Baitcasting reels, otherwise known as “baitcasters“, are for those who want more control and precision with their casts, and those who have lots of previous experience perfecting their technique. Baitcasters are widely considered the best fishing reels over spinning reels for advanced or professional anglers because they have a higher gear ratio that gives you a faster retrieve. They can be used for larger crank baits, buzz baits, and more.

SR: When casting sidearm, you have a much wider area through rotation of the cast where you can release the lure. When you cast overhead, that window of when you can release the lure for a proper cast becomes much smaller. And the most common [mistake] is a late release, which means the lure comes crashing down much faster. And that’s when the backlash happens. So, sidearm is a safer cast, but learning how to load your rod up with the energy of the lure is the key to distance.
To get this out of the way, Abu Garcia is easily one of the most popular and successful rod and reel manufacturers in the world. As a part of that success, you see more tournament fishermen and overall anglers using their reels on regular basis. This may seem like commercialism but their success has been well earned against a number of very good brands.
Before you can start casting, you need to set the brake on the reel properly for the weight of the lure that you will be using. Every time you change to a lure of a heavier or lighter weight than you started with, you need to make this brake adjustment. The brake knob is found of the side of reel, under the star drag on the reel handle. By rotating the knob clockwise, the brake tension on the spool is increased, making the spool run more slowly. Turn the knob counter clockwise and the opposite effect is achieved.
I am a die hard Shimano reel fan. While I am pleased to see the Curado make the lineup I am also a little bit shocked that it would make it over the Citica I series. That statement may shock some folks but in my opinion, Shimano has put enough of the premium features into the Citica Series to the point that it is now a Curado I series reel (same weight, size) the only difference being the upgraded bearings in the Curado. For the difference of 30 bucks why not just buy a Citica and upgrade the bearings even further than what the Curado has if that’s the reason you would go with a Curado. All of the reels on the list are great reels! I just think (for the money) the Citica I series is better than the Curado I series! Tight lines everybody!
Baitcasters are better at catching larger fish as they are suitable for fishing with heavier baits and lines that are more massive. The heavier baits allow the angler to fish at higher speeds. You can take full advantage of baits like Spinner and Crankbaits. The stronger lines are great for larger fish like the bass. You can put more pressure on the line without fear of it breaking.
Baitcasting fishing reels usually sit over the pole. The reason why it can be difficult to master this is that it requires the use of your thumb to control the coil and bait arrangement. Many beginners who try to use this type of fishing reel usually have problems with the game. Backlash is when the line in the coil is tangled. Another name for this entanglement is a bird's nest.
What I learned personally with this reel, it’s more suitable for beginner anglers. Those who are casting for the first time should invest in this reel for honing their abilities. You could get a year out of this baby if you treat it with care. Expert anglers will not be impressed with this reel for lacking in a few advanced technologies. But, from the price point perspective, you can’t go wrong with the reel.
The Legend is our best well-rounded pick because of its affordability and above average marks in just about every category. The line and the casting are more than good, frame is sufficient, and the lightness is another perk. A lasting point for this reel has to be its saltwater compatibility. So you’re not stuck to using this reel in just freshwater settings.
If it's a small spool, you need to be sure you have adequate line for long casts. But consider this: are you casting 60 yards? That's 180 feet. That would be a long, healthy cast. So I've started spooling my reels with less line. Because of this, I don't use backing and now a 250-yard filler spool of line will fill 4 reels instead of 2 1/2. Which in turn, saves me money. 
One of the most important things to consider when purchasing your baitcaster is gear ratio. Gear ratio simply means, the number of revolutions of the spool per turn of the reel handle. This determines how much line comes in per turn of the handle. For instance, in a 7.3:1 gear ratio, the last number (1) will always represent a 360-degree turn of the reel handle. The first two numbers (7.3) represent the number of revolutions of the spool per handle revolution. So for our example, for every 360-degree rotation of the handle, the spool will rotate 7.3 times. Sometimes other angler's might ignore the second number in the gear ratio and just call each reel a 5 speed for a 5.3:1, 6 speed for a 6.6:1 and so on.

