The Best Baitcasting Reels
Baitcasting fishing is known for precision casting, and fast reeling. Not for the inexperienced angler, but the lifetime angler with a score to settle. When you want the best advantage possible on the water, you want the best baitcasting reel. With a baitcast reel, one turn of the crank results in multiple turns of the spool; this allows you to reel in your fish quicker. There are numerous baitcasting reels to choose from. This review highlights eight of the best baitcasting reels. Following the review is a FAQ section. This section should have the answers to some of the questions you have regarding baitcasting reels. If not, and you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
The Best Baitcasting Reels Review
- Shimano Curado 200l
- Weight: 7.4oz
- Bearings: 5+1
- Gear Ratio: 6.3:1
- Abu Garcia 6500 Ambassadeur S Round
- Weight: 10.4oz
- Bearings: 11+1
- Gear Ratio: 5.1:1
- Abu Garcia Classic Baitcast Reel
- Weight: 12.8oz
- Bearings: 5+1
- Gear Ratio: 5.3:1
- Daiwa Tatula Type-R
- Weight: 7.7oz
- Bearings: 7+1
- Gear Ratio: 8.1:1
- Shimano Torium
- Weight: 16oz
- Bearings: 3+1
- Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
Shimano Curado 200I Baitcasting Reel
The design of this baitcasting reel offers a smooth casting or retrieving without the unwanted vibrations some baitcasting reels are known for. With the SVS infinity braking system, you can steadily control the spool by using the brake weights which create friction while casting. This is useful when luring in smaller fish. It can also help prevent backlash which can be a common occurrence for newer baitcasting fishermen. The new X-Ship technology improves gear durability and provides greater alignment between the pinion and the main gear.
When the weather changes or you want to change your bait, the knob on the outside allows you to easily adjust the reel. The body is made with Hagane steel. This innovative design concept created by Shimano allows the baitcasting reel to withstand the pressures of continual use. When baitcasting reels are made with this material, it gains in toughness and durability.
The body provides ultra-rigid use and resists impact which results in less flexing. There is more crank power to successfully reel in hooked fish. This Shimano baitcasting reel is also equipped with a super free spool. This feature works to remove spool shaft friction while casting. When the clutch is disengaged, the ball bearing will support the pinion gear to keep the spool and gear aligned.
There are five ball bearings and one roller bearing. The ball bearing has shields on both of its sides, which prevents sand and salt from interfering with the rotation.
The HEG design features, which eliminate drivetrain flex and further enhances the power and leverage include:
- One piece frame with an integrated set plate
- One piece stamped side plate
- Large drive and pinion gears
You can use this baitcasting reel in fresh or salt water.
- Very smooth and lightweight
- Does not rust easily
- Can easily reel in heavy catches
- The new braking system performans well
- The cover can open if you use reel on the left hand side
- Not suited for amateurs
- A noise might occur when you cast this particular baitcaster
- The crank has been known to be loose
Abu Garcia Classic Baitcast Reel
Probably the most famous baitcasting reel on the market today. With multiple sizes to choose from, be sure to click on the image and check out the offerings. This baitcast reel offers unrelenting power, premium performance and a smooth drag system. The Carbon Matrix Drag system provides the confidence anglers need. You know this baitcast reel will provide high accuracy when you’re catching fish. You can catch numerous fish with this baitcast reel including:
- Lake trout
This baitcasting reel is available in two classes—C3 and C4—that each have three sizes. This ensures if will fit well into different users’ hands. The sizes under each class include:
- C3: 4600, 5500, 6500
- C4: 4600, 5600, 6600
The common features between the C3 and C4 class size include:
- Four stainless steel ball bearings
- One roller bearing
- Carbon matrix drag system
- 6 pin centrifugal brake
- Synchronized level wind system which improves the line lay and the ability to cast
- Instant anti reverse for a solid hook setting power
The C4 size model has one additional feature—the Duragear 2 gear system. This system provides the baitcasting reel with the strength you need for all fishing conditions. The Duragear 2 system also contributes to the durability of the baitcasting reel.
