The best spod reels

by Aidan Bordiuk |
Updated on

Spodding can be very demanding and as such, choosing the best spod reel will make a huge difference to how efficient and tiring it is on you, the angler. One of the best ways to introduce bait at range when you’re fishing is via the use of a spod/Spomb, they allow you to get a range of bait much further and much more accurately into the lake than any other method of manual baiting.

Spods and Spombs by their very nature create resistance when you’re reeling them back in, especially if the latter fails to open and because of this you need a solid reel that has a high retrieval rate and cranking power in abundance. Without these two key features, reeling in from any distance will be much more difficult, especially if you intend on getting plenty of bait out there.

The best spod reels at a glance:

• Best All-Round Spod Reel - Daiwa Emblem Spod - View offer on Fishing Republic

• Best For Long Distance Spodding - Shimano Ultegra 14000 XTE Spod - View offer on Total Fishing Tackle

• Best Value Spod Reel - Okuma Big Bomber 8000 Spod Reel - View offer on eBay

• Best For Retrieval Rate - Avid XR Pro Spod Reel - View offer on Total Fishing Tackle

Bigger reels aren’t always the best reels for spodding, if a reel is heavy and clunky it’s just going to cause your wrist to get fatigued much sooner and will unbalance your spod rod. Thankfully there are dedicated spod reels on the market designed to be far more proficient at retrieving the Spomb in with the minimum of effort. Here is a guide to some of the best spod/Spomb reels available…

Best overall spod reel

The Daiwa Emblem Spod reel needs little introduction amongst angling enthusiasts, it is regarded as one of the best and most capable reels for spodding out there. The Emblem is a real workhorse, with many anglers abusing them for years with little maintenance and the reel still performs as good as new. 

The emblem benefits from a high retrieval rate, 100cm per turn to be exact, ensuring the spomb is retrieved with minimal reeling and the oversize ABS spool allows line to peel off the reel, perfect for those long distances casters out there. The spool also includes two line clips for precise baiting on multiple spots.

The worm gear oscillation and 4 ball bearings provide the reel with fantastic cranking power whilst also increasing the longevity of the reel itself. The compact body means you’re never reaching for the line with your finger, reducing the chance of the line slipping on the cast, so you can get the maximum force behind the spod to send it out into the lake.


  • Fantastic cranking power.
  • Very durable construction.


  • The silver finished areas on the reel are prone to scratching.

Best for long range spodding

If you want a great performing, incredible looking reel then the Shimano Ultegra 14000 XTE Spod Reel could well be the reel you’ve been looking for. The reel combines high speed retrieval with a super smooth performance to allow you to endure any spodding session with minimal fatigue and effort. 

Shimano have included their HAGANE Gear and Infinity Drive gearing systems into the Ultegra, to deliver a reel that is so incredibly smooth and easy to turn, whilst also enabling a 124cm per turn retrieval rate. The ergonomic handle and CI4+ body help reduce the weight of the reel, meaning it will balance any rod perfectly and won’t become a burden to hold as nothing reduces enthusiasm for spodding like a heavy setup. 

The Ultegra is a big casters dream and is what this reel is primarily designed for. The Super Slow 5 Oscillation and long, shallow spool providing perfect line lay onto the reel. These two factors combined massively reduce friction when the line is leaving the spool, allowing for maximum distances to be achieved, even if you aren’t the best casting angler, these will help add distance to your cast.


  • Three line clips.
  • Superior casting performance.


  • Spool might be a little shallow if you aren't using braid.

Best for beginners

If you're looking for a budget spod reel you would be hard pushed to find a better example than the Wychwood Dispatch 7500 Spod reel. Not only do you get a great reel for under £50 but the reel also comes fully loaded with 200m of 30lb braid so you can take the reel fishing straight away.

The reel will wind 100cm of line with each turn of the handle, thanks to its 4:3:1 gear ratio, to make winding in the spod so much more efficient when fishing at range. The Dispatch is very smooth and the handle is nice and compact, which we liked. A really superb reel for those who want a durable reel to get bait out into the lake without breaking the bank.


  • 100cm line retrieval per handle turn.
  • Fully loaded with 30lb braid.


  • Line clip could be better.

Best for retrieval rate

The dedicated Avid XR Pro Spod Reel is one of the fastest spod reels on the market, retrieving a staggering 138cm of one with every turn of the handle. The reel itself is slightly more compact than some others out there which will suit you perfectly if you aren’t a fan of a larger reel and the body is also really robust so it will take a beating. 

The Graphite spool helps reduce the weight of the reel and has been designed to perfectly hold 300m of Avid’s 0.23mm spod braid, whilst it will take any braid this just saves the hassle of knowing how much or what braid to buy! The spool also comes with a little rubberised section to tuck the braid under when spooling to prevent any knots affecting the line lay, a nice addition. 

As you would expect, the reel comes with a super slow oscillation to provide beautiful line lay to aid your casting, whilst helping to prevent a lot of the issues you can get with knots when using braid. Two line clips allow multiple spots to be accurately marked and the and the premium line roller prevents any twist occurring in the line itself.


  • Great all-round spod reel.
  • 138cm retrieval rate.


  • Line clips could be slightly better.

