What Is The Best Spinning Reel Size For Your Inshore Setup


Are you using the wrong spinning reel size for your rod, line, and species?

Chances are good that you might be making this mistake.

So in this episode, we address everything you need to know about picking the correct spinning reel size.

Check it out below!

You can watch the video version of this podcast below, listen to the audio version by clicking the play button underneath it, or listen to it on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify.

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Spinning Reel Size Selection [VIDEO]

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Spinning Reel Size Selection [PODCAST]

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Here’s a timestamped table of contents:

  • 1:36 – Reel sizes aren’t always the real sizes…
  • 3:22 – You are wasting so much money! (And we’ve all done it!)
  • 4:23 – The weight of the reel is very important
  • 4:49 – Spend more money on your rod over your reel
  • 5:27 – Why Luke doesn’t use a 1000 size reel
  • 6:17 – Think about the “Inches Per Turn” factor
  • 7:59 – Don’t go by the number, go by the specs
  • 9:07 – The Fuego 2500 versus the 3000
  • 14:09 – You can get plenty of line on a 2500 for inshore fishing
  • 15:49 – The 1000 size reels have this advantage
  • 18:27 – Buying cheap reels to test
  • 19:42 – Want to hear a podcast on wish.com reels?
  • 21:56 – THE Daiwa Exist
  • 25:06 – Even for big game fishing, you don’t have to spend a ton of money
  • 28:59 – Always look at the specs (it’s not one-size-fits-all)
  • 30:52 – The movie quote quiz is coming for The Simonds
  • 35:11 – We quality control and here’s why

Here are some extra resources to help you choose the reel that’s right for you:

And here’s the spinning reel that Luke and Capt. Hollywood recommend for tarpon season (plus some of our all-time favorites):

Please note: if any of these are sold out by the time you are reading this, simply click the Notify Me When Available button to get an alert when they are back in stock!


best size rod and reel for inshore saltwater fishing

For years we used the wrong spinning reels.


Because we incorrectly thought we needed beefy spinning reels to fight inshore fish like big redfish, snook, trout, and tarpon.

I can’t even imagine how many fish we missed because we came in too overpowered for the situation.

So make sure you are choosing the right size reel for your inshore setup and what you are specifically targeting!

Have any questions about what reel size is right for you?

Want us to do a podcast on the cheap-o reels we’re testing??

Let me know down in the comments!

And if you know an angler that is having trouble picking out a spinning reel, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Christopher Shuff
1 year ago

You guys are hilarious together. Both enjoyable and informative. Loved the tips about reel speed which I had no clue about, bailing after you leave the strike zone and reading specs for differentiating. Thank you!

Marjorie Bray
1 year ago

What rod do you have paired with the BG 4500?

David Szytz
1 year ago

Just ordered my first Fuego 2500 HX. Looking forward to spooling it up and tight lines!

Rick Mayo
1 year ago

Love to see you exposing those China reels. How is it in our long term interest to out-source our manufacturing to China? I go out of my way to buy American made.

Rex Russo
1 year ago
Reply to  Rick Mayo

Most Penn reels are made outside the USA, as are most reels of other manufacturers. China is a huge producer. Penn only makes their conventional reels under the Senator and International lines in the USA. It’s more about the QC like Joe said. It does seem that greater US presence equals better QC. I only buy KK products direct from their New Jersey facility. I’d love to see what Luke thinks of the KasrKing Zephyr Carbon and the Speed Demon (fastest retrieve on the market). Both are suppose to compare with reels costing 50% to 100% more.

Ben Skinner
1 year ago

YESSS!!!! Finally….I have been Cobia fishing for a few years with small and light Penn reels. Tackle shops will try to sell you 5000 or 6000 series reels but you dont need them. A 3000 class reel will work just fine. These fish pull drag but they dont run 100yds. They might run 50 yds. Great video.

You just need a quality reel with a quality drag system.

No disrespect but for trout, and small Red Fish you need even less reel just as stated in the video.

1 year ago

Luke one thing about reels that you didn’t cover this time is weight balancing with the rod. I’m curious what you are seeing with the diawa 2500 series reels working with a 7’6” rod for balance?

Pablo Diaz
1 year ago

The 4500 looks awesome. Unfortunately with the number of rods and reel owned, can’t purchase anymore reels. Definitely, will consider if one breaks. Nice podcast !!

Rex Russo
1 year ago

Fishing can be affordable. Tony had mentioned once that the KastKing Sharky was pretty good for a very affordable reel (just a bit over $50). They also make one called the Megatron at about the same price, and one slightly less called the Zephyr (about $42). They claim all are good for saltwater. They all seem to have good reviews. They have a special model of the Zephyr called the Carbon that is very light but comes in at the $80 range (8.3oz for a 3000). I bought one of the regular Zephyrs to try in 2000 (7.2 oz) with the expectation of putting that on my old Penn combo and moving the 2500 Battle II to my new rod. But, the new rod is lighter and the Zephyr is lighter. So, if I like the reel I might go with the upgraded Carbon. It’s a balancing issue.

Rex Russo
1 year ago
Reply to  Rex Russo

OH, and if you have a need for speed they make a 3000 that picks up 42″/turn (Demon) at about $100. They also claim it is good for saltwater.

James L Grier
1 year ago

How do you balance a rod & reel that you can’t put your hands on.

1 year ago

What was the first thing Lloyd said to Mary about his business in the limo?

Love the movie … lol


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