Saltwater Spinning Reels

Discussion in 'Saltwater Fishing Forum' started by Falcon, Jan 22, 2020.

  1. Falcon

    Falcon Active Member

    Is there anyone out there who uses a saltwater spinning reel for bottom fish, salmon or albacore tuna fishing? Looking at getting one, or two, for tuna trips but not sure what to look for as there’s a ton of choices.
  2. Jimmy Clidaras

    Jimmy Clidaras New Member

    Hey Falcon. My first post since moving to Victoria last summer.
    I've used spinners for snapper and grouper in Florida, and tuna and yellowtail in Mexico. They've worked great for me but you have to keep in mind what they're good at and what's not so good.
    The good is you can cast them a mile, some have incredibly fast retrieve rates, they have a ton of drag, and they won't punish you with a backlash from operator error. On the other hand, they don't have any torque, so you're not going to crank the fish into the boat. You have to use the rod to move the fish.
    Also, the really good spinners will cost quite a bit but you can feel the difference. Smooth, vibration-free operation and silky smooth drags are the main differences. I've used mine hard so I invested in a nice Stella and a Daiwa Isla. I have conventional reels too, but each has its purpose. Just another excuse to expand the toy collection.

    If you want some pretty in-depth reviews on spinners, check out Alan Hawk's site. It's one of the best:

    Hope this helps. Glad to share more as desired.
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  3. halimark

    halimark Well-Known Member

    You only need 1 brand. Penn spinfishers. There is an old post on here about my around the world trip. Caught a ton of species all on the Penns, tuna, sailfish, barracuda, mackerel, mahi mahi. We trolled, live baited, jigged and chucked surface chuggers for the GT's. We use for light jigging here on coast and throwing a grub against the rock piles is great fun for shallow rockfish and ling. Remember to have a 2-3 oz lure tied on while sitting on hali anchor, never know when a fish jumping gets attention. I think if you could get some live bait out to our coastal tuna, after a "pack" is located trolling, a balloon and bait drifted back would be awesome BC tuna fun. Got tons of tuna that way in many places other than BC. Matched to carnage II rods and correct size braid they are the best combo going. Most of those listed species runs make salmon runs look like a Sunday walk, great drags, reasonable price, available here in BC and dam they work. There may be other brand combos but not on my boats.

    Falcon likes this.
  4. fshnfnatic

    fshnfnatic Well-Known Member

    I've been using the Daiwa BG series reels with a Shimano Trevalla medium heavy rod for bottom fishing and have had no problems at all with that combo.Here's a link from Amazon for them,aps,205&sr=8-1&th=1&psc=1.Fairly reasonable as well and good reviews online.I'm using a 6500 size with 50 lb. braid and a 10-12 ft. top shot of 40 lb. mono and it holds a ton of line.Check them out.
  5. cracked_ribs

    cracked_ribs Well-Known Member

    I really like spinning reels for a lot of applications and my recommendations were going to be: Penn Spinfisher if you can afford it, Daiwa BG if you can't.

    But if you want to do some research, Alan Hawk's reviews are the most detailed I have ever seen.
    Falcon likes this.
  6. Rain City

    Rain City Crew Member

    Would the only advantage of a spinning reel over a level wind/lever drag be casting ability?
    Falcon likes this.
  7. MadJigga

    MadJigga Crew Member

    I have a Penn battle. Love it. Bought it for a surf casting set up. Use it for jigging as well
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  8. MadJigga

    MadJigga Crew Member

    Its nice to have something set up and ready for casting when jigging or anchored for halibut. Sometimes your just sitting there and salmon start jumping around you. I mean, why not....
    Falcon, halimark and Rain City like this.
  9. UkeeDreamin

    UkeeDreamin Well-Known Member

    Other advantage is the guides, and thus line, is on the underside of the rod blank, which is why you’ll see rods for conventional/lever drag reels for big pelagic spp sometimes have their guides spiral to the underside by the 4th or 5th guide. Some also feel its better to have the reel underneath so you’re not fighting to keep the rod from torquing and the fish at the same time ... which is why many of us Canadians also love our mooching reels for salmon - the reel is mounted under the blank, not on top. Top mount baitcasters and small conventional are no probs as the reel and rod can be “palmed” and thus are very stable. Get much above the 7000 series abu or similar size penn, etc and the set up can feel “clunky” to some. Fighting belts with a gimbal that stops the rod from torquing is another solution.

    Re: Saltwater SPinning reels, x3 on the Penn Spinfisher. I also have the saltwater version of the Shimano Stradic (FJ, I think, rather than the freshwater Ci) that I use with braid on a 4-piece travel beach casting rod. Haven’t used it much but really like it so far, very smooth and lots of drag power.


    Falcon, ChilliSpoons and Rain City like this.
  10. Captain PartyMarty

    Captain PartyMarty Well-Known Member

    I find that the spinning reel dumps line faster than my levelwind. Great for using a lighter jig in deeper water
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  11. Rain City

    Rain City Crew Member

    Are they not more difficult to handle for a newbie or a kid though? Aren't there way more issues with birds nesting? Just seems like not the most ideal thing unless you've grown up using one. Clearly I'm traumatized by my snoopy rod when I was 5.
    Falcon likes this.
  12. Captain PartyMarty

    Captain PartyMarty Well-Known Member

    If you get a quality reel there should be no issue. Barbie princess setup from cabelas no so much, although it would be an epic battle with a 20lb linger....
    Rain City likes this.
  13. cracked_ribs

    cracked_ribs Well-Known Member

    That's a big have the ability to casually switch from jigging to casting at will. If I'm drifting over a bait ball, say...I can toss buzz bombs etc into it from a hundred feet away, drift right overtop, and just keep going, not having to engage the motor at all, picking where I want to put the lure however I like.

