If you have been fishing for a long time, there would be some cases where you’ll in your fishing career where you’ll be asked by anglers on how to improve their performance, which usually consists of what’s the best baitcasting reels are.
While a spinning reel can great to learn on, but sooner or later, you’ll most likely need a fishing reel that could continuously keep up with your upgrading skillset. That’s where the baitcasting reel would come in.
Baitcasting reels, or commonly known as “bait casters,” are for those anglers who want more precision and control over their casts, as well as for those who have lots of fishing experience.
There may be many bait casters in the market, but not all of them have excellent quality. Therefore, in this article, we would be providing you with the best casting reels to help improve your fishing career.
20Shimano Curado Reels
This baitcasting from Shimano is overall the best product that you could purchase to upgrade your fishing gear. Shimano is close to its 100th anniversary when it comes to creating quality fishing gears.
They have started with a goal of compromising their product’s quality and have lived up for that reputation for decades and models in their product’s line. There may be better reels in the market, but this margin can almost be never noticed.
The Curado bait caster reel has an aluminum handle with a couple of oversized handles to provide plenty of traction while connecting to a spool through its one-piece aluminum frame.
Its housing is made from a lightweight Hagane to add strength, while the spool has a hard-anodized aluminum and balance between fighting against vibration. So all-in-all, this is a lightweight reel that could improve your fishing experience.
19Lews Fishing Team Mag Speed Spool Reel
is the kind of company that you don’t hear much about, but when you do, you’ll be surprised to know that despite not being too well-known, they still provide high-quality fishing gear for anglers like their Hyper Mag Baitcaster.
Carbon fiber is one of the materials they use to keep their baitcaster’s strong, durable, and incredibly light. This is also one of the reasons why they have high-quality bait casters.
Weighing in a mere 5 ½ ounces, the reel almost feels like a toy, but it is far from being one. Also, it is strong and tough enough to handle a big catch easily. The reel uses four carbon fiber discs to have a drag system to keep the pressure to only 20 pounds.
Combined with a 7.5 to 1 retrieving ratio, you could really put up a fight when it comes to the wire. So, if you are hauling a bass from the weeds, this bait caster is the kind of power you’ll need when fishing.
18Abu Garcia Revo 4 – Baitcast Reel Under 300$
is one of the most popular and successful manufacturers of rods and reels in the world. And as part of their success, you’ll often see fishing tournaments and anglers using their fishing reels regularly.
It may seem like they’re commercializing their products, but their success is well-earned as they have been competing against several good brands fairly. Aside from being successful and well-known to anglers, it also has other benefits.
The reel comes with a full graphite body with a proprietary X2 frame, which helps weigh down the reels. This is not a minnow picker, but it is a tool designed to be used by serious anglers trying to catch large fishes.
It is the type of baitcaster that could easily handle pike, bass, and even musky when you need it. The line capacity almost reached 140 yards, which is needed when you fish heavy and far.
17Shimano Metanium Casting Reel – High-end Casting Reel Under 500$
There are many great reel manufacturers in the fishing industry, but Shimano has killed it with their Metanium casting reel. Having these back to back feats when it comes to the margin of quality between their products is so narrow that you’ll know that they are making high-quality reels.
Like the Curado model, the Metanium is also made from a solid aluminum frame. Its handles are also made with Hagane for durability.
The spool used on this model is Shimano’s new Magnumlite that could promise up to 20% of more casting distance while only needing lower inertia. However, this could make it difficult to tune the brakes but still manageable perfectly.
The breaking uses a sealed magnetic system that is both strong and smooth to use. This what makes great baitcasting reels different from the good ones.
16Daiwa Lexa Baitcast Fishing Reel
makes lots of great reels in quality, but their Lexa model is the one that stands out the most. Though it may not have some of their other products’ qualities, it still comes with a pure value, making it a definite contender in the industry. This specific model has a classy design, which makes it different from its other models, as it’s not as vibrant and eye-catching as the others.
