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The Best Spinning Fishing Reels - Quality Reels Under $50 - 2016

Updated on August 6, 2016

How to select a Spinning Fishing Reel

Fishing for fun
Fishing for fun

What is the best spinning reel brand?

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Here is an in depth Shimano Sedona review I found

Picking an open faced spinning reel

Please take the time vote on the poll or talk about your favorite spinning reels below. No expert opinion needed to vote! Here is a great source if you need some help on deciding which brand suits you.

A little background about me.. Having a pond in my back yard really got me going with fishing and it is also why I have a pretty good idea of what to look for. Finding the Best Spinning Reel Under $50 without getting ripped off with a trash reel isn't that tough, but buying a quality reel for the same price is always a good idea. All of the open-faced reels below are excellent for large-mouth bass fishing. Not to mention you can catch some whopping catfish.. Or pretty much anything for that matter.

Always research before you buy

The big thing to take from this page is that going to Walmart and buying any reel is usually not a good idea or deal. Taking a few extra minutes to research can be the difference in having a plastic piece of garbage and a life-long reel. Any of the reels listed below are good enough for any fisherman-- more expensive rods and reels are obviously better, but they are for more experienced fisherman and usually are for a certain type of fishing.

Important note: I have mentioned it below several times, but I feel this is very important for people to remember.

Friendly fisherman's reminder:

  • If you are going fishing in a public place, you will most likely need a fishing license, assuming you aren't a minor
  • When you buy a reel please be aware that it usually does not come with a rod(aka the stick part). Every state requires it's own license. Check to make sure Freshwater and Saltwater are both covered on your license if you plan on doing both.

Check out a video on the Sedona

Picking and choosing the right fishing reel

How do you know you are buying the right fishing reel? Not to worry most people can't tell the difference between any of the reels. Spending under $50 isn't really a huge risk and there are plenty of great reels that will last a lifetime. There are plenty more great ones that I haven't even listed.

This should always be fun and easy - There are a lot of rods and reels out there, too many to name really. It is very important to note(once again) that rods and reels can come together or separate depending what you are buying(together is called a combo). Buying separate is a good idea at times, and so is buying a combo-- the only true way to know if you are getting the best deal is to shop around and compare as much as you can. Whenever you buy a fishing reel, assume it does NOT come with a rod, that is unless it says it does.

If it does come with a rod be aware that a lot of the times the rods aren't up the the quality of the reel, or is not the right height that you are looking for. Usually if you buy a combo at K-Mart/Walmart the fishing pole is mediocre. Most of them will do the job that you are looking for. The kicker here is you could end up spending the same price at a big box store for a much less quality item.

Here is a great discussion on low-budget open-faced reels that you should certainly look in to. I must remind people again.

Where do you buy your fishing gear?

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Where to buy my fishing reel?

There are plenty of ways to remedy getting the wrong reel, for one you can do research, which is why you have landed here, presumably. Great news! There are a lot of choices and for sure it seems like going to Bass Pro Shops is the best solution, which it is nice, but the prices can get rather high and testing the reels indoors is nice, but using them outdoors is the only way to really tell.

Luckily for us- people get to test reels out all of the time and can give us reviews on them without us ever having to touch them. I find that Amazon reviews are extremely useful and only take a second to check out. In the past I have done extensive research to find the perfect reel that I wanted, and after finding enough great reviews the choice became rather easy. My choice was a Shimano Sustain, which is out of the price range of this particular post. I ended up buying it off of Ebay for a much lower price. Ebay is probably my favorite place to get most things.

The next problem was finding the right price, like I said Bass Pro Shops/Cabelas do charge a pretty penny extra for a lot of their items. If you have no problem paying retail price you can order online or go to the store and get your gear right away. You also will still get a low price on most items and as I said you get to take it home and use it right away. I will say I have gotten some of my best deals from there as well. Check the clearance rack in the store and online, there are always coupons or deals that can blow your mind. Most of the time though you can end up paying an extra $20 bucks and still not really know what you are getting. Buying lures and other top gear will cost a lot more than if you were to actually shop on, so keep that in mind as well.

Look for the most reasonably priced reels that you like and check them on every site below. You can end getting a real steal. Every year they can end up reducing the price of a certain reel, so be sure to check in frequently.

