Best Baitcasting Reel For Any Fisherman

Last Updated: January 8th, 2020

Whether you’re into baitcasting already or you’re interested and ready to change it up from spinning, you have found the right review. Finding the right baitcaster is key to enjoying your time on the water and building confidence in this other dimension of casting. There are a lot of reels on the market but which is one is the best baitcasting reel for you. Here I have put together a comparison of some of the best baitcasting reels on the market to make your choice a bit easier. 

OUR TOP PICKS

Quantum Accurist S3 PT Baitcast Fishing Reel, 8+1 Bearings, 7.0:1 Gear Ratio, Right Hand, Orange
Quantum Accurist S3 PT Baitcast Fishing Reel
  • Good quality
  • Great value
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Lew's Fishing Mach Crush SLP Speed Spool MSB MC1SHL Reels , 110/12 - 30' Left Hand
Lew's Fishing Mach Crush SLP Speed Spool
  • Large spool
  • Good handle
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Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel, 18LB Carbon Fiber Drag Magnetic Braking System Low Profile Casting Reel, 7.1:1 Gear Ratio Affordable High-tech Innovation Baitcast Fishing Reels, Right Handed
Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel
  • Strong, smooth drag
  • Quick and smooth retrieve
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Cadence CB8 Baitcasting Reels, 6.7oz Ultra Lightweight Casting Reels,20 LB Carbon Fiber Drag Baitcasters,Super Smooth 9+1 BB,Stronger Aluminum Body Durable Baitcast Fishing Reel Low Profile High Value
Cadence CB8 Baitcasting Reels
  • Lightweight
  • Great caster
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Abu Garcia REVO4 SX-HS Revo SX Low Profile Fishing Reel
Abu Garcia Revo SX Low Profile Fishing Reel
  • A smooth, quick retrieve
  • Hug maximum drag
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KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel, Right Handed Fishing Reel,Rover50
KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel
  • Durable
  • Corrosion-resistant
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KastKing Royale Legend Baitcasting Reels,Elite Series Fishing Reel,6.6:1 Gear Ratio,Left Handed,Metallic Blue
KastKing Royale Legend Baitcasting Reels
  • Strong, smooth drag
  • Great caster
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Abu Garcia BMAX3-L Black Max Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel, Left Hand
Abu Garcia Black Max Low Profile Baitcasting Fishing Reel
  • Smooth drag
  • Easy, fine drag adjustment
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Quantum Accurist S3 PT Baitcast Fishing Reel

Quantum Accurist S3 PT Baitcast Fishing Reel, 8+1 Bearings, 7.0:1 Gear Ratio, Right Hand, Orange

The spool on this reel is a little larger than average while still retaining a small frame. This lets the reel have a greater line capacity and a bigger area to thumb the reel while you’re casting.

The frame is made up of coated aluminum and can be used in saltwater, thus making it very corrosion0-resistant. It comes with a push buttong release on one of the side plates, making the spook easy to access. You can press it by mistajke though and lose your side plate.

The gear ratio is high with 7.0:1, giving you a quick and smooth retrieve. A few of the bearings are exposed and will rust quickly you’ll have to oil them after every use. The reel comes with a flip switch that lets you release line and engages the drag without using the handle. This is useful when trying to feed a bait to a fish.

Overall it is easy to use and casts well due to the excellent braking system. It’s easily adjustable and it won’t take long to find the right tension for casting, reducing backlashes and ensuring you enjoy more fishing time.

The handle is small and you’ll start catching yourself on other parts of the reel. It’ll get in the way when you’re winching up some fish.

Pros

  • Good quality
  • Great value
  • Casts well
  • Easy to use
  • Fast retrieve rate

Cons

  • Small handle
  • The push-button release can happen by accident
  • Bearings will rust and need oiling
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Lew's Fishing Mach Crush SLP Speed Spool

Lew's Fishing Mach Crush SLP Speed Spool MSB MC1SHL Reels , 110/12 - 30' Left Hand

The frame of this reel is made from a rigid graphite polymer. By not using aluminum, Lews has made the reel cheaper and lighter while maintaining a solid design. This makes the reel easy to cast with and it won’t weigh you down on those long days.

