Best Catfish Spinning Reel

7 Best Catfish Spinning Reel In 2023

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Catfish are known for their strength, size, and fighting spirit, making them a thrilling catch for any angler. To successfully land these impressive fish, you require a spinning reel that can withstand their power and endure the demands of catfish angling. The best catfish spinning reel will offer durability, smooth operation, and reliable drag systems to handle the intense battles that come with reeling in these mighty creatures.

Choosing the right spinning reel for catfish fishing involves considering various factors, such as construction, drag system, line capacity, gear ratio, ball bearings, anti-reverse feature, comfort, and ergonomics. By understanding these key aspects and their significance, you can make an informed decision and select a spinning reel that will greatly contribute to your fishing success.

In the following sections of this article, we will explore each of these factors in detail, providing you with valuable insights to help you narrow down your options and find the best catfish spinning reel that suits your preferences and fishing style. We will also highlight popular brands known for their excellence in producing catfish spinning reels and provide maintenance tips to ensure the longevity and performance of your chosen reel.

7 Best Catfish Spinning Reel

These reels are specially made for catfish and they can provide you with high-quality building material and building methods. All of them have good gear ratios and good quality bearings to make your fishing actions smooth.

Grabbing one of these can be the smartest choice for you because a good reel is almost like a great helping hand. Our experts researched the market and they gave this result. You can rely on us undoubtedly and give one of these a try.

7 Best Catfish Spinning Reel Reviews With Pros & Cons

1- ​​Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel


PENN 1338221 Battle II 6000 Spinning Fishing Reel

Specially manufactured for catfish and to cope with saltwater easily. There are very few companies that make the reels only for catfish. The mighty brand “Penn” is one among them.

This is basically Penn battle 2 6000 review. The 6000 is its model name. Having a lot of positive user reviews, this spinning reel has some cool features you’re gonna love. People from all over the world like it because of its high durability.

This spinning reel contains a high range which helps a lot to run after the giant catfishes.  According to a survey, this pen battle spinning reel is considered ideal for defeating huge saltwater gamefish.

This product contains a full metal body and side plate. With which your fishing is more powerful and active. The aluminum ball wire is designed to perform a heavy-duty and to perform extraordinary durability.

This Penn spinning reel contains an HT-100 carbon fiber drag system with which you can pull more powerfully and hold strong. Besides, there is a quick anti-reverse bearing with 5 stainless steel fluid cranking bearings. With these sealed bearings, your fishing is much smoother.

There is line capacity marked as full capacity, 2/3 capacity, and 1/3 capacity. You need no backing for the spool. The mono capacities are 335/15; 230/20; 210/25 (YD/LB) and the braid capacities are 490/30; 390/40; 335/50 (YD/LB). The ratio of the gear is 5.6:1 which helps a lot and provides peace of mind during fishing.

The pros

  • Premium build quality and compact solid body
  • The smooth and strong drag system
  • Quick anti-reverse bearing
  • Braid ready spool capacity
  • Aluminum bail wire for heavy-duty
  • Improved paint quality

The cons

  • The reel is a bit heavy and hard to hold

Overall this Penn catfishing spinning reel is awesome and provides a good value for your money. That’s why it’s the top product of our list and you can rely on this product undoubtedly when your target is catfish.


2- Penn Spinfisher V & VI Spinning Fishing Reels



This product of the great Penn is at the 2nd position of our ranking. With some extraordinary outstanding features, this pen spinfisher v 10500 and vi is something that you need if you have determined to hook up the big buddies.

The spinning reel is basically watertight and performs best in sand environments and saltwater. You don’t need to worry about extra accessories. This spinning reel is constructed with a full metal body and unique material. This body construction structure provides extra strong holding and casting.

The rotor and side plate are with aluminum ball wire to perform a heavy-duty performance. With the sealed HT-100 drag system, your fishing is much easier and flexible. Like the Penn battle 2, this one also provides an anti-reverse bearing. With the 5 stainless steel bearings of ball type, the fluid cranking is also much easier and better.

