Pflueger President Spinning Reel Review

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The Pflueger President series has been a very popular entry-level spinning reel for well over a decade.

There are two variants to the standard President, the Pflueger Lady President, and the President XT. 

All three models are firmly focused on general inshore fishing, both land-based and afloat. 

We’ll focus today on reviewing the Pflueger President spinning reel. It’s the most affordable of the President line yet still offers the budget-driven angler a great fishing experience.

Pflueger President Spinning Reel Review

The Pflueger President series is aimed at the budget-conscious angler looking for an inshore option that has some of the feel of more expensive spinning reels.

This is a very competitive price point in the spinning reel market, but the President definitely holds its own.

I like the Pflueger President for the weekend angler looking for more than a bare-bones entry-level kit. 

The look and feel certainly deliver in that regard. However, the compromise is likely to be longevity.

If you are using it regularly in saltwater but not giving it adequate maintenance, the reel will not operate at peak productivity over many seasons.

It’s still possible to extend the life of the President in saltwater with diligent care. However, there are better reel choices for saltwater if you shop around.

In freshwater, it will certainly last longer. With the 2500 and 3000 making cool bass weapons.

Keep it out of sandy slurry and above the waterline, and you’re bound to extend its working life.

Casting manners are acceptable, and the spool is braid ready. So, the lure fan and their relentless casting habits are catered for.

It’s not a big fish reel, nor does it pretend to be. But catching a feed for the family, light sports work, and general inshore fishing is well suited to the President’s capabilities.

The President will provide a cool fishing experience for family fisher folk. It will also suit the angler wanting a touch more feel, for an inexpensive price.

However, in my opinion, its faster sibling, the XT, offers better versatility and endurance for not much more money.

Features of the Pflueger President

Let’s have a closer look at some of the key features of the President. For those new to the Pflueger President, you might find one or two of the inclusions quite surprising.

The Look

The President is a stylish-looking spinning reel with aesthetics based on classic lines. 

The spool sports the obligatory porting of a modern spool design, with a chunky bail adding a touch of robustness to the fine lines.

Series Sizes and Applications

There are five models available, a 20, 25, 30, 35 and a 40. Your selection will be determined by the location you fish and your target. 

The 20 through to 30 cover the lion’s share of inshore applications, where the 35 and 40 add some general-purpose capacity for light surf work and a little larger class of fish.

Fish it in the fresh or the saltwater. However, owners should be aware a good maintenance routine will be required should you frequent the saltwater.

I like the 25 for sports bass fishing and the 40 for casting metal slices at bluefish from the beach or break walls.

10 Bearings and a Light Crank

The stand-out feature is the belly full of stainless bearings. There are 10 bearings in total, with the 20 sporting 7.

Indeed, this is an impressive number for such an affordable spinning reel. The crank is light and smooth, as you might expect with so much bearing support. 

There is limited movement in the handle and spool out of the box, and no more than you would expect at this price point.

While I can’t speak for the Pflueger President’s longevity, one has to assume that bearings and gears are not sourced from the top shelf. 

At this low price point, compromise has been made somewhere to allow for such a huge bearing count.

Weight and Strength

The synthetic body and rotor keep the weight down while adding some external corrosion protection. 

Used within its limits, the reel is strong enough. However, push it too far, and you will get some flexing and bending that will likely compromise internals.

Spool and Drag Capacities

The Pflueger President will provide great performance for a variety of fishing situations, with its spool and drag capacities more than adequate.

I’d be spooling with braid to get the most out of my spool, and the spool is braid ready. 

The 40 has 200 yards of 20-pound braid to work with. With 14 pounds of drag, you’ll be able to handle a drum or stripe of a size you never imagined.


Fortunately, we’re starting to see more spinning reels at this price point with some basic sealing. 

The Pflueger President has a sealed drag which I believe is a must for any reel with an oil felt drag system.

