Centerpin fishing reels are one of the most popular reels available, and fishing enthusiasts will tell you that they work great for float fishing.
When you float fish, you cast upstream and let the roe and float come back to you.
Centerpin reels and fly fishing reels look very similar, and they are very likely two forerunners to the first fishing reels made.
There are no drag or gear ratios with these centerpin reels, and this is another point that makes them unique.
Additionally, you can maintain your line and float without touching the water, and this enhances your ability to feel when the fish strikes for greater accuracy.
It’s you against the fish, and this thrilling back and forth is a huge draw for fishermen who prefer using a float fishing reel.
These reels are typically more expensive, and they have a learning curve attached to them, and this can make them challenging for beginners.
You’ll have to manually maneuver the reel for a successful cast, and you need a little extra room to maneuver.
This requirement is why these reels work better on 10 to 15-foot rods.
Choosing the Best Centerpin Reels
Picking out the best centerpin fishing reel takes research, but we’ve rounded up the most important criteria to consider when you shop.
- Brand – Fishing is a worldwide sport and one of the most popular hobbies available. This makes choosing a reputable brand essential but easy. There is stiff competition, and this is why you see a lot of the same high-quality brands again and again. Whether you choose KastKing, Okuma, or Amundson, you’ll get an excellent pedigree with sterling reputations.
- Price – Depending on the reel, you can spend up to $500 on a single one. We understand that not everyone has this budget available, and this is why we’re going to showcase a range of float fishing reels. If you’re brand new to the Centerpin fishing reel, you can start at a lower price point. Pro fishermen may want to put down more money if they plan to use this reel primarily.
- Reviews – Do a little research and compare reviews on the various reels. Customers aren’t shy about telling you exactly what they think about their reels, and you can use their reviews to gauge whether or not you’re getting a decent reel for your money. Look at personal blogs, on the manufacturer’s website, and browse through Amazon reviews to get a good understanding of the benefits and shortcomings associated with each reel.
The Eight Best Float Fishing Reels – Buyer’s Guide
Luckily, we’ve done the research for you and picked out the either best float fishing reels available from top-notch manufacturers. We’ll give you a quick rundown on each one, and you can decide which one will help you land that trophy fish.
The Okuma Raw II Centerpin Reel is an excellent choice for both experienced and beginner anglers. To start, you get a Precision 6061-T6 machined aluminum frame and spool combined with two premium stainless-steel German ball bearings. It has a stainless steel spool shaft to give you unparalleled performance with a smooth operation when you let the roe fly.
The one-piece machined rigid frame construction gives this reel a durable feel, and it has corrosion-resistant protection that allows you to fearlessly fish in all kinds of weather without a worry. The click ratchet uses an on and off operation to adjust your spool tension, and the ported spool with an exposed rim gives you precision control. Finally, this reel comes backed by a one-year warranty.
The precision-machined stainless steel spool shafts give the Okuma Aventa reel a durable look and feel, especially when you combine it with the one-piece machined rigid frame construction. You’ll be able to use it in wet and dry conditions due to the machined aluminum anodized spools. This construction saves the spool from corrosion or rust.
The on and off click ratchet gives you precision control over the spool tension when you cast, and the two German ball bearings are stainless steel. This reel is in the middle for a price point, and it’s affordable for a beginner and pro fishermen. The sleek and compact design makes it a great choice for medium or large poles.
Luhr-Jensen® Legacy Series Centrepin Reel
Image source: cabelas.ca
The Legacy series from Luhr-Jensen comes fully CNC machined from bar stock, and it has an aluminum housing with a double anodized finish to prevent corrosion. The heavy-duty frame and spool construction ensures this reel will last for years and operate as smoothly from the first cast to the last. It allows you to reverse from left to right hand retrieve.
The handle design features custom-shaped non-slip EVA, and you’ll get a durable and loud clicker with a machined stainless steel spindle. It can handle a 25-pound line at 400 yards. The sleek design, coupled with the bright coloring, make this an eye-catching reel that’s a must-have in any serious fisherman’s toolbox.
Image source: cabelas.ca
This reel by Amundson features a durable and lightweight aluminum body and spool. The ported spool has an exposed rim that gives you easy, precision control over your cast and reel. It comes outfitted with Japanese made dual bearings for a super smooth operation from the first cast to the last.
You’ll get an on-and-off clicker switch, and this reel can handle a line capacity of up to 100 yards on a 20-pound line. If you use it with an eight-pound mono mainline, it can handle up to 300 yards. The anodized black coloring gives this reel a sharp and classic look.
This is an affordable reel that is great for beginners, and the CNC machined design makes it a durable addition to any tackle box. The stainless steel shaft is durable, lightweight, and resistant to corrosion. This reel features an anodized finish for a sleek and eye-catching look that matches a variety of poles.
The reel diameter is 108mm or 4.25-inches with a double wooden handle that makes reel operation easy and smooth. The macro click rack gives you precision control each time you cast, and it’s very close to being perfectly balanced right out of the box.
Veteran fishermen will enjoy this fully CNC-machined reel as it is made out of 6061 aircraft aluminum for extra durability. The aluminum design makes it a lightweight addition, and a fully anodized finish gives you maximum corrosion resistance for the life of your reel.
The ABEC-5 premium Japanese bearings ensure you get smooth casts, the contoured palming ring with the custom-shaped Delrin handle knobs make operating this reel easy. The clicker knob has an “EZ Twist” design that allows for secure click-checks. All in all, this is an eye-catching reel to add to any collection, but it does have a higher price point.
