Home Product Reviews Best Fishing Reels for Redfish (Red Bass or Red Drum)

Best Fishing Reels for Redfish (Red Bass or Red Drum)

Catching redfish also easier compare to other inshore fish. You can easily do the job from the flats, off a dock, as well from the beaches. However, you will need a high performing reel that can handle a redfish. You will need a medium-sized, mid-weight reel to catch a redfish because it will limit the trauma during a long fight. According to your preference, you can also pick an ultra-light reel to catch a red drum. 

Here it is essential to understand that the weight of the reel is not the only factor that you need to consider while choosing the best fishing reels for redfish. In addition to that, you also need to check other factors such as the line capacity, drag strength, gear ratio while choosing a redfish reel. In this post, we will discuss those factors that you need to consider while buying a fishing reel for red bass, and after that, we will take you through a list of the top 10 fishing reels that are rated best for redfish. 


Things to Consider While Buying a Redfish Reel

Many popular brands manufacture fishing reels for catching redfish. Due to this reason, newbies always find it challenging to pick the best one according to their needs. But in this section, we will make things a lot easier for you. Here we will discuss the five most crucial consideration factors that you need to check while buying redfish reel. 

#1 Line Capacity

Channel bass are known for their fast swimming ability. To catch them you will need a long fishing line. Especially if you choose winter to catch red drums, then you will need a lot of fishing lines because, at that time,they stay at the bottom of the bays as well as in the deep holes. However, during summer, you will easily find them 10 to 30 feet below the water. So that time a comparatively shorter line will do the job. But our general recommendation is a deep spool with higher line capacity. 

#2 Gear Ratio

The gear ratio of a reel is one of the most crucial hardware that makes the reel operational and improves the efficiency of the angler. It stands for the number of times the bail rotates around the reel. We always recommend fishermen to opt for such a reel that has higher gear ratio because lower the gear ratio is; slower the reel will be. To catch redfish, you will need a fast-spinning reel. We always recommend anglers to opt for such a reel that has a gear ratio of 5:1 or more. It will enhance your efficiency and allow you to catch channel bass precisely. 

#3 Size and Weight

In the section above, we have already mentioned that you will need medium-sized or ultra-light reels to catch channel bass. So, if you want to choose a lightweight reel without compromising its performance, then you have to know about different types of materials that manufacturers use to build reels. Graphite and aluminum are the two most common materials that most of the popular brands use to manufacture spinning reels. 

Both of these materials have advantages and disadvantages. Take the example of aluminum first. Well, this metal is known for its durability and premium quality. Reels that are made of aluminum can easily stand the harshness of the saltwater. However, aluminum is comparatively greater in weight than graphite, but it is not as durable as aluminum. Due to this reason, many anglers find it difficult to choose the right material for their redfish reel. 

We always recommend beginners and pro anglers to opt for aluminum made fishing reel because it is not as heavy as stainless steel, and you can also catch a redfish with such a reel, which is slightly heavier than a mid-weight reel. But if you are a newbie, then you have to stick with a mid-size, mid-weight reel because it will help you to fight against a powerful channel bass. In that case, reels made of graphite will be yourbest pick. But here it is essential to understand that graphite-made reels are not as durable as aluminum reels. You can’t use them on the horizon of time, but if you take good care of your graphite reel, then you can confidently use it for 3 to 5 years. 

You can also pick such a reel that is made of composite materials. Most of the composite or composition materials are lightweight as well as durable. These days many brands are using both aluminum and graphite to manufacture a reel. It allows them to leverage the benefits of both the materials and make the reel more durable and lightweight. So, while buying a fishing reel, you need to check its built material very carefully because it will help you to understand how heavy the reel is. Meanwhile, you also have to ensure that the size of your reel is neither too big nor small. A mid-size reel is rated best for fishing red bass.

#4 Drag Strength

Red bass is bigger than most of the freshwater fish. Due to this reason, you will need a highly powerful reel with greater drag strength to catch this fish. The average weight of a market size adult red drum is 25 kg. So, while buying the best fishing reels for redfish, you have to ensure that it can handle that much weight. 

The drag strength of a reel is also responsible for its versatility. Here it is important to understand that most of the saltwater species are bigger and powerful than the freshwater fish. Due to this reason, you will need such a reel in your saltwater fishing gear that has greater drag strength. A reel with higher drag strength will allow you to catch other large species of saltwater fish such as yellowfin tuna, striped bass, great barracuda, etc. 

