8 Best Fishing Reel for Salmon 2022

Catching a large salmon or steelhead is an exciting experience for any angler. They are hostile fish who will fight tooth and nail to provide you with more entertainment.

Best fishing Reel for Salmon

However, catching salmon or steelhead without the proper equipment may result in disaster. One of the things you’ll need for salmon fishing is a good fishing reel.

You’ll need a larger spinning or baitcasting reel with plenty of line to fight those ferocious fish. Before selecting the best fishing reel for salmon, make sure it has a good drag system.

We’ve compiled a list of the best fishing reels for salmon and steelhead that have a solid gear system and the smoothest drags in this article.

They have enough line to fight the river monsters effectively. Let’s take a look at the most popular fishing reels for river anglers.

8 Best Fishing Reel for Salmon 2022

1. Trolling Fishing Reel, Salmon/Steelhead by DSENIW

 Trolling Fishing Reel, Salmon Steelhead

Trolling is one of the most used tactics for fishing salmon and spring steelhead. The method requires moving the fishing boat between two or three knots. It also requires setting the best depth of lures to maintain the boat moving that causes a salmon to strike.

This trolling fishing reel comes with all the required tools for sporty fishers to go after the big salmons or steelheads. It’s the best baitcasting fishing reel to fight any saltwater monsters of the deep. It’s fast to set back your line into the zone asap.

The conventional round fishing reel comes with stainless steel gears for the utmost durability and longevity. It offers the smoothest reel seat and a round handle for your convenience. It’s easy to turn the crankshaft of in order to comfortable cranking. The frame is light to weigh and corrosion-resistant.

What’s more, you needed to be convinced for such a trolling reel for salmon or steelhead fishing?

Product Highlight::

  • Machined aluminum material
  • Right-hand orientation
  • Stainless steel gearing system
  • 6:1 gear ratio
  • 2+1BB ball bearings
  • Durable construction
  • Lightweight frame
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Round handle
  • Best fishing reel for salmon, steelhead, and most big saltwater species

2. Sougayilang Round Baitcasting Fishing Reel for Catfish, Salmon/Steelhead

Sougayilang Round Baitcasting Fishing Reel

One of our trophy hunter team members recommends this round bait caster for salmon or steelhead. We’ve tested it for both salmon and sturgeon fishing, it works well. The batcasting reel can fight well with big and medium-sized fish. What’s more, is the price you will get the best salmon baitcaster reel for the money. WOW!

The drag works well and does not sound so loud. It has a bigger reel than you can expect for the price. The reel size is perfect for trolling. Its ergonomic handle reduces fatigue fishing with big salmon. The steady and strong reel holder lasts longer.

Product Highlight::

  • Graphite material
  • Right-hand orientation
  • 15.5 oz, light to weigh
  • Stainless steel line guide
  • Carbon fiber spool
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Durable and longlasting
  • Gear ratio: 3.8:1
  • 6:1 high-speed pinion gears

3. Sougayilang Spinning Fishing Reel for Salmon

Sougayilang Spinning Fishing Reel for Salmon

It is one of my favorite spinning fishing reels for salmon and steelhead. It’s constructed to be a powerful fighter with the river monsters. The front and rear drag system is perfect and comes with an instant lock mechanism.

The complete body and frame is made of graphite for ultimate durability and longevity. It also ensures a corrosion-resistant spinning reel for you.

You will find the machine-cut brass pinion gearing system that includes thirteen ball bearings. It offers the smoothest retrieve every time. The multi-disc drag system runs smoothly while fighting with monsters.

This salmon spinning reel also features a switch to detach the gears and drag system with just a single turn.

Overall, it is well constructed along with an impressive gear ratio to make it your choice for salmon and steelhead fishing.

Product Highlight::

  • Graphite material
  • Aluminum handle and spool
  • 4.6:1 gear ratio
  • 13 ball bearings
  • Japanese oiled felt drag system multi-disc
  • High speedy drag system
  • Comfortable handle for easy gripping

4. CENTERPIN Float Fishing Reel Steelhead Salmon Fishing

CENTERPIN Float Fishing Reel Steelhead Salmon Fishing

Centerpin reels are intended to provide a drag-free fishing presentation. This one is ideal for float fishing. This float fishing reel lacks a mechanical drag system, allowing the spool to spin freely. It aids in the creation of a natural drift for the bait presentation.

