Best Tuna Fishing Reels

11 Best Tuna Fishing Reels In 2023 [Never Failed A Tuna Fish]

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When you’re going to Tuna fishing you need the perfect gear to start because tuna fishes are a bit tricky and they run faster than other fishes. To hook them up, the best tuna fishing reels can be a real helping hand. A reel that’s specially made for tuna fishing will have at least 500 yards of line capacity, a great drag system, and bearings of high-quality material to make your fishing action smooth.

You might be thinking, which one is the best tuna reel then? Well, the answer is given below with a list. We picked a few reels and ranked them. You Can Choose Any Of Them. These Reels Are Approved For Tuna Fishing, So Don’t Worry.

11 Best Tuna Fishing Reels 

  • Okuma Makaira Off Shore Lever Drag Trolling Reel
  • Shimano Talica 25 II Speed Lever drag (Best Of Best)
  • Daiwa Saltiga Lever Drag 2-Speed Reels
  • Penn Squall Lever Drag 2-Speed Trolling Fishing Reel (Our Choice)
  • Penn Fathom Lever Drag (Budget-Friendly)
  • SHIMANO TEKOTA, Conventional Saltwater Star Drag Fishing Reel
  • Penn Squall Lever Drag Reel
  • Penn Squall LevelWind
  • AVET SX5.3 Lever Drag Conventional Reel
  • Daiwa Seagate Fishing Reel

These are our top picks from the market. Our experts ran on a survey and they market these 11 as the best ones. These reels are made with high-quality building material, the gear system and drag system are great too! They come up with huge line capacity and they are specially made for tuna fishing.

So, if you’re looking for a reel that’s made for tuna fishing, choose any of these as soon as possible. You can rely on these reels undoubtedly. I also wrote an article about Best Tuna Fishing Rods you can check this.

Let’s start from here!

11 Best Tuna Fishing Reels With Pros & Cons

1- Okuma Makaira Off Shore Lever Drag Trolling Reel

Okuma MK-30II Makaira Two Speed Elite Lever Drag Big Game Reel

If you’re hunting for the best fishing reel for tuna, you can use this. Because of having some cool features, a powerful system, and compact body material, this fishing reel is considered the best tuna fishing reel. This Okuma Drag trolling tuna reel is made by the famous reel maker Okuma. In the fishing industry, Okuma the brand has a great sign of success.

However, this reel contains a 6061-T6 mechanized aluminum frame. With the forged side plates your fishing is much powerful.

Coming up with a stainless steel gearing and corrosion-resistant feature, this reel could be the absolute one you’re searching for.

About the gear ratio, this product has the ratio of 3.8:1 and 1.7:1. The line retrieves it provides are 39.4” and 17.5”. About the drag, it has the ability to drag 55 lbs maximum at full and 37 lbs at the strike. It weighs nearly 50 Oz.

Feature highlights

  • Dual force dragging
  • Universal drag grease
  • Gearing with corrosion-resistant feature
  • Thrust bearing and forged side plates


2- Shimano Talica 25 II Speed Lever drag

Shimano Talica 25 II Speed Lever drag Big Game Offshore Seafishing Multiplier Trolling Fishing Reel

This one is the second best reel mechanized for tuna fishes. It comes from the reputed brand Shimano and it has a huge amount of positive user feedback from all over the world. It comes up with good quality building material for the frame. This one is pretty light too and it weighs only 3.5 ounces.

It comes up with HEG technology which is also named high-efficiency gearing technology and the gear ratio of this reel is 5.2: 1. This gear ratio is perfect for offshore fishing. It also has a powerful drag system which gives you 45 lb regular drag force and up to 60 lb at its maximum. It comes up with a 2-speed gearing technology that allows you to win every game.

The line retrieves rate of this reel is 46/ 20 inches per crank. The bearing system of this one is pretty great too! It comes up with a corrosion-resistant bearing system. Bearings are made with high-quality stainless steel. It contains 6+ 1 bearings to make your fishing actions smoother.

