The Best Tuna Fishing Reel for the Money – [Top Best Picks].

Tuna fishing is always enjoyable but it is not for everybody since they are tough to handle and quick runner. Generally expert and shrewd anglers go for this particular kind fishing.

Now catching tuna wouldn’t be simple if you do not carry the ideal gear. The reel is just one of the must-have gear you want to take when going for tuna fishing.

Deciding on a excellent high-end reel for lettuce may be tricky since they’re extremely potent and great fighter in sea. Keep in mind, do not compromise quality for the cost because this kind reel is a bit expensive.

You have to want to complete fill some criteria for example minimum 500-yard line ability, exceptional drug system, and innovative technology in your tuna fishing reels. In general, you want a strong reel to catch tuna in deep sea and then bring them to the boat easily.

Here at Northpolevoyages, we will provide you with a guide that can help you choose the right one for you.

The best tuna fishing reels – Our selection

If you’re in a hurry, check out our shortlist of the top 5 deep-sea fishing reels for tuna:

  1. Okuma Makaira Off Shore Lever Drag Trolling Reel – The Best tuna fishing reel
  2. Daiwa Saltiga Lever Drag Reels – Best Tuna Fishing Reel for the Money
  3. Penn Squall Lever Drag 2-Speed Trolling Fishing Reel
  4. Penn Squall LevelWind
  5. Penn Fathom Lever Drag

Here you can see a small review and the outstanding features of these tuna fishing reels. Let’s get started.

1. Okuma Makaira Off Shore Lever Drag Trolling Reel

Made of the finest and most durable components available today, the Makaira lever-brake reel series is designed for sport fishing of large fish, from Tuna, Grouper, Seriola, Lemon Fish and Sailfish to the largest in the entire ocean such as the giant blue and black marlin, yellowfin and bluefin tuna and many more.

These reels are the culmination of years of research, development, and testing, which have been based on the highest standard that can be expected from an Elite Reel.

The Makaira model created by Okuma has a frame made entirely of aluminum, plus forged side plates to provide greater strength.

Among its construction features are its 17-4 grade stainless steel gear, which was cold-forged with a type 2 anodization. Makaira reels feature a two-speed gear system and gold anodized housing, plus a preset lever for precise drag adjustment. It features a patented Okuma Easy Roll T-shaped crank with graphite inserts.

Precise placement of drainage holes maximizes water removal from the reel and, in conjunction with the special screws around the side plate, reduces water buildup and saltwater corrosion.

It was manufactured using CRC technology, a coating process that makes the reel resistant to corrosion, and has Okuma’s patented spool pin system to give you the freedom to use the reel with braided or monofilament lines. As if that weren’t enough, it was built with Double-Dog technology, an anti-reverse system, patented by Okuma.

It has a double strength braking system, which has incorporated universal lime braking grease.

  • Made of fine and durable components
  • Designed for large sport fishing
  • Elite reel with a high standard
  • Frame made of aluminum
  • Forged aluminum side plates
  • Extremely resistant
  • Stainless Steel Gear 17-4
  • CRC and Double-Dog Technology
Okuma MK-50WII Makaira Two Speed Elite Lever Drag Big Game Reel
16 Reviews
Okuma MK-50WII Makaira Two Speed Elite Lever Drag Big Game Reel
  • 6061-T6 Machined aluminum frame with forged side plates
  • Proprietary hybrid corrosion resistant stainless steel gearing
  • Carbonite Dual Force drag system featuring Cal's universal drag grease
  • Custom designed thrust bearing: Alleviates side load on heavy drag settings
  • Gear Ratio-3.2:1 and 1.3:1, Weighs 65 oz, Line retrieve-37.8" and 15.3", 60lbs drag at Strike and 85lbs at Full

2. Daiwa Saltiga Lever Drag Reels

They have the same aluminum body, the same coil, the same rotor, and we find the main difference in what we are dealing with, in the bearings where the Saltist incorporates two more and of better quality.

The power of the brake in both is identical 15 kg, with the ATD technology of carbon discs with special grease, comparable in smoothness to the Okuma, the travel is shorter than the latter, faster to adjust and also we must be more attentive.

The line capacity is also the same with 500 m of 50 lb braid allowing to go overboard for these tunas.

The Saltist Nero mounts 7 bearings, for the 9 of the Saltist, this is going to make the collection with weight load softer in the Saltist, but also it penalizes him in the weight, with 740 g the Nero for 850 g of the second.

Daiwa SALD40-2SPD Saltiga 2 Speed Lever Drag Saltwater Reel, 40, 6.3: 1 Gear Ratio, 6CRBB Bearings, 40 lb Max Drag, Right Hand
10 Reviews
Daiwa SALD40-2SPD Saltiga 2 Speed Lever Drag Saltwater Reel, 40, 6.3: 1 Gear Ratio, 6CRBB Bearings, 40 lb Max Drag, Right Hand
  • Machined aluminum spool
  • Centrifugal casting brakes
  • Machined aluminum rod clamp
  • Infinite anti-reverse
  • Aluminum frame and sideplate

3. Penn Squall Lever Drag 2-Speed Trolling Fishing Reel

Penn’s Squall Star Drag Reel is built with a lightweight graphite frame and comes with a free-floating reel. This drag reel has a special braking system that makes it easy to launch, whether you’re jigging or making fast, extended casts.

