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​Best Spinning Reels Under 300 USD – Tips For The Pros!

Unless you buy a $15 reel made by a random manufacturer in the middle of nowhere, a spinning reel represents an investment. It is a piece of equipment that can make the difference . Spinning reels come in a wide variety of designs and price ranges. When browsing the best spinning reels under 300 bucks, you make a statement – you want to up your game and you are ready to go pro.

Best Spinning Reels Under 300 USD

When you are about to spend that kind of money on a reel, you certainly need to research your options and do your homework:

What kind of water do you fish in?

What kind of fish do you normally go for?

All in all, assuming you know what you want, here are the top rated spinning reels on the market, as well as the features that make them special.

Top Spinning Reels Under 300

Best Spinning Reels Under 300

Editor’s choice: Pflueger Patriarch XT Spinning Reel

I would place Pflueger’s Patriarch XT reel in the high end category. Alright, it is in the high price range, but the features and quality you get will surprise you. It is by far one of the most cost efficient deals you can get out there. The brand is known for being up to date with the latest technologies and innovations in order to provide superior products. This unit is lightweight and mostly suitable for technical fishing, like I like to call it. It comes in three sizes – 2500, 3000 and 3500.

Now, let me get to its features…

The unit comes with nine XCR ball bearings, as well as another one for the anti reverse bearing system. The bearings are shielded. The retrieval is extremely smooth. There is almost no friction involved at all. Plus, you get good resistance.

The instant anti reverse bearing is one of the features that drew my attention. Normally available in pricey units, this feature prevents slops and snaps when fighting fish.

The body and rotor are based on magnesium, which is probably the most significant factor in the lightweight design. Aluminum is more common, indeed, but it is a bit heavier and not as strong, so magnesium is the way forward. The side plate carries the same quality standards. All parts are covered in superior coating for extra resistance to corrosion.

The main gear is made of machined aluminum for precision and smoothness. You also have slow oscillation, as well as a titanium coated line roller. Line management will no longer be an issue. No matter what type of line you use, it will go where it is supposed to go.

The spool is super lightweight, as all the unnecessary parts have been cleared for a skeleton appearance. As for the carbon drag, it is sealed, so you get smoothness and lots of protection against dirt and water. The handle has also received an upgrade – carbon over aluminum. It is topped with EVA for comfort.

Last, but not least, let me point out the titanium main shaft. It is not titanium coating, but actual solid titanium. It is lighter and stronger than other material – perfect combo.


  • Extremely lightweight due to the materials used
  • Lots of different materials for a lighter and stronger approach
  • Quality titanium and carbon components
  • Sealed bearing system for strength and smoothness


  • Line management is not perfect, but definitely superior to other reels in this price range

Best price & deal 

What do other anglers say?

“I thought I found this reel on a special offer, but it is its actual price. Great value for money and features that I never thought I would find in this range.”

Check the best price here!

Customer Favorite: Shimano Stradic CI4 FB Spinning Reel

Brought out in the spring of 2016, the Stradic CI4 FB reel comes with a few major upgrades over the previous generation. One of them drew my attention straight away – the implementation of Shimano’s proprietary X-Ship technology. It comes with a pinion gear supported by double bearing, which boosts the smoothness when dealing with heavy fish.

The magnumite (also known as MGL) rotor is not to be overlooked either. It reduces the weight and adds to the balance. After all, the material is 25% lighter than materials used in previous generations. Given the new balance, handling the retrieve becomes a piece of cake. Plus, since you do not need so much inertia, the smoothness will go to another level.

The G-Free body design is not unique on this reel, as Shimano has implemented it over more of its recent reels. What does it mean? The central part of the reel is closer to the rod. It does not really affect the weight, but it adds to the balance. You can feel the fish much better and more importantly, I felt no fatigue after spending a whole day with this reel.

I find it important to mention the top notch CoreProtect water resistance technology, the CI4+ carbon body (extremely low weight) and cold forged aluminum spool. Furthermore, the Hagane drive gears are all about precision, while the X-Ship adds to the strength and precision. The same technology is used for the pinion gear support system, which transfers more power to the rotor.

Other than that, you get six S A-RB ball bearings based on shielded stainless steel. The shielded design is what draws the attention, as it prevents water, dirt and salt from going inside and affecting the bearings. The one way roller bearing carries the Super Stopper II anti reverse technology, so you can handle the hook without feeling any play at all.

Now, let me talk about the AR-C spool design. Line management will never let you down. The unit features a power roller too. While there might be line twists here and there, you will experience way less problems than with other reels. The power roller is grooved and will tackle more than half of your line twists. To be perfectly honest with you, this is the best line management system I have ever used – and I am considering high end and more expensive reels too.


