Best Reels for Walleye Fishing 2020 – Reviews and Top Picks

Best Reels for Walleye Fishing

If you are fond of fishing, you definitely know that one of the main parts of fishing gear is a reel. There is a wide range of reels differing with size, material, and brand. Yes, the brand is also essential when choosing the best reels for walleye fishing. 

When selecting a reel, you need to consider plenty of factors such as water, the type of fish you prefer, and how often you fish. If you want to know more about walleye’s reels, keep reading our research. We’ve tested three reels and are ready to uncover all hidden features and limitations of them.

Shimano Stella FJ Spinning Fishing Reel
Abu Garcia Revo MGX Spinning Fishing Reel
OKUMA Coldwater Wireline High-Speed Trolling Reel
Name
Weight:
Gear Ratio:
Max drag force(kg):
Ball bearings:
Price
Name
Weight:
Gear Ratio:
Max drag force(kg):
Ball bearings:
Price
№1
6.0, 7.2, 7.4, 9.0, 9.2 ounce
5.1:1/6.0:1/6.2:1/6.4:1
7,20,24
12+1
№3
1.5 pounds
6.2:1 (line counter), 4.7:1 (levelwind)
9
2BB + 1RB
Shimano Stella FJ Spinning Fishing Reel

The Shimano Stella product is a modern reel that combines new technologies in materials and construction. The producer uses x-protect technology that doesn’t allow water to damage the reel and prolongs the life of the product. If you have ever used the reels of Shimano before, this reel will last you five times longer than previous models.

Also, Shimano implemented a system that supports expanded casting distance. The material durability minimizes backlashes and wind knots. All the models have different maximum drag forces. The biggest one is 24 kilos. It makes the reel suitable for any situation and any type of fishing gear.

The price significantly varies because the producer offers a wide range of models differing not only in size but in specific characteristics. The size will determine how heavy the reel is, while the letters show features, such as line capacity. For example, HG stands for high gear and provides a longer retrieved line for each spin of the reel.

Weight:
6.0, 7.2, 7.4, 9.0, 9.2 ounce
Gear Ratio:
5.1:1/6.0:1/6.2:1/6.4:1
Max drag force(kg):
7,20,24
Ball bearings:
12+1
PROS
  • Both-handed
  • Durable
  • Professional
Cons
  • Expensive
Abu Garcia Revo MGX Spinning Fishing Reel

If you are looking for a small reel, this product is for you. The Abu Garcia reel is light and easy-to-use. The reel has only two sizes: 20 and 30. The difference is that the ‘30’ holds more lines. 

Another vital point you won’t have to worry about is whether the reel is both-handed or not. Yes, you can use the reel even if you are left-handed. The reel has 10 HPCR stainless bearings and one roller bearing. The Carbon Matrix drag system maintains smooth, consecutive drag pressure along with the whole drag range. 

As the reel is quite simple, the maximum drag force is not significant. It varies from 6.6 to 7.7 kilos. It has the most common gear ratio of 6.2:1.

Weight:
6.0, 6.4 ounce
Gear Ratio:
6.2:1
Max drag force(kg):
6.4, 7.7
Ball bearings:
11
PROS
  • Light
  • Simple
  • Both-handed
  • Nice price
Cons
  • Noisy
  • Frequent defects
OKUMA Coldwater Wireline High-Speed Trolling Reel

The Okuma reel is another product we would like to mention. It’s a complex reel made of durable material that will serve you for many years. The reel is light; the weight varies from 570 to 870 grams. The reel guarantees the perfect work both in the cold- and fresh water where the walleyes live.

It has three styles you can choose from. Cw-303ds, 310 Yds-25lb, and Cw-453ds, 330 Yds-30lb have a line counter, while Cw-553ls, 440 Yds-40lb has a level wind. All styles have the same maximum resistance strength of 9 kilos. 

Weight:
1.5 pounds
Gear Ratio:
6.2:1 (line counter), 4.7:1 (levelwind)
Max drag force(kg):
9
Ball bearings:
2BB + 1RB
PROS
  • Durability
  • High speed
  • Suitable for any fishing conditions
Cons
  • Noise
  • Not both-handed

How to Select the Perfect Walleye Reel – Buyer’s Guide

How to Select the Perfect Walleye Reel

We revised three reels, and you may be interested in characteristics that we considered while determining the pros and cons. Moreover, you may like to compare our choice with other reels to be sure we found the best reels for walleye fishing. Here is the list of the essential characteristics you should consider while choosing a reel.

Drag Force

The drag is the critical element of the reel as it prevents the line from breaking if a fish pulls hard. If you have read all the reels’ descriptions above, you might notice they have different drag forces. Thus, if you prefer fishing in a calm river or lake where there are only small fishes, such as walleyes, a low drag force is enough for you. However, if you try to catch a huge fish, choose a reel with a high drag force.

Gear Ratio

The gear ratio defines the number of times the spool turns when spinning the handle. Most of the best walleye fishing reels have a 6.4:1 gear ratio. The bigger the ratio, the faster the reel is. The ratio you need will depend on the type of water. Thus, if you need to react to the situation fast, choose significant gear ratios. If you don’t hurry, a small ratio is suitable for you.

Bearing Count

The number of bearings in a reel determines how smooth and stable the reel is. The more bearing balls the reel has, the smoother it is. The most common number of bearings is five. However, experts advise having as many bearings as you can afford.

Weight

Weight is also a characteristic you should consider choosing a reel. It’s clear that the more features the reel has, the heavier it is. The average weight is 6 ounces. However, it’s up to you what weight to choose. Be sure that the reel is not too heavy. You should feel comfortable if you are fishing for a long time.

FAQ

What Is a Decent Reasonable Penn Reel for Walleye?

Penn reels are famous among fishers due to their durability and convenience. The most reasonable Penn reel is Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel. It can be used not only for Walleye’s fishing but for big fishes in saltwater. The durable stainless material prevents the reel from corrosion. There is no necessity to add a backing for the spool. It’s one of the smoothest reels of this producer.

How Do I Take Care of My Spinning Reel?

If you want your spinning reel to serve for years, be sure you properly care about it. Clean your reel every time when you use it. After you remove it from the water, spray it with freshwater but avoid high-pressure spraying. It’s crucial to separate the spool from the reel before you start a proper cleaning. Put some oil on the parts where the spool interacts with the reel, the handle rotates, and the handle is embedded into the reel. Clean and grease the roller. Spray the whole reel with any cleaning liquid for marine products.

Conclusion

It’s simple to choose the best walleye fishing reels for you. Because walleyes live in freshwater, they are not big, so, you can choose a reel with a medium drag force. However, this fish may require a fast reaction, so think about the gear ratio. Bearing the count and weight of the reel will determine how comfortable your fishing will be. Your personal preferences will define the right reel in the end.

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Shimano Stella FJ Spinning Fishing Reel