What makes this reel stand out

  • The great gear ratio of 5.2: 1
  • HEG technology used in the gear
  • 2-speed reel for sea fishing
  • Great drag force of 60 lbs at maximum
  • 6+ 1 bearings for smooth action
  • 46/20 inches line-retrieve per crank


3-Daiwa Saltiga Lever Drag 2-Speed Reels


Daiwa Saltiga Lever Drag 2-Speed Reels are one of the most strong and durable reels I have ever seen. This reel outlook is super. This Is a Right Handed reel. This Reel Has an Offset power handle with Soft Touch grip And This Handle is Also Very Durable. Full stainless steel gear, super smooth drag system, its 2-speed features and 6 ball bearings with anti-corrosion feature make its performance super smooth. Its second gear allows easy cranking up from the deep. I assure you will enjoy fighting with fish by this reel very much.


4- Penn Squall LevelWind

PENN 1292938 Squall Lever Drag 2-Speed Trolling Fishing Reel, 890/50

This fishing reel is also made by the brand Penn. Like the previous one, having some great and helpful options, this Penn squall level wind fishing reel makes its place at the best tuna fishing reels list.

This reel contains a 4.0:1 gear ratio. With the aluminum spool and settings, your fishing experience is much better. The braid capacities of this fishing reel are 900 yd/65 lb, 775 yd/80 lb. The mono capacities this fishing reel contains are 435 yd/40 lb, 320 yd/50 lb.

With the graphite frame and side plates, your fishing reel is more lightweight. Besides, aluminum provides a massive amount of power.

This Penn fishing reel also contains high-strength pinion gear made with powerful stainless steel to serve you the maximum smoothness of fishing.

Feature highlights

  • Aluminum spool and great drag system
  • Graphite side plate and frame
  • Lightweight and powerful
  • Machined High strength main gear and pinion gear


5- Penn Fathom Lever Drag

Penn 1292934 Fathom 40N Lever 2-Speed Lever Drag Fishing Reel

This is another product of Penn. You see, in this shortlist how the brand Penn is playing the role of a master? So, there’s no doubt left about the quality of Penn brand products. However, this Fathom lever drag fishing reel is quite capable of providing the best services a fishing reel can. Let’s see its features and options.

People like this product very much for its high cranking power and phenomenal durability. The full metal body it contains is made of die-cast aluminum and the side plates are very lightweight. That’s why fishing with this reel brings more pleasure.

It contains a 2-speed system to deliver you the fast and quick casting and dragging. It shifts easily into low gear or high gear. Besides, it has a feature named double-dog anti-reverse.

The dura drag system basically allows you to eliminate hesitation and snags. It also has 5 shielded stainless steel ball bearings which are corrosion resistant.

Feature highlights

  • Quick anti-reverse and gear shifting
  • 2-speed system
  • 5 stainless steel ball bearings
  • High durability


6-SHIMANO TEKOTA, Conventional Saltwater Star Drag Fishing Reel

Shimano Tekota 700 Saltwater Star Drag Reel with Line Counter

This is another product of the classic brand Shimano. This saltwater fishing reel with great quality construction has some awesome features and options that’ll surely blow your mind. Let’s talk about some of its facilities.

This Tekota trolling reel is ideal for anglers who troll for saltwater and freshwater species. Because of offering a great line capacity and smart features, this fishing reel is considered one of the best tuna fishing reels.

The die-cast aluminum body and side plates help a lot to do fishing better. It contains corrosion-resistant bearings which keep smooth line flow. The maximum drag is 24 lbs. The gear ratio of this fishing reel is 4.2:1. It weighs 30 Oz.

Feature highlights

  • Great line capacities
  • Anti-rust bearings
  • Die-cast aluminum lightweight body
  •  Ideal for both fresh and saltwater


7- Penn Squall Lever Drag Reel

Penn 1206094 Squall Lever Drag Reel, SQL40LD - 30lb/360yd

However, this product is also made by the mighty Penn and it also is one of the best tuna fishing reels.

