5 Best Tuna Fishing Reel

Tuna fishing is one of the most difficult fish to catch in the saltwaters. They swim fast and tackle hard. Expert and experienced anglers love to go tuna fishing as it provides them with a challenge. An angler must come prepared when it comes to tuna fishing, and for that, you need an excellent tuna fishing reel.

Selecting the best tuna fishing reel can be tricky as tuna fishing itself. Tuna fish is quite powerful and gives you a good fight in the deep sea. The best rod and reel combo for tuna fishing will help you immensely to successfully complete your tuna fishing adventure.

Tuna fish is an immensely powerful swimmer, and this helps them to escape easily even after you have got hold of them. Catching tuna and bringing them back to your boat require a powerful reel with excellent line capacity, perfect gear ratio, sound drag system, among other features.

But what is the best tuna fishing reel? You might wonder. But don’t worry, after careful consideration I have listed the five best tuna fishing reels available in the market. I have also given the detailed review of each tuna fishing reel with the final verdict.

Best Tuna Fishing Reel – [Top 5 Review]

1. Penn Squall 50 Level Wind Trolling Reel – Best Saltwater Reel

Penn Squall 50 Level Wind Trolling Reel review


On top of our list of Best Tuna Fishing Reel is the Penn Squall 50 Level Wind Trolling Reel. It is one of the best tuna reels available in the market. The reel falls under the flagship GT series reel is a testament to its quality. The reel is perfect for your saltwater adventures and also comes within the decent price range of $150.

You can use this reel if you are a professional or a beginner because of this affordable price. The well-constructed consists of high-quality materials. The graphite made frame and side plates make it lightweight, durable, and corrosion-proof. The sturdy reel will last you long as it is quite durable.

Moreover, there is a Smooth HT-100 carbon fiber drag system that helps you with your smooth casting also the Stainless steel bearing with the anti-reverse system is another bonus feature of this reel the Comfortable Versa system handle lets you grip the reels with ease. The main gear of this reel gets made of marine-grade bronze alloy.

Furthermore, to ensure fluid cranking, it comes with two stainless steel bearings and an anti-reverse bearing. It uses the carbon fiber drag system that allows you to feel extra power and smoothness. The reels Versa-handle system enables you to feel comfortable in any situation. Overall, the Penn Squall 50 Level Wind Trolling Reel is a lightweight reel that is perfect for saltwater fishing.


  • Lightweight & Well-constructed
  • Stainless steel bearing comes with anti-reverse system
  • The comfortable Versa system handle
  • Smooth HT-100 carbon fiber drag system
  • Long-lasting durability with corrosion resistance


  • Some users complained about the quality control

2. Daiwa Seagate Reel – Best Deep Sea Fishing Reel

Daiwa Seagate Reel review


The Daiwa Seagate Reel is another excellent fishing reel from the reputed brand of Daiwa. It might not be a level wind reel, but super smooth drag is perfect for tuna fishing.

There are composite frame and side plates, which makes the Daiwa Seagate lightweight, and corrosion-proof. The aluminum made spool, and centrifugal braking system allows full control of the reel. There is a UT carbon drag system that helps you catch even the most difficult of fish. As the name suggests, the Daiwa Seagate Reel is perfect for deep sea tuna fishing.

Furthermore, the reel has two types of bearings ball and roller. 3 CRBB ball bearings are corrosion resistant and provide outstanding performance. The infinite anti-reverse system of the reel will help you cast your line with ease. You can easily catch a medium to large sized tuna with this fishing reel. Overall, the Daiwa Seagate Reel is perfect for deep-sea tuna fishing.

Because of its unique and exciting features, it is one of the Best Tuna Fishing Reel for the money.


  • Constructed with a composite frame
  • Centrifugal braking system
  • UT carbon drag system
  • 3 CRBB ball bearings
  • The infinite anti-reverse system


  • Some users complained about the line getting caught in spool

3. Shimano Tld Lever Drag Reel – Tuna Reel With Super Smooth Drag

Shimano Tld Lever Drag Reel – Tuna Reel With Super Smooth Drag review


The Shimano Tld Lever Drag Reel is a classic reel that has been tried and tested by anglers all over the world for an extended period. The reel has a graphite construction that makes it lightweight, and compact. There is a one frame graphite structure that forms the base of the reel.

