Inshore fishing is quickly becoming a popular pastime these days. Especially among newcomers that want to try their hand at it. Unlike offshore fishing, you don’t need as many preparations. This why people look to find out the best inshore spinning reels.
But catching fish requires patience, concentration, and above all, the right gear. That’s why it’s so important that you find a suitable spinning reel.
Without it, you’re pretty much a fish out of water. And that’s just something no one really wants to deal with.
With that in mind, we’re going to be expanding on your options. We’ll be looking at some of the best inshore spinning reels available.
We’ll also offer helpful advice about what you should look out for. This should give you a base idea of what to aim for. And it will help shape your buying decisions greatly in the future.
Quick Overview – Top 10 Best Inshore Spinning Reels
- Penn Battle II – Durable, Long-lasting, and affordable.
- KastKing Valiant Eagle – Fast, manageable, and powerful.
- KastKing Centron Spinning Reel – Best inshore saltwater spinning reel
- Shimano Stradic C3000HG – Consistent, Smooth, and Advanced.
- Shimano Stradic GTM RC – Excels at the craftsmanship and superior performance. Stays reliable through to the end. Meticulous, accurate, and well made.
- Penn Spinfisher VI – Certified waterproof rustproof. It can last a long time with minimal maintenance. Rugged, Solid, and Withstanding.
- Shimano Sahara FI – Easy to handle and oh so comfortable. This spinning reel is a dream to use. Light, Dependable, and Workable.
- Cadence CS8 – Light, Affordable, and Complete.
- RUNCL Spinning Reel – Powerful, Tough, and Impenetrable.
- Lews Fishing TPI300 TP1 – Does a great job of being a budget reel. Works flawlessly with fresh and saltwater without a hitch. Cheap, Robust, and Long Lasting.
Best Inshore Spinning Reels Reviews
There are plenty of options out there for inshore good spinning reels. But it’s not easy to tell which ones will fit the bill. That’s why it’s always helpful to have an in-depth look. We will be offering just that with some helpful reviews below.
1. Penn Battle II – Best Versatile Spinning Reel
The Penn Battle II is a premium full metal body spinning reel. It comes from the likes of Penn Fishing’s latest reel line.
The company has an extensive reputation among the fishing community. So, it stands to reason that this reel should stand up to its reputation.
You can get a good feel of how this reel is from a glance. Without a doubt, you can tell that this reel is built solid.
It features an all-metal body with the side plate and rotor. The ball wire is also made from heavy-duty aluminum for durability.
Carbon Fiber HT 100 Drag
What’s more, this reel has its own carbon fiber drag system. This gives you powerful drag when you’re reeling in your catches.
But all that happens without any sacrifice to the smoothness. So, you can get a fairly smooth line drag each time.
One of the best offerings this reel has is how long it lasts. Everything from the solid construction to the protective paint is done well.
You won’t have this spinning reel rust out on a dime. That’s what makes it so good for both fresh and saltwater fishing.
The only issue worth noting is the grease on the Battle II. It tends to be a bit heavier when compared to other reels. This may not suit the feel that some people like with their reels.
- Durable construction
- Carbon fiber drag
- All metal body
- Grease heavy
As far as spinning reels go, there’s a lot worse than the Penn Battle II. It’s built well and a solid option in this price range. That’s as much of a solid win as it gets in our book.
2. KastKing Valiant Eagle – Best Spinning Reel for Speed
The Valiant Eagle is an iconic spinning reel from Kastiking. This is a company that has had its own prestige making fishing equipment.
They make premium equipment with everything from rods to reels. And with a name like a valiant eagle, they’re delivering on a heavy promise.
At a glance, you’ll notice this reel is both a performer and a looker. It’s made out of a durable but light graphite frame for support.
It’s also decked in black and green tint that stands out well. It hits all the right notes with speed, power, and aesthetics.
6:2:1 Gear Ratio
If there’s one thing that this reel is good for, it’s speed. The Valiant Eagle rocks 6:2:1 gear ratios perfectly built for fast maneuvers.
This works in tandem with its lightweight frame to give an effortless performance. You can easily get your bearings with this reel in no time.
Carbon Drag System
KastKing’s standout features on the Valiant Eagle is the drag system. The sealed carbon drag produces 22 pounds of power to reel back.
