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When it comes to freshwater fishing, it’s hard to beat Pflueger spinning reels. Pflueger celebrated their 100th anniversary back in 2016.
In the century between introducing their first baitcasting reel back in 1916 to the modern-day, Pflueger has led the industry in innovation, reliability, durability, and variety of spinning reels.
The Pflueger President is one of the finest spinning reels you can purchase for a reasonable price on the market today.
Myriad competitors offer a wide range of spinning reels, and some can match the President, but at a much higher price.
If you want to own just one reel that can provide great service in a variety of angling settings, the President is a great choice.
Pflueger President Review
The first consideration in selecting a quality spinning reel is to ask how smooth the action is.
Smooth control on casts, and retrieves is the metric that separates an average spinning reel from a fabulous one.
The feel of a spin reel oscillating back and forth after a quick flip of the handle is tied directly to the number of ball bearings inside the reel mechanism.
The President has 10 high-quality stainless steel ball bearings.
This provides one of the smoothest actions you’ll ever experience in a spinning reel.
The President was already an established spinning reel with multitudes of satisfied anglers using it when Pflueger decided to redesign the reel back in 2011.
The most significant modification came in reducing the weight by approximately 10 percent.
President reels start in the 2000 series and move up in size to 2500, 3000, 3500, to the largest size, the 4000. All of these sizes had weight reductions during the retooling of the reel a decade ago.
The lighter weight was in response to consumer comments that a lighter reel with the same functionality would be easier to use.
Many anglers prefer a heavier reel, but others enjoy the slightly enhanced sensitivity with a lighter-weight reel. Pflueger listened to their customers, and the President was redesigned to match their requests.
The 10 ball bearings are the prominent design feature, but Pflueger has packed in a number of other innovations into the President.
A ported, solid aluminum spool can handle both monofilament and braided line.
The President is a great spinning reel for anglers who prefer the strength of braided line but still want the smooth, seamless action you find with lighter weight monofilament.
The rotor and body are made of durable, corrosion-resistant graphite. This cuts the weight but retains durability, ensuring you’ll have this reel for many years out on the water.
A heavy-duty aluminum bail comes with Pflueger’s patented “Sure-Click” feature.
The bail makes an audible clicking sound when you pop it open to cast. As the bail locks in place, you can hear it move to the ready position, and you can cast with ease.
An aluminum handle, ergometric, soft-touch, knob and a stainless steel drag system that uses oil felt brakes round out the features of this reel.
- 10 ball bearings
- Graphite rotor and body
- Sure-Click bail system
- Graphite body & rotor
- Stainless Steel oil felt drag
- One year limited warranty
- 2000 only has seven ball bearings
- Light weight
- Light drag
- High retrieval rate in 3500 and 4000 series
- Only rated for freshwater
Features of the Pflueger President
The five sizes available in the President series are adaptable to any freshwater style of fishing.
I have a PRESSP30X – the 3000 series reel, that I use in a variety of settings.
It works well in topwater lures with bass, has the sensitivity to feel the soft hits of walleye, and has the power to horse in hard-hitting largemouth bass.
One memorable afternoon I pulled in seven rainbow trout weighing six to eight pounds.
They hit on Blue Fox spinners in heavy river currents, and the President performed flawlessly with the drag singing as line rolled out with these big, tail dancing rainbows.
The smallest of the President line begins with the 2000 series reel.
Weighing in at 5.9 ounces, it’s on the bigger size for ultralight fishing but does the job with sunfish, bluegill, crappie, and brook trout.
A maximum drag of only six pounds leaves this reel in the lightweight category if you happen to tag a large fish.
The 200-yard spool capacity with two-pound test monofilament and a lightweight lure provide ample line to drift a long way.
The mid-range of the President series begins with this 2500 model reel. This spinning reel is one the smoothest you’ll find thanks to the 10 ball bearing system.
Its retrieval rate of 22.4 inches per crank makes it a popular reel for bass fishermen.
The 22.4-inch rate is perfect for controlling crankbaits, buzz baits, and other lures where control is a concern when targeting perpetually angry largemouth bass.
This is my reel of choice for a variety of reasons; the first is the 8.3-ounce weight which is perfect for almost every angling application from shore.
The 275-yard capacity with six-pound braided line gives you the length of line you may need when retrieving deep, hard-running trout in fast-moving water.
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It has the strength to tackle salmon, red drum, or even large carp.
10 ball bearings ensure a smooth action, and the 25.2 inch per crank retrieval rate is easy to control for bass, but quick enough for other fish as well.
The 3500 series President is just a slight step up from the 3000. It weighs 1.6 ounces more than the 3000 at 9.9 ounces and has a slightly heavier drag at 10 pounds.
It is a stronger reel, with spool capacities in 14-pound braided line of 160-yards, and 155-yards of 10-pound test monofilament line.
The largest of the President series is a great reel for salmon fishing, bottom bouncing for huge channel catfish, or tying into a hard fighting, 20-pound carp.
The 12-pound drag is a little light for a 4000 series reel, but the large line capacity and 5.2:1 gear ratio make this reel a good choice for a variety of fishing applications.
