Best Baitcasting Reels 2019 – Comprehensive Buying Guide

For any anglers, one of the most exciting moments is when they have a fish on the line and are struggling to get it out on the line. It’s not unusual for a large one to escape just due to bad luck, but it is also a fact that your equipment matters a lot in deciding whether it will be easy to catch the fish or not.

Forgetting your fish on board your boat has the correct reel is just as important as having the accurate rod, bat and line. Regardless of how powerful the fish is, there’s always a reel and line combination out there that can take care of business. Since the market these days are so saturated with different brands and models of, baitcasting reels, choosing the right one can be a hectic task. Hence, in this article, we talk about various aspects of baitcasting reels and present a list of the top 5 best baitcasting reels. This guide will help you out in choosing the right reels for your fishing. The pros and cons of each product are shown below, as well.

baitcasting fishing reel

Why Should We Use A Baitcasting Reel?

Baitcasting reels are the most popular among the three most popular types of reels used by saltwater and freshwater game fishers. Spincast reels and spinning reels are also popular among fishers, but baitcasting reels are usually the go-to choice for many professionals daily. There are many reasons for this. Below mentioned are the benefits of using a baitcasting reel.

1.    Precision – You are stuck with the distance you toss a bait while using a spinning reel, or you either snap the safeguard shut which snaps the lure back causing the springs on the reel to break. However, with a bait caster, all you need to do is slow the spool more, and it drops precisely the distance you need, paying little respect to how far the initial cast would have gone.

2.    Line Handling – As compared to spinning reels, bait casters are much better at handling a thick diameter line, especially in castability.

3.    Drag – As compared to a similar spinning reel, bait casters usually can apply much more drag pressure.

4.    Weight – As compared to spinning reels, bait casters tend to be much lighter, which helps to keep a better rod balance and sensitivity.

5.    Speed – A lot of bait casters offer high line pickup rates. However, to make retrieving big cranks easier, some are geared low.

baitcasting reel nefits

How Does It Work?

Using a baitcasting reel is no rocket science. But, there are plenty of things that you need to understand.

1. Reel in the line till your lure is about 15 to 30 centimeters from the rod to tip. It should be around six to twelve inches in case your line is attached to a sinker or bobber.

2. Let your thumb rest on the spool and grip the rod behind the reel. Let the drag loose until you can pull the line out freely.

3. Test out and choose the spool tension where it is loose enough for casting. However, to avoid overrun, ensure that it is not too loose. When you want to move your thumb off the reel, set the brakes. Adjust the other settings.

4. Turn the rod; then the reel handles point up and press the reel spool release button.

5. After this sweep forward the rod until eye level is achieved.

6. if you want to stop the bait when it reaches the target, you should press down on the spool with your thumb.

baitcaster reel

Top 5 Best Baitcasting Reel Reviews

As mentioned above, choosing the right baitcasting reel is not an easy task, especially if you are buying one for the first time. To make a choice easier for you, we have reviewed the five best baitcasting reels available on the market these days.

Daiwa Tatula CT Type-R Baitcast Fishing Reels

Daiwa TACT-R100H TATULA CT Baitcast Reel, Black
  • Rugged, lightweight aluminum frame and side plate
  • Ultimate Tournament carbon drag UTD
  • Corrosion resistant clutch mechanism
  • Ultimate Tournament carbon drag
  • MagForce-z cast Control

The Daiwa Tatula CT Type-R is a better version of the Tatula CT that has been upgraded to improve a few aspects such as its upgraded CRBB Corrosion Resistant Ball Bearings, its racing red paint job, a spool made of A705 Aircraft Grade Aluminum and a decrease in the overall weight by 0.2 oz. You can find this baitcasting reel in 3 gear ratios, that have been designed separately for different types of fishing.

One of the best features of this product is that it features a side plate (gear side) and an aluminum frame that decreases the overall weight and will work genuinely well for saltwater.

Daiwa’s T- Wing System has been designed to solve a few of the most common irritating and annoying issues that fishers usually face while using baitcasting level-wind reels, including friction while casting and uneven line intake when retrieving the line. The design of this unit, however, has been made to enable the line to flow freely through the wider top section while casting. The friction is also reduced due to the wider gap. Overall, this is an excellent baitcasting fishing reel.

Pros

  • It has an ergonomic design
  • It features easily adjustable breaks
  • It has a smooth casting performance

Cons

  • It has plastic pieces engaging its T-casting mechanism
  • The drag is a little hard to turn

Abu Garcia Revo SX Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel

Abu Garcia Revo SX Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel
  • Make sure this fits. by entering your model number.
  • Ultra-lightweight design with X2-Craftic alloy frame and C6 carbon side plate--25% lighter than the previous generation
  • MagTrax brake system and wide Infiniti II spool design for accurate casting of heavy loads
  • Carbon Matrix drag system provides smooth and consistent drag
  • D2 Gear Design provides efficiency while Duragear gear system and titanium-coated line guide ensure long-lasting durability

The Abu Garcia Revo SX Low-Profile bait cast fishing reel is another great option as this baitcasting reel features a very lightweight design. As compared to the older version, this one weighs 2 ounces less, achieving an overall reduction of 25% in weight. Abu Garcia Revo SX comes with an all-black finish that looks very classy, and the reel appears to be more attractive than the silver ones that the high-end Premiere models usually feature.

