Expert Review: Pflueger President XT

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

The author fishes with his Pflueger President XT.

Photo courtesy of Michael Matey

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

My Take

The Pflueger President XT spinning reel is a great solution for a beginner who is looking to get a feel for a higher-end reel at an affordable price.

The author stands on the grassy banks of a pond and uses his Pflueger President XT reel.

Photo courtesy of Michael Matey

About the Reel

  • Model: Pflueger President XT Spinning Reel
  • Reel Size: 2500
  • Construction: Spinning
  • Drag System: Oil felt, front drag
  • Drag Pressure: 8 pounds

About Me

  • Preferred fishing style(s): While freshwater fishing, I mostly go on land-based adventure fishing trips, focusing on finesse fishing and finding new hidden honey holes. I also love inshore fishing on the west coast of Florida.
  • Experience: Over 10 years

Test Conditions

  • When I bought this: February 2020
  • Rod Paired with Reel: Ugly Stik GX2 7'1" Medium-Power Spinning Rod
  • Line Paired with Reel: 10-pound Piscifun Braid
  • Days tested: Over 150 days
  • Waters I’ve used it on: Rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds (strictly freshwater).
  • Species targeted with reel: Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, grass carp, crappie, and bluegill.

How It Performs


What I Was Looking For

When I picked out this reel, I was looking for something relatively inexpensive that was durable and could be a good all-purpose reel. I wanted something that had good reviews under a $100 price point.

Why I Chose this Reel

I chose the President XT because of its affordability, in combination with the premium materials that are used to manufacture it.

I considered a few other options but ultimately decided the President XT was the reel for me. Pflueger is a super reputable brand, so I knew it would deliver.

The author holds the Pflueger President XT reel in his hand.

Photo by Michael Matey

What I Love About It

  • Performance: The reel performs at a level similar to much higher-end reels I’ve used in the past. It feels incredibly smooth while casting and pairs up perfectly with my medium-power rod.
  • Quality: The quality is top notch! I couldn’t ask for a better build quality at this price point.
  • Durability: The number one reason I bought this reel was for its durability. I was looking for something I could throw on the ground while retying without worrying about it breaking or dirt getting in the bearings. The Pflueger President XT delivered on this to a tee.
  • Size: I chose the 2500-size reel because it is a perfect middle ground for most freshwater fishing. I target primarily one- to three-pound bass, which this reel is perfect for, but it can hold up to larger fish such as pike or heavier bass as well.
  • Drag System: In my hundreds of uses with this reel, I’ve never had any issues with the drag locking up.
  • Feel: One thing I absolutely love about this reel is how light it is. It’s perfect for land-based fishing missions when I’m walking the perimeter of a pond or the length of a river.
The author squats on a log that extends over a river and fishes with his reel.

Photo courtesy of Michael Matey

Issues I’ve Encountered

  • Versatility: The only issue I’ve had with this reel was that due to its smaller size, it doesn’t hold up well to extra-large fish such as big carp or giant northern pike. Although, this is to be expected in a 2500-size reel. It also is not designed for saltwater.

Favorite Moment with this Gear

One of my favorite moments with this reel was when I accidentally hooked into a 40-pound grass carp while using it! I was fishing for panfish using bread as bait, and out of nowhere a monster carp sucked down my hook and started peeling drag. Although it took a good fifteen minutes to reel this giant in, the 2500-size reel held up well during the fight.

Value for the Money vs. Other Options

The Pflueger President XT is definitely worth the investment. Now, if I were recommending a reel to a complete beginner, I would probably suggest the normal President reel (not XT). A beginner most likely wouldn’t notice the difference between the quality of the two options.

Final Verdict

All things considered, the Pflueger President XT reel comes out on top for most of the benchmarks in my opinion (including price). Its high-quality construction and wide range of uses make it one of my go-to reels for any occasion.

Selling Pflueger on
Pflueger President XT
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Written By
I am a professional freshwater, saltwater, and inshore angler. I have been fishing my entire life, always chasing something bigger and better! I live a nomadic lifestyle between northeast Ohio for half of the year and southwest florida for the other half. By learning all the ins and outs of these tw...

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