Best spincast reel for the money 2018 featured image

When most people start fishing they usually start out with a basic spincast reel.

That was my case and I’m sure the case of a lot of other fishermen. Spincast reels are great for beginning anglers and especially kids. Eventually, we graduate from spincast reels and move on to more advanced reels like spinning reels and baitcasters.

But the spincast reel shouldn’t be discounted. Sure you’ve probably had some bad luck with some of the cheaply made spincast reels you can pick up at places like Walmart. But there are great spincast reels on the market as well.

If you are just beginning to learn how to fish or you are just looking for something simple a spincast reel is an ideal solution.

Below I’ll cover the 5 best spincast reels on the market today as well as provide buying advice so you know exactly what to look for and what separates the best spincast reels from the crappy ones.

So if you’re looking to learn what the best spincast reel is all you have to do is read on...

Spincast Reel Reviews

Spincast ReelQualityOur Rating
Zebco Omega ZO3ProA+
Daiwa GoldcastB
Zebco Omega ZO2ProB
Pflueger President Spincast ReelA
Abu Garcia Abumatic 170B-

Read: Best Spinning Reel 2018 - Buyer's Guide
Read: Best Saltwater Spinning Reel 2018 - Buyer's Guide

Zebco Omega ZO3Pro Spincast Reel Review

The Omega ZO3pro made by spincast inventor Zebco is in the top end of spincast reels. This reel features a sturdy die-cast aircraft grade aluminum body with a smooth stainless steel 7 bearing system.

Along with seven stainless steel bearings, the Omega ZO3Pro features a multi-disc drag system to provide a quick and reliable retrievable. This Zebco model has been received a ton of praise for its smooth cast and speedy retrieval.

Another great feature of this spincast reel is the interchangeable handle. Rather you’re left or right handed you can easily swap the handle to suit your particular needs.

The gear ratio is set to 3.4:1 so it’s a slow - medium ratio that allows it to bring some serious cranking power.

This is a strong and versatile reel that can be used for a range of species including trout, bass, and even catfish. The Zebco ZO3Pro spincast reel is reasonably priced, high quality, and a great addition to any anglers tackle box.

Features & Specs

  • Engagement: Button
  • Gear Ratio: 3.4:1
  • Retrieval Rate: 19 inches
  • Bearings: 7
  • Mono Line Capacity: 10/85 lb/yards

PROS

  • 7 ball bearings
  • Interchangeable handle for left handed use
  • Multi-drag mechanism
  • Pre-spooled 10lb test line

CONS

  • High price point for a spincast reel
  • Drag knob poorly located

Daiwa Goldcast Spincast Reel Review

From the company dubbed “durable Daiwa” comes the Daiwa Goldcast. A reel that features a durable metal body, multi-disc drag system and an ultra-smooth retrieve making it one of the best spincast reels on the market today.

The number one feature of this reel has to be it’s ultra smooth drag and it’s all achieved by a single ball bearing. But don’t let that single bearing fool you. Daiwa has done an excellent job at engineering this reel.

The reel also comes with a quick 4.1:1 gear ratio with retrieval rate of 18.3 inches. Making it a fairly fast retrieve for a spincast reel. The Daiwa Goldcast also features a rotating carbide line pickup for smooth casting, a 12/100 line capacity, and an oscillating spool for accurate level-winding.

Built to meet the features of a professional grade spincast reel the Daiwa Gold excels as a spincast reel and can be used by novices and advanced anglers alike. It is durable, reliable, and provides a solid experience.

Features & Specs

  • Engagement: Button
  • Gear Ratio: 4.1:1
  • Retrieval Rate: 19 inches
  • Bearings: 1
  • Mono Line Capacity: 12/100 lb/yards

PROS

  • Fast retrieval
  • Smooth multi-disc drag system
  • Durable construction
  • Oscillating spool that reduces line digs

CONS

  • Audible clicking noise when using anti-reverse
  • Drag is not as strong compared to other reels on this list

Zebco Omega ZO2Pro SPincast Reel Review

Much like the Omega ZO3pro listed above the ZO2Pro is a premium reel at an affordable price. It features 7 ball bearings that are housed in a durable aircraft aluminum body. It features a 3.4:1 gear ratio for a speedy retrieve.

One really awesome feature included in this reel is the auto bait alert that makes a specific noise when a fish in on your line. Making it perfect for those days when you just want to throw a line in the water and relax.

The Zebco Omega ZO2pro includes a multi-cam drag system that offers a smooth performance and features an oscillating spool that runs on continuous anti-reverse so that you always have tangle-free lines.

The ZO2 is really a great fit for the angler who is looking to get great performance without having to worry about his back pocket taking a serious hit. Much like the ZO3 the ZO2 is a perfect addition to any anglers tackle box that will serve them well for years to come.

