How to choose reel size

Spinning Reel Sizes – Expert Guide to Choose The Right Reel Size

A spinning reel with the perfect size will make the best fishing gear for you. It is important to have the right size of a spinning reel otherwise it is of no use. As a beginner you may not have any knowledge about spinning reel sizes. Basically, the reel size depends upon the species you are targeting and the location of fishing. Moreover, the line size and reel size are interdependent. Therefore, in this article we will guide you on which spinning reel sizes you should get depending on your fishing preferences.

Mainly, there are 4 spinning reel sizes you should know namely: small, medium, large and extra large which we will explain later in this article. Many spinning reel sizes are given such as 25/250/2500. However, don’t worry! All the three are the same but the manufactures specify them differently. Now, let’s move to the major topic of this article.

Spinning Reel Sizes

Small spinning reels 

We mostly used small spinning reels for freshwater fishing, as there are mainly small fishes in freshwater. However, there are small spinning reels made for sea water. There are types in small spinning reels too with the weight of the line they can handle. 

Size 10: The size 10 is the smallest reel size available in spinning reels. It can handle 2-4 lbs of monofilament line and 4-8 lbs of braided line easily, anything over that is hard to handle. We use this size for small fishes such as pan fish, bream. 

Size 20: size 20 is slightly stronger than size 10 and it can handle 5-6 lbs of mono and 5-10 lbs of braided line. You can use it for freshwater fishing and target fishes like trout and bass.

Size 30: this size is mostly used for fishing bream, bass and mangrove jack with a capacity of 6-10 lbs monofilament line and 6-14lbs of braided line. It is recommended to use size 30 in lakes and rivers. 

Also check out our article on the top 10 best spinning reel of 2022 after choosing the right spinning reel size. 

Medium spinning reels 

These spinning reels are mostly used for medium-sized fishes such as bonefish, drummer. Moreover, they can be used for seawater fishing and freshwater fishing. However, the reel build quality should be good enough. 

Size 40: this size is used mostly for freshwater fishing but can be used for small sea water fishes on harbour and bays. It can handle a monofilament line of 8-12 lbs and braided line of 8-20 lbs. 

Size 50: The size 50 is one of the most commonly used fishing lines. It can handle up to 10-14 lbs of mono line and 10-25 lbs of braided line and is commonly used while fishing on harbours and boat fishing. 

Size 55: it is commonly used for catching bonefish and cod like medium-sized fishes and has a line capacity of 10-14 lbs of mono line and 10-25 lbs of braided line. Moreover, they can be used in seawater easily. 

Large spinning reels 

These spinning reels are extensively used in seawater for their super strong line capacity. Moreover, they are mostly used in catching fishes like salmon, cod, and tailor. 

Size 60: the size 60 spinning reel can handle up to 12-16 lbs of monofilament line and 12-30 lbs of braided line. It is mostly used for boat and rock fishing. 

Size 70: used mainly while boat fishing the size 70 can handle a mono line of up to 14-18 lbs and braided line of 14-40 lbs. The most common targets are salmon and mulloway. 

Size 80: It is the last size in the large spinning reel size category. You can handle a monofilament line of 16-20 lbs and braided line of 20-50 lbs and catch kingfish sized fishes with it. 

Extra large spinning reels 

It is the largest spinning reel size category and is used for big fishes such as small sharks, tuna and snapper. These are mostly used by seawater anglers and not a good choice for freshwater fishing. 

Size 100: The size 100 is the smallest among the extra large capacity. However, it can handle a monofilament line of 20-25 lbs and a braided line of 30-60 lbs easily. Moreover, it is ideal for boat fishing and offshore fishing. 

Size 120: this reel size can handle a whooping 30-40 lbs of monofilament line and 35-65 lbs of braided line with no hassle. Additionally, it is also used during boat fishing for large fishes such as small tuna and sharks. 

Size 140: The size 140 is mostly used for extra large fishes such as snapper, kingfish and many more. It can handle a monofilament line of 40-50lbs and braided line of 40-70 lbs.  

Frequently Ask Questions (FAQs)

Can you put any reel on any rod?

Yes, you can, but it won’t be an impressive pair. There are sizes in fishing rods too as there are in reel. Therefore, it is good if you get a good and compatible fishing rod for your reel.

What does the number mean on reels?

The number specified on the reel is its size. Basically, it is the diameter of the spool. 

How much line can a 2500 size reel hold?

As specified in the question itself the spinning reel can hold up to 2500 feet of the same line with ease. 

What is the reel line capacity?

The line capacity is the maximum amount of line the spool can hold without overloading. 


These are the spinning reel sizes you can choose from. Do learn about the perfect size and weight of your targeted fish as it will help you while buying a perfect sized reel. In this article we have added all the reel sizes you can easily get. We hope that now you have a clear idea about reel sizes. Moreover, check out our article on top 10 best spinning reels of 2022 with a detailed and genuine review of each spinning reel featured, if you want to get the best spinning reel for you. 

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