Fishing should be fun, and it can only be so if you have the right equipment. In the past, people would use a simple hook and line, but now the tools and accessories have become much more sophisticated. This has made fishing easier and more enjoyable. Still a debate rages about choosing a baitcast reel vs spinning reel and there are diehard loyalists standing behind both.
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.
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.
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.
If you’ve read this site, you can tell we are fans of Shimano fishing reels. The Chronarch MGL 150 tops our list of all baitcasting reels. The Chronarch MGL is at the top of medium price-range. It costs more than a budget reel, but still nowhere near the cost of magnesium framed reels. What leaves you with is a high quality, high performance baitcasting reel you can count on.
Having explained the biggest differences, one question remains; when do you choose for a rod with a spinning reel, and when are you better off with a baitcaster set? It is actually mostly a matter of taste and personal preference of the individual angler. Well, there is one condition that does require a baitcaster (in this kind of fishing it is called a reel) because of its strength, which is the heavy big-game fishing.
Hey Brett, thanks for the note! I’m assuming you’re looking for a starter setup for fishing rivers for Steelhead/Salmon? That said, I’d recommend the Abu Garcia Ambassadeur reel I’ve recommended on this page. Typically for Steelhead/Salmon you’ll want a larger baitcaster for long drifts and big runs. The low profile baitcasters are better suited for Bass and smaller trout/salmon (so really depends on what you’re using it for). The Abu Garcia Ambassadeur is the lowest priced reel on this guide, with high quality components that will last many years (over the past 4 years I’ve used this reel in all my Salmon/Steelhead videos on YouTube).
Lower gear ratios such as 5.2:1 and 5.3:1 retrieve slowly but offer more cranking power and you may prefer them if you want more torque to haul bigger saltwater fish out of heavy cover. They are best suited to deep diving crankbaits, big swimbaits, and slow rolling heavy spinnerbaits. They reel the bait slower, so it is in the strike zone longer and doesn’t tire you too fast.
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.
The reel is beautiful to look at, built in gold metal with a series of drill-outs that cut weight, allow drainage, and look very cool. But it is also tough enough to spool 140 yards of 80lb test Superline, with a completely rigid frame that eliminates flex and transfers all energy to the crank. Micro Module Gear technology uses more and smaller gear teeth to create efficiency and an ultra-smooth feel. The pinion gear is supported with 6 ball bearings on each end to maintain alignment under the heaviest loads and cut friction between the spool shaft and the gear on the cast.
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.
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Lastly, the best brake system on a baitcaster reel is your thumb. No matter what special braking system technology your reel has, your thumb will always be needed. You’ll have to learn how to apply the right amount of pressure on the line to slow down the spool as needed. This is something you’ll have to practice, and it doesn’t take long to get good at. It’s mandatory to learn to avoid backlashes and get those accurate casts.
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.
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 is for all you ‘lefties’ out there! Don’t you worry, we didn’t forget about you. This reel is made just for you (of course there is a right handed version as well). This reel has a solid one piece graphite frame accompanied by graphite side plates making it lightweight, sleek but most importantly stylish. It has a MagTrax brake system that allow you to fully customize your casting which allows the angler to use a larger variety of lures. Inside you’ll find 4 stainless steel bearings accompanied by 1 roller bearing which make this reel one of the most reliable and dependable reels on the market today. Sometimes simplicity is key. The power disk system ensure the angler will be able to feel and adjust the drag throughout the duration of the fight and will be able to feel the smoothness throughout the entire drag range. This reel made our list not only due to its left handed feature, but due to the fact that this reel can be used as a serious fishing weapon by both seasoned and rookie fisherman and fisherwoman.
Baitcasting reels are by far the stronger of the two major classes of reel. They allow for heavier lines and lures to be used, and you’ll be quite pleased to know that as a general rule they are quite durable and powerful. They’re perfect for prolonged fights with bigger fish, which makes them a great reel for a number of purposes. You’ll find that a lot of fishermen greatly prefer them for functions as diverse as going for catfish and trolling the open ocean.
To adjust your braking system, either engage your brakes by pushing the interior levers towards, or disengage them by pushing the braking levers away from the center. Disengaging brakes allows for longer casts but have a higher chance of backlashing. For a video guide on how to engage and disengage centrifugal braking systems, you can check out this video below.
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.