#5 Corrosion Resistance

Red drum is an inshore fish, so when you try to catch them, your reel gets exposed to the corrosiveness of inshore environments. Here it is essential to understand that the corrosion of the saltwater can easily damage the workability and the durability of your reel. Due to this reason, you need to check the built quality of the reel very carefully before buying it. Meanwhile, you also need to ensure that the reel comes with protective coatings. If you purchase any reel after checking these two things, then the corrosive environment of the bay areas won’t be able to erode your reel faster. 

Top 10 Best Fishing Reels for Redfish

In this section we will discuss the top 10 fishing reels that are rated best for fishing red drum. But before we start our list, check out the key specs of the 5 best fishing reels for redfish, and after that, we will start reviewing them one by one. 

ReelsMaterialGear RatioBearingsCorrosion ResistanceOur Overall Rating
Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing ReelFull Metal Body5.2:1 – 6.2:16 (5 stainless steel ball bearings + 1 instant anti reverse bearing)9.7/109.8/10
KastKingSharky III Fishing ReelFiber-reinforced graphiteNA11 (10+1)9.4/109.5/10
Abu Garcia Revo SX Low Profile Fishing ReelC6 carbon side plates6.6:1 – 7.3:110 (9 ball bearings + 1 roller bearing)9.4/109.3/10
PENN Spinfisher VI Spinning Fishing ReelIPX5 sealed body4.2:1 – 6.2:16 (5+1)8.9/109.2/10
KastKingMegatron Spinning ReelRigid aluminum frame4.5:1 – 5.0:18 (7+1)8.9/108.5/10

1. Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel

Penn Battle II is a high-quality fishing reel that comes at an affordable price. The manufacturing company of this reel, Penn has done an excellent job in pricing this product. Now even an average angler can afford a high-quality fishing reel without exceeding his budget. The price-performance ratio of this reel is excellent, and that’s the main reason we have listed this reel on the number one position. So anglers who are looking for the best fishing reels for redfish can confidently opt for Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel. 

The product is available in 8 different versions, from style number 1000 to 8000. All the features of these models are different than each other. The weight of Penn Battle II 1000 is 8.1 oz. And Penn Battle II 8000 weighs around 30.2 oz. The weight of the other six models of Penn Battle II ranges from 8.1 oz. to 30.2 oz. A mid-size and mid-weight spinning reel is suitable for fishing channel bass. Keeping that in mind, model number 5000 and 6000 can be your best pick. The gear ratio of both these models is 5.6:1, which is also suitable for red bass fishing. The max drag of these reels is 25 lbs. That allows you to catch medium-sized red drums. 

If you want to catch large-sized redfish, you have to opt for its 8000 model that offers a max drag of 30 lbs. This product is a bit heavier than the other versions of Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel. The weight of its 8000 model is 30.2 oz. If you are a skilled angler and want to catch large channel bass, then you should opt for this model. However, beginners should stick with lightweight reels. In that case, model number 3000 and 4000 will be their best option. The max drag capacity of both these models is 15 lbs.


2. KastKingSharky III Fishing Reel

If you are looking for an inexpensive, high-quality fishing reel to catch red bass, your search can end here. KastKingSharky III Fishing Reel is one of those limited products that come in a lucrative price tag without compromising the core features. The body and the rotor of this reel are made of fiber-reinforced graphite. Due to this reason, the reel is lightweight and suited best for beginner anglers. If you are looking for a lightweight reel to catch red drums, KastKingSharky III Fishing Reel can be a good option.

The reel has a total of 11 bearings that are made with shielded stainless steel. Due to this reason, the product isn’t just durable but also has excellent resistance to corrosion. The handle of this product is made of aluminum, and it has a higher line capacity than the other products that come in this price range. So, if you use this product, you will also be able to go after those fish faster than channel bass.

The max drag of this reel is large – 39.5 lbs. So, if you use this reel, you can go smoothly after large red bass species. The product is versatile enough to suit all types of conditions. You can also take it for freshwater fishing. Finally, we would conclude that this product offers excellent value for your money. If you are looking for a top-notch fishing reel to catch redfish, you can confidently opt for this reel.


