Spinning reel sizes (guide and chart to choose the right size) (2023)

If you're an angler who's ever started a conversation with someone about their fishing gear, they've probably asked you what size reel you use.

But have you ever wondered why different coil sizes are used in the first place?

The coil size you choose depends on a few considerations.

What are you fishing?

How heavy is the line you are going to use?

How does it fit your rod,

And finally, most importantly, how does it fit in your hand?

We'll summarize all of these considerations for you, helping you decide which reel size is best for you.

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What reel size is best for me?

When you choose a reel, it's like choosing a car or a truck.

You wouldn't want to use a Honda Civic to pull a 40-foot gooseneck trailer, but you also wouldn't want to travel 60 miles a day driving a Dodge 3500.

Choosing the best reel depends entirely on the size of your hands, the type of rod you select, and the type of fish you are chasing.

A small reel can bring in big fish, but it can also destroy drag, break line, and ruin your day on the water.

A large reel can catch small fish, but the large rod and heavy line that comes with a large reel are not easy to handle.

Like Goldilocks, don't go too small, don't go too big, find what fits you.

What are the different sizes of spinning coils explained?

The spinning reels are ranked by numbers, the lowest starting at 1,000 and the highest up to 14,000. Some manufacturers, such as Pflueger, size their coils in the middle, i.e. 1500 or 4500.

If you look at the product number of a spinning reel you can find the size stamped on the first two digits, it could be 10 for 1,000, 45 for 4,500, or 90 for a large 9,000 series stick.

Spinning bobs are categorized in a similar style to men's clothing: small, medium, large, and extra-large or large.

Small spinning coils

The small spinning reels have numbers in size from 1000 to 3500. The difference between the numbers is gradual, increasing slightly with each increasing number.

The 1,000 is the smallest on the market. It is designed for two to four pound monofilament (mono) line to four to eight pound braided line.

A 1000 size reel is perfect for pot fishing, trout fishing, or water work for crappie or perch. They are an ideal reel on lakes, streams, small slow flowing rivers and bay backwaters.

The 2000 series allows for slightly heavier line, four to six pound mono or five to 10 braids. Many anglers consider this reel size to be the best for working with a light 2-2 meter rod.

Spinning reel sizes (guide and chart to choose the right size) (1)

The rod's light touch is enhanced by the light but strong reel, making it a good choice for soft hitting species like walleye.

The 2500 is a reel used by many float and kayak anglers. It works well with trout in rivers and lakes.

The five to eight pound mono and 5 to 12 pound braid rating make it a formidable rod when fishing unexpectedly big fish.

The 3000 series reels are the smallest reels recommended for use with rods up to 10 feet in length.

The 6- to 10-pound mono rating, along with up to 15-pound braided line, makes it a favorite with anglers who enjoy light surf fishing.

With the heavier line, bass, catfish, and smaller saltwater species make ideal targets.

The 3500 is almost identical to the 3000 but has a slightly larger spool that allows for more line. If you like long range casting with a lighter line, this is the reel to try.

Medium Size Spinning Reels

Just one step above the larger small reel is the 4000 series. This size reel will hold 8-12lbs mono and 8-20lbs of braided line.

The heavier braided type is often the primary target for larger fish.

Ideal with an eight foot pole, the 4000 series can handle large catfish, walleye or the larger ones.aggressive largemouth bass.

It is a versatile reel, adaptable to rod lengths from 1.8 to 3 meters, while still offering excellent performance. The 5000 series reel brings a lot of power to the water.

Handling up to 15lbs of mono or 25lbs of braided line, the mid-range spinning reel performs well on large rivers, is ideal for fishing on large lakes, and is a favorite on docks and docks in saltwater.

The reel works well with 12 foot surfcasting rods and the large spool makes it easy to cast heavy lures or lures far from shore.

If you're a rock angler, the 6000 is a reel that can handle the challenges of catching big, heavy fish in the challenging underwater terrain of a rocky outcrop.

Suggested mono sizes from 12 to 18 pounds make this a solid rod for working with the heaviest line most recreational anglers will ever use.

The suggested upper limit of 30 pound braid will work on the largest freshwater fish you are likely to deal with and will handle most species of saltwater fish.

This reel is one of the favorites for river salmon fishing due to its power and adaptability.

large spinning rollers

You're on the brink of freshwater fishing, plus maybe Great Lakes fishing when you hit 7,000 series.

This is a large reel ideal for heavy wave fishing. It can also be used outside of rocks.

