Salt Water Reels Vs. Fresh Water Reels

If you frequently fish in oceanic waters, salt water reels are a must. Specifically designed for salt water use, these reels have special features that distinguish them from fresh water reels. Below are some of the key differences between the two types of reels.


Reels for oceanic use tend to be larger and heavier than those used in freshwater. The higher number of bearings and other components contributes to the heavier weight of reels used in salt waters. Bearings are made of metal which increases the weight of the reels. Freshwater reels however use fewer bearings. They often use plastic bushing instead of metal bearings which helps to make them lightweight.


Saltwater reels generally incorporate more material than freshwater reels. More bearings are used in the manufacture of the former. These bearings enable you to crank more smoothly, which is helpful with the larger and more vigorous oceanic fish. Reels designed for saltwater use also incorporate multiple speed levels and higher gear ratios than freshwater reels. This allows you to crank more smoothly which is useful with the bigger, more powerful saltwater fish.

Anti-Corrosion Properties

Much corrosive damage can be caused to fishing reels used in saltwater if they’re not well protected. For this reason, reels used in saltwater must incorporate a protective coat to resist damage by corrosion. Special alloys are also used in the inner components to prevent corrosive damage. Materials such as anti-rust bearings and anodized aluminum parts are often used in saltwater tackle to prevent corrosion.


Saltwater tackle is much stronger than that used in freshwater. This is because the fish in the ocean are more aggressive than their freshwater counterparts. When caught, these fish put up a more vigorous fight than freshwater fish. This demands strong reels that can withstand the resistance put up by the fish and not break or get deformed. The generally larger size of saltwater fish also necessitates stronger fishing reels for use in oceanic waters. High resilience reels enhance performance even when under great stress due to heavier loads.


Saltwater reels tend to outlast those used in freshwater. This is because they are made of strong materials that can handle the brute strength of large oceanic fish without much wear and tear. The reels incorporate tough materials such as stainless steel and brass which add to the durability of the equipment. Although made of quality material, freshwater reels aren’t as durable as those used in saltwater.


Salt water fishing equipment costs much more than that used in fresh water. This is partly because the reels incorporate more components than those used in freshwater. The higher resilience and durability of oceanic reels also adds to their cost. Additionally, the anti-corrosive materials used in the manufacture of oceanic reels makes them more costly than freshwater reels.