Hey friends, I’ve found that the best Zebco reels in 2023 for bass, crappie, and trout will last long and are also great on a budget. You have some great options between the Zepco 33, Omega Pro, 404, 888, and other spincast and opencast models, and here I’ll detail each reel and their benefits and challenges.
I’ve found that utilizing the best equipment can significantly influence the number of fish you catch. Poor quality gear will likely result in frustration, and when you have spent prolonged periods trying to catch them, you don’t want to find yourself in this situation.
As a brand, Zebco produces reliable, easy-to-use gear equipped with all the features required by new and advanced anglers alike. Zebco may be known for its push-button spincast equipment, but they make all kinds of fishing reels for anglers. From versatile spinning reels in various sizes to heavy-duty conventional baitcast reels for serious catfish hunters.
I’ve found that they never stop looking for ways to make fishing more accessible and more fun. For these reasons and more, you can be sure that a Zebco reel is more than likely to cater to all of your fishing needs. We have browsed the market to source our top five picks of the best Zebco reels available.
Key Highlights of Zebco Fishing Spincast, Spinning, and Baitcast Reels
Quality and Warranty
- Zebco provides excellent quality products backed by a sound warranty.
- Items purchased from Zebco directly may be returned within 30 days for a refund or exchange, providing the products are in new, unused condition and in the original packaging.
- The reels are well made, featuring stainless steel covers, a lightweight graphite frame, stainless steel ball bearings, and excellent line capacity.
- All models are available in right hand and left hand arrangements.
- Zebco’s spincast reels are the most user-friendly, tangle-free fishing reels, ideal for beginners. The Omega Pro, a closed face reel, is probably the best spincast reel, and Zebco invented the push-button reel design for long casts with minimal skill.
- Experienced anglers also use the spincast as a durable, all-around reel.
- Zebco’s hybrid design Triggerspin reels combine the trouble-free use of spincast with the balanced feel of spinning.
- The 33 Micro triggerspin reel, for example, was invented for easy casting and is an excellent alternative to spinning reels (see more high-quality, inexpensive spinning reels here) for beginners.
- Zebco’s spinning reels, also called “open face,” are suitable for intermediate to advanced anglers.
- Their fixed spool allows the line to flow freely on the cast and is great for light lures.
- Their spinning reels are often the best choice as they have a well-balanced feel because the reel hangs below the rod and requires a little practice to cast accurately.
- It’s challenging to find a Zebco baitcasting reel in 2023 (see other great, inexpensive baitcasters here), but they are among the most advanced fishing reels and are best for experienced anglers.
- The spool rotates as the line is released but is prone to backlash (line tangles), requiring the angler to control the line feeding out with their thumb.
- Though somewhat hard to master, they offer the best casting accuracy and distance and offer fast and powerful retrieve in a relatively small package
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
The Zebco Omega Pro Spincast Fishing Reel (see the difference between the Bullet and Omega Pro here) is an excellent all-around contender. Not only is it durably constructed, but it also has an impressive range of features so you can get the most out of your fishing experience.
Sleekly designed, this closed cast fishing reel (for more options, check out the differences between the Zebco 808 and 888 reels) is pre-spooled with 10 pounds of Zebco fishing line, so you are ready to go. Featuring seven ball bearings, you can enjoy smooth retrieval and casting operation. The all-metal gears ensure that this reel can withstand the fight of tougher fish while remaining intact for future use.
It also features an anti-reverse mechanism that will keep the line secure and prevent it from traveling backward once it has been cast. Impressively, this reel has a mono capacity of 85/10 and can catch heavier species such as bass and catfish. The no-tangle design ensures that you can cast the line without getting caught or tangled in the process.
- Changeable handle – the positioning of the handle can be altered to suit different hand orientations.
- Ease of use – the design of this reel is easy to use, and it is an ideal choice for beginners.
- Warranty – this reel is covered by a one-year warranty which protects you against any defects.
- Durability – Constructed from aluminum, this is a durable reel that will endure frequent and intense use.
- Weight – Some customers have commented that this reel is heavier than anticipated, which may be challenging to handle during prolonged trips.
For anglers on a budget, the Zebco 33 Spincast Fishing reel provides a viable option. Not only is it super affordable, but it is also reliable and an impressive performer too. For these reasons, it is commonly sought after by beginners and advanced anglers alike. The 4:1:1 gear ratio allows for fast operation, and the quickset anti-reverse feature allows you to stop the line from retracting backward once it has been cast.
