Best Closed Face Fishing Reel

Are you looking for an easy-to-use reel? If so, you've come to the right place as we'll discuss closed-face reels and what makes them so popular among beginners.
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It’s a spinning reel with all its inner components located under a durable cover.

Best closed face fishing reels are easy to find, but you might want to check the Zebco 33 first. It’s the best option thanks to its corrosion resistance, ball bearing system, and ease of use.

Other excellent options include the Pflueger Trion, Pflueger President, and more. Check below to discover the best reels on the market and what you should think about before buying.

Best Overall

Zebco 33 Powerful All-Metal Gears with a Lightweight Graphite Frame

4.6/5
Best for Beginners

Pflueger President Spincast Reel, PRES10SCB

4.5/5
Best by Budget

Pflueger Trion

4.5/5

What’s The Best Closed Face Fishing Reel?

  1. Zebco 33 Powerful All-Metal Gears with a Lightweight Graphite Frame
  2. Pflueger Trion
  3. Pflueger President Spincast Reel, PRES10SCB
  4. Daiwa Goldcast Spincast Fishing Reel, GC100
  5. Zebco Omega Powerful All-Metal Gears and Spare Spool

Zebco 33 Powerful All-Metal Gears with a Lightweight Graphite Frame

Zebco 33 has a lightweight graphite frame and is one of the best options for freshwater. In addition, it works with a light line, so it’s easy and convenient to use.

Although it’s not the best for big and heavy fish, it can work out depending on your fishing style. It offers five ball bearings inserted in an all-metal body, making it easy to cast and retrieve.

This one is pretty convenient to use for fishing off a small boat. It’s also good for single-hand casting as it’s comfortable and smooth.

It comes with several features that make it versatile and efficient. Plus, Zebco 33 works well for both beginners and experienced anglers.

Its high-quality stainless steel coverings, durable aluminum body, and comfortable handle stand out the most. On top of that, this one has a constant anti-reverse system.

Another thing worth mentioning is that you can change between left and right hand retrieve. And, it comes spooled with a 100-yard 10-pound Cajun line.

Standout Features:

Quick Set anti-reverse

Comfortable metal/rubber handle

Ambidextrous

Pflueger Trion

Pflueger Trion is one of the best closed-face spinning reels for kayak fishing. It has a quality-made machined aluminum front cone combined with an aluminum handle.

The handle has soft-touch knobs, heavy-duty metal gears, and titanium pickup pins. However, it’s pretty lightweight for what it’s made from. It weighs only 5.5 ounces and is quite compact.

Its two ball bearings allow a smooth retrieval. On top of that, the high gear ratio allows you to bring the line quicker than ever.

Another thing that stands out is the spool applied drag. It makes the reel excellent for kayaking, especially since you won’t have to deal with bulky equipment.

This close-faced reel comes with a 1-year warranty for manufacturing defects. In addition, it’s easy to maintain and clean, so it’s set to last a long time.

Standout Features:

Dual titanium pins

Aluminum cone and handle

Spool applied drag

Pflueger President Spincast Reel, PRES10SCB

This Pflueger spincast reel is one of the best push-button models for beginners. It’s the first choice of many fishermen because it’s easy to use and maintain.

The President spincast fishing reel is lightweight and easy to handle. It has a five-bearing system to ensure smooth retrieval that ranges from 14.5” to 18.5” per return.

It comes with a lower gear ratio which allows it to maintain a strong return. As a result, it’s easy for beginners to handle pretty much any catch.

The high-quality aircraft-grade aluminum handle is powerful and comfortable. It adds even more to the overall easy-to-use construction.

Pflueger President spincast fishing reel has two titanium pins inside the nose cone, along with an instant anti-reverse system. This helps to secure the line.

Another thing we should mention is that you can adjust the spoon applied drag. All of the features and specifications are tailored for smooth fishing. And, it’s equally suitable for experienced anglers.

Standout Features:

Wear-resistant dual titanium pins

Quality aluminum frame

Soft-touch rubber knob

Daiwa Goldcast Spincast Fishing Reel, GC100

Daiwa Goldcast closed-face spinning reel stands out with more than just its looks. It’s among the best options if you’re looking for quality and a reasonable price.

This one is lightweight and has a relatively fast retrieval. However, it has a gear ratio somewhat higher than what’s the case with other models. As a result, it offers a responsive retrieve.

However, there’s a learning curve because this one isn’t the smoothest all the time. The reason for this is the fact that it has only one ball bearing, as it’s expected given its price.

What it does have is a smooth spincast drag. In addition, it allows micro-fine adjustments so that you can find the best setting for your needs.

Plus, this one is durable and resistant. It has a full metal construction with an oscillating spool. This allows precise level-winding and more control.

Another thing that will help you with easier winding is the tungsten carbine pin line pickup.