That means you’re getting a lot of power to pull in your catches. Even larger fish won’t be able to break free from this reel.
The only issue worth noting here is the line twisting. Sometimes when the spool is full, the line tends to twist.
It can be a bit of hindrance to some people out there. This can always be managed to a certain extent by reducing length.
- Heavy duty drag
- Fast 6:2:1 gear ratio
- Lightweight graphite frame
- Line tends to twist sometimes
For those that want fast, durable, and light reels, this is a good choice. We appreciate the attention to detail and performance. It’s a solid package.
3. Shimano Stradic GTM RC – Best Reliable Spinning Reel
The Stradic GTM RC is a double handle premium spinning reel. It comes from the likes of Shimano, that shouldn’t need an introduction.
That’s because they have been doing 80 years in the fishing industry. That can only mean that you get a solid product.
Shimano has always been priding itself on craftsmanship and attention to detail. It’s no surprise that the Stradic doesn’t fall far from the tree.
This reel defines what it means to be a premium spinning reel. It has gotten everything down right in the looks and functionality department.
Precise Gear Ratio
The Shimano Stradic comes decked out with a 5:8:1 gear ratio. This is suitable for crankbait fishing as well as some other fast maneuvers.
You also have that double handle to make things easier for yourself. This all makes your fishing experience that much more precise and accurate.
Shimano big name is widely trusted given their past record. All that comes thanks to their high quality of reels like the Stradic GTM.
Rest assured; you won’t feel this reel result in failure when fishing. Countless people have found this to be the most consistent reel they’ve had.
Unfortunately, Shimano has not been clear on whether this reel is supported in saltwater. It might just work fine for most people. But there isn’t much of an official say on the matter.
- Highly reliable
- Good for crankbait
- Double handle
- May not work on saltwater
Nothing’s more important to fishing than well crafter gear. And the Stradic GTM goes a long way towards achieving that.
It makes for a great spinning reel that you can trust almost always. That’s something that we can always appreciate.
Editor’s Choice: Best Spinning Reels Under 100 Dollars [Top Pick for 2020]
4. Shimano Stradic C3000HG – Best Compact Spinning Reel
The Stradic C3000HG is another spinning reel off Shimano’s Stradic line. This is a compact spinning reel that performs well too.
From the ground up, it’s designed to suit the needs of anglers. So, it won’t leave you disappointed.
The reel is built up from a premium grade Hagane body and Hagane gears. This is something that has gone through company research, testing, and approval. As a result, you have a body that’s tough, workable, and complete.
X Ship Technology
Shimano has included its X Ship tech here for function and durability. It reduces friction between the spool shaft and the gear.
This increases the performance that you get out of your casting. It also allows you to achieve much longer casts than typically possible.
Shimano makes tandem use of its Dyna-balance and fluid drive technology. This works by giving you smooth performance all the way.
You can get rid of any issues that spring out from line management, And you will be enabled to cast longer and further than imaginable.
Of course, everything that this spinning reel offers comes at a cost. And that Shimano Stradic’s cost can be a little steeper usually.
But often than not, you tend to get what you pay for. So, it’s more than reasonable for a lot of people out there.
- Consistent performance
- Smooth casting
- X Ship and FluidDrive technology
- Can be a bit pricey
The Stradic C3000HG might not be on everyone’s budget. But if it is, it more than deserves a second look.
This spinning reel provides the performance that everyone dreams of. We think that anyone can benefit from having this reel in their arsenal.
5. PENN Spinfisher VI – Best Waterproof Spinning Reel
The Penn Spinfisher VI is a high-quality spinning reel from Penn. The company has proven its Spinfisher line time and time again.
That’s why this an updated take on the beloved Spinfisher V reel. And it’s chock full of improvements here and there at every turn.
The Penn Spinfisher VI has many of the classic design elements of the previous reel. You will still find things like the HT-100 carbon fiber drag system.
Penn has opted to add improvements to existing and new tech to improve performance. This makes it a very tried and true successor.
CNC Gearing Technology
The big standout for this iteration of the Spinfisher reel is the gear. Penn provides premium CNC gearing made out of brass and aluminum.
As you can expect, this adds up to the performance. You’ll get less strain put on you and the reel which is good for durability.
There’s always one cardinal rule of going fishing, and that’s getting wet. This becomes a problem when your gear starts to become soaked too.
