5 Best Fishing Reels for Striped Bass (Reviews Updated 2021)

Striped Bass, or Striper for short, are a favorite meal choice for many anglers – always on alert and armed with impressive fighting power, they make for worthy contenders. Averaging around 40 lbs., a fishing reel for striped bass must be built to handle the strain to play tug-of-war with this mini monster in its own right.

The ideal fishing reel for striped bass must come with impressive drag, lightweight, a decent line capacity, and should be designed for the rod you’ll be using it with.

Best Fishing Reels for Striped Bass

In no particular order, here are our top five reels for striper angling.

1. Penn SQL50LW Squall LevelWind

Penn Sql50lw Squall Levelwind

You can’t go wrong with this fishing reel from PENN. It boasts 2+1 ball bearings, all made of stainless steel, which provides you with more control and a smoother fishing experience. Coupled with a bronze coating which helps to reduce corrosion to prolong its use, it is a worthy pick for any angler.

  • 4:1 gear ratio.
  • HT-100 carbon fibre drag system.
  • Lightweight construction.
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2. Shimano Torium Conventional Saltwater Star Drag Fishing Reel

Shimano Torium Conventional Saltwater Star Drag Fishing Reel

This reel provides a powerful anti-reverse system that improves its functionality. A variable brake system is present which can deliver precision casting in almost any condition. It is lightweight, versatile, and more than suitable for striper fishing.

  • 2:1 gear ratio.
  • Lightweight aluminum design.
  • 3 anti-rust bearings.
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3. Okuma Cold Water Linecounter Trolling Reel

Okuma Cold Water Linecounter Trolling Reel

This product from Okuma is made of carbonite which makes it light and resistant to corrosion. The Cold Water Linecounter trolling reel is lightweight at a measly 15 ounces and possesses a fully waterproof magnetic control system. It is durable, reliable, and built with excellent quality.

  • Self-lubricating gearbox system.
  • 1:1 gear ratio.
  • Corrosion-resistant
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4. Penn Fathom Lever Drag 2-Speed Reel

Penn Fathom Lever Drag 2 Speed Reel

The Penn Fathom Lever Drag 2-Speed Reel is known for its versatility as it comes in different sizes which make it well suited for inshore, offshore, and nearshore fishing. While it possesses an all-metal body that makes the reel durable, it still feels lightweight enough to carry for hours at a time.

  • corrosion-resistant steel ball bearings.
  • 1:1 gear ratio.
  • Featherweight construction.
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5. Shimano Stradic Ci4+

Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 2500 Fb Spinning Fishing Reel

The Shimano Stradic Ci4+ gives a seamless retrieval action as a result of its high-performance shielded stainless steel ball bearings coupled with one roller bearing. The reel’s most notable feature is its X-Ship technology with a double bearing supported pinion gear which enables smoother retrieval when the cranking is under heavy loads.

  • 6:1 gear ratio.
  • 6+1 stainless steel ball and roller
  • Lightweight carbon construction.
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Best Fishing Reels for Striped Bass

Striped bass tops the list of sports fish targeted by anglers. With an impressive bulk, keen instincts, and a ton of fighting power, they deserve the title of worthy challengers.

But before you decide on which fishing reel you want to use to target striped bass and make a purchase, there are a number of factors you want to consider that serve as trimming points to narrow down your options. In this guide, we outlined the best reels for striped bass, and now we will consider those important factors and qualities we considered while we were doing the homework of compiling the products for you.


You first want to consider the type of fishing reel you are going for. Of all the fishing reel types, however, baitcasting and conventional reels are the most ideal for striped bass. They are specifically designed for tackling large fish, and pack enough punch to handle the over 40 lb. weight of striped bass.

Line Capacity

When reeling in striped bass, you need a lot of line, and a reel with a large line capacity to hold it all. Striped bass are powerful fighters, more so for when they are in saltwater and will flee very quickly once hooked, covering good distances before you begin to reel them in.

You want a reel that can hold a good length of a heavy rated line.


The materials from which the reel is made from is another important factor to consider. Striped bass are anadromous and spend a great deal of their lives in saltwater. The reel should be exceptionally corrosion-resistant. Other important parts include the bearings. In general, however, reels are either made from composites, full metal alloys, or graphite.


The drag on the fishing reel becomes very important when fighting striped bass. With enough drag, you don’t have to leave all the fighting to your hands but can tire out your catch as the line unspools under resistance.