6 Best Inshore Saltwater Spinning Reels Under $150 Review In 2022

Apart from the fact that inshore fishing grants you access to a variety of fishes, it’s also pretty much beginner-friendly. If you are just starting your fishing journey or want to make your fishing sessions fairly convenient, you should definitely go for an inshore saltwater spinning reel. Wait, you don’t need to reach the bottom of your pocket for that.

You can easily get the best inshore saltwater spinning reels under $150 from the market if you know what to look for and how to look for it. In this piece, we are picking up 6 such useful inshore spinning reels that you can choose from right now. If you are really excited as we are, let’s hop in!

What Is An Inshore Saltwater Spinning Reel?

Ans. An inshore saltwater spinning reel is a simple spinning reel that is optimized for fishing inshore. Moreover, as it is used in saltwater, the reel is also designed to withstand saltwater’s adverse effects like corrosion, rust, and wear.

Quick Reviews: Best Inshore Saltwater Spinning Reels

If you are running out of time, here’s a quick look at what we have discussed here.

Daiwa BG2000 BG Saltwater Spinning Reel: Having an ABS Spool and durable anodized aluminum body, this one is one of the most desirable devices in the market.

PENN 1338220 Battle II 5000 Spinning Fishing Reel: Full body, rotor, and side plates are made from superior quality steel for ultimate durability.

Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Fishing Reel: Having 220 yards of braid capacity at such an affordable price is a great option to trade with.

Lew’s Custom Inshore Speed Spin Spinning Reel C1200: The reel comes with an amazing drag capacity of 20 pounds to battle with some of the most powerful monsters out there.

Penn CFTRI7000 LC Conflict II Long Cast Spinning Reel: Great design, excellent bearings, and oversized handles – this one is a combination of superior features.

Top 6 Best Inshore Saltwater Spinning Reels Reviews

It took us around 24 hours to skim through the options in the market to pick up the best choices. We took durability, gear ratio, bearing strength, and smoothness of operations into consideration while picking up these reels. Read till the end to find out what we have revealed.

1. Editor’s Pick: Daiwa BG2000 BG Saltwater Spinning Reel

We kick off our reviews with the BG2000 saltwater reel from Daiwa. This is what Daiwa calls the next-generation fishing reel. If you consider the ABS spool and Oversized Digigear, this is not a far-fetched claim, either. The reel comes with some of the best features that you can ask for in a saltwater spinning reel.

The makers have put enough attention to the build quality of the reel. Its body and side plates are crafted from strong and durable aluminum. Then again, there are 7 ball bearings that are supported by a 5.6:1 gear ratio. This is exactly what you need for fishing in saltwater.

What We Like

(+) Durable Construction

First and foremost, you have to admit that the reel is built with proper care. Its hard body and the side covers are designed with black anodized machined aluminum. This means the reel is here for business. It is quite durable and sturdy to withstand impact.

(+) ABS Spool

Its ABS spool comes with reversed tapper and the highest core diameter to make sure that the line is 100% usable. You can expect zero ‘dead’ lines in the core. Plus, you can enjoy the least friction caused by the spool, and it will allow you to have smooth casting.

(+) Oversized Gear

Apart from the fact that the device comes with a 5.6:1 gear ratio, it comes with oversized gear, as well. What happens here is this increases the contact points of the gear-tooth. Eventually, you get a smoother gear function and increased gear life, both with a stable and high torque maintained.

Keep In Mind

(-) Expensive

Yes, the features are really great to have for a spinning reel, but the price it comes with is really a bit high. There are other options available at the same price range that may offer more.

This One Is Good For

The Oversized Digigear

Its oversized gear option is going to help you maintain the gear functions pretty smoothly. No matter how hard you are dragging, it will work in your favor.

2. Best Durable: PENN 1338220 Battle II 5000 Spinning Fishing Reel

Penn comes out with some of the newest upgrades in their Battle II series. From 2000 to 8000, they have some amazing saltwater reels on their list. We have picked the 5000 spinning reel that works better than its previous models in saltwater fishing. It’s durable, strong, and it offers an excellent drag and brake system for the most desired output.

Plus, it has a full metal body with side plates made from equally durable metal materials. In addition, its well-functional 5.6:1 gear ratio makes it very comfortable to handle. Thanks to its 4+1 ss bearing system, it could never get smoother.

What We Like

(+) Durable Craft

The very first thing that you will notice on this reel is its durable and strong build quality. Its full body is made from superior metal, just like its side plates. The rotor is also quite durable and sturdy to support long-term use. The best part is the ball wire that is designed with heavy-duty aluminum.

