Striped bass or striper (Moronesaxatilis) is one of the most temperamental targets that an angler can chase. Catching stripers are not only fun, but it might also give you a feeling of accomplishment. Perhaps this is the main reason for which striped bass remains in the middle of every hardcore angler’s universe.
Being a migratory fish, striped bass moves around a lot. Due to this reason hunting them can be an overwhelming job. You will need to find the right gear and the ability to outsmart them. In this post, we will take you through a list of some of the best reel options that you can use to win the striper-fishing game.
Things to Consider While Choosing Fishing Reels for Stripers
Most of the anglers think that all the striper reels are the same. Well, they need to understand the fact that many striper reels might have some qualities in common, but not all of them are created equal. Meanwhile, it is also essential to understand that striped bass fishing doesn’t require any specific technique. So, according to your preference, you can choose any style of reels for the species.
Striped bass, in general, spends their adult lives in saltwater, but they come to freshwater for spawning. So, you should consider the fishing location while choosing a reel because there are some gears that work well in saltwater and other works better in freshwater. So, first of all, you have to decide in which kind of water you want to catch striped bass. Once you have the answer only after that, you should make your buying decision. Well, fishing location is not the only thing that you need to consider while buying reels. Meanwhile, you should also check the following things.
These are the 7 most important things that you need to check while choosing a reel for striped bass. Considering these things will help you to pick the best reel, which will give you the best chance of getting success in fishing striper.
#1 Drag System
The control of the reel is an essential factor that you need to consider while fishing any species of bass. Only a quality drag system can provide you that. While choosing a drag system, you have to ensure that it is powerful. Meanwhile, you also need to ensure that the drag system is smooth, and it can reduce the jerky motions or sticking.
A high-pressure drag system can empower you while you are fighting with a strong fish such as striped bass. In general, it is fair to conclude that the higher the power, the better the performance is. So, while choosing a reel, you need to ensure that its drag system is highly powerful. In the end, it will create a real difference while fishing stripers.
#2 Gear Ratio
Gear ratio plays a vital role in improving the efficiency of anglers. In general, it is fair to conclude that the higher the gear ratio, the faster the retrieval will be. The standard gear ratio for bass fishing is around 5:1. So, while choosing a reel, you need to ensure that its gear ratio stays around the standard rate. Meanwhile, you also need to consider your personal preference while selecting the reel. If your angling style requires more cranking power, then you can opt for such a reel whose gear ratio is a little lower than the standard number.
While choosing a reel, you need to ensure that it is made of quality material. Many anglers often opt for such reels that are made of breakable plastic. This type reels don’t last for more than one season. Buying such reel won’t help you to hunt stripers. Due to this reason, we always recommend anglers to opt for such reels that are made of quality materials like anodized aluminum, carbon fiber, and graphite.
#4 Ball Bearings
All the spinning reels come with a ball bearings feature. Its main purpose is to improve your pulling experience by providing smoothness and stability. Some reels also feature roller bearings. While choosing a reel, you have to ensure that it is powered by a higher number of bearings because the greater the number of bearings, the smoother the reel will perform. Meanwhile, it will also give you better control. Smoothness and control are the two most important things that you need from your reel, while catching a strong fish like the striper. So, finally, we would conclude that you should opt for a reel with the maximum number of ball bearings that come in your budget.
#5 Reel Size
You also need to choose the right size of reel to improve your fishing skills. While selecting the size of the reel, you also have to consider your fishing line. The lighter the line you want to use, the smaller the reel you should buy. While buying a reel, you need to check its line capacity. If you are buying reel online, then check the product information very carefully. If you want to purchase reels offline, then ask the shopkeeper about its line capacity or read its packet carefully. After checking the information, if you think that the reel will fit with your fishing line, then you can confidently buy it.
