Best Baitcasting Reel For The Money
- Best Baitcasting Reel Under 200:
- Abu Garcia Revo SX – Editor’s Choice: Best Overall Baitcasting reel
- 13 Fishing Concept A – Great Design And Looking Cork Knobs
- Okuma Komodo SS – Excellent Casting And Great Braking
- Best Baitcasting Reel Under 150:
- Daiwa Tatula CT – High Gear Ratio Baitcasting Reel
- Shimano Citica – Top Shimano Baitcasting Reel
- Ardent Apex Elite Baitcasting Reel – Lightweight Baitcasting Reel
- Best Baitcasting Reel Under 100:
- Lews Speed Spool LFS – Most Affordable Quality Reel
- Best Baitcasting Reel Under 50:
- KastKing Royale Legend/Whitemax – Good For Beginners
- Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel – Good Cheap Baitcasting Reel
- Abu Garcia Black Max – Budget Baitcasting Reel
The Baitcasting Reel is an upgraded version of the single action fly reel —an old school drum-like device that rotates by inertia and is operated by stripping line off the reel with one hand—that had been superbly popular amongst the seasoned fishermen and pros. The advantages of the modern baitcasting reel, as compared to its previous versions, are its highly improved performance characteristics and use for various styles of spin fishing.
The baitcasters are used for the fishing styles that require frequent casts, accurate lure guide, and fish retrieval with a rod that a fisherman holds for hours in his hands. The baitcasters are small in size and quite lightweight. The baitcasting reels are categorized on classic round reels and low profile reels. The baitcasters are inertia reels. The initial acceleration of the spool happens due to the energy from bait casts. The spool simply cannot speed up if a bait is too light. And opposite, if a bait is too heavy for a spool of certain weight, the initial acceleration will be excessive and will cause a line to overrun. If you are planning to use the bait heavier than 1 ounce (28 grams), you will need to go with a larger reel.
Shape of a low profile reel has its unique specific design. Casts of a light bait require disengaging a bail, only this way the light bait weight will be enough to unwind the spool to a higher speed, This makes it easier to rotate the spool. It goes without saying that if the bail “eye” is stationary, the fishing line should not bend to much, otherwise the casting distance will be affected. That is why, when designing this type of reels, the “eyes” were positioned as far away from the spool as possible. This is the reason why a baitcaster has a shape of a soap dish.
When purchasing a baitcaster, there is one differentiating factor that you should be aware of: the lighter the baits and the shorter the rod, the lighter the reel spool should be and the better quality of its design. If everything goes without explanation with weight—a light bait simply does not spin a heavy spool, another factor—length of a rod— requires more detailed account. A short rod provides a smaller bait path during acceleration, and even with a regular weight of bait, a heavy spool in such a short segment cannot gain momentum, and as a result, the heavier the reel spool, the stronger the impact on the rod length is.
Best Baitcasting Reels for the Money (2020 Reviews)
Best Baitcasting Reels Comparison Table:
|Abu Garcia Revo SX|
Editor’s Choice: Best Overall Baitcasting reel
|13 Fishing Concept A|
Great Design And Looking Cork Knobs
|Okuma Komodo SS|
Excellent Casting and Great Braking
|10.9 oz - |
|Daiwa Tatula CT|
High Gear Ratio Baitcasting Reel
Best Shimano Baitcasting Reel
|Ardent Apex Elite|
Lightweight Baitcasting Reel
|Lews SPEED SPOOL LFS|
Most Affordable Quality Reel
|KastKing Royale Legend/Whitemax|
Good For Beginners
Good Cheap Reel
|Abu Garcia Black Max|
Budget Baitcasting Reel
Best Baitcasting Reel Under 200
Abu Garcia Revo SX – Review
For you to launch baits weighing 1/2 oz. and heavier, I recommend start with engaging 2 of 6 of the centrifugal brake pins. The pins should be arranged opposite each other, not next to each other. Set the magnet brake to approx. 75 percent. Always consider the style of your cast, but as long as you’re not applying a lot of force with your wrist or sharply snapping tip of the fishing rod forward, you’ll not get much line overruns.
With high acceleration of the rod tip, rate of the spool speed increases excessively. If it happens, you might need to engage more pins on the brake. The magnet brake can be increased or decreased to accommodate changes in the weight of the bait, speed and direction of the wind and so on.
And the last thing, make sure to fine tune the amount of tension with the spool tension knob every time you change a lure or alter pressure on the magnet brake.
13 Fishing Concept A – Review
The reel has a perfect brake system. It took for me just seconds to dial in. With my very first cast, I caught a snook measuring 23 inches. This big boy of reel handled it perfectly.
It casts a big distance without creating “bird’s nest” issues. The reel works well with ¼ oz lures, which are typically difficult to cast without getting “birdies”.
I have not had any problems with the side panel. It did not come loose. If you’re pondering to buy this reel or not, go ahead. You won’t be disappointed. Great reel for the money. I would recommend to any angler in the bass fishing world.
