spinning Reel Size chart, comparison & how to choose guide

Decoding Fishing Reel Sizes: Choosing the Perfect Reel for Every Fishing Adventure

From ultralight finesse fishing to battling trophy-sized monsters. Did this never happen? Are you overtired by the vast number of fishing reels available? Whether you are new to this timeless fishing journey or an expert angler, understanding the intricacies of reel sizes is the uppermost to optimize your fishing level from zero to the heights.

Do you want to explore more and have an adventure on the next fishing journey, look no further! Just unlock the hidden potential of your angling arsenal with our best-beaten guide on fishing reel size charts. Selecting the perfect reel size, deciphering the reel size to match with target species, and fun ways to catch fish with the matching reel and rod is at your left-hand game by reading this handful article and knowing our expert insight and practical suggestions. So, without wasting too much time, Read our comprehensive and demystifying guide on the Fishing reel sizes chart.

What are the different sizes in the market? All explained!

What are the different sizes in the market? All explained!

What size reels for my rod? Reel sizes determine reel models and series. There is a lot of innovation in reel sizes, and you are aware of some common sizes like 1000, 2000, 3000, and 5000. But one thing is too simple. The smaller the number, the smaller the reel, and the larger the number, the larger the reel.

What reel size do I really need? Usually, reel size starts from 1000, but some companies also make size 500 but a scarce and non-purchasable size because of its small dimension. The ending size is 30,000. You might see the larger size soon, but you still need to! Did you muddle about the two-digit opted system by many manufacturers? Reel sizes are very nominal parameters and have no specific measurement to estimate them. One reel manufacturer marks the reel size as 3000, but this same size is the 2500 or 4000 size of other reel maker companies. Finding 10,000 reels is very similar to 14000 revolutions of another. Similarly, some called 2500 reels 25 and 30,000 reels 300. It must not happen, but this does. Unfortunately! These could occur due to different materials, techniques, designs, spools, and line applications on the rod. Sometimes manufacturer only focuses on the application method, whether this rod is for saltwater and casting long ways or to fresh water. Reels may vary not only in size but also in price. Yeah! A great factor to notice also. Some are $45 3000, while other spinning reels are $450 3000. There is a big difference, dude.

Always focus on the first two digits ignoring all the zeros, and calculate two zeros less than the actual reel size.

Now, move to the exact reel sizes that are categorized into small, medium, and large sections, and the targeted species and sizes to catch with all are discussed below.

Spinning reel size chart

Spinning reels or open-faced reels are more versatile in fishing and best suited in the cases of fresh water, light-to-medium application, and inshore fishing because of their lightweight. In this, the reel is mounted underneath the rod, and the spool is fixed where it revolves around the spool axis.

Some concepts must be evident and fair before going through the fishing reel chart.

  • All the sizes are afloat and land-based.
  • 500 reel size is rare, so I will start with 1000 reel size.
  • Parameters can vary from one manufacturer to another. ( 4000 of one, maybe 4500 of the other)
  • Every rod has a contrasting line. It may be Monofilament, Fluorocarbon, and braided line. Each has unique features, indicating the maximum weight and force the line can hold before breakage. (suggested lines are monofilament and braided lines)

Small size Spinning reels 1000-3500

Inshore fishing and freshwater fishing could be easily done with reel sizes of 1000-3500. fishing in creeks, rivers, dams, harbors, jetties, docks, estuaries, and even saltwater rivers could be targeted to catch fish. For a memorable fishing experience, keep in mind these factors also:

  • Ball bearing must range from 3-6. ( Ball bearing refers to the metal balls inscribed inside the reel, which improve the reel’s performance by reducing friction, assisting rotating parts like spool or handle, and more line retrieval.
  • Small spinning reels are lightweight enough, ranging up to 6-10 ounces( 170-280grm). Again weight may differ due to the material used and each method’s specification.
  • A 6-9 feet rod could beat the day fishing outside.
  • The spinning gear ratio must be between 4.5:1-6.2:1. ( gear ratio means how many times the spool will rotate when you turn the handle. Faster line retrieval is possible with a high gear ratio, and large fish can be preyed on with a low gear ratio. It can be understood like the spool will rotate 4.5 times for every one-time handle movement.)
Reel size
Mono strength
Braided strength
Targeted Fishes
Fish sizes
Gear ratio and type
2-4lb(1-2 kg)
Ice fishing, LRF spinning, Ultra-light inshore, finesse, and freshwater sport fishing
Trout, crappie, yellow perch, and blue gill
Up to 3 pound
4.5:1, spinning gear
4-6lb(2-3 kg)
Ultra-light freshwater fishing in harbors, rivers, and dams
Bass, trout, blue gill, and yellow perch
Up to 5 pound
4.5:1, spinning gear
5-8lb(2.5-4 kg)
Inshore, Less deep water and jetties
Bass, Walleye, and pike
2-7 pound
5.2:1, spinning gear
6-10lb(3-5 kg)
Light offshore and light inshore fishing
Catfish, bass, and pike
2-15 pound
6.2:1, spinning gear
6-10lb(3-5 kg)
Inshore saltwater spinning
Pompano, bass, redfish, and snook
15-20 pound
6.2:1, spinning gear