The power handle of the coil has an oil-ported torpedo knob. The reel consists of a 700-yard line capacity perfect for casting long range. There is also a titanium-impregnated fabric which constructs the powerful drag system. This fabric makes the long drag lasting by efficiently dissipating heat and maintaining the drag tension.

Furthermore, four corrosion-proof, anti-rust ball bearings make the reel quite smooth. The reel is an angler’s favorite as the stainless steel gears provide outstanding performance. This spectacular reel also comes under $150. Overall, the Shimano TLD Lever Drag Reel is an excellent reel with an exceptional drag system making it obvious into the list of Best Tuna Fishing Reel available on the market.


  • Ideal for beginners as well as experts
  • 700-yard line capacity
  • Anti-rust ball bearing makes this corrosion-proof
  • Long-range casting
  • Compact and lightweight graphite construction
  • A budget price around $150


  • Some users complained about the reel being difficult to cast

4. Penn Fathom Lever Drag – Best Multipurpose Tuna Reel

Penn Fathom Lever Drag – Best Multipurpose Tuna Reel review


Another Best Tuna Fishing Reel on our list is Penn Fathom Lever Drag. It is an excellent fishing reel for tuna. Mainly it can help you catch a middle-sized tuna and comes under a reasonable price. The reel has a lever drag that provides cranking power and extreme durability.

The reel comes with power-packed features. The body of the coil gets made from die-cast aluminum, and the side plates assure durability and sturdiness. The reel has a quick shift-2 speed gear system so that you can shift the gear quickly. There is a dura-drag system that gives excellent performance even in extreme drag setup.

Furthermore, the Tuna fishing requires an extensive line, and the 300-yard line of the reel is perfect for tuna fishing. The five stainless steel bearing provides smooth reeling experience during tuna fishing. Overall, the Penn Fathom Lever Drag is a great budget reel for medium-sized tuna.


  • Excellent reel for small to medium-sized tuna
  • 300-yard line capacity
  • Die cast aluminium and side plates
  • Extraordinarily durable and have cranking power
  • Five stainless steel bearings
  • Smooth reeling experience
  • Dura drag system


  • Some users complained about the quality control

5. Daiwa Saltiga Lever Drag Reels – A 2-speed Tuna Reels Under $500

Daiwa Saltiga Lever Drag Reels – A 2-speed Tuna Reels Under $500 review


Strolling down through the list of Best Tuna Fishing Reel, here in the number five we have Daiwa Saltiga Lever Drag Reels. It is a premium reel. It is a great reel and can be a perfect pick for you if you are not shy of going the extra mile when it comes to pricing.

If you have enough budget, then there is no reel better than this one for tuna fishing. You can expect the finest durability and performance from this reel. The lever drag system works fine even in extreme level drag setting. As the name suggests, the Daiwa Saltiga Lever Drag Reels is double the speed of a regular tuna fishing reel.

Furthermore, there is a Centrifugal brake system that provides excellent braking performance, and there is also an anti-reverse system. There is aircraft-grade aluminum that enhances casting performance. The 6 CRBB ball bearing are corrosion resistance and durable. Overall, the Daiwa Saltiga Lever Drag Reels is a premium reel providing excellent tuna fishing performance.

Due to its specifications and features, it is listed as one of the Best Tuna Fishing Reel for the money.


  • Compact sized and well-constructed
  • Lever drag system for optimum performance
  • An anti-reverse system
  • Made of aircraft-grade aluminum
  • Centrifugal brake system
  • 6 CRBB ball bearing for corrosion-resistance


  • Price on the higher side

Factors to Consider While Buying the Best Tuna Fishing Reel

Tuna fishing requires special requirements, and various factors need consideration. The success or failure of your fishing expedition depends on the fishing reel by a considerable measure. The combination of best tuna fishing rod and reel plays an important part as well. Some of the most important factors are as follows:

Size & Weight

Another essential factor that is quite important to consider is the size and weight of the reel. The trolling reel and the spinning reel are quite famous for tuna fishing. The Trolling rig size and weight is not that important in comparison because you don’t need to carry them as they stay attached on the holder.

