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Pflueger Purist Spinning Reel Review

Pflueger Purist Spinning Reel Review

In this review, I will take a look at the Pflueger Purist Spinning Reel which is the next model up from the Pflueger President Spinning Reel.

One of the things that I like about this reel other than it is lightweight tackle is that it has a sealed carbon fiber drag system which makes it perfect for inshore saltwater fishing.  The reel is extremely smooth and utilizes 9 corrosion-resistant high-grade stainless steel ball bearings.

The body of the Pflueger Purist is a hybrid of aluminum and graphite which provides you with strength from the aluminum and lightweight from the graphite.  When you combine this with the durability of the corrosion-resistant stainless steel main shaft and other features like the titanium coated line roller you have a quality reel that is very affordable.

For the money, this is a great little reel if you are going to be targeting smaller species such as small reds or spotted seatrout.  I like the drag I have on my Okuma Inspira 30 a bit better as it has 13 lbs vs the 9 lbs on the Pflueger Purist.

The disadvantage of the Okuma is that I do not get the sealed drag system and that can be important for saltwater fishing particularly if you are not super diligent about rinsing and using a product like Salt-Away each time you go out.


Hybrid aluminum and graphite body components – The Pflueger Purist has a hybrid body that is constructed of both aluminum that provides strength in critical areas like the stem and graphite that is lightweight for areas that do receive as much torque.

Overall the combination seems to deliver a body that is both lightweight and at the same time durable.

Sealed hybrid carbon drag system – The carbon fiber drag on the Pflueger seems to perform well and is very smooth so far.  One of the things that I really like is the fact that this is a sealed drag system so you do not need to worry about getting dirt and grime in the drag.

With that said, I still like to give all of my reels a light spray with Salt-Away after each trip as I am convinced that this extra step leads to reels lasting longer when fished in saltwater.

Machined aluminum spool – The aluminum spool is machined and ported to reduce weight.  The spool does have ridges to grip your braided line but it is not rubber backed so in my opinion you still need to back with mono.

The reel comes with one spool only so you will need to order a second spool if you want to switch between mono and braided lines.

Nine high-grade stainless steel ball bearings – The Purist uses 9 high-quality stainless steel ball bearings that are corrosion resistant to deliver what I feel is a very smooth retrieve.  While the bearings are not sealed they are corrosion resistant and should stand up over time if cared for.

Titanium-coated line roller – The line roller is brass and is coated with titanium so that the line will slide smoothly over the roller.

Sure-click bail – The bail system is solid aluminum that has an anodized finish and is called a Sure-click-bail, it has an audible sound when it is tripped to let you know that the bail is in the closed position and you are ready to fish.

While the bail will trip automatically when you turn the handle it is always a good idea to manually trip the bail.  The reason I suggest this is so that you do not wear the bailout.

Instant anti-reverse – Pflueger uses a one-way roller bearing for the anti-reverse so that when you go to set the hook there is no back play in the reel.  A smooth and solid hookset means that you will keep more of the fish that you are lucky enough to have strike your line.

Features at a Glance

  • Hybrid aluminum and graphite body components
  • Sealed hybrid carbon drag system
  • Machined aluminum spool
  • Nine high-grade stainless steel ball bearings
  • Titanium-coated line roller
  • Sure-click bail
  • Instant anti-reverse

For those of you who want all the details, I have provided the chart below.

Reel ModelBraid Capacity (yds./ lb. test)Mono Capacity (yds./ lb. test)BearingsMax. Drag (lbs.)Gear RatioLine Recovery Inches/ TurnWeight (oz.)

Field Test

For our field test, I paired the Pflueger Purist Model 1330X  with my 7′ St Croix Mojo Inshore rod and headed out to the pass on the Salted Angler.  We arrived on the backside of Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge about an hour after the slack tide started to subside.

I found one of my favorite grassy patches and we baited up with a live shrimp and a float and started to see what we could turn up.  Bam! The first cast I nailed a nice 20″ spotted sea trout, this was looking like it was going to be a good day.

The Purist was able to bring the trout in nice and smoothly, as the fish got close to the boat it decided to take a run and test out the drag.  I was impressed with the smoothness of the drag, no jerky motion just a smooth start and stop.

We fished for about 2 hours and I was able to land a half dozen trout between 14″ and 20″.  Overall the reel performed well and balanced nicely with the Mojo.  My reel was nice a smooth out of the box and I will be interested to see how it performs over the next year or so.

From some of the other reviews I have read, it appears that there are some inconsistencies in the manufacturing of this particular model of the Pflueger brand.


  • Sealed drag system
  • Weight
  • Smoothness


  • Consistency in manufacturing


For the same amount of money, you can take a look at the Okuma Inspira.  I fish an Okuma Inspira ISX-30B paired with my 7′ St Croix Mojo Inshore rod and just love the combination as both are very lightweight and border on an ultra lightweight setup.

The one thing that you do not get with the Okuma Inspira is the sealed drag system, however in the model 30 the Okuma is 13% lighter, weighing in at 7.4 oz. vs the Purist model 30 weighing in at 8.5 oz.  Read my complete review on the Okuma Inspira Spinning reel HERE.

If you want to get even lighter weight then I would say to take a look at the Pflueger Supreme XT which is a magnesium body and rotor and also has the same sealed drag system as the Pflueger Pursuit.

This is an ultralight reel as a model 30 weighs in at just 6.8 oz.  Read my complete review on the Pfleuger  Supreme XT HERE.

In Conclusion

Overall I think that this is a good reel for the price point as it is pretty hard to find a reel that has sealed anything for under $80.

The one reservation I have is that in reading other reviews it does seem that there are some manufacturing inconsistencies with the Pflueger Purist.

This is not the case for the entire Pflueger brand as I have not heard of any problems with the Pflueger President which is actually a less expensive reel.

I will update the post after I have used the reel for 6-12 months to let you know if I have had any issues or if the reel is still performing strongly.

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