Fluke, also known as summer flounder, is a popular and prized saltwater fish among anglers. Fluke can be targeted using various techniques, including drifting, jigging, and fluke rig.
When it comes to tackle for fluke fishing, we recommend a medium to medium-light spinning rod in the 6 to 7.5-foot range, a 2500 or 3000-size spinning reel, a braided line in the 10 to 20-pound test range, and live bait such as squid, spearing, killifish, and mummichogs.
In this guide, we focus on the best baitcasting and spinning reels for fluke fishing.
Top 3 Comparison Table
7 Best Fishing Reels for Fluke
1. PENN Battle III Spinning Fishing Reel – 3000
The PENN Battle III 3000 is a reliable and effective reel for fluke fishing.
It features a full metal body, sideplate, and rotor, providing strength and longevity. The reel has a reliable and smooth HT-100 drag system, allowing for consistent and controlled drag performance. The maximum drag rating is 15 pounds. It enables you to apply sufficient pressure to tire and land fluke of various sizes, including larger specimens.
The PENN Battle III 3000 can accommodate a range of line strengths suitable for summer flounder fishing. It offers a line capacity that can handle mono lines ranging from 8 to 12 pounds or braided lines in the range of 10 to 20 pounds, depending on the specific line diameter.
The gear ratio is 6.2:1 and the reel features 5+1 sealed stainless steel ball bearings for smooth and reliable operation.
- All-aluminum composition
- HT-100 carbon fiber drag system
- CNC gear technology
- Instant anti-reverse bearing
- Gear ratio 6.2:1
- 5+1 sealed stainless steel ball bearings
- Precise gear alignment, allowing for smooth and reliable operation during retrieves and fights with fish
- The instant anti-reverse bearing eliminates handle play, providing solid hooksets and improved fish control
- The reel is relatively easy to maintain, with straightforward disassembly and cleaning processes
- In rare cases, a few users have reported instances where the bail wire does not close properly or gets stuck in the open position
- Some users have also raised concerns about potential water intrusion into the reel over extended periods of heavy use or exposure to harsh saltwater conditions
2. Shimano 16 Stradic CI4+ C3000 Saltwater Spinning Reel
The Shimano 16 Stradic CI4+ C3000 provides anglers with a lightweight, durable, and high-performance option for fluke fishing.
It utilizes Shimano’s CI4+ material, which combines carbon fiber and reinforced composite to create a lightweight yet strong and rigid frame.
Its drag system is known for its smoothness and precision. It offers a maximum drag power in the range of 15 to 20 pounds.
The reel features Shimano’s Fluidrive II system and Dyna-Balance technology, ensuring a smooth and steady retrieve. These features contribute to consistent line lay on the spool and minimize any wobbling or vibration during retrieval.
It comes with a propulsion line management system, which includes a redesigned spool lip and optimized bail trip mechanism. This system promotes longer casting distances and reduces the risk of wind knots and tangles.
The reel has a gear ratio of 6.0:1 and a total of 6 ball bearings.
- Lightweight and rigid construction
- X-ship technology
- CoreProtect technology
- G-free body design
- Aero wrap II oscillation system
- Dyna-balance system
- Exceptionally lightweight
- Excellent gear system
- Enhanced casting performance
- In some cases, some handle components, such as the handle knob or screw, loosen or show signs of wear over time
- Some users have reported slight handle play or wobbling
3. Daiwa 16 BG 4000 Spinning Reel
If ruggedness tops your priority list, then consider the Daiwa BG.
The reel is built with a durable aluminum body and rotor. The reel utilizes Daiwa’s Digigear technology, which ensures precise gear alignment and smooth operation. This gear system enhances power transfer, durability, and overall performance.
The Air Rotor design reduces weight and improves rotor balance, resulting in smooth and effortless retrieves.
It offers consistent drag performance to help you land fluke successfully. The drag adjustment knob is easily accessible and allows for precise adjustment.
The reel incorporates Magsealed technology to protect the critical components from water and debris. The Air Bail design reduces friction and ensures even line distribution on the spool. The Twist Buster II line roller reduces line twist, resulting in smoother line flow during retrieval.
It can accommodate monofilament lines ranging from 10 to 20 pounds or braided lines in the range of 20 to 40 pounds, depending on the specific line diameter.
It’s equipped with 6+1 ball bearings and a gear ratio of 5.7:1.
- Digigear system
- Air rotor design
- Advanced tournament drag
- Magsealed technology
- Air bail and twist buster II
- Machined aluminum handle
- Infinite anti-reverse
- 6+1 ball bearings and a gear ratio of 5.7:1
- The Digigear system is reliable and efficient and provides smooth operation and power transfer
- The ATD (Advanced Tournament Drag) system receives positive feedback for its smooth and powerful drag performance
- Even line distribution on the spool, which prevents line twist
- There were some instances of bail arm failure or breakage, however, this is not a widespread issue
- A few users have mentioned that the reel feels slightly heavier compared to other reels in its class. This might be a consideration for those seeking an ultra-lightweight setup
4. Abu Garcia Revo SX Spinning Reel – 30 Spin
The Abu Garcia Revo SX is another excellent option to target mighty flukes.
