5 Best Tuna Fishing Reels: Our Favorite Picks & Guide

When it comes to tuna fishing, having the right reel can make all the difference. Tuna are strong, fast, and powerful fish that require a reel that can handle their strength and stamina. The best tuna fishing reels are those that are durable, reliable, and have the power and capacity to handle the weight and fight off a big tuna.

There are a variety of tuna fishing reels available on the market, each with its own unique features and specifications. From spinning reels to conventional reels, and from low to high-end models, there is a wide range of options to choose from.

Top 5 Tuna Fishing Reels [Reviewed]

In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the Top 5 tuna fishing reels available on the marcket. We will discuss their key features, advantages, and disadvantages, and help you determine which reel best suits your needs and fishing style. Whether you are a seasoned angler or a beginner, our guide will provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision and get the most out of your tuna fishing experience.

1-Zebco 808 Saltwater Spincast Fishing Reel For Tuna:

The brand Zebco, a name synonymous with quality fishing equipment, proudly presents its latest offering in the form of the 808 SALTWATER SC REEL 20#. This ambidextrous reel, crafted from a blend of superior materials in a striking gray color, is designed to elevate your fishing experience to new heights. With an item weight of 1.35 pounds, it is both lightweight and sturdy, making it an ideal choice for the discerning angler.

The Spincast fishing technique is the perfect match for this reel, which boasts a plethora of features designed to enhance your fishing game. The QuickSet Anti-Reverse, Built-In Bite Alert, and Dial-adjustable Magnum drag are just some of the features that will elevate your fishing experience to new heights. The all-metal gears, Dual Ceramic Pick-up Pins, and patented no-tangle design are additional features that demonstrate the exceptional quality of this reel.

Designed for convenience, this reel allows for a changeable right- or left-hand retrieve, making it an ideal choice for both right and left-handed anglers. The pre-spooled 20 lb Zebco line is the cherry on top of this already impressive reel, while the 2.6:1 gear ratio, 19 IPT, and 145 yds/20 lb mono line capacity further cement its superiority.

Zebco has been a trusted brand in the fishing world since 1954, and its commitment to excellence is evident in every product they release. The 808 SALTWATER SC REEL 20# is no exception, and it comes with a one-year warranty from the date of original retail purchase against defects in workmanship and/or materials, giving you the peace of mind you need to focus on what really matters – catching the big one.

2-Zebco Big Cat XT Spincast Fishing Reel, 4 Bearings:

The Big Cat XT by Zebco is the ultimate fishing reel, boasting an impressive blend of features that are sure to elevate your fishing experience to new heights. With a brand like Zebco at the helm, you can rest assured that this Spincast reel is of the highest quality and will deliver optimal results every time.

Crafted from a blend of superior materials, the Big Cat XT features a durable stainless steel cover in a vibrant blue/green color, ensuring that it not only looks great but is also built to last. The titanium-nitride plated spinner head adds an extra layer of toughness, while the dial-adjustable drag and dual ceramic pick-up pins demonstrate the reel’s exceptional quality.

Designed for convenience, this reel offers versatile use, with both spinning and casting fishing techniques at your disposal. The item weight of 1.4 pounds makes it both lightweight and sturdy, while the handle material and bearing material are both crafted from high-quality stainless steel, further cementing the reel’s durability.

The Big Cat XT is versatile and reliable, offering a smooth retrieval with 4 bearings (3 + Clutch) and an impressive 19-inch retrieve rate. The changeable right/left-hand retrieve ensures that it is suitable for anglers of all orientations, making it an ideal choice for anyone looking to enhance their fishing game.

With a mono capacity of 110/25, this reel is especially ideal for your favorite medium to heavy species such as walleye, bass, catfish, striper, and other saltwater fish! Set a new gold standard for angling achievement with Big Cat, the ultimate fishing reel for discerning anglers.

3-Gomexus Trolling Reel Shark Tuna Tournament Reel Smooth Durable:

Introducing the GOMEXUS HX30 Trolling Reel – a true masterpiece in the world of fishing equipment! Crafted from top-notch materials such as aluminum and stainless steel, this trolling reel boasts a weight of 66.68oz/1.89kg, making it a force to be reckoned with on your next fishing trip. Featuring 8BB+1RB bearings, this reel is sure to provide you with an exceptional fishing experience that is hard to match.

With a maximum stroke of 70 lbs, you can feel confident that this reel can handle even the toughest catches. Plus, the 2-speed gear ratio of 3.6:1 and 1.6:1 ensures that you can seamlessly shift gears without any hassle. In addition, the wide line capacity of 950 yds of 30 lb mono/700 yds of 100 lb braid means that you can fish to your heart’s content without worrying about running out of line.

