Whenever you go fishing, you want to be armed with the best gear that will enhance your success and enjoyment of the sport. If you want an easy to use first reel or a versatile all-around reel, fish using lighter lures or live baits or want a reel for finesse techniques, a spinning reel is perfect. The good news is that you don’t have to break the bank to acquire a great reel and you don’t have to settle for below par quality and performance just because you’re on a tight budget. There are outstanding affordable spinning reels that rival the more expensive models.

We have compiled and reviewed the very best spinning reels under 50. They are well built using top-notch materials, have premium features, and they deliver a smooth performance out on the water. Whether you’re a freshwater angler, looking for a bass pinning reel, or want a surf fishing reel under 50, there’s an appropriate option for you below! If you find it hard to decide what model suits you best, our buying guide will simplify the choosing process.

How To Choose A Spinning Reel Under $50 – Buying Guide


Determining your budget first narrows down your choices but there are other criteria to consider in order to choose a reel that suits your type and style of fishing and will give you a smooth performance on the water. Have in mind the species you intend to catch and where you intend to fish and consider the following factors to determine the best spinning reel under 50 to get:

Max Drag

If you hook a big, hard fighting one, you want to have a reel equipped with a powerful drag that can handle the fight. This is especially important if you’re looking for saltwater spinning reels under $50, as your chances of hooking a trophy size fish are high. This is why it is important to find out the maximum drag or fish fighting power a reel gives you.

Gear Ratio

A high fishing reel gear ratio such a 6:1 translates to fast line retrievals. A low gear ratio such a 4:1 will give you more power for handling large catches but it will be slow at retrieving line and it can get tiring. For standard use, you can go for a medium gear ratio of 5:1.

Ball Bearings

The quantity and quality of ball bearings a reel has determine its smoothness. A high number of high-quality bearings makes operation buttery smooth. An anti-reverse function that eliminates back play and ensures solid hooksets is also essential. Stainless steel bearings are the best, as they can resist corrosion.


A graphite or aluminum body is good as both materials are lightweight and corrosion resistant. Some reels in this price range have a high-strength plastic body, which is lightweight, doesn’t rust and is good enough for going after small fish species. Plastic gears or bearings are a big no though. Stainless steel bearings are good as they are strong and won’t corrode, which is very important especially for saltwater fishing.

You might also like: Perfect Catfish Reels


A lightweight spinning reel is comfortable to fish with, even for long hours at a time. The lightweight feel shouldn’t be at the expense of quality though. Use of durable yet lightweight materials such a graphite results in lightweight but strong reels that feel good in the hand. Another aspect of weight to consider is the fishing line weight the reel can handle. You want to be sure that you choose a size that will work well with the kind of fishing line you plan to use.

Quality Construction

You want an inexpensive spinning fishing reel but not at the expense of quality and performance. You want a well designed and built reel that is strong enough to handle repeated battles and will stand the test of time. Pay attention to the quality of materials used and the kind of components the reel has – frame, rotor, spool, bail wire, drag system, gears, bearings and handle – as all these work together to deliver the kind of performance you want.


Choosing a top rated budget spinning reel that is well built by a reputable brand increases your chances of getting a good quality reel that won’t present issues at all. A reel that is backed by a good warranty is even better as it gives you peace of mind that if something were to go wrong, the manufacturer has got your back and you won’t have wasted your money.



Q: What Is A Fishing Spinning Reel?


A spinning reel is a type of fishing reel that has a fixed spool for fishing line. It is named so as it spins as the line is being retrieved. It can cast very light lures and live bait far away.

Q: Should I Have A Special Rod For this Reel Or Can I Use A Regular One?


You will need a spinning rod as a spinning reel is designed to be mounted on the underside of a spinning rod. If you already have a rod, ensure that the line capacity of the reel matches that of your pole. This will ensure you have a well matched and balanced spinning rod and reel outfit. If you don’t have a rod, make sure you buy one with a power, action and line capacity that matches your reel of choice.

Q: Should I Have A Special Line For Spinning Reel?


There are certain fishing lines that work best for spinning reels and the fishing line you plan to use will also determine the reel to get. When choosing a new reel, check its line capacity rating so you can get a reel that is appropriate for the line weight you plan to use. If you plan to use braided fishing line, go for a spinning reel with a braid-ready spool so you will be able to spool it directly without adding a backing and without experiencing slippage.

Globo Surf Overview

As you can see, there are affordable spinning reels that have a lot to offer in terms of features, quality, and performance. You just have to choose the best budget spinning reel that will suit where and how you fish. Pair it with a well-matched spinning rod of good quality and you will have a winning fishing rod and reel combination. Be sure to take good care of your reel and it will serve you for years delivering incredible bang for you under fifty bucks.

More  Fishing Reels Reviews:

More Reel Reviews: