Best Budget Spinning Reels for the Money in 2024

Updated on March 3, 2024

Fishing is a relaxing hobby that can, however, be expensive, especially when procuring the gear. A vital piece of fishing equipment is the spinning reel, known for its versatility and ease of use.

In this article, we focus on the best budget spinning reels that offer excellent performance without stretching your wallet. We understand that not everyone can spend a lot on fishing gear; hence, we have researched and tested various budget spinning reels to identify the best ones.

When buying a budget spinning reel, consider its quality and size. A cheaper but low-quality reel won’t last long or perform as well as a high-quality one. The reel size should match the fish type you’re targeting and your fishing technique.

Having tested various budget spinning reels, we have identified top performers that offer excellent value for money. If you need a reliable and efficient spinning reel that’s affordable, continue reading to discover our top picks.

Best Budget Spinning Reels

We understand that fishing can be an expensive hobby, and not everyone wants to break the bank on a spinning reel. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best budget spinning reels on the market. These reels may not have all the bells and whistles of their more expensive counterparts, but they still offer quality performance without putting a dent in your wallet. So, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned angler, we’ve got you covered with our top picks for the best budget spinning reels.

KastKing Centron & Centron Lite Spinning Reels

KastKing Centron & Centron Lite Spinning Reels, Size 500 is Perfect for Ice Fishing, Up to 17.5Lbs Max Drag, 5.2:1 Gear Ratio, Ultra Smooth Powerful, CNC Aluminum Spool, 9+1 BB Light Weight

We highly recommend the KastKing Centron & Centron Lite Spinning Reels for those looking for a budget-friendly option that doesn't sacrifice quality.

Pros:
  • The Superior Drag System offers incredible stopping power up to 17.5LBs.
  • The 9 quality ball bearings and one instant stop one-way anti-reverse bearing give it ultra-smooth performance.
  • The narrow graphite frame design and computer balancing system combined with high performance in the compact Spinning Reel make the KastKing Centron series an excellent gift for anybody who loves fishing.
Cons:
  • The handle is not collapsible on the Centron series, which may be a downside for some anglers who prefer a more compact design.
  • Some users have reported that the drag system may require occasional adjustment.
  • The Centron Lite Fishing Reel is only available in one size, which may not be suitable for all fishing needs.
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We were impressed with the KastKing Centron & Centron Lite Spinning Reels. The attractive, brilliant finish and its high strength two color anodized aluminum spool with a power launch lip for farther casting holds more line than other spinning reels in same-size models. The CNC machined aluminum spool has a more even line lay and internal grooves for lube retention.

The reel’s Superior Drag System offers incredible stopping power up to 17.5LBs. We found the Centron series spinning reel to have a lighter and stronger CNC machined aluminum spool with a more even line lay, and internal grooves for lube retention. The 9 quality ball bearings and one instant stop one-way anti-reverse bearing give it ultra-smooth performance.

The narrow graphite frame design and computer balancing system combined with high performance in the compact Spinning Reel make the KastKing Centron series an excellent gift for anybody who loves fishing. The two color options – black-blue and white-blue – offer the best value at any level. The KastKing Centron Lite Fishing Reel in white-blue that there is a Collapsible Handle turns any angler into a PRO. Sizes 500 & 1000 are Perfect for Ice Fishing.

Overall, the KastKing Centron & Centron Lite Spinning Reels are a great budget option for ice fishing and ultralight situations.

Sougayilang Spinning Fishing Reels

Sougayilang Spinning Fishing Reels Smooth 11BB for Inshore Boat Rock Freshwater Saltwater Fishing-DK1000

If you're looking for an affordable spinning reel that performs well, the Sougayilang Spinning Fishing Reel is a great option.

