If you are looking for the best conventional reel for bottom fishing, then you have come to the right place. We have gathered some of the best conventional reels that can be used for bottom fishing. However, you need to keep in mind that conventional reels are not cheap and you have to spend a good amount of money to buy the best conventional reel.
First, let us talk briefly about bottom fishing. There are many types and techniques of fishing and bottom fishing is one of them. It means catching fish that are generally found at the bottom of the sea or near the seafloor. Large fish like red snapper, grouper, halibut and other predatory fishes are mainly found in the wreckage, reefs and the bottom of the sea. The best way to catch this fish is by bottom fishing and using conventional reel is perfect because they can hold more line that is required for bottom fishing.
You can do bottom fishing by using rods or landlines but the most convenient way to bottom fishing is from a boat. The main objective of bottom fishing is to drop the lure or bait all the way to the bottom of the sea and wait for the fish to bite the lure. You should use weights or heavy lead sinker to make the lure reach the sea floor. The heavy sinker will also keep the lure steady even in strong currents or tides.
Conventional Reel Tips:
You can do bottom fishing with spinning reel but the conventional reel is best for this kind of fishing. Because you need a lot of fishing line and conventional reel holds a lot more lines than spinning reels. You should buy medium to a heavy size of conventional reel. Medium size reel can be used to catch small or medium sized fish like the red hind or red snapper. But you need a heavy reel when you want to catch 40 to 100 pound of grouper or halibut.
Bottom fishing is all about power because you will have to fight with big fish. Also keep in mind that the lower the gear ratio, the better it is. The low gear ratio will give you more power because the spool will rotate less when the handle is turned each time. So you will have the chance to win the muscle fight with a large grouper. Now, without further ado lets dive into the best conventional reel for bottom fishing that is perfect for you.
Best Conventional Reel For Bottom Fishing:
Shimano TLD 2-Speed Conventional Reel
Shimano Torium HGA Reels
Penn Squall Level Wind Reel (SQL50LW)
Daiwa SGT50H Seagate Star Drag Saltwater Conventional Reel
Penn General Purpose Level Wind
Shimano TLD 2-Speed Conventional Reel:
This Shimano conventional reel is very powerful and sturdy. You are getting lever drag with this reel. Lever drag has many advantages over star drag. When you are fighting with big fish, lever drag will allow you to easily adjust the pre-set drag levels and you can easily engage both the reel and adjust the drag by flipping the thumb. To know more about Lever drag vs Star drag, Click here.
The design includes a graphite frame and side plate with an aluminum spool which makes this reel lightweight. You can easily shift gears due to its two speed. Also, you can use this reel in saltwater because this is a saltwater grade reel. You are also getting 4 anti-rust ball bearing which makes this reel really corrosion resistance. This reel is suitable for Mono, Fluorocarbon and PowerPro lines.
Shimano TLD 2 speed conventional reel comes in different model and size. I would recommend you to go with the Shimano TLD50II LRSA. This is a 50 size reel with a max drag of 42 lb. The gear ratio of this model is 3.5:1 and has a low gear ratio of 1.7:1 which is great for bottom fishing. This model weighs 57.3oz which is light compared to its size. All the models have right-hand retrieve.
Shimano TLD50II LRSA can hold 440yd of 80 lbs mono line. The PowerPro Line capacity of this model is 65lbs/1200yd, 80lbs/1095yd, 100lbs/920yd. This is great for bottom fishing and if you are around 2500 feet above the sea floor, then this reel with 920yds of 100lbs test line can easily reach the bottom of the sea.
This reel also has a line retrieve per crank of 34inch or 15inch. However, this is an expensive reel which is around 400 dollars. But you are getting the best conventional reel for bottom fishing and you won’t regret buying this reel because you can easily fight big fish and can catch big halibut or grouper with ease. If you want to save some money then consider buying the smaller size of Shimano TLDII conventional reel.
