Pflueger President 20 vs 25 – What Are The Main Differences? Reviewed

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The question of small increments between reel sizes is an interesting one and well worth exploring. Why should you select a 20 over a 25 or a 4000 over a 4500?

Frequently there is very little to separate a 20 and 25, a 3000 or 3500 in a reel series. 

Often, the only difference is spool capacity, with every other critical component identical.

If you’re deciding between a 20 vs a 25, why would you choose lower capacities when the reels are more than likely the same price?

I’d like to be able to say there’s a definitive answer for this, but there isn’t. 

Splitting hairs over such slight differences in reel capacities is refining reel selection to a point that is probably not necessary.

Nonetheless, these small increments between reels are phenomenally popular with manufacturers.

Let’s explore the Pflueger President 20 and 25. There are reasonable differences between the two, but I still can’t work out why you would buy the 20 when the 25 is a more capable reel.

Pflueger President 20 vs 25 – What Are The Main Differences?

ModelMonoBraidDragBearingsRatioRecoveryWeight
20200/2 100/4 80/6180/4 125/6 100/86lb | 2.7kg75.2:120.2″ | 51cm6.2 oz
25220/2 110/4 90/6200/4 140/6 110/88lb | 3.6kg105.2:122.4″ | 57cm7.5 oz

Last update on 2021-10-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Differences Between The Pflueger President 20 and 25 – Reviewed

The table above shows the subtle differences between the two reel sizes. As you can see at a glance the most significant difference is probably the bearing count. 

In most circumstances, the bearing count is the same in every reel in a series. Let’s look at the differences in a little more detail.

Line Capacity

At the top line rating, there is only 10 yards capacity between the 20 and 25. The 25 has roughly 10% more line capacity than the 20.

I can’t for the life of me think of any necessity at all to deliberate 10 yards of line capacity. 

It’s by and large irrelevant.

If you’re in a battle to the point where you have only 10 yards of line left on your spool, you’re about to lose the fight.

In the mid and lower braid and mono capacities, there is a little more difference, with the low providing an extra 20 yards, and the mid and extra 30.

These are a little more substantial, however, in 40 years of fishing, I don’t think I’ve ever got to a point where this amount of line has any significance.

Weight

With the modern push to make reels as small and as light as possible, a weight difference might be a consideration for many.

With the 25 being 1.3 ounces heavier, those looking for the perfect balance with a particular rod may well go for the lighter reel.

This is the only circumstance where I see a genuine technical reason for selecting one reel over the other.

Pflueger President Spinning Fishing Reel

Creating a perfectly balanced outfit is a worthy pursuit that has casting benefits, particularly for anglers casting lighter baits.

For most of us, however, it is difficult to feel a 1.3-ounce difference between reels. 

While more noticeable in smaller reels like this, an extra 1.3 ounces in weight won’t be a deal-breaker for somebody looking for a light reel.

Reel Price Difference

Depending on where you purchase a President, the price difference is around 10 dollars. 

For many of us, 10 dollars is a genuine consideration, but for a lot of anglers, an extra 10 bucks in a reel purchase means very little.

When you’re splitting hairs about 10 yards of line capacity or 2 pounds of max drag, is 10 dollars going to be the clincher?

If you don’t require the extra capacities available in the 25, maybe the 20 is a better option. 

The 10 bucks you save can get you a decent lure or some terminal tackle.

Drag Power

There are 2 pounds of difference between the 20 and 25. With max drags of 6 and 8 pounds respectively, 2 pounds is pretty significant in percentage terms. 

However, in practice, is 2 pounds of pressure going to make a significant difference to the fight?

I can’t answer this question. There is no way I could do a controlled study to glean any useful metrics. 

On paper, it would seem obvious that 2 extra pounds give you that tiny edge in a desperate fight. But does this difference translate in practical terms?