If you look aside from its design, the reel’s overall durability is great as it is composed of a mix of graphite and aluminum for its body and frame. The spool is also made of aluminum, while its other working parts are corrosion-resistant stainless steel. It also features an anti-reverse, one-way clutch to help keep the backlash down, which is augmented by a smooth centrifugal break so that this reel could cast very smoothly for your liking.
15Daiwa Tatula Baitcast Fishing Reel
Here is another baitcasting reel from one of the most popular brands in Asia’s fishing culture, making it very strong and durable. It would be best not to doubt their overall durability and quality if you are looking for a top lining reel.
One of Daiwa’s significant issues is that they lack U.S markets and published materials, which is why the information and statistics of their reels were hard to believe. But finally, they’re already building their presence in the U.S.
Like most of the industry’s toughest reels, this model is also built with a reel arm, all-aluminum frame, and spool, and every piece of it is hard-anodized to prevent it from having any corrosions.
Its body and side plates are made of graphite composite, which is more resistant to cracking than the pure graphite that is lighter. If you put some thought to it, its whole effect is quite amazing and strikingly practical.
14Okuma Komodo Low-Profile Baitcaster Reel
Okuma is another well-known company that does some amazing things on their reels, so the brand is considered another favorite of anglers, as they produce fantastic baitcasting reels. Most of Okuma’s fishing reels aren’t salt-proof, but despite that, it is still a trendy brand among coastal fishers.
The Komodo series are made with full aluminum frames and side plate construction that has machined stainless-steel internals. The reel is quite large and very strong without any compromises.
However, the reel weighs more than a pound depending on its model, but none of them are actually lightweight. Therefore, you might get around a gear ratio of 6:7:1 that works quite well on various fishes with different techniques.
13Lews MB Baitcasting Fishing Reel
Despite not being well-known among anglers and fishers, Lews is still part of the world’s top 5 fishing reel manufacturers. You can easily find these amazing reels on the rods of a lot of competitive anglers.
Since they have been making fishing reels for decades, they certainly know how to make their products one of the best reels in the manufacturing industry. It is also worth learning about its overall construction and quality.
This really is made of a double anodized aluminum spool and a one-piece aluminum frame. Its construction is also coupled with graphite side plates for low weight, hardened aluminum, and steel drive bearing system.
All of these features add up to the reel’s smooth operation, which is enhanced by a non-reverse one-way clutch and a dual magnetic brake system. This way, you can avoid any issues towards the line getting tangled or having a snapback.
12Shimano Tranx Low-Profile Baitcasting Reel
The Shimano Tranx Baitcast reel is the perfect option for anglers fishing in deep seas while combining the baitcaster’s pinpoint accuracy with the power to get offshore fishes like grouper, tuna, and billfish. This baitcasting reel features eight corrosion resistant ball bearings and an aluminum frame coated with a particular type of treatment that could lock out water.
This reel’s maximum drag capacity is around 25 pounds, along with an impressive line capacity that could translate to up to 420 yards of a 50-pound test braid. The latter is needed when fishing offshore, as it would provide you the space you need to allow bigger fishes to run along the line while fighting. Its other highlight includes a smoother drag with various settings, a power handle that has a comfortable non-slip knob, and a gear ratio of 6:61 for a fast action lure.
11Daiwa Coastal TWS Baitcasting Reel
This reel is specially designed with the inshore anglers in mind. The Daiwa Coastal TWS bait cast reel is made to withstand saltwater exposure with its eight corrosion resistant ball bearings.
This is 12 times longer than the standard stainless-steel ball bearings, combined with the reel’s high strength gears to enhance its overall longevity. Its maximum drag is about 15.4 pounds and has a fast gear ration of 7:3:1.
This reel also comes with an aircraft-grade aluminum spool that can provide 35% more line capacity than Daiwa’s freshwater equivalent. This way, you can use a heavier line to get more powerful saltwater species.
