Choosing the right hand configuration is important with these type of reels because the handles can’t be swapped out on them like they can on Spinner Reels. If you’re right handed, you’ll probably want to use a right handed model. Using this configuration, you would cast with your right hand and then place it in your left hand so you can use your right hand on the handle.
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Baitcasting reels are my favorite fishing reels. They take a little more practice to master than a spinning reel but once you put your time in they’ll provide unique features to make you a better angler. In this guide, I want to outline those unique features, detail the key components in a great reel, differentiate between the several types of baitcasters (low profile vs. round profile) and recommend my favorite reels in each of these categories. If you already have a good understanding of these reels you may want to skip the initial educational details and jump to the reel reviews toward the bottom of the page.
Fishing with baitcasting reels can be very annoying for the first time. There are some things you are required to put in mind before trying to fish with one of these fishing reels. However, once you learn them, you will see why they become so popular. Baitcasting reels were in the first used in saltwater fishing. There larger fish were caught like a marlin. However, anglers started using them in freshwater lakes, especially for largemouth bass and other big game fish.
The stainless-steel ball bearings in the base model are average, but again in looking at the price point of this reel they’re certainly on par for me. The gear ratio for the models are all different 100P = 5.4:1, 100H = 6.3:1, 100HS = 7.3:1. For a baitcaster I always recommend a minimum of 6:0:1 gear ratio, so I’d certainly recommend the 100H or 100HS in this case.
The best Baitcasting Reels involve low-maintenance. Now, let’s expand on that idea some. If you choose a reel properly according to your fishing style and experience, your tool is going to last you longer. These are reels that cost you the right amount and spare you huge learning curves. The premise of low-maintenance goes beyond physical care but maintenance as it relates to time to learn the basics, and time to get those basics down to memory.
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Reels come in different spool sizes you have 100’s, 150’s and this just means the amount of line the reel can hold. If you're using braided line this shouldn't be a major factor. Where it’s important is if you’re using bigger line and you need to be able to make longer casts and need to take up line a lot faster a bigger spool is better suited for that.
Penn did not disappoint us with their latest version, the Penn Battle II because it features an improved paint quality for further reel protection, increased drag pressure (about 20% increase), sealed ball bearings (they are now 5 stainless steel ball bearings), and upgraded spool. I also like the front drag HT 100 drag systems which make use of carbon washers. This helps make the reel's lifespan longer.
What I noticed to be remarkably majestic, that the baitcasting reel, in fact, comes in equipped with a multimode braking system. When casting and revolving take place, it utilizes both the centrifugal braking and magnetic cast control. So, if you manage to hook a fish that fights back, just relax and don’t worry. Cause the line won’t snap off easily.
The Daiwa Lexa is a reel with a 7.1:1 gear ratio, an aluminum side plate and frame and a retrieve rate of 32.4-feet per crank. It’s a professional grade system that has quite a few design features that allow it to really reel in the big fish. This model has an over-sized swept handle with weight-reducing cutouts that doesn’t adversely affect its strength or its leverage. Another great feature of this reel is that it has sealed CRBB bearings that are designed to keep out sand and salt crystals. And these bearings are also specially treated to resist salt corrosion better than non-treated bearings. This gives it the ability to perform better longer in saltwater environments than some of its competitors.
Intro: Our very first baitcasting reel is from the top-notch fishing tackle brand Shimano. Shimano is the brand to get your money’s worth. It’s a Japanese company that always gives us the best quality and affordability. That’s what separates them from other brands. We are talking about one of the best Shimano baitcasting reel, the Shimano Chronarch MGL series.
This is such a comfortable reel to use. The frame is graphite/aluminum which is more than decent and isn’t going to fall apart on you. To choose a beginning reel durability is definitely one of the most important factors, but above all else, you want your first experience with baitcasting to be fun and comfortable. This means that the soft-touch rubber handles that feel great to use here are a high point for the Citrix.
Baitcasting reels date back to the mid-17th century and first became popular in the 1870s. They are suited best to fishing for larger freshwater fishing species such as largemouth bass, northern pike, and muskellunge. Larger sizes are used for trolling for large saltwater fish such as marlin and tuna. Casting with baitcasting tackle can be difficult for first-time anglers to get the hang of, but can be mastered with practice.
