In this article, we will be giving you the low down on the best spinning reels available on the market today for under £100. All these have been chosen by our team based on their performance, reliability and their popularity within the angling community – from beginners to the more experienced anglers.

Before choosing a spinning reel, you need to ensure you’re buying the right reel for the right job. So if you’re unsure what you should be looking for in a spinning reel, check out our article “Choosing a Spinning Reel” here.

We hope this guide will help you narrow your choice down and help you find that perfect spinning reel.

Shakespeare Beta RD

Image showing Shakespeare Beta RD

Specification at a glance

  • Lightweight graphite body
  • Graphite spool supplied with dark brown mono
  • Graphite handle
  • 1 ball bearing
  • 5.2:1 gear ratio

Angling Active says

An ideal entry level spinning reel for any newcomer to the sport. Don’t let the 1 ball bearing put you off though, this reel is exceptionally smooth for the price. The graphite body feels very robust and the matte black finish gives it that modern finish that we see on most mid to high-end reels. The drag system is smooth but not as refined as the others on the list. However, it does come loaded with monofilament line so you’re ready to fish….so we can’t really complain. Ideal for newcomers to the sport. 
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Okuma Jaw FD

Image showing Okuma Jaw FD

Specification at a glance

  • Multi-disc, Japanese oiled felt drag washers
  • 3 ball bearing + 1 roller bearing
  • Precision machine cut brass pinion gear
  • Corrosion resistant graphite body and rotor
  • CFR: Cyclonic Flow Rotor technology
  • Machined aluminium, anodised spool
  • Corrosion-resistant stainless steel bail wire
  • RESII: Computer balanced Rotor Equalizing System

Angling Active says

This reel is very impressive, only released at the tail end of 2018. The Jaw has already become one of our top selling reels and we can see why. It’s very distinguishable with its two-tone black and orange looks. The reel feels solid in hand and feels like it could take a bit of abuse. The drag is more refined than most other reels in its price range, however, the drag clicker is exceptionally loud. Coming equipped with 4 ball bearings the Okuma Jaw is a smooth reel to use. The machined aluminium spool with it’s detailing is a nice touch and the tapered lip will assist in casting distance. If you’re looking for an affordable reel that outweighs its price tag then the Okuma Jaw is definitely worth a look.
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Abu Garcia Cardinal SX

Image showing Abu Garcia Cardinal SX

Specification at a glance

  • 5 ball bearings + 1 roller bearing provides smooth operation
  • Lightweight graphite body and rotor
  • Machined aluminium spool
  • Everlast bail system for improved durability

Angling Active says

The Cardinal range from Abu Garcia needs no introduction! They have been producing the Cardinal range since the 1960s and Abu Garcia are renowned for improving their products year on year. The Cardinal SX is no exception, the first thing you notice when you pick up the SX is how light it is in hand –  thanks to its lightweight graphite body. The majority of the reel’s weight comes from its machined aluminium spool – which is quite nicely detailed. The reel is super smooth thanks to its 6 ball bearings and there is very little play in the handle which shows its well engineered. The clutch is more refined than the previous reels in the article and the reel’s big rubberised handle, provides enough comfort and grip when playing fish. All in all a very nice reel and one that hardcore Abu fans will appreciate.
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Mitchell 300/308

Image showing Mitchell 300/308

Specification at a glance

  • New bail-halo rotor design
  • 5 + 1 high-performance ball bearings
  • Double anodised aluminium spool and handle
  • Multi-disc drag system gives consistent drag pressure
  • Low profile drag knob

Angling Active says

Another brand that has been around for a long time and usually associated as the reel brand that anglers first pick up. The new Mitchell 300 range has quite a futuristic design which will not appeal to everyone. However, we like its boundary-pushing design. The rotor design is quite clever! With a built-in line guard that should stop your line from falling behind the spool. The aluminium handle provides a good solid drive through the reels gearing and the 6 ball bearings provide a butter smooth retrieve. The drag is refined, however, the drag adjustment star is not the most practical on the market – so we suggest you preset your drag to the desired drag pressure before fishing. Mitchell have produced a solid workhorse that will bring back great memories for anglers who started out with the brand.
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Okuma Epixor

Image showing Okuma Epixor

Specification at a glance

  • Multi-disc, Japanese oiled felt drag washers
  • 7BB+1RB stainless steel bearings
  • Quick-Set anti-reverse bearing
  • Precision machine cut brass pinion gear
  • Corrosion resistant graphite body and rotor
  • CFR: Cyclonic Flow Rotor technology
  • Rigid metal handle design for strength
  • Machined aluminium, 2-tone anodized spool with LCS lip
  • Heavy duty solid aluminium bail wire
  • RESII: Computer balanced Rotor Equalizing System

