Choosing any baitcasting reel, much less the best one, can feel like a challenge to the average angler.  There seems like a never ending array of features that need to be considered before one of these can be purchased. Options which include such things as gear ratios, braking systems, the number and type of ball bearings and spool designs. It can make choosing the best baitcasting reel an almost insurmountable challenge.
As you can see, there’s much more that goes into learning how to use a baitcaster than meets the eye. Start with the fundamentals of casting and retrieving, but be aware of a baitcaster’s finer nuances. The mechanical systems of a baitcaster also determine how they perform. The best bet for a beginner is to go with a cast control system. It’ll make learning how to use a baitcaster so much easier, taking time away from frustration and using it to learn the other systems.

This reel features a machined aluminum spool which is deep and can hold as heavy and lengthy as the possible line. Therefore, with this feature, you wouldn’t have to be bothered about not having enough line or space to hold them, especially when going out to get a large fish. Having an aluminum spool and drag system also makes this reel a good fit for fresh water fishing.
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.
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.

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.


Most baitcasters come equipped with a level line system, but not all. The level line guides your line back and forth upon retrieve so that it doesn’t build up in one spot on the spool. It lays your line level on the spool. Baitcasters with an open face frame do without the level line system, forcing the angler to guide the line back on the spool while retrieving.
As you can see, there’s much more that goes into learning how to use a baitcaster than meets the eye. Start with the fundamentals of casting and retrieving, but be aware of a baitcaster’s finer nuances. The mechanical systems of a baitcaster also determine how they perform. The best bet for a beginner is to go with a cast control system. It’ll make learning how to use a baitcaster so much easier, taking time away from frustration and using it to learn the other systems.
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!

On the fishing side, the Concept A has proven to be more than capable. Casting is a breeze, thanks in part to a unique “arrowhead” line guide, and waffle spool. The internal “Concept Brake System” allows casting of lures as light as 3/16oz up to 1oz crankbaits and jigs. One knock is the lack of external access to the brakes, but once inside it’s as easy as selecting a setting form 0-6 on the dial.
Take your rod and reel outside and make a short lob-type cast. Swing your whole arm, don't try to snap the rod tip with your wrist. The reason for casting like this to start is that you want the spool to start spinning slowly and evenly. A lob cast will do this. A snap cast will make the spool spin fast from the beginning, almost guaranteeing a backlash.
As for handling, you get to choose between cork and EVA handles depending on which look and feel you like. Both options are durable and offer a soft, non-slip grip ensuring you have the control you need when casting and bringing in fish and offering comfort when fishing for hours. The cork handled reel is slightly more expensive than the EVA handled one.
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.
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. 
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.

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.


Baitcasting reels are very essential for anglers. Those who want to use bigger lures, for them baitcasting reel is a must have tool. When the light line spinning reel isn’t useful enough, you will need one of the best baitcasting reels to work with. A best baitcasting reels give you complete control over your lure, allowing accurate lure positioning, and the ability to tug slouches out of cover and deep water.


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.
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.
Gears and Speed: The connection between how many times the spool turns after one turn of the handle is known as the gear ratio. A high gear ratio means a faster spool. Physical Size Of The Spool: For large fish, which typically baitcasters are designed for to catch, you will have to buy a larger spool size so that heavy lines can be accommodated comfortably on the spool.
The reel uses an 11-bearing system with a generous number of ten ball bearings and an additional roller one. The ball bearings are shielded and resistant to corrosion. As a result, they are durable and enable long-distance casts. Since it is an affordable reel, keep in mind you might face a backlash now and then, but it is still a good deal for the money.
What I noticed to be remarkably majestic, that the baitcasting reel, in fact, comes in equipped with a multimode braking system. When casting and revolving take place, it utilizes both the centrifugal braking and magnetic cast control. So, if you manage to hook a fish that fights back, just relax and don’t worry. Cause the line won’t snap off easily.
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!
Reel overview: KastKing made twice to this list due to its brilliance and lavish features. The KastKing stealth Baitcasting reel loved up to his name. It operates silently and lands fish with ease. KastKing offers modern features that attract anglers of this generation. Compact design, top-notch performance, durable build quality with a reasonable value is the definition of the best KastKing reel.
Fishermen looking for a good trolling or bottom-fishing reel can not go wrong with the time-tested Abu Garcia Ambassadeur C3. It’s a classic and one of the best-selling reels of all time. With a 320 yard 12lb mono line capacity and 6.3:1 gearing, this winch of a reel is made for pulling big fish up out of deep water. The C3 comes in smaller sizes but we tested the big boy and loved the business-like look and feel of this reel.
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You will have to pay a high price for the accuracy offered by a baitcast reel, although you can get some very nice ones under $100. To increase accuracy, you will have to be focused and stay extremely patient. Frustrations are common for anglers using this reel, but the price is worth every little nuisance. Experienced anglers may not suffer much, because they will have figured out that you must halt the spool as soon as you drop the bait.