Its other features include Daiwa’s Magforce Cast Control and its T-Wing aperture to reduce the line angles and friction. Fortunately, this is available in left and right-handed models for everyone’s convenience.
10Abu Garcia Revo 3 Baitcasting Reel – Great Choice Under 150$
If you want to use a reasonable reel when it comes to quality but still pass on your budget, the Revo 3 might just be the right reel for you and your fishing career.
Despite being more affordable than the others, it is still made with high-quality as it is a product of Abu Garcia, a well-known company, thanks to its durable and quality made reels. It may not be a great as a high-end reel, but it could help you cast and fish decently.
One of the reasons this reel is quite affordable is the use of an alloy frame. The material costs less, but it is quite durable, strong, and extremely lightweight, perfect for a long day of fishing and for those who are new to baitcasting reels.
Another thing you’ll recognize about the reel is its ergonomics. It has a recessed spool, flat top, and a contoured handle to make it comfortable for you to use when fishing all-day.
9Okuma Citrix Baitcasting Reel
For beginners, the Okuma Citrix could be the best low-end option that you could purchase. It may not be as good as the other high-end baitcasting reels, but the low-end Citrix has proven to be an excellent reel for beginners. It also provides you some excellent performance despite being cheaper. But what makes this reel a favorite to some anglers? Mostly because of its fine details and overall style.
The Citrix comes with a full aluminum frame and graphite body, which isn’t special, along with its aluminum-made handle. But what makes the reel pretty exciting to use is its combination of soft-touch, profile, and anodizing contoured handles.
Also, it is one of the most affordable baitcasting reels that use 100% real magnetic breaking. The company didn’t bother giving it a fancy name to keep everything simple.
8Shimano Chronarch MGL Reel
If you are looking for a top medium-sized fishing reel, the Chronarch MGL baitcasting reel is the best option you could get in the market. This reel costs more than the affordable fishing reel, but its price is still nowhere near the cost of a high-end magnesium framed fishing reels. The Shimano Chronarch provides you with a high-performance, high-quality fishing reel you could rely on.
This model has an almost identical carbon composite frame to Ci4+ that also weighs 6.5 ounces, but it has more enhanced features than the previous ones. Like most of Shimano’s high-end baiting reels, the Chronarch MGL also has an X-ship arrangement that can provide you the solid strength and stability you need. The reel got its name from the Micro Module gear to make retrieving smooth and strong and from the Magnumite spool that helps reduce your casting effort.
713 Fishing Concept A Fishing Reel
The 13 Fishing name has always been a “hype” company to some anglers due to their beautiful products and splashy marketing strategy. However, over the past several years of making, it has been quite impossible to ignore their popularity because of their concept of a baitcasting reel.
The reel comes in a sexy matte black color with convenient cork knobs. So, no wonder they are quite popular with anglers, especially for those who are looking for stylish reels.
Concept A is built with an aluminum frame and composite side plates like most reels ranging from $200. Its fit and finish are quite amazing, and no doubt, you’ll look good when you are using a Concept when fishing.
Concept A has proven how capable they are for your fishing career when it comes to fishing. Casting is also a breeze thanks to its unique arrowhead guide on the lining and its waffle spool.
6Abu Garcia Revo STX Baitcast Reel
We have included the Revo STX because of its high-end bearing and its brake system, but we have also chosen it for its three various gearing ratios. The STX is an upgraded version of the Revo SX. Therefore both of them only have a few differences.
The STX version has a gear ratio that could work for everyone, while the SX only has two options. Its weight has dropped from 6.9 ounces and then to 6.4 ounces, as well as 10+1 bearings. But the biggest difference between the two reels is their braking system.
The Revo STX comes with a magnetic system and an upgraded centrifugal brake system called the Infini Brake System. Therefore, it is up to you if spending extra money on a better braking system is worth it.
