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Closed face reels tend to get a bad rap – but they really don’t deserve it.
Many anglers argue that closed face reels are cheap and don’t function well under pressure. “They’re only good for little kids,” they might claim.
However, that’s not the case.
Although there are admittedly benefits to using open face reels, too, closed face reels offer casual and expert fishermen some serious advantages.
As with anything, though, you mustn’t skimp on quality to save some money. In this case, you are much more likely to find that closed face reels don’t work the way you want them to.
There are plenty of awesome closed face reels to choose from – you just need to know what to look for. Here are some of the best closed face reels on the market.
6 Best Closed Face Fishing Reels in 2023
In a rush? Don’t worry – you don’t need to read through this whole article to get an idea of the best reels out there.
Instead, just take a quick peek at the 6 best closed face reels below.
Last update on 2023-01-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
What is a Closed Face Reel?
While closed face reels can be used by anybody, they are most used on beginner rods as well as those designed for small children.
This is because they are easy to operate and take a lot of the guesswork out of using a spinning reel.
You may also hear closed face reels referred to as push button casters, too.
Although professional anglers generally don’t use closed face reels, this can depend on the nature of the fishing tournament.
Sometimes, you’ll see old-school professionals and newbies alike using closed-face reels! It’s certainly not out of the question.
Closed face reels work just like spinning reels, but the mechanics are all housed internally.
There is a top shell that comes over the mechanics to protect them from snags, making it easier to cast as you don’t have to be concerned with holding the line and then releasing during your cast.
Closed face reels are generally designed to be used with monofilament line only.
Casting is generally the same – you’ll push the button as you snap your wrist forward, keeping the button pressed down so that you can let loose the line.
Once your lure has been cast, you can release the button, tighten the spool, and begin reeling your lure.
These reels aren’t made for certain types of fish. However, if you plan on going after a larger species of fish, you’ll want a more upscale, premium reel so that you can handle larger test lines with ease.
Here’s how closed face reels, also known as push button casters, work.
At the front of the reel, you will notice three components: the front cover, the spinner head, and the line spool.
The line is wound around the spool and then held in place by the spinner head.
On the spinner head, there is also a minuscule release pin, which helps you unwind the line during its release.
Both the spinner head and the line spool are kept in place with washers and nuts.
All these pieces are kept covered by the front cover, which is usually made out of plastic. It is twisted onto the reel and locks everything into place.
The handle of your closed face reel will consist of four vital components.
The first component is a crank handle. This usually has one or two grips. The second is a locking nut, which keeps the crankshaft in place.
There is also a piece known as the drag star, which is a star-shaped adjustment wheel.
This is meant to alter the drag and is mounted so that you can make line resistance adjustments with ease.
One of the most important parts of your closed face reel, the reel body includes parts like a clutch rig, thumb release, center shaft, and anti-reverse mechanism.
The anti-reverse is important in closed face reels – as with open faced reels, too – to help prevent the line from unwinding by itself.
The clutch ring can also be found in the real body.
This piece controls the spool, letting the line unwind only when you disengage it.
The center shaft is also located here, which is a part of the release mechanism that improves the accuracy of the release.
What to Look For in the Best Closed Face Reels
Just as you would when buying any other piece of fishing equipment, it’s important that you consider the quality of your closed face reel before you buy.
In particular, it’s important to pay close attention to the reel body of your closed face reel.
Generally made out of graphite, aluminum, or a combination of the two, the reel body needs to be strong to protect the rest of the components.
Aluminum is generally recommended, as it is strong and durable. However, it can be more expensive and is often less flexible than other materials, like graphite.
Graphite, though not quite as durable, is lighter and easier to manage.
You also need to think carefully about the size of the reel. This will dictate how much fishing line can be used at any moment in time.
If you want to use a light line and plan on going after small fish, a small reel will work just fine.
If, however, a heavy-duty fish and heavy-duty line are what you have in mind, then you might want to pay a bit more for a larger, heavier reel.
Want to compromise between the two – or perhaps aren’t sure which one would be best for you?
Opt for a medium-size reel. This way, you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Medium-sized reels are generally rated for lines between 6 and 10 pounds.
Particularly if you plan on bringing your closed face reel out on saltwater you must consider its corrosion resistance.
Saltwater eats away at fishing gear, and that’s the case with closed face reels, too.
Look for a reel made out of corrosion-resistant materials, like aluminum, but keep in mind that you don’t have to go with strictly aluminum if you want to save some money.
A combination of graphite and aluminum can save you some cash without compromising too much on corrosion resistance.
Also Read: Best Fishing Reel Brands
The Top 6 Closed Face Reels
Here are the top closed face reels on the market today
1. Zebco Platinum Ball Bearing Spincast Reel
If smaller fish are the name of the game for you, then the Zebco 33KPL should fit the bill nicely.
This gorgeous reel is perfect for going after fish of up to 10 lbs. It has a high-speed gear ratio of 4.1:1 and a fully metallic body and handle.
With a five-ball bearing system, it also has continuous anti-reverse so that you can retrieve your line quickly and smoothly each time.
It even comes with 100 yards of a 10-pound Cajun line and interchangeable right or left-hand retrieve.
This closed face reel has a favorable gear ratio for going after aggressive fish. It has a versatile handle and stiff line that can withstand a surprising amount of resistance.