The design of the C4 class differs from the C3 class in the following way:
- It has a 25% lighter spool design
- 65% lighter aluminum guide
- One bent star
- Highly Durable
- High performance reeling system
- Highly sturdy
- The bait clicker is loud, which lets you know a fish is hooked onto the line
- The drag does not reel well with a fish 3 lb and higher
- The brakes are hard to adjust
- Not suited for amateurs
- The drag engage is not held down tightly
Abu Garcia 6500 Ambassadeur S Round Baitcast Fishing Reel
This model has an updated frame which provides a higher performance compared to its previous models. This model is offered in a left- and right-hand operation.
You’re given a higher drag power because of the multi-disc drag system. This force is consistent throughout the drag range. There is also a synchronized level wind system which ensures there’s a level lay. This improves the ability to cast when it’s windy.
There are two stainless steel ball bearings and one roller bearing which were engineered to assist in a smooth performance when casting and retrieving.
There is a 4-pin centrifugal brake system. This system consistently applies pressure to make the cast precise.
There is a bent level and a star drag. The baitcasting reel was ergonomically designed to ensures it will sit comfortably in the user’s hands.
The gear ratio is 5.3:1 to provide the force you need to successfully wind the reel.
- It reels bigger size fish well
- It has very smooth operation
- You have high control when casting or retrieving
- Quiet Operation
- It is difficult to fill the spool
- You need to oil the baitcasting reel before use
- Prone to easy breakage
- You might need to tighten the loose gear screws
Daiwa Tatula Type-R Baitcast Fishing Reels
The baitcasting reel gives you ultimate control and durability. This model has the features that guarantee improved performance and durability.
The body is made up of an aluminum frame and side plate. The body ensures the baitcasting reel is highly rigid so you don’t lose control when retrieving caught fish. The body materials don’t result in a heavy product. It’s lightweight and comfortable to use without you straining your arms
The Daiwa Tatula baitcasting reel is equipped with a new T-wing system which increases the casting performance up to 10% compared to other conventional baitcasting reels.
Contributing to the 10% performance increase is the reduced line friction during the cast. The line exits at a larger angle which reduces the friction.
The body of this reel has a T-construction. When you’re retrieving your fish, the T-construction is folded into the reel body. The line will be guided over the level wind system. The air rotation system makes the gears barely noticeable when retrieving.
New features of this model include:
- Magforce-Z cast control
- Infinite Anti-reverse
- Corrosion resistant clutch mechanism
- I-shape handle knob
There are seven ball bearings. They individually contribute to the high performance and smoothness when you cast.
- Spool runs smoothly
- The gear ratio is 8.1:1 for both left and right hand operations
- Highly durable
- The casting range is impressively far
- The wider line guide helps you to improve your casting
- Not suited for amateurs
- It is not light
- Ideal for lighter baits
- The spool line is easily snapped
Shimano Torium Conventional Reel
There are two sizes available; there is a lightweight and compact size 14, and a heavy-duty size 50. Each of the sizes provide a 440-yard line capacity and can retrieve a catch weighing 30 lbs.
The body is built with a die-cast aluminum frame. There is also an aluminum braced graphite non-handle side plate. This material ensures this reel is durable. The materials allow this product to be used in saltwater. You can continually use this product because it won’t easily rust. You can use this reel for live baiting or bottom fishing.
You can use mono, fluorocarbon and PowerPro lines. There will be no difference in the performance of line filled into the spool.
The Shimano Torium Conventional reel model provides additional features which include:
- Super stopper
- Assist stopper
- Dartainium drag
- High-efficiency gearing
- Oversized cast control knob
- Oversized clicker button
All these features contribute to a smooth and firm drag and it assists you with adjustments you need to perform to adapt to different fishing conditions.
