Top 10 Best Trout Spinning Reels Reviewed

Best Trout Spinning Reels

Catching trout is always a delightful experience, as these small fish can put up an exciting fight. While they come in various sizes, it’s important to have a reel that can handle both the largest and smallest trout with ease.

Affordability was a key factor in selecting the best trout fishing reels, and one standout option is the Daiwa Regal LT Spinning Reel. This reel offers great value for its price and is capable of handling trout of all sizes. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly reel that doesn’t compromise on performance, I highly recommend considering the Daiwa Regal LT.

If the Daiwa Regal LT doesn’t meet your requirements, don’t worry. There are plenty of other options available for you to explore. Let’s dive in and find the perfect reel for your trout fishing adventures!



Top 10 Best Trout Spinning Reels

  • Ball Bearings: 9+1
  • Reel Size: 1000-3000
  • Gear Ratio: 5.2:1
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  • Ball Bearings: 8+1
  • Reel Size: 2000-4000
  • Gear Ratio: 5.0-5.8:1
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  • Ball Bearings: 6+1
  • Reel Size: 3000
  • Gear Ratio: 6.0:1
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  • Ball Bearings: 7+1
  • Reel Size: 1000-4000
  • Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
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  • Ball Bearings: 9+1
  • Reel Size: 2000-4000
  • Gear Ratio: 4.9-5.2:1
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  • Ball Bearings: 6/7+1
  • Reel Size: 1000-6500
  • Gear Ratio: 4.5-5.0:1
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  • Ball Bearings: 6/9+1
  • Reel Size: 2000-4000
  • Gear Ratio: 5.2:1
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  • Ball Bearings: 4+1
  • Reel Size: 2500-8000
  • Gear Ratio: 4.7-6.2:1
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  • Ball Bearings: 7+1
  • Reel Size: 2000-5500
  • Gear Ratio: 5.0:1
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  • Ball Bearings: 8+1
  • Reel Size: 1000-4000
  • Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
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Daiwa Regal LT

Top 10 Best Trout Spinning Reels

Daiwa Regal LT
  • Durable Aluminum Body
  • Versatile Sling Mounts
  • Inline Bolt System

1. Daiwa Regal LT

Daiwa Regal LT
  • Ball Bearings: 9+1
  • Reel Size: 1000-3000
  • Gear Ratio: 5.2:1
  • Max Drag Weight: 11-22 pounds
  • Weight: 6.77.8 ounces

Let’s kick things off with an exceptional reel that offers a perfect blend of lightness, affordability, and performance for trout fishing. The Daiwa Regal LT Spinning Reel is an excellent choice that can handle any trout species while providing a smooth fishing experience.

One of its standout features is its remarkable lightness, achieved through Daiwa’s innovative Air Rotor System (ARS) and the use of carbon fiber for the spool. The ARS technology reduces the weight of the air rotor by 15% compared to standard air rotors, while the carbon fiber spool adds to the overall lightweight design. In fact, only a couple of other trout spinning reels manage to be slightly lighter, but they come at a much higher price point.

When it comes to the drag system, the Daiwa Regal LT has you covered, even when battling large trout. With a smooth drag capability of 20 pounds and a maximum drag of 22 pounds, you can confidently handle monster-sized trout without worrying about your reel’s performance.

The reel’s smoothness is further enhanced by its 9+1 bearings, which ensure fluid rotation, and a desirable gear ratio of 5:1, providing a balance between power and speed.

Finding such an incredible reel at such an affordable price is a rare gem. If you’re in search of an outstanding all-around reel that won’t break the bank, I highly recommend giving the Daiwa Regal LT a try. It’s an exceptional choice for trout fishing adventures.

2. Okuma Helios Lightweight

Okuma Helios Lightweight
  • Ball Bearings: 8+1
  • Reel Size: 2000-4000
  • Gear Ratio: 5.0-5.8:1
  • Max Drag Weight: 6-13 pounds
  • Weight: 6.2-9.1 ounces

The Okuma Helios Lightweight Spinning Reel lives up to its name by offering a combination of lightness and durability, making it an ideal choice for trout fishing. Weighing approximately one ounce less than the Daiwa Regal LT, this reel impresses even more than Daiwa’s ARS.