- Corrosion-resistant construction
- Has a continuous anti-reverse system
- Can be used by both left and right-handed anglers
- The button release on this reel has a tendency to become stuck
2. Daiwa Goldcast Spincast Fishing Reel
This stylish-looking reel is one that is prized by professionals. It’s not only attractive to look at, but it’s functional, too. It has a sturdy build with an oscillating spool.
It also has a ball-bearing drive that offers one of the best and most even treated experiences around.
With its rugged metallic body, you won’t have to worry about rust or breakage. It is incredibly durable, robust, and stable.
With left- and right-handed retrieval, this closed face reel can be used by any angler.
- Sturdy and durable build
- Offers smooth even retrieval
- Attractive to look at
- Can be a bit heavy for a long day out on the water
3. Pflueger President Spincast Fishing Reel
With a rigid aluminum frame, the Pflueger President Spincast Fishing Reel has a four-ball bearing system that offers smooth reeling and significant durability.
You won’t have to worry about extra wear and tear on this reel – it can handle anything you throw at it.
It has a front cone made out of machined aluminum. The handle of the reel is aluminum, too, but with an ergonomic knob that’s easy on your hands.
This reel has a solid construction and is the perfect reel for beginners.
- An affordable option for beginners
- Durable and long-lasting
- Offers smooth reeling
- Not a great reel for braided line
4. Zebco Omega Pro Spincast Reel, 3.4:1 Gear Ratio, 14″ Retrieve Rate, Ambidextrous
As you might have already noticed, there are quite a few products from Zebco on our list of the best closed face reels.
That’s because Zebco works hard to end the stereotype that push button reels are only for children.
This reel is versatile, efficient, and effective.
It is made out of super-sturdy aircraft-grade aluminum, which offers a lightweight feel along with durability.
It has a seven-bearing drive and super smooth retrieval, giving you accurate casting at all times.
A unique reel, it comes with two interchangeable handles, allowing you to switch up between a left- or right-retrieve.
With a rubber guard that makes it impossible for water to penetrate the interior, this reel is easy to install and even easier to use.
It can be used with all kinds of lures, including finesse lures, frogs, and even live baits.
With a gear ratio of 3.4:1, you won’t have to worry about any trouble as you retrieve your line. It comes with a dual-knob power handle with a solid, comfortable grip.
It even comes with a spare spool that is pre-spooled with Cajun Optix.
- Easy to install
- Made out of aircraft-grade aluminum
- Comes with a rubber guard to prevent corrosion
- Lower than normal gear ratio
5. Pflueger Trion Spincast Fishing Reel
Pflueger is one of the top names to know when it comes to the best fishing gear, and this Trion Spincast Fishing Reel is no exception.
Ask any bass fisherman, and he’ll likely turn up his nose in disgust when you mention that you are thinking about using a closed face reel.
Pflueger designed this reel as a response to that impression.
It is one of the best closed face reels for professionals and beginners alike, and it will make you rethink all the conceptions you used to have about closed face spinning reels.
With two titanium pins, this reel is remarkably durable and efficient. It has an aluminum frame that is rust and corrosion-resistant and incredibly lightweight.
No more arm fatigue after a day out on the water!
The reel handle is also made out of aluminum and comes with an ergonomic soft-touch knob that provides you with the ideal grip.
It has an anti-reverse system that allows for an instant hook set along with a five ball-bearing system for a super smooth retrieval process.
The titanium pin in this line helps guard the fishing line from snags and improves its durability.
The reel offers maximum comfort and is incredibly flexible with a drag dial and built-in anti-reverse functioning.
- Incredibly durable aluminum construction
- Has a comfortable handle
- Elite functioning and sleek appearance
- Not ideal for going after larger species of fish
6. Zebco Omega Spincast Reel 6BB 10#/85yd ZO3-BX
The Zebco Omega Spincast Reel 6BB has several features that will improve your experience out there on the water.
With a seven ball-bearing system and an adjustable handle, this reel can be used by both left and right-handed people. The spool oscillates and offers continuous anti-reverse.
A lightweight reel, it has a gear ratio of just 3.4:1. It has a unique auto-bait alert, too, that makes a clicking sound when it contacts anything in the water.
This feature can really improve your reaction time out there on the water!
Plus, the ball bearings on this reel are corrosion-resistant, made out of double stainless steel.
It also has an aircraft-grade aluminum cover for durability along with handles that have soft rubber knobs.
- Ergonomic handles
- Durable construction and convenient design
- Comes with unique auto-bait alert system
- Relatively low gear ratio
Why You Should Consider Using a Closed Face Reel
While every type of reel has its place in a good fisherman’s arsenal, there are some disadvantages to using closed face reels, too.
For instance, they make it more difficult to stop a cast at the perfect moment, limiting some of your range of motion while you are fishing.
They also cannot handle heavy or braided lines and it can be more difficult to direct your casts when you are casting toward shore.
There aren’t as many closed face reels designed for larger sports fish, either.
That being said, there is a lot to appreciate about a good closed face reel. It’s going to be a lot easier for you to operate, especially if you are new to fishing or are trying to teach a young child how to fish.
When all is said and done, there are plenty of excellent reels on the market – and a great closed face reel definitely should have a place in your lineup of gear.