Besides this, it also has a relatively fast retrieval rate, so you aren’t going to miss your next catch. Thanks to the dial-adjustable drag, this unit is easy to use and can be altered to accommodate your fishing needs. This is a lightweight reel enclosed in a tough graphite frame, and the stainless steel covering protects the components from damage. It is also easy to use and is likely to be appreciated by anglers who require the use of this reel over prolonged periods.
- Affordability – This reel retails within an affordable price range, making it an ideal option for those on a budget.
- Bite Alert – this feature will inform you when your target has bitten onto the bait so that you can respond accordingly.
- Changeable Handle – The handle of this reel can be positioned on either the right or left so you can select the best angle for your needs.
- Smooth operation – this reel can be cast and retrieved smoothly.
- The size – this is smaller, and it may not cater to the requirements of all anglers who prefer a more substantially built model.
Another affordable option is the Zebco Rhino Spincast Fishing Reel. There are two sizes to choose from, and because of this, you can select the best option for your fishing requirements.
The size 30 reel comes with 12 LBs of pre-spooled Zebco line, so you can begin using it without having to prepare it with the line beforehand. The drag of the reel can easily be adjusted using the roller. It also features a stainless steel cover that will be tough against possible damage and protect the internal components as this is a closed frame reel. This reel is intended for light to medium use and can catch panfish, trout, bass, and walleye. Aside from this, the three-bearing drive system will withstand contact with a range of fish and fishing situations.
- Anti-reverse feature – this will prevent the line from traveling backward or in a different direction.
- Size availability – there are two sizes to choose from, so you can select the best-suited option for your fishing needs.
- Changeable Handle – you can position the handle on the right or left side of the reel depending on your hand orientation.
- The handle – the handle is coated in a rubber gripped material allowing users to maintain a secure grip as they fish.
- The quality – some customers have reported that the drag moves out of place, so the quality of the components could be improved.
The Zebco 808 Bowfisher Spincast Fishing Reel has been specifically designed for catching trophy-sized fish.
Unlike most units, this one features bushings rather than ball bearings, and although this may not provide the same smooth retrieval, they are considered more robust. Impressively, this reel features a magnum drag system that provides plenty of power, and this is going to come in particularly handy when targeting larger species. The quick-set anti-reverse function positions the line steady while preventing it from retracting away from your catch. Like most competitor offerings, this reel is available in multiple sizes so that you can select the best option suited to your fishing requirements. It also comes pre-spooled with a braided fishing line (learn the differences between fishing lines here) which saves you from having to prepare the reel beforehand.
- Lightweight – as a lightweight reel, it is comfortable to hold and ideal for lengthy fishing trips.
- Affordable – this reel retails within an affordable price range and is an excellent choice for those on a budget.
- Durable – this reel has been composed of a combination of high-quality materials, so it isn’t going to become damaged easily.
- Heavy-duty – as a heavy-duty reel, it is an ideal choice for catching larger species of fish.
- The line quality – it comes with a pre-spooled line; however, many customers have reported that the quality could be improved.
This reel is available in a spinning or spincast option, so you can select the style that caters to your fishing requirements. The design makes it easy to use, and it is ideal for beginner and advanced anglers. Featuring three internal bearings, you can enjoy smooth casting and retrieval, and the line can be cast to a further distance. It will also refrain from tangling upon retrieval. The soft-touch handle makes it more comfortable to use, and this is particularly important for those who are going to be embarking on a lengthy fishing trip. It is easy to use as the drag can be adjusted using the dial, allowing you to alter the reel to accommodate different species.
- The quickset anti-reverse function – prevents the line from moving backward once it has been cast.
- Handle options – a changeable handle can be altered and positioned at either the right or the left.
- All metal gears – the gears are enclosed in a metal housing and protected against damage.
- Affordability – retailing at an affordable price, this reel is a great choice for those seeking value for money.
- Quality – Some components are prone to deteriorate after a few uses, and it may be the case that the price is reflected in the quality.
How to Choose the Best Zebco Reel For You
You will need to consider several factors before selecting your Zebco reel. The brand doesn’t solely focus on one particular reel type but a range of reels. Because of this, it is essential to determine the environment you will be fishing in and the species you will be targeting.
