What Size Reel for Striped Bass? The Helpful Guide You Need

Striped bass, also known as striper, is one of the most unpredictable targets an angler can pursue. It’s both fun and victorious when you successfully catch a striper, so anglers pay close attention to their gear in order to ensure that they won’t miss a bite. One of the most important gear components is the reel so you have to make sure to pick it right.

So, what size reel for striped bass? The size reel for striped bass should be between 6000 to 7500 depending on how big the striped bass is expected to be. If the striper where you’re fishing is usually the size of smallmouth bass, a 6000 reel is fine. Bigger stripers require bigger sizes as long as you match them with your rod. 

Keep reading to know more about choosing the right reel for striped bass to ensure a secure catch.

What Size Reel for Striped Bass?

striped bass to show what size reel for striped bass do you need

Picking a reel size for striped bass is a tricky job that needs to be handled right. You need to choose a reel that is strong enough to handle big stripers while balancing the rod and line at the same time.

Reading about reel sizes can be a little confusing because there are two different size classifications around that are both in use. Some reel manufacturers classify their reel sizes with just two numbers such as 10, 20, etc., while other reel manufacturers classify them as size 1000, 2000, and so on. It’s good to know that the two systems are basically the same just removing the zeros.

The right size reel for stripers falls in the medium and large reels category. They vary between 6000 and 7500 and should be matched with a heavy rod used for offshore boat fishing, surf casting, or rock fishing. 

They can handle fish that weigh about 150+ pounds (+68 kg) and work best with 12-60lb monofilament, or 24-100lb braid. If you’re using a mono strength that is 12-16lb (6kg-8kg), go for size 6000. If you’re going for 12-16lb (6kg-8kg) then go for 6500. A 14-18lb (7kg-9kg) line works best with 7000 and 16-20lb (8kg-10kg) goes with 7500. You can check my recommended monofilament lines here.

Braid lines are different in scale. If you’re using 12-30lb, go for either 6000 or 6500 sizes. If you’re going with a 15-40lb line or 20-50lb you should use 7000 and 7500 sizes. You can check my picks for the best braided lines here.

How do you pick the right size reel?

Striped bass is a migratory species that move a lot. As a result, tracking them down can be a difficult challenge. You need the right-sized gear to come on top. To pick the right size reel you need to consider several aspects such as the line strength and the rod size as well as the fishing environment you’re going for.

For example, a 6000-to-6500 reel size is suitable for heavy-duty fishing if you’re fishing on a boat. It’s an excellent choice if you’re rock fishing, as you have the power to tackle and lift heavy fish from the water and use a strong enough line, whether it’s mono or braid, to give you a chance against harder fighting fish that can be caught in these locations. 

Pair it with a more powerful boat rod, such as a 6-8ft boat rod with a line value of up to 25lb or a 10-12ft surf rod. For rock fishing, a rod length of 10ft and a line rating of up to 20lb are usually recommended.

While 7000-to-7500 reel sizes are appropriate for heavy gear and rougher fishing. They can be used for shorter boat rods up to 8ft in length and a line rating of up to 40lb. 11-12ft rods with a line rating of up to 20lb are recommended for surf fishing, and 10-11ft rods with a line rating of up to 30lb are recommended for rock fishing.

Spinning Reel Size Chart for Bass 

Going for a spinning reel when fishing for bass is a great choice. They’re powerful, durable, and sufficient in rough fishing for heavier species. To make the best out of it you need to pair the reel with the right line and rod. You can easily do this by using this chart:

Reel SizeMonofilament LineBraided LineRod
600012-16lb 12-30lb6-to-8 ft
650012-16lb 12-30lb6-to-8 ft
700014-18lb 15-40lb8 ft
750016-20lb20-50lb8 ft

How to match a reel to a rod 

The rod and reel must be balanced in order to perform optimally for the desired fishing technique. Whether you choose your rod first or the reel first, you must know that they’re related and if you used your personal reference in one, you can’t do it for the other.

To test the balance of your chosen rod and reel, place one finger under the top of the rod handle. A balanced spinning rod and reel will rest horizontally in this position with no problem. But that is a sort of the last step, the first one is to determine the rod and reel according to their sizes.

A spinning reel that falls into the 6000-to-6500 category is medium-sized so it needs a medium-sized spinning rod as well. Choose from the range of 6 to 8ft rod. The range here is stated because various sizes are suitable for various occasions. Also because the size of the reel varies in weight from a company to a company and so does the rod.

The large-sized reels are suitable for 8 to 10ft rods. If you’re using a reel that is 7000-to-7500, it’s better to choose rods from the range previously mentioned.

As an obvious note: the spinning reels call for a spinning rod and baitcasting reels call for a baitcasting rod. They’re not universal and they don’t go with any type so it’s important to match them.

To make matters simpler for you, I’ve made a guide with my recommendations for the best bass spinning reels here which I definitely recommend you check out.

The Best Rod Reel for Striped Bass 

So, what’s the best rod and reel for striped bass? The best rod and reel for striped bass is a reel sized 6000 and a 7-to-9 feet rod. Choose a 7ft rod if you are jigging or live lining for the fish and a 9ft rod if you are casting lures long distances for them. Either size work for stripers.

Make sure to spool your rod with at least a 20 lb test and you will be good to go. These large combos will also catch the smaller fish, but they won’t put up much of a fight. If you want to taste the fight of smaller stripers, go for a 2000 size reel and a 6-to-7ft rod length. Spool it with some line in the 8-to-10lb test range. A setup that’s very similar to largemouth bass.

For a premium combo, make sure to check PENN Fierce III Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo on Amazon. It works best under heavy loads with its full metal body and side plate that keep precise gear alignment. 

If you’re fishing in saltwater, PENN Battle II, Battle III Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo are incomparable. It gives you an exceptional experience fighting larger stripers in saltwater as well as great durability for the heavyweight.

Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo are suitable for almost anyone and any situation. With its graphite and fiberglass construction, it offers you the lightweight, durability, and sensitivity that you need to enjoy your striped bass fishing.  

If you want even more options with a deeper explanation of why I choose them, check out my guide on the best Bass Fishing Rods here. You can also check out my bass fishing rod selection guide here.

Related Questions 

Do striped bass live in saltwater or freshwater?

Striped bass or striper live in both saltwater and freshwater. They usually grow and spend their early years in saltwater then they migrate to freshwater to spawn. They can be found primarily along the Atlantic coast of North America. 

What Are The Types Of Reels?

There are 4 types of reels: spincast, baitcasting, spinning, and fly reels. Each type of fishing reel requires a different skill level, function, and fishing technique. Outfitting your fishing rod with the right reel is important because it ensures your experience is a successful one.

Helpful Resources 

How to Match Spinning Reels to Rods