It could be the best steelhead reel for a beginner to begin hunting with. The fishing reel looks great, but the bearings could be improved for smoother operation.

Product Highlight::

  • Stainless steel material
  • Centerpin float fishing reels
  • Great for beginners
  • Stainless steel handle and bearings
  • Durable and longlasting
  • 200 grams of weight
  • Two wooden handle
  • Anodized finish
  • Micro click rack

5. Sougayilang Rover Round Baitcasting Reel

Sougayilang Rover Round Baitcasting Reel

Meet with another finest bait caster reel for fishing monsters like salmon/steelhead. It comes in three different sizes. Even with the 400 sizes, it has quite a bit of weight with this reel. The sturdy construction makes it a bit heavier but a perfect one for salmon fishing.

All of our teammates never failed with its drag and experienced a smooth dragging every time. The metal construction materials are rust-resistant and last for a longer time with proper maintenance. Make sure you rinse and reapply lube to the gears while using this salmon fishing reel to saltwater.

It’s a full-sized baitcasting fishing reel that comes with durable construction and performs well in both fresh and saltwater. Only a downside it has the spool releasing button that is plastic made. But, I can assure its durability if you do a bit of care while pressing it.

Product Highlight::

  • Aluminum made bait caster
  • Left/Right handle orientation
  • Stainless steel bearing material
  • Rust and corrosion-resistant outer casing
  • Smooth gearing with 6 ball bearings and a roller bearing
  • Strong drag system
  • Great cranking handle for hard-pulling fish
  • Brass gears for the utmost performance
  • Stainless steel warm shaft for corrosion protection and power

6. CENTERPIN Float Fishing Reel 108MM 4 1/4 INCH

Center PIN CENTERPIN Float Fishing Reel

It’s another center pin float fishing reel from ChannelMay brand. This one has a bit smaller diameter than the previous one we’ve selected. It is well made and machined reel that can do the job for you as well. It could be a great entry-level center pin reel for salmon or steelhead.

The price makes it worthy enough for such a quality. It will blow your expectations. If you have any problem with the small reel diameter, check out our selections from the same brand.

Product Highlight::

  • Stainless steel material
  • Stainless steel handle and bearings
  • Dual wooden handle
  • .77 lbs of weight
  • 108mm reel diameter
  • Anodized finish

7. KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel, Perfect for Salmon/Steelhead

KastKing Rover Baitcasting Reel for Salmon Steelhead

This bait caster converts you from spinning reels for big-game like catfish, salmon, and steelhead. It’s a large profile baitcasting fishing reel you should try for big fishing. It caster far than you ever expect.

The bait clicker is easy to operate and performed better than all your prior reels. The fishing reel is large, heavyweight, and sturdy enough to deal with big fish. It has a solid line spool that is wider and comes with a large diameter.

The reels can hold 240 to 250 yards of 15lb monofilament line for the big game. It is assembled with all metal that ensures its durability. All the drive gears and bearings are metal made to be stronger. The overall construction is better than any bait caster.

The best steelhead fishing reel has two spool tension knobs for the ultimate cast controlling. The noise is lower enough for the first few fishing. But, makes a bit louder sound after using it for a while.

Product Highlight::

  • Graphite frame
  • High-quality aluminum spool
  • Anodized red side plates
  • Machined brass worm shaft
  • Stainless steel gear and bearings
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • 3.6:1 gear ration
  • Carbon fiber drag for the utmost power
  • Smooth and quiet operation
  • Stainless steel worm shaft

8. Burning Shark Trolling Reel Saltwater for Salmon

Burning Shark Trolling Reel

It’s a great trolling reel for saltwater fishing. The trolling reel ensures the best tackle you need to fight with the strength of saltwater species. Its high-quality metal construction can deal with the saltwater high corrosive effect.

