it weren’t for the saltwater issues, this reel would be a solid recommendation. As it is, I’d say it’s not worth the price unless you know you’ll only be using it around fresh water.
- Light reel
- Strong, smooth action
- Great drag power
- Saltwater corrosion
- Handle is not super comfortable
3. Diawa BG Spinning Reel – High price for good quality
For the price that it commands, you’ll expect the Diawa to be great right out of the box and to last for years. This reel meets that standard easily, so it’s a strong recommendation from us. Keep in mind, though, that you can find quality reels at a lower price point, so if money is a concern, you’ll want to look elsewhere.
- Strong, sturdy parts and construction
- Smooth action
- Large gear ratio
- Difficult to adjust
4. Penn Battle II Spinning Reel – Saltwater Prize Fish Specialist
This spinning reel has an all-metal body, side plate, and an aluminum bail wire that are all built to last even under a lot of strain. The bearing system is completely sealed and the reel does not have issues with corrosion when it’s exposed to ocean water.
If you’ve got specific big game you’re going after, this reel will work great for you. It’s a little too pricey for us to recommend for any other use, though. Again, if you want something more versatile and that won’t make such a dent in your wallet, there are plenty of better options out there.
- Strong, all metal construction
- Large heavy-duty spool
- Great for saltwater
- Bearing grease not the best
5. KastKing MegaTron Spinning Wheel – A great deal on a serious reel
KastKing is an excellent manufacturer who have made lots of great reels of all types, and their MegaTron spinning wheel is no exception. What’s special about this reel is its body made from an aluminum alloy that makes it both lightweight and extremely durable. That means this reel gives you both accuracy and strength for all your bass fishing needs.
Overall this reel has a lot to like and comes in a very lightweight and low-price package. It’s a strong recommend, especially if you’re new to the sport of bass fishing and want a good first reel for your tacklebox.
- Strong and lightweight
- Holds up well in salt and fresh water
- Spooling is not smooth
- Can be difficult to access inside for servicing
6. Pflueger President Spinning Wheel – Graphite Body and Great Bearings
That shouldn’t be too big a problem here, though, because the line capacity on this reel is a bit smaller than you’d expect from a product in this class.
Given these significant shortcomings, I’d say this Pflueger is not a strong recommendation. The parts and construction here are all solid, but for this price, there are plenty of higher-quality reels out there.
- Strong graphite construction
- Smooth casting
- Good drag
- Line capacity
- Low gear ratio
7. Piscifun Flame Spinning Reel – Best budget option
Piscifun reels are always interesting. This manufacturer is consistently the best-priced option on the market, but their products don’t always stand up to the rigors of fishing out on the water as much as you’d want. This Piscifun Flame is a decent option for what it is: an extreme budget reel for cost-conscious anglers.
Overall I’d say this is not a recommended reel unless the price is a serious concern for you. You’re not going to find a better reel at this price point, but for just a little bit more you can get some much better quality options.
- Smooth action
- Good drag
- Weak body
- Bearings prone to seize up when wet.
8. Okuma Avenger ABF – Unique reel system
Overall, this reel has some interesting features that might make it perfect for a serious angler. If you know how to use it, the Avenger is highly recommended.
- Baitfeed system
- Felt brake system
- Lightweight and strong
- Issues with saltwater corrosion
- Handle will break down quickly.
9. Shimano Stradic HG – high price for a serious reel
Put simply, if you are serious about bass fishing then Shimano is the way to go. You don’t need to spend this much for a good reel, but if you’re willing to do so then there’s no better way to spend your budget.
- Strong and lightweight
- Smooth, proprietary Shimano gear system
- Excellent retrieve
When you’re considering what kind of reel to purchase for your bass fishing, you’ll want to consider a few key features of any product you’ll consider purchasing.
For bass fishing, you want to be able to precisely cast your bait while retaining the strength to really fight with a fish. For the precision piece, you’ll need to find a reel that is lightweight and allows you to customize your drag and spool tension.
For the strength side of things, you’ll simply want to find a reel that’s well constructed enough to put up with the strain you’ll put on it. This means not only having a strong body but a strong gear system as well.
Saltwater vs fresh
Before buying a reel, you should always consider whether you’ll be using it in saltwater, freshwater, or both. Most reels today completely shield their inner parts and are thus suitable for either application, but as you can see from this list it’s not always the case that a reel meets that expectation. Make sure the reel you pick is going to hold up well in the water you fish.
The gear ratio is simply a measure of how your cranks of the handle correspond to retraction of the line. When it comes to bass fishing, you’ll want to have a lot of precision in how you retract your bait. That means often times a lower gear ratio will work better.
If you know a gear ratio you like, look for that. If not, aim for something at least 5.2:1, as that’s a good baseline for the minimum retraction you want on each crank.
Companies will throw out lots of flowery descriptions of their bearing systems, but really you only need this piece to do a few simple things. You want several standard bearings to make your gear run smoothly, and then one quick release bearing to help prevent reverse pulling.
It’s standard practice for reels to give the user the ability to adjust spool tension and brake power on the fly. Make sure you understand how your reel allows you to make these adjustments. Most spinning reels can be adjusted by turning a few knobs, but a few require you to open up the shielding and that can be tricky if you need to do it while out on the water.
Are spinning reels good for bass fishing?
Yes, spinning reels work well for bass fishing. They are great for different techniques, including split shot, drop shot, shaky head, weightless plastics, spinners, and small crankbaits.
What is the best size spinning reel for bass fishing?
It depends on the size of bass you want to fish. A 2500 reel is a good versatile option, but you can go as low as 1000 and as high as 3500 when it comes to bass.
What is better for bass fishing spinning reel or baitcaster?
It depends on your level of experience and the fishing conditions. If you are new to bass fishing, a spinning reel is much easier to operate for you. If you are ready for a steeper learning curve, a baitcaster can achieve greater distance and can handle heavier weights.
What bait is good for a bass fishing spinning reel?
You can use spinning reels for nearly any type of bait, including crankbaits, swim baits, tubes, jigs, spinnerbaits, senkos, spinnerbaits and top water.
What is the Best Fishing Line For Bass Spinning Reel?
Generally, spinning reels are made for lighter fishing lines. Heavier lines don’t work well on spinning reels because if the line is too thick, it can jump off the reel spool during casting.
Bass fishing is an excellent sport and can be hours and hours of fun if you’ve got the right equipment. Using this guide, you’ll be able to find a top-notch reel that fits your style of fishing and your wallet. Make sure you research any reel before buying and check that it’s compatible with any other gear you’re looking to use. Stick to this advice and you’ll be netting big bass in no time.