Spincast reels – also known as “push button” or “closed face” reels – get a bad rap. That’s largely the result of the fact that, unlike most “serious” tackle, many of them come in cellophane-coated packages that require a staple remover to fully unravel it. Their image isn’t bolstered by the fact that some of them come adorned with various cartoon characters and Barbie, although that clearly helps their sales numbers.
What these reels have going for them, however, is nostalgia. Just about every freshwater angler caught his or her first fish on spincasting gear, and whether it was a finger-length bluegill, a stocked hatchery trout, or a small bass, that’s a special moment. Fortunately, manufacturers haven’t left their development in the dust, and while you may need to search a little to find one that’ll serve your needs, there are a surprising number of quality products out there.
How Do Spincast Reels Work?
The first and foremost thing to understand its working mechanism is to get familiar with the line release method. Regardless of what spincast reel you choose, it will come with a button or a lever. You can make the cast by engaging them to release the line.
Once the trap touches the water, you can secure the line by rotating the handle. At this time, you can re-engage the mechanism as per the requirement. By then, the drag system will also be ready to release the line while keeping it tight at the same time.
Now, make your cast by pressing the button or pulling the lever – whatever your spincast reel features. As soon as you acquire enough momentum, release it. This pressing and releasing of the button or level will retract the pins, which will, in turn, allow the line to flow freely from the spool.
Last, twist the handle till you feel that the line is tight. That’s all you need to do if you are using spincast reels. Just make sure to manage your drag adjustment properly. If you want to increase it, spin the wheel in the ‘+’ direction. Similarly, spinning it in the ‘-‘ direction will decrease it.
Planning to purchase a spincast reel to begin your fishing journey? It’s great to have an understanding of their components. This will not only save you time, money, and effort but will also help you choose the best spincast reel for your future fishing expeditions.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Spincasting Reel
Make sure you understand exactly what a spincast reel is before you buy one. Spincasters operate differently than spinning or baitcasting reels, and are often viewed as starter reels because of their easy-to-use nature. But modern models with upgraded components perform just as well as their revolving and stationary spool counterparts in a variety of fishing situations.
Simple Design with User-Friendly Control
The simplicity and user-friendliness of the spincast reels are indeed unmatched. However, as there are many varieties available on the market, you may want to check those that come with a push-button. The push-button spincast reels are very easy to operate and work best for amateurs who are learning the art of fishing.
Generally, the common materials used for high-end rods include graphite, aluminum, and other such metals. As long as your budget permits, aim to get a spincast reel of one of these materials if you are looking for a durable option. You’ll even come across the plastic spincast reels that are easily manageable and light in weight. However, they are only good for kids.
It’s best to choose a spincast reel that is lighter and smaller in size. At the same time, be sure to choose a size that does not compromise durability and performance. Don’t consider buying a large reel if you’re already using lightweight fishing gear. Cutting weight is mandatory as fishing is all about endurance.
While choosing the spincast reel, go with the ones that have powerful bearings. The two most desirable materials to consider here is either ceramic or stainless steel. Ceramic bearings are resistant to rust and corrosion and have almost frictionless spinning.
However, the spincast reels that have ceramic bearings are fragile and quite expensive. On the other hand, stainless steel bearings won’t give you as smooth a performance as ceramic ones. But, at the same time, they too are extremely resistant to corrosion and are not as expensive.
The more, the merrier – follow this rule while checking your preferred spincast reel’s gear ratio. Gear ratio is the number of times a spool rotates while spinning the handle. Spincast reels typically have gear ratios between 2.5 to 4.5:1. Considering a spincast reel with a higher gear ratio is always recommended.
Take-up pins are responsible for gathering the lines as you retrieve them. They start working as soon as you start spinning the handle. However, as they tend to wear faster, they can decrease the line retrieval potential. It’s best to choose a spincast reel that includes metal take-up pins. They are sure to last longer as compared to the plastic ones.