Medium-size Spinning Reel Chart 4000-5500

Medium-size reels from 4000-5500 are the most demanded and favorite reel size of every new and pro angler. Do they workable on smaller pan fish? Yes! The answer is 100%. These sizes are not suitable for smaller but also for surf, rock, salt water, freshwater, lighter pier fishing, and afloat. To be very short, it is the exact size you need to have for any kind of fishing. Inshore and near-shore targets can be achieved through kayak models.

  • One key feature of a medium spinning reel is that it has a strong front drag system that is easy to adjust while catching a fish.
  • Big cheerful news for left-handed anglers is that these spinning reels come in reversible handles and may be turned left and right for a strong grip.
  • A 7-12 feet rod to match with these reels is quite suitable.
  • These reels are available with a line twist reduction system and line capacity indicator to prevent turning of the handle.
Reel size
Mono strength
Braided strength
Targeted Fishes
Fish sizes
Gear ratio and type
8-12lb (4-6 kg)
Big river spinning, medium saltwater, inshore, surf, and rock fishing
Large steelhead, large trout, salmon,
10-20 lb
5.2:1 and spinning
8-12lb (4-6 kg)
Medium-level fishing on rock, surf, or offshore
Snook, snapper, redfish
5.2:1 and spinning
10-15lb (5-7 kg)
Heavy-duty spinning, big rivers
Tarpon striped bass, trout
6.2:1 and spinning
10-15lb (5-7 kg)
Heavy sport duty, big rivers, and offshore fishing
Musky, pike, bass(small and large mouth)
6.2:1 and spinning

Large Spinning Reel Size Chart 6000-30,000

An expensive and mostly used category by serious anglers. All these reels are designed to give comfort to anglers in heavy surf and rock fishing, and their application starts from large salmon to big sharks. Again, one thing to say is that the 20,000 (200) reel size of one company may be the 25000 ( 250) of another one, and for a fish that can be triggered with 6000 reels, then choosing 16000 reels is not a well-balanced decision.

  • Minimal line retrieves per handle turn must be 39 inches.
  • Pair a rod of 5 feet with a heavy-duty rod of 15 feet for a challenging adventure.
  • The rotor equalizing system helps to minimize the vibration of rotors and reduce strain on the internal components of the spinning reel. ( a rotor is the rotating part of the spinning reel that releases the fishing line and also controls the spool and helps in the smooth operation of the spinning reel.
  • Look for reels that have a drastic drag system so that it can handle the big fish exertion.
Reel size
Mono strength
Braided strength
Targeted fishes
Fish sizes
Gear ratio and type
12-18lb (5-8kg)
Near-shore, light offshore
Redfish, stripped Bass, Salmon
10-35+ pound
4.1:1 and spinning
12-18lb (5-8kg)
Inshore and light offshore
King mackerel, Mahi-Mahi, Snapper
10-35+ pound
4.1:1 spinning
14-20lb (6-9kg)
Medium fishing offshore
Salmon, Red Drum, snook
10-40+ pound
4.1:1 spinning
16-20lb (8-10kg)
Medium fishing offshore
Jack crevalle, Grouper, Stripped Bass
10-40+ pound
4.7:1 spinning
18-22lb (9-11kg)
Offshore and saltwater fishing
Small tuna, Redfish, Snook
15-45 pound
4.7:1 spinning
15-25lb(7-12 kg)
Offshore and surf fishing
Barracuda, amberjack
15-45 pound
4.7:1 spinning
Big inshore, rock and surf fishing
Roosterfis, dorado, tuna
20-45 pound
5.7:1 spinning
Surf, offshore, and rock fishing
Stripped bass, tuna, tarpon
20-45 pound
5.7:1 spinning
20-25lb (10-12 kg)
Heavy inshore and medium offshore fishing
Tarpon, kingfish, mahi-mahi, trophy awe-worthy fish
20-45 pound
4.9:1 spinning
Heavy inshore and medium offshore fishing
Barracuda, bluefin, amberjack
20-45 pound
4.9:1 spinning
28lb+ (14kg)
Medium/ heavy offshore
Cobia, yellowtail amberjack, gag grouper
30-50 pound
6.2:1 spinning
28lb+ (14kg)
Medium /Heavy offshore and saltwater fishing
Grouper, snapper, giant trevally
30-50 pound
6.2:1 spinning
36lb (18kg)
Saltwater and heavy offshore
Dorado, bluefin tuna, yellow marlin
30-50 pound
6.2:1 spinning
36lb (18kg)
Rock, land-based game fishing
Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, tuna
30-60 pound
4.9:1 spinning
40lb (20kg)
Heavy offshore and saltwater fishing
Big-eye tuna, blue marlin, shark
30-60 pound
30-60 pound
50lb (25kg)
Heavy Offshore rock fishing
Giant trevally, tuna, Drum fish
60-70 pound
4.4:1 spinning
60lb (30kg)
Heavy offshore saltwater, rock fishing
Sailfish, tuna, sharks, tarpon, Mackerel
70+ pound
4.0:1 spinning

