Choosing The Best Spinning Reel: A Comparison of Three Popular Choices

Whether you are a casual or professional angler, investing in a high-quality spinning reel will prove to be critical. With the abundance of the choices, however, it will be hard for you to make a well-informed decision. Factors such as ease of use, durability, and price are just some of the things that should be taken into account to help you make the right decision.

From the body to the size of the reel, as well as technical specifications like gear ratio and drag system, there are many things that should be looked t before you can make a well-informed choice. It is not as easy as picking the first one that you see or the one that is available with the cheapest price. It should be considered as a vital investment, which is why caution should be observed as you shop for the best.

Are you on the lookout for the best spinning reel that is available in the market today? Keep on reading and we will examine three of the best choices that are available. We will have a detailed comparison of their features and specifications to help you come up with the best choice.


Our Pick: Top 3 Best Spinning Reels 2016

1. Okuma Avenger ABF Grarphite Bait Feeder Reel

2. Penn Battle II Spinning Reel

3. KastKing Sharky II Waterproof Spinning Reel

Seven Things You Need To Consider When Buying A Spinning Reel

  • Price
  • Materials Used 
  • Ease of Use 
  • Gear Ratio 
  • Weight 
  • Ball Bearings
  • Drag System

Price

For most people, there is no doubt that cost is their most important consideration when buying a spinning reel. More often than not, they will settle with what they budget can afford, foregoing the fact that some of the best features are only present in the high-end models. Before you make a decision, make sure to take a look at the price tag of the models that are available.


Drag System

You should also compare the drag system of the spinning reels in order to differentiate one from the other. If you want one that can prove to be the best, make sure that the product comes with a smooth drag system. This will also be indicative of how easy it will be for the user to control the fish.

Okuma Avenger ABF Graphite Bait Feeder Reel

Penn Battle II Spinning Reel

KastKing Sharky II Waterproof Spinning Reel

  • Multi-disc drag system
  • HT-100 drag system
  • Front-access drag
  • Oil-felt drag
  • Carbon fiber drags
  • CarbonFiber Matrix drag
  • Okuma Avenger ABF Graphite Bait Feeder Reel: One of the best things about this model is that it comes with a multi-disc drag system. With this, you can expect the product to deliver smooth operation even when it is used under a heavy load. It also comes with an oil-felt-drag system, which basically allows it to provide consistent drag pressure.
  • Penn Battle II Spinning Reel: This model comes with the HT-100 drag system. The latter is one of the key technologies that have been integrated in this product to give it an edge above other models within the competition. With just one or two clicks, the drag will work to your advantage. It is also a good thing that the drags are made from carbon fiber, similar to KastKing Sharky II.
  • KastKing Sharky II Waterproof Spinning Reel: The drag system of this spinning reel is made with Carbon Fiber Matrix, which makes it lighter than Okuma Avenger but just as the same weight as Penn Battle II. The drag system can be accessed from the front, which also makes it consistent and strong.

Ratio

In order to effectively differentiate one option from the other, you should find the time to evaluate the technical specifications of all the choices that you will be confronted with. Even if you are a beginner, you should learn about the technical specifications and more importantly, how they can affect the performance of the spinning reel.

Among other technical specifications, one of the most important would be the gear ratio. Simply put, this is a measurement of the number of times that the spool will turn with each single turn of the handle. The first number will be indicative of the number of times the bail will have revolutions around the spool. The second number, meanwhile, will be the number of revolutions that will be made by the handle. Generally speaking, they are categorized in three groups. A slow reel has a gear ratio of 5:1. Meanwhile, the gear ratio of an average ratio is 6:1. Lastly, for fast reels, the gear ratio is 7:1 or higher.

At the end of the day, however, it is important to keep in mind that there is no universal recommendation with regards to which one is the best when it comes to gear ratio. There are individual factors that will come into play, such as your specific type of fishing. For fishing that will require lures, higher ratio is suggested. On the other hand, for overall fishing, a slower reel would suffice.

  • Gear Okuma Avenger ABF Graphite Bait Feeder Reel: This model comes with 4.5:1 gear ratio, which is pretty much slow. This is the perfect choice for those who are looking for bait runner reels.
  • Penn Battle II Spinning Reel: With a gear ratio of 6.1:1, this spinning reel is significantly faster than Okuma Avenger and KastKing Sharky.
  • KastKing Sharky II Waterproof Spinning Reel: This specific model comes with a gear ratio of 5.2:1, which makes it faster compared to Okuma Avenger and slower compared to Penn Battle II.

Materials Used

The materials used, as well as the construction of the spinning reel will be important because they are indicative of the overall quality of the product. It is important to pick a spinning reel that is made from high-quality materials. The materials will also have an impact on weight, user-friendliness, and durability, among other things.