Like most of the Revo reel products, you can expect this model to have an ergonomic design with a smooth Carbon Matrix drag system, easy to hold on the palm, and a D2 gear design to provide you with plenty of hooks and cranking setting power.
5Shimano Citica 1 Baitcasting Fishing Reel
If you were planning to buy a Shimano Curado baitcasting reel, but the shop said they were out of stock, you could try purchasing the newer Shimano Citica, as Curado and Citica are very similar. If you have been fishing with an experienced angler or fisherman, there is a huge chance that you might find a few Curados on his boat or deck. Since Citica 1 is a new model, they are also trying to achieve the historical performance, durability, and reliability of the Curado.
Even though this reel is quite affordable, it’s still impressive how sturdy they for a less than $200 baitcasting reel. This is the perfect balance that you can get when it comes to the reel’s performance that you could rely on.
Users who have already tried using the Citica 1 model gush at its smooth casting, especially its adjustable Infinity SVS braking system. This model is also complete with Shimano’s technologies, such as the X-ship pinion gear, S3D stable spool, and S-A-RB bearings.
4Ardent Apex Elite Baitcasting Reel
If you are not familiar with the Ardent name, we encourage you to check out their Apex series. Their Apex Elite product is just below their Apex Grand, which is their top line Apex model.
The only difference between the two is their color and the gear’s ratio. The Apex Grand only has a single high-speed option at 7:3:1 ratio, while the Apex Elite has both 5:3:1 and 6:5:1 speed. If you tend to fish for bass, the Elite could be the choice you could purchase.
The materials used on the Apex Elite are all top-notch, despite the reel being very affordable. The reel is made with a carbon fiber handle, aluminum spool and frame, and the EVA foam paddle knobs.
sAnd because of the materials used, it only makes the reel weigh 5.9 ounces at a competitive price range. Usually, reels at this price range will weigh around 6.5 up to 7.0 ounces.
3Abu Garcia Revo SX Baitcasting Reel
If you don’t need a beast factor reel at a friendlier price-point, the Revo SX is the kind of product worth considering. If you are on a budget but hoping to find a baitcasting reel that is within your budget, this premium low-profile reel from Abu Garcia is an excellent choice that you could make. The Revo SX also showcase good looking design and features that could be useful for you when fishing.
Its X2-Craft aluminum frame can help prevent corrosion, while its C6 Carbon for the reel’s side plates can help shave the extra ounces. Its weight is surprisingly light at a mere 6.7 ounces and quite compact, which is good, especially when trying to catch huge fishes. Being low-profile makes the reel feels comfortable and ergonomic in hand, so casting for the whole day wouldn’t be much of a problem at all.
2Abu Garcia Black Max – Best Baitcasting Fishing Reel Under 50$
Here is another great option for those on a budget but looking for a quality reel at a low price, the Abu Garcia Black Max Reel. The reel is quite compact, lightweight, and has a gear ratio of 6:4:1, which offers good performance, reliability, and very affordable, making it perfect for beginners or to be used as your backup baitcasting reel.
It has a 4-ball bearing reel that is quite smooth and crisp, along with a sensitive feel that is perfect for smaller fishes like a panfish or small bass. It can spool up to 130 yards of a 30-pound braid or about 145 yards with 12-pound mono.
With its magnetic cast control, it lets new baitcasters get a feel for it without experiencing any massive tangles and backlashes. Its star drag is straightforward to operate and features a smooth, powerful system ready to provide 18 pounds of fighting the power.
1KastKing Royale Legend – Most Popular Baitcasting Reel for The Money
This fishing reel is primarily intended to be used for freshwater fishing. The KastKing Royale Legend has a gear ratio of 7:0:1. This will allow you to have fast, silent retrieval of 31.5 inches per turn or IPT. This makes it the perfect baitcast for buzz baits and another fast-action luring.