Luckily the Spinfisher VI has IPX5 certified waterproofed body and spool. You can be sure to never see rust on the salty seas.
Those who like a pristine look might be let down here. That’s because the Spinfisher has had problems with paint chipping over time.
Mind you, this doesn’t affect the performance and only affects looks. And it’s perfect for those that like their reels to look a little rugged.
- IPX5 spool and body waterproofing
- Premium CNC gearing
- Full metal body
- Paint chips over time
There’s not much to say here. If you’re a fan of Penn and enjoy their reels, this won’t disappoint you. It makes improvements where they count to bring you a better experience.
6. Cadence CS8 – Best Value for Money Spinning Reel
The CS8 is an ultralight spinning reel that comes from Cadence Fishing. The UK based company has made many products like reels and rods.
Their CS line has always been eponymous among fishers for superb quality. It’s safe to say that the CS8 manages to fill those shoes well.
The Cadence CS8 is an incredible mix of all the right things. Not only does it do power and speed but it also does durability.
That puts it in high regard as a multi-faceted spinning reel. All that means is you’re getting good value and a complete package.
CMC Main Body
The Cadence CS8 features a CMC (Carbon Magnesium Carbon) built main body. This unique combination of separate materials works in two very different ways.
The carbon provides the reel with strength and stability as its used. And the magnesium gives it a lightweight and manageable feeling to use.
The CS8 comes with ten different ball bearings that make it smooth. Nine of these are corrosion-resistant stainless steel ball bearings.
And one of them is anti-reverse, one way, instant stop bearing. All this means you get torque comfortable enough for some smooth reeling.
If there’s one thing to point out about the CS8, it’s maintenance. You might find that you have to spend time making sure everything is in proper shape. This is in contrast to premium reels where it’s a little less frequent.
- Smooth ball bearing system
- CMC body construction
- Great value
- Requires regular maintenance
The CS8 is a fantastic reel for those on a budget. It offers everything you need for a not so absurd price tag. Despite a little up keep, it’s well worth it.
7. KastKing Centron Spinning Reel – Best Inshore Saltwater Spinning Reel
KastKing needs no introduction, they make all kinds of great enthusiast reels. But what does is their newest powerful ultralight reel, the KastKing Centron.
What’s even more surprising is how much it sells for. It has features that you would barely find in reels three times the price.
The Kastking Centron spinning reel has a narrow graphite frame. This lightweight design is coupled with a computer balancing system.
That gives you a compact design that’s incredibly easy to maneuver. You won’t feel any uneven weight distribution or tipping at all.
Strong Reeling Power
The spinning drag system in the KastKing Centon reel is unmatched. It offers a metal shaft, mesh drive, and machined gears.
That translates to roughly 17.5 pounds of reeling power. And the instant stop makes it easily stop on a dime.
It’s always nice to have a reel that you can show off. And the Centron is just that with its two-color anodized spool.
It also has a finish that’s worth turning an eyeball of two. It’s a perfect choice for fishing with the company or at professional competitions.
Only one issue is highlighted about this reel which is the bail. For some people it doesn’t close as well on the first try. It takes a little getting used to get this reel to close properly.
- Great looks
- Computer balanced design
- Good value for money
- Bail takes care to close
This is a great reel to pair off with your favorite looking equipment. It turns heads just as easily as it turns a catch.
The only drawback is how finicky the bail is to close. And that’s not too bad of an offering at this price tag.
8. Shimano Sahara FI – Best Comfortable Spinning Reel
The Sahara FI comes courtesy of Shimano. By now you should be clued in on their prestige. This company is synonymous with quality among fishers.
So, it’s really easy to trust them with a stellar product. And that’s just what the Sahara FI happens to be.
The Sahara FI has a graphite frame that is lightweight and strong. At just under 9 ounces, you get a fast 6:0:1 gear ratio.
As you can imagine, this translates to great performance down the line. And speaking of line, it has a good line capacity and retrieves.
Varispeed II Oscillation
One of the things Shimano is praised for is its spool oscillation. And nowhere is this is more apparent than in the Sahara FI with Varispeed II.
The line is layered on the spool with two points of speed. This gets the best performance out of it and avoids any tangling.
