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If you’re on the hunt for a fishing reel for your next trip out for salmon but don’t what to spend hours hunting around the internet for the Best Salmon Fishing Reel, then we have you covered and have done all the leg work for you.

There are many different methods of fishing for salmon and different styles of reels to cater for each style and will fit that style the best, so we have given you the top 5 salmon reels that will suit each style best.

So now we are going to play this out if you’re in a rush we will lay out the top 5 best salmon reels on the market in case you just want to know which is best. Still, if want to know a little more information on what made us pick these top 5 reels and what you should look for in a good salmon reel then the mini buyer’s guide will help with this.

Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Levelwind Trolling Reel

Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Levelwind Trolling Reel

The best things in life are hard to get, and the same goes for the best fish as well. Some of the most popular, tasty, and desirable fish reside in deep water. To get to them, you are going to need a trolling reel and line. That is where the Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Levelwind Trolling Reel comes in. This is a modern trolling reel designed to help you snag that elusive walleye, salmon or other deep dwelling fish that you just can’t reach with a typical baitcasting reel.

This trolling reel comes with everything you want out of a modern and durable piece of angling gear. It has stainless steel parts and pieces to stand up against the corrosive nature of saltwater. Also, it has a counter weight system to keep your line down where you want it. It is designed with professionals in mind and tested for accuracy, strength and reliability to the standards that the best anglers in the world demand.

  • Lightweight saltwater resistant body
  • Stainless steel bearings and line guides
  • Holds up to 420 yards of 20lb test line
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Fly Fishing Reel Large Arbor 2+1 BB

Fly Fishing Reel Large Arbor 2+1 BB

The first thing you are going to say when you see this reel is whoa! The second thing you are going to do is say whoa again once you feel this reel in your hand. Fly fishing is an amazing art form and it requires a special kind of reel to pull it all together. That is why the makers at Sougayilang have designed this eye-catching, durable, and functional fly fishing reel at an affordable price.

This reel is made from precision CNC designed and cut 6061-T6 aluminum alloy. This gives this reel the perfect balance between weight and durability. No need to have heavy and ugly stainless steel on a reel designed for freshwater greatness. This reel also comes with a large arbor that you will appreciate when you’re out in the water. This reel is perfect for all kinds of freshwater fly fishing from lakes to rivers to streams. Wherever the fish are, you and your reel will be also.

  • Designed with the modern fly fisherman in mind – you’ll notice the little details
  • 2+1 smooth and powerful bearing system will give you fluid cranks every time
  • Comes with a 5-year warranty
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Penn SQL20LWLC Squall LevelWind

Penn SQL20LWLC Squall LevelWind

If you want to be catching the best fish, you are going to need the best reel. Have you ever snagged the big one only to be disappointed when your reel can’t handle the drag? Have you ever let one get away? Do not let it happen again with the Penn SQL20LWLC Squall LevelWind Trolling Reel. This reel is designed with big game fish in mind. The ocean is deep, violent and salty and that is exactly the kind of conditions that this reel was designed to tackle.

The Penn SQL20LWLC Squall LevelWind Trolling Reel is made from the higherst quality materials that will not strain under pressure. It has a powerful carbon drag system that will be able to tire out the biggest of fish. It is made from graphite, stainless steel and brass giving you ultimate corrosion resistance against the harsh conditions on the water. PENN has been at the forefront of angling gear for over seventy years and with products like this, they will be there for seventy more. Don’t let your reel let you down, snag the fish tale with PENN in your hand.

  • A combination of the best materials designed to create the ultimate big game fishing reel
  • Light yet durable
  • The reel you will want when you have the big fish on the line
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Yoshikawa Baitfeeder Spinning Reel Saltwater Freshwater Fishing

Yoshikawa Baitfeeder Spinning Reel Saltwater Freshwater Fishing

Very few things on Earth are as damaging and annoying than saltwater. It gets everywhere, it’s sticky, gunky, gooey and it begins to breakdown anything it touches over time. That is why the Yoshikawa Baitfeeder Spinning Reel Saltwater is designed to combat those destructive forces and deliver a reel that will last, no matter what kind of water you’re fishing in.

The saltwater resistant materials include a stainless steel main shaft, stainless steel ball bearings, graphite plates, and changeable aluminum handles. These materials ensure that this reel will stand the test of time. But that is not all. The Yoshikawa Baitfeeder Spinning Reel Saltwater is also innovative in its design. Unlike most spinning reels where you have to open the bail to free your line, leading to some awkward movements, this reel comes with a switch on the back that allows you to let out some free line without the bail. This will allow you to have more control during the fight than if you have to constantly keep flipping the bail back and forth.

