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Are you in the market for a new fishing reel? There are many fantastic options on the market for under $100. These spinning reels combine features like durability, smooth action, and a robust drag system.
As expert anglers with decades of fishing experience using different spinning reels from top to relatively unknown brands in the industry, we have made your searching process a little easier with some suggestions. Here, we review some of the best reels under 100 dollars currently available in the market.
Best reels under 100 for 2022 Review: Key Features, Pros, and Cons
If you are on a tight budget or always buy new reels for different fishing systems, you do not need to dig a hole in your pocket to own more than one. Best reels under 100 are also great for weekend anglers who don’t fish often. Regardless, you do not need to break the bank on fishing reels; the table below contains functional reels under 100 dollars.
|Number of ball bearing
|Stainless Steel, Aluminum
|Fresh and salt water
|Freshwater and Saltwater
|4 + 1
|9 + 1
|Freshwater and Saltwater
|Freshwater and Saltwater
|10 + 1
|Freshwater and Saltwater
|10 + 1
|Stainless Steel, Graphite
|Freshwater and Saltwater
|10 + 1
1. PENN Fierce III Spinning Fishing ReelRead Customer Reviews Here >>>
Need a spinning fishing reel but running on a small budget? Our top-rated PENN Fierce III has a wallet-friendly price tag. Every time we roll the line to lift a catch, we get extra smooth buttery performance and outstanding toughness that Penn products are known for. It is available in different sizes and suitable for nearshore, inshore and freshwater fishing representing excellent value for money.
One feature that impressed us is the reel’s toughness. It is made up of a powerful drag system and four shielded steel ball bearings. As a result, it never disappoints when taking on most fish species and different water types. The PENN Fierce III also comes with a Techno-Balanced rotor offering plenty of torque and leverage with a max drag power of about 25 pounds. With this reel, we could comfortably handle big fishes like steelhead and salmon without breaking a sweat.
The PENN Fierce III is a redesigned model of the Fierce II. It comes with a Superline spool and an aluminum bail wire. The Fierce III needs no backing when fishing with a braid. And has a side plate and metallic body for a long-lasting reel. It is lightweight and comes with a handle fitted with a grip making it suitable for wet and cold hands.
2. SHIMANO Sahara Fi Spinning ReelRead Customer Reviews Here >>>
The SHIMANO Fi Reel is one of the best baitcasting reels under 100 on the market today. It is exceptionally smooth when casting a line. In addition to retrieving anything from fluorocarbon to braided line or mono.
This spinning reel achieves this level of performance because of its uniquely designed 4 and 1 ball bearing and a one-of-a-kind Shimano’s X-Ship technology system. Because of this piece of tech, all forms of friction are eliminated from the cast. While also allowing anglers to reach very long distances with lures.
That this reel is crafted from cold-forged Hagane gear and the GFree body is another reason why this product is unique. In addition, it is super-durable and available in various sizes, allowing anglers to select what best suits their fishing needs.
The SHIMANO Fi Reel has superior balance, top-quality side plates, and graphite frame that, in combination, helps it win the premium-pick spot of our best reels under 100.
3. KastKing Summer and Centron ReelsRead Customer Reviews Here >>>
The KastKing Summer and Centron Reels is another excellent option for anglers who need a reliable and smooth reel under $100. The reel is well constructed, comes with superb premium features. We cant’ overemphasize how smooth it is on water. Plus, it is our best value.
Although this reel is meant for freshwater use, it comes crafted with a corrosion-resistant graphite frame. As such, you can also use it in salt water, but remember to rinse after each use.
For such a small price, you could be forgiven for expecting a plastic build or something inferior. Not so for this reel. It comes with a precision-machined pinion gear, CNC machined aluminum spool, hardened metal shaft, graphite frame, MaxiDur ball bearings, and mesh drive gear. It is built to withstand punishing use in rough waters. The computer balancing and solid graphite frame make this reel lightweight and simple to cast and recall.
In addition, the spools have high line capacity and a uniquely designed power launch lip for far-distance casting. The nine-ball bearing system and an instant stop anti-reverse bearing make this reeling and casting super smooth. It passed our tests in flying colors. The reel is tough and durable and handles big fish like largemouth bass and snapper.
4. Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel — Best lightweightRead Customer Reviews Here >>>
The Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel is a lightweight and compact device starting at just 6 ounces. It is perfect for travel and super-easy to cast and recall. In addition, this reel is available in different sizes to suit your fishing system regardless of what species of fish you are targeting or what water body you fish.
We found the smaller size suitable for ultralight fishing setups for trout, perch, and crappie, while the medium size performs excellently for bass, catfish, and walleye. And the sizings are perfect for saltwater fishing expeditions from the pier, jetty, or beach while targeting marlin, tuna, steelhead, salmon, redfish, snook, or striped bass.
One good thing about this reel is that the wallet-friendly pricing and the travel-friendly design did not come at the detriment of the reel’s durability and performance. It comes with a well-constructed oversized line roller, tough aluminum bail wire, rigid machined aluminum spool, and a machine-cut brass pinion gear. It also features a cyclonic rotor design and a corrosion-resistant body.
The Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel can also hold a long braided fishing line or monofilament for distant casting. With seven ball bearings, it is super-smooth in operation. In addition, it has an anti-reverse bearing for a seamless fishing expedition.
5. KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel — Best for saltwater fishingRead Customer Reviews Here >>>
With a tough build and sealing that prevents any form of dirt or saltwater intrusion into the internal parts, KastKing Sharky III is the ultimate fishing reel specifically designed to withstand the battering of saltwater fishing. Fitted with 10 double-shielded high-quality stainless steel ball bearings, a powerful drag system, and a spool having a large line capacity, this product is by a long stretch one of the best reels under 100. It is also suitable for freshwater fishing.
Having a high-quality fiber graphite rotor and body, the frame is sturdy yet lightweight. A manganese brass pinion gears, oversized stainless-steel main shaft, a triple-disc carbon fiber drag system, and an aluminum spool makes it silky-smooth, durable, and efficient. We have never had a reason to suspend any fishing expedition because of fatigue. The reel is lightweight and super-comfortable to handle with its firm EVA grip.
The KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel is an exceptionally smooth reel to fish with. It comes braid-ready and has a spool with high line capacity. The EVA grips ensure that the braided line will not come off when tied, and an Anti-Twist Line Roller prevents snarls and tangles. With ten ball bearings, the retrieve is super-smooth even when contending with hard-fighting fish.
6. KastKing Sharky Baitfeeder III – Best versatileRead Customer Reviews Here >>>
Do you need a fishing reel with a rear drag system for drifting cut bait or live lining live bait? Then, the KastKing Sharky Baitfeeder III is what you seek. This reel is versatile, suitable for both salt and freshwater fishing. In addition, it comes with an extra graphite spool, a gift considering the price of this product.
This high-quality product features a CNC aluminum spool, aluminum handle, stainless steel main shaft, high modulus graphite body, brass drive gear, and precision-matched gears. The T-handle, computer-balanced rotor, and lightweight graphite build make this reel super-easy to cast and recall.
With a 10-ball bearing system and a sturdy build, the reel operation is buttery smooth. It also features a braid-friendly spool that does not require backing. In addition, the KastKing Sharky Baitfeeder III is fitted with a carbon fiber drag system that has 26.5 Lbs of drag power.
7. Piscifun Viper X Spinning Fishing Reel — Best fighting powerRead Customer Reviews Here >>>
The Piscifun Viper X is specially built for many years of fishing and tough fights. So whether you cast in salty waters or fish beneath ice offshore, this is the spinning reel for you. With one roller bearing and 10 ball bearings, your fishing operation is about to become buttery-smooth.
The spool can hold a long cast and is perfect for battling with fierce fish. For anglers that fish with braid, this can be tied without backing. It will stay strong when you contend with a big fish. We are impressed with the rugged feel and the fiber drag system with up to 33 LBs of fighting power.
The rotor and body are lightweight. It features other premium quality components such as a sealed drag knob, stainless steel main shaft, reinforced stainless steel main shaft, Zinc alloy drive gear, stainless steel bearings, and CNC machined braid ready spool. In addition, the smaller-sized models come with a flat knob perfect for freshwater fishing, while the bigger models have oversize knobs suitable for battling large saltwater fish.