Are gears made of precision-cut brass, along with 11 + 1 corrosion-resistant ball bearings, to help make your retrieval and casting as smooth as possible.
The reel’s spool is made of lightweight anodized aluminum and a ceramic liner compatible with a braided and monofilament line.
If you are left-handed, lucky for you, this reel is available in both handling configurations, the reel only weighs around 7.5 ounces, but it uses a carbon fiber drag system to provide a maximum of 17.5 pounds of drag.
The magnetic braking and dual centrifugal system will allow you full casting control.
Bait Casting Buying Guide
Aside from spending some time mastering your baitcasting reel to improve your control and the distance you make, you’ll also have to consider features, durability, design, and even its weight. For beginners, you might get confused with all the baitcasting reel products available in the market.
To help you out with that confusion, we’ll bring down a few things below that could help you choose and differentiate the best baitcasting reels in the market. Now, here’s what you need to know about baitcasting reels to get the best one:
When purchasing fishing reels, you will often encounter the gear ratio as one of their features. For beginners, if you don’t know what a gear ratio is, it will tell you how many times your reel’s spool turns in just one revolution of the handle. Therefore, the higher that gear ratio is, the more line you can retrieve for every turn of the reel’s handle. The common gear ratios of top baitcasting reels are 7:1:1, 5:3:1, and 6:4:1.
If you want to use a gear ratio that can be an excellent choice all-around, you should choose the 6:4:1 gear ratio. This will enable us to use most kinds of bait and even fishing techniques like topwater, worms, shallow cranking, and jigs while having excellent performance. The other ratios are much more specialized, so it might be something that you want to take advantage of.
As for the lower gear ratios like 5:3:1 and 5:2:1, they are suitable to be used for fishing baits that pull hard, such as big swimbaits, deep diving crankbaits, and the slow-rolling heavy spinnerbaits.
Having this kind of ratio will help reel in the bait slower to keep it in the striking zone longer. Besides, you’ll also enjoy this ratio’s higher torque output, making them a good option for moving and flipping the fish out of the water.
If you practice some fishing competition techniques or just for a hobby, then a higher gear ratio is the best option for you. Taking up slack and the bait back to your boat is important.
And if you like to fish for topwater toads or frogs, using a 7:1:1 baitcasting reel would be the perfect choice for you. These ratios also excel at plastics and pitching jigs. Therefore you can take up a slack fast and happily drive back home with a nice hookset.
The Size of Spool
Using a bigger or deeper spool can be very useful if you prefer fishing for a heavy stiff line, such as a 20-pound fluorocarbon. The larger your baitcasting reel’s spool is, the smaller coils it creates on the line making it easier to manage for you. The smaller, shallow types of spools are best used for short-line applications like pitching and flipping.
The Size of the Handle
For low profile bass fishing reels, they have various sizes of handles. At the same time, some of the most compact baitcasting reels have shorter handles. This could be fine for some fishing applications such as a jig or worm, but not when it comes to handling big swimbaits or crankbaits. A longer and larger handle can create more torque to help winch the fish out of the heavy cover, much like how you punch the grass mats.
Tension and Braking Systems
The use of a tension know can control your rod’s line right at the beginning of your cast, while the brake system will help control the line found at the end of your cast. The brake is very helpful, especially when you are casting into the wind where your spool spins faster while the wind is slowing down the bait. Therefore, having an excellent braking system and tension is essential for you to make long cats with various weights and minimal backlash experience.
Materials and Bearings
When it comes to your reel’s bearings, look for quality stainless-steel or ceramic made materials. Generally, the more bearings your baitcasting reel has, the smoother you’ll be able to cast and retrieve when fishing.
Also, look for lightweight baitcasting reels and use strong materials like magnesium, aluminum, or carbon composite. These materials use strong, durable materials that would give you the best performance and durability, which you’ll definitely in your fishing career.
