Baitcasting Reels

Best Fishing Reels for Catfish- Spinning and Baitcasting Reels.

best catfish reels
Written by John Carter

If you are searching for some best catfish reels, then it means you love to catch catfish. Here we reviewed the 10 Best Fishing Reels for Catfish in which the five best spinning reels for catfish and the five best baitcasting reels for catfish include. In the ten best catfish reels, we are going to review the best catfish spinning reels with a bait clicker and the best catfish baitcasting reels with a bait clicker. Some of them are the best open-face fishing reels for catfish, and some of them are the best-closed-face fishing reels for big and small catfish.

Our Top Picks

Abu Garcia Catfish Reel
Abu Garcia C3
Abu Garcia C3 Species Special
  • 5.3:1 regular gear ratio
  • 15lb/pounds drag power
  • Three stainless steel plus one roller bearings
  • Weight is 11 oz.
Penn Catfish Reel
Penn RIV15LW Rival Catfish Casting Reels
Penn RIV15LW Rival Catfish Casting Reels
  • 5.1:1 gear ratio
  • 1.5 pounds weight
  • Line capacity: 10lb/200yd
  • Braided capacity: 8lb/220yd
Best Spin Casting Reel
Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Catfish Reels
Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Catfish Reels
  • 5+1 sealed stainless steel ball-bearing system
  • Gear ratio: 6.2: 1
  • Maximum drag power is 15 lbs.
  • Weight: 0.76 Pounds

Best Baitcasting Reel for Catfish

If you are looking for the best baitcasting reel for catfish, then you have come to the right place. In this article, we will discuss some of the best baitcasting reels on the market and what makes them perfect for catfish fishing. We will also provide a buyer’s guide to help you choose the right baitcasting reel for your needs. So, whether you are a beginner or an experienced angler, read on to find out more about the best baitcasting reel for catfish.

First of all, we are going to review the five best catfish baitcasting reels in which top brands reels are included, like; Abu Garcia catfish reel, Penn catfish reels, and kastking catfish reels.

1. Abu Garcia C3 Species Special Baitcast

It has the robustness and reliability of a classic fishing reel combined with all the latest technology. The C3 Species is one of the most powerful baitcasting reels for catfish in its class. Designed for anglers who want to enjoy all types of fishing, it works great on any fishing and especially shines when you go after big catfish.

Round Fishing Reel

round baitcast reel

key specifications

  • 5.3:1 regular gear ratio
  • 15lb/pounds drag power
  • Three stainless steel plus one roller bearings
  • Weight is 11 oz.
  • Six pins centrifugal brake which increases stability

6501 size 7001 size if you’re looking for a baitcasting reel that’s lightweight yet has a solid feel, the Abu Garcia C3 will have you covered. Its durable carbon body is light and strong, giving you the confidence you need when you’re out on the water.

It is the most top-rated fishing reel for catfish. Its carbon matrix drag system prevents the line from breaking under heavy load, which paves the way for successful fishing. This fishing reel is also durable so that you can use it for a long time.

The Abu Garcia C3 Carbon Matrix is a superb reel for those who love to fish. It has a carbon fiber drag system that makes the reel strong, tough, and resistant to corrosion. It has a six-pin centrifugal braking system to help you cast farther and land bigger catfish.


  • It has high-quality four ball bearings, which contains three stainless steel corrosion-resistant ball bearing plus 1roller bearing, making it best for saltwater catfishing.
  • Lightweight round baitcast reel under 200$
  • Two new catfish pro models (7000catfish, 6500 catfish) are available in different colors.
  • It has an extendable handle system with carbon matric drag systems.


  • Some people complaints about its designed
  • This catfish casting reel makes a bit of noise the first time of casting.

