Pflueger President Vs XT – What Are The Differences, And Which One Should You Buy?


by Robert Ceran

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Are you thinking about getting a new Pflueger President or XT spinning reel, but not sure which model is right for you?

For this article we tested the most important features of the Pflueger President vs XT reels side by side, and will cover their main differences, to help you choose the best one for your purpose.

Pflueger President XT Vs President Fishing Reel Series Compared

President XT seriesPresident series
Size range2000 to 40002000 to 4000
Gear ratio5.2:1 to 6.2:15.2:1
Retrieve rate22.4" to 38"20.2" to 31.6"
Weight5.60 to 10.10 oz.6.20 to 11.50 oz.
Number of ball bearings7 to 107 to 10
Drag systemSealed dragSealed drag
Braid ready spoolYesYes
Material of body and rotorGraphiteGraphite
Maximum drag pressure6 to 14 lb6 to 14 lb
Anti reverseInstant anti reverseInstant anti reverse

The table above summarizes the key specifications and features of both lineups that we tested. 

The two series are available in the same sizes, so you can potentially use them for similar applications.

By looking at the table it seems that they are broadly similar in most categories. So what really makes them different from each other?

Now let’s cover their main features in detail, and discuss the key differences that we found when we put them to the test.

The most important differences between the President and the XT series

Gear ratio: This is the first category where there’s a real difference between the two series.

While all President models have a gear ratio of 5.2:1, the larger XT models (sizes 3000 and above) have a gear ratio of 6.2:1, which makes them significantly faster.

Bottom line: Our testing showed that the larger XT models have a faster gear ratio of 6.2:1 (compared to the 5.2:1 of the President). This makes them better suited for applications that require high speed lure retrieval. 

Retrieve rate: This is the second area with a major difference between the two lineups. All XT models have a faster retrieve rate than the corresponding President models.

This is partially due to the higher gear ratio, but also because they have a larger spool size.

This difference is most evident in the larger models – for example, the size 4000 XT has a retrieve rate of 38”, while the size 4000 President has a retrieve rate of 31.6” (for more information on the sizes, check out our guide on spinning reel sizes).

Bottom line: When we put them to the test, we found that the XT models have a significantly faster retrieve rate, which makes them ideal for spin fishing, while President reels have a medium speed retrieve rate, which is better suited for all-round applications.

Weight: This is the third category with a significant difference between the two lineups. On average, XT models are about 10% lighter than President models, which makes a big difference if you do a lot of casting.

Bottom line: The XT lineup is about 10% lighter than the President, and our tests revealed that this makes it better suited for spin fishing applications that require casting a lot.

Appearance: This is another area which sets the two series apart from each other. Most anglers agree that the grey body of the XT combined with its dark red accents makes it much more elegant than the President. But of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so you need to judge for yourself.

Ball bearings: Both series have 10 ball bearings (except for the size 2000, which has 7), so there’s no difference between them in this category.

Drag system: Both series are identical in this regard, and come with a sealed drag system. 

Spool: Both series come with a braid ready spool, but the spool of the XT is slightly lighter and larger.

Body and rotor: Both series are built with a carbon graphite body and rotor, and so are very similar in this category.

Main shaft and pinion gear: The XT boasts an aluminum main shaft and pinion gear, which makes it more durable and resistant to warping under pressure. 

Maximum drag pressure: Both lineups are identical in this category, with 6 to 14 lb max drag.

Anti reverse: Both series have an instant anti reverse gear.

Now let’s take a closer look at each series.

Pflueger President XT review

This is an improved version of the President, and as discussed in detail above, its most important distinguishing features are that it is lighter and faster than the older version. When we tested it, we found that this makes it ideal for spin fishing applications.

The aluminum pinion gear and main shaft also make this model more durable and resistant to warping, which is ideal for fighting bigger fish. Because of this, you can even use it for light saltwater spinning.

Finally, the grey body with dark red accents makes this one of the most attractive models produced by Pflueger.


  • Precision slow oscillation gears
  • Handle with soft touch knob
  • Aluminum bail and handle

Pflueger President spinning series

This is the most popular and widely used spinning reel sold by Pflueger. Almost every angler in the USA has had one of these reels at some point in their angling career, and many have several sizes in their tackle box.

As discussed above, this model has a medium speed gear ratio of 5.2:1. Combined with it’s durable build and reliable performance, our testing showed that this makes it great as an all-round fishing reel that can be used for most applications. 

In addition to its durability and versatility, the affordable price of this series also makes it a staple choice for many anglers.


  • Aluminum main shaft and pinion gear
  • Rubber cork knob
  • Lightweight and fast


Pflueger has been one of the best manufacturers of quality fishing reels for decades, and continues to be a top choice among many anglers. But once you’ve decided to get one of their reels, the question remains: which one should you choose?

In summary, our testing revealed that the main difference between the two lineups is that the XT is lighter and significantly faster than the President. This makes it ideal for spin fishing applications, while the latter is a perfect choice as a general purpose reel.

So which one should you buy? If you’re a beginner, or looking for an all-round reel, then the President has got you covered. But if you plan to do a lot of casting and retrieval of artificial lures, then the XT is definitely superior, and will serve you better.

Gear used for testing

For consistent testing results, we paired both reel series with the same rod, a 7’0” St Croix Premier Light spinning rod. We spooled the reels with 12 lb test Berkeley Trilene Fluorocarbon, and used them with 1/8 to 1/2 oz fishing lures, including soft plastics, swimbaits, and jigs.