The reel features a lightweight graphite body and rotor, reducing fatigue during long fishing sessions and providing comfortable handling.
The Revo SX 30 Spin features Abu Garcia’s Carbon Matrix drag system. This drag system utilizes a combination of carbon washers and a powerful drag mechanism to provide consistent and reliable drag performance. The reel is equipped with an easily accessible drag adjustment knob. This allows you to fine-tune the drag pressure according to your fishing conditions and the size of your target fish.
The reel typically offers a maximum drag power in the range of 11 to 15 pounds.
The Revo SX 30 Spin includes additional features such as an Everlast bail system for improved durability, Rocket line management for better control, and a lightweight machined aluminum spool.
It comes with 9+1 ball bearings. It comes with a gear ratio of 6.2:1.
- Graphite body
- Carbon matrix drag system
- Rocket line management system
- Everlast bail system
- Lightweight machined aluminum spool
- 9+1 ball bearings and a gear ratio of 6.2:1
- The Carbon Matrix drag system receives positive feedback for its ability to handle hard-fighting fish effectively
- Smooth drag operation and consistent drag pressure
- Excellent casting
- Some users have experienced minor line twist issues, particularly when using lighter lines or employing certain fishing techniques
5. SHIMANO Curado DC 150 XG Baitcasting Reel
We recommend the SHIMANO Curado DC 150 baitcasting reel because of its accuracy, control, and durability.
The reel features a lightweight and compact design, making it comfortable to handle and reducing fatigue during long fishing sessions.
The Curado DC 150 XG incorporates Shimano’s advanced DC braking system, which uses electronic controls to regulate the spool speed during casting. This technology helps reduce backlash and allows for precise and effortless casting control, even in challenging conditions.
The Curado DC 150 XG utilizes carbon drag washers, which offer excellent heat dissipation and durability. The reel features an easily accessible drag adjustment system.
The Curado DC 150 XG has a high gear ratio of 8.5:1. This fast retrieval rate enables quick line pickup. It comes equipped with 6+1 ball bearings.
- High-quality materials
- Digital control (DC) braking system
- Smooth and powerful drag system
- Adjustable handle
- 6+1 ball bearings and a gear ratio of 8.5:1
- Precise casting control thanks to the digital control (DC) braking system
- Users appreciate the smoothness of the retrieve and the overall operation of the reel
- Reliable and powerful drag system
- Some users experienced noise or a grinding sensation when reeling or engaging the drag
6. Okuma Helios SX HSX-30 Spinning Reel
The Okuma Helios SX HSX-30 Spinning Reel is a high-performance spinning reel. It comes with a lightweight and durable C-40X carbon frame and side plate construction.
The spinning reel has a precision machine-cut C-40X carbon rotor, which helps to reduce weight and maintain smooth operation. The reel features Okuma’s Precision Elliptical Gearing system, which ensures smooth and precise gear engagement for optimal power and efficiency. This gearing system improves overall performance and ensures a reliable retrieve.
It features a multi-disc carbon fiber drag system, a slow oscillation system that ensures even line lay on the spool, and an ergonomic handle design with a comfortable EVA knob.
The reel is equipped with 8 stainless steel ball bearings plus 1 roller bearing and a gear ratio of 5.0:1.
- C-40X carbon frame and side plates
- Precision elliptical gearing system
- Multi-disc carbon fiber drag system
- Machined aluminum spool
- Slow oscillation system
- 5.0:1 gear ratio, 8 stainless steel ball bearings
- The precision elliptical gearing system, combined with the stainless steel ball bearings, contributes to a seamless retrieve and smooth operation
- The slow oscillation system ensures even line lay on the spool, reducing line friction and improving casting distance
- Powerful and consistent drag system
- Some users have experienced water intrusion into the reel
7. Penn Fathom FTH200LPLH Low Profile Baitcast Reel
The Penn Fathom low-profile baitcast reel is a high-quality reel known for its durability and performance. While it may not be the most budget-friendly option, it offers excellent value for its price.
It is built with a rigid metal frame and side plates, providing stability and longevity. The FTH200LPLH is equipped with a reliable and smooth drag system. The drag system provides sufficient power to handle the runs and fights of fluke, allowing you to control the fish during the fight.
It can accommodate a range of line weights, allowing you to spool the reel with the appropriate monofilament or braided line for targeting fluke.
The reel features an adjustable braking system that helps prevent backlash and allows for precise casting control.
The FTH200LPLH has a gear ratio of 6.2:1. This gear ratio provides a good balance between power and retrieval speed, allowing you to effectively work lures and jigs for fluke fishing. It is equipped with 5+1 stainless steel ball bearings.