The superfine spool it has is braid-ready and requires no backing. Besides, the line capacity rings are marked at full capacity, 2/3 capacity, and 1/3 capacity. The mono capacities are 415/30, 350/40, 255/50 (YD/LB) and the braid capacities are 750/50, 670/65, 580/80 (YD/LB). In this 10500 package, you get a 6 bearing count including an anti-reverse bearing and 4.2:1 gear ratio.

The interesting feature of this Penn spinning reel is, it contains a Friction Trip Ramp which is much helpful for Pinpoint Casting. With this feature, you can always gain your desired range with ease. It gives you the way to cast a long-range preventing the bail from premature tripping.

The pros

    • Reliable performance
    • Durable full metal body designed to endure much stress
    • Line capacity rings marking
    • Anti-reverse bearing
    • The better quality drag system
    • Heavily durable

The cons

    • The price is a bit high

In spite of having a high price, this product is one of the best catfish spinning reels. Overall it’ll provide a great value if you’re investing in it.


3-​Penn Pursuit II & III Spinning Fishing Reel



Having various types of styles and packages, the Penn pursuit 2 and 3 spinning reel come with different types of models and functions. Here, I’m going to write the Penn pursuit 2 6000 reviews with its features and pros, cons.

The construction this spinning reel provides is much durable. It has a compact graphite body and a graphite rotor. With the aluminum side plate, you can easily boost up your skill and energy. This Penn pursuit fishing reel is considered the best spinning reel for channel cats.

The drag system feels kind of oiled and allows you to drag smoothly within your range. Whether it’s high or little, it offers considerable drag pressure. Like the two other spinning reels of peen, this one also has an anti-reverse bearing that works quickly and faster. Besides, it has four stainless steel shielded ball bearings which help a lot at fluid cranking.

The fishing reel comes with an ergonomic handle, which helps to feel much comfortable. The graphite body is corrosion resistant and fights against rust despite being attached for a long time with water. This is mainly a lightweight reel and enough easy to hold and cast.

The pros

    • Ergonomic handle for comfort feeling
    • Corrosion-resistant feature
    • Lightweight graphite body
    • Stainless steel bearings
    • The smooth and strong drag systems

The cons

    • Not compatible with all types of rod

Overall this spinning reel provides a good value for your money. And if you need such a reel within this budget, you can check this one.


4- ​OKUMA Avenger ABF Graphite Bait Feeder Reel



Here comes another masterpiece to blow your mind and to help you hook big boys on a short budget. The avenger graphite bait feeder reel is made by the famous spinning reel maker OKUMA and is one of the best catfish spinning reels.

This reel contains a multi-disk drag system. With which your pulling is much stress-free and reliable. The drag washer is Japanese oiled felt and provides ease of use. The bait feeding system it contains mainly allows you to engage the spool. Besides, with this, you have the ability of free-running line keeping the bail closed.

Like all the famous spinning reels for catfish, this avenger graphite reel also has an anti-reverse bearing for quick control and maintenance. With this anti-reverse bearing, you have six stainless steel roller ball bearing to help you at difficult tasks.

The building material of this product is much good and solid. The construction of the body and parts has the ability to resist corrosion and rust. The manufacturer provides a specific period of warranty also.

This package of the reel by Okuma provides different types of models and each of them contains different types of mono capacity, gear ratio, and maximum drag.

The pros

  • The marvelous system of patented auto bait feeding
  • Multi-disk and drag washer
  • Corrosion-resistant and unique metal
  • Lightweight and maximum drag
  • Stainless steel ball bearings and anti-reverse bearing
  • Alluring warranty feature

The cons

  • Because of lightweight, upper drags are difficult

I think within a short budget, this avenger Okuma spinning reel would be the best thing for you to grab.


5- ​KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel


KastKing Sharky III Spinning Fishing Reel,Size 3000

This affordable style 3000 kastking sharky 3 fishing reel is made by kastking, the master reel maker, and is one of the best catfish spinning reels. Within your short budget, if you buy this reel you can get a lot of fascinating features and facilities. In spite of being new in the market, this product is cutting like an adept.

The next-generation model and building method are much innovative to blow your mind. This reel is extremely lightweight and designed to land trophy fish and works great in both freshwater and saltwater. Besides having a well-looking body, this reel is built with graphite which has a high percentage of fiber. It provides powerful and speedy fishing.