Having a proper drag system not only prevents the fish from pulling the line but also fixes the hook in the mouth of the fish. This, in turn, gives you time to reel it in slowly. However, don’t get a spincast reel with a huge drag, as these reels are not suitable for fishing large fish.
If you’re a beginner, it is essential to consider the anti-reverse system while choosing a spincast reel. It will help you release the line while preventing you from spinning the handle. Some reels have a switch to turn it on and off manually, while others have an automatic anti-reverse system. Either way, it’s best to go with the spincast reel with an anti-reverse function.
Our Top Picks
If you had only one spincasting reel to use in various settings, the Pflueger President is the go-to default. It will match all those must-haves on your list. It is arguably the best value in a closed face reel, and the construction level is pure quality. Put five stainless steel ball bearings with dual titanium pins, an instant anti-reverse bearing, and a body constructed of aluminum to create one of the best spincast reels.
Its braid ready spool allows you to tie your fishing line directly to it makes a more durable anchor point. The spool-applied drag system grants you full control over how much or how little resistance to offer the fish on the other end of your line.
Fishing line capacity is a strength with this quality spincasting reel. The Pflueger President spincast reel can handle 10, 12, and 15 monofilament fishing line and up to 20-pound braided line.
You’ll need all that line capacity since the Pflueger President spincasting reel on a quality rod offers a solid fishing setup that allows tremendous casting distance.
The great New York Yankee Hall-of-Fame catcher Yogi Berra once said, “I’d give my right arm to be ambidextrous.” It won’t cost you an appendage if you’re on the water with the Abumatic 170 Spincast reel by Abu Garica. The Abumatic 170 features an easy conversion from right to left-handed, so it’s a reliable option for any angler.
A four-ball bearing system made of stainless steel with aluminum body and cone, the QuadCam pickup system for fast line pickup, and an ultra-smooth drag system make this compact little reel a prevalent choice among the many spincasting fishing reels on the lakes and river of the USA.
It comes pre-spooled with Berkley Trilene XL line and features an ultra-smooth drag system with a maximum setting of eight pounds, so you’re ready for high-intensity action straight out of the box. The instant anti-reverse system design prevents backlash, and the 3.6:1 gear ratio ensures smooth, powerful retrieves even with the biggest fish battling you on the other end of the line. Your line might fail, but your spincasting reel won’t.
3. Zebco 33
If there’s a single word that you should associate with closed-face reels, it’s Zebco. Clearly the dominant manufacturer of this design, more people fish Zebco spincast reels than any other brand–no question.
The venerable Zebco 33 is a great place to start. Featuring an attractive, durable stainless cover, it’s all business. The Zebco 33 also offers ceramic take-up pins, so corrosion will never be an issue. Are they as good as the titanium Pflueger uses? We’re not sure, but we do know that legions of Zebco users aren’t complaining!
As generations of anglers can attest, this reel is durable and reliable, if somewhat lacking in flash. A single bearing doesn’t make this the smoothest operator on the water, and though Zebco advertizes all-metal gears, don’t expect miracles.
Zebco is pushing forward spincast reel design with some improvements that aim to alleviate spincast reel issues. The low friction pickup system design is made to help keep the line from kinking and twisting for as long as possible. By reducing the friction on the line with each cast, the line lasts longer overall before deforming.
I should mention that they managed to pack in an impressive 7 bearings total. It’s an 6+1 design so there are 6 bearings in the reel and 1 in the clutch. This is a pretty common design in high end spinning reels and closed face reels which Zebco has brought into the spincast market.
This reel is designed to be a fast-hauling reel for pulling in tons of line with ease. That means it won’t be so easy to fight and haul huge fish that really want to pull away from you.
KastKing is one of my favorite brands on the market. They have taken many of the classic designs and iterations and improved or put their own twist on many of them. This small, lightweight spincast reel is a classic function with a modern look.
