Expert Picks Best Reels for Salmon In 2024 Tested and Approved

best reels for salmon 2024
Okuma Cold Water Check on Amazon
KastKing Royale Legend 2 Check on Amazon
Runcl Titan 2 Check on Amazon
Pflueger President Check on Amazon
Okuma Ceymar Reel Check on Amazon
KastKing Summer Reel Check on Amazon
Sougayilang Reel Check on Amazon
Penn Battle 3 Check on Amazon

When it comes to salmon fishing, having the right reel is essential for a successful angling experience. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the top eight salmon fishing reels available in the market. Each of these reels offers a unique set of features and benefits to cater to the specific needs of anglers.

From Penn Battle 3 to Okuma Cold Water, we’ll explore these reels one by one, providing an in-depth look at what makes them stand out. So, whether you’re an experienced angler or a beginner looking to cast your line into the world of salmon fishing, read on to find the perfect reel for your next fishing adventure.

Number 8: Penn Battle 3

The Penn Battle 3 Reel is the latest iteration of Penn’s famed Battle spinning reel series, known for its remarkable strength and durability. Designed for larger fish, it can handle weights of up to 25 pounds. It offers ample line capacity, allowing you to spool 230 yards of 20-pound test monofilament, making it ideal for those hefty salmon. What sets the Battle III apart is its ability to withstand exposure to both freshwater and saltwater environments, thanks to its sealed 5+1 bearing system. Anglers have a range of size options to choose from, but the 6000 model is suitable for most larger freshwater species. It stands out in the Battle series as it features brass pinion and gears, providing extra durability and strength for fighting trophy fish.

Number 7: Sougayilang

The Sougayilang Spinning Reel is a reliable and powerful fishing tool that delivers exceptional performance on every angling expedition. With corrosion-resistant ball bearings and a one-way anti-reverse bearing, it ensures ultra-smooth operation with every cast. Its precision brass gears, hardened metal main shaft, and triple disc carbon drag washers make it robust and durable enough to handle the force of any fish.

The interchangeable CNC machined aluminum handle is suitable for both right and left-handed anglers. Its lightweight design and computer balancing system make it comfortable for extended hours of fishing. With a superior drag system, it’s perfect for a variety of fishing scenarios, from ocean boat fishing to lake, river, pond, and stream fishing. The inclusion of an extra spare spool adds to its value, making it a top choice for anglers of all experience levels.

Number 6: KastKing Summer

Are you in search of a high-quality yet budget-friendly spinning reel? Look no further than the KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reel. Designed with a narrow graphite frame and a computer balancing system, this affordable reel promises excellent performance and precision. It features an advanced triple-disc carbon fiber drag system and nine high-quality ball bearings, offering consistent drag performance with stopping power of up to 17.5 pounds.

This lightweight and compact spinning reel is easy to handle, making it suitable for various fishing situations. With its durable anodized aluminum construction and corrosion-resistant design, it’s built to last, ensuring years of reliable performance. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, this budget-friendly option is a versatile choice for all your fishing needs.

Number 5: Okuma Ceymar

The Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel is not only visually striking but also engineered for exceptional performance. It boasts an eight-bearing system, quick-set anti-reverse, and a maximum drag of up to 18 pounds. The multi-disc, oiled felt drag system, and precision machine-cut brass pinion gear ensure ultimate smoothness. This reel’s corrosion-resistant graphite body and robust aluminum bail wire enhance its durability, making it suitable for various fishing adventures. Its EVA handle knobs and narrow blade body design reduce fatigue, ensuring comfortable handling.

The precision elliptical gearing system and machined aluminum, two-tone anodized spool add to its reliability. With the RESII computer-balanced rotor equalizing system, this reel caters to both beginner and pro fishermen, making a statement on the water with its lightweight design.

Number 4: Pflueger President

The Pflueger President Spinning Reel secures its place as a top choice for anglers who prefer long hours of fishing. Its lightweight, corrosion-resistant graphite body and rotor make it an excellent option for extended fishing sessions. The slow oscillation gearing guarantees a tight line lay, improved casting, and enhanced control, enhancing accuracy and casting distance. With a seven-ball-bearing system and an Instant Anti-Reverse feature, smooth operation is ensured, making it a smart choice for anglers of all levels.

The aluminum spool and handle, along with the soft-touch rubber knob, accommodate both left and right-handed anglers. The sealed oil-felt front drag, with a maximum capacity of six pounds, helps wear out the fish, making reeling in your catch effortless. With remarkable line capacity and a corrosion-resistant design, this spinning reel is versatile for freshwater and saltwater fishing, making it a must-have in any angler’s gear collection.

Number 3: Runcl Titan 2

The Runcl fishing reel is a standout choice for salmon fishing, offering comfort and reliability. With nine stainless steel ball bearings, it provides a smooth and balanced performance. Its solid brass pinion gears and steel main shaft ensure strength and durability. The built-in shield system protects the main spool, rotor, and body, keeping dirt and sand out. This makes the reel suitable for harsh weather conditions and extends its longevity. Equipped with premium multi-disc carbon fiber washers, it delivers reliable stopping power, increasing the drag by 40%. The metal braid grip on the spool adds to its user-friendliness, making it a valuable tool for anglers.