I’d be curious to find out how many anglers have had a fish fight where they could definitely say that an extra 2 pounds of drag made the difference between getting the fish to the boat.

If lightweight was a priority, then there’s no reason to compromise these criteria for the sake of 2 extra pounds of max drag

Ball Bearings

Both reels have quite a lightweight crank, and both have a dedicated anti-reverse bearing. Out of the box, the reels feel smooth and balanced. 

You’ve got pretty sensitive hands if you can feel any difference between the two. The 20 has 6+1, the 25 has 9+1.

While the reels feel very similar in turns of crank, the 3 extra (or less) bearings don’t really make a big difference.

However, one of the most notable features of a big bearing count is its role in reducing friction and therefore wear. 

Bearings also restrict flex, twist, and other unwanted movements which provide performance benefits, particularly when the reel is under load.

I’m always inclined toward the larger bearing count. 

Again, however, if the lightest weight possible was my goal, I’d probably not compromise this pursuit for 3 extra bearings.

Gear Ratio

I might be wrong, but I feel it would be rare to see gear ratio differences between these half increment reel sizes, and the President 20 and 25 have the same gear ratios at 5.2. 

Line uptake is different, but the cranking power and speed are the same.

I think this is an ideal ratio for reels of this size. For anybody fond of throwing cranks about, you’ll know that a 5.2 gear ratio is just about perfect. 

You’ll also find that it’s not too slow for flipping and pitching at banks, and over structure, where a spirited retrieve is necessary.

With the smallest of spinning reels, such as the 20 and 25 Pflueger, cranking power is more important than speed.

Retrieve Rate

The 25 will pick up an extra 2.2 inches of line per crank. Over a mile, the 25 will bring your lure home much faster than the 20, however, that’s an extreme example. 

Both of these reels will be fished at close quarters, so any speed benefit is negligible to non-existent, and certainly nothing that couldn’t be made up by cranking the 20 a little faster.

What is the President 20 Good For?

The Pflueger president 20 is ideal for casting small lures and small natural baits in fresh ponds, streams, rivers, and lakes. 

It’s also ideal for the same sorts of techniques in saltwater rivers and estuaries. Ideal for finesse work, you’ll be chasing a smaller class of fish.

What is the President 25 Good For?

The 25 should be deployed for the exact same applications as the 20. The only difference is that you have slightly more capacity where it counts. 

In my opinion, this extra backup in max drag, line capacity, and bearings are marginal at best.

Pflueger PRESSP25X President Spinning Fishing Reel
  • 10 bearing System - corrosion resistant stainless steel ball bearings
  • Graphite body and rotor - lightweight graphite reel construction.Braid ready spool - allows Braid to be tied directly to spool
  • Sealed Drag System - Sealed drag washers, always lubricated, always smooth.Slow oscillation gearing - improves line lay and minimizes line twist
  • The “B” at the end of the model number represents the type of packaging (B= Claim, X= Box) and does not affect any of the specifications of the product.

Last update on 2021-11-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Verdict

If I had to choose between the two reels, I’d go for the 25 owing to its extra bearing count. 

1.2 ounces of weight makes absolutely no difference to me, and the 3 extra bearings may well deliver a longer-lasting reel and better performance under extreme loads.

Others will feel differently. I’m sure there are many anglers who are very focused on weight and the perfect balance. 

If this is you, yes, the 20 is the best option, as a perfectly balanced outfit has far more benefit than the tiny bit of extra grunt offered by the 25.

By and large, weight and bearing count are the defining features of the two reels. 

While there are other differences, their impact on performance is negligible.

As an experienced angler of 40 plus years, I’m still to get my head around why manufacturers do this. 

Perhaps it’s so the manufacturer can maintain more shelf presence at less cost – but that’s a little cynical.

Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt, and suggest it’s because manufacturers are providing us with the opportunity to refine our rigs to the nearest gram and the nearest dollar.

If I’m honest, however, it more often than not just creates confusion

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