Pros:
  • The reel has a smooth and powerful retrieve, making it easy to reel in your catch.
  • The left/right interchangeable collapsible wood handle is comfortable to hold and easy to use.
  • The reel is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater fishing, making it versatile for different environments.
Cons:
  • The joints on the handle allow for movement, which can make the handle feel wobbly.
  • The fit and finish of the reel is not great, but for the price, it performs well.
  • The reel is a bit heavier compared to some other spinning reels on the market.
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We recently tested the Sougayilang Spinning Fishing Reels and found it to be a decent option for anglers on a budget. The reel is available in five different sizes, ranging from 1000 to 6000 series, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

One of the standout features of the Sougayilang Spinning Fishing Reels is the 11 ball bearings, which make it very smooth to use. We found that the reel casts well and retrieves smoothly, even when using light lures and baits.

The collapsible wood handle is also a nice touch, as it allows you to switch between left and right-handed use. We found the handle to be comfortable to grip, although some users have reported that it feels a bit wobbly.

The aluminum spool is strong and durable, and the gear ratio of 5.2:1 is suitable for a variety of fishing techniques. We also appreciated the S-curve oscillation system, which helps ensure good line winding.

Overall, we think the Sougayilang Spinning Fishing Reels is a good option for anglers who want a budget-friendly spinning reel that can handle both freshwater and saltwater fishing. However, keep in mind that the fit and finish may not be as good as more expensive models, and the reel may not be suitable for heavy-duty fishing.

KastKing Brutus Spinning Reel

Sougayilang Spinning Fishing Reels Smooth 11BB for Inshore Boat Rock Freshwater Saltwater Fishing-DK1000

If you're looking for an affordable spinning reel that performs well, the Sougayilang Spinning Fishing Reel is a great option.

Pros:
  • The reel has a smooth and powerful retrieve, making it easy to reel in your catch.
  • The left/right interchangeable collapsible wood handle is comfortable to hold and easy to use.
  • The reel is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater fishing, making it versatile for different environments.
Cons:
  • The joints on the handle allow for movement, which can make the handle feel wobbly.
  • The fit and finish of the reel is not great, but for the price, it performs well.
  • The reel is a bit heavier compared to some other spinning reels on the market.
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In our experience, the KastKing Brutus Spinning Reel is an excellent choice for anglers who want a reliable, high-performing reel without breaking the bank. The reel’s lightweight graphite frame and rotor make it easy to handle and cast accurately, while the machined aircraft grade aluminum spool delivers long, accurate casts.

The multi-disc drag system is exceptionally smooth and reliable, with up to 17.5 pounds of run-stopping drag power. The reel’s zinc alloy main gear and brass pinion gear, as well as steel main shaft and 4 ball bearings, ensure durability and low noise.

While the bail may be a bit stiff at first, it’s not a dealbreaker and can be easily adjusted. Additionally, the handle arm on reels 2000-4000 is made of graphite, which may not be as durable as aluminum. Finally, the reel may not be suitable for heavy-duty saltwater fishing, but it’s perfect for all freshwater species.

Overall, we highly recommend the KastKing Brutus Spinning Reel for anglers who want a high-performing, budget-friendly reel that will deliver hassle-free performance year after year.

Quantum Optix Spinning Fishing Reel

Quantum Optix Spinning Fishing Reel, Size 40 Reel, Changeable Right- or Left-Hand Retrieve, Aluminum Spool, Stainless Steel Bail Wire, Continuous Anti-Reverse, 5.2:1 Gear Ratio, Silver, Clam Packaging

If you're looking for a budget-friendly spinning reel that delivers a reliable and smooth performance, the Quantum Optix Spinning Fishing Reel might be worth considering.

Pros:
  • The reel is lightweight and durable, with a composite body and side plate that prevent corrosion.
  • With a 5.2:1 gear ratio and a line retrieval of 34 IPT, it offers speed and precision while reeling in your catch.
  • The reel has a TRU Balance rotor and front-adjustable drag with a max drag of 14-pounds, providing balanced and smooth retrieves.
Cons:
  • Some users have reported issues with the anti-reverse clutch technology, which stops the reel handle from moving backwards.
  • The reel may not be ideal for catching larger species of fish.
  • The mono line capacity of 230/10 yds/lbs may not be sufficient for some anglers.
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We recently had the opportunity to test out the Quantum Optix spinning reel, and we were impressed with its performance. The reel is easy to handle and casts smoothly, making it a great option for beginners or those who prefer a lightweight setup.

