This bestselling baitcasting reel by KastKing is outstanding in every way: long lasting quality, power, silky smoothness, affordability, and versatility. KastKing has a reputation as a provider of high-quality and high-performance fishing equipment at a great value. The brand is all about making fishing fun. With its pocket-friendly price, durable quality and excellent performance, this reel is definitely fun to fish with.
Hey Steve, thanks for the comment and glad it helped, I love Abu Garcia reels! As for your question, you’re likely just fine with the 5601 model vs. 6601. The big difference is line capacity holding monofilament 240 yards of 12# (5601) vs. 320 yards of 12# (6601). What type of fishing are you looking to use this reel for? E.g. River drift fishing, Ocean fishing, etc. If you’re looking for a salt water reel the bigger reel capacity is more important, but if you’re drift fishing rivers the 5601 should be more than fine for those big runs. Let me know!
Baitcasters fall into the power fishing category as they are designed to handle heavier lures/baits and handle more aggressive fishing techniques or actions on the water. An example of this type of fishing could include punching weighted lures through lily pads or thick forage, cranking or speed trolling. The spinning reel does better with smaller lures and “finesse fishing” techniques, which would include sensitivity and “feeling” the smallest and lightest fishing bites. This would include fishing techniques like drop-shotting, jigging, bobber fishing, etc. There are many camps with various definitions on what power and finesse fishing is, but in my opinion the baitcasting reel lends best to the power fishing category.

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While you want to fill a spinning reel spool just shy of the edge of the taper on the spool, you can actually get away with having less line on a baitcaster. Because the spool itself un-spins the line from the spool, there is not the friction you have with a spinning reel spool. If a spinning reel spool is half full, it will not cast as well because there is increased friction as the line uncoils off the spool. 

This is a no-nonsense build quality from KastKing. The integrated hard forged aluminum gears, aircraft grade aluminum spool and carbon fiber handle with EVA knobs for smooth reel performance as well as greater convenience. The number of nifty features and special ability of these reels has truly placed it under the best baitcasting reels for the money.
 Reputation: It’s no surprise that the Shimano Caenan series achieved 4.2 out of 5 stars. Angling community adored this classic compilation from Shimano. It may not offer an array of features and modern tweaks, but it performs well, and last a long time. Sometimes, simplicity outshines sophistication. I think budget anglers should get this best Shimano fishing reel.
This reel is built to last, with brass gears, a corrosion-resistant X2-Craftic alloy frame and eight stainless steel ball bearings. The palm side plate is made of carbon to reduce the reel’s overall weight, while the aluminum handle side plate adds strength and durability. Available with a left or right-handed setup, the reel also includes large EVA knobs on the handle for improved grip when fighting larger fish. 

In this section, I’ll outline the key features (components) you should be looking for in quality baitcasting reel. Baitcasting components are similar to spinning reels; drag system, gear ratios, bearings, etc, but the baitcaster has larger variations of these components. For example, they have a higher gear ratio than the spinning reel. Lastly, based on this research and personal testing I’ll outline my best baitcasting reels for the year (both low profile and round reels).
I wanted to follow up after we purchased the KastKing Royale Legend baitcaster since we got referred by your site. We purchased it on Amazon early May and have been using it out on the lake for a few weeks now. Keep in mind, this review is coming from a beginner baitcaster fisherman. I’m not a beginner fisherman, I’ve been fishing all my life with spinning reels. After seeing all the great reviews on the KastKing and saw the price was pretty comparable to the other reels, we decided to make the purchase online. We always read other reviews online before making a purchase. The reel is very lightweight and casts as smooth as a babys bottom. Some report that this reel feels cheaply made, but we do not feel this way. If you want cheaply made, then go to Walmart. We have caught so many bass (and catfish) on this reel that it’s not even funny.
