Top 5 Fishing Reels for 2021

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Top 5 Fishing Reels for 2021

With advances in modern technology the quality of reels has improved dramatically over the past 10 to 15 years and now you can get some excellent kit without breaking the bank.  This Buyers Guide will cover the Top 5 reels for angling whilst considering budget, discipline, sea fishing, big predator fish and ease of use so you can find the best reel for your needs.


Best Fishing Reel for on a Budget: Shimano Baitrunner ST RB Reel

Designed for anglers who want all the reliability, durability, and quality of unrivalled Shimano Baitrunner technology, but who don’t want to pay the price tag, the Shimano Baitrunner ST RB is a perfect choice.

Cost: £54.99

Key Features:

  • Shielded Stainless Steel Bearings

  • XT-7 Frame

  • Double Handle

  • Cap Bail

  • Super Stopper II

  • Dyna-Balance

  • Power Roller

  • Diecast Gear

Fantastic for the price! Plenty of room on the spool for heavy lines and the movement is so smooth. Have ordered a second one for my other rod now.

Had borrowed a Shimano Bait runner to try. Wanted one straight away. Have not fished with my own reel as waiting for a line to arrive. With the right guidance, I feel I can buy a very good kit without spending a fortune. Only time will tell on this.




Best in Class Fishing Reel: Greys GTS 800 Reel

One of the top fly fishing reel choices on the market, the Greys GTS 800 offers 3 different models in the range. The first of these is a WF5 reel, which is ideal for AFTM rated 5/6# fly lines. This is ideal for lightweight fly fishing and for targeting smaller species. The second reel is the WF7, which is best used with AFTM 7/8# line. This is an ideal intermediate reel type. Finally, the largest reel in the range is known as the WF10. This has an AFTM rating of 9/10/11#, making it the most versatile performance piece in the range and ideal for the larger of the UK’s game fish.

Cost: £116.99 - £159.99

Key Features:

  • Full 6061 bar stock construction

  • Vented side plates

  • Rulon disc drag system

  • Quick spool release

  • Large arbour design

  • Supplied in a neoprene pouch

All I expected from Greys GTS800, goes well with my rod

Well built reel at a good price.




Best Saltwater Reel Model: Shakespeare Agility Surf Reel

Like all good surf reels, the Shakespeare Agility Surf has been fitted with a large capacity spool. This allows you to cast the kinds of distances that you require to reach out far beyond the surf to all the waiting fish that lay past the breakers. This long casting spool is supported by a smooth operating drag system that you’re able to lock down when casting. This allows you to cast out to the sea with full confidence, maximising your power potential.

Cost: £45.00

Key Features:

  • 7 + 1 Stainless steel ball bearings

  • Anodised aluminium spool

  • Anti-twist line roller

  • Smooth, strong drag system

  • Saltwater protected - corrosion resistant

  • One way clutch with anti-reverse

  • Aluminium power handle

  • Low ratio power gear system

  • Supplied with graphite spare spool

Good reel for the price and a second graphite spool is really useful when the aluminium one gets an unexpected dink off the shore.

Excellent quality that I have come to expect, from Shakespeare reels.



Best Fishing Reel for Predators: Daiwa 20 Emblem 45 SCW QD-OT

The Daiwa 20 Emblem is the golden edition of big pit carp reels. The update of the Daiwa 19 Emblem 45 SCW QD, the Daiwa 20 Emblem 45 SCW QD-OT offers a retro one-touch handle as well as the exclusive gold reel that is bound to make heads turn at the bank. The folding handle is perfect for anglers that love to keep their rods close together.

Cost: £104.99

Key Features:

  • 45mm LC long cast Gold Spool

  • Slow Cross Wrap

  • QD Quick drag

  • HIP-High Impact Line Clip

  • One-Touch folding handle

  • Features wooden knob

  • Air Rotor

  • Digigear II

  • Supplied with a spare spool

Really nice reels to look at and can’t wait to see how they are on the bank.

Great looking reels, can’t wait to get out and use them, should be a great match.




Best Fishing Reel for Beginners: Shimano Vanford F Spinning Reel

Spinning fishing reels are ideal for beginner anglers as these are easy to cast, can be swapped for left hand or right-hand usages and are perfect for lighter catches and baits. The Vanford features Shimanos cold-forged HAGANE Gear and many of Shimano's premium technologies for increased fishing performance and years of durability. From ice fishing and drop-shot fishing for smallies in the freshwater to stalking tailing fish in the flats, the Vanford is well suited.

Cost: £180- £194.99

Key Features:

  • Built upon a CI4+ body

  • Lightweight feel &carbon rigidity

  • MagnumLite (MGL) Rotor

  • Up to 48% less rotational inertia than the traditional rotor

  • Quick response in critical situations

  • Cold-forged HAGANE Gear

  • Vanfords SilentDrive

  • MicroModule Gear II

  • Long Stroke Spool technology

  • X-Protect technology


Lovely bit of kit, slightly smaller than I expected, but feather-light and smooth.



We hope you enjoyed our list of Top 5 Fishing Reels. Of course, there are many more reels on the market that are certainly leaving an impression. If there is a reel that you think every angler needs to know about, let us know via our social media.

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Related Post:

The Ultimate Buyers Guide to Fishing Reels 

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