Best Spinning Reel Under $100 – Buyer’s Guide
If you’re an angler that’s tight on budget or if you like adding a lot of reels to your fishing arsenal to tackle various jobs, getting a good budget spinning reel seems like the best way to go.
You might think that you can never find a reel that performs well and doesn’t have a lot of malfunction at this price point.
However, we’ve gathered the best spinning reels under 100 USD on the market that fit these criteria and put them on this list.
The 7 Best $100 Spinning Reels for 2019
1. Abu Garcia Revo X
The Abu Garcia Revo X is a spinning reel that will deliver the perfect combination between performance and reliability.
Its forward-thinking design, top-notch performance, and guaranteed durability make it one of the best choices on the market.
It’s very light and comfortable to hold thanks to its compact Insert Molded C6 (IM-C6) carbon body.
The Abu Garcia Revo X’s gear ratio is 6.2:1 which makes it pretty fast.
With a retrieve rate of 30 inches per crank, the battle against your catch won’t be too long.
Furthermore, it’s quite lightweight at only 7.50 ounces.
The Abu Garcia Revo X’s casting performance is optimized by the Rocket Line management system that enables you to fish mono, braid, and fluorocarbon (which is usually difficult to manage).
The rocket spool lip design reduces backlashes and wind-knot formations to give you the smoothest performance.
Moreover, the Abu Garcia Revo X has an instant anti-reverse feature that stops the rotor from moving backward so that you can get the most solid hooksets.
Its 6 stainless steel HPCR bearings and one roller bearing work on making its performance smooth. Although they’re not that many, they’re quite durable and provide you with the needed stability.
In addition, its Carbon Matrix hybrid drag system allows you to catch medium-size fish with 10 pounds as a maximum drag weight.
It also has a graphite rotor to keep it lightweight and the large PVC knobs on it are durable and easy to handle.
Abu Garcia Revo X’s main shaft and components are all made of stainless steel to ensure the longevity of the reel.
Finally, you can position the reel’s handle on the ride side or left side according to your own comfort.
If you’re looking for the ultimate combination between durability, strength, lightness, and affordability, you’ll be pretty satisfied with the Abu Garcia Revo X.
2. Pflueger President
The Pflueger President PRESSP30X comes with 9 ball bearings and a roller bearing.
This bearing system makes both the retrieve and the overall performance of the reel very smooth.
They’re all made of stainless steel, which means that they’re quite durable and corrosion-resistant.
Both the rotor and the body of the reel are made of graphite which ensures that they’re lightweight without compromising the durability.
Furthermore, the solid aluminum spool is ported and braid-ready out of the box.
This means you can easily tie your braid directly to the spool with the help of a series of vertical rubber grommets which spare you the need to have a mono backing.
Generally, the Pflueger President PRESSP30X’s maximum drag is around 9 pounds and it weighs around 8.3 ounces.
Its gear ratio is 5.2:1 which enables it to catch fish that put up a tougher battle. Its retrieve rate is 27.4 inches of line per crank, which is good enough for catching stubborn fish.
Moreover, the Pflueger President PRESSP30X comes with a SureClick bail made of heavy-duty aluminum which makes it both durable and stable.
It makes an audible click when the bail is open and ready to cast to let you know the reel is ready.
In addition, the stainless steel oil-felt drag gives you a consistent drag pressure and resistance against rust.
Finally, the Pflueger President PRESSP30X has a pretty ergonomic design and a soft touch knob that facilitates having a solid grip on it.
The handle’s longevity is extended thanks to the aircraft-grade aluminum it’s made of
The Pflueger President PRESSP30X is a good bang for your buck. It light, affordable, and delivers solid performance.
The only drawback is the fact that it isn’t completely sealed, so you can’t use it saltwater unless you’re going to commit very strictly to its maintenance.
3. Shimano Spirex FG
The Shimano Spirex FG has some of Shimano’s features that are found on the higher-end and pricier models even though it’s priced at under 100 dollars which makes it an amazing bargain.
Its rotor, side plate, and graphite frame give you the optimum mixture of lightness and strength.
While its braid-ready aluminum spool enables you to use a wide variety of line sizes including the 30-pound braid.
Add to that, the Shimano Spirex FG has a one-handed Quick Fire II casting system which makes line management a breeze and maximizes the accuracy.
Furthermore, the Varispeed Oscillation and Fluid Drive work in co-operation to deliver the smoothest retrieves every time.
The Shimano Spirex FG weighs around 8.8 ounces, has a 6.2:1 gear ratio, a maximum drag of 7 pounds, and a retrieve rate of 28 inches of line per crank.
Finally, the Shimano Spirex FG comes with a double-padded handle to facilitate winding longer casts.
The Shimano Spirex FG works its way around the pitfalls of any reel that comes at a low price-point.
Apart from the slightly disappointing maximum drag, it delivers many great features that make it a great budget buy.
4. Penn Pursuit III
The Penn Pursuit III comes with the same durable construction and smooth gear system as the average Penn product.
The graphite body of the reel is super light and resistant to corrosion.
Moreover, it comes with a powerful HT-100 drag system that helps you catch the most stubborn of fish.
Any rotor backlash or back play is absolutely eliminated thanks to the Instant Anti-Reverse feature that ensures the most secure hook-ups every time.
Its bearing system falls short of the mark compared to other rivals’ systems as it only includes 5 bearings.
They’re made of stainless steel which makes them durable.
However, a few more could have made the operation of the reel a lot smoother.
The Penn Pursuit III's gear ratio is 6.2:1, its maximum drag is 10 pounds, and it weighs 9.8 ounces.