If all goes well on the cast, the casting weight should be landing on the ground somewhere in front of you and the line on the spool should be free of any tangles. It is likely that the casting weight did not cast very far, either from too much brake pressure or thumb pressure or possibly from releasing the cast on a poor trajectory. Stopping your rod tip and releasing your thumb pressure at the eleven o’clock position should give you the proper trajectory for a successful cast. If the casting weight is thumping into the ground only a few feet in front of you, try stopping your rod tip a little sooner during the cast. If it feels like the brake pressure is too tight to pay out much line from the spool, loosen the brake slightly and repeat your cast.
Eleven ball bearings make for flawlessly smooth casting and retrieval. The centrifugal braking system features 27 adjustable positions, while the carbon fiber handle comes with two custom EVA foam cork knobs. The reel has a high gear ratio of 6.8:1. Patented Lew’s innovations include the Speed Dial line indicator (to keep track of what line type and weight has been spooled) and a retractable hook keeper. 
Featuring lightweight aluminum spool with high tensile gears, this reel claims to offer smooth and efficient casting. The spool is big to allow less severe line coiling while also minimizing the overall weight of the reel. In addition, the reel is fully adjustable for greater cast control. As such, you can use it in almost all kinds of fishing situations and lure. 
You’ll want to make sure that the reel you purchase has the right gear ratio for your needs. You’ll want something higher geared for smaller fish in order to make a quick retrieval, but a lower gear is ideal for when you’re hunting monsters. The typical measurements you’ll see are quite easy to read, it’s simply how many times the small gear turns compared to the large one attached to your handle. For instance a 6:1 ratio means the smaller gear will turn six total times for one crank of the handle.
Designed especially with inshore anglers in mind, the Daiwa Coastal-TWS 200 baitcasting reel is made to withstand exposure to saltwater with eight corrosion-resistant ball bearings. These last approximately 12 times longer than standard stainless steel ball bearings and combine with the reel’s high-strength gears to increase its overall longevity. The reel has a maximum drag of 15.4 pounds and a fast 7.3:1 gear ratio.
   Setting up the baitcaster’s anti-backlash system is next.  “On a general setup I would pull out at least three of the centrifugal brake pins,” says Ponds. “On the right hand side of most reels is an anti-backlash dial. I would set that up by tying my plug on and back off that dial until the lure barely starts to drop and then turn it up just a little bit from there. As you progress you can loosen it up and also mash in one of the brakes.”  Even though he is a seasoned veteran with a baitcaster Ponds always keeps one brake pin engaged.  
Hi there! My name is Reese, an avid fishing enthusiast. I created this site with the purpose of sharing my knowledge and journey that involves the wonderful sport of fishing. As a professional angler I have tried many different products over the years, and continue to experiment with new technology and methods as I get older. So if you are looking for a personal opinion on a specific type of product or if you need tips to improve your technique, then feel free to browse around the site and product reviews. Thanks for stopping by!
No matter what your fishing style is, you need the right equipment for a successful and pleasurable fishing experience. Baitcasting reels are the right equipment for casting heavier lures and lines and going after large fish. It takes time and patience to choose the right baitcast reel and become proficient at its use but the effort is worth it, as a baitcaster reel will give you more control, power, speed, and accuracy. 
Additional things to consider when buying a baitcasting reel are the frames and ball bearings. Their frames are either machined or die cast. They are made from two different materials of aluminum or graphite and at times a mixture of the two. Durable and quality frames are usually made from a single strand of material. Ball bearings are featured to allow the free run of the reel and provide support to the gears too. Here, quality takes priority over the number and quantity. Therefore you should look out for those signed as stainless, or shielded or double shielded.
To finish off this list, we're going to go with another popular reel called the Shimano Citica. This reel has been in production for years and has withstood the test of time. With a 7.2:1 high gear ratio and only 7.4 ounces, this is a really I would really like to recommend. It has a very nice line crank of 30 inches and 5 + 1 bearings. It is also available in 6.3:1 as well as right and left hand models. The price point is a bit higher, but also worth it.
