If you want to get all your fishing gear from the US, it can be quite challenging (and frustrating) to find spinning reels made in USA. As a lot of fishing brands get the majority of their products manufactured overseas, finding US-made gear can take quite a bit of time and effort.
In this article, we look at the small number of spinning reels made in the USA. While most brands have chosen to use more budget-friendly manufacturing options in other countries, there are still some US companies making their products locally without relying on workforces in different countries, and they actually offer some very good spinning reels.
What Fishing Reel Brands Are Made in the USA?
While it may be more challenging than you might like to find American-made spinning reels, there are some brands to look out for which make their reels domestically. These brands include
Spinning Fishing Reels Made in USA
IRT spinning reels are made in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania. While the brand does use components sourced internationally, all their reels are designed, manufactured, and hand-machined in the USA.
IRT reels come in three sizes - 300, 400, and 500 with each reel having an aluminum body, a drag system made of carbon fiber kevlar, and sealed stainless steel ball bearings.
These reels are a good choice for saltwater environments as they have good anti-corrosion properties although they can also be used on freshwater fishing trips too. All IRT reels are made to high standards and perform very well. With that in mind, if you're looking for top-quality US-made fishing reels, IRT could be a very good choice for you.
Accurate reels are made by hand in Corona, California. The Accurate TwinSpin series can generate up to 40 lb maximum drag pressure, so it is more than capable of handling some very big ocean fish.
It has stainless steel gears and very impressive 14 stainless steel ball bearings, so it is a very smooth reel.
One of the best things about Accurate Reels is that not only are they made in the USA, but the company also sources a lot of the materials used domestically too. While some components do come from overseas, a lot do actually come from inside the US too.
The ZeeBaas zx2 has an entirely sealed aluminum body and is fully waterproof. It can actually function while completely submerged, which is not something many fishing reels could do.
The zx2 comes in silver or an all-black finish, so it makes for a great choice if you like your fishing gear to have a cool, tactical look to it as well as being top-quality and high-performing. The reel can generate up to 40 pounds of drag power, so it can comfortably handle large saltwater fish such as Sailfish and Marlin.
ZeeBaas are handmade in Stratford, Connecticut. Another great thing about these reels is that around 80% of the components used are sourced domestically. The remaining 20% of components are sourced from other countries, but the reel itself is put together in the States.
One thing to bear in mind with ZeeBaas reels is that they do come at quite a cost, and they can be challenging to find.
The Penn Torque II is available in three different sizes - 5500, 7500, and 9500. All three are more than big enough to handle the rigors of deep-sea fishing. It has a powerful (and updated) dura-drag system and features IPX6 watertight sealing.
Penn Torque II reels are made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, using components sourced both domestically and internationally.
This reel was originally released around 50 years ago before being removed from the market. However, it has recently been reintroduced and is proving to be quite popular.
The Penn Z Series is known for being very long-lasting and durable. One of the best things about this reel is that it is commonly a bit more affordable than other American-made reels. Overseas manufacturing usually brings costs down, so being able to get your hands on an affordable reel made in America is always a good thing.
Like the Penn Torque II, the Penn Z series is made in the Penn fishing tackle company manufacturing plant in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, using components sourced both domestically and internationally.
Fly Fishing Reels Made in USA
Some Lamson reel models are more affordable than others, but all are made to exceptionally high quality, and they perform very well on any freshwater fishing trip.
Lamson fishing reels are made in Boise, Idaho.
Saltwater Fishing Reels Made in USA
Some great American-made saltwater fishing reels have already been mentioned, including those from brands such as Accurate, IRT, and Penn International.
Penn spinning reels are probably some of the best-known reels out there, and they perform very well in saltwater environments. Not only do they have good anti-corrosion features, but they are also more than strong enough to handle the large trophy fish you might encounter on your next sea-fishing trip.
It’s worth bearing in mind that the majority of Penn reels are made overseas, but the Penn International series is made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Bass Fishing Reels Made in USA
Avet reels can be used very effectively for bass fishing. They offer good levels of performance for a relatively low price. While it’s unlikely you will find a reel from Avet that is cheaper than one made overseas, the brand does a good job at keeping costs down so their reels won’t break the bank.
Baitcast Reels Made in USA
Baitcast reels that are made in the USA are not as common as some of the other types of reels, such as fly reels. That being said, you can get a good quality baitcasting reel from Accurate. These do come at a pretty high price, but they more than makeup for this in their levels of quality and durability.
Ice Fishing Reels Made in USA
Ice fishing reels don’t necessarily need to be specialist reels. Instead, they can be any reel made in the USA that is suitable for jigging and similar.
The main consideration you will probably have when it comes to choosing a reel for ice fishing is whether it is compatible with your ice fishing rod. Buying a spinning reel made in the USA for your ice fishing trips might take a bit of research, but you can definitely find some good ones from some of the brands mentioned in this article.
Spincast Reels Made in the USA
Finding a spincast spinning reel made in the USA can be a bit of a challenge. Looking through the catalogs of American brands such as Hatch and other similar brands can be a good place to start though.
FAQs About Fishing Reels Made in USA
Buying fishing reels that have been made in USA can bring up lots of questions that need answering to help you find the one that is best suited to you and your fishing needs.
Why Buy American-Made Spinning Reels?
The main thing to think about when it comes to buying fishing reels that have been made in the US is that the quality of machinery used in the manufacturing process will usually be quite a bit higher in America than it will be overseas.
The number of fishing reels produced each day will also likely be lower for the brands making their fishing reels domestically. For them, quality is more of a priority than quantity. For factories overseas that get paid per unit produced, the number of items made each day has to be high to ensure enough money is being made. Fishing brands that manufacture their products in the US can put more of a focus on using quality materials to make some truly high-performing fishing equipment.
While not all of the components that are used to make the complete fishing reel are sourced from within the US, they are all put together into the finished fishing reels in factories based in the USA.
That being said, some of the most well-known and best fishing reels are actually made outside of the US. Shimano reels, Pflueger reels, and other incredible reels are mostly made in Asian countries.
If you buy from these brands, you will still get a top-level fishing reel at a price that is likely to be lower than the price you would pay for a similar quality fishing reel made in America. The machinery used in the manufacturing process of American-made reels will be higher, though, so US-manufactured spin reels will have an added element of quality to them.
What to Look For in a High-Quality Fishing Reel?
When looking for a quality fishing reel, looking at the reel features is an obvious thing to do. You need to make sure that the reel you plan to buy has all the features you need for the type of fishing you want to do.
A fly reel can be used to catch some big fish, for example, but if you are just starting out, a basic spinning reel might be better suited to your needs.
Outside of your fishing requirements, you should also look for reels with a stainless steel frame that has been treated with anodizing technology to make them more resistant to corrosion – this is particularly important if you will be fishing in saltwater. An effective drag system is also very useful.
One of the easiest things to think about when you are looking to buy fishing reels is to consider that the better quality the reel is, the more likely you are to land a big fish. You need to feel confident in all of your gear so if the customer reviews and recommendations are backing up the claims made by the manufacturers, you should be reasonably sure that you are getting a high-quality fishing reel that can cope with your next fishing adventure.