Fishing for perch is a lot of fun! I have been fishing for this little predator for over 20 years now and can tell you that, with the right type and size of reel, you will enjoy your perch fishing even more. To help you find the perfect gear, I’ve decided to write this helpful guide on the best reels for perch.
When spinning, jigging, or drop-shotting for perch, a size 1000 to 2000 spinning reel is your absolute best pick. For perch fishing with live bait on the float or bottom, you should instead use a size 2500 to 3000 spinning reel.
Find out why it can be a good idea to use different reel sizes for different perch fishing tactics and what the best reels out there are by continuing to read this article.
SHORT SUMMARY: Today, I will review four different reel models for fishing for perch with lures and live baits. You can find all of these reels on Amazon if you want to take a closer look. They include the Daiwa Ninja LT 1000, the Okuma Ceymar C-20, the Penn Fierce III 3000, and the Pflueger President 30.
Best Lure Fishing Reels for Perch
Top Pick (Lure Fishing): Daiwa Ninja LT 1000
The Daiwa Ninja is one of my favorite predator reels; I use these small, compact beauties for both my pike and perch fishing and they’re just awesome gear for the money!
The range’s smallest model is a lightweight size 1000 reel that is just perfect for jigging and drop-shotting for perch.
Given that you have to hold your rod&reel during your entire trip, you want to make sure that your gear is as light as possible.
Well, the Daiwa Ninja LT 1000 is a true featherweight, as it weighs a mere 7.4oz.
At the same time, it has a really surprising line capacity, thanks to its smart compact body/large spool design. This means that you can use it for longer distances as well. For such a small reel size, this is a truly unique feature, if you ask me!
Here are some more pros and features of this awesome little reel:
- LT (Light & Tough) design: manages even bigger, angry predators (in case you hook up to the occasional pike)
- 4 ball bearings
- ABS aluminum long cast spool
- Twist buster line roller (casts and retrieves super smoothly)
- Line capacity: 12lb/164 yards (mono) / 10lb/218 yards (braid) (yes, that’s right! More than 200 yards on a size 1000 reel! Pretty cool!)
- Line retrieval: 25 inches
- Maximum drag force: 11lb
- Super storng ATD drag system
Only one con when it comes to this reel:
- It does have a fairly limited line capacity for higher pound tests, which means that you are limited to a lower line diameter, which, however, works perfectly fine if you’re out for perch.
All in all, the perfect perch reel for your ultralight and light spin fishing adventures! It’ll be hard to find a reel in the same price range that offers better quality or more features.
Runner-Up (Lure Fishing): Okuma Ceymar C-20
Okuma stands for top-notch quality and beautiful design. The Ceymar reel range is a perfect example of that. Not only is it a great pick for lure fishing, but it also looks really cool. A modern spin fishing reel that has a lot to offer!
I chose to review the size 2000 model (C-20) because of the somewhat limited line capacity of their size 1000 (C-10).
The C-20 has a line capacity of 6lb/110 yards for mono and 15lb/170 yards for braid. This allows you to cast longer distances without any problem.
The somewhat bigger size means that it is the perfect pick for perch fishing with larger lures such as:
- Inline spinners
Since it’s made of aluminum, it’s yet another really light reel (9.2oz) that you will barely notice when fishing.
I think that weight is one of the most important aspects of spinning reels. When I head out, I usually do half or whole-day trips, which means that I do a lot of casting.
Heavy gear will fatigue your arm way too quickly and can hence affect your fishing experience negatively. That’s not the point of fishing, in my opinion.
So, it’s really important to use as light gear as possible, without sacrificing strength and action. The Okuma Ceymar has got you covered here!
More pros and features:
- Corrosion-resistant body (will last you for many years)
- Super smooth casting and retrieving
- Can be fished with both left and right hand
- Oversized line roller for optimal performance
- Super light reel that won’t overpower the fish
- Has, at the same time, immense power in it
- Can handle bigger predators with ease
PRO TIP: The Okuma Ceymar C-10 is, by the way, really awesome for ice fishing perch and other panfish!