The power of this size combined with 20lb mono tipped or 40lb braided line allows you to ride none other than deep sea species.

When used with a 12-foot surf rod, casting distance, spin speed, and touch don't improve much for beach fishing.

The 8000 series reels can handle a 50lb test braided line with ease. This reel is a favorite among fishing guides who run a boat full of novice anglers eager to catch salmon.

The reel works with rods from eight to 12 feet. Its great line capacity allows long casts. Or better yet, long battles with big fish as they run with the drag on this reel singing the happiest song an angler can hear.

A 60 pound test is a heavyweight line. The 9000 can handle that braided-style line rating.

The recreational angler will rarely hook a fish that exceeds this reel's 60 pound test rating, but if they do, the heavier reel, with stronger drag, can still attract that monster.

Extra Large Spinning Reels

The largest series of coils starts with the 10,000 series. If you're a novice or can't handle the constant weight of a heavy reel combined with a big rod, these monsters are best left to someone else.

The 10,000 is rated for 20 to 30 pound mono line and 25 to 70 pound powerful braided line. Guides working offshore with tourists often prefer this reel for its line variability.

This is a sport fishing reel. You will find many of them off the coast of Florida or Texas with saltwater sport fishing. They are difficult to handle and the weight of this reel with a heavy rod can tire some anglers quickly.

It is considered the best reel for recreational sport anglers who are not trying to hook a record blue marlin or tarpon.

When you have a reel where the lightest recommended line is 30lb mono line or 25lb braided line, you have power in your hands.

This rod is generally reserved for guided or professional fishing. It still works well for rock or surf applications, but it's hard to control on that setting.

Mackerel anglers appreciate this size, as do tuna and snapper anglers. A 12,000 series reel can bring in heavier sharks, billfish, swordfish, and other large species. This reel is too big for any rod under 10 feet.

The largest coil on the market is the 14,000 coil. It's heavy, powerful and not for beginners. You do have to have some strength to use this reel effectively. Rod lengths of 18 feet are common with this reel.

It has the heaviest weight line available on the market. Deep sea offshore game fishing is a perfect application for this reel.

Large Tuna, King Mackerel, Sharks up to six feet, along with Kingfish and Snapper are target species for this size.

The 20,000 and 30,000 reels are the exclusive range for intense saltwater fishing.

If you're after the world's biggest gamefish, this is the reel you'll be holding onto a heavy, stiff rod that can withstand the hours of fighting you're likely to encounter with a big tuna or sailfish.

You can read more about our top pick for spinning reels.here.

Spinning Coil Size Chart


coil sizeMonofilament Weightbraided line thicknessApplicationSpecies
10002 to 4 pounds (1 to 2 kg)4-8 poundsSpinners, small spoons, bobbersCrappie, Sunfish, Bluegill, Trout, Perch
20004 to 8 pounds (2-3 kg)4-8 poundsSpinners, colheres pequeñas, bobbers, buzz baitBass, Perch, Crappie, Trout
25005 to 8 pounds (2-4 kg)5-12 poundsJigs, spinners, buzzbait, colheresBass, whiting, pike, lake trout
30006-10 pounds (3-5 kg)6-14 poundsBuzz bait, cucharas, spinners, jigsPike, bass, walleye, catfish, drum
35006-10 pounds (3-5 kg)6-14 poundsFish harnesses, spinners, jigs, spoonsLeucomas, stripers, bass, muskie, lucio, tambor, bagre


coil sizeMonofilament Weightbraided line thicknessApplicationSpecies
40008 to 12 pounds (8-20 kg)8-20 poundsCowbells, large spoons, crankbaitmuskie, catfish, snapper, stripers, river catfish, bass
500010 a 14 libras (5-7kg)10-25 poundsBig spinners, big spoons, rattlesSnapper, River Catfish, Tiger Musk, Northern Pike, Salmon
600012 to 16 pounds (6-8 kg)12-30 poundsHeavy live bait, large spoonsSalmon, Walleye, Corvina, Striper, Channel Catfish


coil sizeMonofilament Weightbraided line thicknessApplicationSpecies
700016 to 20 pounds (8-10 kg)15-40 poundsHeavy live weight, scoops, harnessesStripers, salmon, drum, little sharks
800016 to 20 pounds (8-10 kg)20-50 poundsLarge bait harness, large spoonsbarracuda, drum, salmon, stripers
900018 to 20 pounds (9-11 kg)30-50 poundsFishing tackle, big spoonsamberjack, barracuda, tiger musk

