Best Inshore Spinning Reels in 2023 – Buyer’s Guide

The cool thing about saltwater is that you get to do so many fun activities in it and one of which is inshore fishing.

Most fishers, if not all, target trophies, and you need the most durable inshore spinning reel to reel in your catch to the shore.

Fishing in saltwater is a bit hard because of the corrosive effect it has on your gear, and that’s why you regularly need to clean your reel and rod to increase their lifespan.

First things first, let’s help you pick the best inshore spinning reel!

List of the Best 6 Inshore Spinning Reels:

  • Shimano Stradic HG – Best Overall
  • Penn Conflict III – Runner Up
  • Penn Spinfisher V – Most Powerful Drag
  • Abu Garcia Revo – Best Design
  • Penn Battle ll – Best Value for Money
  • Pflueger Supreme XT – Best Ultralight Inshore Spinning Reel

Our Top Picks:

Reel

Gear Ratio Ball Bearings Max Drag Material

Shimano Stradic HG

6.0:1 6 19.8 lbs. Reinforced carbon body

Penn Conflict III

5.2:1 7 9 lbs.

Heavy-duty resin

Penn Spinfisher V

6.2:1 5 40 lbs.

Aluminum body

Abu Garcia Revo

6.2:1 6 24 lbs.

Carbon body

Penn Battle ll

6.2:1 6 16 lbs. Full metal body

Pflueger Supreme XT

6.2:1 10 10 lbs.

Magnesium body

The 6 Best Inshore Spinning Reels in 2023

1. Shimano Stradic HG – Best Overall

Shimano Stradic HG

Every human being likes to have an all-in-one device that works out everything for them. That’s the case with the Shimano Stradic, as it can be used in inshore and offshore fishing. 

The reel is built with high-quality materials that can withstand the harsh effects of saltwater. Also, the body is made of high-end reinforced carbon that endures corrosion, contributing to its longevity. 

As the reel’s construction is carbon-based, it’s pretty light, which allows the fisher to take it on long trips. 

The Shimano Stradic comes with a HAGANE design to provide anglers with a silky-smooth reeling experience.

Many holders praised the Shimano Stradic for giving them such a smooth fishing experience. Moreover, they recommended the reel for beginners as it’s easily installed and used.

One of the cool features that a Shimano Stradic owns is the X-ship technology, which contributes to the smoothness between the gear and the spool to support accurate and distance casting.

Furthermore, the X-ship technology offers excellent reel durability, as it enables the gear to stay still in its position even if the fish is massive.

The gear ratio is 6.0:1, which is pretty high. With the right training, the ratio allows the fisher to achieve a 19.8-lbs maximum drag, which could be done smoothly due to the presence of 6 stainless steel ball bearings. 

Pros:

  • HAGANE concept design
  • X-ship technology
  • Used for inshore and offshore fishing
  • Beginner-friendly

Cons:

  • Pricey

Bottom Line

If you’re targeting an easily-installed and beginner-friendly reel, the Shimano Stradic HG should be on the top of your list. The X-ship technology will offer your long, accurate casts, and the powerful drag system will give you a successful retrieve. However, it’s a bit pricey!

2. Penn Conflict III – Runner Up

Penn Conflict III

The Penn Conflict III is famous for being the lightest Penn due to its rigid resin construction. 

It’s recommended for beginners and pros as it has a simple handling technique that can be mastered by both. A Penn Conflict is an excellent place to start.

Unlike the Shimano Stradic HG, the Penn Conflict III won’t allow you to catch a trophy bass as it has a maximum drag of 9 lbs. Some holders claimed that it could go up to 15 lbs, but it may lead to the reel’s rapid destruction.

The Penn Conflict comes with an HT-100 drag system that can work with a Penn drag clicker. The drag system includes a carbon fiber washer, which provides your casts with more flexibility and accuracy. 

It also has a machined, anodized-aluminum Superline spool to perform fast retrieves and eliminate line entanglements.

Furthermore, it adopts the CNC gear technology, eliminating the friction in the spool shaft. Plus, it features a rotor-balancing technology, which allows the line to balance around the spool.

The reel has 7 sealed stainless steel bearings to maintain the cast’s smoothness and prevent friction, contributing to a longer lifespan. 

Also, you may need to clean your gear and reel after every fishing trip to keep your inshore spinning reel safe and durable.

The reel is more expensive than the Penn Battle ll, but it offers more qualities.

Pros:

  • HT-100 drag system
  • Fast casts and retrieves
  • 7 sealed steel ball bearings

Cons: 

  • Maximum drag is 9 lbs
  • Constant cleaning after each trip

Bottom Line

If you’re a beginner who isn’t looking for trophies, the Penn Conflict ll is a great match. You’ll achieve accurate casts and possess a powerful drag system that will ensure a good catch.

