The Best Reels for Pike Fishing - (Full Guide On Baitcaster, Deadbait & Spinning Reels for Predator Fishing) 

best pike fishing reel

Toothy, predatory, ferocious. There’s so much to love about pike fishing.

Pike are one of the few fresh water species that can be caught using different methods.

You might be the kind of angler to throw out a sprat and then sit and wait.

Or, you might be more of a go getter type, throwing plugs and lures out when it’s quiet to entice a bite out of these monsters.

Whichever type of angler you are, having the best reel for pike fishing will increase your chances. 

Best Pike Fishing Reel

In this article we are going to explain exactly what you should look when seeking the best reel for Pike fishing. We'll also provide a few suggestions, based on many years experience, of Pike reels that will suit all levels, styles and budgets.

Strapped For Time?

Not got the time to read the full article? Then you can skip straight to our recommendations below.

What is a Pike Reel?

There isn’t anything too fancy in a pike reel. Generally, in the UK, it is common practice to use a fixed spool reel. But there are one or two specifics that make fixed spool reels especially suited to pike fishing.

What we will say generally is that the best reel for pike fishing is one that is slightly larger, hardier and capable of dealing with the stresses and strains associated with such a hard fighting and sizeable fish.

The best reel for pike fishing needs to be adaptable too. You may very well be fishing two styles if pike is your target. You want something that can withstand the casting forces of dead baits and heavy weights or floats, but also has the necessary refinement to allow you to cast a relatively lightweight lure or plug too.

Often pike reels come as a pair so you are guaranteed matching performance.

How to use a Pike Reel

A pike reel is used in exactly the same way as any other fixed spool reel. You disengage the bail arm and cast the line in the usual manner. With regards to drag systems whether you use front or rear drag is up to you. The best reel for pike fishing may have a front drag which will be easier to reach and much more intuitive, so you’ll be able to keep your eyes on what the fish is doing.

What features do you need in a pike reel?

Pike can grow pretty big. If you are more accustomed to fishing for roach or the occasional perch then you might be in for a shock if you hook a pike. They are hard fighters, packed with muscle and genetically designed to ensure speed and power.

Therefore, you will want a reel that is up to the task. Whilst you can use your standard coarse fixed spool reel, take your cues from other anglers who fish for predatory species as a matter of course. Bass sea fishermen are used to pulling in hard fighters of enormous sizes, and they tend to beef up their ideas a little to accommodate.

The best reel for pike fishing will tend to emulate this. That goes for the retrieve ratio, the spool size and the line. The best reel for pike fishing will encompass all of this in one package.

How big does the best reel for pike fishing need to be?

With regards to size, we recommend a 3000 size reel at the very minimum. Depending on your venue you might find that the best reel for pike fishing is more akin to a 4000 size. For casting dead baits in huge places like a reservoir our advice would be to go for something that is in between a big pit reel and your normal coarse reel.

The retrieve ratio is also important. What this basically means is that for a higher ratio you get more line on the spool for each turn of the handle. Why is this useful? Well Pike are fast and hard fighters. If it is swimming toward you, and manages to get enough slack, it may very well be able to shake the hook loose, the best reel for pike fishing should have a quick retrieve ratio meaning you can keep the pressure on.

If you are lure fishing you need the flexibility in retrieve speed to be able to mix things up in order to provoke a bite. If your bait is moving too slow for the pike’s liking and you haven’t got the oomph to get it going any faster, you are out of options.

One final note on the size of your pike reel, it's important that the size compliments and balances with the rod you are using. The correct pike rod & reel combo will make your fishing much easier and more enjoyable.

What line to use on a pike reel

Wire traces are good for terminal tackle, but as main lines go it is entirely down to personal preference. The best pike fishing lines are not always one type as it depends on the circumstances you are fishing with. 

Braid will cut down on wind resistance and is super strong, meaning you can fit more on a reel, but it tends to be a nightmare if it gets tangled. 

Fluorocarbon offers a nice middle ground, and you can go up a little in the breaking strain due to its density without sacrificing line capacity when compared with mono.

