Expert Review: Pflueger President Micro

This review is my own honest opinion of the reel, which I bought with my own money in June 2020.

Catch with the Pfluger President Micro

Longear sunfish caught on the Pflueger President Micro. Photo by Steve Merchant

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About this review: This review is my own honest opinion of the reel, which I bought with my own money in June 2020.

My Take

The Pflueger President Micro is a great spinning reel for anglers of all skill levels, including expert anglers. It makes catching small fish fun, yet it is well-built, so it still performs flawlessly when hooking that occasional big fish.

The author holds up a fish he caught with the reel.

Photo by Steven Merchant

About the Reel

  • Model: Pflueger President Micro
  • Reel Size: 20
  • Construction: Spinning Reel
  • Drag System: Multi-disc drag on top of spool
  • Drag Pressure: 6 pounds

About Me

  • Preferred fishing styles: When I’m not fly fishing, I use spinning gear—mainly with lightweight jigs and plastics.
  • Experience: More than 50 years

Test Conditions

  • When I bought this: June 2020
  • Rod Paired with Reel: Ultralight, 5-foot graphite rod
  • Line Paired with Reel: 4-pound Trilene XT monofilament
  • Days tested: 45 days over 2 years
  • Waters I’ve used it on: Freshwater rivers, small streams, and lakes
  • Species targeted with reel: Smallmouth bass, panfish, trout

How It Performs


What I Was Looking For

I needed a new ultralight reel because I wasn’t happy with my previous one. I was looking for a better quality, longer-lasting reel that didn’t constantly twist my line and one with a drag system that could handle the occasional larger fish.

Why I Chose this Reel

I bought the Micro because I owned a Pflueger President reel in a larger size and I really liked its performance. The drag was smooth, it cast well, and it managed line-twist. The larger reel proved to me that a President series reel is a great reel for the money.

Since I already own the 25-size, it was a natural fit to get the 20 President Micro reel for my ultralight fishing.

The author smiles and holds up his catch with his Pfluger Micro.

Photo by Steve Merchant

What I Love About It

  • Performance: I couldn’t be happier about how this reel has performed. It makes catching small fish fun, and when it is needed, the drag can handle some bigger fish as well. The line comes off the reel nicely, making casting lightweight jigs and lures easy. Paired with a small, lightweight rod, it makes a really nice ultralight outfit.
  • Quality: The quality of this reel is definitely a cut above your typical inexpensive spinning reel. I like that it has stainless-steel ball bearings, aluminum spools, and a machined aluminum handle — I can feel the quality.
  • Application: This is an ultralight reel. It does a great job casting little jigs from 1/32 to 1/8 ounces. Paired with a 4.5 or five-foot graphite ultralight rod, it makes catching panfish and small trout a lot of fun. I also use it as my primary spinning outfit on river smallmouths, and it has handled 4.5-pound bronzebacks with no issues. But, because of its line capacity, don’t buy this as a big fish reel.
  • Size: The Micro is the smallest President, and I like fishing ultralight gear. It holds 100 yards of four-pound mono, weighs 6.2 ounces, and retrieves 20.7 inches of line per crank. It has a 5.2:1 gear ratio.
  • Drag System: For an ultralight reel, the drag feels smooth and performs great, even when catching larger fish. I’ve caught some big fish in river current with this little reel, and it has remained smooth under stress.
  • Feel: The seven stainless-steel ball bearings coupled with the aluminum machined handle give this reel a nice feel when cranking, and its light weight balances nicely with a 4.5 or five-foot graphite ultralight rod. The titanium-coated reel spool and line roller help the line slip off the reel when casting. I think it feels more expensive than it really is.
  • Build: Pflueger has always had the reputation of making a quality product for an affordable price — think of the iconic Pflueger Medalist fly reel. The President spinning reels have similar qualities, with their machined aluminum handles and titanium coatings.
  • Aesthetics: The reel looks pretty nice. It has a pleasing blue and silver-gray color and smooth lines. Despite banging around in my boat and canoe for two seasons, it is showing little wear.
  • Features: My reel came with an extra braid-ready spool that has a titanium-coated lip. The line roller is also titanium-coated. It’s really easy to switch from right to left retrieve.
  • Maintenance: I’m kind of hard on gear. My rod and reel bounce around in my boat and canoe all season long. I’m fishing it in freshwater, so for me, this reel is essentially maintenance-free. I’ve owned it for two years and haven’t done a thing with it.
The author holds a Rio Grande Cutthroat in his hand.

Rio Grande Cutthroat. Photo by Steven Merchant

Issues I’ve Encountered

  • Versatility: This is an ultralight reel. While its drag has worked flawlessly for me, its small size can’t hold much line, so it is not designed for big, long-running fish.
  • Durability: I’ve never used this reel in saltwater, and while I think it would do just fine with occasional use, I would not recommend it as a primary saltwater reel.

Favorite Moment with this Gear

While drifting down the beautiful St. Croix River, prospecting for smallmouth bass with this ultralight reel and an ultralight rod, I had a good take. It was immediately apparent that this wasn’t just another bass. I couldn’t budge the fish, and as the current picked up as I approached a modest rapid, I was scrambling to try and control the fish and my little drift boat. To make a long story short, I bounced all the way through the rapid and into the next pool before I tired the fish enough to land it. It was a 30-inch channel cat — the little ultralight reel held its own!

Value for the Money vs. Other Options

Over the years, I have fished with a lot of affordable spinning reels. I’ve owned Shimano, Daiwa, and Mitchell reels to name a few. While some may not consider the Pflueger President an inexpensive reel at $60, I can say with confidence that this reel is a definite step above the others. It performs and feels like a more expensive reel.

Final Verdict

I think the Pflueger President Micro is a great reel for the money, and the best reel for under $60 that I have ever used.

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Pflueger President Micro
Meet the author
Fly Fishing Expert Steven Merchant
Steven Merchant
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Written By
I'm a retired wildlife biologist with a passion for catching and helping conserve wild fish in wild places. I've been fishing since I was six years old, and still get really excited about it. I like helping others get into the fish and their habitats. ​ I bought my first fly rod when I was 12, from...

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