Okuma Komodo SS – Review
Impressive ree! I really like it! I prefer to use a baitcaster over a spinning reel for many reasons, mostly because of the baitcaster’s features, and this time Komodo SS exceeded my expectations. It is equipped with great performance features, like six stainless steel bearings, plus one roller bearing. Size-wise, it seems to be twice as big as Shimano Curado 200.
First time I used mine was to go surf fishing. I put Komodo SS on an Okuma Cedros CSX 11′ rod. It doesn’t cast greater distance than my spinner, but I can launch a lure weighing 3 ounces for a distance about 100 yards. I also use it on an 8 feet live bait rod for trolling king mackerel.
The bait clicker, which is standard on all models, is a superbly appealing feature and the drag system can handle hard fighting fish without any issue. This coming summer I will be taking this reel with a hope to land bass or rooster fish, tuna or marlin.
Best Baitcasting Reel Under 150
Daiwa Tatula CT – Review
I was originally very sarcastic of hearing claims that the T-Wing system would enable casting for long distance, and indeed with heavy baits there was no apparent difference. However, with light lures the difference was obvious.
The drag system is efficient and can be also adjusted precisely with click increments. Tatula ultimate drag system can handle up to 13.2 pounds of drag, quite a lot for a casting reel in a low profile category. The strength of the materials used in construction ensures the reel will never deteriorate because of pressure and will maintain its body for years of use and abuse.
SHIMANO Citica – Review
You can’t go wrong with a Shimano product. Again, they made almost perfect device. The company upgraded the spool bearings with Boca design. It delivers phenomenal performance. It takes less effort to cast the same distance. Now it even casts about 20 yards further. I use this reel for fishing largemouth bass.
It is silky smooth, casts perfectly and the ratcheting star drag is working impeccably. Definitely worth the money. Would recommend it to anyone.
Ardent Apex Elite Baitcasting Reel – Review
I finally found my “Go To” reel! I just got my Ardent Apex Elite reel, bought it online. I was not sure what to expect last week. When I took it out of the box I was already fired up! Super light and small size, matte finish in black, carbon handle. Really beautiful reel.
My first day of fishing was a 10-hour casting marathon – fishing a crankbait from sunrise to sunset. The Apex outcasted all of my other reels and was smoother than all of them.
Absolutely love it! Strong, casts far, and rarely gives backlashes. It also has a 3-year warranty, can’t beat that!
Best Baitcasting Reel Under 100
Lews SPEED SPOOL LFS – Review
This reel is really great. I had been an owner of the pricier reels and this is by far the smoothest and one of the most comfortable. This reel is faster, stronger, lighter than previous versions in the series. It features tools and construction materials that, when combined, takes legendary performance of the Lew’s reels up a notch.
I used it with 20-pound KastKing braid and it casts long distances without backlash which I attribute to the magnetic braking system. I also like the 7.5.1 retrieve speed.
An awesome reel for the money. The only downside for me is the 10-pound drag. Otherwise, it’s as good or better than any of the other high tag reels I have fished with in the past years.
Best Baitcasting Reel Under 50
KastKing Royale Legend/Whitemax – Review
The reel I purchased became a fabulous deal for me! It is a low profile design baitcaster with a superbly silent high speed line retrieve. As soon as you take it out of the box it feels light and nicely put together. All the controls provide smooth and quiet operation.
This reel is equipped with 11 ball bearings making it the smoothest performance I have had on any reel I previously or currently owned.
I can cast up to a distance as long as 75 yards, putting 10-pound braided line on it and a 1/2 oz of weight. The drag system is perfectly designed and also can be easily adjusted with the star knob. The reel holds a lot of fishing line. No issues whatsoever with this reel.
Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel – Review
Try out this reel. Worth every cent of the $40 spent. Drag is perfect, solid, and the brake is reliable. Well-designed handle, however one of the anodized screws got loose and I was so close to lose it.
I have got backlash a couple of times but it was just a couple of rolls on the drum, not a “birdie”. I run inexpensive 15-pound mono line on it and it works really well.
The company made some appealing upgrades with this reel. The first big improvement is the thumb bar made of aluminum. It might seem unimportant to someone but this is a part on the reel that you touch the most when fishing. For me, it needs to last. Secondly, the handle length: it is longer than the standard one and it is a HUGE improvement. A novice wouldn’t think that a longer handle would make any difference, but I call myself a pro and for me it really allows to crank and instantly pull fish out of deep waters. This reel absolutely exceeded my expectations!
Abu Garcia Black Max Review
It is a very nice reel for fishing trout and Kennerly’s salmon. I’ve done recently a lot of window shopping for reels in an attempt to purchase a good trolling rod and a proper reel for Kennerly’s salmon fishing. I got great value for the price. Abu Garcia exceeded my expectations in every possible way! My plan was to get a budget reel that would meet my style of fishing, but I ended up being a happy owner of Abu Garcia, which is way smoother and is designed better than any of $100 baitcasters.
The reel is of a good quality. Price is very appealing too. The device is super smooth and is engineered with a lot of finesse to adjust the drag. It is equipped with an 8-pound monofilament fishing line, which provides good strength. It falls in the low profile category that makes it very user-friendly. Besides, the size of the reel is small enough for my kid to use it with ease.
