Reputation: It’s no surprise that the Shimano Caenan series achieved 4.2 out of 5 stars. Angling community adored this classic compilation from Shimano. It may not offer an array of features and modern tweaks, but it performs well, and last a long time. Sometimes, simplicity outshines sophistication. I think budget anglers should get this best Shimano fishing reel.
Baitcasters are a great reel option that will increase your versatility while fishing. While they allow you to cover more water and cast more efficiently, the learning curve often leaves beginners experiencing a lot of backlash. Be sure to get a quality baitcaster, preferably one with a centrifugal reel. And, remember to get out and practice with your baitcaster as much as possible!
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.
Depending on the model, you get around 6 to 7 to 1 gear ratios which works well on a variety of fish with a lot of different techniques. At the heart of the gearing is heavy duty steel drive shaft with sealed stainless bearings and a corrosion resistant drive with anti-reverse. Not only does this keep things smooth but provides excellent casting with little chance of backlash.
Made from lightweight graphite, this lightweight breeze-fishing reel offers rugged durability that withstands severe saltwater conditions. The lightweight yet robust graphite edges and side panels provide safety against consumption and edge bending without disturbing the mast. Also, the reel with its treated steel pinion device and the basic bronze rigging allows a gentle tightening, even if it is under great pressure.
You can pick from many gear ratios ranging from 2.0:1 to 7.9:1 to tailor your reel to the kind of fishing you do. The slower retrieve and higher torque of the lower ratios make them appropriate for bigger fish and soaking baits, while the speedier retrieves are perfect for species where you want to attract strikes by moving a lure fast through or on top of the water. If you want a baitcaster for all-purpose fishing, choose one with a gear ratio in the middle.

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.
Lever Drag Baitcasters – Instead of using the star dial, these baitcasters have a lever on the  outside of the reel frame. Lever drags will first push to the strike setting, then all the way down to the max setting. They do usually have a dial for fine adjustment. The bonus of a lever drag is it sets in an instant by simply pushing the lever. As you push the lever, it should gradually gain resistance all the way up to strike and then again up to max.
Along with the Abu Garcia reels, the Shimano Curada has been producing reels for years starting with the 100 and 200 back in 1992 and has withstood the test of time. With a 7.2:1 high gear ratio and 5 S ARB bearings, this thing is as smooth as it can get. The ball bearings are corrosive resistant, so you will never have to worry about replacing them. Coming in at a lightweight 7.4 ounces, this thing is super light. Don't let that fool you though, it can cast like nobody's business, even in the highest of winds! All these features combined allows you to control this baitcaster on every aspect, minimizing the risk for a backlash. It also comes in the LH version for all you left handed baitcaster folks.
Made from lightweight graphite, this lightweight breeze-fishing reel offers rugged durability that withstands severe saltwater conditions. The lightweight yet robust graphite edges and side panels provide safety against consumption and edge bending without disturbing the mast. Also, the reel with its treated steel pinion device and the basic bronze rigging allows a gentle tightening, even if it is under great pressure.
The Abu Garcia Classic round baitcaster comes in a few reel models: C3, C4 & C. Each of these models has a handful of sizes so there is no shortage of options for any fishing application. The Abu Garcia C3-6500 was the first baitcaster I ever owned. I’ve fished this reel hard for many years and I still use it today! That said, I dissemble the reel, clean and grease it each winter which has kept it like new. The price point and specs for this reel have made it mandatory for my list.
Breaking on the reel is Diawa’s own Magforce-Z which combines traditional breaking with the smooth power of a magnetic system. This is one of the easiest to control breaks out there for those who are new to baitcasting. It does wonders to improve your cast and can get good distance with good results. Coupled with their TWS level winder system, they promise at least 5% gain over other reels.
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.
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And the Revo4 X just has a “better feel” than the Pro Max. It’s hard to explain what I mean by that, except that it feels like a higher quality reel just by using it. And it is a quieter reel than the Pro Max. By and large, Abu Garcia baitcasting reels aren’t the quietest on the market. In my opinion, they tend not to be quiet reels. But the Revo4 X is definitely quieter than the Pro Max and the Black Max, by far.
Press the reel spool release button. Baitcasting reels made since the 1970s have a mechanism to disengage the reel spool from the handles so they don't turn during the cast, allowing for longer casts. The first such models had the button on the side of the reel; most models today feature a release bar behind the spool that you press with your thumb when you rest it on the reel spool.[5]
Spool Size: Your decision on spool size should be directly related to the type of fishing you have in mind. Any reel that you are looking at will have the amount of a specific line test that the spool can be fitted with. Of course, the diameter and type of line can vary between companies, so keep in mind that the reel might be able to hold a little more or a little less than what is listed.
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.
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.

