The gear ratios and subsequent retrieval speeds on these reels are phenomenal. If you want a reel for fast and aggressive fishing, we can’t think of a better option. The gear ratios for the various models range from 6.3:1 up to an incredible 8.1:1! And as we mentioned earlier, what is impressive is that these reels can still dish out some cranking power.
This one is made by the famous brand Daiwa. The mighty brand Daiwa is not limited in the fishing sector only. They have a lot of products in random sectors. The journey of Daiwa began almost 36 years ago and till now, they are among the best ones. However, this saltwater baitcaster is in the second position of our ranking. Because of having some cool features and advantages like the previous one, this one is considered as one of the best baitcasting reels for saltwater.
A great spool is lightweight for speed but can handle the elements as well. Typical material for spools is aluminum because it’s so light. A forged aluminum spool is best as it’s a tougher metal and doesn’t get damaged or scratched as easily. Manufacturers are drilling holes into their spools for that lighter weight and quicker spin (air dynamics & weight).
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Speaking of comfort, it is absolutely necessary to select the type of baitcasting reel depending on your mode of fishing. There are basically two types of baitcasting reels. Round profile and low profile. This means you should choose between one of the designs that work best for you. This involves fishing styles, line capacity and optimal control and comfort. Any hectic decision in your equipment selection can spell success or disaster.
I’ts loaded with performance features bass anglers will love. It’s compact for easy palming, but has a large handle with oversized paddle knobs. The big knobs come in handy wrenching big fish out of cover. The brakes are easy to fine tune, thanks to four pins inside the sideplate and a fine adjustment dial on the outside. Perhaps the best part is being able to choose from 4 different gear ratios, from 5.6:1 all the way up to 8.3:1.
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.
Lower gear ratios such as 5.2:1 and 5.3:1 retrieve slowly but offer more cranking power and you may prefer them if you want more torque to haul bigger saltwater fish out of heavy cover. They are best suited to deep diving crankbaits, big swimbaits, and slow rolling heavy spinnerbaits. They reel the bait slower, so it is in the strike zone longer and doesn’t tire you too fast.
The latter allows for fast, friction-free casting and even distribution of the line across the spool width upon retrieval. With no fewer than eight ball bearings, retrieval is also exceptionally smooth. The reel’s Ultimate Tournament Drag System features a 13.2-pound maximum drag and an extra strong drive gear for turning the heads of larger fish. The 90mm swept handle boasts soft-touch knobs and a cut-away design that reduces the reel’s overall weight. Different models offer 6.3:1, 7.3:1 and 8.1:1 gear ratios and the option to choose right or left-handed configurations.
The easiest way to get the line untangled is to put the reel in free spool and pull line out until you get to where the main line is buried into the line wrapping on the spool. You will most likely find a loose coil of line that creates a loop near the main line. Start working on freeing up the loose line coil first as this is usually the area where the line is buried into the spool. Once you get that coil unknotted, the main line will often be much easier to work free. When there are many loosened coils of line created multiple knots within the spool of line, it is often prudent to simply cut out the line and respool.
Piscifun’s reel is powerful! It allows you to handle large fish with ease. This low-profile baitcasting reel comes with an advanced three washer design giving it a whopping 18 pounds of drag. Not only is it strong but it uses some of the highest quality gears currently on the market. They are industrial strength, climate resistant Japanese Hami cut 3604 brass gears. As if that weren’t enough this reel has a truly unique feature that sets it apart from many others. It comes equipped with a side plate oil port that allows you maximize and supervise the life, longevity and performance of this reel. This bait caster has a gear ratio of 7.1:1 meaning it is extremely silent and allows you to retrieve your line at a truly amazing rate. This reel sets the bar pretty high, and that’s why it made our list of top baitcasting reels.
I have several of these reels. One I feel is an outstanding choice is the Piscifun Phantom Carbon. It’s excellent and only $70 on Amazon. Carbon fiber frame, dual brakes, and carbon fiber disk 18# drag. If you’re going to give this company a try, in my opinion, this is the one. My Revo SX is my favorite. I put the Phantom over the Tatula. The disk braking send to be more forgiving.
To set your brake properly for the 1/2oz casting weight you tied on, start by raising your rod tip in front of you so the casting weight is hanging seven or eight feet above the ground. Depress the thumb bar on your reel to let the spool go into free spool and watch the line on the spool as the casting weight drops and hits the ground. Ideally, when the casting weight hits the ground the spool should stop spinning and paying out line. If the spool continues to spin when the casting weight hits the ground, you need to tighten the brake a bit. If the casting weight fails to drop to the ground then the brake is too tight and must be loosened. Make the necessary adjustment and repeat the process until the spool stops moving when the casting weight hits the ground.
There are a variety of different gear ratios to choose from – from 5.4:1 to 7.1:1 and 8.1:1. While these numbers might look complicated, they are actually describing a very simple event. Let’s take a reel with an 8.1:1 gear ratio. What that number means is that for every single crank of the handle, the reel will spin 8 times. However, that doesn’t mean that a higher gear ratio is better than a lower gear ratio. For certain techniques, such as working a crankbait, a lower ratio is preferred, while applications such as using a spinnerbait are best used with a reel that has a higher ratio. Most anglers buy several of these reels, all in different ratios, so they have a variety of options available to them while fishing.
It takes time and patience in order to become an expert at choosing and using a baitcasting reel. Baitcasters should offer a smooth performance and feature a sturdy and durable construction. Overall, the best baitcasting reel for you should come at an affordable price and one that challenges you to improve you performance, making casting more enjoyable!
