Best Zebco Reel – Top 5 Spincast/Closed Face Fishing Reels

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It still surprises me that the spincast or closed face reel is still a thing. The bottom line is that spin does it better. 

Spincast, while an outdated concept now, was a clever solution to backlash that was surpassed quite some decades ago with the introduction of spinning reels.

Moreover, not a great deal has been done to invigorate the spincast for the modern market relative to baicasters and spin, except for a few more bearings, and some slicker-looking aesthetics.

Now. Having completely upset everybody who has loved and cherished their spincast reels, I will say this. 

The spincast has launched the fishing passions of countless anglers, as it was the reel they caught their very first fish. 

The spincast has had a very special association with children learning to fish, as they’re so easy to use. Secondly, one should never underestimate the nostalgia attached to anglers’ first fishing experiences. 

I see many very senior, very experienced anglers casting their spincast reels at smallmouth with unbreakable grins on their face.

I guess it’s also important to mention that spincast reels are very affordable, and always accessible to the tightest of budgets.

Spincast is a thing, and it appears it will remain. 

And it’s no surprise that Zebco offers the best selection of spincast reels, as they pioneered the format 4 years following the close of world war two.

You will often see many anglers refer to all spincast as Zebco reels, regardless of the manufacturer.

Let’s check out five of the best Zebco reels, and see which one is best suited to your fishing applications.

Best Zebco Reels Reviewed For 2021

Last update on 2021-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 1. Zebco Omega Pro (Most Durable)

The Omega Pro is a popular choice, probably because it delivers predictability, reliability, and smooth operation across all key functions. 

I like it for cranking smallmouth and largemouth as its slow retrieve makes it well suited for working slower lures.

Zebco Omega Pro Spincast Fishing Reel, Size 30 Reel, Changeable Right or Left-Hand Retrieve, Pre-Spooled with 10-Pound Zebco Fishing Line, Aluminum and Double Anodized Front Cover, Black

Relative to competing spincast reels, the Zebco Omega Pro feels robust in hand – a feel that imparts confidence, particularly when wrestling heavier loads from structure.

A high bearing count of seven supports rotational function, enables a lightweight crank, and distributes load evenly over critical components.

While bearings are subject to water and dirt ingress, they still increase the working life of a reel as other components don’t have to work quite so hard, therefore wear and tear is limited.

When you consider the inclusion of brass, alloy, and ceramic components, the Pro looks as though it has the staying power required to maintain peak performance over many rigorous fishing seasons.

For those looking to spend a little bit more for a capable zebco reel that lasts, the Pro is a great option.

Pros

  • Lightweight crank
  • Solid build
  • Excellent potential for longevity
  • Strong bearing count

Cons

  • A little pricey for a spincast
  • Very slow speed which can impact versatility

Features

  • triple-cam dial-adjustable disk drag
  • All-metal gears
  • 3X Positive Pick-up™ Ceramic Pins
  • Forged aluminum and double anodized front cover
  • Durable all-metal construction
  • Instant Anti-Reverse clutch
  • Changeable right- or left-hand retrieve
  • Oscillating Quick-Change Spool
  • 7 Bearings (6 + Clutch)
  • Solid-brass pinion gear
  • Anodized aluminum spinnerhead
  • Machined aluminum covers
  • Aluminum helical-cut worm gear drive
  • Patented no-tangle design
  • Comfortable soft-touch thumb-button design

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

2. Zebco 33 Spincast (Best On A Tight Budget)

There are plenty of weekend anglers who want affordable, easy fishing. They want to share the experience with the family and pass on the joy of fishing to kids. The 33 fits the bill perfectly here. 

The accessible price point delivers a reliable and enjoyable fishing experience for all anglers from complete beginners and young hands to the seasoned pros, with a lifetime of fishing experience.

Zebco 33 Spincast Fishing Reel, Quickset Anti-Reverse with Bite Alert, Smooth Dial-Adjustable Drag, Powerful All-Metal Gears with a Lightweight Graphite Frame, Black

The 33 has cosmetic appeal also, which is rare in a bottom-end entry-level spincast reel. 

Importantly, this stylish, if understated look, is matched by a performance that is hard to criticize based on its price.

The 33 is a reliable inshore spincast reel with a long history of guiding new anglers toward a lifelong fishing passion. 

In many respects the 33 represents what fishing is all about; great outdoor fun with family and friends with reliable hunting gear that doesn’t cost the earth.

Pros

  • Value for money
  • Popular choice
  • Predictable performance
  • Great for beginners

Cons

  • At this price, none to speak of

Features

  • Built-In Bite Alert
  • MicroFine™ dial-adjustable drag
  • All-metal gears
  • Dual Ceramic Pick-up Pins
  • Stainless steel covers
  • Lightweight graphite frame
  • QuickSet™ Anti-Reverse
  • Changeable right- or left-hand retrieve
  • Ball bearing system
  • Patented no-tangle design

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

3. Zebco Bullet (Editors Top Choice)

This is the spincast I would choose to add depth to my reel arsenal. By every metric, the Bullet is far and above its stablemates in build and performance.

The two features that stand out are the bearing count and the gear ratio. For spincast, a retrieve of just short of 30 inches is pretty rare.

Zebco Bullet Spincast Fishing Reel, Size 30 Reel, Fast 29.6 Inches Per Turn, GripEm All-Weather Handle Knobs, Pre-Spooled with 10-Pound Zebco Fishing Line, Black (2017)

It adds a significant level of versatility, allowing skilled anglers to target structure in the shallows, knowing the speed is there to navigate away from lure-thieving snags. 

Good anglers will be able to use a variety of techniques, not often available to less refined spincast options.

The other standout is the bearing count of 8+1. Compared to other models, this is a festival of silky light cranking and durability. 