This beginner-friendly reel features an outside diameter of 4.3-inches, a spool width of 1.05-inches, and an inside diameter of 3-inches with a 6.6-ounce weight. It’s CNC-machined for a well-balanced operation, and the T6061 aluminum bar resists corrosion and wear and tear.
You can seamlessly switch from left or right-hand configuration, and the high-quality Japanese Grade 5 bearings give you a smooth cast from the first time you use it. They’ll free spin for up to 80 seconds each time you cast to help extend your reach. Additionally, you can choose from a black or silver finish for a timeless look.
The final reel on our list comes from Rapala, and it’s fully CNC-machined. The 6061 aircraft aluminum body, coupled with the anodized black finish lends to the reel’s durability by making it resistant to corrosion. You’ll enjoy a quick-release spool that allows you to quickly fix your reel along the stream and get back to fishing.
The contoured palm ring with custom-shaped Delrin handle knobs makes operating this reel a comfortable experience that allows you to fish longer. Finally, the reel comes with a low inertia spool startup, and this gives you a greater sensitivity so you can tell right when the fish strike for a better chance of landing them.
Best Centerpin (Float) Reels For Over $300
KingPin Imperial Centerpin Float Reels
This Kingpin Centerpin Reel uses aerospace-grade aluminum in the design to make it durable and resistant to rust and corrosion. They resist scratching and chipping, and this makes them good for use in more rugged environments. The marine-grade German bearings add to this reel’s durability without adding a lot of weight, and it gives you a smooth cast and reeling experience.
The backplate on this reel also comes with additional protection to stop rust or scratches while helping to extend the reel’s life. There is a coin release center screw with a lever-activated clicker, and each reel has a warranty certificate attached to it. The neoprene reel pouch and reel box will protect the reel when you’re not using it, or you’re transporting it, and it comes in 11 different color options.
Finally, this reel comes from a reputable brand, and it’s durable enough to withstand repeated use in a large variety of weather conditions and environments without breaking down. It is slightly more expensive, but the quality of the reel helps to offset the price tag.
Islander Steelheader Centerpin Reel
The Islander Steelheader Centerpin Reel comes equipped with high-performance bearings that are well lubricated to give you a smooth casting ability. The large arbor on this reel allows you to pick up any slack that develops quickly, so you have a lower chance of losing your fish. No matter if you’re right or left-handed, this reel will work for you because it has an interchangeable retrieve.
It comes in five color choices and with eight different handle choices that allow you to create the reel that will work best for your fishing style. The aerospace-grade aluminum is lightweight while being machined out for a high precision rate, and it has a mirror finish because it gets polished by hand before it gets to you.
If you want to get a beautiful gift, you can have it laser engraved before they send it. The two-year warranty gives you peace of mind by protecting you from wear, damage, and tear. It’s made in Canada using the highest quality materials to ensure you get a top-tier reel.
This centerpin float reel comes from state-of-the-art CAD/CAM designs to ensure high accuracy, and it has a hand release spool cap. This cap means you won’t waste time or need any special tools to remove the reel from your rod. It comes with an ambidextrous check switch installed, which has a very strong click system.
The design makes this reel up to five times stronger than a traditional reel, and there are eight different color options available, ranging from classic brown and black to bright blue and magenta. The backplates are hard anodized to ensure they last and don’t crack, chip, or lose their coating with repeated use.
This is a precision-milled reel that will give you the smooth casting and retrieval experience you need to land those trophy catches. It has a very balanced and smooth feel to it that can improve your fishing skills, and the advanced machining that goes into making each of these reels ensures you’ll get a product that won’t rust or corrode after years of use.
Kingpin R2 Centerpin Float Reel
You’ll enjoy German marine-grade bearings on this Kingpin centerpin reel, and you get the choice of eight beautiful color options. It weighs in at just 268 grams, and this makes it lightweight to stay well balanced on your rod when you install it. The hand release spool cap ensures you don’t have to carry extra tools with you when you go on your fishing trip.
There are no burrs or sharp edges on this reel, which reduces the chances that your line will snag when you cast or reel in. The hand polishing and intelligent machining give this reel a balanced and smooth look and feel that can help you successfully haul in those larger fish with ease.
The back of your reel has a durable coating that protects it from any scratches when you lay it down, and this coating is strong enough to withstand rough terrain. It measures 120 by 19 millimeters, and it has a sleek look that will go well with a broad range of fishing styles.
Kingpin Zodiac Centerpin Float Reel
This centerpin reel is a very high-end choice for professional anglers. It’s a black centerpin reel with the choice of 10 backing colors, and it’s part of a limited-editing reel set. This reel weighs in at 9.5-ounces, and the hard coat on this reel helps protect it from rust and corrosion due to moisture and scratches.
You’ll get a sleek look with a smooth casting ability because this reel incorporates German marine-grade bearings. It’s an English-made reel, and each reel follows exacting standards that ensure you get one of the highest quality products available on the current market. It works wonderfully for steelhead and salmon fishing, and it has a right and left-handed retrieve on it for your convenience.
Float fishing requires the correct equipment, and we’ve rounded up eight of the best float fishing reel choices at every price point. Both beginners and pros will benefit from adding one of these reels to their collection, and you can compare them side-by-side above. Happy fishing!