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.
This guide will help you understand how to choose the best baitcasting reel for the money, one that helps you fish your favorite techniques as efficiently as possible, as well as coming in under your budget. For those new to baitcasters, we’ll cover the most important specifications to look for so that you make the right choice for your own personal best baitcasting reel. If you are familiar with these things already, then jump right down to our Top 5 baitcasting reels.
I resort to spinning reels mainly in the spring when bass are in the shallows and finesse tactics seem to work best. I also switch to spinning reels on windy winter days for casting suspending stickbaits because baitcasters tend to backlash too much when throwing those lightweight plugs into the wind. Some of my favorite finesse tactics I use with spinning tackle are wacky-rigging Senkos, shaking a finesse worm with a shaky head jig, skipping tube jigs and drop-shotting.
Now, let’s take a look at what you need to look for when shopping for a new baitcasting reel. If you found the perfect baitcaster reel for you among the best baitcasters reviewed above and have a great baitcasting rod to create a well-balanced baitcaster combo, you’re all set up to catch some trophy fish. If you’re finding it hard to decide which one you should spend your money on, here’s a guide to help you select the best for you. 
Our thoughts: Do I think this is the best Abu Garcia Baitcasting reel? Absolutely not. But do I think this is one of the best baitcasting reels for the money? Then yes I do. It offers nifty features at a reasonable price. You can practice different bait style with ease. Not a lot of manufacturer offers cheap Baitcasting reels for the performance like Abu Garcia.
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.

Our favorite aspect of this reel is its casting performance, and there is a lot of technology and design that has gone into this reel to give you this tremendous range of casting. The spool tension adjustment is very sensitive and has a wide range of adjustments allowing you to use a wide variety of different sized lures. The only problem we have is that the line capacity is not the best and might limit you if you’re not able to spool high test line. The spool and line guide design also cut down on the friction between the reel and line, providing an extra few yards to a cast you wouldn’t have otherwise.


Because braid is lighter and tighter on a spool and the line diameter is often much smaller than monofilament or fluorocarbon, you can get away with less brakes on your reel, giving you greater distance and better efficiency. So keep that in mind. Turn down the brakes with braid and turn them up slightly with fluoro or mono. Eventually you want to turn them all down to achieve maximum distance.
The Shimano Curado I Reel is a silver-gray caster that’s considered by some anglers to be an improvement over previous Curado reels. It has a low-profile design that only weighs around 7-ounces or so but is able to handle up to 12-pounds of drag. It’s designed so that it can cast as smoothly as any of the higher end reels, as well as retrieve the line with it being capable of retrieving up to 26-inches of line per crank. Other features of this reel include an S3D spool design, an SVS Infinity braking system and S A-RB bearings which are shielded to protect against sand and saltwater. It’s a reel that handles both inshore and offshore fishing duties well.
Our favorite aspect of this reel is its casting performance, and there is a lot of technology and design that has gone into this reel to give you this tremendous range of casting. The spool tension adjustment is very sensitive and has a wide range of adjustments allowing you to use a wide variety of different sized lures. The only problem we have is that the line capacity is not the best and might limit you if you’re not able to spool high test line. The spool and line guide design also cut down on the friction between the reel and line, providing an extra few yards to a cast you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Along with reliable drag, you will need a responsive braking system. Abu Garcia Ambassadeur S round reel offers 4-pin centrifugal braking system for responsiveness and consistent braking power. Instant anti-reverse allows perfect back Reeling and puts less pressure on the drag system. For longer castability and line management, it has a level wind system. Truly it deserves to be the best Abu Garcia round reel.
The simplest thing you can do to increase your distance with baitcasters is by training your thumb to be the brakes. Then you can reduce tension and brakes and have a freer spinning spool. Start with the tension tight. Push the thumb bar. The lure should not drop off the rod tip. Now slowly turn the tension down. When the bait starts to barely fall, start training your thumb. 
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.
Here’s another Shimano added to the list. This one has the same aluminum frame as the Curado and a new introduced spool system which claims higher casting distance. It doesn’t take much digging to figure out how good Shimano has made it for anglers in recent years, and this year is no different. The Metanium shows a lot of promise as a great freshwater baitcasting reel.
You will get different gear ratios between 6.3 and 8.1 to 1. On the lower end, those are very moderate but the high-end reels are blazing fast. Best fished on a medium to slower action rod, these are a powerhouse reel more designed to get fish to the boat rather than play them on the line. Not great for large cats and hard fighters but will nail bass and smaller fish every time.