The most common options include spincast reels or spinning reels. For beginners, particularly, spincast reels tend to be the most practical option because they adopt an easy-to-use design. However, spinning reels are best suited to more advanced anglers familiar with their function. Unlike spincast reels, they have an open interface and tend to be available in various sizes. It is also essential to consider the reel’s gear ratio, identified in a set of numbers.
A higher number means that the line is going to be retrieved quicker. The gear ratio required will depend on the fish you will be catching. It is also essential to consider the material construction and the reel’s durability. A reel that is going to be used in saltwater must be made from corrosion-resistant materials due to the corrosiveness of the environment.
It is also important to consider how often the reel will be used to determine its duration. Freshwater isn’t as corrosive as saltwater; however, your reel should still be sturdily constructed, regardless of the environment in which it will be used.
Zebco Fishing Reel FAQs
Below are common questions regarding Zebco reels, the warranty, and troubleshooting actions.
Which Zebco fishing reel is the best for me?
For Beginning Anglers
For beginners, we consider the Zebco 33 among the very best to learn how to fish and have fun. It’s the most user-friendly, tangle-free fishing reel, with a push-button design for long casts with minimal skill. You’ll find it to be a very durable, well-equipped reel to catch many different species of fish.
For Intermediate Anglers
For intermediate anglers, we’d recommend Zebco’s line of open face reels because the fixed spool allows the line to flow freely on the cast and it’s great for light lures. The Zebco SPYN or ROAM spincasting reel provides a nice, balanced feel because the reel hangs below the rod.
For Advanced Anglers
For more advanced fishermen, we’d consider the Zebco Omega Pro Spincast Reel one of the best options available. The addition of 7 ball bearings allows for smooth casting and retrieval, and the durable all-metal construction ensures that it will see you through many uses in the future. The rugged construction also ensures that this reel can endure the fight against more challenging and larger fish species while resisting potential damage. This isn’t to say that the other units aren’t worth your purchase because they remain strong contenders.
It is crucial to select the reel you consider best suited to your fishing style and experience. While some are ideal options for beginners due to the simplicity in how they function, others are more advanced and best suited to more experienced anglers.
Are Zebco reels any good?
Reels produced by Zeboc are deemed to have favorable features such as a decent drag system and reasonable retrieval speed.
Overall, Zebco reels are praised for their quality and performance.
How do I change the line in my Zebco spincast reel?
Step 1: Remove the front cover by firmly rotating counterclockwise.
Step 2: Pull the old line off the reel and thread the new line through the front cover.
Step 3: Tie an arbor knot around the spool arbor and pull tight and reattach the front cover.
Step 4: Put tension on the line between your thumb and forefinger and slowly wind on the line by pulling it off the filler spool.
Step 5: Periodically remove the front cover to see how much line has been spooled until the line is approximately 1/8″ below the top of the spool.
How do I remove the spinnerhead on my Zebco spincast reel?
Step 1: Remove the front cover by turning counterclockwise while holding the handle from turning.
Step 2: Continue holding the handle and turn the spinnerhead counterclockwise until it is completely unthreaded and removed to allow access to the spool area for cleaning or maintenance.
Step 3: Reattach by threading the spinnerhead back on and then aligning the front cover and twist clockwise to secure.
How do I remove the Zebco 33 reel back cover?
Step 1: To remove the back cover on a new 33®, 33® Max, or 33® Micro, insert a small screwdriver in the gap between the back cover and the top of the thumb bar and gently pry up.
Step 2: The back cover will pop off.
Step 3: To reattach, align the top of the front cover in the body groove and snap the bottom of the cover onto the tab on the body by applying a steady inward force.
How do I stop backlash when casting?
Learning to avoid backlash is very important, especially for beginners. Learn more about possible causes and solutions below.
Possible Backlash Cause: Spool tension knob not adjusted properly.
Solution: Hold the rod at a 45° angle and depress the spool release button/bar. Adjust the spool tension knob to the point where the lure is descending very slowly (almost to the point of stopping). This adjustment should be performed each time a lure is changed. Also, see setting the correct cast control for instructions.
Possible Backlash Cause: Magnetic cast control is not adjusted properly.
Solution: Increase the magnetic cast control to maximum and adjust downward after a few casts until the desired spool braking is obtained.
Possible Backlash Cause: Centrifugal cast control is not adjusted properly.
Solution: Remove the spool and “turn on” all of the brake weights. Then turn one at a time to the off position until the desired spool braking is obtained.