Cheap VS Expensive Fishing Reels

Cheap and Expensive Fishing Reels

Some might argue that fishing reels are one of those things that you shouldn’t skimp out on, but in some cases, the cost of a reel can be so high as to make it impossible to justify buying them.

For someone who is a beginner or is working with a budget, you may want to consider a more affordable reel. But when is it okay to go for the cheapest fishing reels you can find?

Some anglers think that a cheap fishing reel is often a waste of money, and some will say that there isn’t much difference between the cheapest and the most expensive. So we’re going to explain what we believe are the key differences separating cheap and expensive reels so that you can reach an informed decision.

The Most Expensive Fishing Reels

The top-end ultra-expensive fishing reels are undeniably well made, as they have to be if you’re spending up to $2000 on one. But even still, there are very few people in the world who will be willing and able to spend that much money on a fishing reel.

The most expensive reels out there will have these key features:

Precision engineering

The most expensive reels are made according to precise criteria. That is because the people making them still have to understand what it’s like fiscally to be a fisherman, and they still need to make an angler happy. So, for instance, the Coast Classic reels are made with care, as they’re made from the best materials they can find.

Super high-quality components

The most expensive reels are also the ones that have given the anglers the best experiences. So if you’re trying to drop a ton of cash, then you’re going to want a reel that is made using some of the best materials available, such as stainless steel and titanium.

Tons of customization and features

In the last few years, fishing reels have become so advanced that they will sense when you’re fighting a fish and will provide you with the most power possible to help you land it. Unfortunately, however, you cannot find many of these features on a cheap fishing reel.

Premium cases

The most expensive reels also come with high-quality carrying cases so that you can transport them in style. But, again, this is an aspect that you cannot find on cheap fishing reels.

Premium customer service

The most expensive reels are also the ones with the best customer service centers to make sure that you’re happy with your purchase. But since there’s no apparent difference between a cheap and expensive reel, these companies will hardly ever hear about it.

Superb performance in all situations

It’s important to know that you’ll get better performance from a fishing reel if you spend a lot on one. After all, when one gets your hard-earned money, they had better give you premium fish-saving technology.

Expensive reels are made for anglers who want to do things like go serious deep-sea fishing, or need a reel that will last for decades or longer. Heavy saltwater use, offshore trolling, and even competitive fishing are among the types of extreme angling that will benefit from having the best gear possible.

Cheap Fishing Reels

The majority of anglers will likely never own a reel as expensive as those mentioned above, and that’s fine. However, these people will probably only want a cheap reel to get their feet wet in the fishing world, and hopefully, they’ll get into it enough to one day buy something more expensive. The price range for a cheap reel is somewhere between $30 to $300.

So what are some of the key features of a cheap fishing reel?

Cheap materials used in manufacturing

One nice thing about cheaper fishing reels is that they are made with cheaper materials. The gears and mechanisms in a cheaper reel aren’t nearly as precise, but they will still be good enough for beginners.

Not as smooth

A cheap fishing reel is also going to be a little less smooth than more expensive reels. Again, their bearings are usually fewer in cheaper models, making their reeling system less efficient.

Not as durable

Cheaper fishing reels also tend to be less durable than cheaper ones because they are usually made of fewer materials. It means that they will not stand up against salt water and other corrosive elements.

Cheap drag systems

The cheapest reels almost always have a cheaper drag system than the more expensive models, which means that they will not prevent as many fish from getting away, and you will probably lose quite a few of them over time.

Uncomfortable to use

Cheap fishing reels will always be a little bit less comfortable than the more expensive ones. That is also because they are usually made of cheaper materials to be so much cheaper in the first place.

You need to look for these key features in a fishing reel when buying it. Of course, a few of them will have better quality components, and others won’t. But overall, the most expensive ones will always be far more durable than cheap ones (and sometimes better). Most importantly, though, they will consistently deliver a more fulfilling fishing experience.

Is an expensive fishing reel worth it?

We get that some people might be on a tight budget, and that’s okay. But we think that having the best fishing reel is well worth it if you have the money to spend on one.

After all, imagine how much more fun you’ll have if you’re using a top-notch fishing reel. We bet that every time you go out on the water, even if you don’t catch anything, you’ll still be happy to be using your top-quality reel.

But it’s up to you to decide whether or not having an upscale fishing reel is deserving of your budget. A wide variety of reels are available today if you have more than $1000 to spend.

There are also tons of other expensive fishing reels out there. Some of which have remained the top-of-the-line models for years. Therefore, if an angler can spend some money on a high-quality reel, they will likely get their money’s worth out of it.

In the end, we think that an expensive reel will last for far longer, catch more fish, and bring more joy to your fishing than a cheap reel could ever hope to do. So it would be best also to consider that you’re going to need to buy a new reel every few years, which is far more affordable than purchasing one that costs hundreds or thousands of dollars.

What Are the Best Fishing Reels for the Money?

The following are reviews of some of the best fishing reels for the money. These are some of the top-of-the-line models that you can buy on the market today.