#6 Anti-Reverse Handle
Theanti-reverse functionality will prevent the handle from spinning backward. As a result, you will be able to ensure that the hook sets powerfully and accurately. While finding spinning reel, if you find such a product that has backward motion, then we would advise you to avoid it. In the end, your landing net will thank you for this. So while choosing a reel, it is essential to ensure that its handle is equipped with an anti-reverse feature. Meanwhile, it is also vital to ensure that the arm and the knob of the handle are substantial.
#7 Corrosion Resistance
This is the final thing that you need to check while choosing a reel. For any kind of fishing, you need to ensure that the reel is corrosion resistant. Most of the metal made reels corrode in contact with water (especially in saltwater). Here it is essential to understand that corrosion can put an end to the working life of the reel faster. So, while choosing a reel, you have to ensure that it designed ideally so that it could stand up to the corrosive environment. To ensure that, you can select reels that come with protective coatings.
Top 10 Fishing Reels for Striped Bass
In this section, we will talk about the top 10 best fishing reels that you can consider buying for fishing stripers. But before we start the list, here’s a quick round-up of our top five picks.
|Reels||Material||Gear Ratio||Bearings||Corrosion Resistance||Our Overall Rating|
|Penn Squall LevelWind||Graphite frame and forged aluminum spool||4:1||3||8.5/10||9.7/10|
|Okuma Cold Water Linecounter Trolling Reel||Carbonite||05:01:01||3 (2BB + 1RB)||8.2/10||9.4/10|
|Shimano Torium Conventional Saltwater Star Drag Fishing Reel||Aluminum||6.2:1||3||8.1/10||9.1/10|
|Abu Garcia C3-6500STSPC Ambassadeur Striper Special||Aluminum, Stainless Steel||5.3:1||4 (3 stainless steel ball bearings + 1 roller bearing)||8.0/10||8.8/10|
|Shimano Stradic Ci4+||Carbon||6:1||7 (6 bb + 1 rb)||7.8/10||8.6/10|
1. Penn Squall LevelWind
In the Squall series, Penn offers 4 types of reels. Among all of them, LevelWindprovides the best value for money. The graphite frame of this reel makes this product lightweight. Due to this reason, managing, this reel will become easier for you. The gear ratio of this reel is 4:1. For bass fishing, we recommend gear ratio around 5:1. However, the 4:1 gear ratio won’t affect your fishing performance much.
The reel has 3 bearings, and they are made of stainless steel. While choosing a reel, you have to understand that the number of bearings is not the only thing that you should consider while making your buying decision. Meanwhile, you also need to check the quality of the bearings. The built quality and the material of the bearings are excellent. Because of its high-quality bearings, it will provide you more control and make your fishing experience smoother.
The bronze coating of Penn Squall LevelWind reduces corrosion and allows anglers to use this reel for a long period of time. In comparisonto Penn’s other reels, this is a mid-range product. However, Squall LevelWind performs far better than the other reels that come in its price range. The manufacturer of this reel has not just focused on its built quality. The look of this product is also marvelous. You won’t see any useless features or flashy colors in its design. The combination of black and golden colors gives this product an iconic look.
Left-handed anglers often find it challenging to choose a quality reel for addressing their fishing needs. But luckily, Penn also manufactures this reel at left-handed configuration. So, if you are a left-hander even then, you can consider opting for this product. Finally, we would conclude that the built quality of this reel is excellent, and its design is elegant. This well-engineered reel also offers top-notch performance. So, if you are looking for the best reel at this price range, then Penn Squall LevelWind can be your best pick.
2. Okuma Cold Water Linecounter Trolling Reel
This reel has a self-lubricating gearbox system. So anglers who want to make their fishing experience smooth can consider opting for this product. The reel is also known for its excellent built quality and reliability. You can also adjust its drag setting by using the ratcheting drag star. The product is also corrosion resistance. This is another important reason for which fishermen across the globe love this reel. One thing we can assure you for sure Okuma Cold Water Linecounter Trolling Reel will stay with you for a long period of time.