- Casting and retrieving is smooth and fast
- Highly durable
- Easy maintenance
- Very waterproof
- Not suited for amateurs
- The features are not consistant throughout the different models
- The bottom is not bowed which does not hold heavier fish
- Does not perform well in freshwater
- KastKing Royale Legend
- Weight: 7.4oz
- Bearings: 11+1
- Gear Ratio: 7.0:1
- Noeby Low Profile
- Weight: 7.0oz
- Bearings: 10+1
- Gear Ratio: 6.3:1
- Abu Garcia Revo SX
- Weight: 11.2oz
- Bearings: 9+1
- Gear Ratio: 6.4:1
KastKing Royale Legend Baitcasting Fishing Reel
This baitcasting reel delivers high speed coupled with silent performance. It’s equipped with a 7.0:1 line retrieval gear. You can use an array of techniques with this reel, including the common pitching, flipping and casting. It’s best used in fresh water. It can however be used in saltwater, but remember to properly care for your reel and wash it out after every use.
The body of the reel is made with aluminum which prevents rust from occurring. The stainless steel frame ensures it’s easy to clean. Both materials contribute to this reel’s durability.
Together, the brass gear structure and the carbon fiber drag system deliver a drag system of 17.5 lbs. The two features also offer a high performance and low maintenance baitcasting reel.
The ball bearings are corrosion resistant because of the shielded MaxiDur. This ensures the ball bearings constantly help you to cast and retrieve smoothly. It also provides the durability needed in a baitcasting reel.
You’re given ultimate casting control. This reel has a new dual brakes system. Other features of this baitcasting reel which you will enjoy include:
- Its quick and easy to fine tune
- The reliable centrifugal
- The magnetic brake system
This baitcasting reel is ideal for you if you enjoy the following types of fishing:
- Bass fishing
- Trout fishing
- Kayak fishing
This product is tournament ready, and it’s wide range of features constantly deliver in tough conditions.
The spool is braided fishing line friendly. It’s durable and smooth when catching the lightest fish, especially in a harsh environment. The foam handle grips are slip resistant and this reel is ergonomically designed.
- Delivers on its promises
- User Friendly
- Its very light, it will not make your arms tired
- Rapidly reels in fish
- You cannot adjust the brakes easily
- The handle is too small to fit comfortably in your hand
- Thumb release needs to be pressed on hard for it to perform accurately
- The spool easily gets bird nested when set wrong
Noeby Low Profile Baitcasting Fishing Reel
This product is designed for saltwater use and rust and corrosion won’t easily occur. This product is offered in a right- and left-hand operation. The performance won’t be compromised no matter which you wish to buy.
You have control of your cast from the beginning to the end. The magnetic braking system assists in the cast control and reduces the number of backlashes. You don’t have to be a professional to use this product. It’s user friendly for beginners.
The CNC machined double-anodized aluminum rod spool provides a large line capacity and you can cast at a far distance. The brass gears ensure the baitcast retains its strength when retrieving fish.
There are 10 ball bearings and two Japanese NMB ball bearings. These contribute to the smoothness when you cast.
The adjustable cast control system allows you to make the changes needed when retrieving your fish. Adjustments can also be made if there is a change in the weather conditions.
Contributors to the high performance of casting and retrieving include the one-way clutch system and the instant anti-reverse. They both keep the handle and the gears firm.
The product is extremely lightweight. It will not strain your arms when you hold it for long periods. The light weight reel provides a smooth and reliable star drag. You can reel in a caught fish weighing up to 11 lbs.
- Perfect for anyone learning how to fish
- Left-handed people can fish easier with this product
- Quiet operation
- Highly durable
- There is an inconsistency in the free spool adjustment
- The internal components can damage easily
- Is not highly reliable in saltwater
- No instruction manual to guide you on setting adjustments
Abu Garcia Revo SX Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel
This Revo model is 25% lighter than its previous models and it still delivers a greater performance than the competitors. The features and body construction provide ultimate strength and durability. This baitcast reel can withstand the toughest fishing and weather conditions.
One feature of this product that is beneficial to the user is the ultra-lightweight X2-Craftic Alloy and C6 carbon construction. The X2-Craftic frame ensures this reel is lightweight and can be used in all environments. The body is corrosion resistant.