2. Penn RIV15LW Rival

The RIV15LW is a medium-heavy duty level wind baitcasting reel. Penn started with the legendary RIVAL series as inspiration and improved upon it to create this new model, which features an aluminum frame construction, carbon fiber drag washers, and a more powerful brake system.
Penn RIV15LW is a very good baitcaster for the catfish pro reel. It does not wobble, and it has a lot of power for the avid fisherman who likes to reel in bigger fish.
It is definitely one of the most popular reels on the market today because its features are ideal for catfishing at all depths.

Best Open Face Fishing Reels

open face fishing reels

key specifications

  •  5.1:1 gear ratio
  • 1.5 pounds weight
  • Line capacity: 10lb/200yd
  • Braided capacity: 8lb/220yd
  • Drag power: 15 to 20 lbs. 
  • Ball bearings: 2 shielded stainless steel ball bearings

With its lightweight graphite frame and side plates, the Penn RIV15LW Rival level wind reel makes casting all day more comfortable. Auto-engaging gears allow you to set the drag and forget about it.

The Penn RIV15LW is a very powerful reel that gives you improved performance and quality. The reel is made of marine-grade bronze alloy and machine-cut brass pinion gear that provides excellent performance.

Penn RIV15LW Rival Level Wind, Black, 15 – Ht-100 carbon fiber drag washers is a high-quality gear that’s very good for catfishing.


  • Most affordable catfish casting reels which are available under 50$
  • It is a round baitcast reel that is suitable for freshwater and Saltwater.
  • An automatic drag system makes it more accessible.


  • Its weight is 17 OZ which means it’s a bit heavyweight compared to other best catfish reels.

3. KastKing Spartacus II

The KastKing Spartacus II features a 39mm palm perfect lower profile design, which is best for catfish, 7.2:1 gear ratio to get the job done quickly, and 17.6 lbs.’ of smooth carbon fiber drag to help you catch even the biggest fish. It is a highly recommended reel and the best baitcasting reel for catfish.

kastking Catfish Reels

kastking catfish reels

key specifications

  • High Gear ratio:7.2:1
  • Smooth Drag power:17.5pounds
  • 7+1 ball bearings
  • Weigh 6oz.
  • Line capacity:10lb/140yd

KastKing Spartacus II Baitcasting Fishing Reel is the perfect baitcasting reel for beginners. It is ultra-lightweight, extremely powerful, and can be used for Saltwater and freshwater fishing.

KastKing Spartacus II Baitcasting Reels are designed and manufactured in the USA with an innovative, lightweight, and durable body. This casting reel is designed for newer.

The KastKing Spartacus II is a lightweight baitcasting fishing reel with an ergonomic crank handle. It is a high-end baitcaster fishing reel that comes with a star drag system that can be adjusted with a flick of your thumb. The reel also comes with a comfortable side handle for easy control.


  • Best budget catfish baitcasting reels with bait clicker
  • Low-profile design makes it perfect for beginner
  • High drag power makes it the best reel for bass fishing


  • Some part of its take rust in harshest situation
  • The body of the design does not give a professional look

4. Catfish Pro Tournament Series

The Catfish Pro Casting Reel is the best baitcasting reel for catfish. It’s a high-performance casting reel that allows you to catch those really big catfish even 20 pounds.
This reel is an outstanding value for the money. It has the features of higher-priced reels but at a lower price point. For this reason, I highly recommend this reel to any angler who wants to make their fishing trip even more enjoyable.

Best Fishing Reels for Catfish

key specifications

  • Gear ratio:5.3:1
  • Ball bearings:6+1 Stainless Steel Ball Bearings
  • Drag power: 19 pounds and able to drag more than 20pounds of big fish.
  • Body material: Lightweight aluminum and stainless 
  • Centrifugal Brake System

Catfish Pro Tournament series is designed for inshore anglers as well as offshore fishers. The Tournament series features all-metal construction that provides durability and reliability. This gear ratio is ideal for chasing big catfish.

The Catfish Pro Round Baitcasting Fishing Reel has a powerful 19 lbs.’ drag system and is designed to work in the toughest fishing conditions. It features an aluminum side cover, multi-disc drag, and infinite anti-reverse.

