Skip to Content

10 Best Spincast Reels for Recreational Anglers

Looking for the best spincast reels on the market but not really sure which one to choose? Then this guide is for you.

I was a kid the first time I went fishing with my siblings.

We didn’t have great equipment back then—only a couple of Ugly Stik Rods with spincast reels and a burning desire to spend our days angling at our backyard creek.

Fishing gear, or the lack thereof, shouldn’t stop you from taking your first fishing trip alone or with your kids because all you need for fun to start is an inexpensive rod with a spincast reel.

Choosing your first casting rod and spincast reel shouldn’t be difficult because there are so many reliable models out there.

We’ve shortlisted the ten best spincast reels for recreational anglers to make this task easier and help you choose the reel that matches your budget and angling skill level.

Bottom Line Up Front

Spincast reels are your best option if you’re looking for an affordable, entry-level reel for freshwater fishing.

Anglers searching for their child’s first fishing should consider getting a spincast combo like the Abu Garcia Ike Dude Spincast Combo or the Ugly Stik GX2 Youth Rod and Reel Spincast Combo because they’re lightweight and easy to use.

Zebco 888, Pfluger President Underspin, and Daiwa Goldcast are some of your best options if you’re a recreational angler who occasionally likes fishing for trout, crappie, or largemouth bass.

My Top Picks at a Glance

Model Weight  Line Capacity  Price range
Pfluger President Underspin 0.6lbs 6/90 $
Daiwa Goldcast 9.2oz or 12oz 8/75 to 12/100 $$
Ugly Stik Tuff Spincast Reel 9.90oz 6/90 to 20/145 $
Zebco 888 19.5oz 25/110 $$
Abu Garcia Ike Dude Spincast Combo 11.9oz to 15.8oz 6/90 $$
ProFishiency Sniper Micro 10oz 6/70 $$$
Shakespeare Catch More Fish Youth Combo 21oz 6/145 $
Ugly Stik GX2 Youth Rod and Reel Spincast Combo 13.76oz 6/90 $$
Zebco Bullet MG 10.9oz 10/90 $$$
Kid Casters Discovery Adventures Dock Spincast Combo for Kids 11.4oz 6/90 $

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Spincast Reel

Most anglers I know learned how to cast with a spincast reel because its intuitive push-button casting system makes casting and retrieving with a baitcasting rod effortless.

Most models are affordable but not durable, and you’ll likely have to replace them every season. Their closed-faced design prevents you from spotting bird nests, and you must take the cover off to untangle a poorly laid line.

Let’s go through some of the vital factors you should consider before buying a spincast reel.

Fishing Rod Type

You can pair a ‘push button’ spincast reel with baitcasting rods or mount a spincast reel with a trigger system on a spinning rod. Opting for a standard spinning rod is better if you’re a novice angler or if you’re getting a fishing rod for your child.

Reel’s line capacity

Your rod’s maximum casting distance depends on its line capacity. Most spincast reels can hold between 90 and 150 yards of a 6- to 25-pound line. A 6/90 model is a good option if you’re looking for your child’s first reel or if you’re a novice angler.

Model’s Gear Ratio and the Number of Ball Bearings

A relatively slow retrieve is one of the reasons spincast reels are ideal for anyone who wants to improve their casting technique. You can choose from spincast reel models in the 3.1:1 to 5.1:1 gear ratio range, which makes them considerably slower than spinning and baitcast reels.

How smooth a spincast reel will be depends on its number of bearings, so you can opt for a model with a single ball bearing or get a reel with a 4+1 or 8+1 bearing system.

Spinning Rod and Reel Combos

I am teaching my six-year-old son to fish with a spinning reel and rod combo. He quickly adjusted to the push button system, and his casting accuracy is improving daily. A spinning rod and reel combo could be a good option if you plan to take your child fishing for the first time.