This Penn squall lever drag reel is made with high-quality unique components to provide you with the best quality service.

This product is certified for high quality and high durability. Having a lot of positive user reviews, this Penn squall tuna fishing reel is quite capable of 360 yd/ 30 lb.

Feature highlights

  • Highest quality building material
  • Maximum drag system
  •  Appreciated by wise anglers.



Shimano Triton TLD25 Lever Drag Graphite Fishing Reel

Shimano Tld Reels are made with one-piece graphite frame stainless steel. It has a very Durable one-piece aluminum spool. These reels are lightweight. Both Saltwater and Freshwater Approved. It has a 3:6:1 Gear ratio. It has 4 ball bearings. Max Drag Full: 23.0 lbs.Max Drag Strike: 17.0 lbs. This Is a Right-handed reel. This reel has a reel clamp. This Is a Single Speed Reel. When you are trolling for billfish or fishing for tuna or grouper or kingfish then This Reels works super. Highly Recommended This Reel If You Want To Catch More Tuna And Also Anther fish these reels never disappointed You. It will Be your Offshore multipurpose Number 1 selected fishing reel. This reel also has a very good customer rating also.


9-Penn Squall Lever Drag 2-Speed Trolling Fishing Reel

PENN Fishing SQL50LW Squall Level Wind , Black, 320Yd/50Lb

Here comes another masterpiece. This Penn squall fishing reel is made by the mighty brand Penn and is one of the best tuna reels. The brand Penn is not only limited to different kinds of reels, but they also have other amusing products and they’re cutting the market very well.

Coming with two different forms of gear ratio 2.9:1 and 1.5:1, this powerful fishing reel designed especially for saltwater fishing serves peace of mind. It contains an aluminum spool with which, your fishing experience is much stronger.

Braid capacities of this reel are 2485 yd/ 65 lb, 2145 yd/80 lb, 1835 yd/100 lb. Mono capacities of this reel are 1550 yd/30 lb, 890 yd/50 lb, 565 yd/80 lb.

This peen fishing reel is lightweight. But being lightweight doesn’t interrupt its power. The graphite frame and side plates it contains are great for saltwater fishing.

Feature highlights

  • Saltwater lever drag system
  • The 2-speed system with easy shifting feature
  • Extra lightweight and heavy strong
  • Compact graphite side plates and frame


10-AVET SX5.3 Lever Drag Conventional Reel


AVET SX5.3 Lever Drag Fishing Reel This product of the brand AVET is also awesome and it is one of the best tuna reels.

Providing outstanding strength, this product is capable of blowing your mind easily. This avet fishing reel with beautiful finishing task is made with precision machined aluminum of marine grade and high-quality stainless steel. The anodized materials have corrosion-resistant power. With the adjustable strike pre-set and powerful lever drag system, your fishing is more reliable.

This AVET fishing reel contains stainless steel gears which are precision machined. There are 8 stainless steel sealed ball bearings in this tuna fishing reel. It provides 9 lbs dragging at strike and 14 lbs at full. With the gear anti-reverse system, your fishing experience is much better. This USA-made fishing reel has a 5.3:1 gear ratio and it weighs 14 Oz.

Feature highlights

  • Alarm clicker and anti-reverse system
  • Stainless steel bearings and components
  • Adjustable strike pre-set
  • Aluminum rod clamp.


11-Daiwa Seagate Fishing Reel

Daiwa Seagate Conventional Reel

So, the best tuna reels described above, you didn’t find any of them much fascinating right? Don’t worry! We got another masterpiece left for you. Trust us and give this reel a try. You’ll get absolutely what you desire.

Daiwa Seagate Fishing Reel This Daiwa Seagate fishing reel is made by the mighty reel maker Daiwa. Having a great polished body, stylish design, great casting, and cranking power, this product is considered one of the best tuna fishing reels.