Standout Features:

Oscillating spool

Pre-wound with a premium line

Left/right retrieve

Zebco Omega Powerful All-Metal Gears and Spare Spool

Zebco Omega might be the best closed-face reel for striper, bass, walleye, and catfish. It comes pre-spooled with a 10-pound Zebco fishing line, which is always a plus.

On top of that, it’s a whole package meant for experienced anglers as well as beginners. This one has a comfortable, soft-touch thumb button, allowing easy and smooth casting at all times.

It features seven bearings and a 16-inch retrieve rate. Its all-metal gears can withstand rough conditions and many different fishing adventures.

The instant anti-reverse technology helps you secure the catch. It enhances the overall smoothness and reliability of the Zebco Omega Pro spincast reel.

It’s among the best choices for versatile use as it has a mono capacity of 85/10. It’s perfect for heavy fishing that tends to throw a fight once hooked.

And, as it’s the case with most spincast reels, this one comes with a one-year warranty from the manufacturer.

Standout Features:

Right/left hand retrieve

Anti-corrosive construction

Anti-reverse technology

What are Closed-Face Reels?

A closed-face reel is also known as a spincast reel. It’s built with the idea of resolving an issue of resistance we’ve seen in baitcasting structures.

As a result, a closed-face reel reduces line twists and snare problems. The construction has small spools and smaller line capacity than what we see in spinning and baitcaster reels of the same size.

It can’t be any larger because it would be too uncomfortable to use. For this reason, this isn’t the best option for deep-sea fishing or long-distance casting.

What makes them stand out is the top shell that covers the mechanics. This protects the mechanics from snags, allowing easier casting and releasing.

Front

The front of the closed-face reel has the front cover, the line spool, and the spinner head. The line goes around the spool, which is held in place by the spinner head.

The spinner head features a minuscule release pin, helping you to unwind the line. However, the front also features a series of washers and nuts holding the spinner head and spool.

Everything is kept under the front cover that’s typically made from plastic. It’s twisted onto the reel, holding everything in place.

Handle

Closed-face reels have handles with four critical components. The first is called a crank handle with one or two grips.

The second component is called a locking nut. This one keeps the crankshaft in its place. Finally, there’s the drag star, otherwise known as a start-shaped adjustment wheel.

Reel Body

The reel body is one of the most important parts of a closed-face reel. It includes a clutch ring, center shaft, thumb release, and an anti-reverse mechanism.

The mechanism is crucial for the overall performance of your reel as it helps to prevent the line from unwinding.

Its clutch ring controls the spool, allowing you to unwind the line by disengaging it. And, finally, the center shaft is a part of the release mechanism meant to improve accuracy.

How Does an Enclosed Fishing Reel Work?

Closed-face reels have a precise mechanism that’s quite simple. All it takes is a flick of the finger, which is why these are considered suitable for beginners.

These have buttons you operate with your thumb, releasing and throwing off the line. Next, you disengage the line pickup by pressing the button located on the rear of the reel.

If you want to throw off the line, you should release the button in a forward outcast. Press it to keep the lure where you want it. What happens next is the pickup pin reconnects the line when you turn the handle. Then, it automatically pulls it back on the reel.

Choosing a Good Closed Face Spinning Reel

Choosing a closed-face reel can be a bit tricky if it’s your first time. This is because many factors influence the quality, ease of use, and reel’s overall smoothness.

So, you may want to consider the following few things before making your final decision.

Durability

Durability is always important when buying fishing equipment, so it’s no different with closed-face reels. However, in this case, you may want to pay attention to the quality of the reel body.

The body is usually made from aluminum, graphite, or a combination of the two materials. It has to be strong because it’s the main thing that protects the rest of the parts.

Most people will recommend you go for aluminum because it’s more durable. However, it’s also more expensive and not as flexible as graphite.

Graphite is easier to manage as it’s lighter. But, it’s not as durable as aluminum.

Triggerspin Reels

Triggerspin reels bring the best features of spincast and spinning reels. They’re simple, easy to use and have a balanced look.

These were invented by Zebco that was also the first to invent spincast reels. A triggerspin reel looks like a spinning one but has the same click button release we see on spincast reels.

It’s upside down on your rod, hanging naturally in your hand. As a result, it allows easy casting and nearly impeccable performance.

Corrosion Resistance

Corrosion resistance is among the most critical factors to think about. It’s even more crucial if you plan on carrying your closed-face reel on saltwater fishing trips.

Saltwater will eat away your fishing gear at unbelievable speed. So, you might want to double-check if the reel of your choice is resistant to rust and corrosion.

Look for one made from corrosion-resistant materials like aluminum. Although this is the priciest material, it’ll give you the best performance and resistance.

You can also go for a combination of graphite and aluminum. It’s a more affordable compromise but still resistant enough.

High-Quality Brake & Drag System

The drag system of your closed-face reel is another vital factor to consider. It works to apply some pressure to the fishing line, preventing it from becoming too loose.

It’s always handy, but especially if you’re after big and heavy fish. You have a higher chance of success by adding pressure to the line.