The Piscifun Torrent Bait Casting is a fishing reel that’s loaded with features that are normally found in more expensive higher-end models. This model has a 7.1:1 gear ratio that pulls in approximately 30-inches of line per crank and 18-pounds of drag provided by a 3-disc carbon fiber system that gives you the power to pull in bigger fish. This reel also incorporates a magnetic braking system, 5+1 shield bearings, a 4.3-inch extended handle and a durable CNC reinforced brass gear.  It’s a high-quality reel that’s powerful, durable, smooth and reliable and can be used by both freshwater and saltwater fishermen.


Where I see the biggest advantage is when using the flipping or pitching technique. This is when we are fishing at close range and putting the lure into the thickest, heaviest shoreline cover. I like to use 25 lb. Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon when flipping. You may think this is too heavy of a line, but when you hook a big bass in real heavy grass or in the middle of a tree, you need that strength to be able to pull that fish out. Otherwise, the fish can wrap around the cover and break you off.

With its light weight and well-designed ergonomic grip you’ll find that you can use this reel all day with little to no fatigue, and you’re sure to want to. If you absolutely want the best baitcasting reel you can get for your freshwater fishing, you need look no further than this impressive piece of technology. Your wallet may not thank you, but when you invest in a great quality reel you can be sure it’ll last for years to come.
Lever Drag Baitcasters – Instead of using the star dial, these baitcasters have a lever on the  outside of the reel frame. Lever drags will first push to the strike setting, then all the way down to the max setting. They do usually have a dial for fine adjustment. The bonus of a lever drag is it sets in an instant by simply pushing the lever. As you push the lever, it should gradually gain resistance all the way up to strike and then again up to max.
The Lew’s Fishing Team Pro Magnesium LFS features a compact one-piece magnesium frame. It is an excellent baitcasting reel with strong, lightweight carbon C45 carbon side-plates and double anodized gold detail finish. This is another excellent baitcasting reel for you to have a fantastic fishing experience. Some features that make it excellent for use includes;
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.
We did find that extra care was needed to control backlash on the unexpectedly free-wheeling spool, but once you get the hang of it, throwing a light lure long distances is a snap. This reel is built for bass with a 100-yard line capacity in 16lb mono or 55lb braid and a max drag setting of 13lbs. It is made of light, strong aluminum, with a Zaion side plate and an A7075 aluminum alloy spool. The handle is large and powerful, and it is cut out to save weight.

Those 10 double shielded ball bearings system prevents any corrode from forming and Zero-reverse one-way stainless steel clutch bearing grants you instant t fish stopping power. Lews very own iconic custom soft-touch paddle handle knobs let you fish for longer. You can literally hear the click once you use that graphite smooth star drag brake system. Zirconia line guide to keep our line aligned once you cast and retrieve the line.
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.

   Setting up the baitcaster’s anti-backlash system is next.  “On a general setup I would pull out at least three of the centrifugal brake pins,” says Ponds. “On the right hand side of most reels is an anti-backlash dial. I would set that up by tying my plug on and back off that dial until the lure barely starts to drop and then turn it up just a little bit from there. As you progress you can loosen it up and also mash in one of the brakes.”  Even though he is a seasoned veteran with a baitcaster Ponds always keeps one brake pin engaged.  
The Calcutta offers 6 models so there is a reel for the ultra-light to heavier gear applications. I’m a big fan of having multiple model options, as I’ll often buy a smaller or larger version of the same reel once I’ve put it to the test. I’ve pounded Calcutta’s on the rivers and I love them. These reels are long term investments to me as they’ll last a lifetime when properly taken care of.
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.
These are all valid questions, and the truth is that improper baitcasting will not increase your efficiency. However, if you use it properly, a baitcaster will take your fishing game to the next level. That’s why I felt it was so important to create this guide. If you want to improve your angling abilities and avoid misuse, check out this guide on how to use a baitcaster.
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.
The rule of thumb I follow is to use spinning reels when I need to fish with light line (8-pound test or less) and switch to a baitcaster for fishing with heavy line (10-pound test or more). I do have some exceptions to the rule such as I fill my baitcaster with 8-pound monofilament when I fish suspended stickbaits for wintertime bass. Using lighter line helps my stickbaits dive deeper and I prefer the higher gear ratio of a baitcaster because I like to let my stickbaits sit still on a slack line and the baitcaster allows me to reel in line quicker to set the hook after I detect a strike.
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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Made with durability on saltwater in mind, the Revo Toro has a corrosion-proof X-Craftic alloy reel frame, a heavy-duty gear set engineered for long life, and a high-capacity aircraft aluminum spool that can hold 250 yards of 14lb mono or 285 yards of 30lb braided line. The reel comes with a selection of three handles, including an extended bent power handle, and large ergonomic grips let you use the low 4.9:1 gear ratio to put maximum pressure on strong big game fish. When they run, the carbon disc star drag system can crank in 25lbs of braking power that will protect the line and wear out heavy, hard-fighting fish.
This Kastking Maximus metal Spartacus Low profile Baitcasting reel is at the 4th position of our best baitcasting reels for the saltwater list. This baitcaster is extremely powerful and comes up with a maximum of 25 Lbs drag power. For giving the maximum, this reel uses carbon fiber drag system. This system can easily handle the saltwater monsters.