3. Penn Spinfisher V – Most Powerful Drag

Penn Spinfisher V

Penn spinning reels are one of the best inshore spinning reels. They can retrieve the most massive trophies without giving anglers sore arms.

Also, the Penn Spinfisher V has a sturdy aluminum construction that can withstand the corrosion caused by saltwater.

The frame is very well-built, strong enough to protect all included components. The reel is 100% waterproof, so saltwater can’t harm the drag system and ball bearings.

The Penn Spinfisher comes with 3 HT-100 drag washers, which contribute to a powerful drag system, efficient enough to catch a 40-lbs trophy. However, some anglers claimed that the Penn Spinfisher could only catch a 30-lbs fish.

Also, anglers can use the inshore spinning reel to form smooth, accurate casts. Moreover, the reel comes with 5 stainless-steel ball bearings that eliminate friction and achieve buttery-smooth retrieves.

The spool has rubber gaskets to help stabilize the line in its position to prevent line slippage. If you were to catch a trophy, the anti-reverse handle would offer you full control over your reel.

Unlike the Shimano Stradic HG inshore spinning reel, the Penn Spinfisher V isn’t beginner-friendly because it requires a lot of skill and talent to fight a 40-lbs fish.

The gear ratio of the Penn Spinfisher is 6.2:1, which is pretty high compared to the Penn Conflict III, meaning that a Penn Spinfisher will possess faster retrieves.

Pros:

  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Watertight
  • 3 HT-100 drag washers

Cons:

  • Not suitable for newbies
  • Loose handle

Bottom Line

If you’re after massive trophies, a Penn Spinfisher V will make your dreams come true. Although, you’ve to be a professional to use it. 

4. Abu Garcia Revo – Best Design

Abu Garcia Revo

It may not be the cheapest inshore spinning reel in the market; however, Abu Garcia Revo is famous for its outstanding design and solid construction.

It comes with the X-Craftic frame and HPCR bearings to endure the harsh effects of saltwater and enhance the reel’s lifespan. The powerful drag also reels in a 24 lbs trophy.

The line capacity of the Abu Garcia Revo is very high. In most reels, higher line capacity corresponds to a more massive reel, but this isn’t the case with Abu Garcia as it’s pretty lightweight.

The rocket line management system is an Abu Garcia exclusive feature that prevents line entanglements as it applies more control on the line coming out of the spool leading to better casting.

It comes in different sizes ranging from 30 to 60, so it’s used in inshore fishing as these sizes can’t get to great depths.

Also, different sizes are made from other materials. The most commonly used are size 40 and 60, which are made of the X-Craftic alloy frame.

Moreover, it provides anglers with machined, aluminum spools to go along with braided lines.

The reel possesses 6 stainless steel ball bearings to maintain smooth casts and retrieves. The gear ratio is 6.2:1, which is similar to most inshore spinning reels. 

Pros:

  • The smooth carbon drag system
  • X-Craftic frame
  • High line capacity
  • Recommended by pros

Cons:

  • Uncomfortable grip

Bottom Line

Abu Garcia Revo is one of the best inshore spinning reels in the market, mainly for those who are seeking cool designs. On the other hand, it’s not the best choice for anglers who go on long trips, as the uncomfortable grip may give them a sore arm.

5. Penn Battle ll – Best Value for Money

Penn Battle ll

The Penn Battle ll is a living proof that money doesn’t always correspond to better quality. The features that the Penn Battle ll offers have grabbed a lot of anglers’ attention.

It has a metal body that enhances the reel’s durability and longevity and comes with a rigid HT-100 frame to provide the reel with more strength.

Penn’s website mentioned that the reel has powerful carbon-fiber washers to reel in a 16 lbs fish, although experiments proved that it could only reel in a 12-lbs fish, which wouldn’t cause a problem to non-trophy seekers.

It comes with 5 ball bearings and an anti-reverse bearing to attain the smoothness of casts and retrieves. Furthermore, the instant anti-reverse feature will ensure that the line doesn’t break and reel in the prey successfully.

The gear ratio is 6.2:1, which is good enough to handle fast retrieves.

The spool is compatible with the braided line, which is extremely durable as it eliminates slippage. Moreover, the spool is marked at different positions to keep the fisher updated with the length left in the line, so he doesn’t break his casts.

One of the attractive features in the Penn Battle ll is the EVA Knobs on the handle that creates a firm, comfortable grip.

Pros:

  • Cost-effective
  • Buttery-smooth casting
  • HT-100 drag washers

Cons:

  • It may tear-out quickly
  • Heavy 

Bottom Line

If you’re on a tight budget, get yourself a Penn Battle ll. It costs under $100 and offers impressive features considering its price, although you’d have to give up trophies and also buy a new one after a short period.