Features & Specs

  • Engagement: Button
  • Gear Ratio: 3.4:1
  • Retrieval Rate: 19 inches
  • Bearings: 7
  • Mono Line Capacity: 6/85 lb/yards

PROS

  • Oscillating spool that functions in continuous anti-reverse
  • Interchangeable handle for ambidextrous support
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight and easy to carry around

CONS

  • The button is soft rather than hard plastic so it takes some time to get adjusted
  • Power handle takes some getting used to as well

Plueger President Spincast Reel Review

The next reel on our list is the Pflueger president. This is a cheaper reel than some of the others mentioned above but just because it’s more affordable does not mean it has sacrificed any quality.

Out of any spincast reel on this list, the Pflueger president is the one I would most recommend for kids. The Pflueger President is made from the same durable and lightweight aluminum as the Zebco’s mentioned above.

This reel also features a 4 ball bearing spin system with an extra bearing for anti-reverse. Allowing the reel to acknowledge your decisions almost immediately. The reel also features a 4.1:1 gear ratio and retrieval speed of 18.5 inches. Making it a pretty speedy reel.

The overall performance of this reel is excellent and is one of the best reels for kids. This reel ensures great performance and a great time for kids who are just getting into fishing. It also happens to be a great reel for older anglers as well.

Features & Specs

  • Engagement: Button
  • Gear Ratio: 4.1:1
  • Retrieval Rate: 18.5 inches
  • Bearings: 4 plus 1 instant anti-reverse bearing
  • Mono Line Capacity: 10/75 lb/yards

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Multi-disc drag system
  • Great for kids
  • Durable and lightweight

CONS

  • Customer support for Pflueger can be a pain to deal with

Abu Garcia Abumatic 170 Spincast Reel Review

The last reel on our list the Abu Garcia Abumatic spincast reel. This reel features a die-cast aluminum body and cone that is quite durable.

One of the great things about Abu Garcia is that they really design reels with the fisherman in mind and their spincast reels are no different.

Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, Abu Garcia has instead designed an intuitive push-button reel that has it roots in Sweden where the concept for a push-button reel was first developed.

This reel features Abu Garcia’s celebrated Carbon Matrix drag system that makes for an incredibly smooth drag. The Abumatic also includes an exclusive Duragear drive that has instant anti-reverse capabilities that allow for problem free reeling.

Along with the Carbon Matrix drag system and the Duragear drive, the Abumatic also includes an oscillating spool that allows for a greater casting distance and a smooth operational experience.

Abu Garcia has done a great job of bringing quality at an affordable price in the form of a spincast reel. This reel is light, durable, fun to use, and versatile enough be used in a number of situations.

Features & Specs

  • Engagement: Button
  • Gear Ratio: 3.9:1
  • Retrieval Rate: 25 inches
  • Bearings: 3 plus 1 instant anti-reverse bearing
  • Mono Line Capacity: 12/149 lb/yards

PROS

  • Aluminum die cast cone and machined body
  • Speedy retrieval and gear ratio
  • Oscillating far-cast spool with a no-twist line system

CONS

  • Reel locks up on occassion
  • Right handed retrieve only

When You Should Use A Spincast Reel

If you are a beginner or are teaching someone to fish a spincast reel is a great start. You simply press a button as you cast the rod and the weight of the lure pulls the line off the reel.

Simple.

Spincast reels are a great way to introduce someone to fishing without much hassle. No prior skill or training is necessary unlike other reels such as spinning and baitcast reels.

Advantages and Disadvantages Of A Spincast Reel

Beyond being easy to use there are a few advantages and disadvantages to spincast reels you should be aware of.

Advantages

  • Ease of use. Great for beginning anglers and children
  • No worry of backlash. Because the spool in a spincast reel is fixed the rotation from the spool that would normally cause backlash doesn’t happen.
  • Pretty inexpensive compared to spinning and baitcasting reels
  • Simple construction allows for easy maintenance of the reel.

Disadvantages

  • Spincast reels are not great for handling larger fih. So you’re options will be more limited.
  • Accuracy and precision can suffer in these types of reels due to their design and mechanics.

How To Choose The Best Spincast Reel

In 1949 Zebco created the Spincast Reel. As you no doubt saw from our list Zebco pretty much dominated the market. However, there are plenty of other reputable brands such as Pflueger and Abu Garcia that have thrown their hats into the ring as well.

In order to determine a spincast reel quality, you’ll need to be familiar with the various types of spincast reels and how they function.

Different Spincast Reel Types

In the world of spincast reels, there are two primary types. There is the push button style of spincast reel and there are triggerspin reels.

Push button reels work by pushing down the button with your thumb and holding it while the rod is brought backward. As the rod is moved forward into the cast you release the push button and the pressure from the release allows the line to feed.

Push button spincast reels are paired with a baitcasting rod and sit on top of the rod. One advantage to this is when you choose to upgrade to a baitcasting reel you will only need to purchase the reel if you want.