It contains 4 bearing systems with which your fishing is smoother than ever. The aluminum spool it contains is strong enough and it provides peace of mind. With the corrosion-resistant frame, you don’t have to worry about rust. With the dual system and anti-reverse feature, your fishing is quicker.

This Daiwa fishing reel is quite capable of hooking up the big tuna buddies with its aluminum frame and side plate.

Feature highlights

  • Special 4 bearing system
  • Corrosion proof frame
  • Dual system
  • Quick anti-reverse.


How to Choose The Best Tuna Fishing Reel: The ultimate guide

Choosing the best fishing reel is a bit confusing when all those reels have great features and options open for you. So what you are going to do when it’s on you to choose a reel when you’re willing to catch tuna?

Don’t you worry my good man! I’m here to help you. I’m sharing a guide regarding how to choose the best fishing reel. By this guide, you’ll get to know what are the things and facts you should beware of when you’re buying a fishing reel. Let’s get started.

Building components and method
  • This is one of the important things to check when you’re buying a fishing reel. Reel made of an ordinary component doesn’t last long. Besides, you won’t get the actual service from a reel made with some ordinary component.
  • Always try to have a lightweight fishing reel made with aluminum. It helps in offshore fishing.
Gear ratio and drag
  • Another important thing is the gear ratio. For tuna fishing, it’s not that much high as usual. If your gear reel’s gear ratio is between 3:1 to 5:1, that’s quite enough.
  • Tuna fishing is a bit different from other fishing and it doesn’t require the highest drag. But the maximum drag of 40 lb will be enough.
Gear shifting and bearing
  • In common, choosing a 2-speed fishing reel is good. But it must have the feature of quick and easy shifting from low to high or high to low.
  • Always choose a reel that contains bearings with an anti-corrosion features. Without anti-corrosion, your bearings will get rusted and you won’t feel the smoothness of fishing then. Bearings made with stainless steel are considered ideal for tuna fishing.

Tuna Fishing Tips that’ll help a lot

Tuna fishes are amongst the trickiest fishes and it’s not easy to land on them. To do this, you need to stick to some rules and regulations. Here are a few tips that’ll help you whether you’re a pro or a beginner.

  • Use proper gears

Don’t forget to take proper gear that is specially made for tuna fishing. the smallest tuna will be a challenging task too because of their strength. So, it’s essential that you start fishing with proper reel, rod, line, and lures.

  • Try using electronics to locate

Locating tuna fish is a difficult task. To do this we recommend you use electronics. It makes easy to find your targets. If you have one, you can just locate them and go for them at once.

  • Use precise techniques

Two popular tuna fishing techniques are drifting and trolling. If you opt to troll, you need to keep your speed in 4-8 knots.

  • Keep your eye on the surrounding

To hook up a tuna, you need to focus on bait fishes first. Try finding them. There’ll be birds above them and you can easily locate where they are. Big tunas wait under their foods. To get to them, you need to know where they are first.

  • Match the size of the bait

You must fish with a lure that looks almost the same as bait fishes. It makes the tuna confused and they easily take your lure. A 3.75″ lure will be perfect for tuna fishing.

  • Try fishing closer in the summertime

While you’re fishing tuna in the summertime, target near to the surface. They stay in the ray of the sun back then. In the winter, tunas are too much difficult.

  • Use single strand wires sometimes

Tuna fishes have great eyesight. They can see almost everything. In this case, a double-strand wire can scare them off.

  • Try fresh baits sometimes

Fresh baits are the key to success in tuna fishing. Tuna eats the bait easily and without any doubt. So, if you’re using artificial lures, that’s totally fine. But, you should use fresh baits sometime too!

Last words

In this article, I have shared the top 7 best tuna fishing reels with their feature highlights and options. At the very end, I’ve shared a buying guide to help you in choosing the best tuna reel.

So, if you are looking for the best tuna fishing reels, grab one of these I described above. All these are great and have a great positive review from their users all over the world. To learn more about fishing, read other articles on my site.

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