It is an ideal choice for both beginners and professionals. It is built from a lightweight aluminum alloy and features a carbon fiber drag system.


  • Catfish pro reel is ideal for heavy-duty fishing.
  • It is built to handle any size of catfish that comes their way.
  • A product warranty protects against defects in materials & quality.


  • Not suitable for Saltwater
  • Low-quality materials are used in the designing of a reel.

5. Daiwa Fuego CT

Daiwa Catfish Fuego CT Casting Reel has a durable, smooth 6-bearings system that’s perfect for catfish applications requiring heavy-duty, long-distance casting. It features an extreme-strength Daiwa Airtrap Carbon Drag System, which delivers consistent power and smooth operation. Daiwa Fuego CT Casting Reel has loaded with features such as line capacity: 14lb/125 yds.’ Max drag: 8kg. With Daiwa CT Casting Reel, you’ll be able to reel in the big catch with ease and conquer a variety of fishing challenges. It is the best catfish reels at an affordable price.

Catfish Baitcasting Reels with Bait Clicker

catfish baitcasting reels with bait clicker

key specifications

  • 7.3:1 gear ratio
  • 13.5pounds drag power
  • Six ball bearings
  • 14lb/124yd line capacity
  • 8oz weight

This is a revolutionary reel from Daiwa. It offers more strength and smoothness than standard fishing reels.

Magforce-Z cast control means you have ultimate control over the line when casting, with zero backlashes. Line transmission is smooth and consistent. The Magforce-Z cast control system also provides reduced shock and vibration, which helps you feel more comfortable.

Magforce-Z, a system of four high-performance electromagnetic brakes, uses advanced technology to deliver smooth, powerful braking without having to use the reel’s handle.


  • The Daiwa Fuego CT Casting Reel is perfect for anglers who want to fish the light line. This reel has a 7.3:1 gear ratio that is engineered for superior casting and fighting power.
  • The Fuego is the ultimate, high-speed round baitcast reel. The Fuego CT catfish baitcast reels are designed for fast retrieves and can handle larger catfish.


  • I never used it in Saltwater. Its some parts take to rust in Saltwater. 
  • its adjustment setting is a little difficult for beginners

Best Spinning Reel for Catfish

Like the best baitcasting reel for catfish, some best spinning reels for catfish are available at affordable prices. Baitcasting reels are modern technology, yet spinning reels are mostly used because spinning reels are very low compared to baitcasting reels.

If you’re interested in catching catfish, then a spinning reel is probably your best bet. Catfish are notorious for being difficult to land on a baitcasting reel, so a spinning reel is perfect for these fish. Some of the best spinning reels for catfish include Daiwa BG, STRADIC FL,Penn Spinfisher, Shimano Sedona FI Spinning, and Okuma Avenger. After testing, we bring out these five best spinning reels for catfish. Choose one of the best fishing reels for catfish.

All of these reels are not designed just for catfish. Some are also best for many other purposes like bass fishing, inshore fishing, offshore fishing, and much more. Now it’s your time to select one of the best reels which will make you happy during the cast.

1. Daiwa BG Spinning Reel

Are you looking for a reel that has an awesome drag, a lightweight design, and is priced to fit your budget? Look no further! Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel is the reel for you. It has an awesome drag that is not too light, so it will not slow your fish down and not too heavy, so it will not break your fishing line. This is the best spinning reel for catfish, and it has a nice lightweight and durability that fits your need.

Best Spin Casting Reel

Daiwa BG Spinning Reel

key specifications

  • Gear ratio:5.6:1
  • Ball bearings:6BB+1RB
  • Drag power:15 to 16 pounds
  • Line Per Handle Turn: 37.4″
  • Weight:4ounce
  • Line capacity (lb/yd): 10/200

Daiwa BG is most the top-rated spinning reel on amazon. Its value can be estimated from the fact that it has a rating of 4.7 on more than 2000 reviews on Amazon.

