Best Cheap Saltwater Spinning Reels

saltwater spinning reel
Saltwater spinning reel via Pixabay

Apparently, fishing in saltwater just got a notch better, thanks to the arrival of some ingeniously-designed cheap saltwater spinning reels.

For some anglers, that soft feel of sand on their feet as they cast their reels out for a catch is golden.

For others, the thrill comes from standing on the stern of a boat, watching a salty water fish struggling at the line’s opposite edge.

It all boils down to how significant you value your camaraderie of a few fishing friends and most importantly the type of your spinning reel.

Best CheapSaltwater Spinning Reels​

One can easily acquire a fishing reel made from graphite or fiberglass for saltwater fishing without laboring much. What’s even more impressive is the many brands and varieties that aren’t very expensive, but deliver beyond their expectations.

However, with these many brands of these spinning reels emanates confusion in choosing the best one for your weekend fishing expeditions.

With little or no information, you can quickly fall for junk reels that masquerade as the real deal.

If you are looking for any one piece that is affordable, the following list will help you choose the best cheap saltwater spinning reel.​

What to look for in a cheap spinning reel?

In the US, inshore fishing in saltwater bodies is slowly becoming an everyday activity and rightfully so owing to the arrival of some of the finely engineered fishing gear.

For those anglers who have decided to fish in the salty waters, the essence of having a spinning reel that’s built for the difficult conditions can’t be overstated.

Whether you are a passive fishing enthusiast or a professional, you must own a spinning reel that’s worth your passion.

It is a fact-inshore angling can be expensive, but not in this context.

So, some of the factors to consider before taking the plunge include:​

What the spinning reel is made of

Truth be told; most of today’s modern spinning reels used in saltwater fishing are either made of composite materials or durable metals such as aluminum and stainless steel.

Expectedly, they last longer than the regular options, perform better, and can weather out the harshness of saltwater.

However, be smart enough to go for the premium options only. Aluminum-made reels are lighter and aren’t corroded, thus last longer.

On the other hand, stainless steel is robust and suits your freshwater and saltwater fishing travails.

Fishing reels made from composite materials isn’t expensive.

Therefore, it isn’t by mere coincidence that what it is made of comes first in this purchasing guide.


While this is another important attribute, few people often consider their comfort while holding the tool.

If you are comfy with it, your confidence will automatically rise, which ultimately means your fishing skills will improve.

In that case, bank on a lighter, more robust reel to perform well in salty waters.

Bearings​ and gear ratio

As you will come to discover, most of the contemporary saltwater spinning reels come in a varied number of ball bearings.

Go for more ball bearings as they result in a smoother reel’s drag. Moreover, it is of importance to consider what the ball bearings are made of.

Shielded stainless steel ball bearings are the best ones owing to the corrosion associated with inshore fishing in saltwater.

Targeted species of fish

Fishing in saltwater is often a “tricky” endeavor as you must understand the different habitats and the types of fish that breed in there.

For instance, did you know Tarpon is mostly found along the coastlines while snook prefers shrouded mangrove areas?

Do some proper research.

Additionally, it can be impossible to catch 300-pound bass or tuna using a thin composite rod. In short, consider the type of fish vis-a-vis your selected fishing reel.

Method of fishing

As you go around, hunting for the best saltwater spinning reel, no one will ask you about your favorite style of the fishery.

Anglers fishing from a moving boat can maneuver around with little difficulty.

However, land-bound anglers will require a reel that’s long enough to be cast and withstand the heavy drags and the vicious fights from the hunted fish.

It boils down to the line capacity, the robustness of the hook, and the weight of the expected catch.

Your budget​

Spinning reels are easily any angler’s best choice as they are easier to cast, although the recent ones are affordable.

With the arrival of more sophisticated pieces of equipment, there is an expectation of delightful experiences coupled with bountiful harvests.

Without a doubt, most of today’s popular reels are expensive, but it doesn’t mean that your little budget is a less-than-stellar choice.

Irrespective of your budget, the following is a review of the best cheap saltwater spinning reels.​

10 Best Cheap Saltwater Spinning Reels

If you are lost in the heart of the flooded fishing gear market and are beginning to feel spoilt for choice, first remember each of the above tips.

They are critically ideal particularly because some brands grossly outshine and outperform the commonly advertised reels.

