Best Float Fishing Reels in 2020 (Centerpin Reels)

Okuma float fishing reels and rod.

Centerpin fishing reels are one of the most popular reels available, and fishing enthusiasts will tell you that they work great for float fishing. Fishermen use these reels almost exclusively with a form or artificial fly known as a roe. When you float fish, you cast upstream and let the roe and float come back to you. Centerpin fishing reels help you land those beautiful salmon and steelheads.

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 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 12-foot poles.

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.

Okuma Raw II Centerpin Reel

Okuma Raw II Centerpin reel.

Image source: amazon.ca

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.

Okuma Aventa Centerpin Reel

Okuma Aventa Centerpin Reel.

Image source: amazon.ca

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

Luhr Jensen Legacy Series Centerpin 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.

Amundson Steelhead Tracker CenterPin Reel

Amundson Steel Tracker Centerpin reel.

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.

Machined Aluminum CenterPin – CNC Machined

CNC Saion Centerpin reel.

Image source: cabelas.ca

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.

Rapala R-Type Center Pin Reel 2BB – Purple Ano, 4.5

Rapala R-Type Centerpin Reel Purple.

Image source: amazon.ca

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.

Maxcatch Center Pin Float Reel

Maxcatch Centerpin float fishing reel.

Image source: amazon.ca

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.

Rapala RTC450B R-Type Center Pin Float Reel

Rapala R-Type RTC450B Centerpin reel.

Image source: amazon.ca

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.

Bottom Line

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!

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