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Pflueger President XT Spinning Reel Review (Updated [year])

Pflueger President XT Spinning Reel
  • 10 bearing System - corrosion resistant stainless ball bearings
  • Aluminum main shaft - 30% lighter than stainless steel
  • Aluminum pinion gear - 60% lighter than traditional brass gear
  • Sealed Drag System
  • Anti-Reverse Bearing
  • Braid-Ready Spool
  • Cork Handle Knob
  • Durable
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We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Pflueger President XT Spinning Reel Review

You might come across companies who boast that they have been around for 50 years or more producing top quality products, and their longevity is to be admired, however, when you get one who has been in an industry for around 140 years, it is surely worthy of your attention.

That company is Pflueger which began making fishing hooks in 1881, and their first reel was put on sale way back in 1916, when Charlie Chaplin was becoming famous.

If we move forward to the present day, we find one of their latest products which is the President XT Spinning Reel. It is remarkable to think that it was released almost exactly 100 hundred years since that very first reel, and while many tales of ‘the one that got away’ may not have changed much in a century, I’m sure fishing reel technology has.


You would expect everything that ever the word ‘President’ in front of it would be first-class and in the case of the President XT Spinning reel, that is certainly the case. 

It is one of several reels that Pflueger manufacture that has the ‘President’ label with others being the ‘Spincast,’ ‘Lady President’ and the ‘XT Low Profile’ which although it has a similar name, it is a very different design to the one I’m looking at here.

The President XT reel is seen by Pflueger as their standard-bearer within the ‘President’ range with some of its design features going a stage further than the others. It will be loved by those who want a very lightweight reel and it is also going to be popular with fishing enthusiasts who also like a fast retrieve rate.

It is also possible that, given the price bracket it is in, it may also be a great starter reel for someone who is looking for their first spinning reel and who is maybe a bit reluctant to spend too much the first time around.


  • Lightweight body
  • 10-bearing system
  • Rubber cork handle knob
  • Braid ready spool 
  • Sealed drag system
  • Excellent value for money


  • Parts can be expensive
  • Bail wire not always staying open

Key Features of The Pflueger President XT Spinning Reel


One of the primary features you should always be looking for when purchasing a spinning reel is that it weighs as little as possible. You will soon realize why this is important when you have been casting and holding your rod for several hours.

Now you can find spinning reels that weigh up to 10 ounces and there will be those who are perfectly happy and comfortable with that weight, but not everyone will be. Therefore, unless you are sure, you will want a lightweight reel and with the President XY weighing only 5.6 ounces, you have found one.

This is a very low weight for a spinning reel, and one of the reasons for that is, instead of the main shaft being made from stainless steel, which is the norm, the President XT reel’s shaft is made from aluminum, making it about a third lighter than other shafts will be.

Aluminum is also the material that has been used to manufacture the pinion gear within the reel. This is about 60% lighter than the brass gears that you find in many reels, showing you once again why it’s weight is so low.

Sealed Drag System

One of the biggest issues faced by those who fish in the ocean is the corrosive nature of  saltwater. Spray and waves often make the reel wet and the salt can soon start to cause corrosion within the reel. The damage that sand can cause when the fine grains get into the inner workings of the reel is also a major headache.

Thankfully, Pflueger has seen fit to try and eradicate these problems, and one of the main ways it has done so is to design a sealed drag system. 

The bearings and other components that make up the drag system are encased in graphite housing and this gives these important parts of the reel increased protection against corrosion and damage. This not only keeps the reel working as it should, but it also prolongs its lifetime.

Anti-Reverse Bearing 

This may not be a unique feature to the Pflueger President XT Spinning Reel, but it is one that you will benefit from, nonetheless. What this does is prevent the reel from turning backward and it activates the drag when a fish starts pulling on the line.

Spool is Braid-Ready

One of the biggest annoyances the fishers have when trying to put braid on reels is that the braid slips. This often means that they have to use a Mono line starter which they connect to the braid. 

There is no need to go to that trouble with the President XT reel because it is braid-ready. Pflueger has achieved this by simply designing grooves into the spool which makes it very easy to tie a braid line on the spool.  A further feature that helps with this is the rubber on the spool which stops your braid line from twisting as you are winding it up.

Cork Handle Knob

It is the case that fishing involves a lot of water and it is often the case that your reel will get splashed. While the interior of the reel is usually protected,  the exterior is obviously going to get wet. If water gets on the handle, and especially the handle knob, it can cause problems for you.

First, the handle knob gets slippery so your grip can be compromised to the point where you even lose your grip on it altogether. This can mean you drop the fishing line which is not something you want to do.