The product is made of carbonite, and this is the main reason that makes this product corrosion resistance. Carbonite also makes this reel lightweight and improves the efficiency of the anglers. The weight of the reel is 15 ounces,and its gear ratio is 05:01:01, which is perfect for striped bass fishing. If you are a serious marine angler even, then you can consider this reel. The mechanical stabilization system of this reel always stays in precise alignment, stable and strong. The magnetic control system of this reel is fully sealed and 100% waterproof. It improves casting distance and reduces backlash.
The reel has a total of 3 bearings that will make your fishing experience smoother. Okuma Cold Water Linecounter Trolling Reel is also equipped with anti-reverse roller bearing, and its handle will fit comfortably in your hand. So, overall we would say that the reel is solid, and it provides a smooth drag. However, there’s one thing that you might not like about this reel – the noise of its clicker. Anglers who prefer fishing in complete silence should avoid this reel. But for others, Okuma Cold Water Linecounter Trolling Reel can be an excellent pick.
The reel is made of high-quality materials, and its features will address all the needs of professionals. The reel is highly corrosion resistance, and its adjustable drag setting ensures precision. The self-lubricating gearbox system is another important feature that makes this product far better than its competitors. So, if you are looking for one of the best fishing reels for stripers, then you can confidently opt for Okuma Cold Water Linecounter Trolling Reel.
3. Shimano Torium Conventional Saltwater Star Drag Fishing Reel
If you love fishing in the sea, then Shimano Torium Star Drag Fishing Reel can be your best pick. The manufacturing company of this product has ideally designed this reel so that it could stand the atmospheric corrosion of the seawater. The reel can also handle all the saltwater techniques such as jigging, trolling, as well as casting. The product is made of aluminum, and due to this reason, Shimano Torium Star Drag Fishing Reel is lightweight. This is the main selling point of this reel. By using this reel, you can take your fishing performance to the next level.
The gear ratio of this reel is ultra-high: 6.2:1. Overall it is fair to conclude that Shimano Torium Star Drag Fishing Reel offers maximum versatility, and it is suitable for striper fishing. The product is made of aluminum, and its super-rigid body provides unmatched strength. The powerful super stopper anti-reverse system of Shimano Torium Star Drag Fishing Reel improves the functionality of the reel and helps anglers to improve their fishing performance.
This reel also features a variable brake system that delivers precision casting in almost every condition. Shimano Torium Star Drag Fishing Reel has 3 bearings, and they are anti-rust that ensures long-term corrosion protection. This is a right-handed reel that allows anglers to catch stripers with minimum effort. The lightweight (19.20 ounces) feature of the reel will also boost your fishing outcome.
However, there are a few things that you might not like about this reel. The star drag of this product is located too close to the control knob. However, if you think carefully, then you will understand that it is not a big problem. So, finally, we would conclude that Shimano Torium Star Drag Fishing Reel is super-fast, and it is ideally designed for saltwater fishing. So, if you are looking for an excellent saltwater reel, at a great price, then Shimano Torium Star Drag Fishing Reel can be your best pick.
4. Abu Garcia C3-6500STSPC Ambassadeur Striper Special
This reel is small in size, and it has smooth retrieves and excellent casting capabilities. The reel is very easy to set and handle. Abu Garcia C3-6500STSPC performs excellently in lagoons as well as in canals. The reel has an exceptional braking system, and its bent handle increases the power of angler’s cranking.
The reel is made of stainless steel and aluminum. Abu Garcia C3-6500STSPC might not be as light as the other reels that we have mentioned above in this list, but overall it is fair to conclude that the reel is lightweight. The product has 4 bearings. 3 of them are stainless steel ball bearings, and 1 is roller bearing. The bearings of the reel are made of high-quality material, and it ensures a smooth fishing experience. The gear rating of Abu Garcia C3-6500STSPC is 5.3:1, which is ideal for striped bass fishing.