Extra big

coil sizeMonofilament Weightbraided line thicknessApplicationSpecies
1000020-25 pounds (10-12 kg)30-60 poundsHeavy Fishing Rigs, Big RapalaShark, barracuda, tuna, mahi-mahi
1200028+ libras (14kg +)30-60 poundsBig troll rigs, heavy live baitShark, barracuda, tuna, mahi-mahi
1400028+ pounds (14+kg)30-60 poundsHeavyweight live onion, curricán harnessShark, tuna, dorado, swordfish
2000040+ pounds (20+kg)40-70 poundsLong streamers, heavy harnesstarpon, sailfish, big tuna
3000060+ pounds (30 kg+)80-100 poundsHeavy Harness, Live Bait Heavy Equipmenttarpon, big tuna, sailfish

What is the best reel size for bass fishing?

Bass anglers prefer reels in the 2000 to 4000 size range. Reel size depends on the size of largemouth, smallmouth, or freshwater stripers you can expect in a body of water.

The best action always comes with a lighter rod and reel, which is why many choose a 2000 reel with a flexible rod for great action.

It also has the added benefit of allowing you to feel the beat more, although this is rarely a problem with always-aggressive bass.

The size of your hands, the versatility of the reel, whether you can change the handle to a left-handed model, and the capacity of the line are all things to consider when selecting an ideal reel for bass fishing.

How do you combine a spinning reel with a rod?

You'll get another automotive analogy; a huge engine in a small car is ridiculous, just like a small engine in a one ton truck. The relationship between rod and reel is similar.

When combining a spinning reel with a rod, you need to select a reel that works with the action and length of the rod.

Smaller reels in the 1000 to 2500 range work very well with ultralight rods.

Heavy surfcasting rods require larger reels, mostly in the 5000 to 7000 range.

The style of fishing, the rod-mounted reel you choose, the action of the rod, and even the location of the line guides are all things to consider when buying the right size reel.

frequent questions

How do you know what size reel to buy?

The app is the short answer when it comes to knowing what size reel to buy. We discussed the four basic points of a spinning reel above; now is the time to buy one.

Does it fit the rod you are using? Does it fit in your hand? Is it heavy enough for the fish you want to catch? Does it work well with the line weight you have chosen?

Answer these four questions, do a little financial research to find a brand that fits your budget, and you've found the best fit.

The table above outlines the basic features, what line weight it can handle, and the type of angler these sizes are used for.

The size chart provides basic information. Study rollers online or at your favorite sporting goods store. The stainless steel variety is worth the price for saltwater fishing.

The ability to switch from left to right hand configuration is another important point if you are not proficient with your right hand.

Knowledge is power, even when it comes to choosing a fishing reel. Don't just buy the first one you see. Do your homework, make a good decision.

Is a 4000 reel too big for bass?

No, the 4000 coil size is not too big for the bass. The 4000 is the biggest reel you'd want to use for bass, but no, it's definitely not too big.

Loaded with eight-pound monofilament, or even better, eight-pound fluorocarbon line, the 4000-series still offers the adaptability and power to land monster bass.

The sea bass are among the hardest fighting freshwater fish in North America.

The ability to cast a buzz bait or crankbait precisely where you suspect large bass are underwater is invaluable in getting them to strike.

A 4000 size reel with a lightweight rod and eight pound test line gives excellent bait placement accuracy. When it comes to bass fishing, location is everything.

Their natural aggression is stimulated by a well-placed plastic worm, jitterbug, or popper as well.

What is the best fishing line for reels?

The best line for a reel depends entirely on the species you are looking for, the type of water you are fishing in, and the structure hidden below the surface.

Monofilament is an all-purpose line that ranges in test strength from two to 60 pounds. That's quite a variety of line strength to choose from.

If you're using an ultralight rod with a 1000 or 2000 reel, a two-pound test offers the most sensitivity when catching sunfish, bluegill, or squash.

The chlorofluorocarbon line is preferred by walleye anglers. Many believe that walleye can see the monofilament, but believe that the chlorofluorocarbon is invisible to them.

The other option is braided line; It is a favorite for surf fishing, deep sea salmon fishing, or in use with any other big game fish.

Halibut, sailfish, marlin, and tarpon anglers almost always choose braided line.

What size reel should I use for surf fishing?

What size is your surf fishing rod? What weight and rod length are you using? That is determination for surf fishing.

Surf fishing requires heavy weights to be placed on top of the bait or under a suspension rig.