You may be wondering what a gear ratio is. Well, it refers to the number of times the spool rolls over when you rotate the reel’s handle once. For you to choose the right baitcasting reel, first is to look for the right gear ratio which is very important. This is because the gear ratio affects the speed at which your lure is pulled back. At times, you may find the gear ratio on some reels and at times not.
Fortunately, we can help you with finding the best reel. Below is an easy-to-follow list that has some of the better ones on the market today. These models were chosen because of their design specifications, their ease-of-use and their ability to get the job done. Of course, if you are still looking for a primer on how to choose a caster, there is also a section after the list of top reels that will help teach you some of the things you should be looking for in one of these reels.
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.
The Abu Garcia Revo STX Low Profile Fishing Reel offers exceptional features and excellent performance. The exceptional features include the X2-craffic alloy frame, Dragger bass gear, a power stack carbon matrix drag system, and an extended belt cracking handles. It has 10 stainless steel ball bearings+1 roller, and it is applicable in both freshwater and saltwater.
The spool size of your reel will depend on the size of fish you will be pursuing. Therefore, if you are going to be pursuing bigger and heavy fish, you should go for a reel with a bigger spool. This is because you will be using a heavier line which will take up a lot of space on the spool. Small sized spools are suitable for pursuing small fish because you will need a lighter line. 
If you do like to use backing (line under your main line so you only have to replace small sections of line), braid can be a better option for casting distance. You can wrap the line around the spool as tight as possible, and it's like increasing the diameter of the spool without adding as much weight. Braid allows the spool to spin faster, making it more efficient.
All models have a 5+1 bearing system. Compared to some other baitcasters, this might seem like a low number, but these are high-quality bearings that provide an incredibly smooth reel performance even under duress. Shimano uses X-ship technology to help give this reel a smooth performance when cranking power is employed when fighting a heavy fish. All this technology means is that the gears have are oversized and optimized for consistent alignment and contact to keep everything rolling.

For the price, the Piscifun Torrent baitcast reel is impossible to beat. It is innovatively designed and equipped with top of the line features you will find in more expensive reels. It delivers a smooth performance and provides an enjoyable fishing experience. Strong and durable, it holds up well even with heavy and saltwater use. Like the KastKing Royale Legend, this reel is affordable and easy to use making it the perfect reel to learn how to use a baitcaster with.
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.
If you're looking to spend some serious dough, the Lew’s Fishing Team Pro Magnesium Baitcasting Reel is worth every penny. It boasts a one-piece magnesium frame with carbon side plates, high-strength aluminum gears and a double anodized spool. It tips the scale at just 5.5 ounces yet offers 20 pounds of drag power; and with its gold-accented black body, it looks as good as it feels.
Depending on what you want out of a baitcasting reel, any of the three above are a great option for the best baitcaster under 100 dollars. Choose the one that fits your needs well – the Shimano Caenan for reliability and power, the Lew’s Speed Spool for speed and lightness, and the Abu Garcia Pro Max for quality at a great price. Any of these would make a great candidate for the best baitcasting reel for the money. Good luck on the water!
Usually reserved for experienced anglers, baitcasting reels are defined by a free-spinning spool that makes them notoriously tricky to master. However, once you become proficient, you’ll find that baitcasters allow you to cast with better accuracy and range than standard spinning reels. They’re also particularly well suited to heavier lines and lures. Things to look out for when choosing your reel include the gear ratio, material, number of ball bearings and the intended fishing conditions. below, we look at the best baitcasting reels to buy today.
We already have a ‘cheapest reel’ on this list but the Piscifun is a different category of cheap reel. You can look at the difference between both reels as being generally cheap yet still worthy, and another that provides high value for low cost. The Piscifun is exactly the latter. The weight and build both point to high quality and still the cost remains low. The line retrieval is excellent for a reel so inexpensive and in general compared to its peers.
Once the brake has been set properly for the 1/2oz casting weight you can begin practice casting. Start with overhead casts of a light to medium strength power. Depress the thumb bar to put the reel in free spool mode and quickly place your thumb on the spool. Your thumb will keep the spool from rotating until you release it on the cast. Bring the rod tip back over your shoulder like you would for any overhead cast. Swing the rod forward under moderate power and release your thumb from the spool as your rod tip reaches the eleven o’clock position. As you release your thumb pressure from the spool on the cast, you want to maintain the slightest pressure on the line on top of the spool as the line spins off the spool. This is often referred to as “feathering” the line as the amount of pressure you are applying is minute. This helps to keep the spool from turning too quickly.