The reel uses Daiwa’s Ultimate tournament drag (UTD) - which gives you 13.2lbs of smooth drag. It has the Twing System - which is Daiwa’s new levelwind system that works in two different ways during casting and retrieve. The "T" aperture allows line to flow freely from the spool through the wide top section on casts, reducing line noise, friction and wear. This improves casting accuracy and minimizes backlashes.


If you’re still on the fence about purchasing a baitcasting reel, give the Abu Garcia Black Max Low Profile a shot, it’s bargain price and high quality will convince you there’s something here. For those who already know the thrill, the Shimano Chronarch is simply one of the best fishing reels in the market place for its purpose. Once you get the hang of your baitcasting reel, you’ll understand why so many anglers swear by them. Making an informed purchase of one might just be the next great step on your fishing journey.
   The sophisticated braking systems and anti-backlash mechanisms on today’s baitcasters make it easy for anyone to learn how to cast these reels without worrying about line overruns. Some reels have a brake dial for adjusting the centrifugal brake system while others, such as the Ardent baitcasters Ponds uses, have internal centrifugal brake pins that need to be pulled out to engage the brakes. With plenty of practice in the right settings, any beginner can head out on the water with the confidence of having a backlash-free day.
This one is made by the famous brand Daiwa. The mighty brand Daiwa is not limited in the fishing sector only. They have a lot of products in random sectors. The journey of Daiwa began almost 36 years ago and till now, they are among the best ones. However, this saltwater baitcaster is in the second position of our ranking. Because of having some cool features and advantages like the previous one, this one is considered as one of the best baitcasting reels for saltwater.
What is the best baitcasting reel? After conducting over 20 hours of research from fellow anglers and getting the chance to fish with some of these reels. I've come up with 5 reels that cover the whole spectrum of needs. I looked at the following categories, to compile this list. Value adding features, braking systems, drag systems, casting distance, smoothness during casting and retrieve, and most importantly price. With reels, you usually get what you pay for. For price, the sweet spot seems to be the midrange reels. This range gives you better bearings and materials than the entry level reels, some features from the premium reels but without the premium price. Editor's choice goes to the Curado K. The best bang for buck goes to Lew's tournament MB. The Daiwa Tatula SV TW gets the award for most reliable.
Ten stainless steel bearing make the reel run as smooth as silk, and the titanium line guide cuts friction on the cast. A curved power handle increase leverage during the fight, and makes fast retrieves effortless. The machined aluminum spool is designed to handle heavy lines and the loads that happen when the maximum 20lbs of drag braking is in effect. As in the other Daiwa reels, the Magforce-X magnetic casting brake makes it easy to master precision distance casting.
DICK’S Sporting Goods-sponsored professional bass angler Skeet Reese sat down with PRO TIPS to share his thoughts on a topic that countless fishermen are familiar with: overcoming the intimidation factor of baitcasting reels. For many, branching out from the comfort zone of spinning or spincast reels into baitcasters can be tough sell, but Reese — an 8-time B.A.S.S. tournament winner, 2007 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year and 2009 Bassmaster Classic Champion — is here to help anglers learn what to look for in purchasing a specific model, the advantages that baitcasters offer when the chips are down, plus the best way to avoid the dreaded “birds nest” and make most out of your time on the water.  So, it’s time to put down that spinning reel and get acquainted with mastering baitcasters.
This eccentric braking system depends on discharging from a central force. When the rotation speed of the spool is higher, the pins expand out further. This system is responsible for controlling the spool speed at the beginning of the cast. One of the most budget-friendly and simple solution braking system on the market. You can easily master the braking technique but it lacks efficient adjustment.
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