G Free Technology
While fishing, it’s normal to get your reel turned and tilted around. But the Shimano Sahara FI fixes that with its G Free body.
This makes it so the body readjusts itself with the center of gravity. This helps reorient the reel in a comfortable position throughout the day.
There’s one gripe that a lot of people had with this reel. And that is the lack of an anti-reverse switch on it.
This is usually a personal preference that depends on each individual. But it would’ve been nice to have the option.
- Varispeed II system
- G Free body
- 6:0:1 gear ratio
- Lack of anti reverse switch
This reel might lack a minor feature, but it still holds up. It’s built up well enough to work for most beginners and intermediates. That makes it a good fit.
9. Lews Fishing TPI300 TP1 – Best Cheap Spinning Reel
The TPI300 TP1 comes from Lews fishing. They have been involved in making fishing equipment for all purposes.
Almost all of their lineup is easy on the pocket. This is what makes it so attractive to fishers. Especially beginners who just want to get started easily at low prices.
The Lews Fishing TPI300 TP1 has a very reliable construction. The main body is made with lightweight aluminum that’s rust-resistant.
You avoid putting a strain on yourself handling it. And you can also get a better catch off the line.
C40 Carbon Rotor
This spinning reel has had a well-made carbon rotor for the spool. It’s a C40 carbon skeletal rotor that delivers performance and guarantees long life.
If that’s not enough, you also have a stainless steel bail wire. You practically guarantee that your equipment won’t get rusted.
Anodized Aluminum Spool
This reel has a 2x anodized, knurled, aluminum machined spool wire. This makes it perfect for fishing in the saltwater.
You can ensure that getting water or debris will not harm the wire. In fact, you won’t be facing any kinking or snapping issues either.
The Lews Fishing TP1 only has some minor issues. Sometimes, the reel can end up making some noise while in use.
Another uncommon issue is having your bail kicked out with fast reeling. However, both of these are rare.
- Durable body
- Rust resistant spool wire
- Can get noisy sometimes
This a great reel for those that just want a reel with little investment. It’s an absolute workhorse with the value and features it offers.
There might be issues here and there. But for the offering we get, we’ll gladly bear with them.
10. RUNCL Fishing Reel – Best Spinning Reel for Drag
The Titan I comes from the latest line of RUNCL reels. It is a lightweight spinning reel that does both freshwater and saltwater.
It has some great premium features bundled with it. And it comes at a fairly affordable price range all things considered.
There’s a lot to consider with this spinning reel. Firstly, it comes with a solid body and machined single piece frames.
It also has its outer body covered with stunning two-tone anodization. Parts like the rotor surface is covered in a protective photo phase coating.
The R.E.S.S (RUNCL Entire Shield System) is a standout feature found here. It offers extensive coverage for all the outer exposed parts of the reel.
This means the reel, its spool, and the rotor all remain protected throughout. Dirt, rust, water, or accidents do little to break this reel down.
The RUNCL Titan I has a sealed drag system with its reel. It consists of multi-disc carbon fiber washers working together.
This gives the spinning reel an immense drag power of 44 pounds. It also helps with the braking when you come to a halt.
With such a solid spinning, you’d expect some added weight to it. And it just so happens that this reel can be slightly weighted.
But only when compared to others in the market. It’s not a problem if you invest in the right rod to use it with.
- Amazing drag power
- Weatherproof and rust resistant
- Solid construction
- Can be a little heavy
The RUNCL Titan I is a professional reel that will serve you well. It might need some hands on experience to get used to. But once you do, you have a reel to last you ages.
Deciding Factors to Use When Buying
As it happens, there are plenty of spinning reels to choose from. To prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed, you need deciding factors when buying.
This will help you rank your purchases to make the right decisions. Here are some important factors to look out for inshore spinning reels.
Weight is one of the most important things to consider when getting spinning reels. You need something that you can handle easily without straining yourself hard.
The weight of your reel can add to the weight of the catch. That’s why you need a reel that’s comfortable on your arms.
But this goes both ways. Lighter reels have their own considerations worth noting. The biggest one being that they have a set limit of their catchweight. Reels that are too light can’t compete with the maximum weight offset.
The trick is to find a middle ground with your spinning reel’s weight. Make sure your reel is light enough to be comfortable and heavy enough to be sturdy.
This will all hinge on the size and weight of your catch. That will be your key.