Weighing only 6.66 ounces and with a maximum 20 lb drag, this model provides a surprisingly consistent and smooth pressure while being extremely easy to handle due to its lightweight. Also, you will notice that throughout the range, its retrieve is very smooth and also surprisingly quiet.

Pros

  • Very ergonomic design
  • Extremely lightweight and comfortable
  • It has micro click adjustments on the spool tension knob
  • As compared to the previous versions it has achieved a 25% weight reduction
  • Max-Trax brake system works well
  • The magnetic brake system is easy to adjust

Cons

•    The gear ratio is 6.4:1, whereas a 7.1:1 gear ratio is provided by bait casters within this price range.

KastKing Speed Demon Pro Baitcasting Reel

KastKing Speed Demon Pro Baitcasting Reel, High Speed 9.3:1 Gear Ratio, 12+1 Double Shielded Stainless Steel BB for Saltwater or Freshwater,Tournament Ready Magnetic Brakes, Golf Style Grips
  • High Speed 9.3:1 Gear Ratio - The NEW KastKing Speed Demon Pro baitcaster fishing reel is one of the fastest baitcasting reels in the fishing tackle world with 9.3:1 gear. Blazing speed with precision matched manganese brass gears cut using a Japanese Hamai machine for quick line pick up and recovery. The super comfortable, super polymer golf style handle grips enhance the feel of this super-fast reel providing a sure grip in all weather conditions.
  • 6oz Featherlight Carbon Body - Light yet extremely durable carbon fiber frame, side plates, handle and star drag reduce weight for all day comfort and to improve performance in both fresh water and saltwater conditions. KastKing Speed Demon Pro baitcaster reels include a finely machined and anodized CNC aluminum spool that is corrosion resistant and beautiful.
  • Stainless Steel Ball Bearings - The Speed Demon Pro baitcast reel uses a total of 13 (12+1) stainless steel bearings with amazing NMB spool bearings for extremely smooth and quiet operation even at extreme speeds for any baitcasting combo. All bearings are double shielded and deliver effortless casts and smooth, fast retrieves. KastKing also designed a state-of-the-art, triple carbon disc drag delivering a consistently smooth, 13.2 lbs/6kg of fish stopping drag.
  • Trilateral Magnetic Brake System - The Trilateral magnetic braking system has 9 total magnets and for infinite adjustment in all conditions and any size of bait. This braking system will virtually eliminate overruns and back lashes when properly adjusted and will not change settings until you change baits and decide to adjust the level of braking that is applied to the spool.
  • High Speed Split Main Shaft -To reduce noise and increase casting distance and speed the KastKing Speed Demon Pro baitcasting reels utilize a unique split main shaft that efficiently supports the spool on both sides with high speed, renowned NMB double shielded stainless steel bearings. These right and left handed baitcasting reels are perfect on a KastKing Speed Demon Pro fishing rod for an amazing baitcaster combo.

KastKing is a well-known name in the fishing industry as their products are known for their durability and strength. Other than this, they are also famous for their aesthetics and versatility. The KastKing speed demon can easily be regarded as one of the best baitcasting fishing reels available on the market these days. Regardless of whether you are fishing for trout in a slow-moving river or you’re fishing for largemouth bass on a freshwater lake, you can quickly get the job done with this reel.

Also, this reel provides ease of use for all kinds of fishers, whether they are beginners or professionals. Furthermore, this reel is also called the world’s fastest top baitcasting reels. Its lightning-fast speed is backed up by the 9.3:1 gear ratio. It’s 12+1 MaxiDur completely shielded stainless steel ball bearings add to its impressive smoothness and quick retrievals. It is possible to capture the biggest of fishes with this reel. Overall, this is one of the best reels you can get on the market these days.

Pros

  • Solid & durable stainless steel shaft
  • Precision cut brass gearing system
  • 3-disc carbon fiber drag/braking system
  • 115mm high torque handle
  • Amazingly fast 9.3:1 gear ration

Cons

•    Drag could use a little bit more modifying

Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel 18LB

Sale
Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel 18LB Carbon Fiber Drag 7.1:1 Baitcasters Unequaled Affordable High-tech Innovation Baitcast Fishing Reels
  • POWERFUL- Advanced, 4-washer, gives the low profile baitcasting reel physically powerful 18LB carbon fiber drag to handle the big fish you are after
  • DURABLE - Industrial durable-strength, climate-resistant Japanese Hami cut 3604 brass gears, these are all top quality gears you expect for baitcaster fishing reels
  • PERFORMANCE - Low profile design bait caster featuring 7.1:1 gear ratios specifically designed for the versatile angler. The Super Silent high speed 7.1:1 Gear Ratio baitcasting fishing reel is perfect for getting fish quickly out of cover and faster fishing tactics
  • UNIQUE - Unique side-plate oil port for prolonged maintenance for Novice to Pro to maximize your baitcast reel life and performance
  • UNPARALLELED - Strong double wind shafts and backlash-eliminating 0-10 magnetic dial-in settings

The Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel 18LB is another great addition to our list of 5 best baitcasting reels. The most impressive thing about this reel is the emphasis that Piscifun placed on the gears in this product. Both the strength and performance of this unit have been improved by the reinforcement of the main gear. The CNC brass gear system features stainless-steel springs and is precision-cut. Fishers not only count on the operation of the gear, but they also trust its durability due to their water resistance. This unit has an 18-lb carbon fiber drag with a 7.1:1 gear ratio. The high-quality stainless steel bearings ensure the smoothness of this reel.