Piscifun SWN 300m Spinning Reel

It is an excellent reel for those who want to get into serious deep-sea fishing. It has an extra-large cap to accommodate heavy tackle, and it is made of the highest quality materials. The bearings on this model are top-notch, and they provide a smooth experience every time you cast your line. The drag system will easily handle big fish like monkfish and sharks, keeping them secure until you’re ready to land them in your boat.

In addition to the lifetime warranty, this reel is protected against any manufacturing defects.

Piscifun SWN 300m Spinning Reel

There are some nice things about this reel, including the extended spool, which means that you can use heavier fishing lines without worrying about them snapping off your spool. The aluminum spool will also ensure that your line lasts longer, and the premium aluminum frame will make sure that your reel looks sleek and professional.

Shimano Stradic 4000

This one is a top-of-the-line model from Shimano, and it has a beautiful design that looks more expensive than it is. It has solid gears and bearings, which will provide a smooth action every time you cast your line. The drag system will also handle big fish for long periods without being affected by the pressure.

This reel is worth every penny, and it has one of the best designs out there.

Daiwa Tatula DT Spinning Reel

This reel is a bit on the cheaper side, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it isn’t an excellent model. On the contrary, it has a nice design that looks more expensive than it is, and the materials used to build it are also high-quality to ensure a smooth operation over time.

This reel will keep your line in place for a long time, and it can handle up to 80 pounds of the line at once. With that much line on the spool, you’re going to have a lot of fun fishing for big fish in the deep blue.

Daiwa Vipre SX Spinning Reel

It is one of the favorite reels among anglers because it has some excellent features that make it among the most comfortable models. It has a stylish design to match the look of any fishing boat, and it is a bit lighter than most other models to ensure that you don’t have to worry about too much effort when using it.

This reel will also provide you with some serious features for the price. It has an anti-reverse system, which will help you control your line, and the aluminum frame will help protect the gears from rust and corrosion. This reel is well worth every penny.

Piscifun Fly Aoka XS Fishing Reel

It is an excellent entry-level reel that is perfect for anglers who are just getting into the game. It has a low cost and will provide you with some of the features you’re used to seeing on more expensive models.

The side plate, for instance, has a simple design to match almost any fishing style, and the more oversized handle allows for more comfort when casting your line. There are also some excellent gears inside of this reel that will provide you with a smooth experience over time.

Ugly Stik GX2

This reel is made from premium materials that will ensure a smooth operation every time you cast your line. It also has a drag system that can handle up to 60 pounds of fishing line simultaneously, and it has a passive anti-reverse system that will help control your fishing line. The anti-reverse system is activated through the handle, making it easy for you to set the drag force when using it.

This reel also comes with a warranty, so you can enjoy some peace of mind when buying it. It is a top-notch reel for the money.

Shimano Stradic C2000

This reel has a premium design that will look great on any deck, and it is one of the most durable reels available on the market today. It is also one of the best-selling reels in its category, which shows why it’s considered one of the best fishing reels for the money.

The drag systems are excellent, and they can easily handle big fish without struggling. There are also counter-balanced gears inside of the reel, allowing for a smooth action. This reel is one of the best fishing reels you can buy.

Pflueger Patriarch XT Spinning Reel

This reel is another excellent model for beginners. It has a moderate price point, but it still provides you with some of the best features on the market today. The drag system, for instance, provides smooth action and can handle up to 20 pounds of line easily. It will also handle saltwater environments very well, so you can take it with you on your boat for deep-sea fishing trips if that’s what you want to do.

Reddington Marine Classic Power

This reel is perfect for when you want to enjoy deep-sea fishing. It has a durable design that can handle big fish, and it will ensure that your line stays in place for long periods. The gear ratio system will also help you adjust the drag to fit your needs while ensuring that you have a smooth experience as you cast your line.

This reel can handle up to 70 pounds of the line at once. You can use it in both fresh and saltwater environments. Furthermore, it’s also a top-notch reel for the money.

Daiwa Tatula LT Spinning Reel

It is an entry-level model from Daiwa, and it has some premium features that you will rarely find on reels that cost less than $100. Among them are an inline drag system and a spool with an effective length of 6 inches.

The reel has many advantages. You will also have the ability to adjust the drag system to suit your needs at any time. Then, if it doesn’t work out for you, you can replace it with a new one without having to pay for anything again. It is worth every penny.

There are plenty of fishing reels on the market that cost an arm and a leg, and it can be hard to find a suitable model that’s affordable. Fortunately, this list is here to help you make the best decision you can.


Ultimately, the reel that you choose should depend on what type of fishing you plan on doing with it. If you like to do deep-sea fishing, for example, you’ll need a model designed for the job. Likewise, if you’re planning to fish in shallow water like a lake or river, then you’re going to want to make sure your reel isn’t too large or heavy.

Once you know what kind of reel you want to buy, the next thing that should be on your mind is how much money you’re willing to spend. You shouldn’t ever go overboard by paying too much, but you also shouldn’t go with a cheap model that isn’t worth the money. Cheap models are often not very durable and don’t deliver the kind of performance you need.

Last but not least, there are a few things to consider before buying a fishing reel. You can narrow down your list with the help of this article so that you can get a long-lasting and reliable model.