Fishing Reels

Best spinning reels under £30

By June 29, 2020July 25th, 2020No Comments
Best Budget Reel
Magreel Spinning Reel
Model: CS5000
Best Value Reel
Abu Garcia Cardinal
Model: Cardinal 56
Best Reel Under £30
Shakespeare Cypry
Model: Cypry/40

Spinning reels, a style of fishing reel, are the most widely used reel for fishing and angling. If you are a fishing enthusiast, you probably use a spinning reel. In fact, i would bet a lot of anglers don’t even know other reels exist. They are one of the essentials you should keep safe in your backpack for the memorable fishing experience. The easy-to-use reels are fixed at the fishing rod and are suitable for casting light baits like lures and flies etc. So, this article is of great value for you if you are a beginner and want to make your fishing experience worthwhile. 

We have picked the 10 best spinning reels on the market out of hundreds by testing them personally so that you may be able to enjoy the longer cast and fewer tangles.  The list includes spinning reels for a modest budget, so don’t worry if you have just a few bucks to spend, you can get a reasonable deal even at £30. Moreover, our reviews are followed by a comprehensive buying guide helping you to understand the factors you should consider while buying a spinning reel in your budget.  So, let’s dive into the detail about the best spinning reels under £30.

Piscifun Flame

Piscifun is one of the most well known brands of budget spinning reels, and this is one of its most successful series. It is a popular choice among most beginner anglers. It is best known for its intelligent design and compact size which makes it a great choice. The Piscifun Flame looks stunning and has a red aluminum spool combined with a black matte finish. The hollow body is equipped with an X-shaped spool and a customized handle meeting your needs. It is an extremely lightweight reel that adds into its utility, if you are someone who fishes from a kayak, then this is something you should really test out.

Enjoy catching fish with the incredibly smooth reel gears which feature 9 ball bearings and one roller bearing. Usually i would say, more ball bearings doesn’t mean better, but these are quality enough bearing which adds to the stability and drag it delivers. Moreover, You can choose the model of flame which best suits your needs. If you are a saltwater angler chasing some sea monsters then you will need to choose at least the 4000 or 5000 models while 2000 and 3000 models are best suited to freshwater fishing.  

The lightweight spinning reel has a really great design. Delivers a good drag, especially on the larger models and is really capable of catching larger species. The parts are designed to be durable, but as you would expect with a reel of this budget, wont last you forever. If you don’t go fishing often, then this will probably satisfy you for a year or two. If you are someone who wants to go fishing every weekend, then spend more than £30 or buy reels every 6 months to 1 year.

Another notable feature is that the spool is braid ready, which adds great value at a competitive price. This feature is usually found in the high-end spinning reels and a very useful function to tackle most of the fishes. 


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


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

Abu Garcia Cardinal

Abu Garcia are one of the most well known brands in the angling industry. Most anglers will know them for more expensive models, but they do produce some fantastic budget reels too. This lovely little spinning reel is perfect for freshwater fishing and goes well with all types of line. It is equipped with two ball bearings and one roller bearing that ensure a smooth reeling experience. Now unlike the previous reel which has more but lower quality bearings, the 3 bearings in this reel are the same quality you would find in reels in the £500-1000 price range.

The Abu Gracia cardinal is another reliable spinning reel when it comes to catching smaller species. This reel has an aluminum spool which gives it a sturdiness which you don’t always feel in budget reels. The models 50-56 (50 is similar to size 1000 by other brands) are small and lightweight spinning reels but have a smooth drag (16 lbs) and long line capacity (225 yards of 6lb line).

It is equipped with a multi-disc drag system that is able to deliver considerable counter pressure. The downside of the small spinning reel is its adjustable knob that has a small circumference due to which it directly exerts pressure on the washer. The knob is not as well designed as it should be, this means you do not have very fine control of the drag. It would be improved by increasing the range of drag. You can make adjustments in between low, medium, and full levels.  However, for beginners who don’t have an understanding of drag, this isn’t really an issue. 

The Abu Garcia Cardinal spinning reel is quite sturdy and is really good looking too. It is armor-plated with steel, and the finish is durable. All the components are robust, and none of them is made of plastic. Overall, the reel is impressive as far as the durability is concerned.


