Fishing Reels

Best Saltwater Fishing Reel Under £50

By July 4, 2020July 22nd, 2020No Comments
Best Spinning Reel Under £50
Daiwa Crossfire
5/5
Model: 2500
Best Budget Saltwater Reel
SeaKnight Rapid
5/5
SeaKnight Rapid
Best Baitcaster Under £50
Abu Garcia Black Max Low Profile
5/5
Model: BMAX3

The options for fishing reels on the market seem endless, not only in the amount of brands and models to choose from, but also in the features they provide. From line capacity, gear ratio, drag, casting, spinning, weight, bearings and more. Some reels are better at specific tasks, while others are great all around for almost any task or presentation. The price ranges can also vary drastically from one brand and model to the next. In this article we will take a look at our pick for the best low cost reels for beginner to pro alike, more specifically under the price of £50. We will weigh out their options and features, so you can decide what fits best for your angling needs.

Abu Garcia Black Max

The Abu Garcia Black Max does a great job at delivering high quality and performance at an extremely affordable cost. The reel features a very lightweight one piece graphite frame, along with graphite side plates which are easy on the hands, helping reduce fatigue so that you can fish comfortably all day. Featuring Abu Garcia’s brass gearing system called Duragear, providing excellent winding power. In terms of playing out a hooked fish the Black Max features its MagTrax power disk drag system, the MagTrax allows you to finely tune your reel for ultimate casting control, accommodating anglers for a variety of lure weights and weather conditions. The Black Max comes with a gear ratio of 6.4.1, line capacity of 145 yards at 12 lbs, and 5 bearings.

Pros 

  • Exquisite design with intelligent spool
  • Incredible drag
  • Suitable for catching large species
  • Competitively Priced
  • Braid Ready Spool.

Cons

  • Honestly nothing, feels like a much more expensive reel.

Penn Pursuit III Spinning Reel

Featuring high quality construction and Penn’s high performance HT-100 drag system that anglers know and love, this reel features a great blend of performance and price. The Penn Pursuit III also boasts an ultra lightweight frame due to its graphite body which is also corrosion resistant. The Penn pursuit III also features 6 different size models from the 2500 up to the 8000 giving anglers options for almost any saltwater fishery. The Pursuit III also has a great anti reverse system, ensuring rock solid hook sets with no play, every time. Coming with 4 stainless steel bearings for ultra smooth retrieves and a high capacity spool.

Pros 

  • Small and compact reel
  • Lightweight
  • It is suitable for freshwater fishing
  • Deliver smooth reeling

Cons 

  • Limited line capacity
  • Only for fish 16lb of lighter

Daiwa Crossfire

The Daiwa Crossfire uses state of the art composites to create a lighter, and tougher reel. Compared to older Daiwa designs the Crossfire cuts down weight by an amazing 20%. Thanks to a solid ABS reel there is a serious reduction in the amount of flexing and distortion and is deep enough to carry an ample amount of line. The components of the reel’s interior are cold forged and feature precision milled digi gears. The Crossfire also features one of the smoothest drag systems on the market, this is in part due to the use of Daiwa’s one of a kind and innovative proprietary grease, and ATD or Advanced Tournament Drag system. The crossfire comes in multiple size models from the 1000 to 5000 series to cover all sizes of fish and angling needs. The gear ratio comes in at 5.2:1 and features 2 ball bearings.

Pros 

  • Lightweight
  • Corrosion Resistant Finish
  • CNC aluminum spool and collapsible handle
  • Smooth reeling due to 11 BB
  • Exceptional Drag
  • Open designed rotor

Cons 

  • Made in China

Shimano Baitrunner ST

The Shimano Baitrunner ST features an easy to use and traditional style baitrunner at the back of the reel that most anglers would be familiar with. Featuring an Aluminum spool, double paddled reel handle, and a varispeed line lay system. Creating a feature packed reel at an amazing price point. With reel sizes models from 6000 to the 10000 series your options as an angler are set. The reels feature tons of power for large fish and control while fighting them, and a gear ratio to winch them in, coming in at 4.6:1.

Pros 

  • Very solid construction
  • Powerful drag and multi-stop anti-reverse function
  • Reliable Japanese manufacturing
  • Seamless performance in the saltwater

Cons 

  • It has only one bearing. 
  • It is heavier than need be.

