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The Best Fishing Reels For Your Next Wilderness Trip

By Everest.com

The Best Fishing Reels For Your Next Wilderness Trip

Fishing is one of those sports that can be casual or competitive. It’s important to have the right gear for whatever situation you’ll find yourself in. There have been many beginner mistakes that have resulted in broken gear.

Having a good fishing rod is just part of the puzzle. A good reel is what really brings in the fish. There are countless fishing reel models on the market with a myriad of features that can turn off those new to fishing.  

What Types Of Fishing Reels Are There?

Catering to beginner and advanced anglers can be split amongst spinner reels and baitcast reels.  

Spinner Reels

Spinner reels can be used by beginners and advanced users. They work in a variety of environments and provide a great balance between strength and versatility. 

Pros

  • More balanced with reel on the bottom
  • Less expensive than a baitcast reel
  • Can be used with light bait and lures

Cons

  • You lose distance with heavier lures
  • Using the bail can require refined techniques to avoid tangling
  • Not as durable or strong as baitcasters

Baitcast Reel

More advanced in both construction and ability to reel in fish, baitcasters are suited for advanced anglers due to their learning curve. 

Pros

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Handles the heavier fish quite well
  • Customizable for different fish

Cons

  • They can get expensive
  • Can be difficult to learn because of backlashing (line gathering in the spool)
  • Generally have to find one for left or right handed people

What To Look for In A Good Fishing Reel

A good fishing reel will depend on what kind of fish you want to catch. Larger fish like salmon will require a baitcast reel that can handle a heavy line. Bringing the wrong reel and line to your fishing adventure may make it a little more difficult to catch the fish you want.  

What kind of line your reel works best with is also a consideration to look out for. There are three main types of line, including: 

  • Monofilament
  • Braided
  • Fluorocarbon

Each has their own strengths and weaknesses and you have to ensure that it is compatible with both your rod and reel. Monocarbon is the most common and they are great for light fishing, however it has a lot of memory and will kink often . 

Braided line is what it sounds like and is multiple layers of line braided together. It doesn’t have the memory issue that mono does but it is heavier. 

Fluorocarbon is a specialty line and it provides both the strength of braid and mono without the memory and weight issues. Fluorocarbon line is difficult for fish to see in the water whereas the other two are easier to spot.  

Construction and materials used are important factors because your reel is going to get wet and banged around. You can generally tell if a reel will be of good quality just by picking it up. 

Try out the individual parts of the reel and see if there are any catching or odd sounds. Of course you won’t figure out if it’s good quality until you take it out and try it but at least this way you have a general idea. 

The Best Fishing Reels From Abu Garcia

Abu Garcia is a company that takes fishing seriously. They started manufacturing fishing reels in 1941 and are known for producing high quality products that seldom break down, even after years of use. 

They have a reel for every situation and here are the best reels they offer on the market.   

Spincast

Abu Garcia Max Pro 10 Spinning Reel

Specs

  • Bearing count: 7
  • Gear ratio:5:2:1
  • Price: $59.99

Pros/Cons

  • + Rocket line management
  • + Instant anti-reverse
  • - Aluminum construction could break easily

This reel is perfect for Bass fishing and is capable of long distance casting. The light aluminum construction is great for portability and the company has taken the best parts of its other series and incorporated it into the Max Pro. 

Abu Garcia Revo®

Specs

  • Bearing count: 9
  • Gear ratio: 6:2:1
  • Price: $169.95

Pros/Cons

  • + Carbon body with aluminum gearbox
  • + Lightweight graphite rotor
  • - Smallish bail

If you’re into backcountry fishing and want a light reel this is the choice for you. It has a carbon body insert that makes it incredibly easy to carry for long periods of time.

Abu Garcia Revo® Rocket 20 Spinning Reel

Specs

  • Bearing count: 9
  • Gear ratio: 7:0:1
  • Price: $229.95

Pros/Cons

  • + Fast line retrieval
  • + Braid ready spool
  • + K-clutch anti reverse

This is for anglers who like to throw their line out far with bait. Once out there the incredibly fast system recovers the line quickly so you can pull in your fish.

