Top 10 Spinning Reels of 2012
Every year, new generations of fishing rods, fishing reels, and fishing tackle are created to try and “out-perform” the older models in order to give anglers an advantage when fishing for all species, freshwater or saltwater. Then there are the tried and true spinning reels that have graced the top ranks of spinning reels that many anglers rely on and for good reason. We are going to explore the top 10 spinning reels of 2012.
10. Shimano Saros F
The Shimano Saros is a one of a kind reel that features Shimano’s proprietary Paladin Gear Durability Enhancement and Propulsion Line Management System. For increased smoothness, the Saros F’s Paladian system has a brass alloy pinion gear and cold –forged aluminum drive gear. The Propulsion Line Management is a 5-part mechanism that ultimately reduces line friction and twist. This also gives you a little extra “umph” to your cast. Shimano didn’t cut corners when it comes to design and materials either. The Saros F is an aluminum frame spinning reel with an aluminum spool, waterproof front drag, and shielded A-RB bearings. A couple added bonuses are Fluidrive II for reeling efficiency, Super Stopper II anti-reverse, and Dyna-Blanace for stability and decreased wobbling. The Shimano Saros F is a great spinning reel for medium action fishing in freshwater or saltwater.
If you favor the bait fishing niche of angling, the Penn Slammer Live Liner is a solid choice for a spinning reel. The Slammer line from Penn is nothing to shake a stick at, but the inclusion of the Live Liner makes it all the better. What qualifies this as a Live Liner is the secondary rear drag and auto-engage live lining trip which lets you to make a seamless transition between the live bait rear drag and the fish-fighting front drag. Just as with other models in the Penn Slammer series, the Live Liners have oversized, shielded HT-100 drag washers and the Techno-Balanced rotor for smooth operation. With the exception of the 760L, the Live Liner spinning reels have 5 stainless steel ball bearings which are shielded. The frame of the Penn Slammer Live Liner is all metal and the anodized aluminum spool compliments its construction. The soft touch knob is a really nice feature that is really comfortable when you reeling in your fish.
If the Baitrunner wasn’t a great design and concept right off the bat, Shimano probably wouldn’t be on the 4th generation D-series. With a model designed for everything from 4000 size freshwater fishing to 12000 for saltwater applications, the Baitrunner D’s definitely don’t disappoint. It’s a classic quality you would expect from Shimano, but with the technological advances of an emerging and developing brand. Shimano improved upon the Baitrunners by including the Propulsion Line Management System and S A-RB bearing, packaging them nicely in a low profile frame. The Baitrunner does just what its name implies. You can just cast your fishing line, set the rod in a sand spike, and wait for the click alerting you to a fish on the line. The Baitrunner D is becoming a common sight inshore and offshore anglers; with improved line lay, higher max drag, and better casting ability, one could understand why
7. Penn Conquer
Peen has been around for the ages and over the years they have produced some of the most highly sought after reels. The Conquer is no different and is quickly becoming a beacon for the Penn name. It has the same reliability factor as other Penn reels, but there are some added benefits to choosing the Conquer. One of the nicest benefits of the Penn Conquer is the rubberized ring that wraps around the spool with the intended purpose of holding touch braided line without mono backing. T he Conquer also features the Easy Access System which makes it easy for you to keep the spinning reel in tip top shape for years of use. With 10+1 shielded stainless steel bearings, the Conquer is extremely smooth and comfortable to use. The Superline Spool on the Penn Conquer sports a really nice friction trip ramp so the bail won’t trip prematurely. All added bonuses to the Penn Conquer.
Wright and McGill have been making the Victory line of reels for some time now and that just proves that their engineering and design is spot on for success. The Skeet Reese Victory spinning reel is the affordable choice of the pros. The ultra-light aluminum body is nicely balanced and is perfect for landing all types of fish, freshwater and light saltwater fishing species. The Skeet Reese Victory is a 9+1 stainless steel ball bearing spinning reel with Infinite anti-reverse and smooth front drag. The aluminum spool has an anti-twist line roller and the reel comes with a spare spool for convenience. It’s a really smooth reel that has remained a mainstream spinning reel for years.
