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.
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.
Maybe you learned to cast when you were a kid with a spincasting reel, or maybe you have taught your own children to fish with such an outfit. At TackleDirect, we offer spincast reels that are very grownup so you can continue to enjoy the ease of this fishing method. Operated with push-button ease, they combine the strengths of spinning and baitcasting reels and are an ideal compromise for those who want the distance and power of a baitcasting reel but don’t want the hassles of backlashes and bird’s nests.
Once you have the reel, spool it with monofilament line in fairly heavy breaking strength—14 to 20 pounds—even if you plan on later fishing with lighter line. Heavier line is easier to learn to cast, and easier to pick out those unavoidable backlashes. Fluorocarbon line is a good choice to fish with, but it is a little harder to cast, so start with monofilament. Don't fill the spool on the reel, start with half a spool or less. The more line on the spool the heavier the spool and the faster and longer it will spin. Spinning too long is what causes backlashes (spool overruns), so start with less line.
Baitcasters have become most popular through the tournament bass industry where bass anglers have found them to be indispensable tools for their pursuits. Baitcasting reels handle larger line diameters far better than spinning reels and heavy lines are often needed to wrestle large fish out of weed beds. These reels also have a completely different drive gear system from spinning reels that provides a lot more power for the angler. This makes the retrieval of many lure types much easier on the angler, especially after long hours of constant casting and cranking.
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.
I could write a long essay trying to illustrate the best way to make a cast with a baitcaster, but why should I, when there are so many great videos out there, showing exactly the best way to do it? I recommend watching the following video of Mike Webb explaining how to perform a proper cast with a baitcaster. Remember to watch the video again right before heading out to practice!
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.
For such a tough reel, it is surprisingly light weight at just over 13 ounces, and the InfiniMax adjustment system and 7 stainless steel pinion bearings lets the reel cast smooth and far with any size bait. This reel impressed us as the best-built baitcasting reel in our selection. For big fish and abusive conditions from saltwater to muddy catfish holes, the Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast 60 is the top choice in a heavy-duty low-profile design and third overall in our review.
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.
Centrifugal baitcasters use a braking system similar to a car. They will be located underneath the side plates. They are adjusted by adjusting the interior pins, which can be engaged and disengaged. Pins can be engaged and disengaged by pushing them either towards or away from the center. I find centrifugal braking systems to be the far superior system. I suggest starting with a FishDrops 17+1 BB baitcasting reel from Bass Smashers. This model’s interior pins are designed like levers, which make it a baitcaster that is especially accessible for beginners.
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.
This is a great case where the specifications of a reel can be a bit deceptive. A lot of low quality reels might boast a whole lot of bearings, but if they aren’t of high quality you might be better off with half the amount of extremely well made ones. These are especially vital to allow for smooth casting, increasing your accuracy and decreasing your chances of a messy backlash.
I go fishing a few times a week, and was looking for another reel to have another baitcaster setup. I currently have 2 Abu Garcia BlackMax 6.4:1 reels and some spinning setups, but was looking at trying something different. Between the high rating and the price, I thought I'd give this a try. The KastKing was not only $20+ cheaper, but also outperforms the Abu Garcias on every level - Less backlashes, smoother reeling, further casting distances. I'm just so happy with this reel, and can't wait to try out some of the other ones and ratios from KastKing.