The Top Sub $100 Spinning Reels On The Market in 2023

by John Wren

When you’ve got a budget in mind, and you know you want the very best spinning reel that money can buy, you need to know what your options are.

Trust be told, there is no single best spinning reel as there are so many options available on the market, it’s simply not a once size fits all product.

So what we’ve done is reviewed all of the top rated reels in the sub $100 range, and brought your the best of the best in a side-by-side comparison so you can choose the one that’s best for you.

What to look for in a Spinning Reel

Before we dive into the Top 5 Spinning Reels under $100, let us take a look at what features you should be on the lookout for before deciding which one suits you.

Max Drag

Simply put, the max drag a reel offers, the larger the fish you can go after. Think of it this way. Say you had a heavy weight tied to the end of your line and you tried to reel it in – the amount of force that would create on the reel washers and gears would be immense.

So the larger the fish you want to fish for, the higher the max drag needs to be.

Gear Ratio

The gear ratio of a reel can be broken down into 3 parts. Let’s take a look at an example:


  • The first number indicates how many rotations the spool will make for each turn of the crank handle.
  • The second number after the colon is the alternate ratio, so in our example, we get 5.2 turns of the spool to one (1) turn of the handle.

Quality Materials

All of the reels reviewed here today are machine built ultra-strong aluminum. Now you can get carbon and graphite rods but you’d be hard pressed to find one under $100, let alone one that will stand up the job.

So a quality material is a must and we think Aluminium offers the best option when it comes to weight and durability. Don’t forget, you may be carrying this reel for some distance to get to your final fishing spot – so keeping it light can help a great deal.

Best Spinning Reel Under 100 Reviewed

Bestseller No. 1
Mini 100 Pocket Metal Fishing Spinning Wheel, All-Metal Small Compact Fishing Reel for Freshwater and All Season Fishing
  • This Small Reel Uses a Gapless Bearing, Made of High Tensile Strength Aluminium Spool, Aluminium Alloy Body and Rotor, Aluminium Alloy Handle, Aluminium Bail Wire, Copper Material Main Shaft.
  • Left/Right-Handle Interchangeable, Unscrew the Nut for Handle Exchanging; Collapsible Handle with Aluminium Knob is Easy to Store.
  • With Reel Foot Enlarging Caps to Suitable for Rods of Various Sizes Including Mini Pen Rods.
  • Suitable for Raft Fishing, River/Lake Fishing, Ice Fishing, etc.
  • This Compact Pocket-Size Portable Reel is a Good Choice as a Gift, Especially for New Anglers and Children Who Would Love to Fish.
Bestseller No. 2
Lew's Laser Lite 100 5.1:1 Spinning Reel, Silver, 160/6 - 23.5"
  • Rugged, lightweight graphite body and rotor
  • 7- bearing system
  • Zero reverse one- way clutch bearing
  • LaserLite Speed
Bestseller No. 3
PENN Clash II Spinning Fishing Reel Grey/Black, 1000
  • Full Metal Body and sideplate
  • CNC Gear technology
  • HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers
  • 8+1 stainless steel bearing system
  • Clutch Armor System
Bestseller No. 4
Lew's (LSG100A Laser SG Speed Spin Freshwater Spinning Fishing Reel, Size 100 Reel, Right or Left-Hand Retrieve, 5.2:1, Zero Reverse 1-Way Clutch Bearing, Silver
  • 8 Bearing System with stainless steel double shielded ball bearings
  • Zero Reverse one-way clutch bearing
  • Speed Lube for exceptional smoothness and performance in all weather conditions
Bestseller No. 5
PENN Pursuit IV Inshore Spinning Fishing Reel, Size 3000, HT-100 Front Drag, Max of 12lb, 5 Sealed Stainless Steel Ball Bearing System, Built with Carbon Fiber Drag Washers, Black Silver
  • PENN PURSUIT IV INSHORE SPINNING REEL: The PENN Pursuit IV freshwater / saltwater spinning reel combines smooth power, speed, durability and ultralight performance.
  • SLEEK AND DURABLE: PENN Pursuit IV fishing reels feature a corrosion-resistant graphite body and Line Capacity Rings. The machined and anodized aluminum superline spool manages hundreds of yards of...
  • SMOOTH, EFFICIENT GEARS: Recovers at the rate of 35" | 89cm with every turn of the crank. Gear ratio of 6.2:1. Right/left handle position for all anglers.
  • 5 TOTAL BEARINGS: The Pursuit IV features 4 sealed stainless steel ball bearings plus one instant anti-reverse bearing, providing fast hook-ups.
  • HT-100 FRONT DRAG SYSTEM: Built with carbon fiber drag washers for a max drag of 12lb | 5.4kg, this system will exhaust the fish without wearing you down. Mono Capacity yd/lb: 200/8 165/10 120/12....

Now Grab Your Rod and Reel and Get Fishing

Spending less than $100 on a spinning reel is a wise investment for several reasons. Firstly, for a beginner or casual angler, an entry-level spinning reel can offer reliable performance without breaking the bank. They are designed to handle basic fishing techniques and can easily be used for a variety of species, making them a versatile choice. Secondly, these reels are often made with durable materials that are designed to withstand regular use, ensuring they will last for many fishing trips to come. Thirdly, they typically come with basic features like an anti-reverse system, adjustable drag, and line capacity, which are essential for a successful fishing trip. Finally, by investing in a spinning reel that is budget-friendly, you can focus on other important gear, such as a rod or tackle, to enhance your overall fishing experience. In conclusion, spending less than $100 on a spinning reel can be a smart choice for anyone looking to get started with fishing or for those who want a reliable and budget-friendly option.

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