Best reels under 100: Buying Guide
If you are in the market for the best reels under 100, consider your budget. Followed by determining what spinning size best suits your fishing system. Then you can look for the following features before settling for one.
The correct gear ratio will depend on your fishing system. Simply put, a reel’s gear ratio is the number of spins made by an aluminum bail wire on the spool when the handle makes one rotation.
For example, when you see a reel having a gear ratio of 6:1, the bail wire spins 6 times for one rotation made by the reel handle. Therefore, consider reels with an excellent gear ratio if you use lures that need fast retrieves during fishing.
A gear ratio of 3:1 will be slow, while a ratio of 7:1 will be speedy. Therefore, it’s best to buy reels with a ratio of 5:1 or higher for better spin efficiency.
The primary function of a drag system is to transfer the pressure on the line to the fish. As well as release the line if you are contending with a hard-fighting fish that can break the line. A good drag system will consistently release the line when a hyper-active fish runs or dives with full force. It also ensures your reel doesn’t stall or jerk when you release the line. If you notice a stall or jerk, the drag is not good enough.
Expert anglers advise using a front-drag fishing system like the one found on the KastKing Sharky Baitfeeder III. It is quick to adjust the drag settings when contending with a fierce fish.
Durable ball bearings
Wondering what this means? Don’t worry; we will not bore you with technical jargon. But note that a reel’s line retrieval action will become very smooth when you increase the ball bearings.
Many expert anglers advocate going for a reel with the maximum ball bearings possible – but this can be expensive. So instead, go for reels having about 5 to 8 ball fluid 8-bearing drive like the under $100 Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel. Fortunately, any ball-bearing above 8 is not necessary. As the differences in smoothness in reels having more than 7 ball bearings and above is not noticeable.
Zero anti-reverse mechanism
Consider going for fishing reels whose hands have zero anti-reverse mechanisms. If the handle moves just a little backward, it can negatively impact the reel’s power and accuracy. Thus, your chance of quickly setting the fishing hook when a hard-fighting fish engages the lure will be affected.
Go for reels with zero reverse motion when you pause the reel. This can be confirmed by a small test, move the handle forward, then reverse it gently. Should the handle back up, return it to the shelf. PENN Fierce III Spinning Fishing Reel, KastKing Summer and Centron Reels and the Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel come with anti-reverse roller bearings.
Another feature to look out for is the length of the reel’s handle and the presence of a big knob. A big knob is easy to hold when your hand is greasy or wet.
Saltwater or freshwater bearing?
Will you be fishing in a salty or freshwater body? This is an important factor to consider when looking to buy the best reels under 100. In general, saltwater fishing requires more corrosion-resistant and durable reels in comparison to freshwater fishing.
Reels meant for saltwater fishing like the KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel and Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel are made from high-quality materials like forged aluminum, graphite or stainless steel. Reels made from these materials can withstand rough use in salt waters. Unfortunately, these reels are more expensive than freshwater reels.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I know what reel size to buy?
Determining the correct sizing is as simple as choosing the size of the fishing line to use. The lighter your fishing line, the smaller reel you should buy. In general, a 10-pound test line is the highest diameter and strength used on a spinning wheel.
Q: What are the different types of reels?
Fitting your fishing rod with the right type of reel is vital for a successful fishing expedition. Each type of reel requires a different kind of skill set and functionalities. There are four different types of reels: spinning, baitcasting, spin-cast, and fly reels.
Q: How long should my fishing rod be?
A short rod of about 6 feet or less is perfect for short, accurate casts. For expeditions where accuracy is less important, go for a rod measuring 7 feet or more. Dirty or dingy water are situations where short-range accuracy is crucial to your fishing success.
Q: Is a one-piece or two-piece rod better?
This boils down to convenience and space. If there is limited space, go for a two-piece rod; if not, a one-piece is better. This is because in any system, whether rod and reel, car, computer, the fewer the components, the better.
You will get excellent value and functionality from the products reviewed above. They have a unique balance between price and the features described in the buying guide. Best reels under 100 do not mean compromising durability, quality, or top-notch functionality — rather smart shopping and drawing from decades of experience. We hope this article and its suggestion will be of immense value to you. Please let us know if you have comments or questions on the box below.