- The Okuma Ceymar is a relatively small reel model, which definitely takes some getting used to. I’d say the C-20 equals a conventional size 1000 reel. However, it runs super smoothly and has a lot of power to it. After a couple of casts, you won’t even notice the difference!
A really powerful reel that combines great design with amazing lure retrieval action.
Best Live Bait Fishing Reels for Perch
Top Pick (Live Bait Fishing): Penn Fierce III 3000
Now, we leave the lure fishing gear and move on to the best perch reels for fishing with live baits. When using live bait on the float/bobber or on a bottom rig, you will want to fish with a size 3000 reel.
This is partly because your tackle and the bait that is attached to it will weigh more than a little jig or lure, which demands a bigger and more powerful reel.
The other reason is distance! You both want to be able to cast out your live bait rig very far and, if you’re using baitfish, allow it to swim around in the water.
From personal experience, I can also tell you that live baits often produce bigger perch and it’s just so much easier to battle a perch jumbo that’s perhaps 80 or more yards out and decides to dive into thick weed with a reel that is up for that job.
The Penn Fierce III is such a reel. As always with Daiwa, it’s quality and strength through and through, and no matter how big and strong that perch on the other end of your line is, that reel will bring it every time!
It has a line capacity of 10lb/165 yards for mono and 15lb/250 yards for braid, which is more than enough for long-distance perch fishing in lakes or rivers.
Here are some more pros and features of the Penn Fierce III:
- 4+1 stainless steel ball bearings for super smooth retrieves
- Heavy-duty aluminum bail wire and superline spool for the best line management
- Full metal body and side plate (extremely durable)
- Weight: 11.8oz
- Gear ratio: 6.2:1
- A little pricier than other reels, but well worth the money. And if you treat it right, this reel will last you forever (which then again saves you quite a lot of money).
A super powerful and high-quality reel for big perch fishing with live bait. You will love fighting fish with this reel!
Runner-Up (Live Bait Fishing): Pflueger President 30
The Pflueger President 30 is a great pick if you have a limited budget. It’s a very popular model that has most of the features necessary to succeed on your perch fishing trip.
Thanks to its many ball bearings, it ensures a very smooth retrieve, even when using heavier bottom weights or float/bobber rigs.
It’s got a somewhat lower line capacity than the Penn Fierce, which is something to keep in mind. Its line capacity is 8lb/130 yards for mono and 10lb/160 yards for braid.
More pros and features:
- 10 corrosion-resistant stainless steel ball bearings
- 100% sealed drag system
- Slow oscillation gearing (minimizes risk for line twists and improves line lay)
- Weight: 11.1oz
- Gear ratio: 5.2:1
- Not as durable as the Penn Fierce III, grinding gears can appear after a few years of usage. Nothing that can’t be repaired though.
- With its 11.1oz, it’s a little on the heavy side.
A solid pick for perch fishing if you can’t, or don’t want to invest too much money. It offers quality design and material and can land you a ton of big fish. Definitely a very good reel in this price range.
What Line is Best for Perch Fishing?
If you use monofilament line, a 6 to 10lb test is generally the right line strength for perch. I try to avoid anything above 10lb, as mono has a thicker diameter than braid and is hence more visible underwater.
It’s not the end of the world, but I’ve found that a mainline that is too thick can have a negative impact on my catch rate. Especially in clear water conditions, perch can be fairly line-shy, especially the jumbos!
If you are fishing with braid, an 8 to 15lb test is the perfect diameter when it comes to perch. The braid’s diameter at such a low pound test is extremely thin, which means that your mainline becomes almost invisible.
Make sure to stick to a 12lb test (or possibly even a 15lb test) if you’re spinning or drop-shotting over heavy cover or near some really nasty snags. It might save your lure!