Penn Rival Level Wind

The next reel on our list is a Level Wind design from Penn. Designed to be a great all around and versatile angling reel at an incredibly affordable price, the Rival features aluminum side plates and an incredibly lightweight graphite frame, Penn even includes aluminum frame rings for improved rigidity, preventing flexing in the frame. The famous and angler trusted FT-100 drag system is also featured, providing ultra smooth drag while under immense load. Another very smart feature added are line counter rings, so you always know how much line is on the spoon at any given time while fighting a fish. The Rival comes in two gear ratios, 3.9:1 and 5.1:1, as well as 2 ball bearings.

Pros 

  • Lightweight spinning reel
  • Sturdy graphite body 
  • Striking color and looks
  • Competitive price 
  • Equipped with a bail wire with large diameter

Cons 

SeaKnight Rapid

The SeaKnight Rapid features an anti corrosion coating, making it excellent for saltwater applications. The Rapid features 10+1 stainless steel bearings creating an ultra smooth reel, an excellent carbon fiber drag system, and a main shaft that is enhanced, and larger than the standard shafts used by other brands. And last but not least the Rapid features a sealed aluminum spool and rotor structure, keeping sand out of the vital functioning parts and keeping it dry and moisture free.

Pros 

  • Affordable price
  • High brake force
  • Collapsible aluminum handle
  • Exquisite design
  • Interchanging EVA knob

Cons 

  • The extra spool is of cheap quality.
  • This reel will not last.

SeaKnight Falcon Baitcaster

Here is another great reel from SeaKnight, new to their lineup the Falcon is a baitcaster that has an excellent blend of performance and cost. Featuring an easy to use and fine adjustable tuning magnetic drag system to ultimate cast control, Shielded and resistant bearings 10+1 in total and a machined and perforated aluminum spool offering amazing castability while helping reduce the overall weight of the reel. The Falcon features gear ratios in 7.2:1 and 8.1:1 as well as a total of 17.6 lbs of drag power via a carbon fiber drag system. The Falcon comes with a double paddle handle setup using foam grips for ultimate grip in any weather and a compact star drag handle improving ergonomics.

Pros 

  • It is a reasonable reel at a competitive price.
  • It is made for professionals.
  • Computer balanced elliptical rotor
  • Corrosion-resistant lightweight body
  • High-precision gearing system

Cons 

  • The bail arm does not perform well. 

Shimano Catana RC

The Shimano Catana really gives you some bang for your buck. Featuring a rear drag system located at the bottom of the reel compared to most offerings with the drag dial on top of the spool, and coming in at a stellar price. The reel also has a propulsion line management system, offering trouble free casting and reducing the amount of tangles. The Catana also features a lightweight body, using Shimano’s XT7 construction. Also featuring a lightweight and durable aluminum spool and 2+1 Stainless steel ball bearings.

Pros 

  • Versatile; Suitable for freshwater as well as saltwater
  • Compact and lightweight body 
  • Oscillation gear is located closer to the rod for a better experience
  • Instant anti-reverse system

Cons 

  • Retrieving is not as smooth as others.

Dr. Fish

The Dr. Fish is made with saltwater in mind. Featuring a high density and corrosion resistant body, and an all stainless steel assembly, this reel will stand the test of time when it comes to saltwater. The aluminum spool of the Dr. Fish is capable of carrying large amounts of monofilament line, up to 60 pounds in diameter, and features great long casting performance. The reel is also incredibly smooth thanks to its 9+1 high precision, dust free and stainless steel bearings, creating incredibly smooth fishing and the strength to fight and retrieve gamefish. The reel also features a wool and stainless steel drag system, extra strong and extra large main shaft, and self balancing rotors. The Dr. Fish comes with a gear ratio of 4.5:1.

