Best Spincast Reels 2019 – Reviews and Top Picks

Choosing the best spincast reel is not easy for beginners as well as experienced anglers. The number of manufacturers confuses the novices. The accomplished anglers stick to reliable brands like Zebco, Daiwa, and Pflueger, but they are hesitant on which model to purchase. Before I started working in the tackle shop, I was in their shoes too.

I have been fishing since I was a child and have dozens of spincast reels that I’ve collected over the years. In the shop, I learn a lot about spincasters’ tech specs and pitfalls, and this was a great addition to my personal experience. I am always delighted to help anglers choose the best spincaster for their needs.

If you are searching for a high-quality spincaster, continue reading, and you will discover professional tips. I will start with my 5 top picks. If you need a quick answer, you may choose one of these models and cast it without a flaw. Just pay attention to the Pros & Cons section below the description. I collect all the potential drawbacks that other users experienced so that you can make a decision with an open mind. All the essential features I will explain in the ultimate buying guide.

  • Zebco Omega ZO3
  • Rating:
  • Primary Material: Stainless Steel
  • Weight: 13 oz.
  • Gear Ratio: 2.9:1
  • Bearings: 6+1
Name
Primary Material:
Weight:
Gear Ratio:
Bearings:
Price
Name
Primary Material:
Weight:
Gear Ratio:
Bearings:
Price
№1
Stainless Steel
13 oz.
2.9:1
6+1
№2
Aircraft grade aluminum
10.2 oz.
3.8:1
5
№3
Aircraft grade aluminum
10 oz.
3.8:1
2
№4
Metal
9.25 oz.
4.1:1
1
№5
Aluminum
10.6 oz.
3.6:1
6+1

With more than 70 years of history, Zebco is one of the oldest brands on the fisheries market that invented spincast reel back in 1949. No matter which Zebco you choose, you will find a powerful metal mechanics and smooth casting. The Zebco Omega ZO3 represents the highest standards in modern spincast technology. Thanks to its specs, the ZO3 is a go-to choice for multi-species fishing in the fresh water. Avid anglers caught perch, crappie, largemouth, smallmouth, pike, eel, walleye, bluegill, crappie, big cats, and more. The ZO3 is covered by 1-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.

Primary Material:
Stainless Steel
Weight:
13 oz.
Gear Ratio:
2.9:1
Bearings:
6+1
PROS

Smooth casting

Full-metal mechanics

Ceramic line guide

Dial multi-disc drag

Oscillating spool

Changeable right or left hand retrieve

1-year warranty

Cons

On a pricey side

Modern production allows manufacturers to reduce prices without compromising the quality of reels. The Pflueger offers high-quality all-metal spincasters at an affordable price. Entry-level anglers praise this brand for easy-to-use design.

Primary Material:
Aircraft grade aluminum
Weight:
10.2 oz.
Gear Ratio:
3.8:1
Bearings:
5
PROS

Lightweight

Affordable price

Silky-smooth operation

Instant anti-reverse

All-metal mechanics

1-year warranty

Cons

Customer support sometimes not easy-to-contact

The Pflueger Trion is another example of marvelous quality at an affordable price. Anglers successfully use the reel for both saltwater and freshwater. This model is recommended for younger anglers, beginners and everyone who doesn’t need professional features.

Primary Material:
Aircraft grade aluminum
Weight:
10 oz.
Gear Ratio:
3.8:1
Bearings:
2
PROS

All basic features for smooth cast

Affordable price

Beginner-friendly design

All-metal rust-resistant mechanics

Long lifetime

Durable mechanics

1-year warranty

Cons

Occasional creaking when under the load

Daiwa is one of the oldest and most reliable manufacturers. First Daiwa spinning reels were created back in 1955, and they immediately become popular among anglers. The Goldcast Reel – is a classic example of Daiwa quality. In this series, there are three models with different line capacity. Avid anglers often buy this reel for younger and beginner-level fishers. Women praise this model for its lightweight and ergonomic handle. On the shores of lakes and rivers, I often see that older people with weak joints use the Goldcaster. They say that the reel is a miracle because they can cast for several hours and do not suffer from back pain the next day. Daiwa Goldcast is the best ultra-light spincasting reel.

