Pflueger President XT Review: Affordable Red Carpet Performance

When the Pflueger President XT review came across my desk I jumped at the opportunity to showcase this outstanding reel. I’ve long believed that the real gems in angling are more often than not the diamonds in the rough. And if it’s priceless spinning reel value for your money that you’re after, the President XT is well worthy of close scrutiny.


Pflueger President XT Review:


An enduring track record is perhaps the best indicator of noteworthy substance in most things. And in the case of Pflueger fishing tackle, a 138-year history of product excellence speaks of real substance. Since 1881 the Pflueger name has graced the tackle boxes of anglers of all walks.

From humble beginnings as a hook manufacturer to producing top-drawer reels like the President XT 30, Pflueger has forged a rock-solid reputation for quality and value. And the XT 30 certainly is top-drawer.

This little ultra-light spinning reel boasts features that set it apart as an industry leader, even for die-hard purists. Now, let’s find out what makes the XT 30 special.

The Pflueger President XT 30:


The spinning reel market is awash with dozens of really fine reels in the light to ultra-light tackle category. So, why would anyone single out the President XT 30 among this plethora of choices? Simple, here’s why.

The Pflueger President XT 30 is part of a five family of ultra-light to medium tackle spinning reels. Ranging from the diminutive XT 20 to the medium tackle XT 40, the President XT range of reels all share a common feature set that belies their modest price point. Let’s consider some of the Pflueger President XT30’s fine features here.


Pflueger President XT 30

Pflueger President XT30

Best Reel for the Money



  • 10 bearing System – corrosion…
  • Aluminum main shaft – 30%…
  • Aluminum pinion gear -…

Pflueger’s design philosophy with the President XT reel range was to elevate the older President range to the next level. Not only that, but the new generation of President spinners also had to maintain the old guard’s affordable price tags. Here’s the result.

Bearing count

All but the smallest reel in the range features an impressive 10 bearings in total. The tiny ultra-light XT 20 doesn’t lag far behind though with an equally noteworthy seven bearing count. When one considers that many similar reels of equal standing sport only one or two bearings, this is indeed significant.

Precision aluminum main shaft

The precision-machined aluminum alloy main shaft is another departure from spinning reel norms that deserves acclaim. In addition, this setup is far lighter and corrosion-resistant than the standard stainless alloy shafts, and it offers equal resilience and reliability.

Aluminum pinion gear

The same is true of the President XT’s pinion gears. These precision-cut aluminum alloy gears are totally corrosion-resistant, very strong and very light. As a result, this adds considerably to the overall reliability of the reel not to mention it’s featherweight nature.

Braid ready spool

In keeping with modern trends, the President XT reel range are all equipped as standard with braid ready spools. This feature does away with the need to back braid up with monofilament or to tape the spool prior to loading line.

Sealed drag system

The President XT’s drag system is completely sealed to exclude dust, sand, and saltwater. That enhances what is already a very smooth and reliable drag with added reliability and prolonged service life.


Something that may be seen as an aesthetic feature only is the President XT’s rubber cork handle grips. However, the use of this material is not only cosmetic but indeed a canny choice. It lends the grips a slightly tacky nature when wet making for a positive, non-slip grip.

  • Monofilament line capacity (pounds test/yards): 4/255, 6/145. 8/130
  • Braid line capacity (pounds test/yards): 6/275, 8/190, 10/160
  • Maximum drag: 10 pounds
  • Retrieve rate (inches per handle rotation): 31 inches
  • Gear ratio: 6.2:1
  • Weight: 7.6 ounces
  • Anti-reverse: instant

Where to Buy

Our Review Process


We are going to stack the President XT against worthy products of similar specifications, capacities and application specifics. Most importantly, we hope this process will make it easy for you to make informed choices and accurately interpret the Pflueger President XT review.   So, here are our contenders in no specific order.

Abu Garcia Revo X:

Abu Garcia reels need no introduction to anglers of all levels. The Abu brand is well known and respected the world over as a supplier of superlative products. Products such as the Revo X, which is the first of our Pflueger President XT review race runners. Before we showcase the Revo X2 range, watch this.


Abu Garcia Revo X

Abu Garcia Revo X

Smoothest Action



  • 6 stainless steel HPCR…
  • Carbon matrix Hybrid drag…
  • Im-c6 (insert molded C6) body…
  • Lightweight graphite rotor
  • Rocket line management System…

Abu Garcia’s history may not be quite as long as Pflueger’s but it is certainly as rich and engaging. From diverse beginnings manufacturing pocket watches and taxi meters in 1921 to pioneering modern revolutionary angling products, Abu has certainly come a long way. The Revo X is one of Abu Garcia’s mid-range spinning reel families with the X 20 slotting into the light tackle sector of that range. Here are some of the features that make this reel an outstanding choice in this class.