Daiwa Bg Spinning Reel is the best catfish spinning reel at an affordable price and most lightweight reel, and consider it the best fishing reel for catfish. Daiwa BG Spinning Reel is totally solid, awesome, smooth, and reliable. 

Daiwa’s BG series is the new spinning reels line with a unique body and side cover design. The “Hard Bodyz” body and side cover are made of machined aluminum with a black anodized finish. This reel has a Digigear system that provides a smooth, strong, and long-lasting performance.

Made with a high-quality ABS spool and rotor, the Daiwa BG Spinning Reel is designed to deliver a smooth, consistent feel that can only be experienced with a Daiwa reel.


  • Most lightweight reel whose weight is just 4 Ounces
  • Maximum drag is more than 15pounds which also make it the best spinning reel for bass fishing
  • The reel features a fully waterproof drag system, a carbon ATD and a line per handle turn of 37.4″.


  • It’s coming in just two colours, black, and gold
  • Due to the lack of colours, it does not give a professional look.

2. SHIMANO Stradic FL Spinning Fishing Reel

The Shimano Stradic FL is a high-end fishing reel that delivers an extensive line capacity of 6kg (150 yds) and a 5.1:1 gear ratio. The Stradic FL is the lightest Shimano Spinning Reel in its category for easy use and long-distance casting. Stradic FL is Hagane Body spinning reel in silver colour. Its body design with silver colours gives a professional look.

Catfish Pro Reel

catfish pro reel

key specifications

  • Gear ratio:5.1:1
  • Ball bearings: 6BB+1RB
  • Inches Per Turn: 30″
  • Max Drag: 7 pounds
  • You can Switch it for right or left hand
  • G-FreeBod, SA-RB, X-Ship, and HaganeBody these latest features are included.

The STRADIC FL Spinning Reel is a durable, high-speed reel that offers class-leading performance. Featuring Hagane Body, STRADIC FL offers the best weight-to-strength ratio for superior strength and rigidity, providing excellent performance in all types of fishing.

The new Stradic FL CrossCarbonDrag features an optimized carbon layup for more durability and smoother operation.

Feel The Power Of G-FreeBody Technology: The SHIMANO STRADIC FL spinning reel utilizes G-FreeBody technology which shifts the reel’s center of gravity closer to the angler’s hand position. By doing so, G-FreeBody technology helps to reduce fatigue and enhance casting comfort.


  • It is a Left-handed handle spinning reel, which is best for those beginners who are right-handed anglers. Must you have some knowledge about left-handed and right-handed reels,
  • It comes with a modern feature that includes G-FreeBod, SA-RB, X-Ship, and HaganeBody.


  • Its price range is a bit high
  • It is low drag power reel which means it is best for small catfish

3. Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Catfish Reels

Penn is the most famous brand which produces the best catfish reels. These brands always released fishing reels for catfish in which both types of the reel (best spinning reel for catfish and best baitcasting reel for catfish) are covered.

With the right rod, reel, line, and bait catch more catfish than you ever thought possible. It’s no secret. If you want to catch catfish, you have to use tackle that catfish can’t resist. The latest reel from Penn has arrived and is a great update to the previous Penn Spin fisher V reels. These are the latest and greatest from Penn, and they are really making a name for their brand. This is the perfect reel for the angler that doesn’t want to spend a lot of money and is looking for the best catfish reel under 150 dollars.

Catfish Spinning Reels with Bait Clicker

catfish spinning reels with bait clicker

key specifications

  • HT-100 carbon fiber drag washer
  • CNC gear technology
  • 5+1 sealed stainless steel ball-bearing system
  • Gear ratio: 6.2: 1
  • Maximum drag power is 15 lbs.
  • Weight: 0.76 Pounds

Penn Spinfisher spinning reels are the best spinning reels for catfish. They are built with quality components, including stainless steel HV drag washers, a forged aluminium V-Series spool, and precision machine-cut brass gears. 

