If you have decided on buying a new spinning reel for bass fishing then chances are you are looking to throw some lighter lures.
A casting setup is no doubt superior when it comes to throwing larger lures like deep diving lures crankbaits or big spinnerbaits.
But it is on lighter bass tackle setups where a spinning rod and reel really start to shine.
The best spinning reel for bass is one that can make pin point accurate casting when using light gear but also have enough power in the drag to steer a bass clear of any thick cover.
What Size Spinning Reel for Bass?
The best size spinning reel for bass will be either a 2000, 2500 or a 3000 sized reel all of which should be able to hold 120 yards of 8 lb monofilament at a minimum.
The exact choice of size will depend on your lure, line and rod choices.
For example if you are using small/medium sized spinnerbaits in and around thick weed cover then I would choose a 3000 size spinning reel, a medium/heavy power rod and line roughly about 10 to 12 pounds in breaking strain for monofilament or 20 lb braid..
Conversely if you are using small soft plastics/swimbait or a drop-shot/wacky rig then I opt for a size 2500 spinning reel a medium power rod and 8 lb mono or 15 lb braid
A size 2500 reel is actually a really great all rounder, capable of handling larger lures whilst still giving decent casting performance of finesse style baits.
The best spinning rods for bass will usually cost a lot less than a high end reel. Rods break all the time but a quality reel is an investment that should easily last 10 years with proper use and maintenance.
Best Spinning Reel for Bass 2021
1. Abu Garcia Revo SX
The Revo SX is a firm favorite in the bass fishing world and although it may not be quite on a par with higher end reels such as the Shimano Stradic Ci4+ below it is the best spinning reel bass available on the market right now.
For a spinning reel the Revo is a exceptional caster especially when using lighter style setups like a drop shot rig or any other finesse style application.
The size #2000 is great if you have a heavier baitcaster setup for more beefy lures but if you were to only use a spinning setup for bass the I'd size up to the #3000 which makes for a great all round reel.
In the smaller size it really shines when using lighter lines in the 8 lbs range.
Line falls off of the spool with ease making pin point casts a breeze.
The combination of the Rocket Spool Lip and the Everlast bail system is what makes the Revo so good for casting.
The Rocket Spool lip is designed with reduced friction in mind and allows line to fall off of the spool with ease.
The Everlast Bail System lays the line across the spool in a very even fashion even when under high load.
An even line lay is crucial for use when using lighter setups as an uneven lay will mean that occasionally the top layer of line can get bed down into the previous layers if there are uneven spots of line on the spool.
It comes with a high quality carbon matrix drag system, 8 stainless steel ball bearings and a super light, rigid reel housing made from carbon composite materials.
The best bass spinning reel for the money!
2. Shimano Stracic Ci4+
The Stradic Ci4+ is Shimano's flagship model and if price is no issue then it is easily the top spinning reel for bass.
Silky smooth operation, light weight and one of the best drag systems available today make for one of the highest quality spinning reels ever produced.
Shimano have incorporated all of their leading edge technologies into the one reel.
One of the major design elements of the Stradic is how well it is sealed. Shimano famously dunked the reel into saltwater and started reeling in it's promotional video when the Ci4+ was first released.
So if you need a spinning reel to do the occasional light inshore work then the Stradic can handle the harsh reality of the saltwater environment with ease.
The housing is made from Shimano's CI(carbon infused) graphite which is 20% lighter but also one and a half times stronger and less prone to warp when under heavy loading.
The internal gears are cold forged rather than machined using Shimano's Hagene cold forged steel manufacturing process which gives tighter tolerances but much greater strength to the gears.
This results in one of the smoothest running reels you will ever use.
If you are looking for a high end performance spinning reel then the Ci4+ can't be beat!
3. Pflueger Supreme XT
The Pflueger Supreme XT is a great little real for the money. While the ever popular Pflueger President is one of the best value spinning reels you can buy the Supreme XT is a step up in performance that in larger sizes even picky salmon anglers will use as their main spinning reel.