Okuma utilizes their innovative C-40X long strand carbon fiber technology in the construction of this reel. This unique graphite polymer blend enhances strength and durability by elongating and reinforcing the carbon fibers. As a result, the reel is 25% lighter, 50% stronger, and 100% resistant to corrosion. The lightweight design ensures easy handling, while the durable build guarantees long-lasting performance.

When it comes to bearings, Okuma doesn’t compromise on corrosion protection. The reel features 8+1 corrosion-resistant ball bearings (CRBB) that provide silky-smooth operation and further safeguard against rusting. This ensures a pleasant fishing experience and extends the reel’s lifespan.

However, it’s worth noting that the maximum drag of this reel is limited to 13 pounds. While it can handle larger trout, it may struggle with the largest specimens. Additionally, the price of the Okuma Helios is approximately twice that of the Daiwa Regal LT, which might be a deterrent for some.

Despite these considerations, the Okuma Helios offers exceptional value for its premium features. Unless you’re specifically targeting monster-sized trout, this reel remains the top choice in its class. For those seeking the best trout spinning reel on the market, look no further than the Okuma Helios Lightweight Spinning Reel.

3. Shimano Stradic CI4+

Shimano Stradic CI4+
  • Ball Bearings: 6+1
  • Reel Size: 3000
  • Gear Ratio: 6.0:1
  • Max Drag Weight: 19.8 pounds
  • Weight: 6.7 ounces

The lightest spinning reel in its class, the Shimano Stradic CI4+ Spinning Reel. This exceptional reel surpasses its predecessors in terms of lightness and is capable of handling trout of all sizes.

Weighing an astonishing 6.7 ounces for the size 3000 model, the Shimano Stradic CI4+ sets a new standard that no other brand has been able to match. Although Shimano hasn’t disclosed any specific groundbreaking technology behind its lightness, as an experienced angler of 20 years, I can confidently attest that this reel outshines all others in its weight category. Even after extensive research through countless lightweight reels available online, I have found none that can rival the Shimano Stradic CI4+ in terms of being the lightest spinning reel for trout worldwide.

Moreover, this reel boasts a drag force of 19.8 pounds, allowing you to confidently reel in even the largest trout. With 6+1 bearings, the Shimano Stradic CI4+ ensures smooth operation and enhances your overall fishing experience.

Undoubtedly, the Shimano Stradic CI4+ is the ultimate choice for trout anglers who prioritize lightness in their fishing gear. While the price may be on the higher side, you won’t find a lighter reel anywhere else. Of course, the previously mentioned trout reels are still viable options, but if you’re willing to invest, the Shimano Stradic CI4+ is a worthwhile addition to your fishing arsenal.

4. KastKing Valiant Eagle Gold

KastKing Valiant Eagle Gold
  • Ball Bearings: 7+1
  • Reel Size: 1000-4000
  • Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
  • Max Drag Weight: 17.6-22.0 pounds
  • Weight: 8.6-10.1 ounces

The sole budget-friendly spinning reel that can handle sizable trout with ease.

This reel boasts an impressive drag capacity of up to 22 pounds, comparable to that of the Daiwa Regal LT. With this level of smooth drag, you can be confident that heavier trout won’t overpower your reel during the fight.

The retrieve of this reel is another highlight for me. It incorporates a 7+1 shielded stainless steel bearing system and operates with a swift 6.2:1 gear ratio. Stainless steel is inherently resistant to corrosion, and when combined with the shielded bearings, it results in a durable and smooth ball bearing system. The fast gear ratio also reduces the effort required when reeling in trout. Overall, the retrieve performance of this reel is more than satisfactory.

However, it’s important to note that compromises were made to maintain its affordability. Compared to the other trout fishing reels on this list, it is relatively heavier, and the overall assembly quality may be subpar. Realistically speaking, there’s a possibility that a part or two may become loose or fall off after a year of use. Additionally, for a slight increase of 10 dollars, you could opt for the higher-quality Daiwa Regal LT.

Nevertheless, I would still consider purchasing this reel. If you’re unable to spare that extra 10 dollars, it serves as a solid second option for a spinning reel.

5. Plusinno Fishing

Plusinno Fishing
  • Ball Bearings: 9+1
  • Reel Size: 2000-4000
  • Gear Ratio: 4.9-5.2:1
  • Max Drag Weight: 12-17.5 pounds
  • Weight: 8.5-11.9 ounces

If you’re seeking an even more affordable option than the KastKing Valiant Eagle Gold, I have just the reel for you: the Plusinno Spinning Reel. This reel offers an unbeatable price while still providing some desirable features.