If you're casting a three-ounce lead weight as far as possible, you'll want a reel with a large spool that can cast heavy monofilament or braided line, sometimes in the 30 to 50 pound test range.

Large and extra large coils in the 6,000 to 10,000 range are ideal for this application.

Superior strength, a higher bale, and high line volume, combined with a 10- to 16-foot rod length, require a reel that is as strong as the line and rod.


How do you know what size spinning reel to buy? ›

Choosing the correct reel size is as easy as determining the size fishing line you intend to use most often. The lighter the line you intend to use, the smaller the reel you should purchase. Ten-pound test line should be the highest strength and diameter used on a spinning reel.

What size reel do I need for a 7 foot rod? ›

Choosing a fishing rod to go with this size reel: 2500 or 25 size reels are offered favored amongst anglers using a rod in lengths between 6-7ft which have a line rating of around 2-5Kgs.

What is the difference between 3000 and 4000 reel size? ›

Typically when people think of a 4000 size reel, they think of a bigger, heavier, “do everything” reel. But there is not much difference between the sizing of the 3000 versus the 4000. The body frames appear to be the exact same size and there is only a fraction of an ounce difference in weight.

What size reel is best for 10 foot rod? ›

For 10ft surf rod, 6000 size would be perfect.

How do I know my reel size? ›

Reel Size. The first number is the size of the reel. The size of the reel is typically referenced in the model number. You will see models like the Shimano Stradic 5000, Daiwa Saltist MQ 3000, or Van Staal VS150.

What size spinning reel for a 7-foot medium-heavy rod? ›

Medium Spinning Reels

My choice for working jerkbaits, wacky rigs and shaky head worms for bass is a 3000 or 30 size reel. This reel works great with 10- and 12-pound line and a 6 1/2- or 7-foot medium or medium-heavy action rod.

What is a 5000 reel good for? ›

Reel Size 5000

It is commonly used for freshwater salmon when targeting deep and hard-flowing rivers. Big game saltwater tropical species like Mahi Mahi, Giant Trevally, barracuda, and others are also targeted using a 5000 size reel.

What is a 7-foot medium-heavy spinning rod Good For? ›

7-foot, medium-heavy casting rod

A medium-heavy rod will allow you to fish Texas rigs, smaller jigs, spinnerbaits, vibrating jigs, topwater lures, crankbaits and much more without sacrificing hardly any performance.

Is a 5000 reel too big for bass? ›

Size Rating:

Heavy reels in general range from 6000 series reels to 30,000 series reels. However, you won't be touching anything close to a 30,000 series reel as a bass fisherman. Those are for off-shore fishermen targeting larger ocean species. For bass fishing, you'll want to stick to reels in the 6000 to 7000 range.

What do you use a 1000 size reel for? ›

1000. One of the smallest reel sizes on the market, generally used for ultralight lure fishing tactics for targeting species such as perch or even small wild brown trout. Light breaking strain, low diameter lines are used to help present small lures.

Is a 4000 reel too big for bass? ›

While you could technically go bass fishing with an even bigger reel, a 4000 or 4500, those reels are ideally used on larger fish, most likely in saltwater. Examples of fish you would be going after with a 40 or 45 are Cod, Snapper and Bone Fish, among others.

What size reel do I need for a 9 foot rod? ›

A 9-foot rod with a 5000- or 6000-size reel is a standard beach and jetty combination.

What is a normal size spinning reel? ›

Since spinning reels come in a variety of sizes, it's important to determine which size or sizes you need. The four most popular sizes for freshwater applications are often designated as 100, 200, 300 and 400, with 100 being the smallest. However, some models designate the same reel sizes in others.

What size reel for walleye? ›

Walleye Reel

The best all around choice is a size 35 (3500) Spinning Reel. Reels of this size allow you to experiment with many different tackle types from jigs to soft plastics and lures. You also benefit from having more line to fish should you need more room to fight or fishing deeper water.

What makes a reel cast farther? ›

A longer rod will give you a longer cast. It's really that simple. If power and action are the same, generally speaking, a 7-foot rod will cast the same lure farther than a 6-foot rod. Now if the lure is light, like 1/8 ounce, it can be a little more managable on a softer shorter rod than a longer rod.

Does the reel have to match the rod? ›

Just as rods and reels must be matched, so must line and lures. Many anglers never consider this balance. If the line and lure are not balanced to the rod and reel even the most expensive outfit will not cast properly.

What is the best size for reels? ›

What are reel sizes Instagram? The recommended Instagram reel dimensions are 1080 pixels x 1920 pixels. That's exactly the same resolution as 1080p—only it's for videos designed to be viewed vertically.