One of the standout features of this trolling reel is its premium material construction. The 9 shielded stainless steel ball bearings, along with the hardened and tempered stainless steel gears and shaft, make this reel incredibly durable and resistant to saltwater damage. The anodized finish of the HX series adds an extra layer of protection to ensure that your reel lasts for years to come.

But that’s not all – the GOMEXUS HX30 Trolling Reel has a unique design that truly sets it apart from other reels on the market. The one-touch, two-speed shift function provides the best smooth shift, while the CNC machine-cut aircraft aluminum frame and spool make it an oversized big game reel. And let’s not forget about the perfect drag system – the HT-100 carbon fiber drags utilize the best aircraft brake material and have a maximum drag of 85 lbs.

At GOMEXUS, we stand behind our products, which is why the HX trolling reel comes with a 12-month warranty. Contact us if you have any issues, and we guarantee that you’ll be satisfied within 24 hours. Upgrade your fishing game with the GOMEXUS HX30 Trolling Reel – you won’t regret it!

4-PENN Battle III Spinning Fishing Reel:

I recently purchased the PENN BTLIII4000 spinning reel and I am thoroughly impressed with its performance. The sleek black-gold color and aluminum construction make it a stylish and durable addition to my fishing gear collection.

One of the standout features of this reel is the 5 plus 1 sealed stainless steel ball bearing system, which provides a smooth and reliable casting experience. The full metal body and side plate, as well as the CNC gear technology, ensure that this reel can handle the toughest fishing conditions without breaking down.

The HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers are a special feature of this model, providing excellent drag performance and preventing rust buildup. The handle material, stainless steel, adds an extra layer of durability and comfort during use.

Another helpful feature of the PENN BTLIII4000 is the line capacity rings, which allow me to quickly and easily determine how many lines I have left on the spool during a fishing excursion.

Overall, I highly recommend the PENN BTLIII4000 spinning reel for anyone looking for a reliable and high-performing fishing reel that can handle even the toughest fishing conditions.

5-Zebco 33 Platinum Spincast Reel, 5 Ball Bearings:

Looking for a high-quality spin cast reel that is easy to use and built to last? Look no further than the Zebco 33 Platinum SC Reel.

One of the standout features of this reel is its patented no-tangle design, which makes it incredibly easy to use, even for beginners. It also features a dial-adjustable drag and QuickSet anti-reverse technology to ensure a solid hookset every time.

But it’s not just easy to use – the Zebco 33 Platinum SC Reel is also incredibly durable, thanks to its stainless steel covers, all-metal body, and gears. The size 30 spin-cast reel also boasts a silky-smooth 4.7:1 gear ratio for efficient line retrieval.

With 4 stainless steel ball bearings and a GlideLine ball bearing, this reel is designed to reduce friction and provide superior performance. And with a changeable right- or left-hand retrieve and 10-pound Zebco fishing line already spooled, you’ll be ready to start reeling in your prize catch right away.

Overall, the Zebco 33 Platinum SC Reel is a top-of-the-line spin-cast reel that is perfect for catching everything from panfish to bass and beyond. It’s durable, easy to use, and performs like a dream. If you’re looking for a high-quality spin cast reel, this one is definitely worth considering.

How to Choose The Best Tuna Fishing Reel: The ultimate guide:

To Choose the best Tuna Fishing reel you need to keep in mind some points that you will focus on while you are in the market looking for a reel to catch tuna. Let’s see what you should focus on:

Line Capacity:

Line capacity is an essential factor to consider when choosing a fishing reel for tuna fishing. It refers to the amount of fishing line that a reel can hold. Different reels have varying line capacities, and it is important to choose one that can hold enough lines to handle the size and weight of tuna that you expect to catch.

When it comes to line capacity, there are two main measurements to consider: the line weight and the line length. The line weight refers to the strength of the fishing line, typically measured in pounds. The line length refers to the amount of line that a reel can hold, usually measured in yards.

When targeting larger species like tuna, it is important to choose a reel with a higher line capacity to ensure that you have enough lines to handle the fight. A reel with a low line capacity can result in lost fish due to the lack of line to play them out, leading to line breakage or the fish simply swimming away.

It is important to consider the type of fishing line that you will be using when selecting a reel. Braided lines, for example, have a smaller diameter than monofilament lines of the same strength. This means that you can fit more braided lines onto a reel with the same line capacity as a monofilament reel.

When selecting a reel, it is important to choose one with a line capacity that matches the fishing line you intend to use. If you plan to use a braided line, you may need to choose a reel with a higher line capacity to ensure that you can hold enough lines.