The drag system of this reel is powered by Carbon Matrix™. It ensures that the anglers don’t lose their catch and successfully bring it to the boat. So, it is fair to conclude that by using Abu Garcia C3-6500STSPC, you will be able to improve your fishing efficiency. The reel also features a 6-pin centrifugal brake. It ensures that the anglers will be able to slow down the spool and prevent it from overrunning. The reel is also equipped with an extended bent handle that enhances the cranking power of the angler.
The price of Abu Garcia C3-6500STSPC is slightly high. So it is not suitable for budget fishing. However, if the high price tag is not an issue for you and if you are ready to buy an expensive reel for availing some excellent features, then Abu Garcia C3-6500STSPC can be your best pick. This heavy-duty reel makes casting smooth. The PVC knob of the reel ensures a tight grip. Finally, we would conclude that Abu Garcia C3-6500STSPC is a high-quality product, and it is worth buying.
5. Shimano Stradic Ci4+
Anglers who are familiar with the Shimano Stradic line of fishing reels know why Shimano Stradic Ci4+ is far better than the other reels of its family. The manufacturer of this product launched this reel in April 2016, and after that, they have upgraded the product several times in order to make it more efficient. The best feature of this reel is its X-Ship technology that has a double bearing supported pinion gear. It ensures smoother retrieval, especially then when the cranking is under heavy loads.
The product features 6 highly protected stainless steel ball bearings along with 1 roller bearing. This is the main reason for which Shimano Stradic Ci4+ is known for its smoothness. All these bearings are heavily protected from all the sides that minimize the possibilities of catching dirt, salt penetrating, and water. So, one thing we can assure you for sure. If you use Shimano Stradic Ci4+, then your fishing smoothness will be guaranteed.
The manufacturer of this product has ideally designed this reel for both saltwater and freshwater fishing. This is the main reason that makes this reel versatile. All kinds of anglers, regardless of their preferences, can opt for this reel. The product is made of carbon,and due to this reason, Shimano Stradic Ci4+ is lightweight. It will ensure your best fishing experience. The gear ratio of this reel is also excellent, i.e., 6:1.
It’s hard to find out the cons of this reel, but still, if we have to figure out something, then we would say that its high price tag can be a pain point for some anglers. Meanwhile, it is also important to know that there’s no anti-reverse switch in Shimano Stradic Ci4+. However, if these two things are not big issues for you and if you are ready to pay higher for buying a high performing reel, then Shimano Stradic Ci4+ can be your best pick. This is nearly a waterproof reel that is made of high-quality material. Anglers who are looking for a lightweight and super smooth reel can opt for Shimano Stradic Ci4+.
6. Penn Fathom Lever Drag 2-Speed Reel
This is a conventional and also a highly popular reel in the market. Penn Fathom Lever Drag 2-Speed Reel comes in various sizes, which is perfect for inshore, offshore, and nearshore fishing. This is the main reason that makes this product the best choice in the Fathom series. The all-metal body of Penn Fathom Lever Drag 2-Speed makes the reel durable, but meanwhile, it is also essential to understand that the product is also known for its lightweight feature.
The manufacturing company has added some astonishing features in this reel. Let’s start with its Quick-Shift™ 2-speed system. It allows anglers to engage and disengage with low and high gears in the reel. You have to push the quick shift button and then rotate the knob for going low to high gear. You can do this thing without taking off your hand from the reel.
The gear ratio of its FTH15LD2 model is 6.1:1, which is perfect for bass fishing. It has a total of5 bearings that ensures smooth fishing. All these bearings are made of stainless steel, and they are well shielded. This feature makes the bearings corrosion resistant. So, anglers who are looking for a highly functional and durable reel at an affordable price can opt for Penn Fathom Lever Drag 2-Speed Reel.
7. SHIMANO NASCI Inshore Spinning Reel
This reel is equipped with high-end features, and it is available at an affordable price. The product is available in 5 different sizes. The manufacturer of this reel has designed the product for freshwater activities.However, it also performs well in inshore and saltwater situations. The reel has a total of 5 bearings. 4 of them are ball bearings, and 1 is roller bearing. It will help you to get a smooth fishing experience.
