Best Baitcasting Reels

We know you must be so bored staying at home for such a long time and can’t wait to take a weekend fishing trip to your favorite fishing place with your kids or friends. But what good is a fishing trip when you are unable to catch a big, juicy fish for yourself. 

Forget the old spinning reel, and start using the baitcasting reels, giving yourself, as an angler, the ability to use a more massive line and utilize specific presentations and techniques.

Best Baitcasting Reels

Baitcasting reels turn out to be extremely useful for anglers for effectively fishing larger lures using the techniques where the light spinning lines will not be helpful. 

An efficient baitcasting combo offers a high degree of control for the bait, thus allowing precise lure placement, and providing power to pull out the mighty fish from deep water.

If you’re a spinning reel person who has never used a baitcasting reel before, you will need some practice before you can catch larger game fish, but the efforts you put in will be worth it. 

A Baitcasting Reel or simply, a casting reel consists of a spinning reel with a trigger handle, fixed on a casting rod. Baitcasting reels are mainly of two types, round, and low profile. While the round ones are heavier, they can hold more line and toss larger baits as compared to the low profile ones. 

Round baitcasting reels are mostly used to catch fishes like Steelhead, Muskie, Pike, and Salmon, while low profile reels are used for fishes like Bass and Crappie. 

For effectively fishing your big game, you need the perfect baitcasting reel. So worry not, as we have compiled the five best baitcasting reels you can use to catch a big game on your next weekend fishing trip.

Top 5 Best Baitcasting Reels

OUR TOP PICK

Penn 1338215 Battle II 1000 Spinning Fishing Reel

Summary

The Penn Battle II is available in eight different size models, 8000, 6000, 5000, 4000, 3000, 2500, 2000, and 1000. All the models come in three colors, gold, black, and smoke. 

It is built with features that make it one of the best saltwater reels, so much so that it even won the best saltwater reel in 2014 at iCast.

The Penn Battle II has a full metal body and gives a premium feel coming straight out of the box. It features a heavy-duty Aluminum bail wire for durability and strength. This reel is excellently designed for saltwater anglers, especially in-shore fishing, wading, and kayak fishing, who are out to land the larger saltwater fishes. 

It comes in a variety of pool sizes, and thus is suitable for the occasional massive sailfish or swordfish as well. Even sharks have been caught with ease using the 6000 model.

The Penn Battle II provides a smooth drag, even during heavy load, owing to the trademarked HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers. The five sealed, stainless steel ball-bearings offer a creamy cranking action and are protected from erosion. It also features an instant anti-reverse bearing that prevents back play.

Pros

  • Five sealed, stainless steel ball bearings provide a creamy cranking action.
  • The product offers a smooth drag due to the trademarked HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers.
  • Outstanding features and anti-reverse bearing.
  • The full metal body offers durability.
  • Use of a firm and durable aluminum bail wire.

Cons

  • More massive as compared to competitors.
Penn 1338215 Battle II 1000 Spinning Fishing Reel
  • Durable, high range spinning reel ideal for conquering big saltwater game fish
  • Full metal body, sideplate, and rotor and heavy duty aluminum bail wire offer exceptional durability
  • HT 100 carbon fiber drag system provides powerful drag without sacrificing smoothness
  • Fluid cranking with 5 sealed stainless steel ball bearings and instant anti reverse bearing
  • Superline spool requires no backing, is braid ready, and has line capacity rings marked at 1/3, 2/3, and full capacity

EDITORS CHOICE

KastKing Royale Legend/Whitemax Low Profile Baitcasting Fishing Reel – 11 +1 Shielded Bearings, 17.5 Lb Carbon Fiber Drag (A: Left-Black)

Summary

KastKing takes pride in offering premium quality reels at affordable prices, and the Royale Legend Baitcasting Reel is the perfect example. It delivers smooth and consistent performance, making you want to fish all day long. 

A sleek black color, bold look, and a dynamic design gives it a premium look, feel, and reliability at a fraction of the price when compared to other premium brands.

The product features twelve ball bearings giving you a smooth casting experience. Additionally, the ball bearings are corrosion resistant, making the product durable and long-lasting.

It has an over-sized, EVA foam soft-grip reel handle, which provides a comfortable, soft, and non-slip grip, and reduces fatigue.

The Royale Legend includes a carbon fiber drag system and a brass gear structure providing nearly 7.9 kg or 17.5 pounds of drag force, enough to pull out a massive game without much effort. That is quite an impressive performance from a baitcasting reel weighing only 7.5 ounces or 212 grams.