To begin with, it boasts an impressive 9+1 bearing system. The abundance of bearings ensures an incredibly smooth operation. Additionally, these bearings contribute to reducing noise, resulting in a reel that is both smooth and quiet.

What truly distinguishes the Plusinno Spinning Reel are its special features. It includes a line keeper, which simplifies line attachment and prevents the line from coming off the spool during storage. Furthermore, it is equipped with a convenient push button that allows you to fold the handle, eliminating the need for unscrewing as required by most other reels. These extra features enhance the overall ease of use and add to its appeal.

However, it’s important to note that this reel is only suitable for freshwater use. I learned the hard way that it is not resistant to rust and should not, under any circumstances, be used for saltwater fishing. This limitation is a significant factor in its remarkably low price, considering that many other trout reels can be utilized in saltwater environments.

Apart from this constraint, there are no other downsides to this reel. It is undoubtedly the best budget option for trout fishing, offering all the essential features without any compromises. With the cost of just a few cups of coffee, you can own a smooth and reliable reel, along with the added bonus of its impressive extra features.

6. Okuma Ceymar

Okuma Ceymar
  • Ball Bearings: 6/7+1
  • Reel Size: 1000-6500
  • Gear Ratio: 4.5-5.0:1
  • Max Drag Weight: 6.6-35.3 pounds
  • Weight: 6.0-20.7 ounces

If the price of the Daiwa Regal LT is a bit too steep for you, there’s a suitable alternative to consider. The Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel offers a comparable performance, albeit slightly behind in certain aspects such as weight, smoothness, and drag system.

When comparing the size 3000 reels of both models, the Okuma Ceymar is approximately 0.4 ounces heavier. Additionally, it falls behind by 2 bearings, resulting in a slightly less smooth operation. Lastly, its drag system is not as powerful. While the Daiwa Regal LT can handle the largest trout, the Okuma Ceymar is designed for tackling large trout but may struggle with the absolute giants. Nonetheless, it remains capable of handling most trout species.

Taking everything into account, you’ll be getting a reel that is slightly inferior to the Daiwa Regal LT, but at a price that is approximately $10 lower. From my perspective, this presents a smart way to keep an extra $10 in your wallet. If that appeals to you, the Okuma Ceymar Spinning Reel is a suitable choice.

For detailed specifications, I recommend referring to the specific product information available.

7. Pflueger President

Pflueger President
  • Ball Bearings: 6/9+1
  • Reel Size: 2000-4000
  • Gear Ratio: 5.2:1
  • Max Drag Weight: 6-14 pounds
  • Weight: 6.2-11.5 ounces

The Pflueger President Spinning Reel is specifically designed to deliver an unparalleled level of smoothness in performance.

Featuring a 9+1 CRBB (corrosion-resistant ball bearings) system, this reel’s bearing count alone is difficult to replicate. While two other trout reels manage to match this bearing count, the Pflueger President still takes the lead. The first reel, the Daiwa Regal LT, has a 9+1 bearing system as well, but its bearings lack corrosion resistance like those of the Pflueger President. The second reel, the Plusinno, was previously mentioned but is unsuitable for saltwater use. Ultimately, the ball bearing system of the Pflueger President remains superior.

Without a doubt, this reel stands as the epitome of smoothness for trout fishing and is tailor-made for individuals who prioritize smooth performance above all else in a reel.

8. Penn Pursuit IV

Penn Pursuit IV
  • Ball Bearings: 4+1
  • Reel Size: 2500-8000
  • Gear Ratio: 4.7-6.2:1
  • Max Drag Weight: 10-25 pounds
  • Weight: 9.8-21.4 ounces

If you’re in search of a surf fishing reel for trout, look no further than the Penn Pursuit IV Spinning Reel. This reel is specifically designed to excel in surf fishing scenarios.

What sets the Penn Pursuit IV apart from other trout spinning reels is its availability in larger reel sizes. It offers a range of sizes that are well-suited for surf fishing. This means you can enjoy all the qualities of a reliable trout spinning reel while having the appropriate size options necessary for surf fishing. In essence, when it comes to trout spinning reels for surf fishing, the Penn Pursuit IV is unmatched.