Few spincast reels (if any) have such a large bearing inclusion, making the Zebco Bullet a pretty rare buy.

I like the Bullet for the angler fishing a variety of inshore applications, fishing lures, and natural baits in fresh and saltwater. 

This is easily the best Zebco reel, although the price may deter a few.

Pros

  • Greta build
  • Versatility
  • Useful speed. (gear ratio)
  • Durability
  • Easy long casting
  • Stylish build

Cons

  • It’s a little pricey for a spincast. But you get what you pay for

Features

  • Dial-adjustable drag
  • High-speed, high-strength, precision-forged brass gears
  • Revolutionary ZeroFriction™ dual-bearing pick-up pin system
  • Forged aluminum and double anodized front cover
  • Durable all-metal construction
  • GripEm™ All-Weather Handle Knobs
  • Instant Anti-Reverse clutch
  • Changeable right- or left-hand retrieve
  • Oscillating Quick-Change Spool
  • 9 Bearings (8 + Clutch)
  • Solid-brass pinion gear
  • 29.6 inches per turn – Zebco’s fastest spincast ever
  • FreeFlow™ Micro 3mm line guide
  • Anodized aluminum spinnerhead
  • Patented no-tangle design
  • Comfortable soft-touch thumb-button design

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

4. Zebco 808 Saltwater Spincast (Best Medium-Duty On A Budget)

The Zebco 808 only just makes this list as it provides budget-strapped anglers access to a larger class of fish. 

While a pretty rudimentary construction, there’s enough reliability under load to wrestle good fish out of the structure.

Zebco 808 Spincast Fishing Reel, Powerful All Metal Gears, Quickset Anti-Reverse and Bite Alert, Pre-spooled with 20-Pound Cajun Fishing Line, Black

My criticism lies with the saltwater designation. I fail to see how the 808 construction delivers any more saltwater resistance than other spincast reels from the Zebco stables.

This will often present a false sense of corrosion security, prompting anglers to be less cautious about maintenance and cleaning.

You can be assured, water ingress will happen, and if it’s saltwater, left unchecked it will initiate corrosion.

Yes, It can be used in saltwater, every reel can. But I like it for medium-duty fishing in the salt and fresh. I would not purchase an 808 for dedicated salt applications.

Pros

  • Good for a medium class of fish
  • Suitable for a variety of targets
  • Easy operation
  • Another good option for beginners

Cons

  • Few saltwater credentials considering it saltwater designation

Features

  • Built-In Bite Alert
  • Dial-adjustable Magnum™ drag
  • All-metal gears
  • Dual Ceramic Pick-up Pins
  • Brushed Stainless Steel w/ABS insert
  • Oversized handle knob for ease-of-use and comfort
  • QuickSet™ Anti-Reverse
  • Changeable right- or left-hand retrieve
  • Stainless Steel Ball Bearing Drive

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

5. Zebco 888 Spincast (Best Zebco Reel For Larger Fish)

The Zebco 888 is geared particularly low for cranking a larger class of fish. Spooled with a heavier line class than you would usually spool a spincast, you have the backbone for targeting trophy bass.

The line capacity is well supported by a max drag not usually seen in spincast reels. 30 pounds of drag is a tremendous amount of fishing power. 

Zebco 808 Saltwater Spincast Fishing Reel, Stainless Steel Reel Cover with ABS Insert, Quickset Anti-Reverse and Bite Alert, Pre-spooled with 20-Pound Cajun Fishing Line, Size 80, Silver

Should a standard walleye hunt turn into the fight of a lifetime, you are armed to beat the monster.

While there are few bells and whistles to speak of, there is plenty of power, making the 888 a no-brainer choice for the big fish spincast fan.

The added benefit of its robust construction and capacity is the ability to better manage gnarly structure. 

Strapped to a medium power rod, you’re capable of landing fish you’d be happy to cast in plaster and mount on the mantle.

Pros

  • Great for big fish
  • Can hold a heavier class of line
  • Strong max drag

Cons

  • Low bearing count considering its big fish application

Features

  • Built-In Bite Alert
  • Dial-adjustable Magnum™ drag
  • All-metal gears
  • Ceramic Pick-up Pin
  • QuickSet™ Anti-Reverse
  • Changeable right- or left-hand retrieve
  • Patented no-tangle design

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

What is the Best Zebco Spincast Reel?

The best zebco reel is the reel that fits your application the most. It’s the reel you like the best. 

In this case, I find myself going with the top shelf, most expensive model, the Zebco Bullet.

The Bullet delivers the greatest versatility, and if maintained well, will last many seasons of regular deployment.

Zebco 33 vs 404 – Which is Better?

At this price point, better is not a relevant question. The 404 is very affordable. It catches fish but has limited appeal across key performance criteria.

Yes, it’s cheap. Very cheap, but there ends the benefits. 

The 33 is the bottom line of entry-level. A much better choice if you are half serious about fishing.

What is the Best Zebco Spincast Reel for Kids

Choosing reels for kids is best determined by age, fine motor skills, and maturity. It’s not a one-size-fits-all.

Every reel on this list is great for kids. For 6 and under, if your budget is tight, you might want to consider limiting expenditure, they have a habit of being tough on reels.

However, reels with better function and performance are easier to use, and better tools on which to hone fishing skills.

From this list, I like the 33. If money grew on trees, I’d simply get the Omega. It’s a great reel to learn with.

Verdict – Are Zebco Reels Any Good?

From the list above, I like the Bullet and the Pro. 

Zebco spincast reels are hardly sophisticated, high-performance fishing reels, so I’m more inclined to go for the reels that offer all the bells and whistles. 

For those who like using spincast, I have no doubt you will find the Bullet and the Pro very satisfying additions to your reel arsenal. 

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