Zebco 808 vs 888: Which One Should We Choose?

Zebco 808 vs 888: Which One Is Better?

Zebro has taken an important place among spincast reel lovers. Very few manufacturers can compete with Zebco. Over the decades, they have created many products that have influenced the fishing world. Therefore, in this article, I will talk about the topic “Zebco 808 vs 888“.

They are all super heavy-duty reels weighing over 17 oz. So, they are suitable for catching large fish from freshwater to saltwater.

To analyze the differences and similarities between them, the table below will give you an overview of the key features of these two reels.

Last update on 2024-06-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What about Zebco?

Zebco, the iconic American fishing reel manufacturer, has been around since 1949 and produces a variety of spinning reels for anglers of all ages and abilities.

Founded in 1949, Zebco began when watchmaker and inventor Jasper R. Dell Hull (R.D. Hull) devised a revolutionary backlash-free fishing reel that changed the sport forever – now known as the Standard model. Thanks to successful regional marketing under its brand name, it became so popular that by 1956 it officially rebranded its company ‘Zebco’. They continued to expand until 1961 whereupon it merged with major industry player Brunswick Corporation; revolutionizing both competition and quality of fishing equipment through affordable excellence ever since then!

Following a series of expansions and strategic acquisitions, Zebco was now firmly positioned as one of the nation’s premier manufacturers of angling equipment. Indeed, before his retirement in 1977 after 35 patents and 26 successful reel designs had been developed by Mr. Hull with the company’s production department; their headquarters remained nestled within Tulsa Oklahoma up until 2001 when ownership passed on to The W C Bradley Company – some two decades later.

The difference between Zebco 808 vs 888

Based on the table above, you can know the difference between Zebco 808 and 888. Each difference leads to different results. Not one is better or worse, but which one is more suitable.

This feature may not suit your fishing style, but if you decide to change your style in the future, it may be a better fit.

Therefore, to choose the most accurate reel, you must understand your fishing style, where you fish, and the targeted fish to select the most suitable reel.


The biggest difference between these Zebco 808 vs 888 is probably their ball bearings. The Zebco 888 has 2+1 stainless steel ball bearings; while the 808 doesn’t have any ball bearings on the reels, they are replaced with bushings.

Both have the purpose of reducing friction, bringing smoothness to the reels. However, there are some distinct pros and cons.

Bushings provide more stability and durability, but they are not as smooth as ball bearings. They are suitable for catching large, slow fish that do not require too much speed and smoothness. If you use them to catch agile fish, you will definitely be extremely disappointed.

Meanwhile, ball bearings offer greater smoothness, which is suitable for flexible, agile fish and has enough strength to fight large fish in saltwater.

Many spincast reel users often rate Zebco 888 higher than 808, saying they are better for saltwater fishing. Each person has their own opinion; it’s just a subjective opinion; you must rely on the pros and cons to have a suitable use.

Front cover

Now, the complete victory of Zebco 888, its front cover is made of stainless steel, creating better sturdiness and durability. When combined with its close-faced design, it possesses excellent corrosion resistance, which is also one of the reasons why many people choose it for saltwater fishing.

Zebco 888

Meanwhile, the 808 only owns a plastic front cover, which fails to meet today’s reels’ increasingly modern trend.

The Zebco 808 reel is best used in freshwater only if you don’t want to have to buy a new reel quickly.


Both the 888 and 808 are heavy reels; they weigh over 17 oz. However, the Zebco 888 weighs 19.5 oz, while the 808 fishing reel weighs only 17.1 oz.

It is impossible to judge which reel is better; each is suitable for a number of different applications; if you want to fight big, powerful fish, you need a heavier reel, which makes 888 ideal for saltwater fishing.

On the contrary, the 808 will help your hands get less tired throughout the day of battle. However, both are heavy reels, so if you want to choose a reel with a light texture to fight lighter fish, these two reels will not be able to satisfy you.

So, in terms of weight, the Zebco 888 wins outright.


Many people will ignore this factor when choosing reels because it will not affect the performance of the trip too much. But it is still a difference, and the difference is what we are talking about.

Zebco 888 comes with a 25 lb Zebco line, while Zebco 808 spincast reel comes with 20 lb. Once again, the Zebco 888 spincast reel won.


Zebco 808 is quickset while the 888 is continuous, but there isn’t too much difference between them. The latter allows you to turn it on or off if you don’t want to use them anymore, more flexibility for better performance.

Through the above features, Zebco 888 reel is somewhat better than Zebco 808 fishing reel. However, those are just features that do not affect the overall power of the reels too much. Many people like 888, and others like 808, all of them are great reels if you take them seriously.