3. Abu Garcia Revo SX Low Profile Fishing Reel

The fourth generation of Abu Garcia’s Revo SX is known for its durable and robust performance. The product is a bit pricey compared to the other reels mentioned in this list, but it worth the money. Abu Garcia Revo SX has a total of 4 variants, and all of them offer top-class performance. The gear ratio of REVO4 SX and REVO4 SX-L are the same – 6.6:1. Their retrieve rate is also the same, i.e., 27″. The higher versions of Abu Garcia Revo SX Low Profile Fishing Reel are REVO4 SX-HS and REVO4 SX-HS-L. The gear ratio of these models is 7.3:1, and their retrieve rate is 30″. 

The price-performance ratio of its models is excellent. According to your preference and budget, you can pick any of its models. If your budget is a bit lower, then you can go with REVO4 SX or REVO4 SX-L. However, if you are ready to pay more to leverage the power of higher gear ratio and retrieve rate, you can choose between REVO4 SX-HS and REVO4 SX-HS-L. 

All the models of Abu Garcia Revo SX have ten bearings. Its nine stainless steel ball bearings and one roller bearing ensure smooth operation. We can assure you that if you use REVO4 SX, you will enjoy the more seamless fishing experience. The manufacturing company of this product Abu Garcia has exquisitely designed this reel. They have used C6 carbon side plates for manufacturing this product. In this way, they have reduced the weight of the reel significantly without compromising the durability and the strength of the product. So, newbies can also use this reel and enjoy catching redfish. 

In the end, we would say that Abu Garcia Revo SX Low Profile Fishing Reel is a bit expensive, but it offers excellent features that you won’t find in its competitors. If you are ready to pay a bit higher to take your fishing efficiency to the next level, then Abu Garcia Revo SX can be your best pick. 


4. PENN Spinfisher VI Spinning Fishing Reel

Just like the name suggests, Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Fishing Reel is the sixth generation spool from Penn. This is a classic reel available in a wide range of sizes ranging from 2500 to 10,500. So, depending on what you are targeting, you can pick any model you like. All of its models offer different features, and their max drag, line retrieve, and weight is also different.

We always recommend anglers to choose from model number SSVI6500 to SSVI8500. All these models are midsized and mid-weight, and due to this reason, they are rated as the best reels for redfish fishing, and one of my personal favorites. The weight of SSVI6500 is 22.3 oz. But SSVI6500BLS weighs around 21.8 oz. However, the line retrieve of both the models is the same 42″. The weight of PENN Spinfisher VI’s SSVI7500 model is 26.5 oz. And its line retrieve is 38″. Our final recommendation in the Spinfisher VI series is SSVI8500. It weighs around 28.3 oz. And its line retrieve is 42″. 

The gear ratio of all these models also varies from each other. SSVI6500 and SSVI6500BLS has a gear ratio of 5.6:1. However, the gear ratio of its SSVI7500 and SSVI8500 version is 4.7:1. You will also notice a slight variation on their max drag. For example, the max drag of SSVI6500 and SSVI6500BLS is the same – 30 lbs. 

However, SSVI7500’s max drag is 35 lbs. And SSVI8500’s max drag is 40 lbs. Yet, all the models of PENN Spinfisher VI have six bearings.              

Finally, the time has come to make our final verdict. In our opinion, SSVI6500 can be your best pick to catch redfish. However, if you are a beginner and looking for a lightweight reel, you can opt for SSVI6500BLS. But, experienced anglers who need higher max drag can consider choosing SSVI7500 or SSVI8500.


5. KastKing Megatron Spinning Reel

If you are looking for a powerful reel for fishing channel bass, KastKingMegatron can be a good option. The product comes in 5 different models ranging from 2000 to 6000. However, the 6000 model is currently unavailable on Amazon, but you can buy its other variants from Amazon. The housing of the product is made of aluminum, and its handle also features aluminum alloy. Overall, it is fair to conclude that this is a premium product that comes at an affordable price.

The product features eight saltwater-ready ball bearings that make the performance of the reel exceptionally smooth. It performs astonishingly in both saltwater and freshwater environments. Because of its aluminum alloy skeletal frame, you might think that the product is a bit heavier. But that’s not true because KastKing Megatron also features graphite body panels that significantly reduce the reel’s weight. 

