You will find the most common ratio being 6.4:1, which allows an angler to make both slow-moving presentations, as well as fast ones. Certain applications will, however, require you to use lower gear ratios or very high gear ratios. For instance, when you decide to use a buzz bait, you will need a reel with a ratio of 7.1:1. Crankbaits on the other hand, are more effective with slower gear ratios like 5.4:1.
Shimano is a brand that deserves to be on lists like this. This reel, much like many Shimano products, pays attention to detail. Above that, it wants you to have a reel that lasts. So the main points for the Calcutta are durability and design. Let’s start with that word, design, the Calcutta B is a beautiful reel. Now sometimes that might not look like much – definitely not on paper – but in person, this reel is gorgeous.

So, the question on your mind is probably what handed reel is best for me? That really comes down to what you have got used to when you first started angling and what feels more natural to you. Most anglers will tell you that it’s not the most fluid and easy things to do, switching casting methods from left to right or right to left after you become experienced with either one.


PT: Why are baitcasting reels usually cranked with the right hand, whereas spinning reels are predominantly cranked with the left? How did that happen in the industry? If an angler is right handed and cranks with his right, doesn’t switching hands to hold the baitcasting rod in his weaker left hand — cast after cast after cast — seem like wasted energy?

Baitcasters are often paired with heavier backboned rods. The backbone of a rod is the section between the reel and first guide. As it sounds, the backbone provides most the strength for the rod. Baitcasters lend well to heavier backboned rods, so are often associated with targeting larger fishing species (or accommodating power fishing techniques).


I work part time as an IT security consultant. Luckily I can work from anywhere so I go back and forth between Colorado and Florida. I get my fix of skiing, hiking and camping in Colorado in the Dillion area, and when I am in Florida you can usually find me on the water either paddleboarding or kayaking. My recent passion is scuba diving, I got certified a few years ago and "get wet" as frequently as I can.

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.


Just like the other KastKing fishing reel, this reel is also very versatile as its usefulness extends to both freshwater and saltwater fishing. This is because it is corrosion resistant. It is suitable for virtually every fishing technique including flipping, casting, pitching and more. It can also be used for bass fishing, ice fishing, kayak fishing, trout fishing, and lots more.

The Abu Garcia BMAX3 Max Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel offers a couple of exquisite features which include Mono Capacity of 145YD/12LB, Braid Capacity of 140YD/30LB, the gear ratio of 6.4:1, 4 stainless steel ball bearings and 1 roller bearing. It also features a compact bent handle and recessed reel foot which gives a comfortable grip when handled. It has the dimension 8 x 5.8 x 2.2 inches and weighs 8.8 ounces. It is suitable for bass fishing and freshwater fishing.
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.
The best baitcasting reel award goes to the Curado K. The Curado series built its legacy as a go-to reel for anglers of all levels for both fresh and saltwater environments. The Curado K supersedes the popular Curado I, a reel that many people thought was perfect already. So how did Shimano improve on this already perfect reel? The Curado K borrows a lot of its design cues from Shimano's higher end reels like the Mentanium and Aldebaran. One thing you’ll notice immediately is that it is smaller than its predecessor. Shimano claims they’ve made it 10% smaller which makes the Curado K a lot easier to palm. The reel just disappears in your hand. Even though it is smaller, it still balances perfectly on the rod seat. The reel is made from aluminum and a Ci4 side plate making it very light and durable.
Gear Ratio: The ratio is given as a number such as 7.4:1. This number tells you that the spool goes through 7.4 revolutions per one complete turn of the reel handle. Baitcasters are built for more aggressive retrieval techniques, so you will mostly see gear ratios higher than you will find on spinning reels. Most baitcasters will have gear ratios on average around 6.5:1.
The only baitcasting reel that is equipped with a reinforced brass gear, the Piscifun has power, strength, reliability, and steady-speed retrievals. It can handle big fish easily and smoothly because of its 7.1:1 gear ratio for a fast and strong retrieve. The Japanese Hami cut 3604 brass gears are climate-resistant, so you know you are getting durability and strength.
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.