A sturdy frame is the ideal component of a good reel. It’s one of the first things you will notice and feel about it. That’s why getting the right frame is so crucial when fishing.
Many manufacturers will have their own frames for their reels. Some are made from stainless steel. Others might be made of carbon fiber, magnesium, or aluminum.
The frame material will determine their weight and durability. It’s good to research which material you should aim for.
While some will provide you longer lasting use others will make it easy to handle.
Getting a sizeable catch takes more than just proper patience and concentration. You also need the right reel to pull it up without breaking. And oftentimes, that directly relates to its drag power.
So, what is a drag? Put simply, it’s the frictional force acting between the line and reel. It’s the force that’s on your side when you’re pulling up the reel. It is also what is resisting the force of your catch.
Basically, it’s the horsepower of your spinning reel. And the bigger that number is, the better it ends up working.
Drag power is always measured in pounds for spinning reels. Light reels start at 17-20 pounds whereas heavier reels can go past 40 pounds easily.
Ideally, you want something that has between 30 to 40 pounds of drag. This will depend on your local area and fishes that live there.
If you’re hunting for smaller fish, you can go for 20 pounds of drag. But for something like a rainbow trout, you’ll need more drag power.
Bearings are what make the reel move mechanically. They’re the inner working parts of the mechanism. That’s why it’s worth finding out what bearings are used in reels.
High-quality bearings will stand the test of time. Lower quality ones will easily fail. This will essentially make your reel a paperweight. Always hunt for reels with good quality bearings in them.
When fishing in the salty seas, you need protection from rust. Especially when it concerns moving parts like the spool and crank. That’s why it’s always great when a reel offers rust protection.
Rust protection is offered in three ways. Either the material itself is rust-proof, through coatings, or the design.
The best way to avoid rust is with a sealed design. It also helps if the material is rust-resistant. You can find one of a combination of these methods being used.
Gear ratios define how well your force is translated to in the spool. A higher gear ratio will pull in more line into the spool per turn.
While a lower gear ratio will need more turns for the same. Getting the right gear ratio means understanding what you’re after.
If you want your reel to be fast, get a higher ratio. If you want to be meticulous, go for a lower gear ratio. One will not necessarily be better than the other. It all comes down to your unique personal preferences.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Spinning Reels Inshore?
There are many different benefits of using a spinning reel inshore. The biggest is easy to use that it provides.
Since Inshore fishing is about starting near land, it fits in well. Beginner’s getting into fishing can start with spinning reels inshore easily.
What’s more, they tend to be highly versatile most of the time. You can use many different types of lines and tackle them. Casting is really easy will all kinds of tackles out there without problems.
Spinning tackles can also throw your lighter lure further. This is especially useful inshore because of your proximity to the water. Getting your lure further can increase your chances of success greatly.
Above all, they can be really manageable when need them to be. They don’t get lines tangled as easily. And you can swap your spools and lines out of them effortlessly.
Inshore Spinning Reel FAQs
It’s normal to have lots of questions leading up to your purchase. That’s why we’ll answer some common ones below. This will help you solidify your purchase.
✅ What’s the Best Gear Ratio?
Gear ratios depend completely on you. You can choose your gear ratio on speed and maneuvering. Typically, ratios from 5.2:1 up to 6.2:1 work well.
✅ How Do I Clean My Reel?
You can use a hose and regular tap water to clean your reel. If it has salt and debris, consider using soap water to clean it.
✅ Do I Need a Specific Rod?
No, you can use spinning reels with most rods fine. Sometimes, not even using rods works fine. That said, some rods will work better than others.
By now, you should have a clue about the best inshore spinning reels. There are many good choices you can go towards. There’s no right or wrong answer.
But for our money, the best of the best is the RUNCL Titan I. It’s solid, highly powerful, and durable.
That’s more than what anyone could want in an inshore spinning reel. And it’s perfect for so many purposes out there like inshore fishing.
If you’re on a budget, however, we have another option for you. The Lews Fishing TPI300 TP1 is a good spinning reel for cheap.
It does everything you need to for a fraction of the price. It may not have all the extensive features, but it’ll do a good job.
Both these spinning reels will serve you well for inshore fishing. They’re not the only choices. But they’re some of the best options as far as we’re concerned.
Last update on 2020-07-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API