3 Best Offshore Spinning Reels

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Hey there my fellow fishing enthusiasts and welcome to my post discussing my 3 best offshore spinning reels to drag em in on this year. For us who love offshore fishing, we agree that our gear can make or break that fishing experience especially when fighting that personal best catch.

Hence, I am of the strong opinion that there is a definite need here to use the best equipment we can find, and our spinning reels are no exception. And of course there are a number of different options out there for beginners and experienced fishers alike so to help you out, I have had a good look around and come up with three good options for you below.

Let’s check em out…

My three recommended offshore spinning reels

I will review these in more detail below, but if you just want to get moving without all the carry-on, my recommended products are listed here for your convenience:

02/19/2024 05:12 am GMT Lasso Brag

What are offshore spinning reels?

The spinning reel is arguably the most common type of fishing reel. It is an open-faced fishing reel that has a fixed spool and a revolving metal arm – called a bail – that winds line onto the spool when the handle is turned. These are fantastic reels for beginners as they rarely tangle and as the inner workings are generally housed within a waterproof case, they are easy to maintain.

I also like them on a boat as they rarely cause any issues that come with some of the overhead or baitcaster models. When it comes to offshore fishing, spinning reels for this purpose tend to be more corrosion resistant than their freshwater counterparts as well as containing other components to handle large tackle weights and catches too.

Best Offshore Spinning Reels - spinning reel

What should you be looking for?

Below are some of the main factors you should take into account as you shop for a good deep sea spinning reel:

  1. Line capacity
  2. Drag system
  3. Gear ratio
  4. Braided-line compatibility
  5. Other considerations

Line capacity

A reel’s line capacity is the maximum length of line that the spool can hold without getting overloaded. Because the diameter of the fishing line increases with its strength, generally the stronger it is, the more space takes up more space on the spool.

Braided fishing line of course assists with this however large catches can take a real lot of line as they ‘run. Hence, you will need to consider the size of the fish you intend to catch when choosing a reel and match the line capacity accordingly.

Drag system

This feature helps in reducing the friction once a fish takes your lure. The drag’s purpose is to limit how much force can be applied to the line before the spool slips and lets out more lines. This avoids line breakage giving it a little more strength as well as protecting your reel at the same time.

Granted it is almost impossible to purchase a spinning reel that doesn’t have a drag system included these days however you should always check the manufacturer’s strength limitations to ensure it can handle the type of fish you will be chasing.

Most work via the movement of internal aluminium plates that ‘give’ under pressure however some are also made from carbon fiber for greater strength and smoothness as well.

Gear ratio

Another critical aspect of a good spinning fishing reel is its gear ratio. The gear ratio indicates how many times the rotor revolves for one handle rotation. With a 6.2:1 gear ratio, the line will wrap around the spool 6.2 times for every handle rotation.

When it comes to deep sea fishing, you will find that the larger reels tend to sit around the 4.2 – 5.0 mark which is good as you can play with the drag without the line coming in too fast which can place extra strain on the line and gear.

Best Offshore Spinning Reels - man with GT

Braided line compatibility

Because of its strength, casting distance and sensitivity, braided fishing line is a popular choice for most offshore fishing situations. On the other hand, a braided line is known to either slide around on spools when reeling in or ‘bite’ into itself when casting.

To counter this most reels are lined with a mono backing to keep the braid tight however some also offer a rubber grip material where the line makes contact with the spool to help mitigate the effect. Instead of slipping around, the line will catch on the rubber material and provide you with leverage to pull some of that line back.

Of course you could also try a line spooler as well…

Other considerations

Other considerations include:

  • Ball bearings – Ball bearings in a reel work in the same manner as a car wheel in that they provide extra smoothness as the handles etc. are turned. When it comes to a reel, the greater the number of ball bearings you can get for the price, the better. And if the reel will be used for ocean or surf fishing, anti-rust or shielded bearings are also highly recommended.
  • Anti-reverse – This feature prevents the handle from turning backward allowing the line to be reeled in but not released. Some spinning reels have an anti-reverse feature that lets the angler spin the reel back to let the line out while keeping the bail closed.
  • Corrosion-resistance – Best saltwater fishing reels are designed using corrosion-resistant materials, such as anodized aluminum or carbon. Furthermore, excellent saltwater fishing reels typically have sealed components to keep saltwater out of the gears allowing them to remain smooth, precise, and fully functional.
  • Handle – Most are plastic or EVA but make sure it fits comfortably in your hand (more expensive models are carbon fiber).

What do I use?

I recently purchased myself a nice big Penn Spinfisher VI 9500 reel for use out on the ocean. I have it loaded with 80lb braid and whilst it is a little heavy, it is perfectly balanced and can handle anything I throw at it.