One of the standout features of this reel is its TRU Balance rotor, which helps to reduce vibration and provides a more balanced feel. The front-adjustable drag is also a nice touch, allowing you to make quick adjustments on the fly.

While we did experience some issues with the anti-reverse clutch technology, we found that this was a minor inconvenience and didn’t significantly impact our ability to catch fish. However, it’s worth noting that some users have reported more significant problems in this area.

Overall, we think that the Quantum Optix spinning reel is a solid choice for anglers who are looking for a reliable and budget-friendly option. While it may not be the most advanced reel on the market, it delivers a smooth and consistent performance that is sure to please.

Sougayilang Spinning Reels 10000 Series Surf Fishing Reels

Sougayilang Spinning Reels 10000 Series Surf Fishing Reels,10+1 Stainless BB Ultra Smooth Powerful with CNC Aluminum Spool Fishing Reels for Saltwater Freshwater

If you're looking for an affordable spinning reel that can handle big fish, the Sougayilang Spinning Reels 10000 Series Surf Fishing Reels might be a great choice for you.

Pros:
  • The 10+1 precision dust-resistant stainless ball bearings ensure smooth function, consistent fighting, and retrieve.
  • The strong oversized shaft and compact self-balanced system rotors provide a rock-steady retrieve when landing big ones.
  • The reel is built strong and corrosion-resistant to withstand the abuse by strong fish, pounding waves, jagged rocks, saltwater corrosion, and wind-blown sand present in a marine environment.
Cons:
  • The reel is quite heavy for shorecasting.
  • The reel is not as smooth as other high-end spinning reels.
  • The reel is oversized for what it really is.
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We’ve used the Sougayilang Spinning Reels 10000 Series Surf Fishing Reels for a few fishing trips, and we found that it is a durable and reliable reel that can handle big fish. The 10+1 precision dust-resistant stainless ball bearings ensure smooth function, consistent fighting, and retrieve, which is essential when you’re battling big fish. The strong oversized shaft and compact self-balanced system rotors provide a rock-steady retrieve when landing big ones, and the strong aluminum spool is able to hold heavy-duty monofilament or braid lines for long-distance casting.

However, the reel is quite heavy for shorecasting, which might be a problem if you’re planning to fish for long hours. Also, the reel is not as smooth as other high-end spinning reels, which might be a deal-breaker for some anglers. Lastly, the reel is oversized for what it really is, which might be an issue for those who prefer a more compact and lightweight reel.

Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable spinning reel that can handle big fish, the Sougayilang Spinning Reels 10000 Series Surf Fishing Reels is a great choice. It might not be the smoothest or the lightest reel out there, but it is durable, reliable, and can get the job done.

Piscifun Viper X Spinning Reels

Piscifun Viper X Spinning Reels, Carbon Fiber 33LBs Max Drag, 10+1 Shielded BB, Saltwater Freshwater Spinning Fishing Reel, 5.2:1/6.2:1, 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000 Series

If you're looking for a budget spinning reel that can handle both saltwater and freshwater fishing, the Piscifun Viper X spinning reel is worth considering.

Pros:
  • With a maximum drag of 33lbs, this reel has powerful performance that can handle big fish.
  • Equipped with 10+1 stainless steel bearings, this reel provides smooth and consistent performance.
  • Made from high-quality graphite material, this reel is both lighter and stronger than other budget
Cons:
  • Some users have reported that the reel can be difficult to disassemble for maintenance.
  • The anti-reverse feature is not as strong as other reels in this price range.
  • The handle may be too small for users with larger hands.
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We were impressed with the performance of the Piscifun Viper X spinning reel. The reel felt sturdy and well-built, and we had no trouble reeling in fish of various sizes. The smoothness of the reel was particularly noteworthy, and we appreciated the multiple gear ratios available to suit different fishing styles.