The common points between Zebco 888 and 808

Coming from a manufacturer that makes other than the above differences, most of them share the same important features.

Dial-Adjustable Magnum Drag

It is a highly-rated drag system by spincast reel lovers. It provides a solid, stable, smooth drag. It also provides a great drag for catching big fish.

Bait clicker

This feature is quite handy, especially when fishing in high wind conditions or at night. It is likened to a second drag system on the reels (no pressure on the line), which sounds an alarm when the fish takes your bait.

Some anglers use more than one rod at once, and they often have this feature on their reels for easier control.

Usually, professional anglers won’t want this feature on their reels, but it’s good to get used to it if you’re not too experienced.

Gear ratio

Both have a gear ratio of 2.6:1, which gives them plenty of torque to fight big fish.

Key features of Zebco 808 and 888

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The Zebco 808 Spincast Fishing Reel is a tough and dependable choice for pro and amateur anglers alike. This ambidextrous reel is constructed with a blend of materials so you can have confidence it will stand up to wear and tear from your fishing trips.

It’s 5.7 x 5.25 x 3.95 inches in size and features selectable retrieve, making it easy to switch between your dominant hand if needed – great for those who find themselves in pursuit of baitfish during long days on the water.

No matter your preferred set-up, this reel has you covered with its QuickSet Anti-Reverse, an all-metal gear system, patented no-tangle design, and ceramic pick-up pin for improved durability and abrasion resistance. Enjoy the bonus of bite-alert technology that uses audio and visual cues so you won’t miss out on activity below the surface.

Plus, it comes pre-spooled with a 20 lb Zebco line so you can cast right away! Whether weekend angler or professional fisherman, the Zebco 808 Spincast Fishing Reel promises performance that can be trusted!

Zebco 808 Spincast Fishing Reel, Powerful All Metal Gears, Quickset Anti-Reverse and Bite Alert, Pre-spooled with 20-Pound Cajun Fishing Line, Black
384 Reviews
Zebco 808 Spincast Fishing Reel, Powerful All Metal Gears, Quickset Anti-Reverse and Bite Alert, Pre-spooled with 20-Pound Cajun Fishing Line, Black
  • QuickSet Anti-Reverse; Built-In Bite Alert; Dial-adjustable Magnum drag
  • All-metal gears; Ceramic Pick-up Pin; Patented no-tangle design; Changeable right- or left-hand retrieve
  • 2.6:1 gear ratio; 19 IPT; 145 yds/20 lb mono line capacity
  • Pre-spooled with 20 lb Zebco line
  • TRUSTED: Since 1954, Zebco Brands have helped people enjoy and discover the outdoors through fishing. Zebco products are warranted for a period of (1) year from date of original retail purchase against defects in workmanship and/or materials.

Last update on 2024-06-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Key features

      • Dial-adjustable Magnum drag

      • Built-In Bite Alert

      • QuickSet Anti-Reverse

      • All-metal gears

      • Ceramic Pick-up Pin

      • Gear ratio: 2.6:1

      • Line capacity: 145 yds/20 lb mono line

      • Weight: 17.1 oz

      • Pre-spooled with 20 lb Zebco Line


        • The reel is as tough and rugged. This is a very strong reel that is made for heavy rods and heavy lines.

        • This reel is great for reeling in big fish.

        • Easy to set up and use.

        • The new design is great because it uses bushings instead of ball bearings, which should provide corrosion resistance.

        • Powerful reel for multi-purpose.


          • It is heavy and bulky. This reel is too heavy to be a casting reel, but it can be used for bait-soaking fishing.

          • Too heavy for kids.

          • The line gets tangled easily.

        Zebco 888

        The Zebco 888 Spincast Fishing Reel is a reel that is both easy and ultra-duty. With its all-metal gears and large Power T-handle, this heavy-duty reel packs an incredible amount of power. The stainless steel front cover provides supreme durability for long-lasting product life.

        Plus, with an Instant Anti-Reverse Clutch, there’s no fear of losing your trophy catch to an unexpected drag or pull. And with its built-in Bite Alert feature, you can rest assured that you won’t miss a single bite.

        The oversized handle knob allows for ease of use and comfort while fishing, so you can be sure to tackle even the toughest fish with ease. And don’t forget about the dual ceramic pick-up pins for unparalleled accuracy and smoothness in retrieving your catch.

        Pre-spooled with 25 lbs Zebco Line and a reversible switch that allows for either right or left-hand retrieve make this reel is perfect for any kind of angler from beginner to veteran.