  • Extremely lightweight due to the materials
  • Almost waterproof, but it still requires a bit of care
  • Exceptional smoothness due to a plethora of new technologies
  • Quick fire drag


  • The anti reverse switch is a bit small and challenging

Best price & deal 

What do other anglers say?

“I have tested more expensive reels in my shopping experience and I must say this one outweighs most of them. It is a great buy!”

Give it a try here.

Best Value For Money: Penn Slammer III Spinning Reel

Penn Slammer III was brought in 2016 and won a few awards the same year. How come? Easy. The reel was built to take and tackle all the issues associated with saltwater fishing. From getting saltwater all over it to getting wet and dropped, this reel can take some good wear and tear before showing any signs of giving up.

It comes with durable metallic elements – the rotor, side plate and body. This kind of design is essential for large models, as it keeps parts well aligned inside. It is all about durability and smoothness.

At the same time, I found the full brass bearing system exceptional. It carries the CNC Gear technology, so it is both strong and precise. I have tested various reels in this price range and most of them come with aluminum or composite gears. Brass is likely to last for ages. Besides, it is way smoother than other alternatives.

Another plus that makes this reel stand out is the sealed design. You no longer need to worry about saltwater in the gearbox, maintenance and sophisticated cleaning operation. The sealing system is IPX6 rated, meaning your reel can get sprayed all day long without showing any weaknesses. Personally, I still give it a rinse once I am done fishing.

Now, here is something interesting… The Penn Slammer III reel is the first reel on the market to bring in the Dura-Drag system. This type of material is only used by this brand. While HT-100 carbon washers used to dominate the market, this one is even stronger and more durable.

Washers are covered in a phenolic material that adds to the smoothness and strength, allowing the reel to take heavy weights. This is quite an innovation in this price range. Penn used it before, but only of high end reels that cost twice as much.

Other than that, the reel comes with 6+1 stainless steel bearings and line capacity rings that give you a good view of what you have left – ideal to determine how far you can go. There are a couple of handle knobs – aluminum and EVA. Aluminum is stronger, but it gets cold with the weather. EVA is more comfortable.


  • Heavy duty design
  • Impressive drag of up to 60 pounds
  • Different options for the knob
  • IPX6 water resistant


  • Heavier, but at the end of the day, it is designed for heavy duty uses

Best price & deal 

What do other anglers say?

“I cannot believe the price range of this reel. I have seen such features in expensive and professional reals and I have never expected to get them for this price. Excellent buy!”

Check it out here.

Shimano Stradic FL Spinning Reel

Shimano is like Santa Claus for me. Whenever I grab a Shimano reel, I like turning it around and checking each part individually because it has so many technologies that it feels overwhelming. Hagane is a common name for Shimano. The Hagane Gear brings in cold forged gearing in the smallest details. The application is simply astonishing and can outweigh the competition in terms of smoothness and durability.

The same name is used for the body design. What makes it so special then? You get extreme rigidity, as well as nobody flexing at all. The body is built to face impacts like no other – it is extremely stiff, while the cranking power and strength add to its overall efficiency.

The X-Ship technology is not to be overlooked either. I praise it whenever I get the opportunity – the pinion gear is boosted on each end with bearings. In other words, alignment is flawless, regardless of how heavy your fish it. There is no friction and performance leaves no room for mistakes.

The gear design is just as attractive. You have the so called MicroModule II gear, which relies on plenty of small teeth for smoothness. It is a system that you cannot really find in other reels in this price range. Do not overlook the long stroke spool either. It is longer, so the line is well managed without the spool oscillating. Let me say it in a simpler way – the line does not have to change direction too often, so there are less issues when casting.

Keep an eye on the SilentDrive and X-Protect technologies too, not to mention the S A-RB bearings and the G-Free body – excellent for balance. As for the drag system, you have a cross carbon system that allows lots of different settings.


  • Lots of unique technologies used in the design
  • Improved smoothness
  • Line management is flawless
  • Innovative body design


  • A bit heavier than other reels in this range

Best price & deal 

What do other anglers say?

“You can never go wrong with Shimano, really… This reel is a high end option in a middle priced range.”

Give it a try here.

Final Words

As a short final conclusion, while you do have options in terms of spinning reels under 300, some of them do stand out in the crowd. I chose the above mentioned reels based on their features and value for money. Practically, you will normally find such features in higher end models, yet the manufacturers somehow managed to keep prices down.