Triggerspin reels function a lot like push button reels but the trigger is on the bottom and you need to maintain pressure on the trigger until you want to release it during the cast. Triggerspin reels actually sit on the bottom and are mounted to a spinning rod and allow for easy transition to spinning gear later.

Spincast Reel Bearings

When it comes to ball bearings the usual advice is more is better. More bearings means a smoother performance. You will find ball bearings in all reels and spincast reels are no different. Bearings ensure the reel has maximum stability, support, and smoothness.

Spincast Reel Gear Ratios

Understanding gear ratios can be a little confusing if this is your first time buying a reel. But fear not, they’re actually fairly easy to understand once you know what you’re looking for.

The gear ratio describes the number of times a spool turns relative to the number of turns of the handle.

You will typically see gear ratios written as 5.4:1 or 8.1:1. Let’s break down those numbers.

The first number tells you how many rotations will happen. The second number is the turn of the handle. So if you have a gear ratio of 8.1:1 The spool will turn 8.1 times for every turn of the handle.

Lower gear ratios such as 3:1 will work better in shallow water while higher gear ratios such 8:1 will work in much deeper water. If you’re buying your first reel I would look for a gear ratio that is somewhere in the 5 - 6:1 range. These will allow you to get the most bang for your buck.

Spincast Reel Retrieval rate

Now that you know a little about gear ratios we need to also talk about retrieval rate. The gears in your reel determine the retrieval rate.

Retrieval rate describes how fast a reel brings the line back onto the spool as you turn the handle. If you have a retrieval rate of 16 that means that for each turn of the handle 16 inches of line will be spooled back onto the spool.

Gear ratios that are lower will have slower retrieval rate while higher gear ratios will create faster retrieval rates.

When it comes to what you should choose it is ultimately up to preference. However, it should be noted that you can slow down a fast retrieval but you can’t speed up a slow retrieval rate.

Your retrieval rate will come into play when selecting lures as some lures are designed to be retrieved slowly while others require a faster retrieve. Time of year will also play a role as well. In winter when fish are more lethargic a slower retrieve is better as fish won’t expend the energy to catch a difficult meal.

Spincast Reel Drag Systems

Drag on a fishing reel allows the line to be pulled off the spool while under pressure. This ensures that the fish won’t break your line but also won’t run off with all your line. Setting your drag is important and being able to adjust it on the fly is even more so.

On a spincast reel, you will have one of two options for setting your drag. The start drag is mounted externally on the side of your reel. Usually right between the body and the handle. This drag system is quite large and can be operated with two fingers.

Your other option for a drag system is one that is internally mounted and is controlled by a tine wheel that has one protruding edge going through the cover of the reel. This system has a “+” and +-+ located on either side of the wheel that allows you to tune it depending on if you want more or less drag.

An internal drag system is designed so that you can easily operate the drag with nothing more than your thumb. Both drag systems are great choices and really comes down to personal preference. Be sure to try out both when looking to purchase a reel and determine which one you prefer.

Spincast Reel Anti-reverse handles

Anti-reverse handles prevent the handle from spinning backward. This is important for one major reason. Hook sets. A handle that has backward motion allows for weak and often inaccurate hook sets. This could result in undue injury to the fish or cause you to miss the fish entirely.

Spincast Reel Line Capacity

Spincast reels typically have a lower line capacity than other types of reels. On average you will find that most spincast reels hold anywhere from 80 - 120 yards depending on the size of the reel and diameter of the line you spool on.

Most spincast reels come with line pre-spooled while others will actually come with spare spools you can swap out. What amount of line you need will ultimately be determined by where you are fishing. Deeper and larger bodies of water will require more line than shallow ponds.

How To Cast A Spincast Reel

To use a spincasting reel, simply push in the button and keep it pressed down while bringing the rod behind you then stop.

Then bring the rod forward releasing the button at about the 11 o'clock position. The weight from the lure will pull the line off the spool completing the cast.

You can see a demonstration of a proper cast in the video below.

Wrapping Up

Spincast reels are a great way to teach a new angler how to fish. They're simple yet effective. Fishing doesn't have to be all about baitcasting reels and high dollar lures. Sometimes it's as simple as getting an effective reel, a rod, and some bait.

However, just because spincast reels are typically marketed for new anglers doesn't mean an experienced angler can't get some good use out of one. In fact, there are many anglers who never use anything other than a spincast reel.

Rather you're new to fishing or have been fishing your whole life there is a spincast reel for everyone. The most important part is that you get outside and catch some fish, and maybe teach someone else as well.

If you found this article helpful be sure to share it on social media so others can start fishing as well.

As always thanks for reading and remember...adventure is waiting.

All of my life has been focused on the outdoors. From the days of fishing with my father when I was young, to learning more advanced outdoor skills through the Boy Scouts of America; you could say the outdoors is pretty much my life blood. I enjoy a wide range of activities including camping, survival, fishing, hunting, and bushcraft. I have spent most of my life learning these skills and now I want to pass on my knowledge and hopefully learn even more in return.

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