Angling Active says

The Okuma Epixor is a lovely reel, with a super smooth retrieve thanks to its 8 ball bearings. A very lightweight and compact spinning reel. The tapered aluminium spool helps aid casting and the EVA handle is comfortable in hand, while the full metal construction handle provides you good direct contact with the reels gearing, making it very robust. The drag is smooth and reliable, and overall we think it’s a well put together reel.
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Shimano Nasci

Image showing Shimano Nasci

Specification at a glance

  • Hagane Drive Gear
  • X-Ship for winding efficiency and smoothness
  • CoreProtect design to prevent water from entering the body
  • G-Free Body construction
  • ARC Spool, patented spool design with an angled spool lip
  • Varispeed II oscillation system
  • Single machined aluminium handle
  • XT-7 body material
  • Cold forged aluminium spool

Angling Active says

Without a doubt, one of our best selling reels! Shimano certainly nailed it with the Nasci. Not only does the Nasci cosmetically look great but it has the technology to back it up. The Nasci is a workhorse of a reel, thanks to Shimano’s Hagane gear which provides unparalleled durability and X-ship technology which means the pinion gear is further supported allowing the reel to deal with the heaviest of loads without the gearing moving out of position. It has a very refined and super smooth drag system. The Nasci comes prepared for freshwater and saltwater applications thanks to its coreprotect technology which eliminates water ingress. If you’re looking for an exceptionally good reel under £100 then the Nasci is a hard reel to beat in its class.
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Daiwa Feugo LT

Image showing Daiwa Feugo LT

Specification at a glance

  • LT – Light and Tough concept design
  • Carbon based DS5 body material
  • DS4 rotor and Magsealed rotor
  • AirBail and ABS spool
  • Tough Digigear
  • ATD Drag system
  • 7 ball bearings
  • Machine cut aluminium handle
  • Soft touch handle knob

Angling Active says

When the Fuego range first hit our shelves, we were blown away by the dramatic changes Daiwa made to their LT range (Light and Tough) Introduced to compete with Shimano’s ci4 carbon infused bodies. Daiwa introduced their own carbon infused composite bodies. Which produces a very small and narrow reel body – it’s amazing how they fit all that oversized gearing and technology into such a small body. The Fuego has a super butter smooth retrieve thanks to its Magsealed technology – which also stop any unwanted water or dirt ingress, making the Fuego ideal for freshwater and saltwater applications. The drag system is very well refined and a joy to use. The Fuego feels like a reel well above its price range and Daiwa have definitely put a lot of thought behind their new LT range. The Fuego is a well crafted and engineered reel that packs a lot of high-end technology into an affordably priced reel.
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Daiwa 18 Ninja LT

Image showing Daiwa Ninja 18 LT

Specification at a glance

  • LT – Light and Tough
  • AirBail
  • Graphite body and rotor
  • Tough Digigear
  • ABS spool
  • ATD (Automatic Tournament) drag
  • Machine cut aluminium handle
  • Soft touch handle knob
  • New generation line clip

Angling Active says

The new Ninja LT will take some beating! A solid and strong built reel at an affordable price. What more would you ask for? Coming equipped with the same body and gearing as the Fuego, the Ninja shares some of the great characteristics as its bigger brother the Fuego. The main differences being, the Ninja does not come with Daiwa’s magsealed technology – which means its only suited to freshwater applications, if that doesn’t bother you though, then the Ninja gives you a reel that benefits from some of the same characteristics as the Fuego but at a better price point. 
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Penn Battle II

Image showing Penn Battle II

Specification at a glance

  • Full metal body
  • Oversized solid bail arm
  • Heavy-duty aluminium bail wire
  • HT-100 Sealed drag system
  • 5 Sealed stainless steel ball bearings
  • Instant anti-reverse bearing
  • E-Coating corrosion resistance design
  • Techno-balanced rotor
  • Line capacity rings
  • Superline spool

Angling Active says

The Penn Battle is a brute of a spinning reel. It’s not the lightest reel on the market but they’re designed to take a lot of punishment and that they do extremely well. Coming equipped with a full metal body and fully sealed bearings, the Battle is the ideal reel for both fresh and saltwater applications. What really amazed us, was their immense cranking power and their high drag pressure. The 1000 size has a staggering 9lb of drag and the 3000 sizes will see you with 14lb of drag pressure. The spool also contains line capacity rings – which in our eyes is a nice wee touch, especially if you place mono backing on before applying a braided mainline. So if you’re looking for a very robust and solid built reel and the weight of a reel does not bother you, then we recommend you check out the Penn Battle.
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