The drag and brake adjustments are sensitive and easy for quick effective casting with minimal backlashes. Using the reel is a smooth pleasurable experience. Lews pros are saying it’s the best casting reel they’ve made and casts further than any of their other reels.

The handle and spool are made from aluminum making the reel durable in addition to the graphite frame. The hand is comfortable to use, comes with grips and does not flex when fighting a fish. The retrieve is fast and smooth thanks to the ball bearing and high gear ratio while the drag is solid and gives a max of 20lbs. This reel can handle anything.

The only drawbacks are that the anti-reverse can fail and the spool begins to play around after some time. It can start slowing down and slipping.

Pros

  • Large spool
  • Good handle
  • Excellent caster
  • Great brakes
  • Very durable

Cons

  • Spool can slip after a while
  • Spool may slow down after some time
  • Anti-reverse can fail
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Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel

Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel, 18LB Carbon Fiber Drag Magnetic Braking System Low Profile Casting Reel, 7.1:1 Gear Ratio Affordable High-tech Innovation Baitcast Fishing Reels, Right Handed

This reel is worth three times the money and has been made with the same quality of higher-end baitcasters. The reel is durable and corrosion-resistant thanks toa CNC brass gear system and stainless steel springs. It’s biggest asset is the 6oS lubricant design which lets you add oil through a port in the spool instead of having to take your reel apart. The reel does not arrive oiled though and you’ll have to buy it separately and put it in yourself before you use it.

The bearing count is a little low but it doesn’t seem to affect the smoothness of the reel. The bearings are shielded protecting the reel from dirt, salt, and water meaning it can be used in both salt and freshwater.

The spool is made from aluminum and has a magnetic braking system. This combination makes the reel easy to cast with and gives you great control over the spool tension. It comes with a spool tension knob and a dial-in gauge giving you even more control to stop backlashes. It can be a little tricky to get the settings right though.

The drag is made from a carbon fiber system and has a max of 18lbs. It’s smooth and will handle most species. The reel comes with a long handle and an aluminum thumb bar both of which make the reel easy and a pleasure to use.

Pros

  • Strong, smooth drag
  • Quick and smooth retrieve
  • Aluminum thumb bar
  • Long handle
  • Good for beginners
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • A low number of bearings
  • Doesn't come with oil
  • Hard to find the right spool tension
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Cadence CB8 Baitcasting Reels

Cadence CB8 Baitcasting Reels, 6.7oz Ultra Lightweight Casting Reels,20 LB Carbon Fiber Drag Baitcasters,Super Smooth 9+1 BB,Stronger Aluminum Body Durable Baitcast Fishing Reel Low Profile High Value

This is a light reel which is lovely to cast with all day. The weight reduction comes from the durable carbon fiber frame and aluminum for the gears. This has also made the reel excellent against corrosion.

The drag is made from a carbon fiber disc system with a high max of 20lbs, this means you can fish for a wide range of species. The braking system is magnetic, easily adjusted and makes casting easy while helping to reduce backlashes.

The retrieve rate is awesome thanks to the gear ratio but the spool feels rough when winding. This may get annoying but the incredible value makes up for it.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Great caster
  • Strong, smooth drag
  • Easily adjusted brake

Cons

  • The spool is rough when winding
  • Spool is noisy
  • There is some play in the handle
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Abu Garcia Revo SX Low Profile Fishing Reel

Abu Garcia REVO4 SX-HS Revo SX Low Profile Fishing Reel

This is a simple reel with a basic design but it still retains excellent quality. The reel is a little heavy and may get tiring when casting all day but it does come it at an amazing price.

The braking system is excellent but the reel does struggle to get good distance on windy days. This is most probably a spool issue but you should be aware of it before you buy. The retrieve is fast and smooth thanks to the high gear ratio and a good number of ball bearings in the reel. Your bait will fly in and you’ll be able to out some solid pressure on a fish.

The drag consists of a carbon fiber multi-disc system, is smooth, durable and has a huge max of 25lbs. This high drag is perfect to targetting large inshore saltwater species, and if that’s your game this reel is worth looking at in detail.

The side plate can fall off by mistake and you’ll have to take care not to lose it accidentally.