  • Okuma Avenger ABF Graphite Bait Feeder Reel: One of the best things about this model is that it is made with a graphite body. This is a premium material, which is known for its ability to resist corrosion. Meaning, even through the years, you do not have to worry about wear and tear, even if it is frequently used. This lightweight composite material has been considered by many as one of the best alternatives to metal alloy. Even if it is going to be used for saltwater fishing, you can be confident that it is going to be long-lasting.
  • Penn Battle II Spinning Reel: Compared to Okuma Avenger and KastKing Sharky II, this model is heavier as it has a metal body. Although metal is not preferred by some because of its weight, it is going to be an excellent choice if you are looking for an option that can withstand the test of time. There are also some parts that are made from plastic, but they are very little. Although it can be heavy, metal is also an excellent choice because like the material that is used in the spinning reel mentioned above, it can also resist corrosion.
  • KastKing Sharky II Waterproof Spinning Reel: Similar to Okuma Avenger, this is also made with a graphite body, which makes it a lighter alternative to Penn Battle II.. It is strong, lightweight, and durable. It can be used in various fishing conditions, even in saltwater, without having to be worried about external damages, even corrosion.

Ease of Use

Especially for those who are just starting to discover the wonderful world of fishing, one of the things that should be considered in the comparison of the choices for spinning reels would be how user-friendly they are. Obviously, if you are a novice, you should settle with models that will be effortless to use. Meaning, even without lengthy practice and having to go through the instructions in detail, you must be able to use it in a snap.

Okuma Avenger ABF Graphite Bait Feeder Reel

Penn Battle II Spinning Reel

KastKing Sharky II Waterproof Spinning Reel

  • Lightweight spool
  • Soft touch knob
  • Easy to cast
  • Micro-adjustable drag system
  • A bit heavy
  • Front access drag system
  • Okuma Avenger ABF Graphite Bait Feeder Reel: There are many features that contribute to the ease of use of this model. For instance, it comes with a lightweight spool design, which is known for its ability to improve consistency and fluidity. The micro-adjustable drag system is one more feature that should be highlighted. Basically speaking, the latter is the one that is responsible for having the drag system tailor-fitted based on the specific fishing condition. 
  • Penn Battle II Spinning Reel: One of the features that make this an excellent choice when it comes to ease of use is its soft-touch knob. However, compared to Okuma Avenger and KastKing Sharky, it is a bit heavier, which can cause a problem when using it for an extended period.
  • KastKing Sharky II Waterproof Spinning Reel: One of is advantages over Okuma Avenger and Penn Battle II is that it is easy to cast and wind. It also has front access drag system. More so, from the first time that you hold this reel, it might seem familiar if you are a seasoned fisher. There is no steep learning curve and for sure, it will not take long before you can get used to this spinning reel.

Weight

When you are out in a fishing trip, for sure, you would not want to have the burden of carrying heavy load. With this, you should keep your fishing gear as lightweight as possible. Keep in mind, however, that weight will have an impact on other factors, such as ease of use, durability, and comfort.

Generally speaking, it will be good to settle with lightweight spinning reels, which means that handling such will be easier, even if you will be fishing for an extended period of time.

  • Okuma Avenger ABF Graphite Bait Feeder Reel: This spinning reel has a weight of 16.3 ounces.
  • Penn Battle II Spinning Reel: The weight of this spinning reel will depend on the specific model that will be chosen. Generally speaking, however, the weight can range from 8 to 30 ounces.
  • KastKing Sharky II Waterproof Spinning Reel: The lightest model within this category of spinning reel weighs 7.5 ounces, which is the lightest amongst Okuma Avenger and Penn Battle II. The heaviest, on the other hand, weighs 23.4 ounces.

Ball Bearings

This is another technical aspect that should be taken into consideration when you are searching for the spinning reel. The higher is the number of ball bearing, the better is the spinning reel as this means that it can be operated in a manner that is smoother. More than just the number of ball bearings, you should also take a look at the specific construction, especially the materials from which it is made of. Sealed stainless steel is the one that is preferred by many because such is easier to control and more durable.

  • Okuma Avenger ABF Graphite Bait Feeder Reel: This model comes with 6 sealed ball bearings. As mentioned, sealed ball bearings are highly-recommended because they can prevent the penetration of water, allowing the product to deliver long-term functionality.
  • Penn Battle II Spinning Reel: This model comes with 5 sealed ball bearings. The ball bearings are also sealed with stainless steel, which will make it long-lasting even when used in saltwater. Since it is sealed, water intrusion can also be avoided. Its ball bearings are lesser than Okuma Avenger and KastKing Sharky II.
  • KastKing Sharky II Waterproof Spinning Reel: With 10 shielded ball bearings, you can expect this spinning reel to be not only smooth, but also silent. This has a higher number of ball bearings compared to Okuma Avenger and KastKing Sharky II.

Final Thoughts

In sum, fishing can indeed be fun. However, the problem is that it can often lead into frustration. To lessen the likelihood of the latter, the best thing that you can do is to invest in a high-quality spinning reel. At the end of the day, price alone should not be enough to make you decide on which one to pick.

From the discussions that have been made above, our highly-recommended model is the KastKing Sharky II Waterproof Spinning Reel. The latter has been a consistent winner when it comes to price, materials used, gear ratio, weight, ball bearings, and drag system. For sure, this is going to make your fishing trips a lot easier and will increase the likelihood of going home with the freshest catch.

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