Fish Species and the Location

Over the years, I caught scores of panfish at creeks, ponds, lakes, and rivers with a spincast reel. These reels will perform well at most freshwater fishing spots, but they’re not ideal for saltwater conditions.

Still, a spincast reel can be a reliable option if you’re testing the waters at a new location and angling for bluegill, crappie, or trout.

The Advantages of Using Spincast Reels

Most anglers eventually graduate to faster and more powerful reels, but I still keep a few spincast reels in my reel collection and use them when fishing for bass or trout. I also find them useful for dead baiting, even though their line capacity can sometimes be limiting.

For novice anglers, the most significant benefit of using these reels is the ease of use since they just have to push a button when casting to release the line or crank the handle to retrieve it to the spool.

Let’s go through some of the advantages of spincast reels:

  • Smooth action – Models produced by Zebco, Pflueger, and Daiwa are incredibly smooth, enabling you to cast accurately regardless of the lure weight you’re using.
  • A solid drag system – Spincast reels are usually equipped with star or level drag systems that allow you to adjust the resistance a fish feels when reeling it in. In addition, some models come with anti-reverse mechanisms.
  • Affordability – You can get a high-end spincast reel for less than $200, while prices of most models range from $20 to $80.

Selection Criteria

Over the years, I tested most of the popular spincast models, which made the selection process somewhat easier. Still, my experience wasn’t the only criterion I used to pick the best spincast reels.

I considered a wide range of factors when selecting the models for this article, so let’s go over some of the most important ones:

  • Brand popularity: Spincast reels owe their popularity to Zebco, the company that produced the first model. As a result, the final selection features several Zebco models and spincast reels manufactured by Abu Garcia, Daiwa, and other industry-leading brands.
  • Angler’s skill level: My list of the top ten spincast reels and combos contains models suitable for children, inexperienced freshwater anglers, and finesse fishermen.
  • Reel’s technical specifications: Line capacity, reel weight, and number of bearings are some of the technical aspects I relied on to choose the models I included in the article.

Top 10 Best Spincast Reels for the 2024 Fishing Season

Pfluger President Underspin

Pflueger President Underspin Reel

The Pflueger® President® Underspin Reel is ideal for finesse anglers seeking top performance. Crafted with high-quality machined aluminum, its frame and cone ensure precise gear alignment, enhancing the smooth operation of its 5-bearing system.

With dual titanium pickup pins for fast, accurate retrieves, and an aircraft aluminum handle featuring a soft-touch knob, this reel offers both precision and comfort for discerning anglers.

Buy on BassPro
“Here at saltedangler.com we participate in affiliate programs and may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.”

Manufactured by one of the best brands in the industry, the Ugly Stik Rods reel is ideal for more experienced anglers who need a reel they can use to catch bass or trout.

Its underspin mechanism ensures you can cast a line smoothly by squeezing and releasing the trigger. The model’s frame and cone are made from machined aluminum, which is why the reel weighs only 9oz.

The President Underspin reel has a standard 4+1 ball bearing system and a 3.4:1 gear ratio, so you can expect smooth action. However, the model’s recovery is just 14.5 inches per turn, which slows down recasting.

Read our full Pfluger President review to learn more about the spinning version of this reel.

Pros

  • The reel has a sturdy, machined aluminum cone and frame
  • The model’s drag capacity is 6lbs
  • Suitable for fiberglass and graphite spinning rods

Cons

  • The trigger button isn’t durable
  • A one-year warranty

Daiwa Goldcast

Probably one of the most durable spincast reels on the market comes pre-spooled with a 10lbs monofilament line, but you can also opt for a version of the Daiwa Goldcast that comes with an 8lbs line.

However, none of the model’s variants can hold more than 100 yards of line, and each has only one ball bearing. The reel’s metal body, nose, and cone can withstand daily wear and tear for several years.

Daiwa Goldcast reel features an oscillating spool levelwind that distributes the line evenly and reduces the chances of bird nests.