Unlike any of the other spincast reels we’ve reviewed so far, the KastKing Brutus has a drag setting that’s adjusted by a wheel located next to the crank. I find these to be a bit harder to adjust than the top mounted friction wheel style so famous to the Zebco reels, but it’s nothing that earns a negative mark.
Unlike the other spincast reels on our list the KastKing Brutus features a slightly improved drag system. The carbon matrix drag system uses a carbon-based friction disc that offers a slight performance upgrade over felt drag discs.
Daiwa is among the most well-known brands in the fishing industry when it comes to producing high-quality rods and reels that are capable of serving any level of angler, including professionals. The Daiwa Goldcast Spincast Reel is the company’s signature model when it comes to premium spincast reels. This particular reel offers an incredibly smooth casting and reeling experience thanks to its quality bearing and 4.1:1 gear ratio.
This reel is the ideal choice for beginners who are looking to invest in a solid product that is made with all-around quality, but can also serve experienced anglers who want to once again experience the simplicity and ease that comes with using a spincast. The Goldcast features interior metal components that are designed for optimal quality and and long-lasting performance in both freshwater or saltwater fishing scenarios.
The Zebco Bullet Spincast Reel certainly lives up to its name and speedy reputation as this reel is made to be exceptionally smooth while giving anglers a faster retrieve in most cases using standard sized fishing line. It features a noticeably-different appearance than most other items on our list of the best 10 spincast reels thanks to its blue cast aluminum housing. The body also offers a double-coating of anodized material that is aimed at giving this reel a longer lifespan compared to other products made by Zebco.
It features an additional spool of line that can be quickly and easily swapped out thanks to the brand’s Quick Change spool design. It’s capable of serving both left or right-handed anglers as the handle can be easily changed over to one side or the other.
One of the most important factors of a reel that’s designed for catching bigger fish is the ability to get your catch up out of the depths as quickly as possible without letting the fish gain too much line in the other direction. The Zebco Bullet does this beautifully thanks to its 5.1:1 gear ratio and nine ball bearings system with anti-reverse clutch.
Let’s be reel (fishing puns!), when you’ve invested money into your fishing setup there is nothing worse than realizing that your top-notch gear is annoyingly uncomfortable. The Abu Garcia Black Max Low Profile Reel is the most ergonomically comfortable spincast reel we could find!
In addition to having a low profile design that increases your hand comfort, this reel also has a “Magtrax” braking system that engages with the push of your thumb, allowing you optimal control over the line and where you cast. But don’t take our word for it! Just check out the 450+ positive reviews with people raving over this one.
If you like the Pflueger president we rewired earlier in this article, but don’t have enough money for it, here you have another more affordable option.
Of course, you won’t get the performance of the president. Still, the Trion is an ideal option for those looking to take the first step in the angling world. Let’s see what you are getting along this spincast reel.
If yes, I have only one recommendation for you. There are no surprises for guessing that this one too is from Zebco. The Zebco 888 Spincast Reel is the best choice for you, if you are looking for a heavy & robust model.
The Zebco 888 Spincast Reel has impressed all the anglers who have used it. Zebco launched this as an upgrade to its previous 808 model, and the anglers have been raving about the 888 ever since. The heavy-duty construction and robust nature of this reel is a rarity in the field of spincast fishing reels.
If you are looking for a cost-effective and highly durable reel for catching large lures, I would definitely recommend the Zebco 888 Spincast Reel for you. Buy it right now and let me know what type of big fish fell in your line.
What is the fastest spincast reel?
The Zebco Bullet has a 5.1:1 gear ratio, which due to spool size is actually faster than some 6:1 reels. It picks up 29.6 inches of line per turn of the handle.
Which Zebco 33 is the best?
The Zebco 33 Platinum is the most advanced model in the series. It has 4 stainless steel bearings and an all-metal body, which is why it costs more than some other Zebco 33 reels.
Do pro fishermen use spincast reels?
Many pro fishermen started off with spincast reels, but few use them in competition. There are a few occasions where they excel for certain presentations, like skipping a lure without tangling or backlashing.