Its mono line capacity is 255 yards per 6 inches, 175 yards per 8 inches, and 140 yards per 10 inches.
It also comes with line capacity rings to let you know how much line you’ve used up and how much you have left.
The Superline spool of the Penn Pursuit III is machined and anodized to give you top-notch performance.
If you’re looking for a spinning reel that really wouldn’t break the bank and delivers satisfactory performance –nothing too grand-, then you should go for the Penn Pursuit III PURII2500.
5. KastKing Sharky II 3000
At the price point of the KastKing Sharky II 3000, you’d expect a substandard reel that doesn’t perform well. However, this is not the case here.
The KastKing’s Sharky II 3000 is so durable that you can submerge it for up to 3 minutes in water without any damage inflicting it.
This means you can launch into your battle without worrying about any unexpected spills.
With 10+1 ball bearings to make the performance smooth, the KastKing Sharky II has a gear ratio of 5.2:1, weighs just 8.71 ounces, retrieves 29.8 inches of line with every crank, and works very quietly.
Its line capacity is 160 yards per 12 pounds, 140 yards per 14 pounds, and 80 yards per 16 pounds.
Furthermore, the KastKing Sharky II 3000 has a patented drag system that enables it to drag up to 11 pounds with absolute smoothness.
Moreover, it’s equipped with precision mesh brass gears that are upgraded to be 30% stronger than previous Sharky models.
Add to that, the KastKing Sharky II 3000 has a CNC precision machined aluminum spool that was designed to be 10% lighter than the original version but also stronger.
There’s a special part of the spool design called the power launch lip which works on providing longer cast distances so you can aim further away.
The stainless steel main shaft makes the KastKing Sharky II 3000 more durable, gives it extra precision, and adds great quality to its performance.
The KastKing Sharky II 3000 is stronger and lighter than the previous KastKing models. The fact that it’s waterproof is an added bonus. Its price makes it a really great choice for a low-budget reel.
6. Penn Battle II BTL 3000
The Penn Battle II BTL 3000 is one of the greatest all-around reels you can get for under 100 bucks and here’s why.
It’s affordable to the average user but still is a quality reel that would last long with the proper maintenance.
The Penn Battle II BTL 3000 comes with an improved paint quality than previous models which helps safeguard the reel from the saltwater spray.
Penn smartly addressed an issue that has been voiced by users on previous models.
Add to that, the 5 stainless steel ball bearings are sealed to protect the reel against corrosion from saltwater further yet. There’s also an anti-reverse bearing that helps in keeping your hooksets intact.
The Penn Battle II BTL 3000’s gear ratio is 6.2:1, its maximum drag is an impressive 15 pounds, it retrieves 35 inches of line per crank, and it weighs just 12.3 ounces.
Its mono line capacity is 210 yards per 8 pounds, 180 yards per 10 pounds, and 165 yards per 15 pounds.
The HT-100 drag system work on increasing the drag pressure as it utilizes carbon fiber drag washers.
As both sides of the drag washer are used, the possible drag increases up to 20%.
Moreover, the line capacity rings on the Superline spool helps you determine how much line you have remaining.
You can also skip backing the spool with the mono-line as the rubber inlay enables you to load it directly with braided line.
The Penn Battle II BTLII3000 is one of the few budget-friendly spinning reels that works well in saltwater conditions. It’s not the ultimate spinning reel, but for its price, it delivers satisfactory and smooth performance.
7. Penn FRCII8000 Fierce II
The Penn FRCII8000 Fierce II is a great reel from a well-known manufacturer that has enough experience to produce such a high-quality reel at an affordable price.
The Penn FRCII8000 Fierce II comes with a full metal die-cast aluminum body and side plate to maintain the precision of the gear alignment even under heavy loads. This gives the Penn Fierce II more durability in the long run.
The paint quality is also improved to provide better protection for the reel against saltwater conditions that eventually lead to its corrosion.
The Penn Fierce II’s gear ratio is 5.3:1, its maximum drag is 25 pounds, it retrieves 44 inches of line with each crank, and it weighs 28.4 ounces.
Its mono line capacity is 340 yards per 20 pounds, 310 yards per 25 pounds, and 230 yards per 30 pounds.
Furthermore, it comes with a techno-balanced rotor what is an exclusive Penn feature. It was engineered to provide you with the smoothest retrieve possible.
When you combine it with the 4+1 bearing system, you’ll definitely be able to feel how seamlessly the Penn Fierce II operates.
Moreover, the 4+1 bearings are shielded stainless steel ball bearings. They’re only shielded against water, they’re not sealed, however.
Two of them are on the main gear, two on the pinion gear, and the remaining one functions as an anti-reverse.
The latter works on providing a solid retrieve while sparing you the back play in the handle.
In addition, the heavy-duty aluminum bail wire on the Penn Fierce II extends its longevity and ensures the line management stays smooth and easy.
Finally, the Superline spool line capacity rings are marked at 1/3, 2/3, and full line capacity.
The rubber integrated into the spool means you can directly attach a braid to it without backing it with mono.
The Penn FRCII8000 Fierce II provides you with amazing value for the money. It’s an affordable yet high-quality reel that can last for years if you provide it with good care.
So there you have it – the best spinning reels under 100 USD right now.
If you’re looking for a reel that provides you with a high-quality build and good performance at an affordable price, you should go for the Penn FRCII8000 Fierce II or the Shimano Spirex FG.
If you’re looking for the best performance overall, then you should go for Abu Garcia Revo X or the Penn Battle II BTL 3000.
Finally, if you’re looking to save up all the money you can with your purchase, you should opt for the Penn Pursuit III PURII2500.