        Zebco 888 Spincast Fishing Reel, Size 80 Reel, Changeable Right- or Left-Hand Retrieve, Pre-Spooled with 25-Pound Zebco Fishing Line, Stainless Steel Front Cover, Silver
        810 Reviews
        Zebco 888 Spincast Fishing Reel, Size 80 Reel, Changeable Right- or Left-Hand Retrieve, Pre-Spooled with 25-Pound Zebco Fishing Line, Stainless Steel Front Cover, Silver
        • EASY-TO-USE: Clean, smart and sleek design, the Zebco 888 spincast reel features a patented no-tangle design, simple push-button mechanics, an oversized handle knob for ease of use and is great for both beginners and experienced anglers
        • HEAVY DUTY: This size 80 spincast reel is ready for extreme fishing conditions, constructed with an anti-corrosive stainless steel front cover to endure tough fishing environments, all-metal gears with a 2.6:1 gear ratio, and 3 bearings (2 + clutch) for a silky smooth and consistent performance
        • BUILT-IN BITE ALERT: You will be amazed by the audio indicator to alert anglers of activity below the water. Bite alert can easily be switched on or off
        • SMOOTH & POWERFUL: Utilize the powerful dial-adjustable Magnum drag and the instant anti-reverse features to stop your handle from moving backward and create a solid hookset in the mouth of a fish when reeling in your prize catch. This reel is ambidextrous with the convenient changeable right- or left-hand retrieve option and pre-spooled with 25-pound Zebco fishing line so you can start catching catfish, striper and saltwater fish sooner
        • TRUSTED: Since 1949, Zebco has been inviting people to explore the outdoors. Zebco products are warranted for a period of (1) year from date of original retail purchase against defects in workmanship and/or materials

        Last update on 2024-06-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

        Key features

            • Dial-adjustable Magnum drag

            • Built-In Bite Alert

            • Stainless Steel Front Cover

            • Instant Anti-Reverse

            • Oversized Handle Knob

            • Dual Ceramic Pick-up Pins

            • 2+1 bearings system

            • Gear ratio: 2.6:1

            • Line capacity: 110 yds/25 lb mono line

            • Weight: 19.5 oz

            • Pre-spooled with 25 lb Zebco Line


              • Good quality for the price.

              • Smooth cast.

              • This fishing reel is tough and simple to use.

              • Best closed-face reel for big fish!


                • A lefty cannot do a reverse because the string is cheap.

                • A bit heavy for children and women.

              How to use a Zebco spincast reel?

              Using a Zebco spincast reel is straightforward. To start, make sure that the drag on the line is adjusted correctly. This will ensure you don’t lose any fish when trying to cast or reel in. Next, press the “thumb button” located on top of the reel and hold it down as you move your thumb clockwise around the outside of the spool until you are ready to cast.

              When you are ready for a longer cast, point your rod towards where you would like to cast and release pressure from the thumb button while simultaneously pushing forward with your rod tip. Once your line has been released from the spool, start reeling in slowly by turning the handle counterclockwise.

              As soon as the line has been retrieved, press the thumb button and hold it until you are ready to cast again. With these few simple steps, you should be able to successfully cast and retrieve from your Zebco spincast reel. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, learning how to use your reel correctly is key to having a successful fishing trip.

              Below is a detailed video tutorial.

              How do you clean a Zebco reel?

              Cleaning a Zebco reel is an important part of maintenance and you should do it regularly to keep your reel in top condition. 

              To get started, make sure the drag system is disengaged (for spinning reels) and that all line is pulled off from the reel. Make sure the handle has been unscrewed from the reel so that any debris or dirt can be removed from the body of the reel.

              Once you have done this, wipe down the exterior with a damp cloth to remove any grime or dust particles built up on the outside of the reel.

              To clean on the inside, use an old toothbrush and cleaning solution to scrub away any dirt or salt residues that may have accumulated over time. When finished, rinse off all excess solution with fresh water and dry with a soft cloth. 

              For more thorough cleaning, disassemble any removable parts such as the handle or spool for extra-careful cleaning and lubrication if necessary. Finally, reassemble everything and your reel should be good as new! Regular cleaning can help prevent rust buildup and other issues that can affect your reel’s performance, so it’s important to make sure you properly clean and maintain your Zebco reel. 