Braking systems are another feature that often confuses inexperienced anglers who use this type of reel. Basically, the braking system prevents your line from continuing forward after the lure has finished its movement. There are two different type of braking systems out there, although some reels now use a hybrid of the two. These two braking systems are centrifugal brakes and magnetic brakes. Centrifugal brakes use friction to slow down the line and can be adjusted using pins. Magnetic brakes use magnets to slow down spool speed and are adjustable as well. There’s not much difference between the two except for this: centrifugal braking systems are usually easier to set and don’t have to be adjusted as much as magnetic braking systems.


The 7.0:1 gear ratio makes the KastKing a super smooth and efficient baitcaster. A little bit heavier than the Abu Garcia Revo SX, but you can't tell the difference at 7.5 oz. It is a much cheaper reel than others and you can definitely feel that it's not made as well as others. Plan on this one not lasting as long as other reels that are more durable. This reel has 11+1 ball bearings and super smooth reel for pitching, flipping and more. State of the art dual brakes make this baitcaster ready to go fishing right out of the box. The price point makes this a good purchase. It's an affordable reel if you are wanting to get into baitcasting like the professionals. Definitely a good reel to get for beginners before they move to a more durable reel.
It’s important to have smooth and consistent drag power to land a big fish. Abu Garcia Revo Sx is also ahead in this department with their carbon matrix drag system. Line guide may be a small, yet very important part of a reel. This reel features a Duragear system and titanium coated line guide for durability and longevity whereas the D2 gear design enhances efficiency.
If you have a very tight budget but still want to own a decent baitcasting reel, you should probably try this model by KastKing. The reel features 11+1 MaxiDur ball bearings that allow easy control over the reel and smooth long-range casting. But the best part is that the bearings are shielded and are corrosion resistant to withstand hardcore fishing. 

To my new eager anglers, I would like to share you something that years of angling hours made me realize. It’s not all equipment and how many modern features you can get your hands on. To be a skillful angler, you need to connect with your every cast, analyze your surroundings, understand the water. I know I might sound a bit corny but these insights will feed into your every reflex and become your muscle memories.


Penn did not disappoint us with their latest version, the Penn Battle II because it features an improved paint quality for further reel protection, increased drag pressure (about 20% increase), sealed ball bearings (they are now 5 stainless steel ball bearings), and upgraded spool. I also like the front drag HT 100 drag systems which make use of carbon washers. This helps make the reel's lifespan longer.

Loved by Amazon reviewers for its pro-caliber performance and reasonable price-tag, the Daiwa Tatula CT Type-R Baitcast Reel is a great all-rounder for freshwater angling. It features an ergonomic low profile design, as well as a rugged gear train protected by a super lightweight aluminum frame and side plate. Highlights include the Magforce Z Cast Control System and a hybrid levelwind equipped with Daiwa’s signature T-Wing aperture. The former allows for pinpoint accuracy across a wide range of different lures.