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


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

SeaKnight Rapid

SeaKnight are one of the lesser known companies on this list. Based in china this company produces cheaper products but this one is exceptional. This is a versatile reel that can handle line and leader and is perfect for both fishing in the ocean or freshwater. It’s lightweight but has a large range of drag and can effortlessly target a variety of species. The 2000 model delivers an drag for the price of 8kgs (17 lbs).

Moreover, the line and weight capacity are better than the Abu Garcia cardinal, making it a reasonable choice for beginners with a limited budget who want to try fishing from the shore (180 yards of 10lb vs 140 yards.). It has an intelligent build that is constructed of a lightweight CNC aluminum spool and a folding handle that helps you to catch larger fish more smoothly. The reel is durable, and the finish is corrosion resistant. We all know that the fishing reels usually come in contact with the saltwater that causes corrosion, but thanks to the well-made finish that keeps it away from corrosion. 

SeaKnight saltwater reel is equipped with a carbon fiber drag system that delivers smoothness, stability, and strength in operation. It has 10+1 stainless steel ball bearings that bring smoothness. All in all, this spinning fishing reel is suitable for those who fish in the range of waters from the ponds, streams, lakes, rivers, beaches, and much more.

Besides, this SeaKnight saltwater spinning reel has models which boast an innovative anti-reverse system, upto 33Lbs drag power, opened designed rotor, and sturdy stainless main shaft providing great utility.


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


  • Made in China

Daiwa Sweepfire EC Spinning Reel

Here is another model that is definitely worth grabbing your attention. People who have read a few of my blogs now will know that i’m a little biased towards Daiwa. They are a fantastic brand and this is no exception. This eye-catching reel is made from durable aluminum build materials combined with Japanese design that is known for its efficiency and performance. The most notable feature is its competitive price that makes it a considerable option for the anglers. The reel is specifically designed to function smoothly, helping you to catch large fishes like a pro.

The 5000 model is made to target larger fish like Carp, Trout, Zander, Pike, and Cod, etc. It is equipped with one ball bearing which is the biggest disappointment for this reel. As a general rule of thumb; the greater the number of the bearings, the more smooth the reel will be. Moreover, it has a multi-stop anti-reverse function and a durable bail spring. It is suitable for both right-handed as well as left-handed people because the handle can be switched to both sides just by fixing the knob on the opposite side.

Daiwa Sweepfire EC spinning reel is a decent choice in this price. It offers the best line lay out of the reels on this list. It is constructed to deliver exceptional performance in the saltwater, unlike the ordinary reels that aren’t equipped with corrosion resistant coatings or shielded housing. It has an extremely reliable drag. 

For me this is an extremely reliable reel, at a very low price. On sale you can pick these up for less than £20. A solid option, just not the best on this list.


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


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

Shakespeare Cypry Spinning Reel

Shakespeare Cypry Spinning reel is a fantastic reel that not only works exceptionally but also looks great. The dark metallic finish complements many rods. It has a hollow graphite body that has an extremely lightweight. The lightweight of the spinning reels assists you in catching fishes efficiently and casting for a longer time. Moreover, the spool also has a sturdy graphite body that helps in casting smoothly. 

This reel is versatile. It goes well in freshwater, as well as the saltwater. It is designed to fish large as well as small fishes. Moreover, it is equipped with the graphite reel handle that compliments the looks. This spinning reel is durable enough to rely upon. It makes your fishing experience worthwhile. The bail wire having a large diameter, adds into the value of this model.

In addition, it has a 1+1 bearing system that makes its operations smooth. As far as the price point is concerned, this stunning model is very cost-effective. It has all the features a perfect spinning reel must-have in a price that is none other than an exception. The most notable thing is the design that grabs everyone’s attention, so this spinning reel proves to be a good deal in a few bucks.


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


Magreel Spinning Reel

Magreel is another Chinese brand that offers a reliable entry reel. You can find this reel for about £15 is great if you are interested in picking up the hobby. It is a power-packed combination of all the features you essentially need to catch fish efficiently. The super-lightweight reel offers a smooth and easy experience. It is equipped with a triple drag washer and the 9 ball bearings that increase its smoothness. The spool is made up of aluminum, adding to the durability. The package also contains an additional plastic spool.