It also features impressive dual brakes and provides a reliable centrifugal. The magnetic brake system offers anglers pinpoint accuracy. It uses a CNC machined, anodized aluminum spool that makes it so lightweight.

Pros

  • It is lightweight and weighs only 7.5 ounces.
  • It is excellent for beginners because of the reliable, magnetic dual brake system that prevents backlashes.
  • Its anodized aluminum, CNC forged spool offers maximum strength.
  • A whopping 17.5-pound drag force delivered by the carbon fiber drag system and brass gear structure.
  • The twelve ball bearings offer a smooth casting experience and are corrosion resistant.

Cons

  • It requires considerable upkeep in saltwater.
KastKing Royale Legend/Whitemax Low Profile Baitcasting Fishing Reel – 11 +1 Shielded Bearings, 17.5 Lb Carbon Fiber Drag (A: Left-Black)
  • GREAT FOR BEGINNERS – The 1st Generation Royal legend baitcasting reel has one of the best dual brake systems with a quick, easy to fine-tune reliable centrifugal and magnetic brake system for superior casting control. If you are new to baitcasters or get frustrated with backlashes, the Royale Legend is the perfect choice.
  • BIGGER LINE CAPACITY – Royale Legend I is a bigger baitcasting reel than the 2nd generation. It’s a good fit when you need to have more lines on your reel.
  • PERFORMANCE - Low profile design bait caster with a super silent high speed 7.0:1 line retrieve. Two color anodized aluminum forged multi-ported whiffle-style spool offers maximum strength while reducing weight.
  • UNMATCHED – Precision cut brass gear structure and carbon fiber drag system delivering 17.5 LBs of drag offer the ultimate in a high performance low maintenance baitcasting reel package.
  • PROVEN - 11 + 1 double shielded MaxiDur ball bearings for super smooth casting, retrieve, and long life.

BEST VALUE

KastKing Centron Spinning Reel,Size 500 Fishing Reel

Summary

Another perfect example of KastKing’s impressive products at an affordable price is the Summer and Centron Spinning Reel. It is sleek and durable and offers top-notch performance.

Its frame is made up of high tensile strength graphite, making it lightweight. It also features CNC machined, anodized Aluminium spool, which is lighter, more durable and has more line-lay, and has internal grooves for lube retention.

It has nine corrosion-resistant, ball bearings offering a creamy casting experience, and one instant-stop anti-reverse ball bearing to prevent back play.

The reel is covered with an anti-corrosion layer, protecting it from salt water and chemicals. It has a gear ratio of 5.2:1 and offers a superior drag system providing a drag force of nearly 17.5 pounds. The reel also features a power launch tip enabling further casting of the line.

The KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reel 9+1 BB is easy to use and can be used by beginners as well as seasoned experts. It provides a smooth and anti-reverse casting experience, and has a premium feel and look at an affordable price.

Pros

  • Durable and corrosion-resistant, thus, can be used in both saltwater and freshwater.
  • Anti-reverse ball bearing makes it easy for beginners to use.
  • Nine ball-bearings offer a smoother casting experience.
  • Power launch tip enables farther line casting.
  • It offers a superior drag force.

Cons

  • This model can be used for light fishing only.
KastKing Centron Spinning Reel,Size 500 Fishing Reel
  • GREAT VALUE - Loaded with features yet low on price. KastKing Summer/Centron offers the best value...at any level. The KastKing Summer Fishing Reel turns any angler into a PRO.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT - narrow graphite frame design and computer balancing system combine high performance in a compact Spinning Reel. KastKing Summer/Centron makes an awesome gift for anybody who loves fishing, the 500 size reels match perfectly ice rods and make a perfect ice combo.
  • HIGH POWERED - KastKing Summer/Centron spinning reel's Superior Drag System offers incredible stopping power up to 17.5LBs. It has a hardened metal main shaft, perfect mesh drive gear and precision machined pinion gear for fish fighting power.
  • SMOOTH PERFORMANCE - Summer/Centron's nine quality ball bearings and one instant stop one-way anti-reverse bearing give it ultra-smooth performance.
  • DURABLE/ATTRACTIVE FINISH - Summer/Centron's attractive, brilliant finish and its high strength two color anodized aluminum spool, with a power launch lip for longer casts and holds more line than competitor's models that sell for much more.

RUNNER UP

Piscifun Flame Spinning Reels Light Weight Ultra Smooth Powerful Spinning Fishing Reels (2000 Series)

Summary

The Piscifun Flame Spinning Reel is among the most premium, lightweight, and smooth spinning fishing reels. The red aluminum spool, when paired with its black matte body, gives it a premium flame look. 

It offers a lightweight, hollow body, and a comfortable and personalized handle for a secure grip.