              By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your Zebco spincast reel will have a long life of smooth fishing experiences. With regular maintenance, you can be confident in knowing that your reel will provide reliable performance for years to come. Plus, with its impressive features including a corrosion-resistant body and powerful drag system, the Zebco 888 Spincast Fishing Reel is the perfect choice for anglers who want an easy-to-use yet tough and reliable reel!



              Is a Zebco 808 good for saltwater fishing?

              Yes, the Zebco 808 is a great choice for saltwater fishing. The reel is constructed with a blend of materials that provide durability and corrosion resistance so you can be sure to land even the toughest catches without it breaking down on you. Additionally, the QuickSet Anti-Reverse ensures smooth operation in any conditions.

              How many lines will a Zebco 808 hold?

              The Zebco 808 can hold up to 20 lbs of fishing line. This should provide you with plenty of lines for whatever kind of fishing you intend on doing. Additionally, the reel comes pre-spooled with a 20 lb Zebco line so you can cast right away!

              What line comes on Zebco 888?

              The Zebco 888 comes pre-spooled with 25 lbs of Zebco line. This super-strong fishing line is perfect for tackling any kind of fish and will give you the confidence to cast as far out as you need to find the best catch. Plus, the dual ceramic pick-up pins provide unparalleled accuracy and smoothness in retrieving your catch.

              Is a Zebco 808 good for trolling?

              Yes, the Zebco 808 is suitable for trolling. The heavy-duty metal gears ensure that there is plenty of torque available and an Instant Anti-Reverse Clutch helps prevent drag or pull from unexpected catches. Additionally, its patented no-tangle design makes it easy to keep your lines organized and tangle-free so you can stay focused on catching that big one!

              Can I use a Zebco 808 for bass fishing?

              Yes, the Zebco 808 is a great choice for bass fishing. The reel is pre-spooled with 20 lbs of the line so it has plenty of power to tackle large bass. Additionally, its all-metal gears and oversized handle knob make it easy to use and provide you with the strength and accuracy needed for a successful catch. Plus, its Bite Alert feature will give you peace of mind knowing that you won’t miss a single bite!

              Is the Zebco 888 good for fly fishing?

              No, the Zebco 888 is not suitable for fly fishing. This reel is designed to be used with heavier baits, lines, and rods which are not ideal for fly fishing. If you are looking for a reel suitable for fly fishing, we recommend looking into our selection of spincast reels specifically designed for this type of angling.

              Are the Zebco 808 and 888 good catfish reels?

              Yes, both the Zebco 808 and 888 are great for catfishing. The 808 features an all-metal gear system for improved durability, plus a patented no-tangle design that helps prevent line tangling while fighting big fish. Meanwhile, the 888 is built with stainless steel front cover and dual ceramic pick-up pins for added accuracy and smoothness when reeling in your catch. Both reels also feature bite alerts so you won’t miss out on any activity beneath the surface.

              Economy-level reels can be a great option for beginner anglers, but those looking to catch larger species like blue catfish should turn to the reliable Zebco 808 and 888 models – strong enough tackle designed with their toughest haul in mind.

              How many yards of the line does a Zebco 888 hold?

              The reliable Zebco 888 is capable of accommodating a whopping 425 yards of Stren line, giving anglers the power to tackle up to 30 pounds worth.

              What does Zebco fishing stand for?

              Zero Hour Bomb Company

              In 1956, a friend of former President Eisenhower requested the Zero Hour Bomb Company to provide an item for delivery at The White House. But due to its name, security personnel quickly evaluated it as suspicious and reacted with caution – submerging the package into water and calling in bomb squad specialists! As a result of this incident, HHBC changed its corporate identity from Zero Hour Bomb Co. to Zebco – ensuring future deliveries would be welcomed without suspicion.

              What types of fish can be caught with Zebco 808 and 888?

              The Zebco 808 and 888 are suitable for catching a variety of different fish species including bass, catfish, walleye, pike, and trout. Its wide spool design and heavy-duty metal gears make it perfect for tackling larger species while still being lightweight enough to cast out easily. With the right bait and technique, anglers of all levels can use this reel to catch some big fish!


              The differences between Zebco 888 and 808 reels do not influence your choice too much. They are all-powerful reels at an extremely low price, from only 20 dollars to 50 dollars.

              These two reels are low gear ratio reels, sturdy construction, suitable for fishing large, heavy fish in freshwater and saltwater.

              However, the Zebco 888 fishing reel is a bit superior for catching large fish in saltwater but makes up for it with a higher price tag than the 808.

              Everything you want to know about “Zebco 808 vs 888” is above. In the end, the choice is up to you. You can carefully study the features of each reel and choose the most suitable reel. Good luck!

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