This reel has a hollow body that creates a remarkable reel. It comes in four models, among which you can choose one according to your line. Moreover, the reel is equipped with a collapsible aluminum handle with EVA knob that is interchangeable left or right. In addition, the spool comes in striking color with elegant looks.

Magreel features an anti-twist line rollers that prevent the reel from tangles and operate the reel smoothly. Besides, it comes with a computer balanced rotor that is high-precision and powerful. It has 9 high-end ball bearings that ensure smoothness and highly precise zinc alloy gear for the stability. This spinning reel is lightweight. It has a hollow graphite body that makes it lighter and helps you to cast all day long without getting tired. In addition, the brake force is exceptional, and the operations are quite unlike the ordinary reels that make noise.


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


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

Okuma Safina Pro Spinning Reel

The Okuma Safina Pro is made up of a graphite body which makes this an ultra-light reel. It consists of high-end components designed to deliver great performance in the freshwater. The spinning reel has gone through several tests in order to check its durability. The body is corrosion-resistant and prevents the reel for oxidation and wear and tear. Okuma Safina Pro is a great choice for intermediates who are conscious of their fishing experience.

It is equipped with the 4 stainless steel ball bearings. The bearings add to the smoothness and stability of the cast. Moreover, it features multi-disk drag washers and a high-precision gearing system that differentiates it from the ordinary spinning reels. Okuma Safina Pro also features a computer balanced rotor that offers great value for money.

It is quite a solid reel at a very competitive price. The drag is exceptionally smooth, and the anti-reverse system is quite convenient. It is better than several pricier spinning reels and performs impeccably where the expensive reels fail to perform well. It is a great choice for those who travel on and off.


  • 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


  • The bail arm does not perform well. 

SHIMANO Sienna Spinning Reel

SHIMANO Sienna Spinning Reel is a powerful combination of a lot of exceptional features that compel you to add to your cart. The body is extremely compact and lightweight. It is designed very intelligently and puts the oscillation gear nearer to the rod so that you may fish confidently. It is made for different types of fishing, whether you are a freshwater angler or a saltwater fisherman. 

It is equipped with a propulsion line management system that uses an upgraded spool to cast appropriately. Moreover,  it has utilized several advanced technologies like ii technology for the prompt anti-reverse system through which the spool does not reverse back. This reel performs better than several pricier models. It is favored by professionals who do not compromise on the quality.

It is an extremely affordable reel made to fight the large fishes. The design, rotor, spool, and performance work seamlessly and prove to be a great choice if you have a limited budget.


  • 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


  • Retrieving is not as smooth as others.

Shakespeare Sigma Supra

Shakespeare Sigma Supra, like its name, has a superior quality of components that provide great value for the price you spend. It has a stunning design that comes in striking red and graphite color. It is available in different sizes you can choose according to your requirement. You have both options, whether to purchase the reel with the front drag or the rear drag. 

This reel is popular among the anglers due to its exquisite design and color. Moreover, it is equipped with 5 bearings that offer smoothness and stability to its operations. It has a deep spool constructed of the graphite, a bail wire having a large diameter. All these features ensure that you enjoy a memorable fishing experience that is worth the price.

All in all, Shakespeare Sigma supra reel has incredible quality at such a low price. You won’t find a better bargain if you are looking for an efficient reel in the limited budget. However, I found just one downside, and that is the weight of the spool. One of the spools is quite heavy as compared to their counterparts.


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


  • It has a heavy spool


So, these were the best spinning reels at a £30 featuring all that you really need to make your fishing experience worthwhile. We hope that one of these spinning reels will definitely grab your attention, and you will be able to make the best decision for you.

Let us know about your experience in the comment section below and also suggest some new models proving to be a reasonable choice. We wish you the best of luck for the great shopping experience. Cheers. 

A Quick Buying Guide For Spinning Reels Under £30

Here is an ultimate buying guide you can go through quickly in order to make a decision confidently. We have answered all the significant factors that should be considered in order to buy a budget spinning reel that offers a reliable experience. 

Choosing the correct Size and Weight

Choosing the correct size and weight is inevitable with it comes to buying a suitable spinning reel.  Choosing the appropriate size largely depends upon the size of the intended fishing line. The greater the fishing line is, the bigger should be the size of the reel. Moreover, it is also important to understand whether the equipment you are choosing will be able to deal with your fishing line. This information is available on the spool or on the product chart if you are shopping online.