Aside from that, the following is an excellent review of saltwater spinning reels that promise to sympathize with your budget.

Have a look.

1. Quantum Snapshot LS20

No products found.
No products found.

With a patented 2-Snapshot trigger system and a six-stainless-steel ball bearing system, this saltwater spinning reel is easily suited for the harsh conditions.

In fact, its graphite-made spare spool along with its front adjustable drag makes it a common choice amongst smart anglers.

You will readily notice that this budget saltwater spinning reel’s Long Stroke Max Cast aluminum spool helps during unprecedented changes of line test weights.

One of the perks of using Quantum Snapshot LS20 Spinning Reels is the fact that it is the only spinning reel in the planet that allows you to cast without having to touch the line.​

The benefits don’t end there. It’s multi-stop and anti-reverse feature is what makes it one of the best cheap spinning reels currently in the market. 

The patented trigger system is like many advanced spinning reels while it also comes with a aluminum long stroke spool and a graphite-made spare spool incase you lose it. ​

Features I like​

  • Six shielded stainless steel ball bearings
  • A graphite-made spare spool
  • Stroke aluminum spool
  • Patented trigger system
  • Multi-stop, anti-reverse
  • Aluminum long stroke spool

2. Pflueger President Spinning Reel

No products found.
No products found.

Firstly, this saltwater spinning reel is among the few brands that deliver beyond what they promise, despite being cheap.

With a set of nine stainless steel ball bearing system, this spinning reel is better suited for the salty waters.

Additionally, its graphite body makes it a lightweight tool.

The above-par performance is further buoyed by its highly durable aluminum handle that makes it easy for anglers to use.

As an affordable, feature-rich saltwater spinning reel, this brand is loved because of its smooth drags.

It is lightweight, and with the rugged design, your fishing expeditions will utterly be a success.

Features I like​

  • Nine bearing system
  • Anti-reverse bearings
  • Body made of graphite
  • Stainless steel drag
  • Aluminum spool
  • Durable aluminum handle

3. Okuma Avenger Spinning Reels

No products found.
No products found.

Many anglers will love the fact that the Okuma Avengeer saltwater spinning reel comes with six stainless steel ball bearing.

And, that’s just a tip of its many impressive features.

This budget spinning reel comes with Multi-disk, Japanese-oiled felt drag washers and a Patented EOS Oscillation System.

Additionally, the 1-Quick Set Anti-Reverse Roller Bearing ensures that your fishing expeditions continue smoothly.

Other features include a rigid die-cast aluminum, pinion gear made of machine cut brass and water tight drag seal.

It is possibly the easiest to cast and with its impressive casting distance and its versatility, its fame isn’t a wild guess. It rarely backlashes too.​

Features I like​

  • Six stainless ball bearings
  • Multi-disk, Japanese-oiled felt drag washers
  • A Patented Oscillation System
  • Anti-Reverse Roller Bearing
  • Rigid die-cast aluminum

4. Penn Battle II

No products found.
No products found.

In the modern-day inshore fishing world, the Penn Battle II is fondly revered because it is seen as the new incarnation of the latter-day saltwater reels.

It comes with six fully sealed ball bearings that can withstand the harsh salty waters.

The brands offer up to 30 lbs of incredibly smooth drag, which is ideal for most inshore anglers.

It is so smooth and highly powerful with line capacity that can handle a wide variety of the commonly available saltwater species.

Of course, it is engineered to be operated with little difficulty and can last longer than the regular brands.

The drag is significantly smooth, although its principal drawback, is the unsteady body.

Features I like​

  • Six stainless steel ball bearings
  • Front drag reel is reversible for left-handed individuals
  • Washers greased with proprietary oil treatment
  • Highly durable aluminum handle
  • Graphite body and rotor
  • Superior reels for better drag pressure – 30 lbs

5. Daiwa Emcast Sport Saltwater Spinning Reels

No products found.
No products found.

The most impressive thing about this spinning reel is the fact that it can be used in saltwater as well as fresh waters.

Coming with eight ball bearing system for smooth casts and retrieves, Daiwa Emcast Sport Saltwater Spinning Reels are as popular as they are versatile.

They also feature an aluminum spool that works to reduce friction during casting.

What else might you find to be impressive?

