When it comes to fishing gear, the fishing reel is one of the most important parts of your set up. After all, it holds your fishing line and performs a lot of the functions needed to both cast a line out as well as haul in a hooked fish.
You could be the best angler the world has ever seen, but you won’t be any better than the gear you are using. If you are using weak or low end gear, you’ll lose more fish than you catch. On the other hand, if you invest in high quality precision equipment, you can turn your fishing hobby into a profession in no time.
If you’re looking for a high end fishing reel and don’t know where to start, keep reading. This article will cover some of the highest quality manual most expensive fishing reels available on the market today. Whether you are freshwater fishing or saltwater fishing, you’re sure to find a high quality fishing reel for your needs right here.
Which are the Most Expensive Fishing Reel Brands in the World?
When searching for the best fishing reels, you will no doubt have run into names such as Daiwa and Shimano. Both of these manufacturers are exceptionally well known around the globe, and for good reason. Their spinning reels are made to the highest standards, with precision and extremely high quality components.
You’ll find extreme levels of corrosion resistance and very reliable braking and gearing systems of various speeds. When it comes to the most expensive fishing reels, both Daiwa and Shimano can have reels that cost upwards of $3,000 USD.
While most of their high end expensive reels are manual, you can also find power assisted reels for serious deep sea serious anglers. Whether you are targeting trophy marlin that love to fight on the line for hours, or are attempting to haul in extremely massive tuna or sunfish, both Daiwa and Shimano have reels that can stand up to the task of landing the most aggressive sport fish.
For beginners, deep sea fishing and fly fishing reels of this price range would not be a practical purchase. However, in the hands of a professional angler, these spinning and fly fishing reels can help guarantee you are able to get that next world record fish in the boat without having your gears stripped or fishing reel torn apart from the stress.
List of the Most Expensive Fishing Reels
Made by one of the top brands in the fishing reel industry, the Shimano Stella is an excellent choice for anglers that are serious about fishing as a hobby or a fishing enthusiast looking to turn this into a profession.
This fishing reel offers an extreme amount of premium features including Hagane internal components, IPX8 sealed fishing reel housing, and PowerPRO spooling capabilities, all at under 2 pounds of weight.
- Full metal body is extremely durable and long-lasting
- IPX8 sealed waterproofing for internal components
- Hagane internal gears for extreme precision
Daiwa put a lot of their specialized technologies into the Catalina to make it one of the most appealing spinning reels on the list, arguably it may even be the holy grail fishing reel for some anglers. It features the Hyper Digigear drive system and Magseal protection to keep your internal components dry and clean.
You can find the Catalina in sizes from 3500 to 6000 at both 4.9:1 and 5.7:1 gear ratios to suit your needs. Additionally, the 8 stainless steel ball bearings are great for providing smooth and snag-free rotations.
- Highly corrosion-resistant aluminum alloy body
- Extremely smooth drive system thanks to Hyper Digigear
- Magnetized oil seal to protect from moisture and dirt
For any anglers serious about the sport or wanting to take their fishing passion on a more professional path, the Saltiga by Daiwa is an outstanding fishing reel to consider. It’s been specifically designed to stand up to some of the most challenging fishing conditions in the world.
It features a highly saltwater resistant fishing reel casing, with monocoque body to eliminate the need for full coverage side plates. You’ll also notice it has an aluminum air rotor for extreme flexibility when under the weight of a trophy monster sized fish.
- Up to 55 pounds of maximum drag
- Includes 13 stainless steel ball bearings
- Quick action gearing at 5.8:1 ratio
If you’re looking for a high end fishing reel that offers all of the best features, look no further than the Stradic. Not only can you find this fishing reel in a variety of sizes from 1000 to 5000, but you will also notice it has a higher gear ratio of up to 6.4:1.
For fishing in highly corrosive saltwater areas, it features X-Protect coating along with a very durable Cross Carbon Drag system to give you precision action when fishing under pressure. The 6 ball bearings will keep this expensive reel moving smoothly no matter what type of fishing you may be doing.
- Can be found in 1000 to 5000 sizes
- High speed gear ratios of 6.0 and 6.4 to 1
- X-Protect coating provides extreme corrosion resistance
While the Penn Slammer III isn’t the most expensive fishing reel on this list, it is an outstanding model to consider regardless. It’s perfect for both saltwater and freshwater fishing, and includes an IPX6 sealed gearing system that keeps the internal components dry and clean.
The drag system is extremely strong and easy to adjust, and the 7 stainless steel ball bearings can be found in automatic trip in the smaller Slammer III models, but are manual with the larger models.
- Includes the Penn specific IPX6 sealed system
- Extremely strong drag system thanks to Dura Drag
- Excellent fishing reel for anglers just starting off with high end gear
The Twin Power by Shimano is an outstanding saltwater fishing reel that is ready to help you haul in those monster sized trophy catches. It operates extremely smoothly with a 10+1 bearing system, and makes use of a 6.2:1 gear ratio for quick and smooth retrieval.
Being a Shimano brand, it comes with a range of innovative technologies such as X Protect, Aero Wrap, Cross Carbon Drag (CCD) systems, and more. You’ll find it in sizes from 4000 to 14000 to handle any fish you may be targeting.
- Specifically created with saltwater fishing in mind
- Includes a 10+1 stainless steel ball bearing system
- High quality technology including Aero Wrap and CCD
The Penn Battle III is an extremely durable high end expensive reel that is one of the more suitable reels for someone just starting with higher end fishing gear. While the price tag is still somewhat on the high end, it can be considered a much more modest range for someone who wants a premium expensive reel with all the bells and whistles without spending thousands of dollars right away.
Between the CNC precision cut gears and internal components, as well as the carbon fiber drag system, the Penn Battle III is a great fishing reel to consider. Additionally you’ll find a 6+1 sealed bearing system making it great for saltwater fishing too.
- Premium features with a more modest price tag
- Solid metal body with carbon fiber drag system
- Fully CNC cut gears and drive system for durability
Do More Expensive Reels Help Catch More Fish?
In many basic fishing situations, such as when fishing in the pond on a neighbor’s farm or down at the local public lake, having an expensive rod is not needed to catch fish. Most of these fish are smaller in size and won’t put much strain on a basic entry level fishing rod and reel.
However, if you plan on targeting large trophy fish in the deep sea, such as marlin, shark, dorado, and tuna, having a high quality and more expensive fishing reel can make a huge difference. These fish are not only massive in size, but can put up hours of struggle as you try to haul them into the boat.
In this situation, a basic low end fishing rod and fishing reel simply won’t cut it, and will likely break long before the fish is anywhere near the boat. In high end expensive reels, the gearing is much more durable meaning a large and strong fish won’t quickly strip the gears when fighting.
What Should You Look for When Buying a New Fishing Reel?
Having a premium drag system is very important, especially when targeting larger and more valuable fish. All of the internal gearing in a drag system needs to be high quality and durable to ensure it does its job when you need it to.
You also want a secure drag system that prevents dirt and corrosion from saltwater becoming an issue. Drag washers and other protective coverings are vital in a high quality sealed drag system which can often only be found in higher end reels.
A higher gear ratio can help you when casting and retrieving, as well as when hauling in large fish. The average gear ratio on most reels is 5:1 which means the line spool will spin 5 times for each single crank of the handle. This directly leads to quicker retrieval of lures, baits, and hooked fish.
Both entry level and high quality reels can be made from a wide range of different materials, from aluminum and stainless steel, to graphite and titanium. You want your external housing to be extremely durable and corrosion resistant, especially if you are fishing in saltwater.
A lightweight housing can also help as it reduces the overall weight of the rod and trolling reel combo and causes less hand and arm fatigue during long hours of fishing. It’s not uncommon to see saltwater reel external housing as well as internal spooling components made from aluminum, but on higher end models graphite and titanium is also possible.
Reels can come in a wide range of weights, and it will be directly related to the materials that were used to make the external and internal components. Aluminum reels are usually the lightest, while stainless steel and titanium can be somewhat heavy.
The weight of the spinning fishing reel has an effect on how the rod behaves, as a well balanced rod will be much easier to get a quick flick of the tip when setting hooks as well as easier to handle when strapping in for a long retrieval fight.
Braking System (baitcasting reels)
If you’ve selected a baitcasting reel, you’ll notice it has a unique section for the braking system. This allows the angler to slow down the movement of the spool when casting. This gives a more precise casting distance and direction.
Braking systems can be single or dual, and may be magnetic or gravity forced. A higher quality braking system will allow the spinning fishing reel to perform much better when casting than reels that do not have a braking system.