Fishing Reels: 7 Best Baitcasting Reels – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Best Baitcasting Reels

If you want to take your fishing to the next level, baitcasting reels are the way to go. Anglers have different interests when it comes to species, geography, and techniques. This means that a baitcasting reel that works for one angler will not work for another.

It’s possible to get confused if you don’t understand the typical features of baitcasting reels. As a result, it’s important for you to consider your criteria as an angler because you’ll be selecting from a variety of choices.

This comprehensive guide helps you to explore some of the best baitcasting reels that can help you master your favourite fishing techniques, whether you’re a beginner or a pro. 

What is a Baitcasting Reel?

Simply put, a baitcasting reel is fishing equipment that gives you more control over casting your lure precisely where you want it. An angler must choose from a variety of casting methods in addition to different fishing styles. Spin casting and baitcasting are the two most common fishing casting techniques. It includes deciding on the type of fishing reel and rod to use.

When you first start fishing, one of the most important things to remember is a baitcasting reel. What is the reason for this? Let’s take a look. When you cast with a baitcasting reel, it lies on top of the rod, causing the spool to travel parallel to the rod rather than perpendicular to the rod as with a spincast reel. Furthermore, a baitcasting reel features big rings on the top of the rod. As a result, when baitcasting, the spool moves in sync with the line. This design will help you increase the accuracy and distance of your cast. 

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What are the Benefits of Using Baitcasting Reels?

1. Casting Control and Accuracy

Casting ability & command is a big benefit of baitcasting reels over spinning reels. The speed of the spool can be controlled with your thumb when casting a baitcasting reel. So, depending on your needs, you can either stop or slow down the spool. With spinning reels, you can do the same thing, but only to a limited extent and with two hands. Baitcasting reels are common among bass fishermen and other anglers who target a variety of water features because of this casting control feature.

2. Enhanced Drag Function

Baitcasting reels have much greater drag control than spinning reels. When using a spinning reel, the line must make a 90-degree turn. As a result, the line will be pulled against the drag, resulting in friction and drag sticking. Baitcasting reels, on the other hand, would pull the line straight off the spool. So, there is no extra friction. As a result, the drag starts up more smoothly and retains a constant drag pressure.

3. Longer Casts

Baitcasters can easily outperform spinning gear when combined with the right rod. When compared to the uncoiling of a spinning outfit, the line comes directly off the spool, allowing for longer casts. Simply put, if you’re bombing rough baits, you can’t beat the baitcasters.

4. Less Line Twist

Strong casting is thought to be affected by line twist. Baitcasting reels, as opposed to spinning reels, have less line twist because they spool the line vertically with the spool axis. As a consequence, the only twist your line can experience is the one induced by your lure.

5. More Power

Baitcasters have more strength than spinning reels thanks to the spool layout and design. The reel will apply more power and spin since the spool is aligned with the gears and handles.

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Top 3 Picks


9Expert Score
KastKing Royale Legend Baitcasting Reel

The ultra-smooth and efficient baitcaster from kastking is ideal for pitching, flipping, and much more. This baitcaster's modern dual brake nature makes it a simple option for fishing. It is affordable and is recommended for beginners.

PROS
  • Lightweight
  • Smooth cast
  • Best for beginners
  • Various color options to choose from
CONS
  • Not durable like other reels


9Expert Score
Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel

Piscifun baitcasting reel is of excellent build with good reviews and ratings. The high gear ratio of 7.1:1 is one attribute that attracts attention. It also has a high-grade carbon drag system, which makes it extremely sturdy and light.

PROS
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Smooth casts
  • Large handle
  • Great value
CONS
  • Some users have faced backlash


8Expert Score
Shimano Calcutta B Round Reel

The Shimano Calcutta B Round Reel is consistent, flexible, and lasts long. The centrifugal brake mechanism is very impressive, causing the spool to drag in the desired direction. These brake weights can be adjusted and switched on and off to regulate the spool's speed.

PROS
  • Anti-rust bearings
  • Uses Variable Brake System (VBS)
  • Instant hook setting power
  • Increased strength and durability
  • High-quality metal construction
  • Ergonomic design
CONS
  • Need to maintain well
  • The level-wind version has some plastic parts


Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Baitcasting Reel

When it comes to fishing methods, geography, and species, anglers have different preferences. So, to make sure you have the right baitcasting reel, think about the following features.

1. Gear Ratio

If you’re a pro, you understand how important it is to remember the gear ratio. The number of times the spool turns as you spin the handle is what this word refers to. So, when you have a variety of gear ratios to choose from, figure out how quickly you can retrieve your lure.

