Last updated on July 21st, 2021 at 07:14 pm

Catfish are one of the most popular freshwater fish in America. They have a wide range of sizes, and can be caught using many different methods. The best spinning reels for catfish offer features that will make your fishing easier and more enjoyable. In this article, you’ll learn about the five best spinning reels for catfish on the market today and how to choose the best catfish spinning reel for you!

Our Top 4 Best Catfish Spinning Reels in 2021

We’ve gathered our 4 favorite catfish spinning reels for sale in 2021. We’ve carefully considered price, features, and ratings from actual users to give you the best information possible on each catfish spinning reel. Read on to learn which catfish spinning reel is best for you.

Don’t mess around. Here’s a summary of the best catfish spinning reels in 2021:

  1. Daiwa Exceler LT
  2. Penn Battle II
  3. SNOVA Aladino – Best Catfish Spinning Reel for the Money
  4. Van Staal VR

Our first catfish spinning reel is the Daiwa Exceler LT. These reels are strong, durable, extremely smooth in action, and are ideal for fishing all day without feeling weary. They are constructed with lightweight carbon housing, which makes for easy handling.

 
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Pros:

  • Excellent crank
  • Durable scroll
  • Running smoothly
  • Lightweight and affordable

Cons:

  • Noisy hand knob
  • May corrode with continued use in salt waters

Next up on our list of the best catfish spinning reels is the Penn Battle. The Penn Battle reel is an awesome overall reel for fishermen in basically any body of water. Because of the quality of its features, the Penn fishing reel is one of the fishing reels you should consider if you want a functional fishing reel that can stand the test of time.

In most cases, the sealed ball bearings do an excellent job of protecting the reel. The few cases where the saltwater breaches the sealed ball bearings are a rarity, and again, are obviously less of a concern for freshwater fishing.

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Pros:

  • Long-lasting full metal body complete with side plate, rotor, and bail wire
  • Powerful HT 100 carbon fiber drag that aids the smooth movement of the fishing reel through water.
  • Sealed ball bearings that keep your reel dry, and anti-reverse bearings for holding it in place
  • Long superline spool to help you catch fish that are at a distance from you.

Cons:

  • Rod tips have been known to break

The Snova Aladino Catfish spinning reel is a powerful, reliable graphite fishing rod that rarely breaks or snaps. The metallic paint prevents the rod from being scratched by sand and stones while also giving it a good look.

The 11+1 super smooth double shield ball bearing system and high-grade brass pinions make for a very smooth cast for the price point. It isn’t the same level of quality as some of the more expensive reels on this list, but if you’re looking for the best catfish spinning reel for the money, this is your best bet. 

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Pros:

  • Save time by changing sides with a quick click
  • Easy to pack away when you need to travel
  • No bumpy-feeling on the initial line release
  • Easy and smooth cranking
  • Awesome value for the price

Cons:

  • Doesn’t feel as sturdy as a more expensive reel

Our final catfish spinning reel is the Van Staal VR. Let me start by saying that this is much more than a spinning reel for catfish. It’s an expensive reel but it’s one of the best on the market for many different types of fish. 

If you’re going out for some serious fishing, this is the reel to grab. The VR series is suitable for anglers who fish in tough and hard conditions and expect the utmost in endurance without compromising on the performance.

 

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Pros:

  • Excellent Durability
  • Lightweight Design
  • Customizable Framework
  • High Line Capability
  • Excellent Drag Capacity

Cons:

  • Price

What To Look For In a Catfish Spinning Reel

Shopping for a spinning reel that works for catching catfish can be tricky. There are many important factors to consider in order to find the best reel for your situation. Let’s discuss some of the most important factors when shopping for a catfish spinning reel.

Fishing style and technique

The first important consideration is fishing style and technique. If you are looking for a spinning reel that will work well in shallow water, then you need to look at models with shorter handles or lighter overall weight. This can make casting easier when there isn’t much room between your feet and the water.

If you are looking for a spinning reel that will work well when fishing in deep water, then you need to look at models with longer handles and heavier overall weight. This can make casting easier when there is more room between your feet and the water.

It’s important to note that some catfish spinning reels come equipped with features great for catfish, while others are not. For example, a catfish fishing spinning reel with an anti-reverse bearing will minimize the chance of hooks getting wrapped around the line and being pulled back into your rod when reeling in a fish. On the other hand, that same feature may make it more difficult to get bait out of cracks or crevices in tricky areas.

What size spinning reel for catfish?

The best size spinning reel for catching catfish is dependent on how deep you will be fishing. The deeper the water, then the more important it becomes to have a larger and heavier spinning reel with an even greater range of motion when reeling in your catch. Be sure to consider this as you shop for a reel.

Which type of line should you use with this type of reel?

The best line for catching catfish on a spinning reel is a braided line. Braided fishing lines have the least amount of stretch, meaning they’ll not get pulled into knots so easily and will be less likely to break or tangle when reeling in your catch.

Drag settings when fishing for catfish

Catching catfish can be a very fun experience. It’s not uncommon to hook up on a good size catfish. Your drag settings are important when fishing for catfish.

If you’re catching a smaller fish, use less drag on your reel to avoid oversetting the hook and losing the catch.

For larger catfish, set your drag at a higher pressure. This will allow you to play big fish without them breaking off and getting loose of the hook. Keep the line tight.

Types of baits you use when catching catfish with a spinning reel?

Some of the best bait for catfish are worms, shrimp, minnows or crickets. Additionally, a lot of fishermen have success with chicken livers.

One thing to keep in mind is that catfish are bottom feeders so your bait should be on the bottom of the water column. Throw out some bait and let it sink for a minute or two before you start fishing, this will increase your odds of catching fish.

Can a spinning reel be used for catching catfish?

Yes! Spinning reels are often used for catfish due to their reliability and the easy way in which they can be used. If you’re new to fishing or you’re not familiar with baitcasters yet, spinning reels can be one of the best options for catching catfish.

Sum It Up! The Best Catfish Spinning Reel in 2021

A lot goes into choosing the best catfish spinning reel. Hopefully, this article gives you all of the insight you need to determine which reel is best for you.

After reviewing our four favorite spinning reels for catfish, we’ve got a couple of favorites. Here are our top 2 favorite choices for the best catfish spinning reel:

  1. Daiwa Exceler LT
  2. SNOVA Aladino – Best Catfish Spinning Reel for the Money