Best Catfish Spinning Reels

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Tough Fish Need Tough Gear 

The real fun begins when you target fish that create offbeat resistance and play without rules. The extremity of force offered by catfish can put the most experienced anglers to test. While the sport is difficult, the enthusiasm and dedication are worth it. And the joy earned through a big catch lasts a lifetime. While you dream about landing the most glorious fish of your dreams, it is also essential to possess appropriate gear for the task. This is why we have brought you the best catfish spinning reels.

The first requirement for a catfish spinning reel is toughness. The second is durability and the third is reliability. All other requirements for catfish spinning reels work in aiding you to fulfill the hard work with ease. Most anglers will prefer a baitcasting reel over a spinning reel for landing catfish. 

This is understandable. Baitcasting reels enable you to throw longer casts with more ease and are comparatively more powerful. But if you are on a budget or if you want to stick to your comfort with spinning reels, this is where you go. Spinning reels are also capable of making excellent long-distance casts and offering viable power in handling the burliest fish. 

The best catfish spinning reels will incorporate all the essential features for landing monsters while also fitting snugly in your budget. Amongst the wide array of incomparable options, we have selected three best catfish spinning reels to keep up the enthusiasm of the longing angler in you. 

Best Catfish Spinning Reels for the Year 2022 

Daiwa BG Spinning Reel 

Daiwa BG is a promise of quality in the uncertain world of catfish spinning reels. While being unmatched in performance, it also comes at a very affordable price. As this combination is rarely seen in good quality spinning reels, Daiwa BG is a treat to behold. This reel is also available in a separate saltwater version for those who are more enthusiastic about the sea. 

The size of this reel is appropriate for landing the largest catfish. Size 4500 for spinning reels has sufficient potential to endure a fight and offer resilience in the everlasting battle. The sturdiness of the reel is further assured by its excellent construction. There is anodized machined aluminium in combination with a carbon drag system and a special dynamic cut ABS spool. 

The anodized and machined aluminium offers strength, light-weightedness, and sufficient resistance to corrosion in freshwater. The reel is built to endure the roughness of the fight as well as the grime and dirt that the water may bring along. 

The carbon drag system is built for sustenance and supreme ability with a maximum drag capacity of 22 lbs. It is strong enough to handle the heaviest catfish, the one that fights back extremely well. 

The dynamic cut ABS spool holds a line as long as 280 yards. This may seem to be exaggerated but catfish do require an additional length of line for accomplishing the chase they often take anglers through. Besides, they are also known for humping hard and breaking the line in an attempt to escape. 

For your information, there are 280 yards of 17 lbs monofilament line and the reel can hold up to 340 yards of the braided line up to 40 lbs if needed. Plus, there is a dual anti-reverse feature and a manual return bail to help further in making most catches successful. 

This reel comes with six ball bearings which are all well-protected from corrosion. There is also one roller bearing to provide a more enhanced smooth action. 


  • This is one of the most solid and also the most affordable spinning reels for landing catfish 
  • The body of this reel is sufficiently strong to well sustain the impact of tough fights with burly fish 
  • The line capacity for this reel is truly admirable at 280 yards for monoline and 340 yards for braided 
  • The size 4500 is the best choice for small and medium-sized catfish 
  • The drag system is built from carbon fiber and the spool is a special dynamic cut ABS
  • The maximum drag capacity for this reel is 22 lbs which means it can comfortably handle the heaviest catfish 
  • The six ball bearings and the single reverse bearing offers valuable smoothness to this reel which is comparable to many high end and more expensive varieties 

Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Reel

This can easily be regarded as one of the most well-performing and durable spinning reels for catfish. Not only for this particular variety, but Penn Spinfisher is also one of the best spinning reels otherwise too. Moreover, it also works efficiently in saltwater. 

This reel is excellent in design with both left and right-handed models and a round profile for better ease of action. Additionally, the design does not compromise the strength of the reel in any way. It comes in a completely-sealed body with promised longevity. All other systems of the reel have also been built to sustain and endure every fight the reel may land into. 

The reel is available in 4500 and 5500 size options. While both of them are powerful and well-built to serve their purpose, size 4500 is more well suited for less hefty catfish to be caught with lighter lures and bait rigs. Size 550, on the other hand, is meant to catch all the large catfish you dream of. This size has sufficient potential for handling and effectively reeling in catfish you never thought you could get on spinning reels. 

The line capacity for this reel is truly marvelous. With 235 yards for the size 4500 and 230 yards for the 5500 model, this reel is well capable of dealing with fish even if they break away. You gotta put your best efforts into the one that is hooked after the one that broke away. And to do that, you need enough line in your spool. 

This reel has a superfine spool which avails extra durability and strength. One special feature of this reel is the presence of a live liner to efficiently control the movements of your fishing line on the water. 

The gear system for this reel has special CNC internal gears with a moderate gear ratio to provide adequate power along with appropriate retrieval speed. The powerful drag system for this reel comes with HT-100 carbon drag washers to maintain resistance to corrosion, light-weightedness, and efficiency. There is also an anti-reverse system that can be used to instantly exert more pressure when needed. 