You can tell when a fish has taken the bait. The C6 carbon handle is sensitive to the smallest of bites. This handle is sleek and highly durable.
This reel model is embedded with the D2 gear design to provide you with a highly durable gear system which boosts the overall gear efficiency. This guarantees you get the maximum performance out of each crank.
The carbon matric drag system provides the power you need to successfully haul a fish; this drag system won’t compromise on the retrieving smoothness. It helps you to bring the fish to a halt. You’re guaranteed a constant smooth drag across the line range, while reducing line breaks.
The Magtrax brake system provides consistent pressure throughout the cast to extend the cast range and accuracy. With a simple turn of the dial, you can move the spool brake closer to you.
Your ability to cast is enhanced by the low friction Ti-coated line. Anglers can cast extreme loads with ease.
This baitcast reel will be very comfortable to handle. The construction features a low-profile design and recessed reel foot. This will ensure the baitcast will fit well with your rod to provide you with a more comfortable grip. This helps minimize the feeling of fatigue.
The 10 ball bearings and the 6.4:1 gear ratio also contribute to a smooth casting and retrieval. The monofilament and braid capacity is 145 yds./12 lb. & 140 yds./30 lb. respectively
- Works well in windy conditions
- User Friendly
- You can easily set the magnetic drag and spool tension
- Lightweight and very sturdy
- Its harder to use when catching smaller fish
- Backlash occurs too quickly
- Expensive to maintain
- It may take a couple uses for it to be smooth
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the advantages to fishing with a baitcast reel?
Advantages to baitcast fishing include:
- The ability to drag larger fish
- More accurate casting and retrieving
- Higher control of the spool
- You can apply more drag pressure
- There is a higher line pick up rate
- They handle a thicker line diameter
- You can easily slow the spool
What are the differences between baitcasting and spinning reels?
- Baitcasting reels are ideal for more experienced anglers. They’re practical for those anglers who also want better control and accuracy
- The spool spins as you cast. The inertia must be powerful to move the spool but shouldn’t cause a bird nest
- The spinning reel is the most common type of fishing for anglers. It’s practical for those who are fishing to capture small- to medium-sized fish only
- Spinning reels have a fixed spool underneath the rod. You can use the lure’s weight, bait or tackle to draw out the line
Other characteristics include
- Easier to use and to swap the spools or lines
- It doesn’t get tangled easily
- They can be used to cast many different types of tackle
What are the best features to look for in a baitcast reel?
The following are the features you should look for when purchasing a baitcasting reel.
The frame should be lightweight, durable and sturdy. It’s better to purchase the baitcasting reel made either from carbon composites, aluminum or magnesium.
This must be very reliable. It mustn’t allow the reel to run backwards to engage the drag. Look for those that don’t let sand to hinder its rotation.
What is “backlashing”?
Backlashing is created when the line is reeled in too fast. When this occurs, the line isn’t neatly wrapped around the spool. This results in the line becoming tangled. Backlash is often synonymous with “bird nesting.”
How do you cast a baitcaster without backlash?
There are a few simple tricks you can perform to ensure backlash doesn’t occur.
Choose a heavy lure
Baitcasting works better with a heavier lure, such as a large swimbait or crankbait. A heavier lure can take the line out fast enough to keep up with the reel. As the speed of the line and the reel are matched, there is a smaller chance backlashing will occur.
Choose the right fishing line
The line for the spool you get determines whether you can easily untangle the backlash or not. The line materials are commonly made with either fluorocarbon or monofilament. The former creates more backlash than the latter.
Monofilament is an ideal type to practice with. It doesn’t guarantee that no backlashes occur, however it’s easier to untangle.
Don’t cast into the wind
This is true if you’re inexperienced. When you cast into the wind, it will slow the bait down, however not the reel, and backlash will occur. When you’re fishing and it’s windy, you should cast with the wind. Seasoned fishermen have the skill to successfully cast into the wind without causing a backlash.
Select the fishing pole
Shorter fishing rods give you greater control than longer ones. To lessen the chance of backlash, use a rod that has a medium action. The flex of the medium action will help you successfully cast the lure.