I picked it up on the advice of a neighbour who is a commercial fisherman as in his experience whilst they are not as smooth as some others, they are extremely durable and tough and will handle anything we are chasing out on the boat.

penn spinfisher IV review - specs

Its specifications are as follows:

  • Model: Penn Spinfisher VI SSVI9500 spinning fishing reel (models range from 4500 to 10500)
  • Bearings: 5 + 1 fully sealed stainless steel
  • Ratio: 4.2:1 (smaller models range 5.6:1 to 6.2:1)
  • Composition: IPX5 sealed spool, full metal body and side plates protecting CNC Gear System with a Thermoplastic soft handle
  • Drag: front of spool – HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers – up to 45lb (ranges start at 15lb on 4500 model)
  • Anti-reverse switch: no

My experience with these has been nothing but positive in that it really works well and when a fish is on, I have never felt like the reel was struggling or going to ‘give out’. As above, I have the large model so it doesn’t cast really well – although the heavy line and small rod will have to take some of the blame here. It however works perfectly for jigging along the bottom with heavy baits or lures.


What is an offshore spinning reel?

An offshore spinning reel is a type of fishing reel designed specifically for saltwater fishing in deep water, such as in the ocean or in large bodies of water. These reels are generally larger and more heavy-duty than traditional spinning reels, and are capable of handling larger fish and heavier fishing line.

How is an offshore spinning reel different from a regular spinning reel?

Offshore spinning reels are designed to handle the unique challenges of saltwater fishing, such as the corrosive effects of saltwater and the need to handle larger fish. They are generally larger and more heavy-duty than regular spinning reels, with stronger gears and a higher line capacity. Additionally, offshore spinning reels often have specialized features such as waterproof seals and anti-corrosion coatings to help protect against the harsh saltwater environment.

My three recommendations broken down

So, based on the information above and my own experience, I recommend the following options:

1. Dr. Fish Saltwater Offshore Fishing Reel

This first spinning reel provides the ability to give you the necessary power needed for ocean catches with strong drag washers and high-density anti-corrosion materials to withstand the harsh effects of saltwater. Under these conditions, it can withstand all types of wear and tear. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Dr. Fish
  • Material: Stainless Steel, Aluminum, Graphite
  • Weight: 30.9 ounces
  • Line capacity: 17/400,20/310,30/220
  • Gear ratio: 3.9:1
  • Bearing material: 13+1 Rust-resistant stainless steel

Other inclusions:

  • Heavy-duty aluminum handle
  • Left-right interchangeable handle
  • Ceramic line roller
  • Triple carbon fiber drag

Why have I chosen it?

The spinning reel can be paired with various medium-heavy rods ranging in length from seven to fourteen feet. The bail wire is made of sturdy Piano Wire which helps prevent line breakage and due to its adaptability, it is ideal for targeting a wide range of fish

2. Shimano Baitrunner D Spinning Reel

My second profiled reel, the Shimano Baitrunner, is another of my favourites and one of the best offshore spinning reels available if you are planning to cast a bit or chase fast running surface fish. It however will handle jigging with ease (it does for me) and is suitable for both left and right-hand retrieval. Despite its size, it has better line lay which reduces friction on the line and provides a more comfortable grip. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Shimano
  • Material: Stainless Steel, Graphite
  • Weight: 1.36 pounds
  • Line capacity: 10/300, 12/265, 16/170
  • Gear ratio: 4.8:1
  • Bearing material: 3 + 1 Anti rust shielded stainless steel

Other inclusions:

  • Interchangeable handle
  • Dyna balance technology
  • Anti-reversing system
  • 20lb drag

Why have I chosen this?

This reel is perfect for so many use types out on the water and incorporates Varispeed technology which employs an oval wind shape to ensure consistent spool rotation. The device’s hard-core graphite body is well-engineered as well as reducing the device’s weight while also increasing its durability. I use one myself and trust me when I say you could do a lot worse than this one in terms of versatility. For heavy ocean work I would not go below the 6000 model as an absolute minimum.

Check out my: Shimano Baitrunner D Spinning Reel Review

3. Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Fishing Reel

My last offshore spinning reel is another that I know and use with exceptional strength and durability. The 5+1 stainless seal ball bearing system is tucked away inside the body and its tightly sealed gearing within the metal exterior will prevent water, salt, or even sand from penetrating and damaging it. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Penn
  • Material: Metal body and side plate
  • Weight: 0.76 pounds
  • Line capacity: 240/10 220/15 160/20
  • Gear ratio: 6.2:1
  • Bearing material: 5 + 1 fully sealed stainless steel

Other inclusions:

  • IPX5 seal waterproof rating
  • Superline spool
  • CNC gear technology
  • Ht-100 carbon fiber drag washers

Why have I chosen it?

The product’s CNC Gear technology ensures that the gear system is precisely manufactured and the super line spool allows you to release and retrieve line without fear of tangles. There is also a rubber ring in the spool making it ‘braid ready’ to prevent your line from slipping. If you want strength and long-lasting durability – this is the one to get in my opinion.

Check out my: Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Fishing Reel Review

02/19/2024 05:12 am GMT Lasso Brag


And there they are, my three best offshore spinning reels for any species. I hope it was helpful and as usual, please let me know of your experiences with them below.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time

Have fun


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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.