What Spinning Reel Size Is Best For Saltwater Fishing?


Are you wondering what spinning reel size is best for saltwater fishing?

Well, this post will shed some light on this important question based on many years of testing our various-sized reels from multiple brands.

Most importantly, this lesson will make sure that you don’t fall into a money pit reel that has worse performance than less expensive options based on the type of fishing that you’ll be doing (finesse vs. power).

Make sure to watch the video below to see/hear the details.

Best Spinning Reel Size For Saltwater Fishing

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➡ Get the Fuego 2500-XH (favorite finesse reel)

➡ Get the BG MQ 3000 (favorite power reel)

Spinning Reel Specs

The best way to evaluate spinning reels by class is to look at their respective line capacity specs because the overall 2500, 3000, etc. ratings are not consistently applied.

Here are the core specs from the reels that have been my top choice for finesse and power situations.

Finesse Reel Specs (Fuego 2500)

The Fuego 2500-XH has been the best overall value reel that I have tested so far for using 5 lb to 15 lb braid as my mainline.

This reel has risen to the top because it feels/performs like many $200+ reels while having a price point of just under $110.

Fuego 2500-HX Specs

  • Line Capacity: 10 lb braid = 250 yards, 15 lbs = 185 yards
  • Weight: 7.2 oz
  • Inches Per Turn: 34.5 inches
  • Drag Capacity: 22 lbs
  • Body: Composite

Power Reel Specs (BG MQ 3000)

The BG MQ 3000 has been the best overall value reel that I have tested so far for using 20 to 30-lb braid as my mainline.

This reel has risen to the top because it feels/performs like $250+ reels while having a price point of $199.99.

BG MQ 3000 Specs

Here are the specs

  • Line Capacity: 20 lb braid = 220 yards
  • Weight: 9.3 oz
  • Inches Per Turn: 36.8 inches
  • Drag Capacity: 22 lbs
  • Body: Aluminum


The biggest mistake most saltwater fishermen make is to use reels that are bigger than needed, so hopefully, this video helped explain when it’s helpful to lighten up so that you have optimal performance for the more open water inshore fishing situations.

Please make sure to let us know which reels you’ve found to have the best (or worst) performance for saltwater fishing.

Just use the Comment feed below to share your thoughts or to post any questions that you may have after watching the video above.

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Finding The Fish Help

In order to help make sure that you are targeting the right areas based on the latest feeding trends and upcoming weather forecasts, make sure to use the following 3 resources because they will save you a ton of time.

1. Weekend Game Plans (updated weekly)

These regional game plans will show you exactly what types of spots to target in under 10 minutes… just click the video to start, and you’ll be informed on what to do on your next trip.

➡ Weekend Game Plan Lessons

2. Smart Fishing Spots Platform (updated every 15 minutes)

This exclusive software literally shows you where the most fish are likely to be feeding based on exactly when you’ll be fishing. It factors in the tides, wind, and weather to help you quickly see which areas to target throughout the day.

➡ Smart Fishing Spots App

3. Community Reports (live feed)

The Insider Community platform is what you can use to see what is biting near you, and you can get to know other members who fish in your area. Plus, you can use it to keep a log of your catches so you can use past trips to help predict future catches.

➡ Community Platform 

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1 month ago

I have the Fuego 2500. Bg3000. BgMQ 2500. I’m in the market for another reel. I’m looking for your opinion on the Balistic MQ, Stradic FM or new Tatula MQ. I also have an older Procyon 3000. Blue one mag seal. I’m leaning towards the Tatula MQ as I have 3 black ones. I do mainly fresh water but some salt when I get the chance. Love the feel of the Stradic as well. I’m sure I can’t go wrong with any of these but looking for your opinion

Donald R. White
6 months ago

I fish for strippers of the coast of Plymouth MA. What size reel would you recommend? And the manufacture you like.

Jack Switzer
10 months ago

So in La we fish for 30 to 40 pd redfish are the 3000 reels good for that

Barry Turner
11 months ago

I have a question on what length and strength of rod that would compromise with the Diawa 2500 reel?

William Fishburne
1 year ago

To what extent does Smart Fishing Spots take water temperature into account?

Andrew Gonzalez
1 year ago

Good information

Get it together
1 year ago

If your fishing on a pier, you better bring at least a 5000. You can use the smaller reels for pomps but yout not getting a decent king on a 2500

Thomas Gayeski
1 year ago

I am an old timer – reaching 8 decades soon. I agree with the smaller reel is more than adequate. But I use a reel close to my age _DAM quick 220 or 330 are amazing reels. The machining and materials cannot be beat. The reels are about 60 years old and still work great. Yes, newer reels may feel smother (?), but my two have a handle that spins so moot with a wimple twist!

Rob S
1 year ago
Reply to  Thomas Gayeski

Those were my first reels in the 50s. Extremely durable and made in Germany. The only part that had to be periodically replaced was the bail spring in the 220. Great to see you’re still engaged in the sport, Thomas.

Thomas Gayeski
1 year ago
Reply to  Thomas Gayeski

spell corrector is great! “spins so smooth with a simple twist!”

1 year ago

Thanks for the post Luke. I have purchased a couple BG2500 and paired them with the TFO 71/2 rods and love them. Great price and support from SaltStrong. Great combo for the kayak. Also keep a 3000 on the kayak just in case.

Jude Gustafson
1 year ago

I recently picked up a daiwa bg mq 2500 to have a do-all setup for the yak. I will be building a custom rod to pair with this reel. I am debating on whether I should get the mhx MB843 rod blank or the mhx SJ843 rod blank. Which rod blank would you recommend for an all-purpose rod for throwing artificials?


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