Pros 

  • Comes in a striking red and black color 
  • Solid build and design. 
  • Competitive price
  • Large diameter bail wire
  • Deep spool

Cons 

  • It has a heavy spool

Piscifun Torrent

The Piscifun Torrent is another baitcaster that has a lot to offer for price. Featuring a 4 washer carbon drag system using carbon fiber, you have up to 18 pounds of drag force, helping you fight fish with great control. The reel also features Hami cut japanese gears for ultra durability, all nestled in a low profile reel with lightweight characteristics. The Torrent also has a side plate oil port, making maintenance a breeze and extending the life and performance of the reel. 0-10 magnetic drive is installed for ultimate casting control as well. The reel comes with two gear ratios, 5.3:1 and 7.1:1 giving you more options in terms of power or speed.

Pros 

  • Comes in a striking red and black color 
  • Solid build and design. 
  • Competitive price
  • Large diameter bail wire
  • Deep spool

Cons 

  • It has a heavy spool

Conclusion

Here is our list of best reels on the market today that cost less than £50. All of these reels have their own amazing features, and all of them are great for anglers on a budget. Depending on what species of fishing you’re trying to catch, and what presentations you wish to use to catch them, this article should have all of your bases well covered. We also covered various different styles and designs of reels, reels great for live bait like the Penn level wind and the Shimano Baitrunner. To reels that are great for casting like the Daiwa Crossfire and the Shimano RC. And last but not least baitcasters like the SeaKnight Falcon and the Abu Garcia Black Max.

If we had to pick three reels from this list to cover anglers’ needs, we would choose the Penn Rival level wind, great for live bait presentations, using while float fishing, and having the power to winch in giant fish. Our second choice would be the Daiwa Crossfire, great for small to medium presentations, surf fishing with amazing casting distance, and a great all around reel for most lure presentations. Our third pick would be the Abu Garcia Black Max. It’s a great baitcaster for the price, has great features, and works excellent in the baitcasting role, throwing crankbaits and jigging will be a breeze with this thing.

What Makes The Best Saltwater Fishing Reel? A Quick Guide For Saltwater Reels Under £50

Before we end this article, let’s take a look at some of the features that make some of these reels the best reels at this price range, and why those features are so important to saltwater fisherman, so you can choose the best reel for your needs. 

Spinning or Casting

In most cases spinning reels or casting reels are just preference by anglers, but one style of reel might be better in some cases. Baitcasting reels are great for live bait presentations and you can leave your reel disengaged in some cases if you want fish to not feel any resistance. Spinning reels are great or surf fishing or anytime you want to make extremely long casts.

Ball Bearings

Ball bearings are what give you the smooth retrieval of your lures and also help in creating a smooth drag when fighting a fish, to a certain extent. Some reels feature more bearing than others, some reels don’t need many bearings, depending on what that reel was designed to do. Bearing being corrosion resistant are very important in saltwater fishing, corroded ball bearings will lead to rough retrieval and ultimately failure, be sure to keep them well greased and free of sand or other debris.

Drag

Drag is the most important part of fighting large fish, and ensuring your drag is up to the task is paramount. Some reels have higher drag power capabilities over others, and this again goes back to what the reel was originally designed to do. A good idea for drag care is to leave your drag as low as it can go when the reel is sitting at home in between fishing trips. This prevents your drag from being under constant clamping pressure and reduces the chance of it seizing up, and also helps with reliability.

Spool

The spool is important obviously, because it holds your line. Most spools are made to have a high capacity ensuring you have plenty of line. Most spools will also come with a chart telling you how much of what pound line it can hold and take. On Spinning reels the drag is normally also featured on top of the spool, putting it in an easy location to adjust while fighting fish.

Size and Weight

Reels come in many different shapes and sizes, and usually weight is indicative of size. Most modern reels come with some sort of weight saving attribute to keep the overall weight as low as possible. From small spinning reels to the large line counter and level wind reels.

Corrosion Resistance

Corrosion resistance for saltwater reels is incredibly important. Saltwater is incredibly corrosive over time and will eat up the components in your reels. Most reels dedicated to saltwater feature some sort of corrosion resistance, usually by making components out of aluminum, stainless steel or by sealing areas so they remain dry. Make sure your reel is also well maintained and greased.

Kyle Davies

Kyle Davies

Having angled for over 15 years some would say i’m something of an expert. The trouble with learning from experience is, it never stops. Come read along as i review some of the most (and least) popular fishing tackle that you can buy. And join me on my journeys to catch some beautiful fish.

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