Best value spod reel

The Okuma Big Bomber 8000 Spod Reel is a no nonsense, hardwearing, powerhouse of a spod reel so if you want durability at a great price this is well worth a look. Spod reels take a battering and not everyone wants to spend a fortune on one and this is where this example from Okuma excels.

The Worm Shaft Transmission System increases the reels cranking power capabilities and when combined with the balanced rotor system, you get a reel that performs way above its price bracket. The Graphite body construction helps reduce the weight to minimise fatigue during use and increases its ability to withstand being dropped and scraped on the floor.

A hard metal handle, machine cut aluminium spool and anodized bail arm give the reel and solid feel and you just know it will stand up to any beating that it will receive for years to come. The reel is very ergonomic and easy to hold, with a finger rest to allow for a secure grip. Two line clips and a fast drag system allow for hassle free marker work too so you can use the reel for both disciplines if you want to.


  • Very durable reel.
  • Built for the rigours of spodding.


  • Not the best for really long-range casting.

Best mid-range spod reel

Whilst Penn are more associated with sea and lure fishing, their Affinity lll Longcast Spod is a fantastic option for those looking for a dedicated spod reel. With years of experience building reels with the power of taming huge fish like marlin, you would expect their reel to be able to wind in a spod and it does so effortlessly. 

The reel is built with power and durability in mind, perfect for the rigours of modern day spodding. Penn have included their CNC gearing system, which incorporates seven ball bearings to make the reel super smooth, even under loads of pressure. The retrieval rate amounts to 120cm per turn, when combined with the gearing makes for some of the most effortless winding you can achieve. 

The extra slow oscillation and shallow, conical spool create a perfect line lay which also allows the line to leave the reel in the most efficient, frictionless way possible to allow you to get the maximum distances out of your spodding. The understated matt black finish on this reel looks great, it will appeal to most anglers out there with it’s timeless look and is very good at preventing scratches and damage too.


  • Effortless winding.
  • Great for distance casting.


  • Handle knob might be a bit big depending on your preference.

Best budget spod reel

The Sonik Vader X 8000 RS, like most things Sonik, is a really quality piece of kit at an affordable price. This reel features a few updates from their previous model and the end result is a really practical spod reel. 

With a new spool design, the Vader X has a much improved line lay and the smooth lip helps reduce friction to help improve casting distances. The reel will retrieve a very credible 110cm of line per turn to keep winding to a minimum. 

The reel comes loaded with 200m of 30lb braid so you don’t even need to worry about what to put on it. Two spring loaded line clips retain the line really well, without causing any damage and the sleek black finish looks great, with the wooden handle knob adding something different for the more discerning anglers out there.


  • Comes loaded with braid.
  • Smooth performance.


  • The braid will need removing if you want to use your own.

What to look for in a spod reel

The best spod reels all have the same thing in common, they are incredibly durable and have plenty of power, with both of these factors being equally as important when choosing a reel for spodding. As we know, this method of applying bait isn’t glamorous and puts our kit under extreme abuse and as such, the reel must be able to tolerate the rigours associated with spodding or its completely useless to you.

A high retrieval rate is also essential when deciding on the best spod reel for you, the higher the rate, the more line the reel will retrieve with each turn of the handle making it much faster and far more efficient to reel in a spod. This is really important and something you will notice more when fishing at range or applying a lot of bait into the lake. The less winding you need to do, the less fatigued your arm will be, allowing you to spod far more effectively for longer.

A solid, well designed line clip is also important. As you will be spodding to the clip, it needs to be robust enough to not break but also be line friendly so no damage is caused to the line, the pressure of a fully loaded spod will find any weaknesses in your setup.


Spool: The cylinder at the front of a reel which holds the line.

Cranking Power: The ability of the reel to keep turning when under pressure, the better the cranking power the more pressure it can tolerate.

Retrieval Rate: This a term given to the amount of line a reel can retrieve per one entire revolution of the handle.

Frap up: A tangle during a cast where a ball of line catches in the guides of the rod, typically causing a crack off.

Crack off: Named after the loud cracking sound made as line breaks during a cast.

Line clip: A small clip on the spool that line can be placed under, stopping it from leaving the reel. Originally designed to stop lines from falling off in transit, they are now commonly used to repeatedly cast a set distance.

Line twist: Casting, retrieving and using the clutch adds twist to your line, which can weaken it and reduces casting distance. In extreme cases, the line will bounce off the spool and ball up as it untwists. More expensive reels incorporate various technologies to minimise line twists.

Frequently asked questions

Can you use a normal reel for spodding?

A normal reel can be used for spodding but the chance of it breaking or being really inefficient to use are high. A normal fishing reel is more designed for playing fish on so will have a better designed drag system and a lower retrieval rate. Spod reels don't really need a drag and their retrieval rates are generally much higher, coupled with this they have extremely hardwearing bodies to prevent any damage from being bashed about or knocked when in use.

What line should I put on my spod reel?

Spodding is very demanding on your gear and any weakness will be found very quickly, as such we recommend using a braided mainline with a minimum 30lb breaking strain. This will mean its not too thick to prevent you casting a long way whilst being robust enough to make sure it doesn't wear out quickly, reducing the chances of you cracking off. If you prefer to use mono or a lighter braid a shockleader is very beneficial.

Author Aidan Bordiuk is an enthusiastic angler who enjoys all fishing disciplines from match fishing to beach casting. He is currently occupying the position of Commercial Content Writer at Angling Times.

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