Pflueger President size comparison
|Size||Model #||Weight ounces||Drag pounds||Gear Ratio||Retrieval Rate||Ball Bearings||Mono capacity||Braided capacity|
|2000||PRESSP20X||5.9||6||5.2:1||20.7||7||200/2 100/4 80/6||180/4 125/6 100/8|
|2500||PRESSP25X||7.2||6||5.2:1||22.4||10||220/2 110/4 90/6||200/4 140/6 110/8|
|3000||PRESSP30X||8.3||9||5.2:1||25.2||10||225/4 145/6 130/8||275/6 190/8 160/10|
|3500||PRESSP35X||9.9||10||5.2:1||27.4||10||230/6 185/8 155/10||250/8 220/10 160/14|
|4000||PRESSP40X||10.9||12||5.2:1||30.2||10||285/8 230/10 195/12||320/10 280/14 220/20|
A Few Alternatives to Consider
As an avid fan of Pflueger reels, it’s difficult to look elsewhere for quality spinning reels, but they are out there.
In the world of freshwater spinning reels, the competition is fierce. There are hundreds of spinning reels manufactured by dozens of major companies.
Many of these can rival the performance of the Pflueger President, the question arises, “Can they rival the features while matching the price?”
Lew’s is a popular manufacturer of a variety of reels. Their spinning reels are rated highly by consumers with the American Hero being their most popular reel.
It compares to the President in many features.
The Carbon Fire Speed spinning reel by Lew’s is also a solid competitor.
Shimano is a growing international fishing manufacturer that is making solid inroads into the spinning reel market.
The Sienna FG is their best-selling brand, along with the Sedona and Stradic C14 reels.
A final competing brand of spinning reel to consider is the Stratus VI made by Okuma
- Lew’s American Hero Speed Spin
- Lew’s Carbon Fire Speed Spin
- Shimano Sienna FG
- Shimano Sedona FI
- Shimano Stradic CI4
- Okuma Stratus VI
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Pflueger Make Good Quality Reels?
Yes, Pflueger does make good-quality reels. Having built a reputation as a manufacturer of quality fishing equipment, Pflueger is a name to trust.
Their products are renowned for their quality, reliability, and innovative design. Pflueger also focuses on customer service and satisfaction.
Where Are Pflueger President Reels Made?
Pflueger is no longer an independent manufacturer but is a subsidiary of Pure Fishing. Pflueger President reels are made in China, outsourced by Pure Fishing.
There are regional repair/service centers located in dozens of states across America for warranty work.
This ensures a quicker response than having reel shipped across the Pacific back to Chinese factories for warranty work.
Can the Pflueger President Be Used in Saltwater?
The short answer is yes, the President can be used in saltwater but is not designed for the demands of the saltwater environment.
The President is not a sealed reel, meaning the inner mechanism is exposed to exterior contaminants.
The President is made of high-quality aluminum, stainless steel, and graphite, all corrosive resistant materials – but saltwater, salt spray, and the sand that is common in saltwater fishing can all work inside the mechanism, wearing away and damaging components.
If you choose to use the President when surfcasting, from a boat, or out on the ocean, you’ll need to carefully clean your reel with fresh water at the end of each fishing adventure.
If you don’t, salt, grime, and sand will build up inside the reel, reducing effectiveness and eventually destroying the reel completely.
What Is the Difference Between Pflueger President and President Xt?
The President and President XT spinning reels are very similar, as you might guess from the names. They are both available in five sizes ranging from 2000 to 4000 series reels.
They have identical ball bearing construction, the same sealed drag mechanism, and offer the same maximum drag settings.
The body and rotor are both made of graphite, they can both handle braided line, and both come with Pfluegers’ popular instant anti-reverse system.
So just what is different between the two reels?
The biggest difference is the gear ratio. The President has a set 5.2:1 gear ratio across all five sizes of the reel.
The President XT varies from 5.2:1 to 6.2:1. The different gear ratio creates different retrieval rates since gear ratio matched with spool size is how retrieval rates are determined.
The XP has a retrieval rate that varies between 22.4 and 38 inches per crank. The President has less variance, with the 2000 series coming in at 20.2 inches per crank and the 4000 series at 31.6 inches per crank.
|Model||Ball Bearings||Gear ratio||Weight/ ounces||Braided line?||Drag||Drag range||Rotor material||Retrieval rat||Anti-reverse|
|President||7 or 10||5.2:1||6.2 – 11.5||Yes||Sealed||6 to 14||Graphite||20.2 – 31.6||Yes|
|President XT||7 or 10||5.2:1 – 6.2:1||5.6 to 10.1||Yes||Sealed||6 to 14||Graphite||22.4 – 38||Yes|
What’s the Best Line for Pflueger President?
Asking what the best line is for a spinning reel is like asking a hunter what ammunition to use for his specific rifle.
In general, the right line for the Pflueger president depends more on the type of fishing you’re going to do than the manufacturer.
In general, whether you fish with monofilament or braided line the one thing to keep in mind is to follow the suggested guidelines for line weight and capacity.
You can fill a 4000 series with two-pound test monofilament, but the performance of the reel will be greatly reduced.
Just because you have a light line doesn’t make the 4000 a good ultra-light reel.
On the other end, you can wind 20-pound test monofilament onto a 2000 series reel, but you won’t get much of it on the spool, and the extra tension that comes with heavier monofilament will snarl and pop out of the spool.
For reels in the 2000 to 2500 size range, use lightweight two to six-pound test monofilament for the best performance. Braided line works equally as well, but keep it within the preferred limits.
The 3000 series reel cab handle lighter line for greater sensitivity but can also store heavier line if you’re fishing for larger species.
If you’re on the upper end of the President line with a 4000 series reel, don’t hesitate to fill the spool with heavier line. The 4000 series is designed for this and works best with the suggested line.