One thing to note is that the reel can be a bit tricky to disassemble for maintenance. However, we didn’t experience any issues with the reel during our testing, so this may not be a major concern for most users.

Overall, we think the Piscifun Viper X spinning reel is a great option for anglers on a budget who still want a high-quality reel that can handle a variety of fishing situations.

Sougayilang Fishing Reel

Sougayilang Fishing Reel, Colorful Ultralight Spinning Reels with Graphite Frame 6.0:1 High Speed, Over 39 lbs Carbon Drag for Saltwater or Freshwater Fishing- SC1000

If you're looking for an affordable spinning reel that performs well, the Sougayilang Fishing Reel is worth considering.

Pros:
  • Lightweight and strong graphite frame
  • Smooth and reliable performance
  • Braid line-ready spool for added convenience
Cons:
  • Made of cheaper materials than more expensive reels
  • Some users have reported issues with the line getting caught under the reel
  • Not suitable for heavy-duty fishing
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We’ve been using the Sougayilang Fishing Reel for a few weeks now and have been impressed with its performance. The lightweight, yet strong graphite frame makes it comfortable to use for extended periods of time, and the braid line-ready spool is a convenient feature that saves time and hassle.

The reel’s smooth and reliable performance is thanks to its 12 corrosion-resistant ball bearings and one instant stop one-way anti-reverse bearing. The carbon fiber drag system delivers over 39 lbs of stopping power, making it suitable for catching a variety of freshwater and inshore species.

While the Sougayilang Fishing Reel is made of cheaper materials than more expensive reels, it still performs well and is a great value for the price. However, some users have reported issues with the line getting caught under the reel, so it may not be the best choice for all fishing conditions.

Overall, we recommend the Sougayilang Fishing Reel for anglers who want a reliable spinning reel at an affordable price.

Demengite Spinning Reel

Spinning Reel,Fishing Reel, Ultralight 5.2:1 Gear Ratio, Stainless Steel Ball Bearing, 26.5LB Carbon Fiber Drag, Ultra Smooth Powerful Spinning Reels for Freshwater and Saltwater

If you're looking for a budget spinning reel that can handle small individual fish, then the Demengite Spinning Reel might be a good option for you.

Pros:
  • The non-slip ABS grip provides a comfortable feel, and the handle is foldable for easy storage.
  • The spinning reel is lightweight at only 5.5 oz, making it perfect for high frequency, long time throwing.
  • The superior drag system offers incredible stopping power, with a max drag power of up to 26.5LB.
Cons:
  • Some users have reported that the anti-reverse switch can be difficult to operate.
  • The reel may not be strong enough to handle larger fish.
  • The reel's color may not be to everyone's liking.
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We found that the Demengite Spinning Reel performed well for catching small individual fish. The ergonomic design of the non-slip ABS grip made it comfortable to use for extended periods, and the lightweight design made it easy to handle. The powerful drag system was a standout feature, providing smooth performance and superior drag power.

However, we did find that the anti-reverse switch could be difficult to operate at times, which could be frustrating for some users. Additionally, the reel may not be strong enough to handle larger fish, so it may not be the best choice for those who plan to catch bigger game. Finally, while the reel’s silver and purple color scheme is unique, it may not be to everyone’s taste.

Overall, the Demengite Spinning Reel is a solid budget option for those who plan to catch smaller fish. Its lightweight design and powerful drag system make it a good choice for high frequency, long time throwing. However, if you plan to catch larger fish or prefer a more traditional color scheme, you may want to consider other options.

Sougayilang Spinning Fishing Reel

Sougayilang Fishing Reel 6.2:1 High-Speed Gear Ratio Spinning Fishing Reel with 12+1Stainless BB and CNC Aluminum Spool & Handle for Freshwater and Saltwater Fishing-1000

If you're looking for an affordable spinning reel that doesn't skimp on performance, the Sougayilang Spinning Fishing Reel is worth considering.