The reel frame and side plates are machined aluminum and they give superior strength and help keep the weight down to a light 7.3 ounces. They also make the reel look very handsome. Ten stainless steel bearings and a 6.3:1 gear ratio give smooth, fast retrieves while still providing enough torque for the size of fish the reel is designed to handle. The carbon fiber drag can apply 15lbs of pressure, and it has a very smooth action.

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.

The fishing performance is as refined as the reel. Lew’s reels usually exhibit great casting, and the Pro Mag is no exception. Great casting comes from double shielded ball bearings, an audible tension clicker, and a killer 27 point, externally adjustable centrifugal braking system. Throw in an integral bait keep and line size indicator, and you have one heck of a baitcaster.


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.
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.
   Ponds believes with an overhand cast, you can release the line a little sooner or later in the cast  but can still drop the lure anywhere you want it to land by thumbing the spool. “It is also very important to always keep your eye on the lure,” says Ponds, who notes this is a key to thumbing a baitcaster.  “It just comes by reflex after a while. It is much like driving a car when you mash on the brakes you don’t think every time that you have to mash on the brake, you just do it. It is the same thing with casting. If you train your eyes to follow your lure as it goes out there your thumb will automatically push at the right time and apply more pressure.”
Like all of the Low Profile reels offered by Abu Garcia, the smoothness doesn’t end with the reel action. It’s ergonomic handles and easy to access star drag system will make it veritably jump into your hands, and once you’re familiar with it you’ll be fishing like a pro. If you’re left handed, you’ll also be pleased to know that you can score one of these configured for your dominant hand as well. For those fresh to the baitcasting world, there’s simply no reason to get started with this quality reel.
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.
Drag systems on bait-casting reels are layers of different materials that rub against each other to produce friction. They can be some of the smoothest in any kind of reel. Since you can use your thumb to add drag when a fish is fighting, you can set the drag initially to a lighter setting. That helps with fish that make long runs because less line on the spool means more drag. It is easier to add drag with your thumb than to adjust to reduce it while fighting a fish.
Unlike other conservatively colored reels, this one stands out in its bold, eye-catching neon-green. If you prefer a more subtle reel, there is a silver colored option too. Other outstanding features about it include a low price, high-quality build and powerful features for a smooth performance. This is a reel by a lesser known brand but it is good quality and delivers a great performance for the money. It is a great reel for beginners.

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.
Braking System: The braking system determines how much line you cast. More brakes mean less casting distance and less of a total arc – effectively this gives more control to the caster, yet impedes the size of casting arcs. Less brakes would have the opposite effect, improving casting distance, but losing some of the control heavier brakes can offer. A proper braking system is key to one of the few actions essential to baitcast fishing – casting.
With frame being the foundation of the reel, it is important to find a reel with a high-quality frame. After all, a low quality frame means the reel will break with few uses thereby forcing you to buy another reel. Most reels boast aluminum frame because aluminum is lightweight while still being sturdy. Graphite frames are also common but the material is not very durable and stable like aluminum. So to be on the safe side, always go for baitcasting reels with aluminum frame. 

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.
Shimano Citicabaistcasting reel is made of a unique S3D spool that reduces spool vibration, and an Infinity brake system, that makes it easy-to-manage. The baitcasting reel has 11 lb. Max drag, retrieve range 26-30(in), stainless steel bearings with 5 Ball Bearings and 1 Roller Bearing.  It weighs 7.5 oz. and with mono line capacity 8/180, 10/155, 14/110
This often overlooked aspect of your set-up is vital for a reel meant for the long, hard fights you might encounter. Pick a reel that’s guaranteed to be comfortable in your hands and you’ll have a much more pleasant fishing experience, some modern reels have put a lot of time into creating a great handle for your reel but everyone’s hands are different.
   By giving up on a baitcast reel, novices are missing out on the most effective tool for presenting their lures to bass.  “It is so much easier feathering your lure and getting accuracy and distance,” says Bassmaster Elite Series competitor Pete Ponds.  “All three of those factors make the baitcaster more appealing than the spinning reel.  There are times for spinning reels and you can feather them as well but distance and accuracy are two very important elements of the cast and with the baitcaster I feel like I can achieve both better than I can with the spinning reel.”

