5 Best Fishing Reels for Bluefish (Reviews Updated 2022)

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More bluefish have been caught than almost any other saltwater species and thanks to their voracious appetites, they will fall for just about any lure almost every time, ideal for the newbie angler.

With their impressive fighting power, they are quite the challenge, and getting the right reel for bluefish is essential for a successful catch. The ideal fishing reel for bluefish should be lightweight, exceptionally corrosion-resistant, easy to mount, come with impressive reeling power, and should not cost much.

Best Fishing Reels for Bluefish

To save you the shopping hassle, we have compiled a list of the best fishing reels for bluefish that check all the boxes and will bring in more bluefish than you can handle.

1. Daiwa Saltist Star Drag Conventional Reel

Daiwa Saltist Star Drag Conventional Reel

The Daiwa Saltist Star Drag Reel is powerful and equipped with mouth-watering features that make it ideal for bluefish angling. It is designed to hold weight classes starting at 12lbs and can peak at a 40lbs test. The Saltist Reel’s drag system can also task the spool with up to 25lbs of pressure and is corrosion-resistant.

  • Anodized, machined aluminum make-up.
  • Ultrafast 6.4:1 gear ratio.
  • Compact and lightweight.
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2. Penn SQL20LWLC Squall LevelWind

Penn Sql20lwlc Squall Levelwind

Penn is known for manufacturing top-notch fishing gear, and the Level Wind trolling fishing reel is no exception. It succeeds the previous GT LevelWind series by being more lightweight and performance-driven with a machined spool, graphite frame, an improved drag system, and compact marine-grade alloys of metal for the main and pinion gear to promote seamless cranking.

  • HT-100 carbon fiber drag system for a smoother drag.
  • Anti-reverse bearing to prevent backlash.
  • Corrosion and saltwater-resistant.
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3. Cadence CS5 Pro Spinning Fishing Reel

Cadence Cs5 Pro Spinning Fishing Reel

The CS5 Pro ultra-light spinning fishing reel from Cadence is a sturdy reel with eight corrosion-resistant ball bearings and one anti-reverse bearing, which makes it suitable for both freshwater and saltwater. The reel knob is made from soft EVA-grade foaming, and the body is constructed using dense carbon frames, stainless steel for the shaft, and machined aluminum for the spool and pinion gear.

  • Lightweight, ergonomic design.
  • Powerful carbon fiber drag system.
  • Meta carbon frame (stronger and lighter than Al).
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4. Dr.Fish Saltwater Spinning Reels

Dr.fish Saltwater Spinning Reels

The all-new spinning fishing reel from Dr. Fish is designed specifically for saltwater use. With a triple carbon fiber-enhanced body, ten stainless steel ball bearings, CNC machined aluminum spool, and a drag system limit of up to 26lbs, this reel is 20% more corrosion-resistant and provides 10% more line capacity all for a relatively affordable price.

  • Graphite S high-module triple carbon fiber construction.
  • 1:1 gear ratio with 26lbs max drag.
  • 9+1 stainless steel shield ball bearings.
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5. 13 Fishing Concept Z Freshwater/Saltwater Baitcasting Fishing Reel

13 Fishing Concept Z Freshwater/Saltwater Baitcasting Fishing Reel

Concept Z is a bait-casting fishing reel from the 13 fishing brand that pushes boundaries innovatively with absolutely zero ball bearings. This reel is possibly the first of its kind, utilizing a concept zero-bearing polymer technology for effortless and silent control. It also features a lightweight aluminum frame, 6-way centrifugal braking system, EVA foam knob handle, and dead-stop anti-reverse technology.

  • Smooth performance.
  • Very corrosion-resistant.
  • Quick-retrieve, high drag.
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Fishing Reels for Bluefish Buying Guide

Bluefish make for excellent meals and sports fish, as they stand up to the fighting challenge with very sharp teeth and impressive power. When choosing a fishing reel for bluefish, you want a sturdy unit that is exceptionally durable and will stand up to your target’s fighting power.

Our buying guide reviews the best fishing reels for bluefish on the market based on their specified features and tested performance to give you the best options to choose from. We then take it a step further and outline the important factors you want to consider and qualities you want to see in a fishing reel for bluefish before you make a purchase.


Bluefish are saltwater species and so, your fishing reel must be designed to withstand the corrosive effect of saltwater. Fishing reels will usually be made of graphite, aluminum alloys, or composites. Graphite reels are lightweight and exceptionally durable. Aluminum reels boast of higher strengths and will take a beating better than graphite reels. Higher-end bluefish reels come with composite constructions but are the most expensive.


The next thing you want to consider is the type of fishing reel you want to use to hunt bluefish. Of all the types of fishing reels for bluefish, spinning and conventional reels are likely what you will find. While spinning reels are exceptionally versatile and great for anglers of all levels, conventional reels are more suited to targeting very large bluefish and for techniques like trolling.


Another important feature to consider on your fishing reel for bluefish is its drag controls. Bluefish can grow to as large as 40 lbs. in weight and will put up a serious fight. To effectively tire out your catch without getting fatigued, the drag on your fishing reel should be high. The ideal fishing reel for bluefish should come with drag ratings between 10 and 40 lbs.

Line Capacity

The line capacity of your fishing reel for bluefish is another important factor to consider. You want to give your catch enough room after getting hooked to flee and minimize strain on your equipment before you start reeling it in. This all lies on the line capacity of your fishing reel and should be as high as possible. With enough line capacity, your reel can hold enough lengths of high-load lines ideal for bluefish.