The following selection of the nine best reel brands is partly based on my own experiences as an angler and partly on the experiences and personal views of thousands of other anglers, whom I have asked for their opinions through several online surveys.
Shimano and Okuma are two popular and well-established names in the world of fishing tackle. While Shimano has pretty much always enjoyed a high status …
While both Shimano and Abu Garcia are trendy gear choices for anglers, most consider Shimano the better reel brand. Many of their reel series are smaller and more lightweight and offer more value for the price than most Abu Garcia reel models.
Both Shimano and Daiwa are top-of-the-line reel brands and very similar in terms of quality, material, and practicality. Shimano edges out Daiwa if shove comes to push, but both are solid choices and better than most other reel brands out there.
Daiwa still produces a limited number of their fishing reels in their Tokyo facilities in Japan. These include high-end reel models such as the Certate and Steez. Most other Daiwa reels are manufactured in various Asian countries.
Today, most of Abu Garcia’s reel models are made in Asia. However, the C3 and C4 4000-6000 series of their classic round baitcaster reel, the Ambassadeur, are still manufactured in the original Abu Garcia factory in the Swedish city of Svangsta.