- Full metal body and side plates
- MagTrax brake system
- Adjustable centrifugal braking system
- Level wind system
- Line capacity suitable for fluke fishing
- 6.2:1 gear ratio, 5+1 stainless steel ball bearings
- Smooth casting performance
- The drag provides consistent pressure and can be adjusted easily as needed
- Versatile – users have successfully used it for fluke fishing, as well as for other popular inshore species like striped bass, redfish, and snook
- Some users have experienced backlash or bird’s nests when casting with the reel, particularly if the braking system is not properly adjusted
- A few users have reported that the handle grips of the reel could be more comfortable
Things to Consider When Buying a Fluke Reel
Spinning or Baitcasting Reel?
Decide whether you prefer a spinning reel or a baitcasting reel. Spinning reels are generally easier to use, especially for beginners, while baitcasting reels offer greater casting control and power.
Fluke fishing often involves jigging and controlled retrieves, so a reel with a medium to high gear ratio (e.g., 6.0:1 or higher) is preferable for faster line retrieval.
Look for a reel with a smooth and reliable drag system. Fluke can put up a strong fight, so a reel with a strong and consistent drag performance is essential for controlling the fish during the fight.
Ensure that the reel’s drag power is suitable for fluke fishing. Look for reels with higher drag ratings, typically in the range of 10 to 20 pounds or more.
Fishing Line Capacity
Ensure that the reel has sufficient line capacity to handle the line weight and length you intend to use for fluke fishing. Consider the type of line you plan to use (monofilament or braided) and choose a reel with appropriate line capacity.
Fluke fishing often occurs in saltwater environments, so choosing a reel built to withstand corrosion and saltwater exposure is important.
Look for reels with corrosion-resistant materials, such as aluminum or graphite, and sealed components to protect against water intrusion.
Look for a reel with smooth operation and good casting performance. Quality ball bearings and advanced technologies, such as anti-reverse systems, can contribute to smoother retrieves and casting accuracy.
Leader & Terminal Tackle
- Leader: Attach a fluorocarbon or monofilament leader to your main line using a strong and reliable knot. The leader should be between 2 to 4 feet in length and have a slightly lower pound test than your main line. A leader helps prevent line breakage due to the fluke’s sharp teeth and provides added stealth near the bait or lure.
- Terminal Tackle: Fluke fishing often involves using a variety of terminal tackle options, including:
- Fluke Rigs: Use fluke rigs or bottom rigs with a sinker attached to the bottom and multiple hooks or bucktail teasers above. The hooks can be tipped with squid, strip baits, or live bait to entice fluke.
- Jigs: Jigging is a popular technique for fluke fishing. Choose jigs with varying weights (1/2 to 3 ounces) depending on the depth and current conditions. Opt for bucktail jigs or soft plastic jigs in fluke-attracting colors.
- Hooks: Use strong and sharp hooks suitable for fluke fishing. Depending on the rig or jig setup, select hooks in sizes ranging from 2/0 to 5/0 to accommodate different bait sizes.
What kind of rod for fluke fishing?
Opt for a spinning or baitcasting rod, depending on your preference and fishing style. Spinning rods are more commonly used for fluke fishing due to their ease of use and versatility.
Choose a rod with medium to medium-heavy power with a length between 6 to 7 feet.
What is the best rod action for fluke fishing?
Look for a fishing rod with a fast or moderate-fast action. A fast action rod will have a sensitive tip and a stiffer backbone, allowing for better hook sets and greater control when working your bait or lure.
A moderate-fast action rod provides a good balance between sensitivity and flexibility, making it suitable for a variety of fishing techniques.
Does the rod size matter when fishing for fluke?
Yes, the size of the rod does matter when fishing for summer flounder.
The choice of rod size for fluke fishing depends on personal preference, fishing conditions, and the specific techniques you plan to use. Longer rods generally excel in situations where casting distance and leverage are important, while shorter rods offer increased control and maneuverability.
If you are fishing in open water with plenty of space for casting, choose a 7 feet rod. On the other hand, if you are fishing in tight spaces or around structures, a slightly shorter rod, around 6 to 6.6 feet, may offer better maneuverability.
What is the best bait for flukes?
- Squid: Squid is a versatile and widely used bait for fluke fishing. Cut squid strips or whole squid can be threaded onto hooks and presented on fluke rigs or jigs.
- Strip Baits: Strip baits from fish such as mackerel and bluefish are commonly used for fluke fishing. Cut strips of these fish can be rigged on fluke rigs or jigs.
- Spearing: Live or fresh spearing (also known as sand eels) are often used on fluke rigs or jigs and mimic the natural prey of fluke.
- Gulp! Baits: Gulp! baits are synthetic soft plastic baits infused with scent attractants. They can be molded onto fluke rigs or jigs to mimic various prey items.
- Minnows: Live or fresh dead minnows, such as killifish or mud minnows, work wonders. They can be hooked through the lips or threaded onto fluke rigs or jigs. Minnows provide a natural presentation and enticing movement.
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