What Size Reel For Bass Fishing Is Best? (Guide)

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Sure, the rod, the line, and the lures and baits all play a role, but what kind of reel you use really matters too. So, what size reel for bass fishing is best?

Generally speaking, the top recommendation across the board is a 2500 size reel, with size 1500 reels being the lower limit for bass fishing, and size 4000 reels being the upper limit. The main thing that you need to keep in mind here is that you need a combination of light weight, line capacity, and drag power.

Reel SizeMono Line (lb)Note
20004-6 lb
25005-8 lbRecommended Size For Bass
30006-10 lb
35006-10 lb
40008-12 lb


Does Reel Size Matter For Bass Fishing?

ideal reel size for bass fishing
Yes indeed does reel size matter for bass fishing, just like it matters for every other type of fishing too.

Let’s explain why having a reel that is neither too small nor too large is very important.

So, in terms of size, having a fishing reel that is large enough for bass fishing is very important, particularly in terms of reel capacity.

Reel Capacity

By reel capacity, we mean how much line in can hold, and what size of line it can hold.

Now, when it comes to bass, the important thing to know is that you want to be using fishing line, either mono or fluorocarbon, that is between 6 and 12 pounds test, and you also want to have a minimum of 150 to 200 yards of line on your spool.

Based on this, it stands to reason that the ideal size of reel for bass fishing is a 2500 (designed for mono line between 5 and 8 pounds test), a 3000 or 3500 (designed for mono line between 6 and 10 pounds test), and the 4000 (designed for mono line between 8 and 12 pounds test).


The next thing to consider here has to do with drag, or in other words, how much opposing force the reel can handle before it lets go and starts to let out line.

For bass fishing, you should be fine with a reel that has between 4 and 8 pounds of drag, but more is generally better. For this reason, you definitely don’t want to get a reel that is too small.

Weight (& Durability)

Now, both things we have mentioned up to this point imply that bigger is better, which quite honestly, for the most part, is totally true.

However, there is one big factor that will stop you from getting a reel that is far too big for the intended purpose, and that is weight.

Simply put, a larger reel is a heavier reel, and if you are fishing all day long, you are going to get tired.

Moreover, although thin materials can sometimes also be strong, generally speaking, smaller reels just are not designed to handle all that much punishment, whereas larger ones will usually be made out of more durable materials.

How To Pick The Right Reel Size For Bass?

More or less, as long as you keep all of the above points in mind, you should have no problems choosing the right size of reel for bass fishing.

Just in case you really don’t know what to look out for, take a look at the pointers we have laid out below;

  • Keep line capacity in mind at all times. If you are fishing at a time of day or year when the bass are generally in deep water, you will need more fishing line to get to the bass and to fight them too. A larger reel is needed for deep water, whereas a smaller reel will do fine for shallow water.
  • You do also need to pay attention to what type of line you are using. For instance, braided line is much smaller, and you can fit much more of it onto the same reel as either fluorocarbon or monofilament line.
  • Also keep in mind that for bass, line that is between 8 and 12 pounds test is recommended, so you need to find a reel that specifies that it is intended for this sort of fishing line.
  • When bass fishing, make sure to get a fishing reel that features 4 pounds of drag at the very least, with 8 pounds being ideal, and anything more being great.

What Type Of Reel Is Best For Bass Fishing?

If you are bass fishing, the two most common types of reels that you will have to choose from include the spinning reel and the baitcasting reel.

Now, most people would say that the baitcaster is the better option of the two, but that said, what it really boils down to is what your preferences and your needs are.

Take a look at the list below for some pointers on choosing between a spinning reel and a baitcasting reel for bass fishing;

  • Spinning reels have much narrower spools than baitcaster reels and therefore cannot hold nearly as much line or as heavy of line.
  • Spinning reels also don’t allow you to cast quite as far as baitcaster reels. A baitcaster of the same size as a spinning reel can cast much further.
  • On the other hand, spinning reels tend to be much easier to use, especially for newbies, which therefore makes them the reel of choice for inexperienced anglers.
  • One of the biggest reasons why many choose baitcasters for bass fishing is because they allow for stronger line to be used, which comes in handy when use spinnerbaits that get dragged through the weeds and often need to be yanked loose.

How To Match Your Bass Reel With The Right Rod

Ok, so what you need to do here is to take a look at the rod. Right on the lower portion of it (although it differs from one rod to another), you should see a bunch of numbers and ratings, with one of them being the manufacturer’s recommendation for the type of line that should be used.

Well, if you are using a reel that is designed for use with 8 to 12 pound test mono line, then this is what the rod should be.

Therefore, once you have the reel that you want, you can then go for the rod that suits the reel.

Now, with that being said, if you get a rod that is rated for use with slightly heavier line than the reel is, that is totally fine, but you definitely don’t want those figures to go in the other direction.

Is A 3000 Reel Too Big for Bass?

No, a size 3000 reel is rather perfect for bass fishing, with some even using size 4000 and 5000 reels for bass fishing.

In fact, when it comes down to it, a size 3000 reel is rather perfect for this purpose, as it comes with a good combination of low weight, good drag, and plenty of line capacity.



There you have it folks, everything you need to know about choosing the right size and type of fishing reel for bass fishing. Now that you have your gear, you can get to reeling in some dinner!

Jason Downs

I created Fishtackly to share my 30 years of fishing experience and knowledge with others with the aim to help, and hopefully get more people involved and educated in this fantastic hobby that I love.