(+) Excellent Gear Support

The Battle II 5000 and 6000 are both quite famous for their excellent gear support. The 5.6:1 gear ratio helps you cast and drag pretty smoothly. It gets really easier for the 4+1 ball bearing system of the reel. All the bearings are crafted from stainless steel, which makes sure that you don’t have to worry about wear and tear.

(+) Weight 

As the reel is designed with top-class heavy-duty materials, the reel is actually a bit heavy. Although it weighs about a pound, you can easily match it with a similarly heavy rod to make the most out of it.

Keep In Mind

(-) Need Reel-Rod Combo

If you can’t match the reel to a proper rod, you won’t be able to control it pretty well. It may make it really uncomfortable to control it.

This One Is Good For

The fact that the reel comes with a full metal body, including the side plates and the rotor, makes it one of the most durable devices on the market. If you are into durability, then you can pick this one.

3. Best For Braid Capacity: Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Fishing Reel

Another Penn Spinning reel on our list. The Spinfisher VI is kind of an upgrade to the Battle II if you consider the gear system and the smoothness of the drag. That’s why the device comes with a superior gear mechanism with 15 pounds of maximum drag. Plus, the build quality of the device is also impressive as it’s designed with a full metal component.

Apart from that, the golden-black design is pretty attractive. Its carbon-fiber-made handle is not only pretty comfortable to hold but also quite durable, as well. As for the braid capacity, it’s also enough to get going for true saltwater fishing!

What We Like

(+) Useful Gear Ratio

The best part is, the gear ratio on this reel is 6.2:1, which is a great addition and upgrade, to be honest. The higher ratio here will definitely make it much smoother to cast and drag. That being said, the ball bearings inside also play a pretty big role here. The 5+1 stainless steel ball bearings ensure that the inner parts are functioning optimally.

(+) Braid Capacity

Being oversized comes with a benefit. You can easily fit more lines on it than most common fishing reels out there. The reel allows 220 yards of line on it, which can easily support you on saltwater fishing. You can cast as long as you want on any water surface.

(+) Excellent Drag

If you are not judging by the look, you can easily assume the drag this reel has to offer. Rightfully so, it comes with a 15-pound drag capacity for you to get some big monsters out of the water.

Keep In Mind

(-) Poor Instruction

Yes, you may be a pro angler, but when it comes to picking up a new reel, a well-devised instruction guide will be of great help. Unfortunately, this is missing here. So, you have to do some guesswork and a lot of YouTubing.

This One Is Good For

Braid Capacity

You will definitely love the higher braid capacity of the device as you go for saltwater fishing. It will allow you to cast further than usual.

4. Best For Drag: Lew’s Custom Inshore Speed Spin Spinning Reel

It’s rather easier to depend on a top-class brand than to scrutinize the features of other brands to decide which one to purchase. Lew’s has been a well-known brand in the fishing gear industry for a long time, and the reels from their house are absolutely brilliant. The Custom Inshore C1200 spinning reel is just another brick on the wall for Lew’s.

Its full-aluminum body and anodized aluminum spool give you the hint of how durable this reel is. Coupled with that, you have a 6.2:1 gear ratio backed by 7 SS ball bearings. Together, they allow you to drag up to 20 pounds of fish from the water.

What We Like

(+) Top-class Build Quality

While most reels fail in this test, the C1200 comes out as a winner when it comes to the build quality. Its entire body and the side plates are designed with aluminum which gives it a solid and durable profile. Plus, its C60 carbon skeletal speed rotor is also a prime example of how sturdy the skeleton is.

(+) Drain Port

Although it’s something we hardly notice, the reel has a drain port system. A little addition, but of great help. It can immediately and easily drain out water that is stuck in the reel. If you fail to drain out the salty water for a long time, it’s definitely going to cause rust on the reel’s sealed area.

(+) Top-Class Drag

As the reel is equipped with a higher gear ratio, this is really expected. The 6.2:1 gear ratio, along with the excellent 7-bearing system, lets you drag up to 20 pounds out of the water. Let nothing worry you anymore when you are after the biggest monsters in the seawater!

Keep In Mind

(-) Low Line Capacity

Although it is one of the very best that we have seen, it comes with a relatively lower line capacity. It holds around 200 yards of line on its spool, which could have been a bit higher compared to its counterparts.

This One Is Good For

Drag Capacity

Even if the line capacity is low, the reel offers amazing drag capacity that makes it up for it. You can drag up to 20 pounds of fish from the water without much effort.