With this fishing reel, you can feel the real power. It contains an oversized shaft made with stainless steel and a corrosion-resistant feature. The drag comes with triple disc carbon fiber. Which helps a lot at casting and pulling. With everything, the reel has stronger brass pinion gears made with mesh manganese. These help a lot at empowerment while fishing.

The interesting fact about this product is K.I.S.S. It stands for kastking instruction shield system. This feature of the sharky 3 provides unique protection and makes the body and spool water-resistant. This feature also helps a lot at keeping the dirt out.

The super-smooth mind-blowing retrieve is provided by the sharky 3 spinning reel.  Besides, when you’re spooling on the braid fishing line you don’t need any kind of backing line.

The pros

    • Stainless steel ball bearings
    • Anti-reverse bearing
    • Innovative building method and material
    • Extra line capacity
    • The smooth and powerful drag system
    • A great deal on a short budget.

The cons

    • Being lightweight requires extra awareness while casting

By the way, this newly launched product has a massive amount of positive user reviews and I’m, frankly speaking, you won’t be disappointed buying this.


6-Piscifun New Spinning Reel



This spinning reel for catfish is made by pitiful. However, I ranked it as the 6th product of our best catfish spinning reel list. This product can be the thing you’re looking for for a long time.

It contains a compact rotor and graphite body which is much durable and long-lasting. The fishing reel is mainly lightweight and versatile in many ways. Goes with almost every kind of rod. Without any slip, the braid can be tied directly with the braid-ready spool which is made with CNC machined aluminum.

There is a fascinating three-carbon fiber drag system that allows you to catch the big ones with its superb stopping power. The pitiful spinning reel provides anti-corrosion smooth bearings made with glowing stainless steel and reinforced drive gear. The stainless steel shaft it contains is really durable and with the brass gears, fishing is no longer a difficult task.

With this venom spinning reel of piscifun, your fishing is much smoother. The silent performance it gives is really appreciatable and you can depend on it undoubtedly. The gear ratio of the 5000 style package is 5.5:1 and the maximum drag of this spinning reel is 26.5LB.

The pros

    • High powered drag and gear with the maximum range
    • Stainless steel materials
    • 10+1 smooth bearings
    • Lightweight long lasting shaft
    • Anti-corrosion feature
    • Durable compact graphite body

The cons

    • Has some shipping restrictions

This product gives an impressive value for the money. You can have it for your everyday fishing.


7-KastKing Pontus Baitfeeder Spinning Reel



So, you’ve come through those six fishing reels and didn’t find any of them interesting or they’re beyond your budget? Well, here I have a solution for you. You can buy this 7th product of my best spinning reel for the catfish list. I’m pretty sure that this product, its features, and more precisely the price will force you to buy this thing.

This bait feeder spinning reel is made by kastking and is one of the catfish spinning reels with a bait clicker. This affordable pack of style 4000 is awesome has 9+1 maximum durable anti-corrosion ball bearings made with stainless steel. This product features drag washer disc 3 set, body free from rust and preventing method, side covers, aluminum spool, alloy gears, etc. All these can help you a lot while you’re fishing.

Powerful fishing is available with this low-budget kastking spinning reel. It provides a gear ratio of 5.2:1 and comes with different types of packages. Besides, this product has a warranty feature from the manufacturer.

The pros

    • High versatile and durable
    • Lightweight different packages
    • Aluminum shafts and handle
    • 9+1 ball bearings
    • Anti-corrosion feature
    • Tempting warranty feature in a short budget

The cons

    • The casting method is a bit tricky and requires consciousness

However, having a lot of positive reviews, this product can simply blow your mind. If you want the best spinning reel in such a short budget, you can buy the kayaking bait feeder spinning reel and rely on its performance.


How to Choose the Best Spinning Reel for Catfish

Well, choosing the best catfish spinning reel from a thousand seems much difficult. But you can do it easily if you carefully notice some things. Here I’ll discuss the facts and break them down.

The building method and material

  • Before you buy a reel, take a look at the building material. If the material is durable or not. Materials like graphite, stainless steel, or full metal are good. Besides, you need to check the anti-corrosion feature. Fishing is something like sticking with water and it causes corrosion. The saltwater mostly causes corrosion fast.
  • Check the building method and ease of use. If the product is much easy to use and has a great building method you can buy this one.