The relatively narrow and hollow graphite body makes the reel very lightweight, letting you enjoy your fishing trips all you want. It offers a buttery-smooth performance owing to the nine quality ball bearings and one roller bearing, which is paired with the precision gears.

The reinforced metal shaft, high-quality drive gear, three drag washers, and precisely machined brass pinion gears, offer a large 19.8-pound drag force, enabling you to catch the big games easily.

It features an X-shaped braid ready spool, making the reel superior. The Piscifun Flame Spinning Reel makes a crisp click sound owing to the correctly assembled, high-quality parts, which also contribute to its smooth drag performance. 

The balanced rotor design and stable performance enable spooling the line on the spinning fishing evenly.

Pros

  • Buttery smooth performance, enabled by 9+1 high-quality ball bearings.
  • Triple drag washers offer a creamy drag performance.
  • The zinc drive gear is anti-corrosive, thus increasing the durability of the product.
  • Unique X-shaped and braid ready spool.
  • A high 19.8-pound drag force provided by the reinforced metal shaft and high-quality drive gear.

Cons

Piscifun Flame Spinning Reels Light Weight Ultra Smooth Powerful Spinning Fishing Reels (2000 Series)
  • Exquisite Appearance - The matte black body paired with red aluminum spool, perfectly indicate its name Flame. You will be flattered by having this sharp and modern spinning fishing reels with unique hollow body, X shape spool and personalized handle. Far more advanced feeling than other spinning reels at its price
  • Lightweight - Thanks to the relatively narrow hollow graphite body and the lightweight reel gears, the Piscifun Flame spinning reels light to 8.5oz, makes you enjoy the ultimate fishing trips
  • Incredible Smooth - 9 quality ball bearings plus one roller bearing paired with precision gears engagement, you will enjoy the buttery smooth performance on the Flame spinning fishing reel. Better to choose 2000 and 3000 series reels if you are into freshwater fishing. If you are chasing big fish or saltwater species, 4000 and 5000 would be better option
  • Pure Power - Piscifun Flame fishing reels offers incredible drag power up to 19.8Lb. Plenty great features have been given to this spin reel, the reinforced metal main shaft, high quality drive gear, precisely machined brass pinion gear and triple drag washers, make you easily fight with the giants
  • Braid Ready Spool - Only available on high end spinning reels braid ready spool makes the Piscifun Flame sa super value reel. Piscifun is continuously providing the most cost effective fishing tackle for you anglers

RUNNER UP

Abu Garcia 1365366 Black Max Low Profile Reel, 6.4: 1 Gear Ratio, 5 Bearings, 26' Retrieve Rate, 18Lb Max Drag, RH, Boxed

Summary

The Abu Garcia Max Low Profile is the initial offering in the line of baitcasting fishing reels by the Swedish company Abu Garcia. It delivers excellent performance and is packed with cutting-edge features.

The product is constructed from a single piece of graphite and has graphite side plates, making it lightweight and offering strength at the same time. The grips are comfortable and provide an excellent grasp, even if the hands are slime covered.

The Black Max uses four stainless steel ball bearings and one roller bearing, offering you a creamy smooth operation, with no grinding whatsoever, allowing you to fish all day long. The product also features a trademarked Power Disk drag system offering an extremely smooth drag experience.

An even brake pressure throughout the cast is provided by the trademarked MagTrax magnetic brake system, and giving anglers the precision they need.

This Baitcasting reel has a 6.4:1 gear ratio, thus allowing faster retrieves. It also includes an instant anti-reverse feature that helps prevent back play.

Pros

  • Smooth operation due to the four stainless steel ball bearings and one roller bearing.
  • The trademarked Power-Disk drag system offers a consistent and creamy drag performance.
  • The trademarked Magtrax magnetic brake system offers precise casting to the anglers.
  • The product is durable owing to its trademarked Duragear brass gear system.
  • It is lightweight and affordable as compared to its competitors.

Cons

  • It comes only in one, 6.4:1, gear ratio.
Abu Garcia 1365366 Black Max Low Profile Reel, 6.4: 1 Gear Ratio, 5 Bearings, 26" Retrieve Rate, 18Lb Max Drag, RH, Boxed
  • Lightweight design with one piece graphite frame and side plates
  • 4 stainless steel ball bearings
  • Power disk system
  • MagTrax brake system boosts range and accuracy of casts
  • Compact bent handle and recessed reel provide an ergonomic grip

Best Baitcasting Reels Buying Guide

The first question that comes to one’s mind before buying the perfect fishing reel is which type to buy, a baitcasting, or a spinning reel? This is, in fact, a hot debate topic in fishing camps. 