2000 vs 3000 reel

Reels in 2000-3000 sizes are very super comfortable and never a burden on your arms and shoulders while fishing. These fishing reels are convenient to grasp for new anglers.

Best reels
Liking features
Daiwa Tatula SV TWS reel
Backlash free system
Daiwa CR80
Finesse fishing
Shimano SLX
Within budget
Lew Super Duty reel
For wide spool
Some recommendations:
  • A 6-8 pound test line is suggested.
  • Purchase a reel of the brand that offers a 6.1:1 gear ratio.
  • Choose lures like spinner bait, jerk bait, crankbait, and plastic rigs.

2500 vs 3000 spinning reel

Reels in this category are generally 8-12 ounces in weight and suitable for everything practically, like inshore, salt water, or freshwater fishing. The best reel size to handle fishes like a creeper, redfish, snappers, and pinkies.

Key points
2500 reel
3000 reel
Spool size
40-50mm (diameter)
45-55mm (diameter)
Inshore, fresh, and saltwater
Casting distance
30-60 yards
60-80 yards
Gear ratio
Some recommendations:
  • The best monofilament line suggestion is 8 pounds.
  • Penn Spinfisher VI Fan is a perfect match for freshwater fish.
  • Contemplate these factors before buying 2500-3000 reels
  •  Type of fish
  • Retrieve speed
  • Ball bearing system
  • Line capacity
  • Budget

3000 vs 4000 spinning reel

If you are planning to clutch a big fish, do it with the medium size 4000 reels, and it could be a big respite, and freshwater fishes can be snipped with the light power 3000 reels. Almost 90% of anglers are in favor of 4000 reel size from starting to expert level.

Key points
3000 reel
4000 reel
Spool diameter
6.35-6.99 cm
6.99-7.62 cm
Rod pairing
6-7 foot
7-8 foot
9-10 oz
10.1 oz
Some recommendations:
  • A 6.2:1 gear ratio is the perfect way to catch fish.
  • As a new angler, we always suggested a 3ooo reel for the perfect start.
  • Both sizes are the same because sometimes 3000 of one company is the 4000 size of another company.

Shimano Reel size Chart (explained fully)

Shimano is the best company in the world that make renowned rods and reels and has become famous due to innovation time by time. It provided Hagane body construction X- a ship gearing system. Some remarkable points to push you up to buy a reel from that company are:

  • Durable, reliable, and top-quality reels manufacturing
  • A lot of variety in reels catering to multiple fishing styles, species, and angler preferences.
  • Effortless casting, reeling, and drag control.
  • Effective for light, freshwater to heavy saltwater game fishing.
  • Reputable customer care services to deal with breakage, warranty issues, and technical assistance.
  • Best models are: Shimano Stradic CI4 and Shimano Saragosa.

Here is the full understanding of the Shimano reel size chart:

Reel sizes
Targeted species
Gear ratio
Line capacity(mm)
Max drag (lb)
Weight (oz)
Ultralight, fresh water
Panfish, yellow perch
Light, fresh water
Bluegill, trout
Medium-light, inshore
Redfish, trout, muskies
Medium, light offshore
Large steelhead, pike, Walleye
Medium-heavy rock fishing
Bass, Trout, Salmon
Heavy, surf+rock fishing
Salmon, striped bass
Extra heavy, land-based game fishing
Tuna, Tarpon
Jumbo is best for game, rock, surf
Tuna, Marlin, Shark

Helpful factors before buying fishing reels: Right reel, Right Trap

Some things are ideal to know in advance, so surprise your fellow anglers with the perfect reel that meets your need. Smaller reels mean:

  • Less capacity
  • Lower IPT line(inches per turn)
  • Retrieval speed
  • Lower drag
  • Lightweight

 Here are the factors to determine:

Fish type

What do you wish to catch? What type of fish do you intend to conquer? Never get my point yet? An example is to make you understand. For bass, the reel with 2500 length is fully beatable, but for long casting and catching heavy fishes of saltwater, reels up to 30,000 are available in the market.