Does size of reel matter? ›

This is usually based on the capacity of the spool, which dictates the overall size of the reel. So, if you plan on fishing for larger, stronger fish, you'll need a larger reel that can produce more drag force. Spool capacity is given by length and the pound-test fishing line that it applies to.

What size reel do I need for a 12 foot rod? ›

The best surf fishing rod and reel combo for beginners in general is a 10–12-foot medium heavy rod with medium or moderate action that is paired with a saltwater spinning reel in the 4500 to 6500 size range.

What to use a 7 6 medium/heavy rod? ›

The 7'6' Medium-Heavy is the most versatile rod in its class. We designed it for pulling rattle-traps through the grass. If you want to throw a light Carolina rig, a small swim bait or a mid-Depth crankbait, this rod will get the job done. This is one rod you will want to keep on the deck at all times.

What size reel for 30lb braid? ›

I would recommend using anywhere between 30 and 50-lb braided line on a 3500-size spinning reel.

What is a 7 3 medium/heavy fast action rod good for? ›

7'3" Medium/Heavy Casting Rod Specs

SUGGESTED TECHNIQUES: This all purpose rod is great for a large multitude of techniques. From Texas rig to Jigs to large Spinner baits, and everything in between.

What is a 4500 reel good for? ›

Spinning Reel Size: (45/450/4500)

Choosing a fishing rod to go with this size reel: 45/450/4500 models make a great mid size reel that will suit 6-8ft rods with a medium class between 4-10Kg. Though this is not what you are limited to as it will also be fine to use on a light surf rod as well rated up to 5Kg.

What are 3000 reels used for? ›

3000 size – This size reel is ideal when fishing small commercials where a short cast is all that is required. A small 3000 reel won't help you cast long distances but is perfect for chucks of 30m or less. I will use this when fishing tactics such as the waggler, and will have a maximum of 5lb mainline on the spool.

What size reel for salmon? ›

You would want to go with the 4000 size in Shimano reels (Shimano reels are numbered 500 to 4000, higher numbers = larger line capacity and stronger drag), or a comparable reel that would hold 120-200 yards of 12 pound mono.

What rod action is best for casting distance? ›

As a rule of thumb, longer rods increase casting distance, while shorter rods provide better leverage. So if you'll primarily cast with 12- to 20-pound lines, consider a 7-foot, fast- to extra-fast-action rod for lures or live baits, or medium action for smaller lures or natural baits.

What do you use a 6 6 medium spinning rod for? ›

If a 5wt 9' is the all-around trout fly fishing rod, the 6'6" MLF could be considered it's equal- Versatile. Shaky heads, tubes, light jigs, ned rigs, split-shot rigs, drop shotting, small inline spinners, and even small crankbaits and topwaters, the Medium Light is a great do-all rod for finesse style fishing.

What is an extra-heavy rod good for? ›

An ultra-light rod will be thin and easy to bend, usually intended for casting light lures and fighting small trout and panfish. An extra-heavy rod will be very thick and rigid, meant for fighting large fish like halibut or tuna, and/or casting or jigging very heavy baits.

What size spinning rod is best for bass? ›

If you're on the shorter side, a 6'6” rod to a 7' rod is probably ideal. For taller individuals, you can really leverage a 7'6” or 8' rod in your favor. There are some specialty rods that are 5' or 6', but those probably won't be what you're choosing from for a general bass rod that you want to use 99% of the time.

What type of reel is best for bass fishing? ›

3. Learn About Baitcasting Fishing Reels. The most popular rig for fishing bass and other hard-fighting game fish is a baitcasting reel and rod. They have the power and durability to stand up to the most rugged fish over and over.

What size reel is good for sharks? ›

A reel with at least 25 pounds of maximum drag capacity is necessary for sharks over 100 pounds. Smaller sharks will require reels with 15 to 20 pounds of maximum drag pressure.

What is a 2500 size reel good for? ›

2500. Just like the 1000 sized reel, the 2500 size is ideal for light lure fishing tactics such as spinning, drop shotting of even jigging. Only difference is that it has a slightly larger spool and line capacity.

What is a 3000 reel good for? ›

3000 size – This size reel is ideal when fishing small commercials where a short cast is all that is required. A small 3000 reel won't help you cast long distances but is perfect for chucks of 30m or less. I will use this when fishing tactics such as the waggler, and will have a maximum of 5lb mainline on the spool.


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