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
YONGZHI Bulnt Fishing Reels,13+1BB Light Weight and Ultra Smooth Powerful Spinning Reels for Saltwater and Freshwater Fishing-1000G
  • Light Weight- The YONGZHI Bulnt spinning reel has lightweight, yet very strong graphite frame and rotor that will perform like reels costing much more. The spool is a machined of CNC grade aluminum to...
  • Ultra Smooth -YONGZHI spinning fishing reel 13+1 corrosion resistant smooth ball bearings and one instant stop one-way anti-reverse bearing give it ultra-smooth performance.
  • Powerful Carbon Fiber Drag-Bulnt spinning reels are equipped with: precision brass gears, hardened metal main shaf for more strength, durability and consistent performance. the triple carbon disc drag...
  • Comfortable-Bulnt reels fitted the handle with extremely comfortable,durable EVA handle knobs , exceptionally slip resistant and give you maximum control over your fishing reel in all conditions. This...
  • Buy With Confidence- We give 100% heart to our customers, so whatever the problem you have, as long as you ask for help , YONGZHI will help you solve it within 24 hours!
Bestseller No. 2
PENN Pursuit IV Inshore Spinning Fishing Reel, Size 4000, HT-100 Front Drag, Max of 15lb, 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 37" | 94cm 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 15lb | 6.8kg, this system will exhaust the fish without wearing you down. Mono Capacity yd/lb: 270/8 220/10 165/12....
Bestseller No. 3
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. 4
PENN Battle III Spinning Inshore Fishing Reel, HT-100 Front Drag, max of 15lb | 6.8kg, Made with Sturdy All-Aluminum Composition for Durability,Black/Gold
  • 2020 ICAST ONLINE BEST OF CATEGORY WINNER “SALTWATER REEL”: The PENN Battle III Inshore spinning reel is stronger, smoother, and more durable than ever before.
  • DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: The body and sideplates of the PENN Battle III Spinning Reel are made with sturdy all-aluminum composition, featuring a forged and machined aluminum spool with Line Capacity...
  • CNC GEAR TECHNOLOGY: Recovers at the rate of 35” | 89cm with every turn of the crank. Gear ratio of 6.2:1. Equipped with superline spool to securely attach braided line. Mono Capacity yd/lb: 200/8...
  • 6 TOTAL BEARINGS: The Battle III features 5 stainless steel ball bearings plus 1 instant anti-reverse bearing to provide smooth operation for any saltwater fishing experience.
  • HT-100 FRONT DRAG DRAG SYSTEM: Built with carbon fiber washers for a max drag of 15lb | 6.8kg, this system will handle large fish without wearing you down. Right/Left handle position.
Bestseller No. 5
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

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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