In addition to line capacity, it is important to consider the overall quality of the reel when choosing a fishing reel for tuna fishing. Look for a reel with strong and durable construction, a smooth drag system, and reliable gears to ensure that it can handle the demands of tuna fishing. Ultimately, choosing a fishing reel with the right line capacity can help you to maximize your chances of landing that big tuna you have been dreaming of.

Gear Ratio:

Gear ratio is one of the most important aspects of a fishing reel, and it refers to the number of times the spool rotates with each turn of the reel handle. For example, a reel with a gear ratio of 6.2:1 will rotate the spool 6.2 times with each full turn of the handle. The gear ratio determines how quickly you can retrieve the line and how much power you can apply to your lure or bait.

A high-gear ratio reel is ideal for fast-moving techniques such as jigging or topwater fishing, as it allows you to retrieve the line quickly and keep up with the fast-moving lure. On the other hand, a low gear ratio reel is more suited for slow-moving techniques such as deep sea fishing or bottom fishing, as it provides more power and torque to help you reel in heavy fish.

When choosing a gear ratio, it is important to consider the type of fishing you will be doing, as well as the size and species of fish you will be targeting. A higher gear ratio reel is typically better for smaller fish, while a lower gear ratio is better for larger, more powerful fish. It is also important to consider the line you will be using and match the gear ratio to the line weight.

Overall, the gear ratio is an important factor to consider when selecting a fishing reel, as it will impact your fishing experience and ultimately determine your success on the water.


The material used in a fishing reel plays a crucial role in its performance, durability, and longevity. There are various materials used in making fishing reels, and each material has its strengths and weaknesses.

Aluminum is a popular material used in making fishing reels. It is lightweight, durable, and corrosion-resistant, making it ideal for saltwater fishing. Reels made from aluminum are also less prone to warping or bending and can withstand heavy loads and rough handling.

Graphite or composite materials are also commonly used in making fishing reels. They are lightweight and durable, making them ideal for long hours of fishing. Graphite reels are also less prone to corrosion, making them suitable for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.

Stainless steel is another material used in making fishing reels. It is strong, durable, and corrosion-resistant, making it ideal for saltwater fishing. Stainless steel reels can withstand heavy loads and rough handling, making them suitable for big-game fishing.

Finally, some reels feature a blend of materials such as graphite and aluminum or carbon fiber and titanium. These combinations offer the best of both worlds, providing strength, durability, and corrosion resistance while keeping the weight of the reel low.

When choosing a fishing reel, it’s essential to consider the material used and its suitability for your fishing needs. The material will affect the reel’s performance, weight, and durability, so it’s important to choose a reel made from high-quality materials that can withstand the demands of your fishing adventures.


Bearings are an essential component of a fishing reel that helps to provide smoothness and stability during fishing. The bearings are small metal balls placed within the reel, which reduce friction between moving parts and enable the reel to spin with ease.

Most fishing reels come with a varying number of bearings, ranging from one to over ten. The more bearings a reel has, the smoother it will perform, and the less friction there will be during casting and retrieving.

When it comes to bearings, the material they are made of is also an important factor to consider. Stainless steel bearings are the most common and provide excellent corrosion resistance, making them ideal for use in saltwater environments. Ceramic bearings, on the other hand, are much smoother and more durable, making them ideal for high-performance reels.

The quality and number of bearings can significantly impact the price of a reel, so it’s essential to consider your budget and needs when choosing a reel based on its bearing system. However, investing in a reel with high-quality bearings can significantly improve your fishing experience and increase your chances of success on the water.

Some Advice About Choosing The Best Tuna Reels And Fishing In General:

Try using electronics to locate:

When it comes to fishing, using electronics can be a game-changer. One great way to increase your chances of catching more fish is to use electronics to locate them.

There are many types of electronics that you can use for fishing, such as fish finders, depth sounders, and GPS devices. These tools can help you locate fish by providing information about the depth of the water, the structure of the bottom, and the presence of fish.

For example, a fish finder uses sonar technology to locate fish underwater. It sends out a sound wave that bounces off objects in the water and returns to the device. The device then translates this information into an image that shows you where the fish are located.

Using electronics to locate fish can save you a lot of time and effort. Instead of casting your line randomly and hoping for the best, you can target your efforts in areas where fish are more likely to be found. This can increase your chances of catching more fish and make your fishing trips more productive and enjoyable.

So, if you want to up your fishing game, consider investing in some electronics to help you locate fish. With the right tools and a little bit of practice, you can become a more successful angler and catch more fish than ever before.

Use precise techniques:

One effective technique is to use a fish finder or depth sounder. These devices use sonar technology to detect and display the location of fish and underwater structures. By interpreting the data on the display screen, you can determine the location and depth of fish in the water column.