Primary Material:
Metal
Weight:
9.25 oz.
Gear Ratio:
4.1:1
Bearings:
1
PROS

Affordable price

Rugged metal body

Changeable left or right-hand retrieve

Oscillating spool

Lightweight

Long lifespan

1-year warranty

Cons

Long casting can be challenging for the beginners

Sometimes anti-reverse clicks

The Zebco Omega has a low profile design and has all metal internals. All metal parts are resistant to corrosion. It is primarily a freshwater reel, but with regular cleaning and oiling, you can use it for saltwater. The model comes with a dual-paddle handle and spare spool. The Zebco Omega Pro is the first spinning reel with 7 ball bearings. This system offers you the most smooth and flawless cast. The model is loaded with pro-quality features, including triple-cum drag with multi disks, ceramic line guide, and level-wind oscillation. The reel body is made from die-cast aluminum, and the covers are aircraft aluminum.

Primary Material:
Aluminum
Weight:
10.6 oz.
Gear Ratio:
3.6:1
Bearings:
6+1
PROS

Changeable left or right-hand retrieve

1-year warranty

Ceramic line guide

Powerful drag

All-metal mechanics

Flawless cast

7 stainless steel ball bearings

Cons

Default knob is not convenient

Buyer’s Guide – What to Look in an Ideal Spincast Reel

The spincast reels are widely popular because they are easy to learn and maintain. With the right spincaster, you need a little practice to archive a perfect cast. The only question is how to choose the right model, and what features should be considered before purchasing? Let’s go over all you need to know to buy the best spincaster.

When to choose a spincaster?

I recommend spincast reel for kids, teenagers and adult beginners because the easy-to-use design is usually a priority. With high-quality reel, you will not suffer from backlashes and spend hours dealing with line twist and tangles. An important takeaway is to learn when to push the button to let out the line. It takes a few tries to obtain this skill.
When to choose a spincaster

The most suitable fish species are small and middle-sized such as panfish, crappie, redfish, bass, smallmouth, and paddlefish. You may go after flathead cats and bluecats, but if your trophy is too large, it will be hard to land. The spincasters have less powerful drag system than baitcasters.

Choose a fishing lure according to your target species. Spincasters go well with live baits, small and medium lures.

Brands and warranty

brends and warranty of spincast reels

When choosing a manufacturer pay attention to its history, reputation, product quality, and feedback from customers. Do not buy no-name reels from China or Malaysia. If you already have bought one don’t be surprised when they fell apart at the second fishing session.

In the top picks above, I mention three reliable brands:

  1. Zebco – the inventor of spincast reels.
  2. Daiwa – long history, high-quality traditions.
  3. Pflueger – modern production and affordable prices.

All provide a standard 1-year limited warranty and have primarily positive feedbacks from anglers. Another reason for recommending them, is the reel prices. They are quite affordable.

Weight

The average weight of spooled reel is about 12 ounces. If you want to cast and retrieve for long hours, try to find the lightest model possible. From my list is Daiwa Goldcast reel.
weight of spincast reels

Open-faced vs. closed face design

There are two types of spincasters: open-faced and close-faced. In the table below, I summarize their key features.

AspectOpen-facedClose-faced
AdvantageAllow you to look into the internals and fix problems like snags and tangles. Maintain is a breeze.Protected from outside damage, can stand abuse during fishing.
DisadvantageInner parts are less protected from the water, dirt, and debris. Generally, this is not a problem, just clean and dry your reel for storage.Requires regular and more complex maintenance because the water can invade and be trapped inside. It’s more challenging to identify and fix problems.
Example modelsPflueger PresidentDaiwa Goldcast, Pflueger Trion, Zebco Omega ZO3, Zebco Omega Pro

Both types have fans and haters. Choose according to your preferences. If a person is just starting up, I recommend open-faced models, because there will be tackled line in the beginning. With the proper maintenance, close-faced models are great for any angler’s level.

Gear Ratio And Retrieval Rate

gear ratio and retrieval rate of spincast reels

The gear system multiplies your power. If you turn a handle once, the gear will spin the spool several times. For example, if your reel has 4.1:1 GR like Daiwa Goldcast, for each handle rotation you will get 4.1 spool rotation. The gear helps you to pull a fish from the water.

There is no universal scale; you might question which gear ratio is low and which is high. If you read fishing blogs, you have probably already noticed it. The table below will help you to choose the right GR.