  • This is one of the most efficient spinning reels and is supremely capable of landing catfish of any size 
  • This is also one of the best-sealed spinning reels which are protected against the corrosive action of both fresh and saltwater
  • The two available sizes work best for their appropriate fish sizes
  • The line capacity for this reel is excellent at up to 235 yards of monofilament
  • The protective features of this reel further include the carbon drag washers and internal gears
  • The spool for this reel is super fined and is adequately protected from any insult the tough fights may render 
  • The premium live liner feature avails an even more efficient control on casting 

KastKing Sharky III Spinning Reel

This powerful spinning reel is also one of the most affordable reels out there. The excellent performance for this reel is owed to the superior materials of construction. The drag system for this reel is made of carbon fiber and other major components are made of stainless steel.

Both these materials are supremely durable and very well efficient in rendering the best function. The most prominent feature of this reel is its ability to keep the braided line ready. Moreover, the spool for this reel can function well without the requirement of any backing. 

Unlike most other spinning reels, your braided line would not slip on the spool in this one. Catfish offer real struggle to the best of anglers. KastKing Sharky has made it possible to make a catch rather easily owing to the excellent drag capacity of 39.f lbs. Such a powerful braking system can stop the toughest catfish on the plan to escape. And the low price makes it a very convenient and valuable investment. 


  • KastKing Sharky III will make it possible for you to make excellent catches even when the target is as challenging as a catfish 
  • The superior build for this reel is sturdy and meat to sustain the roughness that accompanies fishing expeditions 
  • The reel’s quality of construction is durable and dependable 
  • The drag capacity for the sturdy carbon drag is about 39.5 lbs, which can get the burliest catfish under your thumb
  • The stainless steel construction is a mark of quality 
  • This reel’s ability to keep the braided line ready is another excellent feature that deserves appreciation 
  • No backing is essential to keep the braided line from slipping on the spool 
  • The best part about this reel is its affordability 

Know-How to Select the Best Spinning Reel for Catfish 

Spinning reels are way better than baitcasting reels when it comes to ease of use and the effort it takes to learn. It is generally regarded that catfish spinning reels have much better drag systems and better line capacities than all other varieties. This is why they are so widely used for catfish.

While saving you money, these reels give you the appropriate gear ratios for your target and effectively counterbalance the operation with no occurrence of backlashes. Furthermore, the power handles in spinning reels greatly reduce the angler’s effort especially when it is a hefty fish.

Select the Right Size of Reel 

Catfish require reels of a particular size that can work best in handling their force. A size 4000 or 5000 will have enough potential to stand against a bully in a fight. Spinning reels up to size 4000 is generally sufficient for landing the biggest fish of this variety. A larger size is also essential to hold all the extra length of line you require in a big spool. 

While it is not impossible to land a large catfish with a small-sized reel. It is definitely better to accomplish that feat with counterbalance. A perfect reel size will ensure that your catch is more focussed, eased out, and less stressful. 

Catfish Require a High-Quality Spool With Sufficient Line 

For fish that fight, you require the extra length of a line because there might occur a chase. You cannot let the shortage of line let you lose the dream catch that you almost made. Only a spool with a wide arbor will be able to accommodate all the extra length of line that you require. A bigger spool will also make sure that your line does not get tangled or develop memory while being in storage. 

Also, remember that anglers lose a lot of fishing lines while aiming for catfish because of the frequent line breaks. Having the extra line in the circumstance of a line break could save your day from sinking because catfish do fight valiantly and you could lose line more often than you think. Moreover, this fish would simply dive into the infinite with your line as a prize, there is no getting it back or finding it afloat. 

Fights Require Powerful Drag Systems 

A powerful drag is always counted as an essential feature for every reel. While it may not be as important in going for small fish. Catfish do require a robust drag system that can well sustain the insults tough fish render and work efficiently in all scenarios. 

A good drag system is the heart of a good catfish spinning reel. A challenging fight will first attack the drag system if it isn’t of good quality. High-quality reels have the best drag systems well built to endure any difficulty. You ought to choose the drag system most appropriate for the size of the fish you intend to land. 

Catfish Require a Moderate Gear Ratio 

Big challenging fish like catfish requires a moderate gear ratio owing to their requirement for high torque coupled with high speed. An appropriate gear ratio around 5.3:1 will give you sufficient torque to handle the most challenging fish while also giving you a high speed of retrieval to land them faster. 

In the end, the choice of the gear ratio also depends largely on the size of the fish you are aiming at. A big catfish will require more torque because it will offer a hard fight at the expense of your arms and your equipment. A small catfish’s first attempt will be to escape and you can surely defeat that with a good enough retrieval speed. 

Choose the Reel With Comfortable Power Handles 

Power handles are more important than you think. Handles that offer a large surface area for better hold will also help you get greater torque out of the reel. It is always better to have a reel with a power handle than the one without any. While handles may not be your primary source of control. They are definitely a must for providing extra power when you need it. You’ll need it more frequently than you think. 


There are not many spinning reels in the market that can work as excellently as these three for landing catfish. Daiwa BG, KastKing Sharky III, and Penn Spinfisher VI are all excellent spinning reels with groundbreaking features that aren’t even found in the very expensive reels of this variety. 

These reels come in the appropriate size required for landing the biggest catfish. They also offer unbelievably large line capacities and tremendous drag systems. While all these features will certainly aid you in getting the catfish you want, the real strength lies in your enthusiasm and the amount of joy you are willing to fight for. 

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