Abu Garcia Max STX 20 Spinning Reel

Specs

  • Bearing count: 6
  • Gear ratio: 5:2:1
  • Price: $49.99

Pros/Cons

  • + Lightweight graphite body
  • +5 bearings + 1 anti reverse bearing

This is a great well-rounded rod for beginners and advanced users. It features simple construction with not a lot of tech so that it's durable and less can break. If the spool size is too small check out the other one below for a larger size.

Also See: Max STX 30

Abu Garcia Max X 40 Spinning Reel

Specs

  • Bearing count: 4
  • Gear ratio: 5:8:1
  • Price: $44.99

Pros/Cons

  • + 3 ball bearings plus 1 roller bearing
  • + Graphite body and rotor
  • + Comes in a pre-spooled version

The Max X series is designed to deliver performance in a cost effective design. It has a lightweight graphite body that is reinforced with a machined aluminum spool. If you’re looking for a strong reel for not a lot of money, this is the one for you. Comes in different reel sizes below.

Also See: Max STX 30 and the Max STX 30

Spincast

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur® Catfish Pro

Specs

  • Bearing count: 5
  • Gear ratio: 5:3:1
  • Price: $259.95

Pros/Cons

  • + 6 pin brake system
  • + Aluminum construction
  • + Synchronized wind level system

If you’re an avid catfish hunter this is a great option for you. The sturdy aluminum construction allows you to use a heavy gauge line so that you can snag the biggest catfish you can find. The brake system makes keeping the fish under control a breeze.

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur® C3 Carp Special Round

Specs

  • Bearing count: 4
  • Gear ratio: 5:3:1
  • Price: $169.95

Pros/Cons

  • + 3 stainless steel bearings and a roller bearing
  • +Extended bent handle gives additional torque

This reel is specifically designed for carp fishing. It’s a unique system with a carbon drag system and 6 pin centrifugal brake system for accurate casting. If you’re looking for a similar setup for Striper fishing, see below.

Also See: Abu Garcia Ambassadeur® C3 Striper Special Round

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C3 6500 Round Baitcast Reel

Specs

  • Bearing count: 4
  • Gear ratio: 5:3:1
  • Price: $149.95

Pros/Cons

  • + Ergonomic design
  • + Level wind system keeps your casting straight
  • + Ergonomic design

A simple baitcast reel with proven performance for the all-round angler who needs durability. This is the reel that you bring when you are fishing new lakes or just want something that handles a variety of situations in a lightweight fashion.

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur® STX 6600 Round Reel

Specs

  • Bearing count: 5
  • Gear ratio: 5:9:1
  • Price: $129.95

Pros/Cons

  • + Recessed reel foot allows the unit to sit lower
  • + Multi-disk drag
  • + Compact bent handle

A really good balance between durability and cost, the STX 6600 is another great choice for those looking for something that can do a little bit of everything. It can handle up to 17 lb line for mono and 30 lb braid. Overall a great rod for mid to large sized fishing.

Abu Garcia Revo STX Generation 4

Specs

  • Bearing count: 11
  • Gear ratio: 8:0:1
  • Price: $199.95

Pros/Cons

  • + EVA knobs for fatigue management
  • + Corrosion resistant

Abu Garcia wants you to fish all day with this reel and they have included a bunch of features to help with that. Carbon plating makes this reel extremely lightweight. Carbon matrix drag system makes bringing in your catch smooth. It also provides additional castability and strength against heavier fish.

Abu Garcia Jordan Lee Low Profile High-Speed Baitcast Reel

Specs

  • Bearing count: 11
  • Gear ratio: 2 different gear ratios
  • Price: $109.95

Pros/Cons

  • + Anodized aluminum spool
  • + 90mm carbon handle
  • + One piece graphite frame

Pro bass fisherman Jordan Lee teamed up with Abu Garcia to create a sweet reel that has years of experience to back it up. It sports two different gear ratios and has a left/right hand retrieve. The one piece graphite frame makes it a sturdy product as there are no separate pieces that can come loos and brak from the frame.

Final Thoughts

While searching for a fishing reel can be a daunting task for someone new to angling, Abu Garcia makes it easy to find the right one with you. They take tried and true designs, apply newly tested materials that are lightweight and durable, and present them at a reasonable cost.

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As local communities continue to update Covid-19 regulations, local destinations for outdoor recreation may be closed. Please visit official websites for the latest information.

Read what the Outdoor Experts are Sharing!

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