Expertise Level

Experienced and new anglers can never stand out on one page. Therefore, one thing you just covered is to know your experience level of fishing.

Heavy and long reels are too heavy to handle, and only serious and experienced anglers will do the miracle.

If, as a new angler, you have one important question in your mind: What is the suitable reel size for a beginner? The answer is 3000-4000 range will be a no-alternative for you because 6000+ or 3000_ will make you repentant on your decision.

Line capacity

Give your line ample space. In case you decide to ensnare a small freshwater fish, a fine line is suitable, but you need a thicker and heavy line on the spool for larger fish.

Always take a deep look at the spool and a packed container of spool that tell you how many lines this reel will hold.

Unchained gear ratio

Keep the speed and power of your reel in your hand. Always explore the gear ratio that how it retrieves and gives unnecessary torque. For example, smaller fishes demand a high gear ratio ( 6.2:1), but if you desire to pull a large fish, always buy the spool with a low gear ratio (4.0:1) so that the spool moves less for every handle turn, and catching a big fish could be an easy task.

Lightweight reel

Enjoy the perfect balance_ and maneuverability of a lightweight reel and fatigue-free fishing. Choose a reel that never gets knotted after a small interval or that is abrasion resistant for a long time use. Okuma Avenger Reel is my super dooper choice.

Location of fish

If you want to trap crappie or bass, you must choose a reel of smaller size because these fishes are found in clear and fresh water, but if you decide to do fishing in surf, rock, and saltwater, it means you need more reel length for smooth fishing. A reel somewhere between 6000-7000 would be enough for saltwater fishing.


Having a low budget, do without worrying about buying small reels for small adventures, and if you are unduly rich and purchasing a reel with a heavy amount, go to the heavy reel sizes like 10,000, 25000, and 30,000.

  • Diawa, idk, and Shimano Sedona are the best price rod and reel manufacturing companies.

How to match the spinning reel to the rod? Any method?

Spinning a reel and having a rod similar to a reel will make you the champion of the day. There are many factors that must be taken into account for the perfect blend of rod and reel.

Rod length and reel size

Firstly consider the rod length and then match the spinning reel with it. For your succor, if you have smaller spinning reels (1000-2500), then pair them with a smaller rod of 6-7 feet, while larger spinning reels size 4500-10,000) must be matched with the longer rods of 7-8 feet.

Line weight and reel size

Rods are categorized as light, medium, and heavy, so think about the line capacity of the rod to reel capacity. For instance, if your rod has a 10lb line capacity, always buy a reel of the matched line.

Rod balance and reel weight

Your comfort is the only thing we want most. Reel weight and rod balance must be toned. If you align the heavy line to the light rod or the light line to the heavy rod, the result is only discomfort and irritation.

Pick out species

Keeping in the brain about the targeted fish. If you want to catch small fish in freshwater, then choose a light reel and rod but aiming to bring heavy fish like sharks requires a big reel and rod too.

Personal likeness

Personal taste also matters in every case. Choosing rod and reel due to specific brand, technology, or any styling techniques will be your turn.

  • After this handful of points, if you are bewildered as of now, buy a combo set of reel and rod and never let your decision of fishing quit due to these small factors.

Reel size for UL  and medium light rods:

When it comes to matching ultralight rods to spinning reels, there is a sweet spot in the 1000 to 2500 size range that gives anglers the versatility to suit their specific needs. A 1000-size reel is a lightweight option, prized for its incredibly light build.

However, this compact reel comes with a small line capacity, which can limit your casting distance, especially in open water settings, getting to your target is important.

On the other hand, the 2500-size reel, while slightly heavier than the 1000, offers a significant advantage in terms of an expanded line capacity within its spool. This feature makes it an excellent choice when casting lures over long distances is paramount. This becomes especially valuable in situations where you need to cover water more efficiently.

For medium-light Rod: A versatile rod with moderate sensitivity and power and suitable for catching medium-sized fish like Bass, Trout, and Redfish. These rods are 6-7 in diameter, so you must make a combination of 4000-5500 reel, 1 pound reel weight, and 4-8 pound line weight.


 Surf fishing, the reel sizes are transit from medium to larger, where most widely used reel size is 6000 and any reel size between 5000 to 8000 can also be used. 