5. Best For Smooth Ball Bearings: Penn CFTII7000 LC Conflict II Long Cast Spinning Reel

Penn is back with another CFT117000LC spinning reel. Whether or not this one is going to be your match, it’s surely is going to turn your head, for sure. Its hard-to-ignore black design is one of the most attractive designs that we have seen till now. But that’s not the only thing to be impressed with about it.

It comes with a superior bearing system that helps the internal system run smoothly. As for the outer body, the reel boasts stainless steel and superior aluminum material. The combination gives it a durable and long-lasting profile.

What We Like

(+) 7+1 Ball Bearing

The idea is, the more bearings you have inside, the easier it will be for the small inner parts to move. Bearings aid the round and circular parts to rotate and move smoothly. That’s why any bearing count above 5 would be a perfect combination for the interior of the reel to work. That being said, Conflict II offers 8 ball bearings for the best output.

(+) Convenient Handle

Yes, Handles matter. The rubbery handle on this reel makes it pretty comfortable for you to keep the reel in control. However, the grip here is crucial. That’s why Penn adorned the handle with slip-resistant rubber to make sure it doesn’t slip off from your hand. Then again, the stainless-steel building material is also what makes it durable.

(+) Lightweight

Weighing just half a pound makes it really easy to handle. If you can combine this reel with a matching rod, the combination will be an excellent one. However, selecting the matching rod is really crucial in this regard.

Keep In Mind

(-) Anti-Reverse Issue

A few users complained that the anti-reverse system locks in the midway at some points. Although the frequency is not something to be worried about, this one should be dealt with carefully.

This One Is Good For

Ball Bearings

The 7+1 = 8 stainless steel ball bearings are the key selling point of this reel. It’s super smooth and well-functional because of these bearings inside. Try to grab this one if you need a smooth performance for years ahead.

6. Best For Handle: Okuma Azores Saltwater Aluminum Construction Saltwater Spinning Reel

And finally, we wrap it all up with the Okuma Azores Z65-S spinning reel. Apart from the stunning look it exhibits, the device is actually one of the most functional ones on our list here. Its precision dual force drag system makes it pretty convenient for you to drag the toughest monster out of the seawater!

What’s more, is that the bearings inside are made from corrosion-resistant steel. This guarantees that no rust will form if you are using this on a regular basis. Apart from that, the oversized handle on it is really a helpful addition given that you have a multi-drag system on it!

What We Like

(+) Multi-Disc Drag

The drag system on this device is pretty much the one you need. It boasts a precision dual-force drag system that makes it pretty easy for you to pull the heaviest of catches from the water. You can also control the precise dragging with a drag control option.

(+) Corrosion-resistant Ball Bearing

The device houses 6+1 ball bearings that are built from stainless steel material. On top of that, the bearings are coated with rust and corrosion-resistant coating to protect from wearing out from coming into contact with saltwater.

(+) Oversized Handle

One really interesting, yet pretty well-thought addition here is its oversized handle. As you are going to fish in the saltwater, you definitely need to have maximum control over the handle. The rubber-gripped oversized handle makes it really easy for you to hold on to the device effortlessly.

Keep In Mind

(-) Riveted Handle

The handle here is riveted. This means you can reverse it from right to left but can’t replace it with any other handle. You may find it a bit problematic if you are not comfortable with the handle in the first place.

This One Is Good For

The Large Handle

The handle of the reel can be easily reversed from right to left and vice-versa. On top of that, it comes with an oversized profile to allow maximum control.

What To Look For In The Best Inshore Saltwater Spinning Reels?

Now that you are really into the best inshore saltwater spinning reel under $150, here is a quick guide to pick the right one. Keep these points in mind the next time you are going shopping!

Price: As you are going for a $150 budget, the first thing you need to make sure that you are picking up the reels with a price tag of, at best, $150. It will make things a lot easier.

Gear Ratio: Do not settle for any gear ratio that falls under 5:1. As you will be fishing in saltwater, you will need to employ a lot of pressure both while casting the line and dragging the fish in. So, make sure the gear ratio is above 5:1.

Build Quality: The main skeleton of the reel, i.e., the body, should be made from stainless steel, graphite, or aluminum. This will make sure that the reel is resistant to saltwater pressure and subsequent corrosion.

High Drag: Saltwater fishes are way more powerful than freshwater. So, you better make sure that the drag capacity of the reel is up to the mark. It’s better not to be satisfied with anything less than 15 pounds when it comes to drag capacity.