  • High grade materials create a reel that can be used in any kind of water
  • Innovative design revolutionizes the spinning reel
  • Powerful unique drag system
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Okuma Cold Water Lightweight Trolling Reel

Okuma Cold Water Lightweight Trolling Reel

Salmon, walleye, steelhead, these are the fish that evoke emotions in an angler. They are the ones you want. But they are also hard to get. They are ancient, powerful and live in harsh environments. That is why OKUMA designed the Cold Water Line Counter Trolling Reel. This reel is designed to perform in these adverse conditions and deliver the fish that you desire.

The Cold Water Line Counter Trolling Reel was created with power in mind. Bass and trout are small fry compared to the fish you want to land. That is why this reel has a powerful carbon drag system that will deliver the kind of stopping force you need to fight the biggest of fish. The trolling reel is able to accurately lay your line where you need it, down deep, to snag these fish. They know power and fluidity are important when landing a monster fish which is also why they included a self lubricating bearing system that keeps the gears fresh and free with each crank and pull.

  • Designed to catch the biggest and best fish
  • Made from durable and lightweight materials
  • 1 year limited warranty from the makers at OKUMA
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Best Salmon Fishing Reel Buyers Guide

As we mention above there are many different ways to fish for salmon and these different ways to fish for salmon mean picking the best reel a little harder but the same things remain important and we will cover them below but first we will cover the different styles.

Salmon Fishing Styles

So as we have said there are a few different ways to fish for salmon and they fall into the following categories.

Fly Fishing – Maybe the first style you think of when it comes to fishing for salmon then you may think of fly fishing and this method of is best suited to a dedicated fly fishing reel they seem a basic reel but all the details stand even if they do look basic.

Spin Fishing – A lot of people like to spin for salmon and when there really biting this is a brilliant method and a traditional reel style is best suited for spin fishing, these reel are labelled spinning reels.

Some people like to use a Baitcasting Reel for salmon and I personally don’t like them for salmon but my friend uses but baitcasting reel for salmon so they have their place on the list and can be used for most style of fishing excluding fly fishing.

Reel Frame

With any reel it’s important if you want the best then the frame has to be right to be classed in the best bracket. The main use of material used is graphite and aluminium and these types will be some of the best reels you will find.

I would suggest picking a salmon reel that is made from graphite over any other and the reason for this is a lot of people fish for salmon in saltwater which is very corrosive but if you won’t be fishing in saltwater then this is less important.

To keep the fight going for graphite as well is the fact that it’s much lighter and stronger than aluminium so you will be getting something that will last a lot longer.

Salmon Reel Ball Bearing

When you turn the handle on a reel some will be very smooth and may even turn on their own if you try to spin it with your finger this is down to the amount of ball bearings that are in the reel system.

So what we want to look for here is a reel with three or more ball bearings this will give a nice smooth action in other words the more ball bearing a reel has the smoother the reel will be and the more enjoyable it is to use.

So to roundup make sure of the amount of ball bearings and if you see shielded this will mean that it’s even better and a smoother reel again.

Salmon Reel Gear Ratio

People always ask what the gear ratio is and it’s something that some companies try to sell there reels on and it does have some benefit but put basically if it spiel says 4:1 this means that every turn of your handle the spool will turn four times.

Salmon are hard fighters and you want a reel with a low gear ratio this makes the reeling process a lot slower but helps with the hard fighting fish so a 2:1 is ideal.

Salmon Reel Drag

This will not really apply to a fly fishing reel but other style of reels have a drag feature and this will give you full control over the salmon.

Has salmon are hard fighting fish you will want to set your drag so the salmon can take line of your reel without the line breaking. A drag system can make your fishing experience a lot of more enjoyable as there are no problems of line breaks.

Salmon Reel Spool

The spool is what holds the fishing line and depending on your style of fishing to the size you will want. I would suggest getting graphite again if you are going to be fishing in saltwater as again this will stop any corrosion.

So the deeper the water or if you’re going to be casting at any distance then I would go with the biggest spool.


So we hope this article helps you get the best salmon fishing reel for your style of fishing and our buying guide helps you choose the perfect reel if you go on the hunt by yourself.

I am always asked what is the best fishing reel and I am not going to answer that and just point you to any of the top 5 we have selected above, the reason I am not picking my number one is that any of the above will be perfect for the style of fishing they suggest.

So enjoy your salmon fishing trip and hope you get the reel that is right for your need and keep them lines tight.