Tackle Critic

Zebco Slingshot Review

zebco slingshot review

The Zebco Slingshot series includes both spincast and spinning reel styles. While Zebco is known as the top spincast manufacturer in the world, it also makes quality spinning reels. In this Zebco Slingshot Review, I compare both reels and analyze the qualities of each model.

If you’re a beginner angler or simply want to stay on a budget, the Zebco brand offers some of the best value for the money. The Slingshot series reels have more than enough durability, casting distance, and power for beginners and novice anglers. However, you shouldn’t expect high-end performance from a reel that costs less than an oil change.

This review discusses the Slingshot’s features and compares the spincast and spinning reels to some of our other favorite fishing reels.

Zebco Slingshot Spincast Reel

zebco slingshot spincast reel

The Zebco Slingshot Spincast Reel is this series’s most popular reel style. Also called a “push-button” reel, spincast reels are simple to operate and ideal for beginner anglers and children.

Zebco is widely-known as the best spincast reel manufacturer in the fishing industry. The brand uses higher quality and more durable components than traditional brand-name spincast reels.

The Slingshot Spincast Reel is one of the most budget-friendly products Zebco offers. This reel has plenty of strength for catching bluegill, trout, small bass, and catfish. If you’re looking for a flawless spincast reel that will last through years of intensive use, there are better options. This is an entry-level reel that won’t break the bank.


Quality/Construction: The build quality of the Slingshot Spincast reel is exceptional for the price. Other low-end spincast reels frequently tangle and easily crack when dropped. This reel is straightforward and perfect for beginners who might damage more expensive equipment.

While the quality is better than other reels in the same price range, it isn’t as reliable as Zebco’s other spincast reels. If you’re looking for a reel that won’t ever let you down, check out the comparison below to see our favorite Zebco reels.

Casting Performance: This push-button reel has enough casting distance for fishing off a dock or along the bank. However, the Zebco 33, Bullet, and Omega Pro cast much farther. If you’re fishing for species such as catfish, this reel will limit your ability to launch into deep channels.

With the right amount of weight on your line, the Slingshot Spincast reel can cast up to 30 feet, which is more than enough when targeting shoreline bass, bluegill, crappie, and trout.

Retrieval: The Slingshot Spincast Reel prioritizes ease of use and affordability over smooth retrievals. Fishing reels with ultra-smooth cranking usually feature high-end components, and budget reels just can’t compete. However, this doesn’t mean the Slingshot reel is poorly made; it just doesn’t have professional-level reeling.

The Zebco Bullet and Omega Pro are two of the smoothest spincast reels on the market. I review and compare the differences between the best spincast reels below.

Drag System: The drag system in the Zebco Slingshot series is impressive for the price. This push-button reel features a dial-adjustable drag system that lets the angler change the amount of force required to pull the line.

One reason why I don’t recommend the Slingshot reel for catfish fishing is the drag system is much smoother when on lower settings. Once you start maxing out the drag, you lose some control, making it difficult to land powerful fish. However, the lower drag settings are smooth and ideal for panfish and bass fishing.

Slingshot Spincast Comparison

This ultra-budget reel has some decent features, but it faces tough competition with Zebco’s other spincast reels. All of Zebco’s spincast reels are reasonably affordable and of better quality than any other push-button reels on the market. Deciding on the best spincast reel can be difficult, but I’ll help you find the ideal one for your needs.

Slingshot Spincast vs. Zebco 33

The closest competitor to the Zebco Slingshot Spincast reel is Zebco’s 33 Spincast reel. The Zebco 33 only costs slightly more than the Slingshot series but has many additional benefits. Overall, the Zebco 33 is stronger, more durable, and smoother than the Slingshot.

Zebco’s 33 series reels are built with all-metal gears and a lightweight graphite frame. The slightly higher price tag allows Zebco to incorporate more of their premium components without it breaking the bank. Even if you’re a beginner or buying a reel for a child, the Zebco 33 is a better option for anglers that fish frequently and want their setup to last a long time.

Slingshot Spincast vs. Zebco Omega Pro

More advanced anglers will love the features offered in the Zebco Omega Pro. While it costs twice as much as the first two reels we reviewed, the Omega Pro still offers exceptional value. This is the first of two Zebco reels designed for performance, longevity, and insane durability.

The Zebco Omega Pro is in a different league than the Slingshot series. The Omega Pro can handle it all, from fighting large catfish to landing trophy bass with ease. The Omega Pro features aluminum covers, a soft-touch button, smooth triple-cam, a dial-adjustable disk drag, and powerful metal gears. None of these components are featured in the Zebco Slingshot reel.

Slingshot Spincast vs. Zebco Bullet

Are you looking for the best spincast reel on the market? The Zebco Bullet offers exceptional performance that’s never been available in an easy-to-use spincast reel. It also features all of the manufacturer’s latest technology.

The Zebco Bullet features ZeroFriction pick-up pins, a solid brass gear set, all-metal construction, an anodized-aluminum spinner head, and nine bearings. Compared to other Zebco reels, the Bullet is the smoothest, toughest, and offers unparalleled professional performance. This is the best spincast reel I’ve used.

Zebco Slingshot Spinning Reel

zebco slingshot spinning reel

The Zebco Slingshot Spinning Reel is also an entry-level reel designed for beginner anglers and children. However, it’s more robust than the slingshot spincast reel and has enough power to fight large bass and catfish.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly spinning setup to get you out on the water, the Zebco Slingshot reel is an exceptional value for the money. You won’t find another reel with the same capabilities for anywhere under $50.

This reel does have a shorter casting distance and isn’t quite as smooth as more expensive alternatives. However, this is expected for the price. Overall, the amount of money you can save with the slingshot reel is hard to beat.


Quality/Construction: The Zebco Slingshot Spinning Reel is surprisingly well made for a reel that costs less than $20. The reel features all-metal gears and a 5.3:1 gear ratio. It can be modified for left-hand or right-hand retrieve and is more durable than some reels that cost twice as much.

The all-metal gears are a considerable benefit, and the only thing susceptible to damage is the plastic housing. Many anglers find this reel lasts through years of fishing and frequent use.

Casting Performance: When paired with the Z-Glass rod through Zebco’s Slingshot Combo, this reel has excellent casting distance. The Slingshot launches a mile, especially when paired with the recommended 1/16-3/4 oz lure weight. Zebco’s Slingshot comes pre-spooled with 8lb Cajun fishing line.

Retrieval: The all-metal gears give this reel decent cranking action, but don’t expect the smoothness of a high-end fishing reel. Whether you’re a beginner learning how to use a spinning reel or an advanced angler on a budget, this reel offers enough performance for most anglers.

Drag System: This reel comes standard with a dial-adjustable drag and QuickSet anti-reverse. The anti-reverse feature lets you deliver strong hooksets without the handle spinning in the opposite direction. Zebco’s drag system offers plenty of strength for catching bass, trout, catfish, panfish, and other freshwater species.

Zebco Slingshot Combo Review

zebco slingshot combos

If you don’t already own this reel, it’s best to buy the rod and reel together. Zebco offers a Slingshot Spincast rod and reel combo, and a Slingshot Spinning combo. Instead of searching for a rod that will match the weight and features of the reel, Zebco has designed a rod that maximizes this reel’s performance.

The rods used in both combos are tailor-made to Zebco’s reels and offer the best casting distance, power, balance, and comfort out on the water. This is especially true with the spincast reel, as many brands don’t make rods for this reel type.

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