With its specialized design and larger reel sizes, the Penn Pursuit IV Spinning Reel is the ideal choice for anglers seeking a trout spinning reel specifically tailored for surf fishing.

9. Okuma Epixor

Okuma Epixor
  • Ball Bearings: 7+1
  • Reel Size: 2000-5500
  • Gear Ratio: 5.0:1
  • Max Drag Weight: 11-26 pounds
  • Weight: 7.3-11.1 ounces

For trout anglers who tend to be more cautious and concerned, the Okuma Epixor Spinning Reel is the perfect choice. While it may not stand out in any specific aspect, it provides the utmost peace of mind.

As anglers, we all worry about the condition of our reels once the warranty period expires. Although it may be an exaggeration to think that your reel will disintegrate into dust, the point remains clear. The Okuma Epixor comes with an impressive 5-year warranty, surpassing those offered by other brands. This means that during that period, you can relax, knowing that you won’t have to bear the burden of additional expenses for repairs or a new reel.

With its extended warranty, the Okuma Epixor Spinning Reel offers trout anglers a sense of security and reassurance. While it may not boast extraordinary features, the peace of mind provided by its warranty is truly invaluable.

10. Abu Garcia Revo SX

Abu Garcia Revo SX
  • Ball Bearings: 8+1
  • Reel Size: 1000-4000
  • Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
  • Max Drag Weight: 10-17 pounds
  • Weight: 7.2-9.2 ounces

The Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel serves as a suitable alternative for those who enjoyed the Shimano Stradic but are seeking a more budget-friendly option.

As a quick reminder, the Shimano Stradic is known for its ability to handle a wide range of trout and its exceptional lightness. While the Abu Garcia Revo SX doesn’t quite reach the same level, it comes close. With a maximum drag of 17 pounds, the Revo SX provides sufficient power for tackling most trout species. In terms of weight, although it doesn’t match the Shimano Stradic, it remains relatively light.

The Revo SX surpasses the Stradic in terms of bearing count, offering an additional two bearings. These bearings are not only corrosion-resistant but also shielded and made of stainless steel. Considering the significant price difference of $100, this solid reel proves to be a commendable replacement for the Shimano Stradic.

Overall, the Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel provides anglers with a cost-effective option that comes close to the capabilities of the Shimano Stradic, making it a reliable choice for trout fishing.

Buying Guide For Trout Spinning Reels

You may have a conveniently curated list of the best trout reels here, but trout anglers should know how to tell if a reel is good for trout fishing, even without this list.

This buying guide will cover the factors you should consider when choosing a reel for trout fishing.

Ball Bearings

When it comes to bearings in fishing reels, whether for trout or any other fish, the general principles remain the same.

Bearings play a crucial role in reducing friction and ensuring smooth operation of the reel. When evaluating a reel, it’s important to consider the number and quality of bearings it possesses.

It is commonly understood that a higher number of bearings generally results in a smoother retrieve. However, it’s worth noting that an increase in the number of bearings also tends to lead to a higher price tag. This is why a reel with 5+1 bearings is often recommended.

Opting for 5+1 bearings strikes a good balance. Going beyond this number only marginally improves smoothness, so the additional cost may not be justified. On the other hand, there is a noticeable difference between reels with 4+1 bearings and those with 5+1 bearings, making the latter an optimal choice.

In terms of quality, it is important to prioritize durability and corrosion resistance. Even if you intend to fish solely in freshwater, materials that lack corrosion resistance will eventually rust over time. Therefore, it is advisable to opt for reels with sealed or shielded bearings. If that is not possible, selecting reels with smooth and corrosion-resistant materials, such as stainless steel or ceramic, can provide excellent performance.

Considering both the number and quality of bearings will help you choose a reel that offers a smooth and reliable fishing experience, regardless of the fish species you’re targeting.

Reel Size

Trout are generally smaller fish, which means you can opt for slightly smaller reel sizes when fishing for them. Additionally, since you won’t typically need to cast very far for trout, a smaller reel is sufficient.

Choosing a smaller reel size has the added benefit of reducing weight, making it easier to handle. Personally, I find the 2500 size to be ideal for trout fishing, as it provides enough capacity for larger trout.