Pros

  • A smooth, quick retrieve
  • Hug maximum drag
  • Easy to use
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Durable

Cons

  • The side plates can pop off accidentally
  • Not good at casting in the wind
  • A little heavy
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KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel

KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel, Right Handed Fishing Reel,Rover50

This is a multipurpose reel and can be used as a baitcaster and an offshore trolling reel. If you like baitcasting and offshore fishing, this is a great reel for you. The 40-60 models have a brake that makes the reel effective as a baitcaster. 

The reel is heavy as its made almost entirely of metal. It will be tiring to cast with but it’s very durable and will last a long time. The frame is aluminum and the gears are made from brass and stainless steel.

The reel casts well thanks to the braking system and aluminum spool. It also comes with a big line capacity and is made for the sea making it a perfect candidate for surf fishing. While it is a good caster, the spool lock can slip on occasion causing some backlashes.

The drag is strong, smooth and has a high max of 30lbs. It made from a carbon fiber disc system and swill stand up well to corrosion. The retrieve rate is a little slow but it will manage most situations.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Big line capacity
  • Large max drag
  • Multi-purpose

Cons

  • A little heavy
  • Low retrieve rate
  • Spool lock can fail
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KastKing Royale Legend Baitcasting Reels

KastKing Royale Legend Baitcasting Reels,Elite Series Fishing Reel,6.6:1 Gear Ratio,Left Handed,Metallic Blue

When you first hold this reel it feels of poor quality but don’t be fooled, it’s actually a good baitcaster. It’s durable, corrosion-resistant and can be used in fresh and saltwater. It is a good caster and the dual brake system is sensitive and easy to adjust. There are 10 different levels of tension so you can find the perfect setting for your casting situations. It does take a while to tune in to, but once you find it, you’ll be golden.

The spool is made from aluminum, is braid-ready and gives a solid line capacity. It is smooth overall but noisy when it spins. This doesn’t affect how the reel works but it could get annoying.

The reel is light and great for long casting days. The drag is a carbon fiber disc system, is smooth, strong, and will be good in saltwater. The retrieve is fast and smooth, your baits and fish will be coming in quick.

Pros

  • Strong, smooth drag
  • Great caster
  • Incremental brake adjustment
  • Good for fresh and saltwater

Cons

  • Not easy to find the right spool tension
  • A noisy spool
  • Feels flimsy (but it's not)
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Abu Garcia Black Max Low Profile Baitcasting Fishing Reel

Abu Garcia BMAX3-L Black Max Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel, Left Hand

This reel has a light plastic feel to it which makes you think it is a little flimsy but it does make it light and great value. The spool is aluminum, braid-ready and easy to fill with an even line lay. It comes with a magnetic braking system which is hard to get right. You will experience quite a few backlashes getting to know this reel. The brake is known to fail on occasion but these cases are rare.

The drag is strong, smooth and the max pressure is high enough to stop some big fish. It’s easily adjusted and moves in very small increments. The retrieve is smooth and the rate is about average and will have your back in most situations.

Pros

  • Smooth drag
  • Easy, fine drag adjustment
  • Quick, smooth retrieve
  • Powerful drag

Cons

  • Hard to get the tension settings right
  • Feels flimsy
  • The braking system can cause backlashes
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What to Look for

Here are some things to think about before you buy a baitcaster.

What are you fishing for?

It sounds obvious but you want a reel that will be able to catch the fish you’re targeting and you’ll want a reel that can handle a range of situations. You may want it to be light enough for bass but heavy enough for some inshore saltwater. Think about where you’re fishing and what you’re catching, then be sure to choose a reel that’s made to handle it.

Line Capacity

Line capacity is closely related to what you’re fishing for. If you plan on fishing in freshwater for crappie then most reels on the market will hold enough line for you to cast far enough, and to land the fish. If you’re a surf fisherman, you know that you’ll need a lot of line on your reel. This will help you cast far over the waves and land a big shark if you hook one.

Using Braid

Most anglers are using braid these days as it’s the best line out there for most situations. When you first start baitcasting, it’s best to start with mono as it’s easier to learn with. Once you have mastered mono you’ll want to upgrade to braid, and when you do, you’ll want a braid-ready reel. Most reels are braid-ready and this allows you to spool them correctly and get an even line lay which is of paramount importance for your casting.

