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5 Best Spinning Reels For Trout (Reviews and Buyers Guide)

by Don | Last Updated: February 6, 2020

The Best Spinning Reel For Trout | Reviews and Buyers Guide

Are you ready to take your trout fishing game to the next level? Well, you’ve come to the right place! After reading this article, you will know exactly which spinning reel is best suited to help you catch more trout. We have extensively researched and tested countless spinning reels and have determined the top 5 spinning reels on the market specifically designed for catching trout.

If you’re already convinced you want a spinning reel feel free to skip directly to our top picks:

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For those that want the nitty gritty details, keep on reading.

Along the way, we will discuss why the spinning reel is best designed for catching trout, what we are looking for in an excellent spinning reel, and lastly, we will end with reviews of the top 5 spinning reels including our number one pick.

Before diving right into the best rod and reel combos for trout, let’s get into the logic behind why we chose these specific reels. To do that you need to understand a bit more about trout.

The Best Spinning Reels For Trout: (Reviews)

1. okuma ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel (Our Top Pick)

The clear winner in the quest for finding the best spinning reel for trout fishing goes to the okuma ceymar lightweight spinning reel. The Ceymar winning should come at no surprise to anyone. It is an absolute powerhouse of a reel and an overall tremendous value that simply exceeds all expectations when fishing for trout.

Right out of the box the reel feels sturdy, rugged, and overall just really well designed. It sports a drilled spool, a thick bail wire, and an extremely sleek black design featuring fire engine red accents. I couldn’t wait to get it out on the water and as expected it did not disappoint. 

The cast was a thing of beauty and seemed utterly effortless. The crank had lightning fast retrieval that was strong and consistent, and as soon as I hooked my first trout of the day, I noticed the drag was buttery smooth and reliable. Whether it is a little four pound trout or a sizeable ten pounder you can be confident that the Ceymar’s drag won’t let you down when it counts.

Overall the Okuma Ceymar lightweight spinning reel couples a sleek design and smooth performance at a rock bottom price. If I had to describe this reel in one word it would be confidence. I know that it will take years of abuse in every imaginable climate and setting and still deliver. After just one outing I had to dig through my pockets and do a double take on the receipt. At around $50 I couldn’t believe the kind of performance and quality Okuma put into the Ceymar at that low price. It is an absolute steal. But don’t take my word for it, check it out for yourself on Amazon.

2. Abu Garcia Revo SX

Quality engineering comes to mind with any Abu Garcia reel but the Revo SX seems to have a little something extra. Straight out of the box you’ll notice it feels higher quality than most reels. It is really lightweight, balances well, and you can tell its stainless steel main shaft and aluminum features are built to withstand years of use.

Out on the water, you’ll find it casts longer than many other similar styled and priced reels. That precision accuracy and added distance give a significant advantage that will have you easily landing dozens of trout, crappie, and more with this reel.

Another feature worth noting is how dependable and smooth the drag is. The Abu Garcia Revo SX comes equipped with a carbon matrix drag system that packs plenty of power and will help tremendously when trying to land bigger fish.  Simultaneously the K-Clutch anti-reverse bearing will keep any handle back play to a bare minimum to make sure there’s no interruption when cranking.

The Abu Garcia Revo SX is likely one of the smoothest spinning reels on the market and it comes with a very reasonable price tag. It is a great reel for seasonal fisherman and professionals alike and will quickly become one of your favorite reels.

3. Shimano Sedona FI

To be blunt, the Shimano Sedona FI feels like a really high-end reel but without the added cost. It is compact in size which paired with right rod makes it a perfect travel reel for chasing trout on the go. Right off the bat, you’ll notice that it feels a little more refined than other reels. It can only be described in one word, smooth. Everyone I know that has one continually talks about how smooth and effortless the reel is. The casting and cranking are both as smooth as butter as well.

Another bonus feature of this super smooth Shimano Sedona is that it really takes the frustration out of inshore trout fishing. Cranking the reel is whisper quiet and the drag will hold its setting like no other. To top it off the frequency of wind knots is virtually non-existent. It is simply an all-around frustration free reel that is particularly useful at intercepting trout because of its lightweight size and ease of use.

The Shimano Sedona FI is Japanese precision in its purest (and least expensive) form that is perfect for recreational fishing and tournaments alike.

4. Pflueger President Spinning Reel

The Pflueger President Spinning Reel is a fantastic mid-range spinning reel choice for anglers of all levels of experience. It sports a thick bail, casts like a dream, and is overall really well made. The body and rotor are comprised of graphite which gives it a lightweight but solid feel to it.

The drag is smooth and silky and is just what the doctor ordered for landing trout of all sizes. I’d stock mine with a 10-15 lb monofilament line but you can go as lows as a 4lb if you have to for trout. One thing many users find takes a moment to get used to it the slower retrieval rate. It seems almost counterintuitive at first cast but as soon as you get a 3 lb trout hooked on the line you’ll fall in love with the slower controlled reel. On top of that, the slower retrieval rate allows for keeping lighter baits suspended on the water for longer periods of time.

The thrill of owning a Pflueger President spinning reel comes with knowing you have a top-notch quality reel, that is reliable, and comes at an affordable price.

5. Piscifun Viper 1000

Something you don’t often hear about reels is how good they look. Most are very plain with dull colors and nothing particularly attractive about them. The Piscifun Viper 1000 on the other hand, really pops with its green, charcoal, and glossy black accents fitted on its matte black finish. Its design and color scheme fit really well with the name to give the set up an overall aesthetically pleasing look.