As you inspect a baitcaster, it will give you a maximum drag specification. This number tells you the highest amount of force the drag system can put against the spool. Anglers typically fish between half and ¾ of that number. The higher the max drag, the more force you will be able to place against pulling fish. To set the drag, you either turn a star dial or push a lever.
Faster gear ratios are not always the best option as there is a tradeoff. As gear ratios increase, the cranking power often goes down. What you go with all depends on the style of fishing and the type of fish you plan on catching. You’re going to want a reel with a lot of cranking power if you are going after larger saltwater species, while if you plan on ripping crankbaits and spinnerbaits for bass, you will be more inclined to go with a higher gear ratio.
Made out of one piece of aluminum the reel weighs in at only 6.7 ounces which makes it very easy to palm and very comfortable to use. The reel uses lew's multi braking system which features both a magnetic cast control which is adjusted externally via a click-dial) and an internal 4-pin position on/off centrifugal braking system which does require you to take down the side-plate to adjust.
I hope this guide was helpful for you to choosing a baitcasting reel and providing additional information on these reels. I love studying baitcasters and looking for new technologies and improvements. If there is a reel I didn’t include that you use and love, I’d love to hear from you. Additionally, I’m happy to take any questions/comments on this guide, for all these things please leave a comment below. Tight lines! Jesse
Materials: The only two materials you should see used in the body and frame of a quality baitcasting reel are high-grade aluminum or graphite. Graphite is much lighter than aluminum but is not as resistant to flexing and can’t produce as much cranking power. If you’re looking for a baitcaster on an ultralight rod for some creek bass fishing or use with panfish, than graphite is a better option. If you’re looking for larger bass or most other gamefish, we would recommend the stronger aluminum bodies. If you are going anywhere near saltwater, a full aluminum reel is the best choice.
At some point in your fishing career, you’ll run across the great question for anglers who are looking to improve their performance – spinning reel or baitcasting reel. While spinning reels are great to learn on, sooner or later, you’ll need a reel that can consistently keep up with your evolving skillset – which is where the baitcasting reel comes in.
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.
This is 4 ball bearing reel that is smooth and crisp; with a sensitive feel that is perfect for smaller bass and panfish. The reel can spool up 130 yards of 30lb braid or 145 yards of 12lb mono. Magnetic cast control lets new baitcasters get a feel for it without massive backlash and tangles. The star drag is easy to operate and features the very smooth, Power Disk drag system ready to lay on 18lbs of fighting power.
Press down on the reel spool with your thumb to stop the bait when it reaches the target. This is similar to pressing the button on a spincasting reel to brake the line; however, not applying your thumb soon enough leads to the spool continuing to turn after your bait hits the water, creating an overrun or "birds nest" that you'll have to straighten out before you can retrieve your lure.
Drag System: The drag system on your reel is something you want to pay attention to when deciding on a reel. Drag is the resistance that is put on the spool when line is being pulled off by running fish. There are key aspects that determine how efficient a drag system is on a reel. A common and harped upon characteristic of drag is the maximum drag pressure. While important to match higher max drag with larger fish, most often any reel is going to be able to apply enough counter pressure to stop a fish from pulling all the line off of your reel and tire it out.
Attach your baitcasting reel to a compatible baitcasting rod. Add an appropriate fishing line whose size is within the capacity indicated on the spool and string the line through the guides. It’s easier to learn how to use a baitcaster using heavier lines. Tie a lure or a suitable casting weight at the end of your line. You can start with a 0.5oz weight.
If your motto is ‘ bigger is better ‘ than round profile baitcasting reel should be the ideal choice for you. This type of reel poses sheer power to tackle those big bad boys. So when the round profile reel is on your side, you can somewhat guarantee a big catch. Of course, hunting down big fishes relies mostly on experience but modern fishing equipment and technologies has eliminated that preference.
The Lew’s Fishing Tournament MB Baitcast reel is lightweight with dual-braking MSB and in available in dual hand orientation. The baitcasting reel weighs 6.7oz, with a line capacity of 12/120, Bearings of 9BB+1RB, and the Gear ratio of 5.6:1. All these great features culminate to make the Lew’s Fishing Tournament MB Baitcast reel an excellent reel for your fishing game.
This is a feature to organize your line evenly. Without Levelwind, you end up using the thumb of the rod to lay the line on the spool. If line piles up too much at either side, the spool gets stuck against the reel creating a huge mess of a line. But thanks to the slow yet even line distribution of this system which allows the line to stay organized after every retrieve.
Bait-casting reels are often called casting reels and they're well suited for a lot of different kinds of fishing tasks. They sit on top of the rod and the line comes off a revolving spool. Bait-casters are a little more difficult to learn to cast and are famous for getting backlash, or a bird's nest, in the line. Prices range from very cheap to extremely expensive but there are a lot of moderately priced bait-casting reels that will last a long time.
The most important part of casting a baitcaster is developing a smart thumb. Your thumb rides on the spool of line and controls it, so you must educate your thumb. You can do this while watching television. Tie on a fairly heavy weight, like a nut or 1-ounce sinker, and sit down. Loosen up the freespool control until the weight drops freely, and use your thumb to stop it just before it hits the floor. Do this over and over until you get a feel for feathering the spool with your thumb and stopping the weight just before it reaches the floor.
Our thoughts: Straight up this reel offers nifty features for the price of an average reel. If looks are too important for you than don’t go for it. But if performance what you’re after than this one takes the cake. I did deep crankbaits and saw how it generates a lot of torque. You can use slow rolling big, heavy baits like big swimbait and deep water spinnerbaits. Undoubtedly one of the best baitcasting reels for the money.
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