Top Offshore Saltwater 20-Pound-Class Fishing Reels | Marlin Magazine

Top Offshore Saltwater 20-Pound-Class Fishing Reels

Light-line-class reels that pack powerful punches and lots of speed

Top 20 pound class reels

Top 20-pound-class reels

Andrew Cox

Small in stature, these 20-pound-class fishing reels are not just built to tame the blistering speed of sailfish and white marlin, they are essentials for all light-tackle and record-seeking anglers. From kite-fishing in South Florida to pitch-baiting in Guatemala, the 20-pound-class reels of today offer large capacities, drag forces exceeding 45 pounds and retrieval rates of 60 inches per turn of the handle. Even if you're not expecting it, they could certainly put a stop to the next blue marlin that pops up in your spread — it just might take a little longer.

Alutecnos Albacore 20

Alutecnos Albacore 20

Alutecnos Albacore 20

Alutecnos

The Albacore 20 from Alutecnos, an Italian company, reflects the company's attention to detail and use of precision machining with high-quality raw materials. All of the aluminum parts are ultrasonically cleaned, polished and anodized with a gold or silver finish, and is constructed with five bearings and gears made from tempered stainless steel guarantee resistance from corrosion. The addition of an anti-reverse system to an offshore reel is also the first of its kind, and the utilization of carbon composite drag washers ensures smooth and consistent pressure during the most intense battles.

Specifications
Maximum Drag: 18 pounds
Gear Ratio: 4.0:1
Weight: 28.0 ounces
Mono Capacity (20lb): 875 yards
MSRP: $547

Alutecnos Veloce 20

Alutecnos Veloce 20

Alutecnos Veloce 20

Courtesy Alutecnos

The speed demon of the Albacore reels is the Veloce 20. Easily recognizable by the blue color of the handle, the Veloce 20 reel differs from the standard version with a gear ratio of 6.2:1 (instead of 4:1) that allows for 50 inches of line to be retrieved per crank of the handle. Featuring the infinite anti-reverse and a whopping 875 yards of 20-pound mono, this line is ideal for light-tackle anglers chasing sailfish and white marlin.

Specifications
Maximum Drag: 18 pounds
Retrieve Per Crank: 50 inches
Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
Weight: 30.5 ounces
Mono Capacity (20lb): 875 yards
MSRP: $649.99

Arribe 1200

Arribe 1200

Arribe 1200

Courtesy Arribe

Weighing in at just 17 ounces, the Arribe 1200 is the lightest reel of the group. Don't let that small size fool you, the 1200's anodized aluminum body makes it mighty tough. At the heart of the 1200 is the IsoDrive Gear System that provides power for the reel from two over-sized gears that couple with bearings from SKF, the maker of bearings used in Ferrari’s Formula 1 race cars, to keep the reel running smoothly for years. The ProTactive Drag System provides needed stopping power from a strong carbon fiber pad paired against a titanium brake disk. The reel also adds dual IAR (Instant Anti-Reverse) bearings to deliver strong and reliable anti-reverse capability.

Specifications
Maximum Drag: 25 pounds
Retrieve Per Crank: 42 inches
Gear Ratio: 6:1
Weight: 17.6 ounces
Mono Capacity (30lb): 270 yards
MSRP: $779

Fin-Nor Marquesa Pelagic

fin nor marquesa pelagic

Fin-Nor Marquesa Pelagic

Courtesy Fin-Nor

The Marquesa Pelagic from Fin-Nor is perfect for anglers pursuing marlin and sails on light tackle. The custom drag cam is designed to provide a more linear drag range from zero to 15 pounds for finer adjustments during the fight, and more drag for the above-strike ranges. A carbon-fiber drag system and high-speed 6.1 to 1 retrieve make this one a winner for live-baiting and kite-fishing situations, as well as trolling. And it’s all from one of the top names in the tackle industry.

Specifications
Maximum Drag: 45 pounds
Gear Ratio: 6.3:1
Weight: 28.0 ounces
Mono Capacity (20lb): 450 yards
MSRP: $379.99

Fin-Nor Santiago 16

Fin-Nor Santiago 16

Fin-Nor Santiago 16

Courtesy Fin-Nor

Named after Santiago from Old Man and the Sea, the Santiago is the flagship of the Fin-Nor brand and is known for its gold anodized corrosion-resistant finish. Constructed on a solid one-piece, fully-machined aluminum frame, the internal components include a one-piece spool, four ultra-smooth, and ultra-strong, ceramic/stainless hybrid ball bearings to provide smooth turning power. A huge stainless steel drag plate provides the Santiago 16 with a maximum drag of 35 pounds.

