Have you ever gone fishing in salt water with a fishing reel that you thought was a saltwater fishing reel, only to discover later that it really wasn’t a reel suitable for the sea at all? I have. I took a reel that was marketed as a universal fishing reel, capable of being used in fresh or salt water, on a trip to the Florida Keys to fish for tarpon. The reel was a little undersized for the big fish I was after, but performed OK at first. The first big fish I hooked into went on a blistering run and apparently the drag couldn’t keep up and the line snapped. I borrowed a friend’s reel the rest of the trip.
A few days later, I checked on that reel again and found that it was starting to show corrosion on the outside. If it was already showing corrosion on the outside, then it was probably rusting on the inside as well, so I pitched it. Since then, I have been very careful when choosing a saltwater fishing reel. There are a few things you should consider as well.
Characteristics Of A High-Quality Saltwater Fishing Reel
First of all, the reel needs to be made of high quality, heavy duty materials. The fish you are going after in the sea have a much wider range of size than freshwater species. The fish are simply bigger and stronger and have a lot more room to run. The reel needs to be able to stand up to this type of punishment.
Secondly, the reel needs to be made of corrosion resistant materials. Salt water is more damaging to metal than fresh water. Remember that just because a reel is marketed as a saltwater reel doesn’t mean it really is. Get some feedback from other anglers or talk to some fishing reel experts at your local tackle shop. You could even read some customer reviews online.
Lastly, you will need to make sure the reel you get has a high quality drag system. This is very important, and shouldn’t be over looked. The heavy, powerful fish that you will be pursuing at sea can go on swift runs, pulling the line through your drag system at blistering speeds. If you skimp on your reel and go with a sub-par drag system, you will be leaving yourself open to losing fish. When looking for a high quality drag system, the more ball bearings, the better. It needs to be smooth, but able to add resistance to the fleeing fish in order to wear them out.
Best Saltwater Fishing Reel Brands
There are many different brands of saltwater fishing reels on the market. Some of the bigger names include Abel, Abu Garcia, Shimano, Sea Striker, Okuma, Penn, and Daiwa. I like the Okuma Cedros that is featured in the video above because of its versatility. Abu Garcia makes quite a few high quality saltwater baitcasting reels, so check out this article for more information. If you are on the market for a high quality saltwater fishing reel, it is important that you read some saltwater fishing reel reviews to get a better idea of the quality of the craftsmanship. It is always good to get other opinions, and reviews offer insights from other anglers that have purchased and used them.
The Okuma Cedros is an excellent low profile reel for saltwater fishing. It features a High Speed Star Drag system perfect for all fish species. The internal gears are cut from brass, which will keep your internals from corroding. Priced at $299, it is not a budget reel by any means, but it is up to the tough task of saltwater fishing. If you are interested in the Okuma Cedros saltwater baitcasting reel, click the image below to buy, or click here.
Shopping Tips For Saltwater Fishing Reels
A great way to save money when shopping for these items is to look for them used. Ebay is a great place to look for a used saltwater fishing reel. You can bid on the items and often win an auction for a fraction of the retail price. Check your local classifieds as well. Buying used has its disadvantages, however, so make sure you will be able to check the quality of the reel before the sale is final. You definitely don’t want to buy a broken reel.
Hopefully, this article has been a saltwater fishing reel guide if you are looking to buy one. Make sure you follow these tips so you don’t have a saltwater fishing experience like me. Get the best saltwater fishing reel you can, and rest assured that it won’t fail you when a big fish strikes. Happy fishing!
What is your favorite saltwater fishing reel? Let us know in the comment section below. Thanks!