This reel was proudly designed by manufacturers to be ergonomic and put the comfort of the angler in check. It is also quite rare to see most fishing reels put ergonomics in their design. The non-slip handles of this reel are designed to avoid slipping off from your hand when in use. It was also built in such a way that reduces lethargy and exhaustion making it your best choice for long hours fishing adventures.

This is one of those brands of reels that you don't hear much about but continues to have solid ratings. I haven't used this reel myself, so I'm just stating the facts here. The high gear ratio of 7.1:1 is very enticing at the low entry price point for this reel. It has a high grade carbon drag system making it super lightweight and durable. The corrosion resistant ball bearings give this 5+1 system a good reason to give this reel a chance. It should be able to handle the water and last for years without replacing. A little bit heavier than most but not by much, its 8 oz, so you probably can not tell much difference. The 4.33 inch extended crank makes this sleek design stand out even more and gives you the ability to handle the load of a bigger fish easily. This reel sounds very promising and I would like to get my hands on one to try out. This might be the breakout baitcaster of 2018.
Reel overview: Since 1958 Daiwa started their journey. They introduced the first ‘open-faced reel’ and made a mark in the angling community. The Daiwa Laguna Baitcasting reel brings the quality and commitment to epic performance. Perfectly crafted low profile Baitcasting reel is ready to conquer the saltwater adventure. Unlike KastKing, the Laguna series ensure performance for the price. Let’s see how each feature operates.

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).


   The Mississippi pro stresses form is most important while casting. “I had a tendency of pulling my elbow up when I tried to make a cast, so my Dad actually tied a rope around my waste and my arm to hold my elbow down and made me cast several times. I spent days and weeks practicing casting in my back yard.  A lot of times I would set up in old tire or hula hoop and try to cast it into those and as I progressed I would reduce the target down to the size of a Coke can.”

Finally, the Curado’s perfectly balanced Super Free spool gives you smooth, long casts by removing spool shaft friction. In regular baitcasting reels, the pinion gear is freed when the clutch bar is pressed, and the gear then drags on the spool shaft. This results in friction that can shorten casting distance. The Super Free spool uses a ball bearing to support the pinion gear, keeping the gear and the spool shaft perfectly aligned when the clutch is disengaged and reducing the friction to zero.


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. 