Specifications
Maximum Drag: 35 pounds
Retrieve Per Crank (High/Low): 48.3 / 21.5 inches
Gear Ratio (High/Low): 5.58:1 / 2.48:1
Weight: 41.6 ounces
Mono Capacity (16lb): 900 yards
MSRP: $519.95

Penn International 16VS

Penn International 16VS

Penn International 16VS

Courtesy Penn Reels

The Penn International 16VS is precision machined from high-strength, lightweight, aircraft-grade aluminum in the same Philadelphia machining center the company has used since 1932. The fully machined two-speed stainless steel gear train provides a high-gear ratio of 5.3:1 and reels in 45 inches of line per turn of the handle. The Dura-Drag system provides 28 pounds of drag and eliminates hesitation, even under extreme drag settings.

Specifications
Maximum Drag: 42 pounds
Retrieve Per Crank (High/Low): 45 / 17 inches
Gear Ratio (High/Low): 4.3:1 / 1.7:1
Weight: 41 ounces
Mono Capacity (20lb): 480 yards
MSRP: $549.95

Penn Squall SQL16VS

Penn Squall SQL16VS

Penn Squall SQL16VS

Courtesy Penn Reels

The Penn Squall 16VS is essentially a graphite version of the Penn International that benefits in being both lightweight and corrosion resistant. The Quick-Shift 2-Speed and Dura-Drag technology found in the International has transferred to the Squall reel and provides solid fish-fighting performance in both speed and drag stength. At less than half the price of an International, the Squall provides great value for big-game anglers.

Specifications
Maximum Drag: 26 pounds
Retrieve Per Crank (High/Low): 39 / 18 inches
Gear Ratio (High/Low): 4.5:1 / 2.1:1
Weight: 38.5 ounces
Mono Capacity (20lb): 725 yards
MSRP: $249.95

Seigler Reels OS

Seigler Reels OS

Seigler Reels OS

Courtesy Seigler Reels

The OS is Seigler’s introduction into bluewater-specific fishing applications, and this one looks like a winner. It was designed with input from some of the top captains and mates fishing off the East Coast, with features like preset drag detents and a see-through top bar. The spool itself is designed for superior strength and is light weight too. The OS is available in three colors: red, blue and silver.

Specifications
Maximum Drag: 35 pounds
Gear Ratio: 6:1
Weight: 25.8 ounces
Mono Capacity (20lb): 700 yards
MSRP: $500

Shimano Talica 20 BFC

Shimano Talica 20 BFC

Shimano Talica 20 BFC

Courtesy Shimano

The Talica 20 BFC (Billfish Concept) reel is built to meet the highest level of requirements of the billfish tournament scene. The reel is the fastest of the group and provides 60 inches of line retrieval per crank, and also allows light-tackle anglers to keep them from breaking off using light line by providing a minimum of three pounds at strike. Weighing only 28.1 ounces, the reel does not provide the same stopping power as other reels on the market, but more than makes up for it in speed so that the captain and angler can stay tight when backing down quickly.

Specifications
Maximum Drag: 15 pounds
Retrieve Per Crank: 60 inches
Gear Ratio: 6.7:1
Weight: 28.1 ounces
Mono Capacity (20lb): 640 yards
MSRP: $799.99

Shimano Tyrnos II 20

Shimano Tyrnos II 20

Shimano Tyrnos II 20

Courtesy Shimano

The Shimano Tyrnos II 20 features an open design constructed with a diecast-aluminum frame and graphite sideplates to reduce weight. Incorporating Shimano's stainless steel A-RB anti-rust bearings to protect from corrosion and the oversized gears provide a high-speed gear ratio of 5.0:1 that gathers 45 inches of line per crank. Other than the tried-and-true TLD series of reels from Shimano, the Tyrnos II 20 is a high-performing reel that won't break the bank.

Specifications
Maximum Drag: 33 pounds
Retrieve Per Crank (High/Low): 45 / 18 inches
Gear Ratio (High/Low): 5.0:1 / 2.0:1
Weight: 39.2 ounces
Mono Capacity (20lb): 700 yards
MSRP: $349.99

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