If you prefer a bit of extra security, you can go up to size 3000 or even 4000. These sizes offer slightly more line capacity and can handle larger trout. On the other hand, if you prioritize a lighter reel, the size 2000 will suffice. However, it’s generally recommended not to go below size 2000 to avoid the risk of running out of line when encountering bigger trout.

To summarize, reel sizes ranging from 2000 to 4000 are suitable for trout fishing, with the ideal size being influenced by personal preference, the size of the trout you’re targeting, and the desired weight of the reel.


When it comes to the material of the spool in spinning reels, there are primarily two options: graphite and anodized aluminum.

Graphite spools are lighter in weight, making them a preferred choice for those seeking a lighter reel. On the other hand, anodized aluminum spools offer greater strength, particularly in harsh conditions.

Neither material is inherently superior to the other. The choice between graphite and aluminum depends on the specific preferences and requirements of the angler.

If you prioritize a lightweight reel and are willing to compromise on sturdiness, a graphite spool is a suitable option. Conversely, if durability and resilience are your main concerns, even at the cost of added weight, an aluminum spool would be a better choice.

Ultimately, the decision between a graphite or aluminum spool comes down to personal preference and the desired characteristics you seek in your spinning reel.

Drag System

The drag system in a reel consists of steel plates that control the release of line from the spool. By adjusting the drag, you determine the amount of resistance a fish must overcome to pull line off the spool.

Setting a heavier drag means a fish will need to exert more force to surpass the resistance of the drag system. Once the fish’s pull exceeds the drag, the spool will release line, preventing the line from being snapped by a fish that is too strong.

Even after the drag is overcome, it continues to provide resistance against the line, helping tire out the fish. Thus, the stronger the fish, the heavier you will need to set the drag to effectively fight and tire it.

A general rule of thumb is to set the drag to approximately 1/3 of the pound test of your fishing line. For example, if you are using a 30-pound test line, the drag should be set at around 10 pounds.

This guideline ensures that as more line leaves the spool, the drag gradually increases. If the drag is set too high at the start, it can cause excessive tension on the line, leading to line breakage. Therefore, it’s advisable not to exceed 1/3 of your line’s pound test when setting the drag.

In most cases, you won’t require more than 30 pounds of drag even when targeting powerful fish. For the majority of fishing situations, a drag setting of 25 pounds will be more than sufficient.

Considering that trout are generally smaller fish, a drag setting of 20 pounds is already more than adequate for handling even the largest trout.

Understanding the appropriate drag setting ensures that you can effectively fight and land fish while minimizing the risk of line breakage.

Gear Ratio

The gear ratio of a reel indicates how many times the spool rotates with each turn of the handle. For example, a gear ratio of 5.2:1 means the spool turns 5.2 times for every full rotation of the handle.

A higher gear ratio results in a faster retrieve since fewer turns of the handle are needed to retrieve the same amount of line.

Gear ratios of 4:1 are considered slow, while ratios of 6:1 are considered fast. Slower gear ratios are suitable for smaller fish, while faster gear ratios are preferable for larger fish.

The choice of gear ratio also depends on the type of lures you use. Faster gear ratios complement fast-moving lures, while slower gear ratios are better suited for slower lures.

Considering that trout are not particularly large fish, a fast gear ratio is not necessary. A gear ratio of 5:1 is recommended, as it allows you to fish both fast and slow lures effectively.

However, this doesn’t mean you cannot use faster or slower gear ratios. Opting for a lower gear ratio simply means you may need to exert slightly more effort during retrieval, but it is not a significant concern. Ultimately, choose a gear ratio that you feel comfortable with and that matches your fishing style and lure preferences.

Final Verdict

While trout are generally smaller in size, it’s important to note that they can also grow to be quite large. Therefore, when selecting a spinning reel for trout fishing, it’s essential to prioritize lightness, smoothness, and durability while ensuring it can handle even the biggest trout.

The Daiwa Regal LT stands out as a wallet-friendly option that excels in performance and meets the requirements of most trout anglers. It offers a combination of affordability and high-quality features, making it an excellent choice for those looking to invest a reasonable amount in a top-notch reel.

If you have chosen a different reel from the list that better suits your preferences, I hope it brings you great satisfaction during your trout fishing adventures. Regardless of the reel you choose, I wish you all the best in your trout fishing endeavors!