- Line capacity is more than enough for bottom fishing
- Low gear ratio makes this reel perfect to fight large fish while bottom fishing
- Easy to maintain with a smooth drag system
- This is a durable, corrosion resistant and powerful conventional reel
- The knob on the drag handle is cheap quality and made up of plastic
- Some users don’t find the design that much attractive
Shimano Torium HGA Reels:
If you want something that is compact and lightweight, then Shimano Torium HGA is the perfect choice for you. This is a modern conventional reel with new technologies from Shimano S-shaped compact body that is convenient to hold in hand and durable. Despite being so compact and lightweight, this is a good reel for bottom fishing.
You can use this reel in saltwater without worrying about corrosion because this reel has got Shimano’s special EI Coating. This reel has a star drag system and star drag is good for bottom fishing because you can keep is lock and don’t have to worry about this reel getting loose. The knob on the drag handle is made up of rubber, this makes it really comfortable to hold.
This reel is packed with technologies like:
- Super Stopper Anti-Reverse
- Anti-Rust Bearing (ARB)
- High-Efficiency Gearing (HEG)
- CF Aluminum Cold Forge Spool
- Hagane Body
There are many size and models to choose from. All the models have 3 ball bearing and 1 roller bearing and have a gear ratio of 6.2:1. I know the gear ratio is a bit high for bottom fishing and to fight big fish, but it will do the job. For bottom fishing, Shimano 30HGA would be perfect. This model weighs only 19.8oz which is really lightweight. The line retrieve per crank is 46inch and it has a max drag of 24lb.
Shimano 30 HGA line capacity:
- Mono Line Capacity(test lb/yd): 25/420, 30/350, 40/260
- PowerPro Line Capacity(test lb/yd): 50/1015, 65/515, 80/415
To me, this is one of the best conventional reel for bottom fishing that you can buy for around 250 dollars. You are getting a compact yet powerful reel that is packed with modern technologies. If I had a budget of around 250 dollars to buy a conventional reel for bottom fishing, then I would definitely go with Shimano Torium HGA conventional reel.
- The compact size and lightweight makes this reel ergonomic
- The drag system is smooth and it has got a nice retrieve.
- This reel holds a lot of lines, so this is a perfect reel for bottom fishing.
- This is a mid-budget reel but this reel totally feel like any other expensive, high-end conventional reel
- It is a bit small, so you may find it difficult to fight with large 60lb-100lb grouper
Penn Squall Level Wind Reel (SQL50LW):
If you are familiar with Penn GT series, then you are going to love this Penn Squall Level Wind Conventional Reel. This reel is an upgrade from the GT series and got a lot of improvement.
Penn Squall has convenient line capacity rings, so you should easily know if you have one-third, two-thirds or full spool line. This is a saltwater grade conventional reel with graphite body and side plate and aluminum spool that makes this reel lightweight yet durable.
This is a big, robust and powerful conventional reel that is capable of fighting big predatory fish and perfect for bottom fishing. You are getting a silky smooth drag because this reel has HT-100 drag system and max drag is 20lb. When battling with big fish, the smooth HT-100 drag washers remains cool.
This reel is equipped with 2 stainless steel bearing plus 1 anti-reverse system. The gear ratio is 4.0:1, which is good for bottom fishing. You can use braided capacity line or mono capacity line.
Penn Squall SQL50LW Line Capacity:
- Mono Line Capacity (lb/yd): 40/435, 50/320, 60/285
- Braid Line Capacity (lb/yd): 65/900, 80/775, 100/665
The line capacity options are perfect for bottom fishing. Also, the machined main gear with stainless steel pinion makes this reel very smooth and powerful. The gear is made of marine grade bronze alloy.
This reel is a budget conventional reel and you are getting more than what you are paying for thanks to Penn for making it possible. Overall, this is a good conventional reel with a lot of features. To me, the low price makes this reel the best conventional reel for bottom fishing.