Beyond its killer appearance, you’ll find the Viper (often called Venom as well) to be a very balanced and powerful reel. Being an ultralight weight reel makes the Viper easy to handle for several hours without much arm or hand fatigue. The bail is heavy and stout which is a great feature and it also has an audible clicking sound on the bail which gives you added confidence that it won’t close up on you when casting. Speaking of casting, it seems to be able to cast a country mile and do so flawlessly.

You can use mono, fluorocarbon or braid. I prefer braid with this reel because I can feel exactly when a fish touches my lure. It seems to handle four pounders with ease and you can tell it has a superior drag system because it stops fish in their tracks. Overall it has very little plastic, is balanced really well, and holds up in every condition I toss it into.

At this price point, you might be fooled into thinking it is a beginner reel. Although it is a great for a beginner, it can also work well in the arsenal of a seasoned tournament pro. It is a steal at this price and there’s no doubt that this reel will help you wrangle in some personal bests.

The Specifics Of Fishing For Trout

Trout are an exciting game fish and are a delicious shoreside dinner also. It’s often said that fresh trout right from the water to the grill is one of the best fish meals you’ll ever have. 

Sport fishing for trout is yet another wildly popular American past time because they are known for putting up a good fight. Trout are often found in cold water throughout most of North America thanks to them being one of the most commonly stocked game species. Typically, trout are found in moving water because they enjoy running up and down the rivers and creeks. You can pull out small and average size trout just about anywhere along river banks, but the bigger trout tend to congregate within deeper pools created by the current around dawn and dusk.

Finding stocked trout in lakes isn’t uncommon but typically finding native trout will require some hiking off the beaten path. Trout are food for bears, bobcats, and other fishing wildlife so usually the more remote the river or lake, the more likely you are to find some.

While there are around 50 different species of trout there are roughly three that get the most attention because they are the most common:

On average the trout you’ll pull from the river are under 12 inches, but it wouldn’t be rare to pull an 18-inch trout from the water every once in awhile. Once you find a good fishing hole, it’s pretty common to pull several trout from the water every hour which makes trout fishing a wonderful opportunity to teach kids or inexperienced fisherman.

What To Look For When Selecting The Best Trout Spinning Reel (Buyers Guide)

A light or ultralight reel. Lighter spinning reels are ideal for trout fishing because they are typically ultralight (usually under 8 oz in weight) and allow you to fish an entire day free of the fatigue and strain that comes with a heavier fishing set up.

A sturdy and durable reel because trout are notorious for being evasive and difficult to track. Since trout put up a good fight, it is imperative that your reel is durable and have a backbone. Spinning reels sport an open-face design that yields superior accuracy over other styles of reels.

What you want is one that is more metal than plastic parts. Metal or carbon fiber parts are ideal since they will last longer, are easier to maintain, and generally cause fewer malfunctions.

A decent drag system is a nice feature so you can tire out the trout and make them easier to reel in. Spinning reels aren’t known for having the best drag systems, but for the majority of trout fishing it isn’t an issue. This is because on average trout are smaller fish weighing approximately 4-8 pounds. Some stocked ponds or lakes can yield some monster trout but even then they don’t get more than 20 or 30 pounds typically.

Spinning or “open face” reels are the go-to reels for trout because they are incredibly versatile and have:

There are countless cheap rod and reel packages out there for trout fishing that can’t survive more than a few days on the lake. On the other hand, many expensive options are available with features and add-ons that only make sense for professional anglers in tournaments or targeting monster trophy fish. Find that sweet spot somewhere in-between the cheap and less effective reels and frivolous overspending for features you’ll never use is what this article is all about.

Now that we have a better idea about chasing trout and what makes for a quality spinning reel let’s dive right into the top reviews so you can be confident in purchasing the best spinning reel for trout available on the market today.


In the end, each and every reel on this list is completely capable of hauling in a boatload of trout. To give you a quick recap, here is a short description of each reel to help give you confidence in purchasing the best spinning reel for trout. For more in-depth specifications and to purchase your reel you can click on any of the links below which will take you directly to their Amazon listing.

On the high-end side, we have the crowd favorite Abu Garcia Revo SX that is packed full of added features to give you that extra edge out on the water. Then there’s the Shimano Sedona FI that is crafted using Japanese precision engineering to give you a smooth and effortless reel that is an absolute marvel at intercepting trout.

Next up was the Pflueger President spinning reel which is an all-around wonderful mid-range spinning reel that has one of the best cranks you’ll ever use and is a great pick for anglers of all levels of experience. We can’t forget the surprisingly affordable Piscifun Viper 1000 which sports a head-turning sleek design, is ultralight weight, and has seemingly flawless cast.


Last and certainly not least, our top pick, the okuma ceymar lightweight spinning reel which truly is a best in class reel and surpassed all our expectations. Its superb drag system, combined with its silky smooth cast makes trout fishing fun, fatigue-free, and effortless. We guarantee it will become your favorite reel after just one day out on the water.

Related Posts:

1. The Best Fishing Line For Trout: Catch More Fish With The Right Line

2. The Best Bait For Trout (Reviews)

3. Rippin’ Lips With The Best Fishing Rod For Trout (Top 5 Reviews)

4. The Best Lures For Trout Of All Time! (Top 8 Trout Fishing Lures Reviewed)

5. The Best Ultralight Spinning Reel

How To Catch Trout

okuma ceymar spinning reel

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