Advantages of each store

  • Ebay - If you are looking for the best deals, be sure to check out Ebay! There are always plenty of people that have to give up fishing and end up selling their gear uber cheap. Or perhaps they want to upgrade and will sell their older stuff for cheap. If you buy during the winter you can end up getting an even better deal. This is my top pick for buying almost anything. When you use Ebay once it becomes very easy to use after.

  • Amazon - A great place and maybe the best to get the lowest/retial prices on almost any piece of gear. You can also check reviews on whatever you are thinking about getting. The reviews on Amazon are some of its biggest assets, so be sure to see if there are any reviews there.Amazon is also a great place to compare prices-- they have some of the best retail prices around, You should definitely go to Amazon for reference and before buying an item elsewhere(fishing or not).

  • Bass Pro Shops / Cabelas - As I have said it usually costs a little more if you go here, however they do always have some killer sales. So always check around to see if they are basically giving away equipment. My brother takes advantage of this all the time-- usually online. Then he goes to store pickup when it gets shipped in. Other than that if you want the best products-- they have them, but expect to pay retail price. Certainly they are some of the funnest stores to go to for all ages and personality types. Many of the people there have some knowledge about the products, so be sure to ask around if you have any questions.

  • Walmart / Target / ETC - You can get good deals here, but the selection isn't near as good. Obviously they aren't solely a fishing store and there are no experts that can help you. Most reels there are sub-par. If you aren't looking for a long-term reel then this is a great place. Most of the reels come with a rod with line in it already.. and of course a rod. So you can grab it and go fishing.

  • Local Bait shops - You must expect to play retail here, but you can become friends with the staff and learn a lot from them. You are also supporting a local business, so that is always a good thing. That doesn't mean there prices aren't comparable to the bigger stores. Like I said the internet is a great place to see what you should be paying! At Breezy Hill Bait shop in Monitcello, Indiana they actually make their own spinners and some other types of baits. They also sell for much cheaper than Cabelas. If you know another great local bait shop, there are no shameless plugs in the comments section!

Buying a fishing reel
Buying a fishing reel

Want me to make getting a reel easy for you?

If I am fishing saltwater and on vacation, there is a good chance you will catch me and my family picking up an ugly stick combo from Walmart. Usually $20-40. The benefits are they are that if they get ruined no one cares. The salt eats away at them and we only use them 2-3 weeks out of the year. They always have these in stock at any store..

Want a really, really inexpensive reel? Be sure to check out this Shimano. It can be as cheap as $9 and will certainly be a great start. Great for kids and novice fisherman alike. If I didn't have an awesome reel I wouldn't have a problem using this one.

If you have any other great suggestions please comment below, or inbox me.

Current deals on Ebay.

If you have a good idea of what reel you are thinking about getting, please by all means go to Ebay and check the prices there. Like I said I ended up buying my Shimano Sustain directly off of Ebay and saved hundreds of dollars. Check the prices on Ebay for your favorite reels. Ebay is the best way to tell what an item is worth.

Shopping around for the deals is always the best idea, because like I said Bass Pro does charge more a lot of times, but sometimes they DO have the best deal. I've had the most success with Ebay, and have been most satisfied with the prices as well when it comes to fishing.

Some of the reels are so dirt cheap on there they are worth it no matter what. You could end up ordering a couple 10 dollar ones for your kids, friends, or family. I'm telling you I love Ebay, because sometimes people have amazing stuff, but they have to get rid of it, or even better their wife puts it up with little idea of what it is worth! Constantly people are strapped for cash and will sell their items for much cheaper than they paid. So if there is one thing you take from this page is: check out ebay's prices before buying anything.

Me Catching a large mouth bass!

Here are some suggestions

You want to get quality out of your $50, and these reels below almost always seem to hold up well.

If you are looking to catch Large Mouth Bass(like I featured in my video above) or even some bigger catfish. These reels will CERTAINLY do the trick, and most likely will exceed expectations. You have to understand that some $50 reels just don't cut it and are overpriced. My opinion on the matter is, if you are going to spend $50--they should last long enough to give to your kids. Make the investment in a good reel, as I became more experienced I lent some of the reels below to my friends and they thought they were expensive, so they were extra careful.

Shimano Solstace FI - Open Face Spinning Reel

This is my top pick of the lot. Shimano always produces a great reel and this spinning reel is no exception. It casts far and for maximum fishing potential. It could can handle some really big fish! Some reel companies charge triple the price for something like this and still can't produce the results you will receive with this reel. We have two of these in my house and they get used quite often.