Pros

  • All variants of this spincast reel have tungsten carbide line pickups
  • An efficient drag system
  • The push-button mechanism simplifies casting
  • It’s suitable for most baitcasting rods

Cons

  • Daiwa Goldcast is more expensive than most spincast reels

Ugly Stik Tuff Spincast Reel

Ugly Stik is one of my favorite fishing gear brands, and I believe that Ugly Stik Tuff is among the most durable spincast reels for novices. You can pair it with Ugly Stik rods or mount it on a wide range of spinning rods.

Its line capacity ranges from 6lbs to 20lbs, and it can hold between 90lbs and 145 lbs of monoline. Moreover, the reel’s drag depends on the model, so you can get a variant with an 8lbs or 14lbs max drag.

The best part is that Ugly Stik offers a 7-year warranty for this model, and you can easily replace all faulty parts.

Pros

  • It has an instant anti-reverse mechanism
  • The aluminum reel is lightweight
  • All Ugly Stik Tuff models have a 3.9:1 gear ratio

Cons

  • It requires frequent maintenance
  • Ball bearings aren’t corrosion-resistant

Zebco 888

The unique mix of high-quality construction and affordability makes the Zebco 888 spincast reel a great choice for anglers of all skill levels.

This popular model has a stainless-steel cover, a metal foot, and a changeable retrieve that makes it suitable for both righthanded and lefthanded fishermen. You can easily handle large fish with the Zebco 888 because its line capacity is 25 lbs.

The reel has a continuous anti-reverse and an impressive dial-adjustable 30lbs drag system. However, its metal components don’t have an anti-corrosion coating, so you should use it primarily for freshwater fishing.

Don’t forget to check out our Zebco 808 vs. Zebco 888 comparison to learn more about these spincast reels.

Pros

  • The reel comes pre-spooled with 110 yards of monoline.
  • Reliable performance even under challenging conditions
  • Sturdy and durable construction
  • An impressive price-performance ratio

Cons

  • Zebco 888 is heavier than most spincast reels
  • Only one version of this reel is available

Abu Garcia Ike Dude Spincast Combo

The first piece of fishing equipment I got for my kid was a spincast rod and reel combo. My suggestion is to consider the Abu Garcia Ike Dude Spincast Combo if you’re searching for a fishing rod and reel your child can use to practice casting and reeling in bass, bluegill, or crappie.

The combo was inspired by the legendary bass angler Mike Iaconelli, so it’s hardly surprising that it offers amazing features. The medium power two-piece 5’6″ rod has an EVA grip that enables children to control it even when fighting a bruiser.

The pre-spooled reel holds 90 yards of 6 lbs test line and features a stainless steel cone.

Pros

  • The push-button system makes casting and retrieving easy
  • The rod and reel are lightweight
  • Youth anglers can use ¼ to 1/8 lures with this combo
  • Setting up this combo is easy

Cons

  • The reel doesn’t have ball bearings
  • Some reel components wear out quickly

ProFishiency Sniper Micro

Smart and functional design, fast gear ratio, and smooth action are among the features I noticed while testing the ProFishiency Sniper Micro Spincast Reel. This model is ideal for finesse anglers, as its features exceed the needs of most youth and novice anglers.

The reel has an 8+1 ball bearing system and a 10lbs drag capacity, and you can retrieve 25 inches of line with a single turn of the handle.

Still, the model’s line capacity is limited as it cannot hold more than 70 yards of 6lbs test line, so you should only use it to catch relatively small fish.

Pros

  • The reel has a 6.2:1 gear ratio
  • It features a fast micro-spincast reel lever
  • The reel weighs 10oz

Cons

  • ProFishiency Sniper Pro isn’t budget-friendly

Shakespeare Catch More Fish Youth Combo

The Shakespeare brand is synonymous with quality since many of its products are immensely popular among anglers. Hence, the Shakespeare Catch More Fish Youth Combo can be an ideal gift for a child anxious to reel in their first catch.

