The Best Feeder Reels For Coarse Fishing - (Complete Guide On Match & Method Feeder Reels)

best feeder reels

So if you are going to be casting loads and catching big? You're going to need a real workhorse.

The best feeder reels will give you some serious casting and pulling power all in one solid package.

We've tried the best and the worst over years of fishing and can tell you quality is an all-important factor. It's not just about picking the best brand at the highest price and expecting the best quality.

A number of factors go into the best feeder reels. In this article, we'll look at a couple of really good options that should help to get a bend in your rod and plenty of fish on the bank.

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If you are in a rush then here are 2 top feeder reels featured in this article...

What Are The Different Types Of Feeder Fishing Reel?

When looking at feeder reels, you'll no doubt be presented with a huge array of choices. Aside from common features, you'll find various innovations.

Feeder reels are designed to cast out some huge weights (particularly if method feeder fishing) and so have to be pretty substantial in build.

Because sometimes you maybe casting a long way, you'll find a variety of spool shapes on feeder reels, all of which should allow you to store a lot of line.

When it comes to the different types of feeder fishing reel, you'll find various big brands and some lesser-known variations with most offering differing alternatives of size, features and price.

Some anglers use baitrunners as a feeder reel particularly if method feeder fishing. The baitrunner function can come in handy as takes can come quickly and ferociously at times.

The extra 'security' feature of a baitrunner can be important to prevent an unwanted farewell to your dearly beloved rod & reel.

Some feeder reels come with a front drag and others with a rear clutch. Both do the same job and so this is often down to personal preference.

Whatever reel type you choose, the best feeder reels need to be able to cast a decent weight accurately and often.

They also need to be of a sufficient quality to handle powerful fish such as carp or barbel.

best feeder reels

What To Look For In The Best Feeder Fishing Reel?

The best feeder reels will have a few key qualities you want to look at. Let's take a quick look now and see what's what.

Feeder Reel Spool Size

In some fishing situations you may want to cast a long way. The spool size is vital in making this easy.  A big spool will allow you to carry much more line which in turn allows you to cast further naturally.

This is down to a number of reasons but mainly because a) there is more line to be able to achieve the distance in the first place and b) there would be less friction on a fuller spool allowing for greater distance.

Also a bigger spool allows for an optimised line lay allowing line to peel off more freely.

With a big spool, the bail arm has to rotate less for each foot of line. Less rotation per foot ensures line can be wound onto the reel much quicker and more easily.

If it goes on easy, it comes off easy too allowing you to achieve huge distances with a decent overhead thump.

A larger spool also allows you to get more line in quicker. Useful for when you are baiting up, or more optimistically battling a decent fish.

A Substantial Winding Handle

It's no secret that the best feeder reels need to be well built and, in some circumstances, heavy duty. You are going to need all the pulling power you can get.

One way to achieve this is with a decent-sized winding handle. We look for features such as chunky winding knobs and slightly longer-than-usual winder arms.

Feeder Reel Retrieve Ratio

While helped by the bigger spool, your retrieve speed is also dictated by the reel's internal gearing. Keep a good look out for substantial retrieve ratios. As a minimum we would suggest 4.0:1.

Build Quality

When casting heavy, your reel is going to take quite a lot of punishment. The forces generated when throwing out a fully loaded feeder are colossal, so you will need something that will take all you can throw at it (or with it). Look for solid metal parts and a thick, robust design that will be reliable.

Another feature to look for in the build of the reel is a decent line clip. Feeder fishing requires accuracy and a line clip can help no end. If you are fortunate enough to have the fish feeding in your swim with bites a plenty, then you will no doubt be casting often.

If you are using a line clip for accuracy then it needs to be of sufficient quality to hold on many casts. The line clip needs to be made of a solid material, ideally metal.


When your arm is aching as you try and battle a decent sized fish the last thing you want to be doing is messing about with the drag. The easier it is to reach the drag, the better.

We find that the best feeder reels have a large and easy to reach drag. We prefer a front drag for feeder fishing but this is just personal preference.

Some of the best feeder reels come with a speed drag facility that basically allows your reel to go from rock sold to an easy, smooth out-take of line in a couple of clicks.

By being able to fine-tune the pressure on the fish quickly and easily, you'll give yourself the best possible chance at getting it into your landing net.

Value for Money

We are all for reducing the cost where we can. When it comes to choosing the best feeder reel, our advice is this… Don't 'cheap out'.