Each Penn Spinfisher spinning reel is built to handle the toughest fishing conditions and give you years of use. Whether you’re catching shallow water catfish or trophy-sized catfish, our Spinfisher spinning reels have the features you need.

Choose from Penn Spinfisher spinning reels in various sizes and models, all designed to help you catch more and bigger catfish.


  • Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Fishing Reel is protected against dust and water with its IPX5 rating.
  • The design of the fishing reel is for exceptional performance. It has CNC gear technology for smoothness.
  • It has a Ht-100 carbon fiber drag washer’s features an upgraded carbon fiber drag system that delivers exceptional power and smoothness.
  • It can handle a wide range of fishing applications, from light Carolina rigs to big offshore baits.


  • I find nothing problem in this reel that upset anglers.
  • Some people did not like its colour combination, but I think it’s ok in this price range.

4. Shimano Sedona FI Spinning Catfish Reel

Have you ever seen a Shimano catfish fishing reel priced at under $100? Shimano Sedona FI Spinning Catfish Reel is an affordable spinning reel that offers quality Shimano craftsmanship and a smooth drag system; With a four-bearing system, this reel is an exceptional way to start your fishing journey. Shimano’s Roller bearing system ensures effortless casts and retrieves.

Best Closed Face Fishing Reel

best closed face fishing reel

key specifications

  • Maximum drag: 8.82 lbs
  • Gear ratio: 5.0:1
  • 4 Ball bearings: 3 stainless steel+1roller bearings
  • Line capacity(lb/yd): 6/200, 8/140, 10/120
  • Both-handed orientation with single handle

Shimano Sedona FI Spinning Catfish Reel is suitable for freshwater use. It is corrosion-resistant and has a durable, corrosion-resistance body that can withstand hard fishing conditions. The solid brass spool can hold up to 250 yards of a 15lb fishing line.

This reel is also equipped with Shimano’s FI System. The functionality of this system is to hasten the casting process by reducing centrifugal force and line pressure.

This allows the professional angler to make quick adjustments to their line and provides the amateur angler with a higher casting performance.

If you are ready to make fishing a part of your life, this spinning reel by Shimano is perfect for you!


  • The Sedona FI retains all the features that have made the Sedona series a popular spinning reel.
  • It has a new streamlined design to help you focus on fishing instead of struggling with your reel.
  • It also features a new braking system that reduces its drag.


  • Its weight is 14 OZ which means we cannot consider it an ultralight reel.
  • It does not provide maximum drag capacity for long-distance casting.

5. Okuma Avenger Spinning Catfish Reel

Okuma Avenger Spinning Catfish Reel is an excellent choice for catfish fishermen worldwide. The reel comprises a durable aluminium frame and side plates, a stainless steel main shaft, a high-density rubber handle, and smooth ball-bearing construction.

Best Spinning Reel for Catfish

Best Fishing Reels for Catfish

key specifications

  • Gear ratio: 5.0:1 
  • Ball bearings :6BB+1RB
  • Weight: 1.4pounds
  • Max drag: 19lbs
  • Line capacity:10lb/380yd

The Avenger Spinning Catfish Reel is a favorite among catfish anglers. The reel features a multi-disc, oiled felt drag system that allows anglers to pressure the fish to get it to the boat and keep it from getting away. The Avenger reel features an on/off auto-trip bait feeding system


  • It features a multi-disc drag system and instant anti-reverse
  • Okuma is a trusted brand that has been perfecting its craft for over 100 years.
  • You get a perfectly smooth performance with a quick-set anti-reverse roller bearing; precision machine cut brass pinion gear, and a 6BB + 1RB bearing drive system.


  • Not recommended for beginners and kids
  • Heavy reel which weight is 1.4 pounds


When you are looking for a fishing reel for catfish, there are two main types to choose from- spinning and baitcasting. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to understand the difference before making a purchase.