As its name implies, the combo is designed to help children with no angling experience catch more fish. The combo arrives with a tacklebox that contains hooks, waxies, and grubs.

There’s no need to set up the 5-foot medium-light action rod because it’s ready to use out of the box.

Pros

  • The reel is pre-spooled with a 6lbs mono line
  • The combo includes an easy-to-follow rigging guide
  • The rod and reel are made of lightweight materials

Cons

  • Untangling bird nests can be difficult
  • Some components break down quickly

Ugly Stik GX2 Youth Rod and Reel Spincast Combo

Even though it’s aimed primarily at children, the Ugly Stik GX2 Youth Rod and Reel Spincast Combo still has some fantastic features.

Its GX2 spinning reel has a tough stainless steel cone that keeps the dirt away from the line, while the 5’6″ two-piece medium-action fiberglass GX2 rod is powerful and flexible. The reel has a 3.0:1 gear ratio, and its line weight ranges from 4lbs to 8lbs.

In addition, you can opt for a version of this combo that comes with a 10-size reel that would enable your child to catch larger fish.

Pros

  • The reel has a powerful handle for quick retrieval
  • Straightforward assembly process
  • The combo is inexpensive
  • The rod comes with a 7-year warranty

Cons

  • The reel’s casting distance is limited

Zebco Bullet MG

A glance at the Zebco Bullet MG’s features is enough to understand why it is one of the best spincast reels on the market. Labeled the fastest Zebco spincast reel ever, the model has an 8+1 ball bearing system and a 5.1:1 gear ratio.

Moreover, it offers nearly 30 inches of line recovery per turn, and an instant reverse feature ensures a strong hook set. Zebco Bullet MG’s maximum drag is 12lbs while its line capacity is 10 lbs. Still, this spincast reel can’t hold more than 90 yards of monoline.

Pros

  • Ideal for anglers targeting catfish, bass, or walleye
  • Effortless drag adjustments
  • The reel’s cone is made of machined aluminum

Cons

  • The reel is too expensive for most novice anglers

Kid Casters Discovery Adventures Dock Spincast Combo for Kids

My advice is not to overpay for your kid’s first fishing rod because many affordable models, like the Kid Casters Discovery Adventures Dock Spincast Combo for Kids, offer everything your child needs to learn how to fish.

The 34″ fiberglass rod included in the combo fits perfectly into small hands and has an ergonomic grip, so kids won’t have problems controlling it. The micro spincast reel has a 4.1:1 gear ratio, but its drag capacity is limited, which prevents children from using this combo to catch large fish.

Pros

  • Fast rod action increases accuracy when casting a line over longer distances
  • Kids won’t experience fatigue while angling with this lightweight combo
  • An attractive price

Cons

  • Preventing line entanglement on this reel is difficult
  • The combo won’t last more than a couple of fishing seasons

FAQ About the Best Spincast Reels

Can I Use a Braided Line on a Spincast Reel?

These reels are usually pre-spooled with mono lines, so spooling a braided line on a spincast reel can be challenging.

Are the best Spincast Reels Corrosion Resistant?

The metal components of spincast reels don’t have anti-corrosion protection, and you shouldn’t use them for saltwater fishing.

Do Spincast Reels Require Frequent Maintenance?

Cleaning these reels after every fishing trip will extend their lifespan, but remember that removing the reel’s cone isn’t always easy.

The Verdict: Picking the Right Spincast Reel

I always found it hard to choose a new reel by looking at its specifications. Instead, I try to find a reel that perfectly fits the context in which I intend to use it.

I suggest doing the same while choosing a spincast reel that will help you or your child master casting.

Zebco 888, Zebco Bullet MG, and Pfluger President Underspin are among the best spincast reels for finesse anglers, but they can also be a great choice if you’re new to fishing.

On the other hand, the Shakespeare Catch More Fish Youth Combo or Abu Garcia Ike Dude Spincast Combo might be a perfect option for young angling enthusiasts.