    Or if I think a spot is going to be good jigging territory, and I want to feel around the edges a bit, I can cast out from that spot and bring the lure in close to the bottom, reeling in and fluttering down along the way. It's very versatile.

    I don't find them prone to birds' nesting, myself. I have a beater Diawa Opus on a boat rod, that's probably a fifty or sixty dollar reel, and it has never been rinsed, let alone maintained, and it's never given me a moment's trouble in probably ten years. I believe birds' nesting relates to line lay problems or overfilling the reel and I haven't seen serious line lay issues on a reel in I don't even know how long. Even the cheap ones are pretty decent IMO.

    And having the reel below the rod also just feels natural to me.

    I really like a decent spinning setup for all-around use. I have even trolled with them once or twice and the only issue is whether the rod holder is placed to make the downrigger interfere with the crank. It's not ideal but I've done it.

    Spinning reels were my first reels and I think they're pretty easy to get most kids on. Maybe levelwinds are even less prone to problems but I didn't find them frustrating as a kid. I started jigging with them when I was maybe about seven and I never used much else because they just work as a general purpose reel.

    That's my feeling, anyway.
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  14. Falcon

    Falcon Active Member

    I’m gonna definitely get a couple spinning rod and reel combos to keep onboard with me and experiment with or use for drifting on the tuna grounds.
    MadJigga likes this.
  15. halimark

    halimark Well-Known Member

    I bet you will not regret that decision. When trolling for pelagic's and something hits, mates always look to see if somethings following, many many times that rapala gets a mahi, Wahoo, tuna or cobia trailer. Lots of fun. Many years ago on anchor of Constance, there were always coho showing themselves not far from boat, what a sight seeing my 8 yr old daughter throwing a spinnow and screaming as it came just under the surface and hammered her lure. She still remembers that day, even if we did have to release fish. On same anchor lots of herring have came in boat from same rod/reel, nothing like a live herring down there. Spinner on board opens doors to some different action and opportunities.

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  16. King Crab

    King Crab New Member

    I was also searching for a saltwater spinning reel for jigging bottom fish, chinook and albacore tuna. After looking at some high end Shimano's (Stella / Twin Power), I decided to order a Shimano Sustain 5000XGFI earlier this week.
    Max Drag: 24 lbs
    Weight: 10.1 oz
    Line Capacity: 200 yards of 30lb braid

    I'll be taking it on our annual trip to Westport for albacore tuna in August. I usually use a Talica 16ii with a Trevala rod. I'm looking forward to fighting a 25-30 lb tuna on a 10 oz spinning reel. ;)
    Falcon likes this.
  17. StormTrooper

    StormTrooper Well-Known Member

    I have been using Penn Battle off and on for about four years on the beach fishing for salmon in saltwater, and a number of fellows I know who do quite a bit of jigging are using Penn Spinfisher reels and are extremely happy with the performance. I am updating this year to BER's new CNC machine cut spinning reel...not yet available, however it is being tested down in Mexico right now on some film shoots. It will be available in four size ranges with a price starting at $600. I am uncertain of line class capacity or lbs rating of the brake yet. This, however thus far I have heard good things about the tests, saltwater proof and has a few unique features that have solved a few things related to distance casting. These reels are not yet sold in stores as BER has always primarily been a direct to consumer manufacturer. I am happy with their range of centerpin reels that I have owned and fished, so I am sure I will love the new spinning reels too. The spinning reel series will debut at the upcoming 2020 Ultimate Fishing Show in Grand Rapids Michigan in March.
    Falcon likes this.
  18. Old Blue

    Old Blue Active Member

    Depends on the weight of lure you're casting and the rod/rod tip you're using. Under 4 oz spinning has the advantage but over it can be comparable with conventional reels

    For star drag reels the Penn Fathoms and Shimano Toriums cast a mile, have serious drag and huge line pickup. I absolutely love my Torium 20 and plan on buying the new Penn Fathom II.

    Conventional reels also don't create line twists like all spinners and when using conventional you can use the side of the boat to lean your rod against when fighting bigger fish if you happen to go for different species with Yellowfin and Bluefin.
    Rain City likes this.
  19. Ruff

    Ruff Active Member

    I've got 4 light spinning rod/reel combos loaded up at all times when I'm out with the kids. I've got 3 kids, the youngest being just under 4 and they can all use them with no difficulty. there was a little bit of a learning curve, especially for the little guy but it didn't take long before they all got the hang of it. I set the drag for them before they start fishing then all they have to worry about is dumping line off the reel until they feel the jig hit the bottom....then game on!
    I've personally switched to a spinning combo for ling fishing as well. Still use a levelwind for hali but love the feel of a good spinning combo when bouncing pinnacles for ling.
    Rain City likes this.
  20. Rain City

    Rain City Crew Member

    My kids a city kid though ;)
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