The gear ratio

  • Don’t forget to check the gear ratio. It’s much important and plays a significant role in fishing.
  • Now, which ratio should you choose to have the best spinning reel?
  • Well, the gear ratio is that thing that points to the spinning of the spool. A reel has 4:1 gear ratio means the spool spins four times per turn of your handle. The gear ratio usually begins from 3:1 and the maximum is 7:1. But for ideal fishing, the gear ratio of  5:1 to 6.5:1 is better.

The line capacity and maximum drag

  • It actually depends on you how bigger your aim is. The maximum the drag, the bigger they can hook. So if you want the big buddies, you must choose a reel with a much drag system.
  • The same thing goes for the mono capacity and braid capacity. Two of them actually point to the line capacity and the measurement of this is Yard/ Libra.

Handle and shaft

  • Keep a third eye on the handle and shaft. The better they are, the smooth experience you can gain. Handle made with metallic materials is good. But before you choose them, make sure they’re lightweight, easy to hold, and have the power to fight against rust.

Bearings including anti-reverse

  • Bearings are the most important to drive the spinner. You can’t imagine the whole thing without them. To choose the best, make sure the bearings are made with stainless steel and are ball type. Ball bearings are enough useful.
  • An anti-reverse bearing is quite helpful. So, it’s good to have a spinning reel that has at least one anti-reverse bearing.

Depends On Fishing Technique

Different techniques, such as bottom fishing or drift fishing, may require specific reel features. Consider the fishing technique you’ll be using and choose a reel that suits it.

Well, basically these are the cautions to buy the best catfish spinning reel. Follow these and grab the one you want to as soon as possible.


Various types of catfish and what type of spinning reel you should select for them.

When targeting various types of catfish, it’s important to match your spinning reel to the specific characteristics and requirements of each species. Here are some common catfish species and the recommended spinning reel types for them:

  1. Channel Catfish: Channel catfish are typically smaller in size and known for their aggressive nature. A medium-sized spinning reel with a line capacity of around 10-15 pounds and a smooth drag system is suitable for targeting channel catfish. Look for a reel that offers versatility and ease of use for an enjoyable fishing experience.
  2. Flathead Catfish: Flathead catfish are larger and more powerful, requiring a spinning reel with greater strength and line capacity. Opt for a larger-sized reel with a line capacity of 15-20 pounds or more. Look for a reel with a robust drag system and sturdy construction to handle the strength of flathead catfish.
  3. Blue Catfish: Blue catfish can grow to impressive sizes and are known for their hard fights. Choose a spinning reel with a larger line capacity, typically around 20-30 pounds or more. Look for a reel with a strong and smooth drag system, as blue catfish are capable of powerful runs.
  4. Bullhead Catfish: Bullhead catfish are smaller in size compared to other species but can still put up a good fight. A medium-sized spinning reel with a line capacity of around 8-12 pounds is suitable for targeting bullhead catfish. Look for a reel that offers durability and a smooth drag system to handle their spirited resistance.

Various types of catfishing style and what types of reel you should select for them?

When it comes to catfishing, there are various styles and techniques anglers employ to catch these fascinating fish. Each catfishing style requires specific gear, including the right reel. Let’s explore some popular catfishing styles and the recommended reel types for each:

  1. Bank Fishing:
    • Bank fishing involves casting from the shoreline or riverbank. For this style, a spinning reel is a popular choice. Opt for a medium to heavy-duty spinning reel with a good line capacity. Look for a reel that offers a smooth drag system and a sturdy construction to handle the demands of bank fishing.
  2. Float Fishing:
    • Float fishing, also known as bobber fishing, is a technique where bait is suspended under a float. For this style, a spinning reel with good line management and casting capabilities is ideal. Choose a reel with a sensitive drag system and a lightweight design for easy handling of the float.
  3. Drift Fishing:
    • Drift fishing involves casting bait and allowing it to drift naturally with the current. A spinning reel with a smooth drag system and good line capacity is crucial for this style. Look for a reel with a sturdy build and a gear ratio suitable for controlled drifts.
  4. Trolling:
    • Trolling is a technique where baited lines are dragged behind a moving boat. For trolling, consider using a trolling reel specifically designed for this purpose. These reels typically have a high line capacity, strong drag system, and a gear ratio suitable for maintaining consistent trolling speeds.
  5. Bottom Fishing:
    • Bottom fishing is a common catfishing style where baits are placed on the lake or riverbed. A spinning reel with a strong drag system and good line capacity is essential for bottom fishing. Look for a reel that can handle heavy loads and has a durable construction.
  6. Jug Fishing:
    • Jug fishing involves using floating jugs or floats with bait attached. For jug fishing, a spinning reel with a high line capacity and a reliable drag system is recommended. Look for a reel that can handle the movement of the jugs and offers smooth line retrieval.


FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):

Ideal gear ration and line capacity into a spinning reel for catfishing?

When selecting a spinning reel for catfishing, it’s important to consider the gear ratio and line capacity. The ideal gear ratio for catfishing is typically in the range of 4.5:1 to 6.2:1. A lower gear ratio provides more torque, making it easier to reel in large catfish. On the other hand, a higher gear ratio allows for faster line retrieval, which can be beneficial when targeting active or aggressive catfish.

In terms of line capacity, it’s crucial to choose a reel that can accommodate the fishing line you plan to use. Look for reels that have a line capacity suitable for the weight and thickness of the line you prefer. This ensures that you have enough line to handle the potential runs and fights with catfish.

What size reel is good for catfishing?

Reels come in different sizes and catfishing requires a 6000 size reel for optimal performance. With a 6000 size reel, you can easily go for big buddies in the water. When you’re buying a 6000 size reel, you need to focus on the rod and you need to get a premium one.

If you want a reel for overall use and you want to set it up with any rod, you need to go for 4500-5000 size reels. In our list, the Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel is a 6000 size reel. You can go for this one undoubtedly.

Can you use baitcaster reels for catfish?

Baitcaster reels are designed to handle heavier lines. Catfishing requires a heavy line setup. While you’re going after fish, you need a reel that can handle heavy lines. In that sense, you can use baitcaster reels for catfish.

What does 5000 mean on a fishing reel?

5000 on a fishing reel simply means the size of the reels. You can notice these numbers on a spinning reel. These are medium fishing reels that are suitable for rivers, lakes, bays, etc. The suggested braid capacity for this reel is between 10 to 20 lb.

Can I use a freshwater spinning reel for saltwater catfishing?

While some freshwater spinning reels can handle light saltwater use, it’s generally recommended to use reels specifically designed for saltwater conditions. Saltwater reels are built to withstand the corrosive effects of saltwater and provide better durability.

Are spinning reels suitable for catfishing from a boat?

Yes, spinning reels are suitable for catfishing from both the shore and a boat. Their versatility and ease of use make them a popular choice among catfish anglers in various fishing environments.

What fishing line should I use for catfishing?

For catfishing, it’s recommended to use a braided fishing line or a monofilament line with a high pound test rating. These lines offer the strength and durability required for battling catfish.

How often should I clean and maintain my spinning reel?

Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure optimal performance and longevity of your spinning reel. Clean your reel after each fishing trip, remove any dirt or debris, lubricate the necessary parts, and store it in a cool and dry place.

Can I use a spinning reel for other types of fishing?

Absolutely! Spinning reels are versatile and can be used for various fishing techniques, such as freshwater fishing, saltwater fishing, bass fishing, trout fishing, and more. They are a popular choice among anglers due to their ease of use and wide range of applications.

Last words

Investing in the best catfish spinning reel is essential for a successful catfishing adventure. The top seven reels mentioned in this article, including the Penn Battle II, Penn Spinfisher V & VI, Penn Pursuit II & III, OKUMA Avenger ABF, KastKing Sharky III, Piscifun New Spinning Reel, and KastKing Pontus Baitfeeder, offer excellent options to choose from based on your preferences and budget.

Remember to consider factors such as reel size, line capacity, gear ratio, drag system, construction, and additional features when selecting a spinning reel. By choosing the right reel, you’ll enhance your chances of landing that trophy-sized catfish.

If you’re in need of a reel or thinking of trying your hand at catfishing. You can easily choose one among them. Determine your aim, decide what you need, and pick that thing.

Happy fishing!

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