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.

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. 


Like all of the Low Profile reels offered by Abu Garcia, the smoothness doesn’t end with the reel action. It’s ergonomic handles and easy to access star drag system will make it veritably jump into your hands, and once you’re familiar with it you’ll be fishing like a pro. If you’re left handed, you’ll also be pleased to know that you can score one of these configured for your dominant hand as well. For those fresh to the baitcasting world, there’s simply no reason to get started with this quality reel.
Fishing requires great accuracy, and that is what baitcasters will offer you. If you do any slight error, you may go back home empty handed or too little fish worth your time and effort. You need a reel that will help you place bait at the perfect place or avoid hitting a snag with your lure. Baitcasters are typically more durable than spinning reels.
Shimano Citica retains the proven Shimano technology; it is an exceptional baitcasting reel that has excellent material quality and design. The Shimano Citica features X-Ship for smooth retrieval of your favorite bait coupled with the combination of S3D spool ant the easy-to-manage SVS infinity braking system. Some of the outstanding features baitcasting reels possess includes;
The Ambassadeur Morrum ZX-3600 is a best-in-class round bait casting reel by Abu Garcia and one of their few reels that is still made in Sweden. The price point is high on this reel, but you can feel the quality when you pick it up. Made with bass fisherman in mind, the Morrum takes 135 yards of 12lb mono or 30lb braid on its aluminum spool and sends it far out on incredibly smooth, silent casts under the precise control of Abu’s Infinitely Variable Centrifugal Brake system.
The Shimano Tranx TRX500HG Baitcasting Reel is the perfect solution for deep-sea anglers who want to combine the pinpoint accuracy of a baitcaster with the power needed to target offshore species such as tuna, grouper and billfish. The reel features eight corrosion-resistant ball bearings and an aluminum frame coated with a special treatment that locks out saltwater.
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.
Reel overview: Lews has introduced their speed spool LFS Baitcasting reel to compete in the budget bracket. From performance to build quality, it delivers outstanding reliability and lightweight construction. Something regular anglers like me appreciate, especially in a long session. The combination of features complemented by an irresistible price tag, this one is possibly the best lews Baitcaster for the money.
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.
The Ambassadeur Morrum ZX-3600 is a best-in-class round bait casting reel by Abu Garcia and one of their few reels that is still made in Sweden. The price point is high on this reel, but you can feel the quality when you pick it up. Made with bass fisherman in mind, the Morrum takes 135 yards of 12lb mono or 30lb braid on its aluminum spool and sends it far out on incredibly smooth, silent casts under the precise control of Abu’s Infinitely Variable Centrifugal Brake system.

Spinning reels are engineered for casting light baits ( which is not the case for every spinning reel), but with a baitcaster, the possibilities are endless. You can do Deep crankbaits, Big swimbait, Deepwater swimbaits, squarebill crankbaits, shallow spinnerbaits, Texas Rigs, Carolina Rigs, jerk baits, topwater etc with a baitcaster. (Note, specific bait presentation requires specific gear ratio).


On a reel designed for heavy use, you’ll need to make absolutely sure that the body is constructed of a great, solid material. You’ll lessen your chances of breaking this way, and the whole thing will last much longer. Remember though that heavier doesn’t necessarily mean stronger, there’s a lot of innovative, high-tech materials out there that are also extremely light.
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).
You can put on 11lbs of force with the multi-disc carbon drag system. We found the brake setting dial a bit hard to get a grip on and nearly impossible with gloves, but the knurled knob works out ok once you get used to it, and the reel is very easy to cast. The magnetic adjustment lets the beginner find the right setting quickly. The micro-click star drag operates smoothly, and the rounded ends on the star wheel are good for keeping things snag-free.
C'est un de mes préférés, car il est très polyvalent. Cette version durcie du Zillion peut être employé des pêche du black bass jusqu'aux poissons amazoniens. La plage de lancer est d'environ 7g à 150g. En France, par exemple j'utilise le Prorex Classic Shad en 13cm, du spintail shad, du spinnerbait et du leurre type jerkbait. Une utilisation classique pour les pêches du brochet en France. J'apprécié aussi cette référence pour la traque du peacock bass avec une capacité de tresse de 100m de 0.35mm.
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