Being so versatile with eight ball bearings, this spinning reel is mostly loved by those who love fishing in different areas.

It is so light and performs far much better than other types out there.​

You will encounter few unpleasant experiences but you have to live with the hassle of keeping it clean.​

Features I like​

  • Single touch folding handle
  • ABS aluminum spool
  • Precision, worm-gear level wind – twist buster
  • Rugged, lightweight composite body with a rotor
  • A soft-touch control power knob
  • Powerful and durable

6. Penn Pursuit II

No products found.
No products found.

If you have tried your hands on any previous Penn model then this one will not appear alien to you.

Its body is made of graphite and it is notably loved because of the aluminum spool.

It is also popular because it is made to last and is inexpensive, although it serves any angler’s needs well.

The ball bearings are shielded meaning that the harsh waters won’t corroded the reel.

The brand’s drag system features an entry-level oiled carbon fiber drag.

You are bound to like the fact that it is available in five sizes.

It is engineered to last, a factor that makes it so popular in most of today’s spinning reel markets. After testing both the 6000 and the 4000, it’s pretty clear that the former is superior and dependable.

Despite all these stellar features, the fact that it is made with fewer ball bearings means that it can’t be used when fishing those stronger and more powerful fishes. However, for its affordability, this demerit is simply a non-issue.​

Features I like​

  • Four shielded ball bearing system
  • Lightweight, rust-resistant graphite body
  • Machined, anodized spool made of aluminum
  • Infinite anti-reverse with maximum line capacity of 525 yards
  • Maximum drag of 25 lbs
  • The drag system – entry-level oiled

7. Okuma Azores Saltwater Spinning Reel

No products found.
No products found.

If you are looking for a spinning reel that can comfortably handle bigger fishes, then look no further.

As rigid and sturdy as its body is, you will understand why it is among the best when the vicious fight ensues.

However, its other traits, besides being affordable is its dual force drag system that, undoubtedly, packs the most powerful drag of any cheap spinning reel.

When you are done with the 44lb of smooth drag throughout the sessions, its entire body design seemingly stands out.

It features seven shielded ball bearings and high-density rust-resistant gearing for protection while angling at the salty waters.

Okuma Azores Saltwater Spinning Reel also has a hydro-block watertight seal so that the drag stays away from contaminants.

It has been tested for quality and reliability. That must be why it is often used by professional anglers.

Despite being so light, powerful and robust, Okuma Azores Saltwater Spinning Reel has a somewhat nimble rod.

However, it is a nice pick if you are looking for a budget saltwater spinning reel.​

Features I like​

  • Built using materials of the highest quality
  • Packs up 44 pounds of smooth, maximum drag
  • Six corrosion resistant stainless steel bearing system
  • Precision dual force drag system
  • Multi-disk, Carbonite drag washers
  • An anti-reverse roller system that’s easy to set

8. Okuma Trio High Speed Spinning Reel

No products found.
No products found.

When looking for a budget saltwater spinning reel, getting a single choice that can sufficiently deliver stellar performances for years isn’t so easy.

Okuma may have designed multiple spinning reel models, but at the moment there’s no substitute for this one.

Okuma Trio High-Speed Spinning Reel is a perfect blend of aluminum’s durableness and graphite’s lightweight nature.

Made with the authentic Okuma patented technologies, this option has all that it takes to make inshore fishing fun and successful.

Some of its pros include near perfect casting performance, even dual-force dragging system, and its sleek design.

Its handle is lightweight, although one of its demerits is the wire bell that’s pretty heavy.​

Features I like​

  • Okuma’s Elliptical Oscillation System
  • Dual force drag and top performance bearing
  • Made with a corrosion-resistant coating
  • Its hybrid spool is made of graphite arbor and an aluminum lip
  • Infinite anti-reverse roller
  • Black and orange color combination for a beautiful look

The Verdict

The die has been cast and the results are out!

Assuming that you have understood the main purchase tips, at least, the level of confusion has been reduced. However, be a smart angler and own two or three of them to enjoy the feel and the thrill of fishing in saltwater.

They are affordable.

Personally, I’d go for any of the Okuma’s – they have everything for everyone and are more powerful. If I miss them, then Quantum Snapshot will do it!

Last update on 2024-06-21 at 02:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *