This is the BEST Spinning Reel Size for Bass Fishing

BEST Spinning Reel Size for Bass Fishing

Choosing the right reel for specific task can be hard, especially if you are new to fishing. And before you even get to all specifications, you have to choose appropriate size.

Bass is a wild predator and landing one can be a great adventure! However, this adventure is directly linked to proper fishing gear.

What size spinning reel for bass should you use depends on a lot of things, but if you want “one size fits all” option, that is definitely a reel in 2500 to 3000 size range. This size is versatile, strong enough to handle a real fight, yet light enough to be used comfortably.

Some anglers prefer larger or smaller, and that is also ok if you like to have multiple sizes for various applications.

What makes this 3000-size range excellent is also the ability to be used in many other fishing situations while targeting other species too.

Here I will tell you all details you need to know about reel sizes for bass!



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Is Fishing Reel Size Important When Bass Fishing?

Reel size is very important when fishing, because appropriate size makes the whole process easier. It is true that you can land a big fish on a smaller setup, however, that requires experience and knowledge, as well as a bit of luck.

Reel size affects various reel features such as spool size and line capacity, recommended line strength, rod size, and maximum drag.

Imagine spooling heavy-duty lines on a size 500 reel or spooling the thinnest possible line onto 10000 size reels. That would significantly reduce reel performance.

Having too little or too much drag is also a factor that negatively affects fish retrieval.

Another thing to consider is the line diametertype, strength, and lure weight. Every reel has a recommended fishing line strength range, and using lines out of that range wouldn’t be very smart.

Another thing to consider is fishing technique (like jigging, spinning and other) and line capacity. The smaller the reel (if talking about the same reel model) the smaller this capacity will be.

Sometimes, fishing beginners tend to oversize because they hope to catch a record braking specimen. However, the chance for that is quite small, and standing on a riverbank with huge and heavy reel may be very tiring.

To have a proper setup, everything has to match. From reel size appropriate for certain species, to lines and everything else that goes with it.

Here is my article which can help you choose the best pound test line for bass ...

BEST Spinning Reel Size for Bass Fishing - Features

How to Choose the Best Spinning Reel Size for Your Needs?

What size spinning reel for bass should you use depends on your experience, location, local fish size and desired fishing technique.

First of all, ask yourself what you will use the reel for. Bass only, or other species too? Reel size is chosen in accordance with fish size you are trying to catch.

Small sizes like 1000 are ultra-light, easy to use and carry, however those sizes have limited capabilities, especially for larger fish and big bodies of water. If you are looking for a small reel for panfish and small trout, and you sometimes want to use it for bass, you could get away with small reel. Similar situation is with slightly larger reels like 1500 and 2000.

Sizes 2500 and 3000 are extremely versatile when it comes to freshwater fishing, and those reels have almost unlimited applications for the most popular species. You can catch walleyes, bass, and many other. If saltwater rated, you could also use those reels inshore.

A bit bigger one, 3500 or 4000, is in my opinion the largest size for bass. These reels are powerful, but also heavy and you will need to be quite handy to use them all day long. Those can be used for salmon, catfish, pike, and similar species.

Bigger reels, from 5000 and up are not for bass, and those would be perfect for a saltwater angler. If you are a complete beginner, I would advise you to go for medium and versatile, or even a bit smaller option.


What Are the Reel Sizes You Can Use for Bass?

The best spinning reel for bass, as already said is in a 3000-size range, however, it is not the only size. You can go from 1000 to 4000. Here are the details:

Size 1000

As already said, this size is cool for smaller fish, however it holds only the smallest lines, has limited spool capacity, and such thin lines may tangle if you are inexperienced.

For a normal size bass, this reel is strong enough to fight it, and it is pleasant to use due to light weight. IPT is also quote small on these reels. Although it may work, I would not recommend it as your first and only bass reel.

Size 2000

Slightly bigger than 1000 size, this reel is good for beginners looking for versatile reel for smaller fish. It is still light and pleasant to use for bass, but reeling in is quote slow.

Size 2500

This is an excellent option for bass, as well as freshwater fishing in general. It is among the most versatile sizes. Spool is wider and larger, you will retrieve the line faster, and you will have fewer tangling problems. It goes well with braided lines, it is not too heavy, and overall, it is great for bass fishing.

BEST Spinning Reel Size for Bass Fishing - Smallmouth

Size 3000

This is the size that majority of bass anglers recommend. It may seem large, but the larger spool makes it easy to operate, and such reels have excellent casting abilities.

Wider spool that is a part of such reels makes it easy to cast, especially braided lines. This size can also be comfortable paired with various rods and setups. The only downside of this size is a bit bigger weight than smaller ones.

Size 3500

For a beginner bass angler, this may be a bit big. The main application is bigger fish on bigger lakes, or even trolling. Although perfect for such conditions, it lacks versatility that sizes 2500 and 3000 have.

Size 4000

That it the biggest one I would recommend, and it makes sense only in limited situations and I would recommend only for professional bass anglers targeting record fish in freshwater. However, when it comes to saltwater bass species, this size may be optimal.

BEST Spinning Reel Size for Bass Fishing - Largemouth

This is the BEST Spinning Reel Size for Bass Fishing [+ CHART]

In the previous chapter you have seen what are all sizes that can be used for bass, but here we will go a bite more into detail regarding various kinds of bass.

What Size Spinning Reel for Largemouth Bass?

What size spinning reel for largemouth bass should you use depends on local largemouth size and the body of water size. If casting distance is a priority go for a size bigger than in smaller waters If you want to be comfortable while landing it, go for 3000, as that is the best here.

I wouldn’t recommend going below 2500.

What Size Spinning Reel for Smallmouth Bass?

Smallmouth bass is smaller than largemouth and thus you don’t have to go for bigger reels. The most versatile and best option here is 2500, however you can get away with 2000 too.

What size spinning reel for smallmouth bass depends on your specific situation, and although you don’t need big reels, you can catch it with 3000 size also.

What Size Spinning Reel for Striped Bass?

And lastly, here is striped bass. What size spinning reel for striped bass should you use also depends on your specific needs, however due to this fish size you should go for bigger reels. This fish ranges from very small to monster size!

As a beginner, specimens you land will be just the perfect size for 3000 to 4000 size reel. However, professionals going for a very big one, may even increase the size to 4500 or 5000.

Here is the quick bass fishing spinning reel size chart that sums up everything I wrote about and more!

1000 Smallmouth Panfish and small trout 2-4 4-8 6-7
2000 Smallmouth Bream, Perch, Trout 4-6 5-10 6-7.5
2500 Smallmouth and largemouth Bream, flathead, whiting 5-8 5-12 6-7.5
3000 Smallmouth and largemouth Walleye, pike 6-10 6-14 6-7.5
3500 Largemouth and striped Mangrove Jack, Flathead, KG whiting 6-10 6-14 7-10
4000 Striped Salmon, Snapper, Cod, Channel catfish 8-12 8-20 7-10


Deciding what size spinning reel for bass should be used is not very hard when you know the facts. Although there are various sizes that can be chosen, the most versatile one, and suitable for beginners is size 3000!

Smaller than 2500 may be too light and hard to use for bass, while bigger ones are too heavy for such fishing conditions!

Versatile reel sizes are great because one reel can be used for multiple fish species and techniques! That will save you money in the end and allow you to focus on fishing!

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I am Siniša Pintar (friends call me Sina), the guy behind and eBook writer. This site is base camp for fishing enthusiasts from all over the world. I love fishing and want to share all my stories, knowledge and my experience with any and all potential anglers. Read more ...

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