Hold the reel properly. Grip the rod behind the reel with your thumb resting over the reel spool. Baitcasting rods are designed the same as spincasting rods, and as with spincasting rods, most fishermen cast with the same hand they retrieve with, so if you prefer to hold the rod behind the reel when you retrieve, you'll need to switch hands when you cast.[3]
Fishing should be fun, and it can only be so if you have the right equipment. In the past, people would use a simple hook and line, but now the tools and accessories have become much more sophisticated. This has made fishing easier and more enjoyable. Still a debate rages about choosing a  baitcast reel vs spinning reel and there are diehard loyalists standing behind both.

Shimano is a proven producer of great fishing reels and their Calcutta line has been setting the industry standard for round bait casting reels since 1991. The Conquest continues the heritage of the round reel as a true precision fishing machine. This compact round reel comes in at the top of the price range, but these reels are often referred to in angling publications as works of art and that description is not far off.
These are lightweight and compact reels coming in at 6.7oz. While lightweight they still offer some durability and ruggedness with aluminum alloy frames and carbon composite side plates. This gives you a very comfortable reel that makes casting all day a lot easier. There is plenty of cranking power available and the gear design and supporting structures allow it to function beautifully under duress of an aggressive fish.
Using a baitcaster, the angler releases the line by removing his thumb then must immediately bring his thumb back to bear on the line. Not to stop it, but with just enough of a touch to slow the spool. The reason? If the angler doesn’t do this the spool will spin faster than the release of line. This will cause the line to backlash, putting over wraps, under wraps, and knots throughout your spool. The minimum effect of backlash is a temporary halt to fishing. Worst case scenarios require a new spool of line.
This ultra-lightweight baitcasting reel from KastKing weighs just 5.7 ounces and is made from carbon, a material that is naturally resistant to corrosion and so tough that it can practically withstand anything. The 11+1 ball bearings are made from shielded and corrosion resistant MaxiDur, while the spool boasts hardy construction from aero-grade aluminum.
Baitcasting reels have become more user-friendly in the past few years and have now moved out of the pros-only space into the hands of everyday anglers. If you have watched tournament bass fishermen on TV, you have seen baitcasters in action. Baitcasting reels can handle the heavier lures and lines that are crucial for catching larger fish, and these reels come with very powerful gearing designed for hauling in big fish fast.
The 6.6:1 SX is going to excel at a wide swath of fishing techniques, and we recommend this one if you are looking for a workhorse, multi-purpose reel. The 7.3:1 reel on the other hand, will be better for you if you like to burn in topwater baits, or if you like to pitch and flip jigs or soft plastic creature baits. You’ll get more casts in with the 7.3 ratio.
Over the weeks I’ve had it I have used it for Channel Cats (all I fish for) and each day seemed like it’s casting distance would be less and less.Tonight I was at the water again and it wouldn’t cast over 20yds.I reeled it in after the last time of trying to set the tensioners with no luck and propped it against the tree and fished with my other 2 reels (Abu and Shimano).A little while later I remembered I had a small travel can of WD40 in the truck so I went and retrieved it.I sat there tearing this reel apart and adding lube to everything but the drag.
Hey Steve, thanks for the comment and glad it helped, I love Abu Garcia reels! As for your question, you’re likely just fine with the 5601 model vs. 6601. The big difference is line capacity holding monofilament 240 yards of 12# (5601) vs. 320 yards of 12# (6601). What type of fishing are you looking to use this reel for? E.g. River drift fishing, Ocean fishing, etc. If you’re looking for a salt water reel the bigger reel capacity is more important, but if you’re drift fishing rivers the 5601 should be more than fine for those big runs. Let me know!
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. 
When you begin learning how to use a baitcaster, everything centers around your thumb. Whether you’re right or left handed doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you keep your thumb on the spool of the baitcaster. Get a feel for it because your thumb will be on the spool quite often. In fact, the only times your thumb won’t be on the spool is when you’re retrieving line or battling a fish.
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.