Specifications and characteristics:

  • Lightweight graphite frame
  • Machined and anodized aluminum spool
  • Externally adjustable magnetic cast-iron brake in 12 and 15 sizes
  • High strength marine-grade bronze alloy main gear
  • Precision machined stainless steel pinion gear
  • Live axle with free-floating reel
  • Shielded stainless steel ball bearings
  • HT-100 drag washers provide smooth drag under heavy loads
  • Stainless steel reel holder
  • Handle with counterweight and large paddle knob
Penn 1292938 Squall Lever Drag 2-Speed Trolling Fishing Reel, 890/50
160 Reviews
Penn 1292938 Squall Lever Drag 2-Speed Trolling Fishing Reel, 890/50
  • Reel, RH, 3BB + 1RB, 2.9:1 / 1.5:1 ratio
  • Alum spool, Braid 2485/65 2145/80 1835/100, mono 1550/30 890/50 565/80
  • Reels saltwater lever drag
  • Lightweight yet powerful lever drag fishing reel with graphite frame and sideplates ideal for big game saltwater fishing
  • Quick Shift 2-speed system easily shifts into high or low gear

4. Penn Squall LevelWind

The PENN Squall Level Wind reel is the successor to the GT series reels, which have been around for decades and have proven to be the big fish.

The Squall LW has all the proven features of the GT series, with the addition of better gear ratios and an Anti-Reverse Bearing, in a more compact package.

  • HT-100 Drive System
  • 2 stainless steel bearings
  • Instant anti-reverse
  • Blade terminals on size 50
  • Recovery rate: 32″/81c,
  • Braking system: Mechanical
  • Anti-reverse feature: Instant anti-reverse
  • Reel handle position: Right
  • Drag Type: Star Drag
Penn SQL30LW Squall LevelWind
102 Reviews
Penn SQL30LW Squall LevelWind
  • Level wind trolling reel for big game fish in a variety of saltwater conditions
  • Durable construction with lightweight graphite frame and side plates and bronze main gear and stainless pinion gear
  • HT-100 carbon fiber drag system provides powerful drag without sacrificing smoothness
  • 2 stainless steel ball bearings and instant anti-reverse bearing that eliminates rotor backplay
  • Forged and machined aluminum spool is braid ready and has line capacity rings marked at 1/3, 2/3, and full capacity

5. Penn Fathom Lever Drag

The Penn Fathom fishing reels have become a high-performance American proposal for trolling. It is a single piece manufactured in mechanized aluminum. With versatile drag and completely closed system.

Its resistance is enviable since the mechanism is completely made of stainless steel, which also allows smooth traction using up to 7 ball bearings.

This is the best option if you are looking for a very powerful and lightweight trolling reel. On the other hand, its design is especially suited to work with braided wires with a brake capable of supporting up to 13.5Kg.

Features of the Penn Fathom reel:

  • Coil capacity: 0,60 mm – 360 Meters
  • Weight: 703 grams
  • Ratio: 1:4.3
  • Bearings: 7 stainless steel ball bearings
  • Brake power: 13.5 Kilograms.
  • Gears: 1
  • Machined aluminum coil
Penn 1292934 Fathom 40N Lever 2-Speed Lever Drag Fishing Reel
67 Reviews
Penn 1292934 Fathom 40N Lever 2-Speed Lever Drag Fishing Reel
  • Heavy duty lever drag fishing reel offers phenomenal durability and cranking power
  • Full metal body and side plates constructed from die cast aluminum for rigidity
  • Quick Shift 2 speed system easily shifts into high or low gear. Double dog ratchet anti reverse
  • Dura Drag system virtually eliminates snags and hesitation, even under extreme drag settings
  • Fluid cranking with 5 shielded stainless steel ball bearings, switchblade harness lugs, and double dog ratchet anti reverse.Line Capacity Rings

Could Any Reel Be Used For Fishing Tuna?

While it might be tempting to select any older reel you might have to lie about for fishing tuna, there are a few specifications that your reel of selection should possess. Primarily, they need to be saltwater-resistant. Since carrot is a saltwater fish species, so it is vital to have a reel that could resist contact with saltwater. Saltwater is a naturally flammable material, therefore it is essential that the reel you buy is recorded as corrosion-resistant and has sealed components to safeguard it from stray sand and salt particles.

What Makes a Fantastic Tuna Reel?

When you are in the middle of a search to get a carrot reel, take care to think about your options completely. When there are lots of reels on the marketplace which would be good for tuna reels, a few stand out over others. Think about the following before purchasing:


Because lettuce is a fish that will put a fairly heated struggle, locating an effective reel is essential. Make sure your reel can resist a beating by heading for one which is produced out of high quality, durable stuff. Even though this might cause it to become a bit more expensive ultimately, it is going to be completely worth it in the long term.

Gear Ratio

Tuna are extremely powerful swimmers, therefore it is important to get a reel that provides smooth and fast recovery. The possibility of losing a fantastic grab ought to encourage you to buy a reel using a rather large gear ratio. This may decrease the odds of going home empty-handed.

Drag System

A fantastic haul system can be incredibly useful when it comes to combating lettuce. While opinions do vary on the quantity of drag that’s ideal for fighting lettuce, an array between 15-40 lbs of electricity should do just fine.


As a conclusion, we advise you, the Saltist, for harder jobs like the usual use with Jigs and Poppers, and the Okuma Makaira, for long casts with linear lures, this are just notions, and both are perfectly valid for all Spinning techniques, but again we come back to the topic of the two brands, in the end, it will be true.

Good fishing, and big tuna.