With the President XT Spinning Reel, Pflueger has come up with an excellent solution by making the handle knob from rubber cork. This helps you keep a firmer grip, even if it does get wet because it allows for greater traction due to its surface.

10-Bearing System

The smoothness with which a spinning fishing reel operates is very much determined by the ball bearing system which the manufacturer has employed within it. This requires a balance between not only the number of ball bearings, but also the quality of them with regards to what they are made from.

On that last point I should point out that the ball bearings used in the President XT reel are made from stainless steel so even if there were to be any ingress of saltwater, they should remain resistant to corrosion.

As for the number of ball bearings used, in this reel, Pflueger has gone for double figures with 10 of them, and that is a higher amount than you will find in the vast majority of spinning reels on the market today.

What the combination of the corrosion-resistant stainless steel and the fact there are ten of them mean that the ball bearings provide the means for the reel to operate very smoothly.

The smoother it can do so, the easier it is for you to cast, and to retrieve, without the need for any unnecessary force. It also means that the reel is under less mechanical strain as it is being used, which helps to prolong its lifetime.


A big complaint I often hear from some in the fishing community is that the reel they purchased did not last them very long. Now, this is often due to the fact that they bought a reel that was made from materials that were not the most durable.

That is not the case with the Pflueger President XT Spinning Reel whose construction consists of high-grade materials such as aluminum and stainless steel. When you also factor in how much resistance this reel has to corrosion, you will understand why this reel should not be one which gets any complaints about a lack of durability.

Great Beginner Reel

It is easy to forget that not everyone who goes fishing is a seasoned expert and you may be someone who is looking for your first spinner reel. If that is the case then I believe the Pflueger President XT Spinning Reel is one which is ideal for a beginner, and I say that for a number of reasons.

You may not be aware of this, but fishing is something which generally takes several hours per session, and holding a rod, and operating a reel, can cause your arms to become fatigued. There are some ways to mitigate this, but one of the most effective is to use a reel that weighs as little as possible.

If you look at the sizes chart below you will see that even the biggest of the President XT reels weighs only 10 ounces, and if you choose the smaller ones you are looking at just 5 or 6 ounces. The point here is that this should allow you to hold your rod and reel for hours without your arms feeling like they are about to drop off. 

The other point I want to make about this reel being such a good one for beginners to get started with is that it is one of the lowest-priced of its type. So, if you were a bit nervous about spending money on a reel, then your fears should be allayed by the excellent value for money this one offers.


The Pflueger President XT Spinning Reel has 5 options available in terms of size choices and each of them has different specifications which I have entered into the chart below. 

The model numbers are all basically the same except for the size numbers which are 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40 which you can see in the next column.

Column #3 has the gear ratios which determine how many times the spool will rotate for every time you crank the handle. This ranges from 5.2 to 6.2 depending on the model. Next there is the number of bearings within the reel with most having 10 and only the ’20’ model having 7, which is still more than a lot of reels of this kind.

The next two columns refer to the capacity of the line which is another way of ensuring the strength of the line. This shows what it would be at for set lengths and you will note the differences depending on whether mono or braid line is being used.

The drag column indicates how much effective drag a fish will feel as it is pulling on the line. Next, there is line retrieve which is how much line in terms of length will be retrieved with each turn of the handle, and finally, there is the respective weight of each reel.

Pflueger President XT Spinning Reel Size Chart


pflueger president xt ratings


Pflueger President XT Spinning Reel
  • 10 bearing System - corrosion resistant stainless ball bearings
  • Aluminum main shaft - 30% lighter than stainless steel
  • Aluminum pinion gear - 60% lighter than traditional brass gear
  • Sealed Drag System
  • Anti-Reverse Bearing
  • Braid-Ready Spool
  • Cork Handle Knob
  • Durable
Check Current Price
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

You cannot do anything but admire a company that has been around for as long as Pflueger has and appreciate the long history of them designing and manufacturing products for fishing enthusiasts going back all those years.

But it is a product of today which I have reviewed, and while they may not be talking about the President XT Spinning Reel in 140 years’ time, there is plenty to say about it now.

It offers a lightweight solution to those who might find heavier reels cause them fatigue in their arms, and it has some excellent features such as the 10-bearings system, the sealed drag system, and perhaps my favorite, the rubber cork handle. This might seem quite quirky but not only provides an excellent practical benefit, but it also gives the reel a distinctive appearance.

Written by Don

When I'm not bass fishing or looking for steelhead in my home state of Oregon I can be found working on house projects dreaming of my next fishing adventure.

I started this website to share just some of the things I've learned along my fishing journey, and the many things I'm still learning. Enjoy!

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