Carbon Matrix Drag System

Abu Garcia’s Carbon Matrix drag utilizes its proprietary carbon composite drag material, which delivers precise and powerful drag under all angling conditions.

IM-C6 Body Design

The IM-C6 technology produces a body and frame that is ultra-rigid, light, and resilient. These characteristics allow the reel to return excellent service life numbers while delivering exceptional strength and reliability.

Rocket Spool Lip Design

The Revo X series spool lip is specially designed to offer minimal resistance to the line during a cast. Consequently, casts are longer, lighter lures may be used, and the line lasts longer.

Machined Aluminum Spool

The spool on the Revo X is precision machined from aluminum to increase strength and improve balance while saving weight. In addition, the spools on all the series members are braid ready.

Lightweight Graphite Rotor

Graphite composite construction is an excellent choice for lighter reel spools. The graphite rotor featured on the Revo X reels saves weight, improves balance, and makes for exceptionally smooth operation.


  • Monofilament line capacity (pounds test/yards): 6/185, 8/130, 10/110
  • Braid line capacity (pounds test/yards): 8/190
  • Maximum drag: 11 pounds
  • Retrieve rate (inches per handle rotation): 33 inches
  • Gear ratio: 6.2:1Weight: 7.7 ounces
  • Anti-reverse: instant

Where to Buy

Check Price on Amazon


Penn Fierce III 2000:

Penn Fierce III 2000

Penn Fierce III 2000

Best Saltwater Reel



  • Full metal body and sideplate…
  • Techno-Balanced rotor gives…
  • 4 shielded stainless steel…
  • Instant anti-reverse bearing
  • HT-100 carbon fiber drag…

Penn’s spinning reels are legendary amongst fishermen all over the world and have landed countless world records over the years. The Penn Fierce III reel family are worthy carriers of that torch and are racking up records as we speak. And the Fierce III 2000 is an equally worthy contender in our Pflueger President XT review lineup. Here’s some striking video showcasing the Penn Fierce III.


Penn reels seldom fail to impress with a seemingly bottomless selection of industry-leading features. Of course, the fierce III 2000 is no different, and it makes an almost perfect companion on any light tackle outing. Here are some of the great features Penn has crammed into this outstanding reel.

Full Metal Body and Side Plates

Most of Penn’s top range reels feature full metal construction due to the exceptional rigidity and strength it offers. The Fierce III’s full metal construction keeps all the internal components in perfect alignment during operation ensuring unparalleled reliability and strength.

Techno-Balanced Rotor

Penn’s Techno-Balanced rotor system delivers exceptionally smooth rotational stability during retrieve cycles. In addition to making for a highly comfortable angling experience, it improves the overall reliability of the reel.

HT-100 Drag System

The HT-100 drag system is an absolute legend among big-game anglers. Its reputation for taming the hardest fighting, fastest running marine behemoths is well earned and its inclusion in the Fierce III is a definite game-winner.

Heavy-Duty, Braid Ready Spool and Bail

The well balanced, heavy-duty aluminum spool gracing the Fierce III is braid ready and features line capacity indicator rings. In addition, the bail wire is also heavy-duty and able to handle the rigors of the longest day of continuous casting.

Stainless Steel Bearings

Four heavy-duty, sealed stainless steel bearings ensure the smoothest operation and longest service life possible for all the members of the Fierce III reel family.


  • Monofilament line capacity (pounds test/yards): 4/240, 6/180, 8/125
  • Braid line capacity (pounds test/yards): 8/210, 10/180, 15/165
  • Maximum drag: 10 pounds
  • Retrieve rate (inches per handle rotation): 30 inches
  • Gear ratio: 6.2:1
  • Weight: 9.5 ounces
  • Anti-reverse: instant

Where to Buy

Pflueger President XT Review


So, let’s wind down our Pflueger President XT review. The truth be told, it’s been a gas comparing these great reels and an immediate trip to the beach is surely imminent. Seriously though, they are great reels and the Pflueger XT 30 proved to be a highly capable and worthy competitor.

In fact, if put before a choice, I believe the Pflueger may just make it to the beach with me. It’s combination of features and reasonable pricing make it a hard act to follow indeed. Tight lines folks. Please feel free to leave insights or advice regarding this Pflueger President XT review in the comments section below.

Featured image by: Amazon

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