When you rotate the handle on a baitcasting reel with a 3:1 ratio, for example, the spool would spin three times. So, how are you going to decide on the ratio? It’s that simple. Determine what kind of lures you’ll be using. If you’re using soft plastics, strive for a 5:1 gear ratio. A 7:1 gear ratio is recommended for lures that need quick action.

2. Spool Size

After you’ve settled on the gear ratio, the spool size is the next thing to think about. It is dependent on the goal you plan to pursue. If you want to catch a bigger and stronger fish, you’ll need a heavier line, which means you’ll need a heavier spool to hold it.

3. Ball Bearings

The number of bearings does not matter much; however, make sure that the baitcasting reel you choose has high-quality ball bearings. It is better to choose one with sealed or shielded bearings.

4. Construction

Are you looking for a particular form of material? Anglers prefer all-metal reels, with aluminium being the preferred material. Some reels combine aluminium frames with graphite side plates to provide the necessary strength for casting.

Stainless steel or brass-based metal gears are also well-known for their performance and durability. Whatever material you pick, bear in mind that the final product should be gap-free and tightly fitted.

5. Profile – Low or Round?

Initially, only round profile baitcasting reels were available. Low-profile reels, on the other hand, were introduced as soon as they became popular among freshwater anglers. Each style has advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to know your preferences so you can make a wise decision.

Round Profile – Round baitcasting reels are normally made entirely of metal, making them slightly heavier than low-profile reels. The same construction, however, is ideal for saltwater applications due to the all-metal construction, which makes the reels more corrosion resistant.

Low-profile reels are bulkier than round reels. As a result, they are able to keep more line than the latter. Anglers who want to catch bigger, heavier fish like salmon, pike, steelhead, or muskies should use these lures. 

Low Profile – Low-profile baitcasting reels have a similar design to round-profile baitcasting reels. The only difference is that the spool is smaller and the side plates are longer. This alternative, like round reels, provides a similar level of power and spin. Nonetheless, they are inefficient in carrying as much line as round reels (not to forget, they still have better potential of holding more line than any other average spinning reel).

Low-profile baitcasting reels are lighter than round reels and are much simpler to cast. In reality, some anglers believe that because it fits in their palms when fishing, it provides better contact with the lure. These reels aren’t built for big fish, but they’re great for catching bass and larger panfish like crappies.

6. Braking Systems

You should also think about the braking system, which aids in generating the requisite friction when fishing. The most popular forms of braking systems on baitcasting reels are centrifugal and magnetic. You might also come across reels that have two braking mechanisms.

The centrifugal braking system includes 4-6 brakes that you can turn on and off depending on your needs. It works by pressing the pins against the spool to create friction. You can adjust the resistance even further by removing a side plate and inserting or removing pins on all sides of the spool.

Magnetic brakes, on the other hand, use magnets to create friction. As a result, there is no interaction between the surfaces. Simply turn the dial or knob on the reel’s outer surface to change the magnetic brakes. The reel body does not need to be opened at this stage.

In short, the centrifugal braking system will have the necessary power within the first few seconds of a cast, while the magnetic braking system will take a few moments to apply.


Top 7 Baitcasting Reels for Every Budget


KastKing Royale Legend Low-Profile – Best for Beginners

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With a 7:1 gear ratio, this ultra-smooth and efficient baitcaster from kastking is ideal for pitching, flipping, and much more. This baitcaster’s modern dual brake nature makes it a simple option for fishing.

It is affordable and is recommended for beginners who want to learn how to fish. It will, however, not last as long as other reels. Overall, it is a good choice for beginners because it is lightweight, inexpensive, and allows for smooth casting.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Smooth cast
  • Best for beginners
  • Various color options to choose from

Cons:

  • Not durable like other reels

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Baitcaster Fishing Reel – Best Budget Choice

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There are many versions of this round baitcasting reel. This model from Abu Garcia might be your best bet if you’re looking for a round profile baitcasting reel with the smoothest experience. Both models have 3+1 stainless steel ball bearings, a 6-pin centrifugal brake system, and a 5.3:1 gear ratio, regardless of which model you choose.

It’s fishing gear that’s both high-performing and reasonably priced. It is important to remember, however, that it is a little heavier. This round profile baitcasting reel will work well for all forms of fishing expeditions if weight is not an issue. Are you searching for the best fish finders with GPS? Check out these from Garmin.

