With a myriad of options to use, it can be confusing to find the most suitable equipment for your needs. Get the tips on what they can offer before you make a decision. For bass fishing, you will never find more effective reels than these two. They are also the most popular reels when it comes to angling techniques because of the many unique features that they have.
A: Baitcasting reels have a bad reputation for being prone to backlashing when casting and being difficult to learn so why would anyone want to use a baitcasting reel? A baitcast reel is highly versatile and the ideal choice of fishing reel for a variety of fishing situations and techniques. Experienced anglers also prefer baitcast reels for the following reasons:
A baitcaster works well with all three line types: monofilament, fluorocarbon and braid. I use a baitcaster with monofilament for topwater baits such as Zara Spooks, twitching suspended stickbaits and cranking in the shallows or at mid-depths. A baitcaster with fluorocarbon is my choice for jig fishing, Texas-rigged soft plastics and deep cranking. I rely on a baitcaster filled with braid for buzz baits, plastic frogs and topwater chuggers.
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.
For strength, durability, comfort, and performance, this low profile reel is made up of a high strength and anti-corrosion nylon body, 8 stainless steel bearings plus two Japan NMB bearing, instant anti-reverse, CNC machined double-anodized aluminum alloy spool, precision matched brass gears, precision made magnetic brake system, ceramic line guide insert and an ergonomic stainless steel handle with smooth and comfortable natural cork knobs that feel good in the hand.
Loosen the tension more. Now you are going to have to thumb harder at the very start of the release. You are still letting the line spin under your thumb but you have a bit more pressure because the startup inertia of the spool is going to be initially faster than the lure is going to pull the line off of the reel. You have to control that with early pressure then back off your thumb as the lure gets farther from you. This will take training your thumb.
When your baitcasting-fishing reel is set correctly, it is time for your first cast. Press the release button while your thumb is still on the spool, and use your entire arm instead of the weight of your wrist to snap the bait forward. This reduces the game when you first learn to act. Make sure that the handle of the roller points upwards when casting to optimize the performance of the baitcasting rollers.
We love how this baitcaster feels in the water. The SX models have a 9+1 stainless steel ball bearings and one anti-reverse bearing that eliminates most of the back play in the reel handle. The standard models have a 6.4:1 gear ratio while the high speeds get bumped up to 7.1:1. Retrieval is incredibly smooth and as the gear ratios imply, incredibly fast.
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.
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.
Using a good baitcasting reel supplies a good level of casting control and helps you improve your fishing accuracy. This is mainly because you can adjust and control the speed and distance of your lure when casting with by holding the spool with your thumb. After a good period of use when you have become proficient in using it, your casting accuracy would have improved. Therefore, you can pinpoint easily with high accuracy thus enabling you to throw the lure to the exact location of the fish.
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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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 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.
Although the reels braking system aids in controlling how quickly the spool rotates, the power behind each cast can still leave the spool susceptible possibly over running. The best way to address this is by using your thumb to control the rotation of the spool. By applying a small amount of pressure to the exposed line on the top of the reel with your thumb, you can keep the spool rotating at the correct speed to let the line flow off the reel evenly.
The things to pay attention to when choosing a baitcast reel include the gear ratio, drag system, braking system, weight, line capacity, bearing system and build materials. Once you find a great reel whose features and specs match your target species, fishing style, and technique, you’ve found your best baitcasting reel. Below are the features and specs of baitcast reels explained.
The aircraft grade aluminum spool provides 35 percent more line capacity than the brand’s freshwater equivalent so that you can use a heavier line to target more powerful saltwater species. Other highlights include Daiwa’s Magforce Cast Control and wide T-Wing aperture (which helps to reduce line angles and friction). Available in right and left-handed models, the reel weighs in at 8.1 ounces and features a 100mm swept handle with non-slip EVA knobs.
With an aluminum/graphite body, carbon fiber drag, and a great gear ratio, this reel is a surefire bang for your buck. Still, when weighing up the benefits to a reel like this it’s important to establish the ground rules for a ‘bang for your buck’ reel. That all of these qualities are high value to begin with, but for a reel so affordable, you feel like you’re practically stealing.
In addition to their steep learning curve, buying a first baitcast reel can be very intimidating because there are so many options that look the same but are very different in their features and performance. The good thing is that picking one is not complicated once you know what to look for and how to determine the right casting reel for your needs.
The Shimano Curado 200XG K is another high quality baitcasting reel with an oval frame and spool made from aluminum. The spool can take 110 yards of 14lb mono or 80 yards of 65lb PowerPro braid. Retrieve rate on the 200XG is 36 inches per crank and the line comes through a titanium line guide and lays up perfectly. The 200XG features 4 (+2) bearings, and a powerful 8.5:1 gear ratio. The Curado line also features reels with 7.2:1, 6.3:1, or slower 5.5:1 gearing to allow for fine-tuning to lure type and fishing style.
The braking system of your reel is a vital consideration when you’re considering your purchase as these devices are integral to your cast. You’ll find that there are a number of systems available, but the main two are magnetic and centrifugal. For the beginner a magnetic brake may be the one to go with, as most manufacturer’s magnetic brakes will function evenly throughout the cast while a centrifugal brake generally only functions during the latter half. This will be the main setting you’ll need to tweak on your reel when you change tackle, so pick whichever one you’re more comfortable with.
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.
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.
First, I bought a baitcaster reel+rod combo for $85 in Walmart, about 2 years ago, because I really wanted to get in to learn baitcasting. It is a brand name, most fishermen would recognize, I won't say no more, because they do have excellent products, but some of the gear, what they make is just horrifyingly bad. So as a beginner, I started practicing on that and of course, all I was getting was backlashes and it just felt so useless and cheap. The entire practice was just a major frustration and I completely given up trying to learn and the rod+reel combo ended up in my garage and swore that I will never touch it again.