Gear ratio is defined as the number of times the spool turns when the reel’s handle is rotated once. It normally affects the speed of line retrieve. The most common gear ratios for baitcasting reels under 100 include 7.0:1 and 7.1:1. Basically, the greater the gear ratio which is the fast number, the faster the line retrieves using less effort hence you will not get fatigued quickly. To know which is the right gear ratio for your needs, you need to factor in the kind of lures you’ll be using. For instance, if you are going to be using Texas rigs, jigs, spinnerbaits or soft plastics, the best reel is one with higher gear ratio.
It has a maximum drag capacity of 25 pounds and an impressive line capacity that translates to 420 yards of 50-pound test braid. The latter is essential for offshore fishing, as it provides the space needed to allow bigger fish to run with the line during the fight. Other highlights include a smooth drag with a wide range of different settings; a power handle with comfortable non-slip knobs; and a 6.6:1 gear ratio perfect for fast action lures.
TackleDirect carries freshwater baitcasting reels from leading manufacturers including Shimano, Abu Garcia and Quantum. You’ll also find a big range of prices and features in our baitcasting reels, making them suitable for any budget and practically any freshwater species. In fact, many of the baitcasting reels we offer are beefy enough to handle inshore saltwater species like redfish, speckled seatrout and snook as well as freshwater species like largemouth bass, walleye and muskie.
DICK’S Sporting Goods-sponsored professional bass angler Skeet Reese sat down with PRO TIPS to share his thoughts on a topic that countless fishermen are familiar with: overcoming the intimidation factor of baitcasting reels. For many, branching out from the comfort zone of spinning or spincast reels into baitcasters can be tough sell, but Reese — an 8-time B.A.S.S. tournament winner, 2007 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year and 2009 Bassmaster Classic Champion — is here to help anglers learn what to look for in purchasing a specific model, the advantages that baitcasters offer when the chips are down, plus the best way to avoid the dreaded “birds nest” and make most out of your time on the water. So, it’s time to put down that spinning reel and get acquainted with mastering baitcasters.
Generally, you can launch a lure further with a baitcaster, because the line flows directly straight off the spool and not in a circular motion as with a spinning reel. However, baitcasters do take some time to master and practice is needed to dial one in to your comfort zone. Someone proficient in casting a baitcaster will have mastery over accuracy and distance in the long run after plenty of practice and are preferred when fishing locations that demand such, while a spinning reel can be used in virtually every situation possible.
For any serious angler out there, eventually, you will be upgrading your reel from a spinning reel to a baitcaster reel. Due to its durability, strength and high level of control, baitcasters win with experienced fishermen. Like most other products, baitcasters come in all sizes and performance levels. Usually, price does indicate the quality level you will get but that’s not a set rule. Also, each brand will produce reels with different features that you may or may not need, depending on your style of fishing and what your goal is.
It’s important to have smooth and consistent drag power to land a big fish. Abu Garcia Revo Sx is also ahead in this department with their carbon matrix drag system. Line guide may be a small, yet very important part of a reel. This reel features a Duragear system and titanium coated line guide for durability and longevity whereas the D2 gear design enhances efficiency.
For a light-weight, light-duty, low-cost reel, the Okuma Citrix comes in with a good package of quality details. A diecast aluminum frame gives rigidity to the reel while graphite side plates cut the weight. A 10-bearing drive system produces a surprisingly smooth mechanical action for a reel at this price point. This high-speed machine weighs in at a mere 7.2 ounces but the reel still spools 130 yards of 12lb test line and pulls it in at 31 inches per crank with a 7.3:1 gear ratio.
I have owned many reels, to include many that were much more expensive than this. I have found this real to be equal to if not better than every reel I have ever owned. The action is smooth, the drag is as promised, and the build quality is greater than expected. You truly cannot go wrong with this reel. My boys and I now own 6 of these reels as well as KastKing spinning reels. I do not see myself ever purchasing a brand of reel besides KastKing. They have yet to let me down in any way and I for one appreciate their great products at more than fair prices.