The spinning reels are equipped with the bearings that play a vital role in its operation. There are two types of bearing i.e., ball bearings and roller bearings. The reel works smoother when it is equipped with a large number of bearings. The material of the bearings also matters a lot. The stainless steel bearings are more reliable as far as the durability is concerned. They offer better stability and control than ordinary bushings. 

The price of the reel also depends upon the number of the bearings. The spinning reel having a large number of bearings will cost you more, but what if the cheap reel does not deliver the smooth operation needed to catch fishes efficiently. This is the reason you should never compromise for the price when it comes to the bearings.


The spool is the significant component of the reel that not only holds the line but also offers a stable experience. The spool comes in different materials. You can buy one having aluminum spool or the graphite ones. The aluminum spool offers greater strength and stability. That is why they are a preferred type. They are more reliable and sturdy than their counterparts, while the graphite spool has an edge for the lightweight. 

There are two types of spools you would find in the market. The internal spool is the old design that is not found in the contemporary spinning reels. The major downside of such a spool is that the line tangles in the housing that becomes quite frustrating. Another style is the skirted spool. This kind of spool is intelligently designed. This kind of spool is long and shallow that creates less line friction and increases the casting distance that is quite beneficial for the anglers when fishing in the clear water. 

Mag Spool is another new innovation in the world of reels. It is an extension of the long cast spool technology that has similar benefits but different operations. These kinds of spools are large and wide. Moreover, they are flatter than conventional spools.


The drag system of a spinning reel is another significant feature to ponder over. The drag applies pressure to the fish you catch. The better the quality of the drag is, the better will be your experience of catching fishes. Make sure that the reel you purchase has a smooth drag.  

The spinning reels come with the two types of drag system i.e., the front and the rear drag. The system is named according to the location of the controls. The reel equipped with the front-drag system comes with the large washers that are sturdier than their counterparts. The rear-drag system has easily accessible controls, but they cannot tackle large fishes.  However, there are some new drag systems like a sealed drag system and a waterproof drag system that are far more durable and smart enough to fight the large fishes making your fishing experience worth the price you pay for them.

Corrosion Resistance

While looking for a durable spinning reel, you should also keep this factor in mind. As you know that spinning reels come in contact with the water, there are greater chances of developing rust. That is why you should look for the reel that has a corrosion-resistant finish. Such a finish increases the durability of the equipment and lasts long, even in a challenging environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the spinning reel work?

The operations of the spinning reel are extremely simple. This is the reason most of the anglers choose to use them in order to fish. The spinning reel is equipped with a fixed spool that picks and releases the fishing line. Moreover, it also allows you to cast the rod and line at different distances.

What are the main components of the spinning reel?

There are several components of the spinning reels that enable you to operate it. The components include;

  • The spool
  • Bearings
  • Bail
  • Drag Knob
  • Handle 
  • Line Roller

What is the anti-reverse system?

The advanced models are equipped with the anti-reverse system. It prevents the spool from spinning in all directions. It stops the rotor from reversing. All the spinning reels are not anti-reversible, but it is recommended to buy a model with an anti-reversible system because it delivers convenient operations.

Why do spinning reels tangle?

When the slackline over-runs, then it slips off the reel’s bower. This is why it forms the loop and the spinning reel tangles. 

What are the advantages of a spinning reel?

Spinning reels have several advantages. They can handle the light line effortlessly because they are equipped with the fixed spools. They also prevent the spool from tangling. Moreover, the spinning reels are versatile. They are often used with live bait. They are a good choice for beginners who want to learn to cast because they are extremely simple to operate. However, you can switch to the more sophisticated models as soon as you level up.  

How to maintain the spinning reel?

Once you choose the right model and understand how it works, it is time to explore how to maintain the spinning reel. Read the user manual thoroughly or search on the internet so that you may be able to keep it safe and use it like a pro. However, as a general rule, the reel needs lubrication on a regular basis to work smoothly. Moreover, cleaning the reel with fresh water, especially when you are a saltwater fisherman, is important. It keeps your spinning reel efficient for a long time.

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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