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.
On the fishing side, the Concept A has proven to be more than capable. Casting is a breeze, thanks in part to a unique “arrowhead” line guide, and waffle spool. The internal “Concept Brake System” allows casting of lures as light as 3/16oz up to 1oz crankbaits and jigs. One knock is the lack of external access to the brakes, but once inside it’s as easy as selecting a setting form 0-6 on the dial.
Since every bait cast reel comes with a complete mechanism, braking systems are also included. They are responsible for adjusting the rotation of the spool when you are casting, so that it does not get out of hand. Otherwise, if it did not exist, you would forever be experiencing backlash (the knotted line that remains with you when the spool continues revolving, even after the lure stops moving forward).
On the fishing side, the Concept A has proven to be more than capable. Casting is a breeze, thanks in part to a unique “arrowhead” line guide, and waffle spool. The internal “Concept Brake System” allows casting of lures as light as 3/16oz up to 1oz crankbaits and jigs. One knock is the lack of external access to the brakes, but once inside it’s as easy as selecting a setting form 0-6 on the dial.

You can fight any hard pulling fish with this particular reel thanks to that extended bent cranking handles and power knob for added torque. Which brings us to those 9 stainless steel ball bearings and a roller bearing. The more bearings equal better reel performance and smoothness. Not only the SX series features higher numbers of ball bearings, but they are also premium in terms of quality. The X2-CRÄFTIC alloy frame prevents corrosion and compact bent handle and star allows the reel to be more ergonomic.
If you’re an angler who plans on fishing for a while or let’s say you’re a veteran, and you’ve seen the worst of it, the simple fact is that your reel needs to last. Moreover, your reel needs to stand the worst conditions that can be thrown at it. If you’re someone who agrees with this, you’re not alone, Shimano has heard your call and made a nice long lasting reel to be an anglers friend.
The Lews Speed Spool LFS Baitcasting Reel has a lot of interesting features to itself. It features a 10 bearings system and is made up of 9+1 double shielded stainless steel bearings which are very efficient. It comes with a zirconia line guide, an external lube port, high strength solid brass gearing for brass fishing, Zero-reverse one-way stainless steel clutch bearing and lots more. It has a Line Capacity of 12/150, 9SS+1RB bearing, a gear ratio: 7.5:1, and weighs 7.0oz
It’s important if you’re looking around the market to not exaggerate your skill-level. If you find other reels such as Spinners to be ideal for you, go for that. Otherwise, allow yourself the freedom to try out new types of reels. A reliable Baitcasting Reel can be another versatile tool at your disposal when getting on the water. Listen to your gut, your reel, and your reason, but most of all: have as much fun as possible. Good luck!
The Dartanium II drag washers provide one of the smoothest drag systems around. You can simply adjust it with a flick of your finger while fighting a fish. The SVS Infinity breaking system is one of the best out there. There is an external dial as well as 4 internal brakes that are adjusted by opening the side plate and engaging 1 to 4 of the brakes.
One added note about using your reels braking system. Many baitcasting reels are now made with secondary brake systems that the angler can use to fine tune the braking of the spool. Some of these brake systems use tiny magnets to control the speed of the spool and some systems use centrifugal force to slow down the spool. The details of operating magnetic and centrifugal brake systems are covered in detail in the following articles:
If you’re well acquainted with baitcaster reels and try the Luna, one of the first things you’ll notice is the ease and extra distance when casting. This is the free floating spool structure that removes the spool pinion from the gear train (reduced friction). This allows the spool to spin quicker and longer for those long bomb casts. Additionally, the casting speed is easily adjusted by pressing and turning the sideplate. Most reels will have a separate knob for this functionality; to me the sideplate adjustment is more intuitive.
July 2016 I have used this real very hard throw up to 4 ounce baits, has not missed a beat. I caught all these muskies in the pictures on this reel, handled them absolutely perfect. You need to take the spool out and put some grease down in the dog gear if you hear a grinding sound that will fix the problem. There is nothing wrong with the real it's just they are skimpy on their grease cost money you know. I am guess I have 40 hours of had use and it still doing great, there is no paint showing signs of wear either. I will give a update.
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