A lightweight and medium size is ideal, though. Whereas for a spinning reel, the size and weight are significant as you need to carry them all the time. A medium-size, low weight tuna spinning reel is ideal in such conditions.

Line Capacity

Line capacity means the length of the line you can cast while fishing. The linen capacity requirement depends upon the type of fishing you wish to perform. Having enough line capacity in your reel is essential to secure your catch at all times.

Extended line capacity is ideal for tuna fishing as they give an intense fight to the angler. The basic standard of line capacity is 300 yard for tuna fishing. You can exceed this number and go beyond 300-400 yards, but going under 200-yard line might cost you the catch.

Bearing Number (Smoothness Depends On It)

The smoothness of the reel is quite essential as you will be tackling a massive tuna fish. The smoothness depends upon the bearing number of teh fishing reels. Fishing a massive fish with not so smooth reel turn your fishing adventure into a nightmare.

So, ensure the smoothness of the reel before casting your line. The smoothness of the coil depends on reels bearing number and the more bearing on a reel the smoother the reel. The standard amount of bearings required for tuna fishing is 5.

Braided Line Capability

Braided fishing line is ideal for tuna fishing as this line has no memory, and you can’t find any line twist. The Braid line is skinny, and you can use maximum braid line to cast long distance even with a small fishing reel. You can only put the braided line on a reel with braided line capability.

Corrosion Protection

The salt waters are where tuna fish gets found in abundance. The corrosion of the reel is quite frequent on saltwater. The durability of the kayak gets affected by the corrosion factor. Make sure that the fishing reel your purchase is appropriately corrosion protected.

Drag System

A quality drag system gives a precise observation on line reacts when you find any catch. The drag system is essential in deep-sea fishing. Your fishing reel remains damage free with the help of a sound drag system. Make sure the fishing reel has a reliable drag system as it is one of the essential factors that you need to consider.

Quality Materials & Construction

A quality material constructed reel makes your tuna fishing quite comfortable. The content of the fishing reel can make or break your fishing trip. Ensure that the reel you buy has a good quality construction material.

Handle & Knob

Handle, and knob plays an essential role in tuna fishing. If your fishing reel has a small handle, then you might find a lot of discomforts. A big handle is ideal for tuna fish. An adequately shaped knob helps you to handle the fishing reel better.

For large fish like tuna, all you need is a circular knob. There is an anti-reverse handle that releases line smoothly while catching the fish.


The internal parts of your reel need waterproof protection. The reel you purchase must have waterproof purchases, especially for a saltwater reel. If your reel is not waterproof, then your reel may lose its durability, and the right might break itself. A water sealed tuna reel lasts long and makes your fishing experience pleasant.

Gear Ratio/ Power

Gear ratio is the total line collected with every turn of the reel’s handle. The gear ratio is also known as the power of reel. The ideal gear ratio for tuna fishing is 4.9 to 5.1. The unique thing about tuna fishing is that you should not force too much power during tuna fishing.

Using too much power will not land tuna on your boat also using high power reel may cause the line to break, and you might lose your big game fish as well as your catch. Hence selecting the right gear ratio for your reel is very important.


The Tuna fishing reels come with different price ranges ranging from budget, mid-budget, to premium. The budget category is perfect if you are a beginner. For an angler new to tuna fishing and a tight budget can choose the reel of the price range. But catching a big tuna fish with these reels is a little complicated.

The mid-budget reels have all the required features for tuna fishing. These reels are the best for experienced anglers who want a good reel at a reasonable price.The premium reels have all the premium features but cost quite high.

The Final Verdict

Tuna fishing requires two things in abundance that is precision and power. A good tuna fishing reel provides you both. All the reels listed above are of exceptional quality and provide you with excellent features. However, if I had to pick one, I would pick the Penn Squall 50 Level Wind Trolling Reel – Best Saltwater Reel.

The Penn Squall 50 Level Wind Trolling Reel is one of the best fishing reels for tuna available in the market. The reel also comes in a decent price range of $150 dollar. The well-constructed consists of high quality durable and lightweight materials. There is a Smooth HT-100 carbon fiber drag system that helps you with your smooth casting. The Stainless steel bearing with the anti-reverse system is another bonus feature of this reel.