Number 2: KastKing Royale Legend 2

The KastKing Royale Legend 2 baitcaster reel offers a range of impressive features. Its lightweight and durable construction includes an extra-hard stainless steel main shaft, machined brass gears, a diamond-shaped ceramic line guide, and a CNC aluminum spool. These high-quality components ensure longevity and strength. The dynamic magnetic braking system features eight magnetic buttons and a ten-level adjustable braking system, eliminating casting issues and maximizing casting distance. Despite its high-quality materials, this baitcaster reel remains reasonably priced. It boasts high-end quadruple disc carbon drags, providing 17.6 lbs of drag power for efficient fishing.

Number 1: Okuma Cold Water

The Okuma Cold Water trolling reel is a top choice for salmon fishing in various water bodies. It is constructed from high-quality materials, ensuring it can handle larger fish. With a weight of just 0.91 pounds, it is both lightweight and durable, thanks to its stainless steel build. The reel features a multi-disc Carbonite drag system and a drop-down gearbox with a self-lubricating system. Additionally, its corrosion-resistant design and high-quality side plates add to its durability. The ratcheting drag star allows for precise drag settings. Whether you’re targeting larger fish or simply appreciate a well-designed reel, the Okuma Cold Water trolling reel is a compelling choice for salmon anglers.

Choosing the Right Salmon Fishing Reel: A Buyer’s Guide

When it comes to salmon fishing, selecting the right reel is paramount to your success on the water. With numerous options available, it’s essential to understand what to look for in a reel that suits your specific needs. In this buyer’s guide, we will break down the key factors to consider when choosing the perfect salmon fishing reel, and address some common questions to help you make an informed decision.

Types of Salmon Fishing Reels

  1. Spinning Reels – Spinning reels are versatile and easy to use, making them a great choice for both beginners and experienced anglers. They are suitable for a wide range of salmon fishing scenarios, from freshwater to saltwater.
  2. Baitcaster Reels – Baitcaster reels are preferred by those who need precision and control when casting. They are ideal for experienced anglers who want to maximize their casting distance.
  3. Trolling Reels – Trolling reels are designed for trolling, a fishing technique where you drag bait or lures behind a moving boat. They are typically larger and more robust to handle the demands of this method.

Key Considerations

When shopping for a salmon fishing reel, keep these factors in mind:

1. Size and Capacity:

Consider the size of salmon you plan to target. A larger species may require a reel with a higher line capacity and greater drag strength.

2. Materials and Durability:

Look for reels made from high-quality, corrosion-resistant materials, as they will withstand exposure to saltwater and the rigors of salmon fishing.

3. Drag System:

The drag system is crucial. Ensure it provides enough stopping power to handle the strength of salmon, especially for larger fish.

4. Bearings:

The number and quality of bearings impact the reel’s smoothness and performance. More bearings typically result in smoother operation.

5. Handle Design:

Consider the handle design, especially if you’re left-handed. Some reels offer interchangeable handles to accommodate both left and right-handed users.

6. Price and Budget:

Set a budget that aligns with your needs and preferences. There are options available for various price ranges, so you can find a suitable reel without breaking the bank.


How do I choose the right reel size for salmon fishing?

Select the reel size based on the size of salmon you plan to catch. Smaller species can be managed with smaller reels, while larger salmon, such as King Salmon, may require larger and more robust reels.

What is the significance of the drag system in a salmon fishing reel?

The drag system determines the reel’s ability to control and manage the force exerted by a hooked salmon. A powerful drag system is essential for handling strong fish and preventing line breakage.

Are there any special considerations for saltwater salmon fishing?

Yes, for saltwater fishing, it’s crucial to choose a reel designed to withstand saltwater corrosion. Look for reels made from materials like stainless steel and aluminum, which are resistant to rust and damage caused by saltwater exposure.

Is a higher bearing count always better?

Not necessarily. While more bearings generally result in smoother operation, the quality of the bearings matters as well. A reel with a few high-quality bearings can outperform one with more lower-quality ones.

Is a baitcaster reel a good choice for a beginner in salmon fishing?

Baitcaster reels offer precision and control, but they have a steeper learning curve. Beginners might find spinning reels easier to handle initially. However, with practice, baitcasters can be a great choice for salmon fishing.


Selecting the right salmon fishing reel is a crucial step toward a successful angling experience. Whether you prefer the versatility of a spinning reel or the precision of a baitcaster, understanding the factors that matter—like size, durability, the drag system, and your budget—will help you make an informed decision. With the knowledge and guidance provided in this buyer’s guide, you’ll be well-equipped to make a choice that best suits your needs and enjoy your salmon fishing adventures to the fullest. Happy fishing!

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