How Heavy Is The Reel

When fishing with a baitcaster, you’ll be casting a lot. A heavy reel is going to get tiresome and hold you back. Compare the weights of the reels you like and be sure to pick a light one.

Corrosion & Durability

Corrosion and durability are key to a reel lasting a long time, especially if you fish in saltwater. You want a reel that has a durable design, is made of corrosion-resistant materials and has some kind of protection system.

Drag, Strong and Smooth

Having a good drag is about it being smooth, having enough power and being made of corrosion-resistant materials. A smooth drag will let the line come off the reel without any sticking or slipping. There is nothing worse than when a drag sticks and it ends up breaking your leader. Drag power is relative to what you’re fishing for. Make sure the reel has enough max drag from the fish you want to catch. Try and test the drag if you can, just crank it up and pull some line off. If it’s smooth then you’re on to a winner.

Gear Rati0

Baitcasters are known to have high gear ratios which translates to a quick retrieve and a high retrieve rate. If a reel has a ratio of 7.0:1, then for every turn of the handle, the spool will turn 7 times. A fast retrieve is useful if you’re fishing baits that need to come in quick or to put pressure on a fish that’s trying to snag you.

Braking

This is probably the most important factor when it comes to beginners using baitcasters. You’ll want to make sure you buy a reel with a good braking system as this will help your casting a lot.  The brake lets you adjust how much drag you want to put on the spool while you cast, to stop you getting backlashes and birds nests. A good brake is an asset that’ll help you cast, whereas a bad break will have you untangling line on the water all day.

Right vs Left-handed

Baitcasters come with either left or righthand wind, you can’t switch them over as you might on a spinning reel. If you have used a spinning reel before you’ll probably want to stick with the side you’re used to. If you’re new to fishing, it’s about choosing what feels right for you. The best bet is to try out a reel and see which side suits you best.

Our Favorites

The all-rounder reel is the KastKing Royale Legend. It’s well made, durable, good for saltwater and will handle some big fish while being reliable.

KastKing Royale Legend Baitcasting Reels,Elite Series Fishing Reel,6.6:1 Gear Ratio,Left Handed,Metallic Blue
  • ELITE CONCEPT – Royale Legend Elite baitcaster reels are the first in a series of tournament ready bass fishing reels. Advanced Royale Legend Elite casting reels deliver Pro level tournament performance in a low profile compact design baitcast reel
  • PALM PERFECT DESIGN – The Royale Legend Elite ergonomically designed compact baitcasting reel is KastKing’s smallest frame casting reel. A Swing-Wing side cover opens easily with an Ergo-Twist release so it stays attached to the fish reel

The Piscifin Torrent is the best on a budget. This reel does everything you need from a baitcaster while having an amazing price point. It has a great drag, retrieve, casts well and will last.

Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel, 18LB Carbon Fiber Drag Magnetic Braking System Low Profile Casting Reel, 7.1:1 Gear Ratio Affordable High-tech Innovation Baitcast Fishing Reels, Right Handed
  • 【Powerful】Advanced triple carbon washers gives the Torrent low profile baitcasting reel physically powerful 18LB drag, which helps you when battling trophy fish.
  • 【Durable】The fishing reel adopt industrial durable strength and climate resistant Japanese Hamai cut 3604 brass gears, these are all top quality gears you expect for baitcaster fishing reels which offer ultimate consistence for reeling in.

The best reel, in my opinion, is the Lews Mach Crush SLP. Its design has been better thought out than the others. It’d light, casts extremely well and is easy to use.

Lew's Fishing Mach Crush SLP Speed Spool MSB MC1SHL Reels , 110/12 - 30" Left Hand
  • Lew's MACH CRUSH SPEED SPOOL: Baitcast reel features a strong and lightweight, Super Low Profile (SLP) graphite frame and side plates; RPT: 30 inch
  • SPEEL SPOOL FISHING REEL: Reel features a machined and double anodized aluminum U-shape 32 millimeter spool and a high strength solid brass main gear and crank shaft