Choosing the right spinning reel size for surf casting presents a unique challenge when stretching the line between medium and large size reels The main reason for the need for larger surfcasting reels is the need for more spools with more line power, which enables anglers to get remarkable casting away They are Surf fishing encompasses a wide range of possibilities, from targeting small game like snappers to stalking tougher enemies like striped bass or even beached sharks into diving for this reason, for a better surf fishing reel size.


For the average angler, the 3000-size spinning reel is the perfect choice when it comes to bass fishing and even skilled anglers can confidently pursue trophy bass using a 3000-size reel, which attests to its versatility and capability.

 Whether you’re reeling in a small or large bass, the 3000-size reel promises a great fishing experience that caters to a wide range of bass sizes. However, there are occasions when special conditions call for larger reels, especially when targeting trophy bass in challenging environments such as heavy winds and dense, line-dangerous structures.

Answers to the Questions

The fishing reel is a wide topic and has never been covered under one heading. If any queries yet, they will be solved and get answered soon.

What spinning reel size is best for a 7-foot rod?

The 7-foot (2.13m) rod is a medium-heavy rod and a better choice for inshore and freshwater fishing; reel size of 2500-3000 will be paired with and catching fish up to 15lb is easy with it.

What size rod is good for 5000 reels?

A medium-heavy rod in the range between 7-8 feet is a good choice to pair with the 5000 reel, and preying 30lb fish of inshore, surf and light sport fish could be a fun moment.

What reel sizes would be suitable for different fishes of inshore, fresh, and saltwater?

Amalgamating all the fishes and reels required for specific fishes are mentioned in one table for your convenience.

Round baitcasting reel
Low-profile baitcaster reel
Round and complicated to lubricate.
Compact and open parts.
Line volume
Cover more lines due to the big spool size.
Less line capacity.
Great cranking power.
Best for lightweight fishing.
More life.
It may get damaged soon.
Lightweight and more portable.
Casting performance
Low casting accuracy.
More casting performance.
Line friction
More chances of line friction
There are chances of friction.
Lure compatibility
Workable for heavy lures and baits
For finesse fishing
Comfort level
Extended use may make you exhausted
Best for long fishing trips
Learning level
Beginner friendly
For novice anglers

What is the best fishing line for spinning reels?

I use basically two lines for fishing, including mono and braided line, but the ultimate choice is yours. Here is the distinguished feature of every fishing line:

Monofilament line

Monofilament-line for spinning reels
  • Great strength
  • Affordable
  • More flexible
  • Made of nylon
  • Less sensitivity
  • More line memory

Braided line

Braided-line for spinning reels
  • Extra sensitivity                                                
  • Minimal stretch                                             
  • For heavy and larger fish
  • The reel comes in a coil shape from the rod
  • Use 8x braided line( eight strands of material woven together)                                                                                    

Fluorocarbon line

  • Invisible in water
  • Abrasion resistance
  • Sink in water faster than monofilament
  • Low stretch-ability
  • Heavy in budget
  • As a beginner, use a monofilament line.
  • A hybrid of mono and braided line may be used.
  • Make use of fluorocarbon leader at the tip of the braided line because braided lines are shimmery and more visible to the targeted fish.

What size do you need in rock and kayak fishing?

Fishing from rocky shorelines and outcrops along coastal areas to catch rock-fish, snapper, and bottom-dwelling fish is called rock fishing. The reel suitable for this is 5000. Using a kayak as the transportation mode in water to access remote or shallow areas that are impossible to access with big boats to catch pan fish, trout, and bass is known as kayak fishing. You want a 6-7 feet rod and a 2000-2500 reel for a kayak fishing experiment. Irish reels for kayak fishing are the demand of the time.

Take away:

Knowing the ultimate fishing size chart make you ready to revolutionize the fishing game. From the nimble 1000-3500 series to medium 4000-5500 series and level-up robust 6000-30,000 models, we have got you covered with a minute to expert level knowledge for unlocking unless possibilities in water. Our comprehensive guide and your inner strength will push you up to discover more and more in fishing and triumph on the water. Stand up and grab your rod, prepare your reel, and would enjoy the adventure like never before.

About Haseeb

Haseeb, a 35-year-old fishing angler, has dedicated 20 years to perfecting his craft. His passion for fishing was sparked at the age of 15 when his father instilled in him a love for the sport. Since then, Haseeb has immersed himself in the world of angling, acquiring extensive practical experience and a deep understanding of fishing techniques. With certifications, tournament wins, and a commitment to academic pursuits, Haseeb's expertise shines through as he continues to excel in various fishing environments, driven by his unwavering enthusiasm and genuine love for the sport

Leave a Comment