Ball-Bearing: The more ball bearings inside, the smoother the operation. Yes, that’s the kind of rule of thumb in this case. Try to pick the one with a higher ball-bearing count. Make sure that the bearings are made from stainless steel.

Line Capacity: It’s always favorable if you are picking up the reel with a long line capacity. A standard inshore saltwater spinning reel will come with about 200 yards of line capacity. You have to ensure you don’t fall below this mark.

Comfortable Handle: The handle has to be easy to grip and comfortable to hold. Oversized handles are going to be the best one in this case. Make sure that the grip is made of rubber so that it won’t slip from your hand. Also, it should be interchangeable so that no matter which one is your dominant hand, you can still use it like a pro.

Gear Ratio Guide: Best Saltwater Spinning Reels

The gear ratio is one of the vital features of a spinning reel. The smoothness and the effectiveness of the drag and cast depend a lot on what the gear ratio is. Now, what exactly is the gear ratio? Let’s break it down.

When you are turning the handle of the reel, the spool in the middle is rotating, as well. If you notice carefully, even if you are rotating the handle slowly, the spool is rotating faster. So, the rotation of the spool is more than the rotation of the handle.

That’s what the gear ratio is about. If you are rotating the handle for once, meaning if you rotate the handle for a full 360-degree turn, the spool will spin about 4 to 7 times. So, depending on that, you can specify the gear ratio. If the spool spins 5 times for one turn of the handle, the gear ratio is 5:1.

The spinning doesn’t always end up in a whole number. Rather, we see decimal figures all the time. That’s why you can see gear ratio being mentioned as 5.6:1, 6.2:1, etc. The more the gear ratio, the smoother the casting and dragging it becomes.

Understand the Basic Parts of an Inshore Saltwater Spinning Reel

If you want to excel in using an inshore saltwater spinning reel, you must understand the basic parts of it. Here’s what you need to know about the parts of an inshore saltwater spinning reel.

Reel Body

The reel body is the main part of the reel. Generally, it comes with an arm, a foot that can be attached to the fishing rod, and gear housing. The reel bodies are made from stainless steel, aluminum, or graphite.

Reel Handle

The handle is another crucial part of the reel. It is a rotating part that is used to reel out and reel in line for a smooth cast and drag. Most handles are either T-bar or round-shaped and come with a rubber cover.

Reel Spool

The spool is the area where the line is kept. It’s a Round part where the line is wrapped. When you rotate the handle, the line comes out of the spool. It is also made from either aluminum, stainless steel, or graphite.

Drag Adjustment

One of the common features of a spinning reel spool is its drag adjustment knob. It appears like a dial and can be used to adjust the drag capacity. This is often placed on the top of the spool.

Reel Bail

Bail is generally the gate for the line of the spool. If the bail is engaged, the line won’t unwind again. Once opened, the bail allows the line to spring out from the spool.

Anti-reverse Switch

The anti-reverse switch engages the drag and doesn’t let the line from turning backward. Once it’s turned off, you can easily reel the line in reverse.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1. Which Is The Best Reel for Inshore Fishing?

Ans. As there are hundreds of reels that you can find quite useful for inshore fishing, it’s hard to pick one from the ocean of choices. However, you can always pick one from the list we have made. As for the best reel for inshore fishing, the Lew’s Custom Inshore Speed Spin Spinning Reel C1200 should be the most suitable one.

Q2. What is the best saltwater spinning reel for the money?

Ans. If you are tight on budget, you can easily pick the Penn CFTII7000LC Conflict II Spinning Reel.

Q3. How Much Drag do you Need for Inshore Fishing?

Ans. It’s better not to settle for any low drag if you are going for inshore fishing. But that doesn’t mean that you need something massive. Any drag between 15 to 25 pounds is going to be a good choice.

Q4. What reel size is best for inshore fishing?

Ans. For saltwater fishing, especially inshore fishing, you can pick any size from 4000 to 6000.

Q5. Can I use any spinning reel in saltwater fishing?

Ans. Yes, definitely. In fact, some of the most useful and functional fishing reels for saltwater are actually spinning reels. You can refer to the reviews here for details.

Final Words

As you can see, it’s not at all a challenging task to figure out the best inshore saltwater spinning reel under $150. But the real challenge is to pick the one that suits your needs. Not all of us fish in the same way. Your frequency and intensity of fishing play a huge role in determining which one should fit your needs.

If you are not into much digging, we suggest you go for the Lew’s Custom Inshore Speed Spin Spinning Reel C1200. It comes with a durable setup, excellent gear ratio, and a top-class drag system. You will be a winner from every corner, for sure.

Happy fishing!