Fishing reels aren’t that important, right? They’re all the same, and the only thing you’ll really have to think about is finding the cheapest one available, isn’t it? It won’t really make a difference?

Think again.

Plenty of fishers, especially beginners or those just taking up the hobby, fall into the trap of thinking their choice of fishing reel doesn’t really matter. This can often prove to be their downfalls, and that’s why we’re here to help. What actually is a fishing reel and what role does it play? What ones should you look at purchasing? Here’s our review of the best fishing reels in 2019.

A fishing reel is a cylindrical device attached to a fishing rod used in winding and stowing line. Most modern reels have installations which help with distance and accuracy when casting, and they can also help with retrieving line. They are traditionally used in angling and in professional casting, but can be very useful for all types of fishing.

Reels are usually attached to the fishing rod, but in some cases may be attached to boats themselves. Originally invented in China centuries ago, there are many different kinds of reels. These include, but are not limited to, fly reels, centrepin reels, baitcasting reels, conventional reels and spinning reels. All of these are designed for different purposes and for different kinds of fishing, but what are the models you should really be looking into purchasing this year?

Here’s our list.

1. The fishing reel which seems to have turned most heads so far in 2019 is the KastKing Royale Legend Baitcasting Fishing Reel, and it’s easy to see why. Having been described as “affordable innovation”, it really has proven to be a good buy for those who have chosen to purchase it. The key reason behind this has to be the price; it’s a very decent price for a baitcasting reel, particularly one of this standard.

It’s got a really sleek design which defies its low price, and its handle is coated in slip-free foam so that you’ll never miss out on a catch! It can carry the weight of up to 17.5lb of fish and its quick brass gear ratio means it is as close to silent as possible when you are reeling it in. Its particularly suitable for bass fishing, trout fishing and ice fishing, and is definitely one of the reels you should look into buying this year.

2. Next up on our list is the Shimano Stradic HG, Freshwater Spinning Fishing Reel 1000. Shimano tend to be better known for making components for bicycles, but they’ve incorporated that technology and knowhow into making some of the best fishing reels around. Spinning reels do tend to be cheaper than their baitcasting counterparts, but with this one coming in at over £100 you’ll have to have a pretty serious ambition when it comes to fishing; after all, there’s not much point in spending that much on a reel if you’re only going to use it once or twice.

They come in different sizes of increasing price, but you get your money’s worth with the reel itself. It’s really tough and resilient even in the most difficult fishing conditions, and its casting and retrievals have been described as some of the smoothest around. This reel is also suitable for both freshwater and saltwater fishing, so if you’re willing to spend a little bit more than usual then this could be the perfect reel for you.

3. Our third entry is again a KastKing model. This one goes by the name of the KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel. Described by KastKing themselves as a “real versatile warrior that can handle any monster from river to the ocean”, it’s definitely one of the strongest reels out there. With a stunning capacity hold of 39.5lb, it’s specifically designed for the bigger catches that you’re going to make. So if you’re looking to follow in the footsteps of Jeremy Wade, this is certainly the reel for you!

They’ve added stronger manganese brass pinion gears and an oversized main shaft in order to upgrade from their previous models, and these changes have certainly made a huge difference. It’s also been sealed with a water-resistant design in order to keep out dirt and anything else unwanted, which means it’s suitable for both saltwater and freshwater fishing. KastKing worked really hard to eradicate any flaws from previous models with this reel, so if you’re going to delve into monster fishing this is the reel for you.

4. Next up is the Daiwa BG 2000 Spinning Reel. Daiwa aren’t immensely well known in the fishing community, but they’ve been producing reels since 1955 so certainly know what they are doing. This particular model is their pride and joy when it comes to saltwater fishing, and it’s definitely one of the most reliable around. There are a lot of different models so you’ll have to have a bit of knowledge when it comes to picking the right one, but if you choose wisely it’ll pay off spectacularly. It’s scratch proof and also provides immense cranking power.

5. The final model in our review is the Zebco 33 Authentic Spincast Reel. Costing just in and around the £20 mark, you’ll be hard pushed to find a better value reel anywhere on the market. Bear in mind this reel doesn’t have the capabilities to catch any spectacularly sized fish, but if you’re wanting to go for a fun and relaxed fishing trip and look for some smaller fish then this is the reel for you.

It has a very durable metal body which defies its size and price, and while it takes a bit of time to reel in your catches it’s easy and smooth to use. Most experienced fishers stay away from this reel, but if you’re just a beginner or are looking to get the kids involved, you should definitely give this reel a chance.

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