When choosing the best fishing reel for catfish, it is important to consider the type of fishing you will be doing. Spinning reels are great for beginner anglers or when fishing in smaller streams, while baitcasting reels provide more power and are better suited for larger catfish in deeper water. Whichever reel you choose, make sure to practice with it before heading out on the water so you can become comfortable with its operation.

Spinning reels are typically more affordable than baitcasting reels and are easier to use. They are also better for beginners, as they are less likely to tangle the line. However, spinning reels cannot handle as much weight as baitcasting reels and are not as accurate when casting.

Baitcasting reels provide more power and accuracy than spinning reels, making them ideal for larger catfish. However, they can be more difficult to use and can be prone to tangling the line.

Expert Guides on Best Fishing Reels for Catfish

When it comes to fishing for catfish, having the right gear can make all the difference in the world. In this article, we will take a look at some of the best fishing reels for catfish- spinning and baitcasting reels. We’ll also provide an expert buying guide to help you choose the right reel for your needs. So, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, read on to learn more about the best fishing reels for catfish!

When it comes to baitcasting reel for catfish, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before making your purchase. The size of the reel is important, as you’ll want something that can handle the weight of a big catfish. You’ll also want to make sure the reel has a smooth drag system so you can easily pull in your catch. Finally, make sure the reel is properly balanced so it doesn’t tire you out while casting.

When it comes to choosing the right spinning reel for catfish, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Price is always a consideration, but you also need to think about the size of the fish you’re targeting, the weight of the line you’ll be using, and the type of water you’ll be fishing in.

Here are a few tips on how to choose the right spinning reel for catfish:

1. Choose a reel that’s big enough to handle the size of fish you’re targeting. A good rule of thumb is to go with a reel that’s rated for twice the weight of your line. So if you’re using a 10-pound line, choose a reel that’s rated for 20 pounds or more.

2. Some anglers prefer to use a large, powerful reel for catfish because they can handle larger fish. Others will go for something a little more compact and lighter weight that’s designed specifically for catfish fishing.

3. While there are quite a few catfish reels on the market, not all of them are created equal. Some of the best catfish reels are the ones that have a very smooth retrieve and a fast retrieve speed that allows for quick and easy line retrieval.

Here we reviewed the five best spinning reels for catfish, and the five best baitcasting reels for catfish now chose one of the best fishing reels for catfish. Before choosing any reels, you must have some knowledge about baitcast and spin cast.

Baitcasters and spin casters have different ways of casting lures and baits. The difference is in how the line comes off the spool. A baitcaster has a mechanism that allows the line to be presented directly from the spool when it’s rotated. A centrifugal force is created for spin-casters, which allows the lure and line to shoot out away from the rod upon flicking it so they can be cast much further than baitcasters or open face reels (or even pouring them out a bucket!).

Most people think Abu Garcia fishing reels are only manufactured in Sweden. However, the truth is, most of their fishing reels are produced in China. Some of the more expensive models are made in Sweden.

All open-face fishing reels have exposed lines. With closed face versions, you don’t see the spool. Instead, the fishing line is enclosed inside the reel’s nose cone and has a hole that allows the line to pass through it.

However, a good quality closed face reel, either top or bottom mounted, is great to cast with. One advantage of the open-faced reel is that they tend to be less expensive than the closed face. With an open-faced reel, it’s much easier to see where the line is tangling because you can see what’s happening instead of feeling around trying to discover where or why your bait got tangled up and ultimately lost. We recommend a good quality closed-faced spinning reel for most applications if you’re new to fishing.

About the author

John Carter

Hi, I'm John and living in Florida. I'm a well-known writer and known to be the author of most of the articles published on various fishing reel sites. I am an avid fisherman and expert when it comes to fishing reels. I'm also a part-time lecturer in the university and conduct classes on fishing reels and fishing rods.