We always like to have a high-quality spinning outfit handy for those times when opportunities show up unexpectedly and you need to fire out a bait in a hurry. Here are some top choices.
A. Shimano Spheros SW 20000
With a maximum drag of 40 pounds, the Spheros 20000 can put the heat on any hard-charging gamefish. It’s no slouch in the line-capacity category either, holding 460 yards of 20-pound-test monofilament or 490 yards of 65-pound-test braid. $259.99
Watch: Learn to rig a swimming Spanish mackerel here.
B. Penn Spinfisher VI 8500
The 8500 is the workhorse of the Penn Spinfisher VI lineup, with a line capacity of 455 yards of 20-pound mono or 730 yards of 40-pound braid, as well as a full-metal body. The drag is sealed and features carbon-fiber washers for smooth-under-pressure operation. Bonus: The braid-ready spool has line-capacity rings to help you judge how much line you have remaining on the reel. $219.95
C. Van Staal VS 250
One of Van Staal’s most famous features is its waterproof drag system, complete with beefy watertight seals throughout the spool, body and handle assembly. Its reels also have an oversize main gear, made from hardened stainless steel for durability. The VS series is available in three anodized colors: black, gold and silver. $949.00
D. Fin-Nor Offshore 10500
The largest of the Offshore series reels, the 10500 has solid stainless-steel gears, as well as a sealed drag system stacked with 10 carbon-fiber and stainless-steel washers for strong and smooth drag up to 60 pounds of pressure. It holds up to 450 yards of 30-pound mono too. $179.95
E. Shimano Stella SW 14000
The largest of the Stella series reels, the 14000 has cold-forged gears and an all-new drag that transfers heat away from the spool to keep things cool during long fights. Shimano’s X-Protect and X-Shield help safeguard the reel from saltwater intrusion as well. $999.99
F. Penn Slammer III 10500
The largest of the Slammers, the 10500 has a full-metal body, side plates and rotor, a sealed CNC gear system, and an IPX6 sealed drag for super-smooth operation and up to 60 pounds of pressure. Line capacity is attractive as well: 435 yards of 30-pound mono or 780 yards of 65-pound braid. $349.95
Read Next: Check out our guide to the top 30-pound-test conventional reels.
G. Okuma Makaira 30000
The Makaira has a unique drag system that works much like a conventional lever-drag reel, allowing anglers to precisely set the amount of drag—up to 60 pounds—based on the target species. There are also separate handles for left- and right-hand retrieve to ensure that there is no sacrifice in strength. $899.99
All reels shown are available through TackleDirect at tackledirect.com.