It’s a reel you should keep dry, however. Water ingress is likely, and it will hasten the appearance of gremlins, if not maintained and cleaned after each session.

Speed and Gearing

All reels in the series are geared at 5.2. While on the upper end of slow, they’re still a little slow for my liking. 

Few anglers in this market will be concerned about this. Nonetheless, the reel would benefit from a more versatile speed.

Pflueger PRESSP20X President Spinning Fishing Reel, 100/4
  • 7 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 2021-04-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pflueger President Features at a Glance

  • 10 bearing system
  • 20 size reel is a 7 ball bearing system
  • Graphite body and rotor
  • Braid ready spool
  • Sealed drag system
  • Slow oscillation gearing
  • Aluminum handle
  • Soft-touch knob
  • Aluminum bail

A Few Alternatives To Consider

Some shrewd shopping and a few more dollars can put you in the Daiwa BG region. In my opinion, I think there’s great value in saving the extra bucks to get a BG.

The Daiwa BG is leading the way in entry-level fishing. Yes, you’ll pay more than the Pflueger. But you will also have a reel operating a peak for far longer. 

For a little more outlay, you get a lot more value. Also, from Daiwa, the Revros LT commands some attention. 

Yes, you don’t get the 10 bearings of the President, but I’m sure if you were to turn the handle on, you would not tell the difference.

The Revros includes better features, has more models in the series, is lighter yet more powerful.

The drag capacities and spool capacities are more generous, particularly the drag. This delivers access to a larger class of fish and greater confidence in battle.

The Revros is a fine offering from Daiwa, making it a great choice at this price point.

Daiwa Revros LT Spinning Reels - Spinning Fishing Reels
  • The Daiwa Revros LT Spinning Reel is a new "Light and Tough (LT)" version of the time-tested Revros Spinning Reel design.
  • LT Concept featuring a small, lightweight frame with a larger DigiGear.
  • Air Rotor design with unique shape for more efficient stress distribution.
  • Machined aluminium handle for smooth power transfer.

Last update on 2021-04-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Pflueger Make Good Quality Reels?

It’s a fair question and often asked. It is, however, quite difficult to answer accurately. Firstly, you have to define good quality relative to the price-point.

In my opinion, The President’s quality is acceptable relative to price point, but others are doing “quality” better. 

The Pflueger President is an old, established, and still popular brand. However, its days of American-made, as a stand-alone company has passed. 

It is now owned by corporate juggernaut Pure Fishing, with all manufacturing outsourced to China.

Where Are Pflueger President Reels Made?

As just stated, Pflueger reels are manufactured in China. This fact alone does not relegate them to the dubious quality pile, as is often assumed.

Regardless of the place of manufacture, reels should be reviewed based on their merits, not the place of origin.

What’s the Best Line For a Pflueger President?

In my opinion, the best line for the Pflueger President is the line you prefer. The President accepts both mono and braids.

If you’re looking for more line on the spool, the obvious choice is going to be braid. Heavier mono tends to make short work of a decent size spool.

The President spool is braid ready, and it would be my first choice. Particularly if I was fishing lures of any type.

Final Verdict on the Pflueger President

The Pflueger President has a well-established and loyal fan base. You’ll rarely see a bad review from anglers.

The 10 bearing count gives those on a budget a taste of the light – smooth cranks of more expensive spinning reels. 

Regardless of any compromise in longevity, that’s to be applauded.

On its own, the Pflueger President is a worthy entry-level spinning reel. The end-game is a fine fishing experience, and the Pflueger President delivers this at an inexpensive price point.

The problem is that some of its competitors are doing it better. Daiwa is forging ahead in the entry-level reel category, and they’re setting a very tough act to follow.

Keep your eyes on the future. When one manufacturer starts getting their nose in front, the rest of the fishing manufacturing world do their best to catch up. 

Well…some at least.

Ultimately, the Pflueger President gets you out on the water, reliably catching fish for a very modest outlay. Happy days.

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