My boat is equipped with the spinner/baitcaster holders. I had to modify them in order to fit the reel.
Although the design of a baitcasting reel, or multiplier reel, is way simpler than that of a spinning reel, the product is equipped with certain sophisticated systems to ensure its reliable and balanced operation.
We will further review the main parts and systems of a baitcaster.
ACS or Magnetic Brake
Located on the end of the reel body, a control mechanism comes equipped with the centrifugal magnetic weights underneath. As the knob turns from one numbered mark to another, the magnets move closer to or further from the end of the revolving spool.
Due to the forces occurred between these two elements, the spool revolution rate increases or decreases.
The gear ratio in the reel is determined by a number of the ball bearings or rather by a number of teeth on the bearings. As you know, this parameter affects the traction and speed characteristics of the product.
The lower the gear ratio, the slower and more powerful the whole system is. With a higher gear ratio, the reel loses traction, but gains speed.
Friction Mechanism Brake
This type of brake is operated and adjusted with a star-shaped knob mounted on the spool’s axle. It allows to adjust, easily and smoothly, the amount of pressure you apply on the friction mechanism washers. With the knob, you are able to fine tune the multiplier reel considering how much tension the caught fish puts on the line.
When certain level is exceeded, the line starts feeding out.
The mechanical brake is operated by a knob, which, when rotated, creates a certain pressure on the shaft located underneath.
The shaft creates a pressing force on the spool that rotates with greater effort.
Accurate loading of the fishing line onto the spool of the baitcasting reel, without incurring line twisting is ensured by a helical, or worm, gear. With a crank of the handle the bail engages to guide the fishing line. The bail moves along the spool synchronously as the spool rotates. Uniform laying of the fishing line from one side of the spool to the other should be done regardless of the load. The bail is synced with the rotation of the spool to ensure even line laying and to prevent formation of loose coils.
Baitcasters know that there are baitcasting reels for right-handed and left-handed casters. All that said, the only difference between them is the location of the handle. The handle is mounted either on the right side or left side. The features and functionality are the same. When casting, it does not matter at all whether you are lefty or righty. Whatever baitcaster you get, you will easily get used to it.
Attention! Long-term baitcasters recommend to purchase two rods, one with a handle on the right side of the reel and another with a handle on the left side. This makes sense when you want to switch between dominant and non-dominant hands during long fishing hours.
Saltwater Baitcasting Reel
Baitcasting reel for saltwater fishing with a low gear ratio and high capacity is a good fit for retrieving fish weighing above 5 kg.
Does a Baitcaster Work On A Regular Spinning Rod?
We would not recommend to put a baitcasting reel on a regular spinning rod. The best choice for baitcasting reel will be a casting rod. It is balanced enough, has appropriate reel holder, and its handle is of the right size. The casting rod has more rings comfortably positioned to mount the baitcasting reel on it.
How to Choose the Best Baitcasting Reel?
it goes without saying that a reel that features full metal body will withstand all the harsh effects of the different styles of fishing. However, if you take a good care of your tackle, the reel in a plastic body will last long time of use as well.
When purchasing a baitcaster, consider the gear ratio and the diameter of the fishing line. The packing guide provides instructions on the size of the line. It is recommended not to use too thin or too thick line. Always consider the fishing style you will do.
How to Use Baitcasting Reels?
Check out this guide on how to use baitcasting reel so that it lasts long time. First, let’s find out how to set up baitcasting reel to achieve the greatest casting distance and avoid overruns and “birdies”. If the reel is equipped with centrifugal brake, special weights control the speed of the spool rotation. The weights are removable, their number can be adjusted. The brake is required to adjust the rotation of the spool in case of high acceleration. The centrifugal force causes the weights to diverge and press against the wall, creating friction. That is why when setting up the multiplier reel, consider not to remove all of the weights, since you need to brake when casting.
Important! Do not remove all the centrifugal brake weights. When using heavy baits, the best option is to leave all the weights in place. If casting light baits, some of the weights can be taken off.
Since baitcasting reel cannot be used efficiently and comfortably without a properly adjusted mechanical brake, the next step is to learn how to adjust it. After the reel is mounted on the rod, the bait is chosen and secured, tighten the brake control knob. Put pressure on the spool as long as the load does not drop down on the ground when raising the rod. Then simply wave the fishing rod with ease. If the mechanical brake is adjusted correctly, the bait will drop down about 30-40 centimeters.
The following tips for the proper use of the multiplier reel will help you to avoid a plethora of problems, like line tangling and a mess of line “birdnesting”.
- Do not cast too hard to avoid excessive acceleration of a spool.
- Cast smoothly. Launching sharp casts is good with a spinning reel, but not with a baitcaster.
- When unwinding the fishing line, hold the spool with your thumb. This way you will avoid line overruns. It will also help you to minimize formation of the “birdie’s nest”.
- If you want to cast on a longer distance, reel the bait down, about 40 cm, from the rod tip. This will provide acceleration necessary to cast the load and also creates adequate tension on the fishing line.
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