Shimano Stradic Spin Reel
Full disclosure, I fish this reel 2-3 times per week offshore and love it. I catch everything on these reels… from Blackfin tuna on a flat line to Gag grouper on the bottom or an Amber Jack on a Shimano flat fall lure somewhere in between. The versatility of this reel is flat-out amazing, it’s light enough to use inshore, but still packs enough punch for offshore use.
I fish the ST8000FJ, and have had my Stradic reels for about 1.5 years with no issues. That is thanks in part to the waterproof drag system and shielded A-RB bearings. Shimano has been putting out some of the most reliable, forward-thinking reels over the past decade, and the tech behind the Stradic won’t let you down. Specifically the Propulsion Line Management System, Paladin Gear Durability Enhancement and the Aero Wrap II.
It’s this combination of new features that make the Stradic such a versatile reel, however it’s the durability that make it such a smart investment. You are going to love this reel for years and years. We price shopped this reel and, no real surprise here, Amazon once again has the lowest price. This reel comes from Shimano and ships in two days, check reviews and pricing below.
Pflueger Patriarch XT Spinning Reel -$170
This amazing rod weighs in at only 6.1 ounces, making the Pfueger Patriarch XT reel the lightest spinning reel on the market. This is possible due to its replacement of standard aluminum parts with those made with magnesium and carbon, as well as extensive CNC machining.
But it doesn’t stop there, the Patriarch also boasts exemplary on-the-water performance. The XT has a remarkably fluid retrieve, due to its rotation on 10 shield bearings and a sealed drag which bars the intrusion of water and grime. Additionally, the Patriarch’s sealed finish stops salt water’s infamous corrosive effects so it’s possible to use this reel inshore as well as in freshwater. The cheapest price we found for these reels comes from Amazon, click below to for more information, reviews and more.
Daiwa SS Tournament Spinning Reel
This is a reel that I have only had a chance to use a few times, but wouldn’t hesitate to purchase or recommend. Daiwa creates reels that you can feel confident about, it doesn’t matter the price range or reel type, Daiwa drag systems are always shockingly smooth, and the SS Tournament Spinner doesn’t let down.
The Daiwa SS Tournament comes in 4 different sizes: SS700, SS1300, SS1600 and SS2600 with the weights ranging from 7 oz on the SS700 to 13.7 oz on the SS2600. Light weight, reliable, smooth, affordable… exactly what Daiwa stands for. Looking at customer reviews, the SS is consistently great: 4.7/5 on Cabelas, 4.8/5 on Bass Pro, and 4.9 out of 5 on Amazon. Speaking of Amazon, again this is where you are going to get the best price and fastest shipping. When visiting the link below, keep in mind that you will have to search for the SS1600 and SS2600 as they have their own page.
Shimano Saragosa SW Spinning Reel
I own a pair of Shimano Saragosa SW 10000’s and 20000’s, and they, along with my lighter Stradic’s, are my go-to reels. Similar to what I said about the Stradic, you can catch absolutely anything with the Sarasoga. It’s packed with Shimano technology that you should really Google to see just how Shimano continues to develop fishing technologies.
That tech that I’m referring to includes a protected AR-B 5+1 bearing system (6+1 on 20000 size) and Fluidrive II® engineering which makes retrieving a ton of line much easier. Their Dyna-Balance® and Paladin® gear system also works to help make reeling hundreds of yards of line in a piece of cake. The Saragosa feels and works similar to the Stradic, but has been optimized to withstand frequent exposure to salt water.
The only negative I have ever read about these reels is from guys complaining about the fact that you have to manually flip back the bail. I have never heard anyone complain about the performance or reliability of the Saragosa. I wasn’t able to find discounted pricing anywhere, but you will get it faster with Amazon fishing by using the link below.