Designed to excel in specific situations, the Quantum Catalyst Inshore saltwater reels have defined spinning reel for the 6- to 10- pound test class range. The newest generations of the Catalyst features the ThinLine aluminum body coupled with the Saltguard 6-layer corrosion resistant side plate. The power inside the small stature shocks some anglers when they first pick it up. Think size 40 frame with size 50 muscle. All of the Quantum Catalyst spinning reels come with the Line Management System which gives you much better line lay, and the Timag II Bail. The Timag II bail is a Nickel-Titanium bail wire that resists bending and it has a magnetic trip that will never wear out. There are also the customized bearings that feature very minimal friction and/or vibration, completely designed by Quantum. Quantum uses ceramic washers on the drag system that not only smooth out the drag, but also dissipate heat during long runs.
At some point or another, every angler who favors spinning reels has come across the Penn Battle and for good reason; it’s a great spinning reel that many anglers love to have on their set up. There are seven models of the Penn Battle but I think the most versatile and applicable is the 5000. Between all the models, nearly every fishing scenario can be covered by the 5000. The Penn Battle has been designed with the SuperLine Spool that is meant to accommodate the increasingly popular braided fishing line which is typically difficult to keep on your gear. The HT-100 drag system cuts down on rough retrieves which makes your fishing experience smooth sailing for years. The body of the Penn Battle is made from metal and has a side plate in place that keeps your gear in line when under a great amount of stress. The only downside someone might find in the Battle is the oversized bail which I actually prefer.
3. Penn Spinfisher 440 Ssg
Another Penn spinning reel makes the list in 2012 happens to be the Penn Spinfisher 440SSG. For a cost friendly reel, the Spinfisher gets the job done and takes a lot of abuse while at it. I think it should be noted that the Spinfisher had some marks against it a few years back because of an issue with the rotor cup. I can stand by that and say from what I can tell that issue has been resolved. All-in-all the Penn Spinfisher is a nice, versatile spinning reel that has smooth retrieves thanks to the Techno-balanced rotor and the HT-100 drag washers provide a smooth drag when under heavier loads. The Spinfisher SSG has 5 shielded stainless steel ball bearings and infinite anti-reverse for smooth operation and the Penn Leveline wrap system makes sure you line lays correctly to avoid knots and twists.
2. Shimano Stradic C14 2500F
The Shimano Stradic has been around for some time now and there is a look and feel to the Stradic that most anglers will know; a mundane reel that doesn’t get you real excited. The new CI4 is an exciting departure from the well-known styling of the original Stradic and is designed to be a light and rigid reel that can be used to fish for everything from pan fish to bass. For those of you who don’t know what the CI4 stands for, it’s Carbon Interfusion with 4 representing the number of electrons in the carbon atom. Chemistry aside, the Stradic CI4 is a tough reel made from reinforced Carbon Fiber. Other updates to the CI4 are the red spool and the rounded EVA handle that is really beneficial for a long day on the water. Internally the Stradic impresses as well. It has the Paladin gear durability enhancement and the Propulsion Line Management System. What this does have that is especially nice is the Aerowrap II Oscillation. The Aerowrap II is “a worm gear oscillation system with a specially designed pitch to create optimal oscillation speeds.” In English that means it’s got great line lay. It’s recommended to use light mono and fluorocarbon lines or a PowerPro braid with fluorocarbon leader.
The Quantum Smoke 30PTI is the latest in spinning reels from Quantum and it’s really taking spinning reels to the next level. The newly designed spinning reel is part of the performance tuned reels and employs some of the newest technologies from Quantum. The new C4LF carbon fiber rotor from Quantum keeps the Smoke substantially lighter than spinning reels of the same class and offers a greater amount of control when battling with larger fish. Coupled with the C4LF rotor is the CSC drag system. This combination of carbon, stainless steel, and ceramic drag disks gives you the smoothest drag around. While these two components to the Quantum Smoke 30 PTI are the standouts, the LMS Line Management System lays your line on the roller more smoothly and evenly, avoiding kinks and line twists. Made from a single piece of aluminum, the frame of the Quantum Smoke 30 PTI spinning reel is extremely lightweight without compromising the strength and toughness needed to reel in the big fish.
If you’re top spinning reel is not on our Top 10 list, share your choice with other anglers by leaving a comment below on the outdoor news section and find all your fishing sporting goods needs at PoorFish Outdoors.