The metal handle of the reel is large enough to reel in the monsters. The double dog ratchet system makes the reel handle anti-reversing. It includes stainless steel gears and ball bearings for smoothness.

The trolling reel caster about 300 yards deep will blow your expectations. It would be a great fishing reel for the saltwater fishers and big gamers. You can make this reel your choice for salmon or steelhead as well.

Product Highlight::

  • Aluminum material
  • Stainless steel handle and bearings
  • 1.7 lbs of weight
  • A bit heavier and sturdy
  • Creates lower noise
  • Line release lever works well
  • Comfortable cranking
  • Drag: 40 lb
  • Gear ratio: 4.1:1
  • Durable and long-lasting, even in saltwater

What should I look for in a salmon and steelhead reel?

Gear ratio:

It determines the performance of a fishing reel. Gear ratio means how many times the spool winds the line in each rotation of the handle. If your reel has a 5:1 ratio, it expresses that the spool winds the line up five times per handle rotation.

Undoubtedly, it is one of the most important factors to consider while choosing the best fishing reel for salmon and steelhead. You should consider a lower gear ratio for the most power. It’s necessary to land a big fish like freshwater salmon.

If you want to land a monster salmon successfully, make sure your reel has enough power to make the salmon tire before landing.

“ A higher gear ratio only ensures that you can retrieve more line per turn. It’s always better to choose crank power.”

Ball bearings:

Good ball bearings are a must to ensure the smoothness of your reel. Make sure all your reel has stainless steel ball bearings for more smoothness. It also makes the ball bearings corrosive protected. If you are a saltwater fisher, never go for a cheap reel with corrosive ball bearings.

High-quality ball bearings also extend the durability and longevity of the reel.


It is the part of the reel that holds the line. Usually, spools are made of aluminum or graphite. We would like to recommend the anodized aluminum spool that is more durable and corrosion-protected. It can cost you a bit more than the graphite ones but lasts longer.


Drag controls the number of resistance between anglers and salmon/steelhead. You will find two categories of drags in reels: Front and rear adjustment drag. Front adjustment drags are pretty effective for big fishes. They offer a larger surface on the front that helps to tire out a bigger fish like salmon effectively.

Also, check out the drag system is easy to adjust and stays tight at the point it’s adjusted. So, it will not loosen off to curse your fate while trying to reel in a big salmon or steelhead.

FAQs about Best Salmon Fishing Reel

What size reel do I need for steelhead?

It depends on the distance you would like to cast and the length & balance of the rod you prefer most. Many anglers don’t like the balance of the bigger reels and suggest Shimano 2500. It is perfect for balancing, light to weigh and ease the soreness from casting for a longer time.

Maybe you require a 4000 for float fishing either in the boat or on the bank of the river. It will better to have a 9 1/2’ or longer float rod for a 4000 size reel if you want to make long casts.

Best Salmon fishing Reel

What kind of fishing reel do I need for salmon fishing?

Keep in mind the two basic rules while choosing the right reel for salmon.

First: Make sure your reel has a large amount of line capacity you can handle. It will determine that your reel has enough line that you can confidently handle a long move and fight. Remember, salmon are big and athletic fish that can step out the line evenly you haven’t the best fishing reel for salmon.

Second: Make sure your chosen reel comes with rust and corrosion-resistant material for saltwater salmon fishing.

Last of all, consider the drag, spool, frame, ball-bearings, and gear ratio of your chosen reel for salmon. Read our buying guide section for more details.

How much drag do you need for salmon?

It may vary the drag you have in your reel for salmon. I’ve found most salmon fishing reels have 11 lbs. or greater drag.

How to catch a monster salmon with rod and reel?

Watch this video to learn how to use a rod and reel to catch a monster 43-pound salmon fish.


After reading this guide we hope you’ll find the best fishing reel for salmon for yourself.

All of our chosen spinning, baitcasting or trolling reels are exceptional and great for salmon/steelhead fishing. So, anglers, it’s your turn to choose the best of bests.

Similar Posts