The composite body of the product makes this reel lightweight. Shimano Torium HGA Master is also known for its strong yet silky-smooth drag. The best thing about this reel is its versatility that allows the product to perform well in all types of conditions, let that be coastal situations or freshwater.
However, there are a few things that you might not like about this reel. It has some issues in the drag clicking mechanism that reduces the performance of an angler. The reel is not fully sealed, and there’s no reel-reverse switch as well. Overall we would conclude that this is an entry-level reel. Beginners who are looking for mid-advanced features in a reel can consider opting for Shimano Torium HGA Master.
8. Abu Garcia Revo X Spinning Fishing Reel
This is an exceptionally good reel that any angler can choose for bass fishing. The manufacturer initially designed it for professionals, but now many amateurs also use this reel. The smart and forward-thinking design of this high performing reel will surely blow your mind. The reel is lightweight, and due to this reason, handling this product is super easy.
Abu Garcia Revo X Spinning Fishing Reel is available in 4 different models. The gear ratio of all the models is 6.2:1. Due to this reason, the reel is ideal for bass fishing. All the models of this Abu Garcia Revo X have 7 bearings. 6 of them are stainless steel HPCR™ bearings, and the other one is roller bearing. The quality of all the bearings is excellent, and it will make your fishing experience smoother. The reel is also equipped with a Carbon Matrix™ hybrid drag system, which will take your fishing skill to the next level.
This product also has a large PVC knob, which will make fishing an easier job for you. The X2-Cräftic alloy frame of Abu Garcia Revo X Spinning Fishing Reel makes this product corrosion resistant. So, if you are looking for a durable, lightweight, and comfortable reel, then Abu Garcia Revo X can be your best pick.
9. Tica Striper LE Series Baitcasting Reel
The key feature of this product is its 8 ball bearings. These bearings are rust-resistant and shielded. They will make your fishing experience smooth. Besides, the reel is also known for its durability and strength. The anti-reverse feature of this reel will make fishing a comfortable and enjoyable job for you. Tica Striper LE Series Baitcasting Reel is available in two different models. Tica has designed the Le200 model for the right-handers and Le201 model for left-handers. So, all types of anglers can opt for this reel.
However, there are some features that you might not like about this reel. For example, take its handle, which is slightly oversized. Many operational procedures of this reel are manual. Many anglers also say that this reel is not suitable for large fish like pike or bass. However, if you think carefully, then you will understand that not all the stripers are large in size. Overall we would conclude that this is an excellent entry-level reel. Beginner and amateur anglers who are looking for a reel at a reasonable price can opt for this product.
10. Daiwa BG Spinning Reel
This reel has enough drag power that allows it to handle larger species of gamefish. If you want to catch striped bass even, then this reel would be handy for you. Daiwa BG Spinning Reel is suitable for freshwater, as well as saltwater applications. This is the main reason that makes this reel a versatile product. The reel works excellent for bass fishing, but it also works well for fishing trout, redfish, as well as tuna.
The maximum drag capacity of this reel is 17.6 lb. So you can understand why this product is rated so suitable for bass fishing. The line retrieve of this reel is 43.1, which will surely boost your fishing performance. The gear ratio of Daiwa BG Spinning Reel is 5.7:1, which is ideally designed to catch striped bass. The reel has a total of 7 ball bearings, and they will make your fishing experience smoother.
The body of the reel is anodized. However, its spool is only painted. That’s the only drawback of this reel, but it won’t create a big difference. Overall it is fair to conclude that Daiwa BG Spinning Reel has a powerful and strong drag that makes this product ideal for bass fishing.
Striper fishing is fun and exciting. However, for such adventures, you need the right fishing reel, which is ideally designed to handle big fish like stripers. Hope the list was informative, and it will help you to pick the best reel for striped bass. The right reel will help you to go home faster with a trophy fish.