Pros:
  • The lightweight design makes it comfortable to use for extended periods.
  • The 6.2:1 gear ratio allows for quick retrieves.
  • The 13-bearing system ensures smooth operation.
Cons:
  • Some users have reported issues with line twist.
  • The handle may feel too small for some users.
  • The drag system may not be as strong as some higher-end reels.
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We were impressed with the Sougayilang Spinning Fishing Reel’s performance during our testing. The lightweight design made it easy to handle, even after hours of fishing. The 6.2:1 gear ratio allowed us to retrieve quickly, which was especially helpful when reeling in fast-moving fish.

One of the standout features of this reel is its 13-bearing system. We found that it operated smoothly, with no noticeable hiccups or jerks. The anti-twist line roller also helped prevent tangles and snarls.

However, we did experience some issues with line twist during our testing. This wasn’t a dealbreaker, but it did require us to pause and fix the line before continuing to fish.

Another potential drawback is the size of the handle. While it worked well for us, some users may find it too small or uncomfortable to use for extended periods.

Overall, we think the Sougayilang Spinning Fishing Reel is a solid choice for anyone in need of an affordable, reliable spinning reel.

ACETOP Spinning Reel

Spinning Reel, Lightweight Inshore Surf Fishing Reel, Heavy Duty Smooth Catfish Spinning Fishing Reel for Saltwater Freshwater Fishing Smooth Fishing Spinning Reel

If you're looking for a budget-friendly spinning reel, the ACETOP Spinning Reel is definitely worth considering.

Pros:
  • Lightweight and easy to use for long periods of time
  • Smooth drag system for reeling in large fish
  • High-quality construction with durable materials
Cons:
  • May not be suitable for heavy-duty fishing
  • Reverse lock may malfunction after extended use
  • Some users have reported issues with the internal main gear breaking
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We’ve used the ACETOP Spinning Reel for several fishing trips, and we’re impressed with its performance. The precision circular gear system and sealed hollow aluminum spool design minimize water intrusion and prevent corrosion, making it ideal for saltwater fishing. The metal outlet ring has high hardness, preventing damage or jamming of the fishing line.

The left and right handles can be used interchangeably, and the metal rocker arm greatly improves the smoothness of the fishing reel. The CNC technology and fine workmanship prolong the service life and make it firm and durable. The high-strength casters are thickened and not easy to shake, providing stability during use.

The ACETOP Spinning Reel is an excellent choice for both experienced and beginner anglers. It’s lightweight, easy to handle, and provides excellent drag force. The 5.2:1 Gear Ratio gives it ultra-smooth performance, and the 12+1 high-quality, saltwater rated double shielded stainless steel ball bearings and instant lock anti-reverse make it a reliable choice for any fishing trip.

In summary, the ACETOP Spinning Reel is a budget-friendly option that performs well in both saltwater and freshwater environments. Its lightweight design, high-quality ball bearings, and powerful towing system make it an excellent choice for any angler.

Buying Guide

When it comes to buying a budget spinning reel, there are a few key features to consider in order to get the best product for your money. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Material

The material of the reel is important as it affects its durability and weight. Look for reels made of materials such as aluminum, graphite, or carbon fiber. These materials are lightweight and durable, making them ideal for budget spinning reels.

Drag System

The drag system is a crucial feature to consider when choosing a spinning reel. It determines how much resistance the reel can provide when you are reeling in a fish. A good drag system will allow you to easily adjust the resistance to match the size and strength of the fish you are trying to catch.

Gear Ratio

The gear ratio is the number of times the spool rotates for each turn of the handle. A higher gear ratio means that you can retrieve your line faster. However, a lower gear ratio provides more power, making it easier to reel in larger fish. Consider what type of fishing you will be doing and choose a gear ratio that suits your needs.

Bearings

The number and quality of bearings in a reel affects its smoothness and durability. Look for reels with multiple high-quality bearings to ensure a smooth and efficient performance.

Line Capacity

The line capacity of a reel determines how much fishing line it can hold. Consider the type and weight of line you will be using and choose a reel with a line capacity that matches your needs.

By keeping these features in mind, you can choose a budget spinning reel that meets your needs without breaking the bank.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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