However, make sure to check how the system works. Look for a system that makes it easy to control the pressure applied on the closed-face reel.

Construction Quality

Checking the construction quality can be a bit tricky because there are a lot of things to check. You may want to check the body first and how it looks.

However, there’s more to the reel than just its outer body. The looks can sometimes deceive, so make sure to check the inner components as well.

All its parts and components should be high-quality and genuine. Sadly, this is challenging to figure out when you’re buying online.

For this reason, it helps to check customer reviews because people always talk about the overall construction quality.

Reel Size

Reel size will dictate how much line you can use. If you’re only going to use a light line for small fish, you can do well with a small reel.

However, if you’re interested in heavy-duty fish on a heavy line, you’ll need a larger and heavier reel. Luckily, there’s also a medium size that brings the best of both worlds.

Medium-sized closed-face reels are typically rated for 6- to 10-pound lines.

Bearings

You can choose between two types of bearings. One is made from ceramic, while the other is made from stainless steel. Of course, the more bearings you have, the better you’ll do when it comes to retrieval.

Ceramic bearings are smooth and resistant to corrosion. They’re ideal for reducing friction but are on a more expensive side.

Stainless steel is a more common option as it’s more affordable.

Either way, make sure your closed-face reel has at least four to seven bearings.

Ease of Use

Closed-face reels are generally easy to use, which is one of their most significant advantages. This makes them ideal for beginners.

It usually takes only a few casts for beginners to master when to release the button. It takes just as long to master placing the bait where you want it.

These reels are far simpler than open-face reels. Once you master them, you’ll feel all the advantages these reels bring.

Although these do have a few technical drawbacks, they’re easy to manage.

When to Consider Using a Closed Face Reel

A closed-face reel is among the best reels to start with if you’re a beginner. It’s a good option if you’re interested in teaching your child how to fish, as well.

As we said, these do have several setbacks but are generally easy to use. And, this is precisely why you should consider getting one.

Plus, the outer body keeps all the components protected, which ensures longevity. They’re typically made from durable materials, and you can get years of use out of them.

Open Face Vs. Closed Face Reels

Open-face and closed-face reels have the same job that is to help you catch different fish. However, the two have several critical differences.

As we mentioned, closed-face reels are easier to use than open-face ones. For this reason, they’re typically used by beginners, while experienced anglers prefer open-face reels.

Open-face reels give better accuracy, while closed-face reels allow a better casting distance. Which one you’ll choose depends on your needs, preferences, and skill level.

If you’re a beginner, we suggest you start with a closed-face reel before trying your luck with an open-face one.

How To Put Fishing Line On A Closed Face Reel

A closed-face reel might be easy to use, but putting a line on it isn’t as straightforward. Unless it’s appropriately lined, your reel will drown worms and give away lures.

The first thing you should do is keep the reel covered before turning it counterclockwise. Then, pull off the cover according to the instructions included in the package.

Attach the reel to your fishing rod, preferably one with a trigger hanging under the handle. Pull the line into the rod tip before dragging it through on the pole in each direction.

Place the line at the front of the cover through the small circle you’ll notice. Then, attach it to the reel spool by wrapping it twice around it. You may also want to tie a knot to keep it in place.

All that’s left to do now is to cover the reel again with the cover you removed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are closed face reels just for kids?

Although these are commonly used by kids, they’re equally good for adults. In addition, it’s an excellent choice for beginners who don’t have the skill to operate spincast reels.

But they’re not specifically made for kids.

Do any professionals use closed-face reels?

Professionals are unlikely to use closed-face reels. Instead, they’re more likely to use spinning and baitcasting reels, depending on their fishing style.

Most of these people have enough skills to use more complex reels.

Who consistently makes the best closed-faced reels?

As you may have noticed, many reputable brands make closed-face reels. However, Zebco stands out the most.

Zebco has been making these reels for years, consistently coming out with new models. Each model turns out to be better than the previous, which is how the brand secured a place at the top.

Can I use a braided fishing line with this type of reel?

Closed-face reels are best when paired with a monofilament line. However, some people use a braided fishing line as well.

It depends on the particular reel you have. While most models can handle a low-weight braided line, this isn’t the best option. In many cases, monofilament works better.

What are common problems with closed face reels?

Closed-face reels have a few quite notable problems. However, what stands out the most is their inability to handle a braided or heavier line.

It’s also hard to pinpoint casts towards the shore using this reel. They’re not as precise and might not handle heavy-duty fishing, depending on the particular reel you use.

Closed Face Fishing Reel Final Thoughts

At this point, you probably have an idea of what makes a reel a quality choice. Hopefully, our guide helped you understand how different factors affect the durability, ease of use, and efficiency.

The ones we reviewed are the best reels on the market, so all you should do is think about your needs and preferences. Although you’re unlikely to go wrong with either, you should still consider the line capacity, ball bearing system, your target fish, and other things we discussed.

If you have any problems picking a reel for your next adventure, feel free to leave a comment, and we’ll do our best.