Adjusting the brake system
The braking system is adjusted by a knob that is on the outside of the reel. When you properly use it, it helps prevent backlash. When you baitcast for the first time, set the braking system to the highest setting. Once you’ve gained the experience you need, you can lower the brake so you can cast a longer distance.
The spool tension closely relates to the braking system. At times setting the spool tension too high or too low will both create backlash. Depending on the type of reel and rod you have, you need to set the spool tension that meets the requirements.
Other tips to help prevent backlash includes:
- Use your thumb to depress on the spool before the lure lands in the water. This technique is called feathering
- Always adjust the reel and rod according to various conditions such as wind or cast distance
- Reset your weight every time you change the lure or weight
How do you successfully cast a baitcasting reel?
Baitcasting is an ideal style of fishing for skilled fishermen. The tips below may help you to begin the transition from amateur to skilled. If you use the following information you’ll soon become an expert.
Reel in the line
The first step is to reel in the line until the bait or lure is between 6”-12’’ from the rod tip. The same measurement must be applied if you have a bobber or sinker attached to the line.
Correctly hold the reel
Hold the rod behind the reel. Unlike spinning reels that allow you to retrieve and cast with the same hand, you will need to switch hands when you cast with the baitcasting reel.
Rest your thumb on the spool, but not flat against it. It must be at an angle, as it gives you better control of the line as you cast.
Turning the rod
Turn the rod so that the reel’s handle is pointing up. This method allows you to cast with your wrists. If you’re using your opposite hand, the handles must point down.
Bend the arm you cast with
Bend your arm at the elbow until you create a right angle. Raise the rod simultaneously until the tip is slightly past vertical. This ensures you’re in the correct position to cast the line.
Cast the line forward
When you begin to cast—following the previous step—bring it forward until the rod reaches eye level. As you perform this, lift your thumb off the spool to give the bait or line more weight.
When using a longer rod, use your opposite hand similar to a lever to help you pivot the rod as you cast.
Stopping the bait
Before the bait reaches the water, you will need to press your thumb against the spool again. You can’t do this after the bait is in the water, as the line will continue to spool out. This will result in the line becoming tangled, and you will need to untangle the line before you retrieve it.
What types of lines do you get and what are their purposes?
There are three types of baitcasting reel lines. These lines are:
They each have their own characteristics that make them practical for different uses.
This type is the most inexpensive option of the three. It has stretching properties that don’t compare to the other two. This sensitivity of the stretch is practical for most fishing applications. This characteristic is ideal for hook sets. You’re less likely to jerk the bait out of the fish’s mouth.
Monofilament also tends to have line memory. After extensive use of the line, a shape will be formed. For example, when it’s wrapped around the spool it can take on the coiled shape. This will affect your casting performance because the line won’t be as straight as you need it to be. Monofilament will hold the different fishing knots you do well.
This type of fishing line will be used as a leader line rather than the main one along the rod. A small piece of fluorocarbon is attached to the main fishing line, which will be either monofilament or braid. Fishermen do this because filament has a low visibility underwater.
Fluorocarbon is a dense material which reflects light the same as water. This allows it to have a nearly invisible characteristic. The dense material also allows the bait to go deep into the water.
Anglers prefer this type because it doesn’t have the line memory and stretch properties like monofilament. It gives them higher casting accuracy.
Braided fishing line is ideal for highly skilled fishermen. It has a minimal stretch property making it highly sensitive. This sensitivity allows you to detect when a fish has hooked onto the bait.
This line is practical for harsher fishing conditions or catching fish with larger teeth. It’s durable for these conditions.
Disadvantages to this type include:
- It’s highly visible in water
- It doesn’t hold a knot well
- It does not have a high grip compared to the former two
- When retrieving the line, it may become uneven and tangled
Baitcasting reels are the perfect tools to level up your skills as a fisherman. They’re equipped to give you the control to successfully cast and retrieve. If you’re bored with your fishing reel only permitting you to catch small fish, this is your way towards a more exciting fishing experience.