It comes with a massive 10 stainless steel ball bearings and a magnesium body and rotor for reduced weight.
A high quality sealed carbon drag system gives a super smooth drag performance even under high pressure.
Further reducing the weight is a carbon handle with EVA handle.
One of it's standout features is a really large spool that helps to reduce line coil and memory in your line, the spool is also braid ready so no backing needed.
4. Penn Clash
Penn are easily the number one saltwater reel manufacturer today and have been for many years.
They run several lines of spinning reels and although most anglers would use them for inshore work in the smaller 2000 and 3000 sizes they make for very sturdy freshwater spinning reels.
The Clash is an extremely well built reel and one of these with regular servicing should easily last 10 ears or more of regular use.
The internals are all built and machines on CNC machines to a very high tolerance and make for a very rigid reel that has little or no warp even under very heavy loading.
HT100 carbon fiber drag washers ensure that the drag runs smooth all the way through the range eve in the last 20% of the setting where other reels routinely fail to add extra power.
8 fully sealed stainless steel bearings ensure a silky smooth operation.
These reels are slightly heavier than the average freshwater spinning reel due to them being over-engineered but that extra weight means a lot more strength and a much higher quality feel especially when fighting bigger fish.
5. Pflueger President
If you normally run a casting setup and are only looking for a spinning setup for the occasional light work then chances are you are not looking to sped a fortune on a spinning reel.
The President from Pflueger is one of the best value spinning reels available and is the perfect fit for those looking for a cheaper option that still performs.
Of course it won't be in the same league as the Revo SX or the Stradic ci4+ plus it is still a very usable and reliable reel known the less.
They come with 7 stainless steel ball bearings, a multi-disc drag sytem and sealed drag washers.
A great reel for the money.
Spinning Reels for Bass
When choosing the right bass spinning reel there are a number of important factors to consider.
Although the list below is not exhaustive it does covers all of the important features that you need to be aware of.
If you stick to the major spinning reel brands like Shimano, Abu Garcia, Okuma, Penn and Pflueger you really can't go wrong.
Most brands will have an introductory value spinning reel that is fine if you are not doing a lot of fishing.
For me the best value is in the mid-range price point. Can you buy a good spinning reel for bass under 100 ? Sure but it i in the 100-300 range that you get much smoother performance and higher quality materials.
Drag is arguably one of the most important features on any reel. A good drag system allows you to safely tire a fish without seizing under pressure.
For a spinning reel I'll always favor a front drag system. This design allows for much larger drag washers than a rear drag system.
A well sealed drag is very important in protecting the internals of your reel and it one of the most important parts when it comes to maintenance.
The better the seals and the higher the quality of the washers and bearings then the smoother the reel will be.
For bass you'll need a drag that is rated in the 8 - 12 pound range.
Gear ratio has a direct affect on the retrieve rate of your reel when combined with the circumference of the spool.
For bass I'd stick to a 6.0:1 gear ratio. This is a nice compromise between speed and the ability to use lighter lures and bass rigs for more finesse applications.
Gearing on a spinning reel requires the use of very precise machine cutting to get super tight tolerances. These gears need to be serviced every few years to make sure that the reel grease and lubrication are free from grit and fresh.
Although graphite was the go to material twenty years ago today it has been superseded by aluminum, carbon fiber blends and other such exotic materials.
The more rigid the reel body and casing are the better througher the gears will run. Under high load a cheap reel will war or flex which can result in the reel jamming.
As mentions above a 2500 sized bass spinning reel is an ideal size. For really light work you can drop down to a size 2000.
It is very rare to ever see a bass fisherman use anything smaller.
The easier the line flows off of your spool the longer and more accurate your casting will be.
High quality spools usually have a lot of design time and testing to find the optimum shape of the spool lip.
Some spools will come as braid ready which means you do not require the use of backing before you attach the braid.