However, even for experienced anglers, it comes down to your personal preference.

Some people argue that baitcasting reels offer you better control of where your cast lands, and they also have higher gear ratios for fast retrieves. 

Spinning reels, on the other hand, are easier to use and can work well in tight quarters, with trees and bushes, where the sensitive baitcasting reels fail.

Your next fishing trip will surely be a success because this guide will help you select your perfect baitcasting reel. For this, let us dive deeper into the technical terms.

Gear ratio

In simple terms, the gear ratio represents the speed of the reel. Some common gear ratios for baitcasting reels are 7.1:1, 6.4:1, and 5.4:1. For a single turn of the reel handle, the rate represents the number of revolutions the spool makes. 

With a higher gear ratio, more line can be retrieved with the same amount of work; hence, higher speed. 

A 7.1:1 ratio works well with spinnerbait or buzzbait, while crankbait requires a lower ratio, such as 5.4:1. Areas of small strike zones are perfect for fishing using reels with a higher gear ratio. 

Braking Systems

The braking systems of the baitcasting reels help adjust and slow down the rotation of the spool during the cast, preventing the dreaded backlash from happening.

The centrifugal brakes work on the principles of frictional force. Adjustments are made using the pins inside the side plate. The magnetic brakes, on the other hand, rely on the magnetic attractive and repulsive forces to reduce the spool revolution rate. 

Ball Bearings

The performance of the reel is contributed to a large extent by the ball bearings. Having more bearings will provide smoother performance. 

However, go for quality, rather than quantity. Look for keywords like “shielded”, “sealed bearings”, and “double-shielded” in the product description, and not the number of the ball bearings.

High-end reels use ceramic ball bearings these days. They last longer and are corrosion resistant as well. 

Frame

Reel frames are usually made of aluminum or graphite. Graphite is lighter and cheaper than aluminum, but cannot stand abuse as much as aluminum can. High-end baitcasting reels are made of single-piece aluminum frames. Also, look for an anti-corrosive layer on the material for increased durability. 

Handle

Take into consideration the construction of the handle of the reel. Look for the ones that are soft and comfortable on the hands, and provide a good grip. Larger handles work best for the majority.

Spools

Baitcasting reels usually use an aluminum spool. Less expensive ones are die-cast, whereas high-end spools are constructed from forged aluminum.

Line Capacity

Consider the type of fish you are going for. Spool capacity is not usually an issue unless you are specifically planning to do some big-species or deep-water fishing.

For fishing in deep water, or targeting a big game, like steelhead or muskies, you will need a spool with much higher capacity, than brass or pickerel. 

Spool Tension Knob

In addition to the braking system of the reel, its speed of the spool can also be adjusted using the spool tension knob. It allows for finer tuning of the speed of the spool as compared to the braking system.

The perfect baitcasting reel for you will depend on the configuration of the above-listed components of the reel. This is again, a matter of personal preference, and depends upon the way you would like to use the reel. 

Best Baitcasting Reels - FAQ's

What are the advantages of baitcasting reels over spinning reels?

Experienced anglers feel that baitcasting reels offer pinpoint accuracy as brakes can be used to precisely control spool friction for maximum cast distance. They also tend to have a higher gear ratio, and thus allow faster retrieves. 

Baitcasting reels are also the best choice when using more massive fishing lines and heavier lures.

They, however, require a lot of practice to master as compared to spinning lines.

Which line is best for a baitcasting reel: mono or braided?

The majority of the people these days use a braided line. However, this does not mean that a mono fishing line cannot be used. A braided line simply means that your hooks sets are firmer since the stretch is less on the lines.

Which is the best gear ratio?

There is no such thing as the best when it comes to the gear ratio of the reels. It is based on your preference, your fishing style, and the kind of fish you’re planning to deal with. 

Higher gear ratios simply mean faster retrieves, ideal for spinnerbaits and buzzbaits, and are ideally used in shallow water. Low gear ratios, on the other hand, pull the line slowly and are used for bigger fishes, or with baits that need more time to sink.

What is the difference between round and low profile baitcasting reels?

A round baitcasting reel can hold more and heavier lines and are used to toss larger baits, whereas, the low-profile ones are lighter, and can hold fewer lines, but are more ergonomic.

A round baitcasting reel is used for catching larger fishes such as steelhead, salmon, and muskie, while the low-profile reel is used for fishes like bass and crappie.

Conclusion

The above-listed fishing reels are well researched and probably the best in the market, fit for all your needs. 

Even if not, our buyer’s guide will surely help you find your perfect baitcasting reel, matching all your configuration requirements.

Check this out if you're looking for a baitcasting reel under $100.