Your target speciesGRExample models
Small-sized fishHigherPflueger President, Pflueger Trion, Daiwa Goldcast, Zebco Omega Pro
Medium-sized fishLowerZebco Omega ZO3

The highest GR has Daiwa Goldcast and the lowest Zebco Omega ZO3.

Most of the spincast reels are versatile. However, the overall construction, especially the drag system, don’t allow them to handle super-massive fish.

The gear ratio influence on retrieval rate. The rate shows how many lines will go back to spool for each handle rotation. For example, 3 Daiwa Goldcast models have 18.3 inches, 20.8 inches, and 21.3 inches RR. This means that every time you turn a handle, the spool accommodates the described length of line.

Low gear ratio means a slow retrieval rate. The higher the gear ratio, the faster the retrieval rate. So, if you want to retrieve fast, choose models from the upper part of the table. If slow, the Zebco Omega ZO3 will be a great choice.

Ball bearings

ball bearings of spincast reels

Ball bearings reduce friction, and the higher a number of bearings, the smoother the cast. The Zebco Omega Pro and Zebco Omega ZO3 have 6+1 bearings, which is more than other models. The material of bearing also means a lot. They should be metal or ceramic, not plastic. The best option is resistible to corrosion stainless steel.

Button vs. Underspin

When you push the button or pull the trigger on your reel, you release the line from the spool. When you have enough line, you remove your finger from the button or stop pulling the trigger. The lure or bait will fly to your cast direction. Both systems work the same way. However, for push-button reels, you need a baitcasting rod, for underspin – spinning rod.
button vs underspin in spincast reels

Reels with triggers are called underspin. In the following table, I show you the systems of each model.

ButtonUnderspin (Trigger under the rod)
Zebco Omega ZO3Pflueger Trion
Zebco Omega ProPflueger President
Daiwa Goldcast Spincast-

Line Type and Capacity

The average line capacity of a spincaster is from 240-360 feet. They often come pre-spooled. If you want to use different types of lines, choose a model with a changeable spool.

The line capacity is a tech spec, consisting of two numbers. For example 12/100. The first number shows test results, how many pounds the line can withstand before breaks. If you prefer to catch heavy fish, pay attention to this indicator. The second number is the line length in feet. If you practice long casts or often cut the line, you will need a line with more length.
line type for spincast reels

The line capacity varies in every reel series. For example, Daiwa Goldcast has 8/75, 10/80, and 12/100 LC. Now, when you know what this spec means, you can change the model and the series according to your needs.

Drag System

drag system of spincast reels

There are two types of drag systems in the reels:

  1. Start. It mounted outside near the rod and it is easy-to-operate.
  2. Internal. It is located under the reel cover. You can find it by a small protruding edge.

Both systems can work perfectly well. However, I recommend models that have multi-disk drag, such as Zebco Omega ZO3, Zebco Omega Pro, and Daiwa Goldcast. These models have enough power to handle furious fish.

Other important features to consider

I suggest choosing a spincaster that has these helpful features.

FeatureFunstion
Spool from graphite or anodized aluminumMost durable materials.
Oscillating spoolEvens your line from digs. Helps to avoid tangles.
Anti-reverse handlesPrevent the handle from spinning backward.

These features are crucial if you are looking for a beginner-friendly reel.

Final thoughts

final thoughts of spincast reels

All the reels from the top pick list are definitely worth your attention. My favorite models are these two:

  1. Zebco Omega ZO3 for its ideal casting.
  2. Daiwa Goldcast for its impressive mechanics and lightweight.

I hope that you have learned a lot from reading my article. With all your new knowledge, you will be able to conquer the market and find the spincast reel perfect for you.

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By Chris Hayes
about author

My name is Chris and I am a hunter, outdoorsman, survivalist of 36 years old from Bosie, Idaho. Being a participant of Ihea-USA, I like big game hunting most of all, especially hunting white-tailed deer. Except hunting, I’m also keen on fishing and gaining new knowledge how to survive in the wild nature. As a professional hunter, I do not stop improving upon own hunting skills and testing new gear, equipment, hardware and weapons. I write articles to share my experience and knowledge with the readers who motivate me for more. For any additional information contact me at [email protected]

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