This is a feature to organize your line evenly. Without Levelwind, you end up using the thumb of the rod to lay the line on the spool. If line piles up too much at either side, the spool gets stuck against the reel creating a huge mess of a line. But thanks to the slow yet even line distribution of this system which allows the line to stay organized after every retrieve.
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.
Featuring lightweight aluminum spool with high tensile gears, this reel claims to offer smooth and efficient casting. The spool is big to allow less severe line coiling while also minimizing the overall weight of the reel. In addition, the reel is fully adjustable for greater cast control. As such, you can use it in almost all kinds of fishing situations and lure. 
Using a good baitcasting reel supplies a good level of casting control and helps you improve your fishing accuracy. This is mainly because you can adjust and control the speed and distance of your lure when casting with by holding the spool with your thumb. After a good period of use when you have become proficient in using it, your casting accuracy would have improved. Therefore, you can pinpoint easily with high accuracy thus enabling you to throw the lure to the exact location of the fish.
The magnetic braking system is another big plus here, making this reel ideal for those who aren’t sure how to contend with a centrifugal braking system just yet. It will allow you to easily make an accurate cast with a constant slow-down through the whole motion by slowing the reel. Once you have it set properly for your tackle, the consistent pressure will allow for easy and laser accurate casts.

Tension Adjustment: The tension system puts physical pressure on the spool and adjusts its ability to spin. A lot of issue anglers have early in the learning process is not correcting the spool tension when changing lure weights. The tension should be used to match the spin of the spool with the size of lure you are fishing. The tension is not meant to be a breaking system, and if used that way is going to greatly wear down the reels internal components much quicker. By having the correct tension, casting distance and accuracy greatly improves.

With 11+1 MaxiDur shielded bearings that are corrosion resistant; this baitcasting reel claims to offer anglers the smoothest and powerful performance. Its drag system features 3-disc drag made from carbon fiber that makes the reel durable. According to the manufacturer, the drag system is capable of delivering up to 18 pounds stopping power. If the claims are true, then the reel can handle even the biggest and most vicious fish.
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.
Sometimes a big open-face reel like this one is the best way to go. The C3 is far less sensitive and tangle-prone than the newer low-profile reels and much easier to work on in the field. If you fish deep water, drop off of piers, or troll big baits, you need one of these reels in your collection. The price point is really good for a reel that will last for years and the C3 scores 8th place in our review.
Designed especially with inshore anglers in mind, the Daiwa Coastal-TWS 200 baitcasting reel is made to withstand exposure to saltwater with eight corrosion-resistant ball bearings. These last approximately 12 times longer than standard stainless steel ball bearings and combine with the reel’s high-strength gears to increase its overall longevity. The reel has a maximum drag of 15.4 pounds and a fast 7.3:1 gear ratio.
And another thing, this baitcasting reel comes with a MagTrax brake system that claims to provide consistent brake pressure throughout. You can, therefore, use the reel with a wide range of lures and in different casting conditions without worrying about accuracy. Thanks to its Duragear brass gear, this reel can be used in extreme saltwater environments and still offer incredible performance even with years of use. 
Lightweight drilled aluminum spool offers phenomenal line grip and Magforce magnetic system provide backlash-free control. The reel has the ability to fight resistant fish with its twin-system endless anti-reverse. For further smoother operation, Daiwa installed 5 stainless steel ball bearings and a single roller bearing. It just offers enough feature to perform optimally.
If you’re just getting started in baitcasting and looking for your very first baitcaster, there is a learning curve and you will have to deal with some nasty backlashes that might make you question whether baitcasting is for you. But with patience and practice, you will soon be able to fine tune the controls, thumb the spool like a pro, cast smoothly throwing lures far away and with pinpoint accuracy and have a lot of fun.
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.

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.
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