The gear ratio of the smaller two sizes of KastKing Megatron is 5.0:1, and the gear ratio of its other models is 4.5:1. Beginners who are looking for an ultra light reel can consider opting for its 3000 version. It weighs around 9.5 oz. And its gear ratio is 5.0:1, and it has the max drag of 33 lbs. However, if you are an experienced angler and the reel’s weight is not a big issue, you can opt for its 5000 version. The importance of this model is 13.2 oz. In addition, it has a higher max drag – 39.5 lbs. However, the gear ratio of this model is a bit lower – 4.5:1. So it can be considered as a slower fishing reel compared to its other models. However, if you are a skilled angler, it won’t be a big problem.


6. Daiwa BG Saltwater Spinning Reel

The housing of the reel is made of anodized machined aluminum. Due to this reason, the product can stand the corrosiveness of the saltwater environment. The reel has a total of 7 (6BB+1RB) bearings that improve the smoothness of the reel. So if you use this product, then you can quickly grab large and powerful red bass. This is the main reason that makes this product one of the top reels for redfish. The reel gear ratio is 5.6:1, which is rated standard for fishing red drum.

So finally, we would conclude that Daiwa BG Saltwater Spinning Reel offers excellent value for money. Its price-performance ratio is the main reason that makes this reel far better than its competitors. So, if you are looking for a high-quality reel to level up your fishing ability, you can opt for Daiwa BG Saltwater Spinning Reel. 


7. Shimano Spinning Fishing Reel

Shimano is one of those companies that believe quality is the key to success. So, if you buy their reel, then your satisfaction will be guaranteed. The product is made of high-quality materials, and due to this reason, it can easily stand a harsh environment. 

The manufacturing company of this product, Shimano has ideally designed this reel in such a way so that anglers can use it for saltwater fishing. They do not encourage the sale of counterfeit and fake products. So, the Shimano reel that you will buy will directly come from their certified supplier. Finally, we would conclude that this is an excellent fishing reel available at a reasonable price. So, the reel is worth buying. 


8. Dr.Fish Saltwater Spinning Reel

This is an excellent reel for surf fishing that you can also use to catch redfish. The reel’s body is corrosion resistant that allows the product to stand the harsh environment of seawater. The reel is available in 4 different variations, and all of them are highly powerful and durable. This is the main reason that makes this reel one of a fisherman’s favorite fishing reels for redfish. The max drag of its 10000 model is 40 lbs. which will allow you to catch large channel bass.

The reel has a total of 14 rust-resistant ball bearings, which will make your fishing experience smoother. Since this is an aluminum spool, you can also get heavier lines on the reel, which will allow you to cast longer, faster, and enable you to catch big red bass.


9. Yoshikawa Baitfeeder Spinning Reel

This reel works in a free-spool mode that allows a free-running line without cracking the bail. It will enable you to fight against big fish such as red drum while protecting the reel as well. The product is made of titan graphite and anodized CNC aluminum. Both these materials are corrosion-resistance, and due to this reason, the reel is highly durable.

The reel is available in 3 different variations, and their gear ratio ranges from 5.1:1 to 5.5:1. All of its models are rated suitable for fishing channel bass. So, if you are looking for a highly powerful and durable redfish reel, it could be a good option. 


10. SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel

Anglers who are looking for a high-quality saltwater fishing reel to catch channel bass can consider this product. This is one of the most affordable fishing reels listed in this post. The reel has a total of 5 variants, and all of them come at a reasonable price.

Its gear ratio ranges from 4.7:1 to 6.2:1. All the models of this reel have 11 ball bearings, but their max drag and line capacity are different. Finally, we would conclude that SeaKnight Rapid Saltwater Spinning Reel is an outstanding fishing reel that provides premium features at an affordable price. 


Conclusion

Redfish or red drum is relatively easy to catch if you have the right reel for it. Products that we have mentioned in this list are rated best for channel bass fishing. According to your preference, you can pick any reel you like and enjoy catching the most desired saltwater gamefish.

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Growing up on the south shore of Long Island, Chum Charlie has always had a passion for fishing. His favorite fish to catch is a striped bass and his favorite bait to use is bunker. Off the water, he enjoys blogging and sharing his favorite fishing tips & tricks that he has learned over the years.