Weight at 7.3 oz. is consistent with the higher end reels, so it feels like you’re holding a higher end reel. The line capacity is a little lower (110 yards of 12 lb monofilament line) than the other reels but certainly not a not a deal breaker. The line retrieval is 26.8 inches per crank, which is certainly on the high end when comparing against the other reels in this/higher classes.
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.
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.
With 11+1 MaxiDur shielded bearings that are corrosion resistant; this baitcasting reel claims to offer anglers the smoothest and powerful performance. Its drag system features 3-disc drag made from carbon fiber that makes the reel durable. According to the manufacturer, the drag system is capable of delivering up to 18 pounds stopping power. If the claims are true, then the reel can handle even the biggest and most vicious fish.
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.
Once you find the right baitcaster, ensure that you match it up with a compatible baitcasting rod so you have a well-balanced baitcaster combo that will perform flawlessly. It will also take some practice and patience to learn to set up your reel correctly and thumb the spool like a pro. Once you get it, you will be ready to go after the big fish and experience the benefits of using this powerful type of fishing reel. Don’t be surprised to find yourself soon shopping for another baitcast reel to add to your fishing arsenal. 
Congratulations! Your spool tension is now set. Now, remember, the spool tensions needs adjusting as soon as you change bait with a different weight. Step 1-5 is a method you will be using a lot as a baitcaster, especially if you like to switch baits often! Bear in mind, that the above-mentioned setting, where the bait is slowly dropping towards the surface is a beginners setting. As you get more experienced, you will want to gradually loosen up the tension spool, which will enable you to do longer distance casts.
Baitcasting fishing reels usually sit over the pole. The reason why it can be difficult to master this is that it requires the use of your thumb to control the coil and bait arrangement. Many beginners who try to use this type of fishing reel usually have problems with the game. Backlash is when the line in the coil is tangled. Another name for this entanglement is a bird's nest.
The Daiwa Tatula line of baitcasting reels offers high-quality and precision build at a value price point. The Tatula Reels is available in different gear ratios, including 6.3:1, 7.3:1, and 8.3:1 gear ratios and left and right-handed versions. We checked out the R100H, a medium-weight reel that features 7 stainless steel bearings +1 roller bearing and a 13.2lb Tournament Carbon Drag system.
Here are top 6 low profile reels and top 3 round baitcasting reels. I’ve chosen these reels based on the key features in parallel with price. As always, I’m looking for the balance of quality and affordability, “the best bang for your buck” as they say. These are quality reels and would be a great asset to your baitcasting arsenal. Here are my picks for the best baitcasting reels for 2019.

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.
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.

All the Tatula reels are built from machined aluminum for strength and light weight. The Daiwa Magforce-X magnetic casting brake is smooth and precise, and the T-Wing casting system cuts line drag for ultimate distance on the cast. The T-Wing line guide flips up into the casting position, presenting a T-shaped opening instead of a small hole for the line to run through. Distance and accuracy are both increased, and when the T-Wings close for retrieve, the line lays onto the spool through a narrow groove that ensures a perfect, even wind.


If you are going after the bigger fish and need a reel that can take on heavier loads, this baitcaster is phenomenal. It’s got a sleek, fantastic design that works as good as it looks. It’s got a gear ratio of 5.4:1 and has extra torque, so you can reel in the catch of the day with hardly any struggle at all – and if that fish is a little feisty, the bent carbon handle won’t get uncomfortable for you.


SR: When casting sidearm, you have a much wider area through rotation of the cast where you can release the lure. When you cast overhead, that window of when you can release the lure for a proper cast becomes much smaller. And the most common [mistake] is a late release, which means the lure comes crashing down much faster. And that’s when the backlash happens. So, sidearm is a safer cast, but learning how to load your rod up with the energy of the lure is the key to distance.
Last but not least, it has a swept handle that reduces the amount of wobble in your hand as you crank resulting in less wasted energy and a more powerful retrieve. The Tatula SV TW comes in 3 ratios in both left and right hand retrieve. Each gear ratio has a different color accent making it easier to pick the right ratio on the fly without having to read the speed.

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.
The braking system adjusts the spool speed during the cast. This allows you to adjust the speed in order to avoid casting backlash. There are 2 main breaking systems, centrifugal and magnetic. Centrifugal brakes work only during the first part of the cast when the weights, which act as brake shoes, are slung by the centrifugal force out against a brake drum. Magnetic breaks work on the principal that the spool and some magnets make a generator (alternator). The process of generating requires more input energy as the speed of the generator speeds up. Thus you have a form of electric braking. The rate and amount of the braking is adjustable from the outside of the reel. Most reels use numbers on the magnetic brakes where the larger the number, the more breaking power. Don’t forget, you always have your thumb to help too!
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