5 Best Fishing Reels for Tilapia (Reviews Updated 2021)

Tilapia is one of the most sought after species of fish in the world, thanks to their great taste and awesome adaptability. Small-sized, they do not pack a lot of fighting power and are one of the easiest fish to reel in. The ideal fishing reel for tilapia should be lightweight, convenient to use, durable, come with a decent line capacity, and shouldn’t be too expensive.

Best Fishing Reels for Tilapia

We have a list of fishing reels for tilapia that check all these boxes and stand above all the vast options on the market.

1. Okuma Helios Spinning Reel

Okuma Helios Hsx 40s Spinning Reel

First among the reels that are suitable for tilapia, the Okuma Helios reel has a body, side plate, and rotor all made from C-40X carbon fiber, making it light and strong. The reel’s bearing system contains 8 ball bearings and 1 anti-reverse roller bearing, all made from stainless steel, providing anglers with smooth performance. The reel has an AlumiLite alloy main gear and a machine-cut brass pinion gear, both providing sufficient drag power.

  • Lightweight EVA knob.
  • Size 2000 reel.
  • 0:1 gear ratio.
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2. Pflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel

Pflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel

This size 2000 reel weighs very little due to its body and rotor that are both made from graphite, making it an ideal reel pick for hunting tilapia. The reel has a gear ratio of 5.2:1, and its bearing system contains 7 corrosion-resistant ball bearings, all made from stainless steel, giving seamless action when in use. Its sealed drag system contains washers that are always lubricated, and its slow oscillation gearing minimizes line twist.

  • 46 lbs. reel weight.
  • Ambidextrous use.
  • Braid-ready aluminum spool.
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3. Daiwa Ultralight Spinning Reel

Daiwa Ultralight Spinning Reel

A perfect-sized ultralight reel, this Daiwa reel is specially built to be ambidextrous, as it can be used by right and left-handed anglers. It has a lightweight composite frame, an aluminum spool, and a special folding arm. Its bearing system contains 3 ball bearings and 1 roller bearing, providing smoothness when reeling in tilapia.

  • 1:1 gear ratio.
  • 39 lbs. reel weight.
  • 0 lbs. max drag.
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4. Piscifun Flame Spinning Reel

Piscifun Flame Spinning Reel

This reel has a beautiful red and black body, and its narrow, hollow graphite body and lightweight gears make it a perfect option for angling for tilapia. The reel’s action is totally smooth, and this is as a result of its bearing system that contains 9 ball bearings and 1 roller bearing. The reel’s main metal shaft, machined brass pinion gear, triple drag washers, and high-grade drive gear make it very strong.

  • Size 2000.
  • Aluminum handle.
  • 68 lbs. reel weight.
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5. Shimano Stradic Ci4+ Spinning Reel

Shimano Stradic Ci4+ 2500 Fb Spinning Fishing Reel

This reel has one of the best builds, with its CI4+ carbon body providing anglers with strength and enough lightness to be perfect for tilapia. On the interior, the reel has a cold-forged aluminum spool and a MagnumLite rotor, resulting in a maximum drag of 20 lbs. Its bearing system contains 6 ball bearings and 1 roller bearing, ensuring that the reel’s operation is smooth.

  • 46 lbs. reel weight.
  • 0:1 gear ratio.
  • Durable and corrosion-resistant.
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Fishing Reels for Tilapia Buying Guide

Tilapia are fairly easy to reel in once hooked, but before that, getting them requires some skill. They taste great with a mild flavor making them an excellent choice for fish newbies.

We have given you a rundown of the best fishing reels for tilapia based on their specified features and performance. We will now take a look at important factors you should consider when scouting for a fishing reel for tilapia to help streamline your choices and make sure you end up with the best possible match for your needs.


There are a host of fishing reel types – spinning, baitcasting, spincast, convenetional, and fishing reels. Choosing the ideal type of reel to catch tilapia is the first thing you want to get out of the way. Of all the fishing reel types, spinning reels are the most suited. Tilapia do not put up a serious fight that will require the higher torque performance of baitcasting and conventional reels. Spinning reels are also very easy to use, making them ideal for beginner anglers.


As fishing reels for tilapia are not designed for exceptional torque performance, the portability factor becomes very important. The ideal fishing reel for tilapia should be lightweight, compact, and convenient to carry around more so for if you need to move good distances to your fishing spot.

Gear Ratio

The gear ratio is another important factor that separates fishing reels for tilapia from other reels. Fishing reels for tilapia should come with high gear ratios to enable quick retrieval speeds once your catch has been hooked.