Along with a great feeder rod, your reel is one thing that you will be using a lot. If it breaks or isn't up to the job that will be the end of your day.

For the money, consider the price-per-use and see it as an investment… If it works well, you'll use it more often. It's a false economy to go cheap, as you may very well end up paying twice!

What is the Best Method Feeder Fishing Reel?

Fishing the method feeder can put a lot of stresses and strains on your fishing gear. At times, if you use 'the method' in the right circumstances you can get the fish into a real feeding frenzy.

If you are fortunate enough to be in this situation then your reel will be constantly 'at it'.  Everything has to work in tandem and the build of the reel needs to be solid but also well balanced.

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the best feeder reel we have used (and we have used many) is the Preston innovations intensity feeder reel. For method feeder fishing this is no exception and , if anything, is even more recommended.

The reel scores really high in all areas and really is a solid performer.  It ticks all the boxes needed for a  method feeder reel and we can't praise it enough.

Preston is becoming extremely well known for producing some really great coarse fishing gear, and this reel is certainly no exception.

What is the Best Feeder Reel Line?

It would be a terrible shame to invest in a high-quality feeder reel, only to be let down by poor quality line. By choosing the best feeder line, you'll allow your reel to release its full potential and likely catch more as part of the deal.

We've tried a fair few lines in the past and we've found the best line for feeder fishing is the Dave Harrell Pro Feeder Line.

This monofilament line has a really great stretch factor, making it perfect for absorbing some of the shock when hurling a substantial weight over the horizon.

It is available in a range of breaking strains and 300-metre spools, more than enough line to fill a large spooled feeder reel. The line is also a great choice for spooling your float fishing reel, as it sinks.  You can check this line out here...

The Best Feeder Reel Review 

best feeder reels

Let's take a look at this feeder reel in greater detail and see if we can show you what makes it one of the best for the money...

Preston offer really affordable solutions that are of great quality. A UK based company, they specialize in producing fishing tackle that really works.

These mighty feeder reels have been developed to throw big baits a long way if needed but are also suitable for close range work. Preston took the advice of professional match angler Lee Kerry, to produce this beast.

The reel boasts numerous features that make it one of the best feeder reels on the market.

You'll find high quality machined parts, like solid and substantial aluminium handles and CNC machined aluminium spools, not to mention a strong and sturdy 3mm bail arm thrown in for good measure.

best feeder reels

Rear view of the intensity 620

The retrieve ratio is phenomenal too. For each crank of the handle, you'll get a full 4.6 revolutions of the bail arm. Impressive!

Speaking of gear ratios, we really like the worm drive system. This gives the reel a silky-smooth action that isn't clunky, there is next to no play in the spool at all.

One really attractive feature is the Speed Drag System. Located on the front of the spool you'll be able to effortlessly reach forward and adjust the drag easily, allowing you to tweak and tune the amount of pressure on the fish with a click or two.

Weighing in at just 418g this reel will work well with most feeder rods, giving you a really nice balanced setup.

The spool size is perfect to cover all eventualities and (being bigger than the average feeder reel) allows for distance casting with accuracy.

The small, tapered lip on the spool allows for speed control which in turn reduces tangles and balances everything nicely on the cast.

best feeder reels

Close up of the Intensity Feeder Reel 620 spool

The line lay on this reel is spectacular, and again allows for effortless casting and retrieve making things so much easier when fishing.

The black and blue finish on this reel compliments its quality and finishes of nicely what is, without a shadow, the best feeder reel on the market.

Checkout the following video explaining more on the features of the reel as well as it in action: 

The Best Budget Feeder Reel

best feeder reels

The Mitchell Avocet R Feeder Reel is a budget option that gives a really solid performance far above its low price point.

It shares some of the features of the Preston Reel. Including a substantial spool, a superb gear ratio and a front-mounted drag.

This is combined with a multi-disc felt drag system and a one-touch folding handle. Mitchell has been in the game for decades, they have made their name in producing reliable and affordable fishing reels.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to choosing the best feeder reel, it is very much a case of 'buy cheap, buy twice'.

Trust us, with a cheap reel, when the gears strip mid-cast you can say goodbye to your rig (and maybe your index finger… we've got the scars to prove it!).

Feeder reels are worth every penny, your casting and therefore your catch rate will be vastly improved, and you'll be able to feel quality with the first cast. Try it and see for yourself. 

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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