This reel for sure can hang with some of the more expensive reels out there, I have not doubt about that.

There are tons of options on what you can customize, but the standard model is more than good. I have nothing else but good things to say about Shimano and so does anyone I talk to, so give this one a try.

Here are reviews

Here is a review that is very similar to what I said about this reel. Keep in mind there are plenty different Solstace reels.. All are high quality.

What fishing reel to buy
What fishing reel to buy

Okuma Avenger "A"Series Graphite Spinning Reel

Here is a decent choice. The Okuma Avenger is a nice reel to have, however there are better ones out there. This is great for the price, but spending the $10 extra to get one of the reels below can be more benficial.

  • 6 Ball Bearings for Ultimate Smoothness
  • Patented Elliptical Oscillation System
  • 1 Quick-Set Anti-Reverse Roller Bearing
  • Hydro Block Water-Tight Drag Seal
  • Precision Machine Cut Brass Pinion Gear

This is a sure winner. This will take care of everything you need, and with 6 ball bearings its more than enough to make fish seems pounds lighter!

Here are some reviews

Shimano Sedona FD Spinning Reel

I had to throw the Sedona in here. Much like Solstace it is another one of those Shimanos that usually serves people well. It can catch almost any fish you want in freshwater, Catfishing for some monsters is more than possible. As to where the Solstace can catch average catfish, the Sedona can catch the Monsters. The Sedona can hang with some of the top reels out there and can even be used in saltwater. For the price if you are thinking about getting the solstace, paying a little more for this is a great idea.

My brother uses this spinning reel more than any other, it really performs well and casts gracefully. If you are sure you want to become a fisherman and want to splurge just a little, I would pick this reel up right away!

Reviews for the Shimano Sedona

More reviews for the Shimano Sedona

Wavespin DH4000 Spinning Reel

When I found this deal my eyes kind of opened. I would put this is the Category with the Sedona, at this price they are very similar in quality. Preference is what will decide which is better for you.

This spinning reel has won several awards and is a great buy. The quality is second to none and will keep you happy for a lifetime. Catch almost any freshwater fish with this reel. I personally can't say that I have used this, but I know several people who liked it as well as read of plenty of reviews. Wavespin has definitely made a name for themselves.

I am not sure if they will keep it at this price for long, but man it is definitely worth every penny. I chose a Shimano of this, but that is just because I found a better deal on ebay.

Read up on the awards that Wavespin has received

Mitchell 310XE Freshwater Spinning Reel

Some of its features are:

  • Lightweight polymeric body and rotor with aluminum handle
  • Eight-bearing drive with instant anti-reverse
  • Multi-disk drag system
  • Spare polymeric spool

8 bearings make for one of the smoothest reels you can get. This is a great reel to have and much like the others on this list are the cream of the crop. I would recommend these 5 reels to anyone, there are not many other ones that are like these.

Read up on the 310

Thank you for coming

If this page was useful to you, please be sure to click the button for me.. You would be doing a huge favor!


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    • profile image

      Jeff Roddic 

      18 months ago

      I like Wavespin DH4000 Spinning Reel, I also own it. Great post, I loved it!

    • huntnfish profile image


      3 years ago from Washington

      Palomo, I've been looking at Kastking reels on Amazon for a while now but haven't purchased one yet. I agree their specs look great, and so do the reviews. I suppose its time I finally order one and give it a try. If you buy one, let me know what you think!

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      What do you think of KastKing particular the Sharky II. I would be using them in saltwater, and the reel is under $50 with better specs than most of these...but I can't not speak to quality or reliability.

    • MVKilgore profile image

      M. Victor Kilgore 

      3 years ago

      I like RC airplane flying, hunting, and that order. Great hub, I loved it!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      There is a complete list of fishing reel brands in the Fishing Manual:

    • huntnfish profile image


      6 years ago from Washington

      I couldn't agree more here, all great reels for the price, with the Sedona probably being my favorite here. Others that might be worth mention are the Shimano Solstace (if you can look past the sunburst paint job), or the mid level Pinnacle reels, which definitely preform very well. Great Hub! And a good lookin' largemouth too, what'd you get him on?

    • profile image

      Joshua Gregory 

      7 years ago

      Fishing is probably without doubt the most fascinating interest ever!


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