Pros:

  • Comes with 4 ball bearings
  • Round baitcaster provides power-packed performance
  • Recommended for catfish fishing
  • Great price

Cons:

  • Users have faced drag issues

Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel – Best Value

Buy now

Though you may not be familiar with this company, Piscifun manufactures products with excellent reviews and ratings. The high gear ratio of 7.1:1 is one attribute that attracts attention. It also has a high-grade carbon drag system, which makes it extremely sturdy and light. 

The fact that the ball bearings are corrosion-resistant is a plus. Overall, this reel seems to be capable of handling the large fish you intend to try. What are the best GPS systems for your boat? Read through to find out.

Pros:

  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Smooth casts
  • Large handle
  • Great value

Cons:

  • Some users have faced backlash

Lew’s BB1 Speed Spool Baitcasting Reel – Best Under $200

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For years, Lew’s baitcasters have been a staple in the fishing community. Every new model incorporates tried-and-true features into a sleeker design that incorporates cutting-edge technology and materials. The BB1 Speed Spool is no different from any other Lew’s baitcaster.

It has the perfect combination of lightweight and sturdy construction that every professional needs in a baitcaster. Even though it only weighs 6.5 ounces, the drag is extremely strong. The 6-pin braking system allows you to make changes as needed. Finally, the tension knob and brake dial both emit an audible click, making it easy to keep track of your settings.

Pros:

  • More line capacity for long casting
  • Stronger as well as a lighter version of a time-tested design
  • Quick and easy set up
  • Easily adjustable 6-pin centrifugal braking system

Cons:

  • The only gear ratio available in a left-handed model is 3:1

Shimano Curado K Baitcasting Reel – Best Versatility

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The most enticing aspect of the Shimano Curado K baitcasting reel is – it’s ergonomically built to fit in your palm and give you the control you want. It is simple to navigate due to its lightweight design. It employs the most up-to-date gearing technology, micro-module gearing, and only high-quality components to ensure a smooth and reliable fishing experience.

This is the perfect baitcasting reel for lures like spinners, crankbaits, and heavier jigs. It comes in three gear ratios: 6.2:1, 7.4:1, and 8.5:1, giving you plenty of choices to suit your needs.

Pros:

  • Quality parts and durable construction
  • Smooth and consistent pressure due to the Cross Carbon Drag
  • Compact and light in weight
  • Great performance while casting
  • Provides exact adjustments

Cons:

  • Not suitable for big fishes

Daiwa Coastal TWS Casting Reel – Best Inshore Saltwater

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A deep spool made of aircraft-grade aluminium is featured on the Daiwa Coastal TWS casting reel. It has been specifically designed to withstand saltwater exposure. The TWS, or T Wing System, helps to reduce line friction, allowing you to cast further while maintaining better line control.

This baitcasting reel is made of high-strength gears that are designed to last a long time while providing excellent performance. Since it has a drag of 15.4 lbs, you can use this casting reel to tackle striped bass or any other big fish.

Furthermore, since the seven ball bearings and one roller bearing are corrosion-resistant, they can last 12 times longer than regular bearings. Last but not least, Magforce Cast Control will help you experience less backlash. Overall, it’s one of the best baitcasting reels on the market.

Pros:

  • Strong and durable
  • Light in weight
  • Great price
  • Improved casting distance
  • Extra spool capacity

Cons:

  • This low-profile reel is not best for offshore fishing

Shimano Calcutta B Round Reel – Best Premium Pick

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If you’re looking for consistency, flexibility, and longevity, this is another round reel to consider. The centrifugal brake mechanism is very impressive, causing the spool to drag in the desired direction. These brake weights can be adjusted and switched on and off to regulate the spool’s speed.

It’s most successful when it comes to reducing backlashes. The Calcutta comes in six different versions, allowing you to choose from ultra-light reels to heavier gear applications, depending on your needs. Overall, if properly maintained, they will last a lifetime. Are marine binoculars helpful in boating? Check out right away

Pros:

  • Anti-rust bearings
  • Uses Variable Brake System (VBS)
  • Instant hook setting power
  • Increased strength and durability
  • High-quality metal construction
  • Ergonomic design

Cons:

  • Need to maintain well
  • The level-wind version has some plastic parts

Final thoughts:

Every baitcasting reel on this list has the potential to be a great pick. However, since each choice has advantages and disadvantages, the ‘best’ option for you will be decided solely by your preferences and requirements. If you’re on a tight budget, for example, you’ll look for options that are less than $100. This will narrow down your choices, allowing you to consider Piscifun Torrent or KastKing Royale Legend.

But don’t worry: these low-cost options don’t skimp on quality or results, so you’ll have a smooth cast with them. Whatever you choose, practise with your new baitcasting reel before you get the knack of it.


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