Advantages of Baitcasting Fishing Reels
We believe that anglers should use both baitcasting reels ad high-quality spinning reels to become versatile anglers if possible. However, you’ll have to learn about many lures and techniques used with a baitcasting combo.
- Less Line Twist
Spinning reels are well-known for their line twist, which is somewhat an enemy of good casting. As for bait casters, they spool the line that is perpendicular to the spool axis. This means that it would be the only line twist that would be imparted in your line, which would come from your lure, usually when you are fishing by using soft plastics.
- Heavier Line
On a baitcasting reel, the spool’s rotation axis is somewhat perpendicular to your rod’s guides. This means that the line would come off directly through the line guide, and it would go straight to the rod guides. This will make it easier for you to use a heavier line from 10 to 20 pounds on average, and heavier lures. Having a good baitcasting setup will make it easier for you to cast lures from around ¼ to 1-ounce, and maybe more.
- More Control
Using a bait caster with reel combos can provide you a high degree of casting control when it to spinning gear. This is because you can control your lure’s speed and distance by using your thumb on the spool when casting. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll achieve your casting’s pinpoint accuracy, which allows you to place your lure to where the fishies are.
- Longer Casts
When a bait caster is paired with the right rod, the reel could easily overcome a spinning gear. The line will come directly from off the spool and then straight out to the rod guides, compared to the spinning outfit’s uncoiling. For those who are working with hard jigs and baits, baitcaster cannot be defeated.
- More Power
Unlike spinning reels, bait casters can have more power thanks to their design and spool layout. The spool would be in-line with the gears and handles so that the reel could apply more torque and power to your casts. Also, since the handles are directly mounted on the steel frame, there would be no lever arm to cause some flex when you are reeling hard on a fish.
Q: Do I Need to Maintain my Baitcasting Reel?
A: Yes, you need to maintain it to improve its longevity. Simple maintenance like cleaning, washing, and wiping your reels would help prolong its lifespan, ensuring that it would still function at optimum performance.
Q: How Can I Minimize the Damage my Reel could get during Usage?
A: Fishing in salt water is one of the main causes why a reel doesn’t have a long lifespan, along with dirt or sand. Therefore try not to get too much dirt or sand on your reel and avoid overexposing it into saltwater.
But if your reel is saltwater-proof, then we suggest that you clean your reel after every usage. Make sure to cradle your fishing rod to avoid it from getting exposed to dirt and saltwater splashes when not in use.
Q: Is Magseal Waterproof?
A: not. This is because a Magseal is used as a barrier for your reel to help reduce dust and water penetration by getting through the reel’s common entry points while using your rod and reel. Also, a Magseal barrier doesn’t thoroughly dust or waterproof your fishing reel.
Q: How Often Should I Wash my Baitcasting Reel?
A: If you often fish in saltwater bodies, it is quite unavoidable that you’ll get small amounts of saltwater droplets on your gear, so what you’ll from here on out is very important. Simply placing your rod in its container after fishing would just damage your reel quickly. Therefore, whether you fish in salt or freshwater, we recommend that you wash your whole fishing rod after every fishing outing.
Q: What Should I Do if my Rod and Reel get Completely Dunked in the Water?
A: If your reel got completely dunked on any kind of water, we recommend that you disassemble your reel to give a thorough cleaning and then assemble it back again. But if you don’t know how to do it, you can just ask the product’s service center to help you out with your problem.
Since baitcasters aren’t exactly cheap, you’ll have to take good care of them to improve their long lifespan. This way, you can get your money’s worth and get to save more money in the long run.
In this article, we have looked at 20 amazing baitcasting reels along with their reviews. Therefore the best baitcasting reel would depend on your needs and wants on the product. So, we don’t have to choose the best one as it would still depend on your preference and needs for your fishing career.
And since we have turned up some of the best cost-effective options for you, we surely hope that we have helped you greatly in this article. Once you have already chosen a product, make sure to take some time to practice how to use the reel to master it.