Pike fishing can be a bit of a skill. Check out our video that shows examples of how much the best pike fishing reel has to perform when lure fishing for pike...

Here are the products we recommend: -

The Best Reels For Pike Fishing

The Best Overall Pike Fishing Reel

Best Reel For Pike Fishing

#1. Penn Slammer Spin Reel

Penn have been famous in the sea fishing game for years, and as we have said, the best reel for pike fishing will include many key features of sea fishing reels.

The reel weighs just a fraction over 200 grams and with a deep spool you will be able to fit more than enough line to cast as far as you need.

The reel has anti reverse technology ridding you of troublesome snags or inadvertently winding the wrong way when you are busy.

The interior workings are stainless steel, preventing degradation. With this reel, Penn offer really good quality at a reasonable price point.

A Good Budget Spinning Reel

Fox Rage Prism X

 #2. Fox Rage Prism X 4500

This Fox Rage Prism X is the perfect choice for anglers who want to add the latest technology to their fishing arsenal.

The striking cosmetics and a carbon rotor combine to create a reel with reduced weight while still having a high capacity, so you can comfortably fish all day.

The easy grip handle and over sized roller reduce line twist while the 9+1 ball bearings give it super smooth performance.

With all the great features on this reel, the Fox Rage will quickly become your go-to tool when spinning for Pike and other predators.

A Decent All-Round Pike Fishing Reel

Shimano Catana RC Spinning Reel

 #3. Shimano Catana RC Spinning Reel

This reel is a great choice for all types of Pike Fishing. It is lightweight and balanced enough to tick the spinning box but also strong and robust enough to send a decent sized dead bait to the horizon.

We found the drag on this reel to be ultra smooth which was particularly handy when playing double figure Pike and some hard fighting Zander.

Being a good looking reel, made by a reputable brand, completed the overall package for us and as such it claims the coveted status of being our choice for the best reel for pike fishing.

The Best Pike Fishing Baitcaster Reel

Best Pike Fishing Baitcaster reel

 #4. ABU Garcia Ambassadeur Classic C4

This sleek and compact reel is the perfect companion for anglers who demand high performance gear.

Unmatched in quality, this reel is built with a full array of innovative technologies. From its carbon matrix drag system to its synchronized level wind system, the C4 will outperform any other Predator baitcaster reel on the market.

The lightweight and ergonomic design makes this reel a great option for both children and adults, making it the perfect tool for beginners or more experienced anglers.

A Good Option For Deadbait Fishing

Best Pike reel for deadbait fishing

 #5. Prologic Avenger XD

This great looking, well balanced reel is a great option for deadbait fishing for predators.

The 5+1 sealed steel ball bearings and stainless drag washers are both quality, internal, compartments that help make this neat reel smooth both on the cast and the retrieve.

The weight of a deadbait combined with the rig can sometimes be quite considerable. For this reason you need a reel that is going to live up to the inertia of this task.

The Prologic Avenger does this with ease, and the best bit... it is amazing value for money. 

Great Value For Money - Good Pike Reel For Beginners

best budget pike fishing reels

#6. Hunter Pro 2 X Pike Reels

Offering excellent value this reel is made even better by the fact that they come in a set of two.

The line even comes included as well. With a spare spool for each reel included you can try a couple of different kinds of line until you find your sweet spot.

The reels have a smooth and relatively quick action, ensuring even line lay. As the reels each weigh 400g they will work both for fishing static baits or for the more active lure fisherman.

Pike Fishing Line

Although this article isn't about Pike Fishing Line, it makes sense that we mention some good offers to compliment the purchase of a Pike Fishing Reel. Below is a list of the top 5 best selling reels of Pike Fishing line on Amazon today:


The best reel for pike fishing should be one that is up to the task and balances nicely with your pike rod. 

If you can make something else work for you then by all means give it a try. The features we have described will definitely help you convert bites into fish landed. Whichever reel you choose, it always pays to think about what you are trying to achieve and catch.

Thanks for reading.

Tight lines!

All of the fishing tackle featured in this article can be found at one of the following online shops...

Total fishing tackle

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