- Durable and smooth for use in saltwater
- Large spool capacity for bottom fishing application
- Powerful, strong and versatile reel. Great value for the money
- Single Speed Reel
- The handle could be better
Daiwa SGT50H Seagate Star Drag Saltwater Conventional Reel:
This reel from Daiwa is also a budget conventional reel that is around 150 dollars. Daiwa Seagate Star Drag conventional reel has 5 models and size and The Daiwa SGT50H Seagate Star Drag Conventional Reel is the highest model which has a size of 50. So this is a medium/big reel which is perfect to battle with big fish in bottom fishing.
You are getting a nice, sleek design with black and orange finish to the reel. The frame is corrosion proof and it has anodized aluminum spool. This reel is equipped with Ultimate Tournament Carbon Drag System (UTD) and rugged brass gears. This makes this reel very smooth and powerful.
The 3 corrosion-resistant ball bearing(CRBB) plus 1 roller bearing (RB) with dual system infinite anti-reverse makes this reel smooth like butter. This reel weighs only 21.9oz means this is a lightweight reel and this reel is convenient to hold in hand. It has a max drag of 19.8 lb and has a line per handle turn of 48 inches and the gear ratio is 6.4:1.
Daiwa SGT50H Seagate Line Capacity:
- Mono Line Capacity (lb/yd): 30/350, 40/310, 50/220
- Braid Line Capacity (lb/yd): 40/840, 50/630
Overall, this is a good conventional reel for bottom fishing. The price makes this reel really attractive and the design is simply awesome.
- Great design and look with black and orange finish
- The handle knob is big and rubbery which makes it really comfortable to hold
- Durable, strong and lightweight with a smooth drag system
- Excellent braking system thanks to Centrifugal spool brake
- I could not really find any major drawback of this conventional reel
Penn General Purpose Level Wind:
If you are a beginner and don’t want to spend a lot on your first conventional reel or maybe you are on a budget and don’t want to spend more than 60 dollars, then this is one of the best conventional reel for bottom fishing that you can get on a low budget.
This is a reel with 1940s look but it has got modern technology and performance. At this price point, you are getting HT-100 drag washers, an aluminum spool which is machined and anodized and a saltwater grade reel. This is awesome. The main gear is made up of machined cut brass and machined stainless steel pinion.
You should get the Penn 309M conventional reel which has a max drag of 15lb and weighs 23oz. Line retrieve per crank is 20inch and it has a gear ratio of 2.8:1 which is low and great for bottom fishing.
Penn 309M Line Capacity:
- Mono Line Capacity (lb/yd): 20/450, 30/300, 40/250
- Braid Line Capacity (lb/yd): 50/625, 65/525, 80/450
This is a great conventional reel for bottom fishing around 60 dollars. You are not losing much functionality and getting more than what you have paid for. I think you should buy this reel if you are on a budget or need an entry-level conventional reel.
- Inexpensive and great value for the money
- Smooth and easy to use drag system and gear
- Perfect entry level conventional reel for bottom fishing
- Small spool means it can hold fewer lines. So if the distance between the boat and the sea floor is very high, then you cannot do bottom fishing with this. However, this reel can reach most of the sea floor with the current line capacity
To be honest, there is not any perfect conventional reel that can be used for bottom fishing. However, we have gathered some of the best conventional reel for bottom fishing that is close to perfect. According to your budget and preference, you can buy anyone of our suggested conventional reel for bottom fishing and you won’t regret the money spent on any of these reels. These reels are great especially if you are a self-patron who loves hunting and fishing.
If you have a high budget and want a high-end conventional reel, then you should go for Shimano TLD 2-Speed Conventional Reel. However, if you want a reel around 250 dollars then buy the Shimano Torium HGA Reels. The other three conventional reels are budget oriented buy you can get a lot of performance from any one of these.
We are glad that we have helped you in some way by suggesting these conventional reels and now you can make a solid decision to buy one. With any of these reels, you can enjoy bottom fishing and I hope with these reels you can catch more large grouper or red snapper that before. Enjoy fishing.
Also check out: Best spinning reel under 100 dollars