6. Pflueger Supreme XT – Best Ultralight Inshore Spinning Reel

Pflueger Supreme XT

Pflueger Supreme XT is an angler’s top choice when looking for a top-notch, creative design. It also comes in different-sized models that vary in terms of pricing and gear ratio. 

For instance, if you buy a 25-sized reel, the gear ratio is 5.2:1. On the other hand, if you get a 40-sized reel, the gear ratio 6.2:1.

The magnesium body offers excellent lightness to the reel; however, magnesium isn’t the best element for building a successful inshore spinning reel, as magnesium can easily corrode from the harsh saltwater.

It has 10 ball bearings to exert smooth casts and retrieves, in addition to the smart retrieve feature that allows braided lines to lay accurately with no line slippage.

The bail anti-twist titanium line roller is a feature that helps your braided lines lay still in their positions without twists or breakage.

The reel’s balancing rotor will also perform accurate casts that are good enough to capture 10-lbs fish.

It also comes with a sealed carbon drag system to keep out saltwater, but anglers claimed that the drag system sealing isn’t done correctly, so water can go into the system and destroy it.

Furthermore, it has a carbon handle with comfortable EVA knobs that provides the holder with a light, firm grip. 

Pros:

  • Ultralight
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Instant anti-reverse
  • 10 ball bearings

Cons:

  • Magnesium isn’t corrosion-resistant
  • Requires regular maintenance
  • Not fully sealed

Bottom Line

If you’re an angler who likes to go on long fishing trips with an ultralight reel that doesn’t come off as a burden, and a silky smooth 10 bearing system to perform effortless casts and retrieves, Pflueger Supreme XT should be your top pick. 

How to Select the Best Inshore Spinning Reel

The high prices of inshore spinning reels don’t always guarantee the best quality. You need to look into more specifications to get the most effective inshore spinning reel. Consider the following:

1. Material

Spending your day and night surrounded by a corrosive environment like salty water will persuade you to go for aluminum, stainless-steel, or graphite spinning reels.

These materials are lightweight and durable, so you can depend on their strength when trophy fishing. 

Another important tip is that you’ve to clean your gear after each fishing trip to elongate their lifetime.

Magnesium inshore spinning reel is a BIG NO to all saltwater anglers because it can easily rust.

2. Spool

You’ve to pick the spool wisely. The material either be aluminum or graphite. Aluminum is a bit heavier than graphite; however, aluminum is preferred by pros because of its durability.

As you’ll be fishing in saltwater, you’d better choose spools that are compatible with braided and monofilament lines.

The braided lines compatibility will ensure you avoid any line entanglements and limit the line’s slippage.

3. Gear Ratio

The gear ratio represents the number of the line turns around the spool corresponding to the handle turns. 

If you have a low gear ratio, the spinning reel will be easier to handle, but you’d take a longer time to retrieve your catch. 

On the other hand, having a high gear ratio allows you to retrieve your cast faster.

4. Line Capacity

Since you’re trophy-fishing, you need a high line capacity to reel in all the necessary weight. You’ll need at least a 300-yard line to offer you a proper fishing experience and more leverage over your targeted fish.

5. Ball Bearings

Inshore spinning reels should have shielded stainless steel ball bearings to endure the corrosive effects of saltwater.

As the number of ball bearings increases, the smoothness of the reel will increase. They tend to eliminate the friction between any two solid parts in the inshore spinning reel.

6. Maximum Drag Strength

A saltwater spinning reel should attain maximum drag strength to catch all fish sizes. It’s the most crucial point in buying a worthwhile inshore spinning reel.

You need to make sure that your reel has a frictionless, powerful drag to get your prey to the shore. Some powerful reels with maximum drag can reel in almost 40 pounds if used right. With such a strong drag, you need a strong arm to handle this pressure.

Final Thoughts

Fishing in saltwater is a mind-blowing hobby and profession that requires skill and talent to catch trophy fish. You need to adapt your choice of reel to your needs and skills to have the best fishing experience with the best inshore spinning reel.

For example, if you want to catch trophies that are more than 20 lbs, and also enjoy a good fight, pick the Penn Spinfisher V inshore spinning reel to make it happen. Although, you’ve to remember that this reel is made for pros, not beginners. Don’t worry, there’s a perfect inshore spinning reel for newbies, too.

The Abu Garcia Revo is a beginner-friendly reel that can catch trophies up to 24 lbs. You may want bigger fish, but since you’re a newbie, start by using Abu Garcia Revo until you ace some casting and fighting techniques.

Categories Fishing Reels