Another technique is to use a GPS unit to mark the location of known fishing hotspots, as well as any promising areas you discover while scouting. You can also use a GPS to track your movement on the water and ensure that you are covering the most productive areas.

In addition to these tools, there are a few key tips for using electronics to locate fish. First, it’s important to understand how to interpret the data on your fish finder or depth sounder. Look for areas with changes in depth, structure, or water temperature, as these are often the most productive areas for fish.

Second, be sure to adjust your settings based on the conditions you are fishing in. Factors such as water clarity, depth, and the type of fish you are targeting can all affect the performance of your electronics, so it’s important to make adjustments as needed to ensure that you are getting the most accurate data possible.

Finally, don’t rely solely on your electronics to locate fish. While these tools can be incredibly helpful, it’s important to also pay attention to other factors such as weather patterns, tide and current movements, and the behavior of other wildlife in the area. By combining these techniques with your electronics, you can increase your chances of locating and catching more fish.

Keep your eye on the surrounding:

When you’re out fishing, it’s important to keep your eye on the surrounding area. You never know when you might spot a school of tuna jumping out of the water or birds diving into the ocean to catch baitfish. These are all signs that there may be tuna in the area.

In addition, keeping an eye on your surroundings can help you avoid potential hazards such as rocks or other boats. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings at all times to ensure a safe and successful fishing trip.

Match the size of the bait:

When it comes to fishing, matching the size of your bait with your fishing gear is crucial. The same applies to tuna fishing. You’ll want to choose a reel with a line capacity that can handle the size of the bait you plan to use. If you use a reel with too small of a line capacity, you won’t be able to cast your bait as far.

and it may not be able to handle the weight of the tuna you’re trying to catch. On the other hand, if you use a reel with too large of a line capacity, you’ll be carrying extra weight and may not be able to cast your bait as accurately. So, it’s important to match your reel’s line capacity to the size of bait you plan to use to ensure the best possible fishing experience.

Try fishing closer in the summertime:

Fishing during the summer can be challenging, especially if you’re not catching any fish. One thing you can try is fishing closer to the shore. In the summertime, fish tend to move into shallower waters to find cooler temperatures and more food. This means you may have better luck catching them if you fish closer to the shore.

To do this, start by choosing a spot where the water is a bit shallower. Look for areas where the water is around 10-15 feet deep, as this is where many fish like to hang out during the summer. You can also look for areas where there is structure or cover, such as rocks, weed beds, or fallen trees. These areas can provide a good habitat for fish and can be great spots to target.

Once you’ve found a good spot, use a fishing rod and reel that is appropriate for the size of fish you’re targeting. You’ll also want to choose the right bait or lure. In the summertime, fish may be more active and willing to bite, so you may want to try using a topwater lure or a brightly colored bait to attract their attention.

Overall, fishing closer to the shore during the summer can be a great way to increase your chances of catching fish. Just be sure to keep an eye on the weather and water conditions, and be prepared to adjust your tactics as needed. With a bit of patience and persistence, you may just reel in your next big catch!

Use single-strand wires sometimes:

Using single-strand wires is a popular technique among experienced fishermen. This type of wire is thinner and more flexible than traditional multi-strand wires, making it less visible to fish and allowing for a more natural presentation of bait. Single-strand wires also have a higher breaking strength than multi-strand wires, making them ideal for catching larger fish species like tuna.

When using single-strand wires, it’s important to choose the right size based on the weight of the fish you’re targeting. It’s also important to use a high-quality crimping tool to ensure that the wire is securely attached to your fishing line and bait.

Keep in mind that single-strand wires can be more prone to kinking or twisting, so it’s important to handle them carefully and store them properly to prevent damage. With the right technique and equipment, however, using single-strand wires can be an effective way to improve your chances of catching tuna and other game fish.

Try fresh baits sometimes:

Using fresh bait can greatly improve your chances of catching fish while fishing. Fresh bait is more attractive to fish than old or frozen bait, as it releases a more natural scent and looks more appealing to predators. When fishing with fresh bait, you can try using different types of bait depending on the species of fish you are targeting. For example, if you are fishing for bass, you can use live minnows or worms, while if you are fishing for catfish, you can use life or freshly cut baitfish.

To ensure that you have fresh bait when fishing, it is important to store it properly. You can store live bait in a bait bucket with aerated water or keep it in a cooler with ice packs to maintain its freshness. For freshly cut bait, make sure to keep it refrigerated until you are ready to use it. Using fresh bait can make a big difference in your fishing success, so it’s always worth the effort to obtain fresh bait whenever possible.

Best Tuna Fishing Reels
Best Tuna Fishing Reels
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