Pros

  • It ensures a very reliable operation
  • It is very easy to lubricate and maintain
  • Plenty of leverage and power thanks to the longer handle

Cons

•    The oil reservoir is not sealed

KastKing Royale Reel

KastKing Royale Legend/Whitemax Low Profile Baitcasting Fishing Reel - 11 +1 Shielded Bearings, 17.5 Lb Carbon Fiber Drag
  • 1.INCREDIBLY SMOOTH - KastKing Royale Legend bait casting reel features a 7.0:1 gear ratio and 11 +1 MaxiDur shielded ball bearings for flawless, noise-free casts and retrieves.
  • 2.OPTIMAL CONTROL - Tournament ready dual brakes featuring a finely-tuned, easily adjustable dual centrifugal and magnetic brake system in the Royale Legend baitcaster that gives you peak performance action when you need it and eliminates backlash.
  • 3.POWERFUL and strong carbon fiber drag delivers 17.5 Ibs of trophy fish stopping pressure. Brass gears, machined aluminum spool with a stainless steel main shaft gives this fishing reel superior strength and durability.
  • 4.LOW PROFILE and LIGHTWEIGHT baitcaster reel that makes the Royale Legend ideal for fishing all-day without feeling like you've exhausted your wrist to the max.
  • 5.ONE-YEAR WARRANTY offers you a stress-free purchase, and makes a perfect gift paired with a KastKing rod for a baitcasting combo for a fishing friend.

Last but not least, the Kastking Royale reel is also one of the most liked baitcasting reels available on the market these days. It is far from your average fishing reel. This reel performs flawlessly and has a very solid built. It is super lightweight, which is great for fishers who spend long hours fishing as it does not tire your hands. The smooth action with multiple drag points allows you to drop your lure with great precision. One of the best things about this fishing reels is that it is available at such an affordable price. Usually, fishing reels with such features and quality cost much more in the market.

Furthermore, you will need to keep up a high level of performance as this powerful baitcasting reel gives you a lot of features. You can count on this reel if you want to get the job done with accuracy and speed. Another excellent feature of this product is that it has a low-profile design, hence rest assured that you won’t be bothered by any sounds, especially during tournaments. The unit runs with a very quiet high speed of 7.0:1 line retrieve.

Pros

  • Low-profile design
  • Carbon fiber drag system which gives you 17.5 lbs. of drag
  • Offers a super silent high speed 7.0:1 line retrieve for the best performance

Cons

•    Drag needs a little more modifying

How to Choose the Best Baitcasting Reel?

Every model of reel comes with its features and specifications. However, there are a few particular features that need to be present in the one you buy so that you can perform all the tasks with ease. Also, you need to consider a few aspects, such as the price of the model to ensure that you get the best for your money. Mentioned below is a buying guide that will help you out when you head out to buy a baitcasting reel.

Budget

While choosing a baitcasting reel, the first and foremost thing that you should keep in mind is the price you want to get it at. This will draw a budget plan in your mind, and you can sort out the features you want in it accordingly. However, since these usually tend to last long if handled with care, you should avoid buying a cheap model as those aren’t usually equipped with good long-lasting features.

top baitcasting reel for the money

Pricing

If you buy a bait casting reel at a very low price, the chances are that you won’t be impressed with its quality or the features it offers. The main determinant of the pricing of the reel is how much you will be using it. If you are spending at least 40 days a year fishing, you might want to get a baitcasting reel around a $100 as it will perform well with a good number of ball bearings and is most likely to last a long time if you don’t use it roughly. It is better that you buy as many ball bearings as you can with the reel as the more the ball bearings are, the more the longevity and durability of the reel are ensured. It also improves the performance of the reel.

Every other reel these days comes with some magnetic cast control, which allows reducing the frustration of constant backlashes. Upon the proper working of magnets and cast control, you are allowed to cast the reel without having to apply any thumb pressure on the spool, reducing the backlash when the lure hits the water.

Magnetic Breaking

Even though baitcasting reels these days come with magnetic braking systems and cast controls, there are still a few basics of casting bait cast reel that you need to learn, even if the model you are buying is high end. The reel won’t do all the work for you. It takes skill and experience to cast a bait caster. It requires a proper understanding of a bait cast reel in that the spool revolves.

Make sure the bait caster comes with a reliable drag system. The key is a drag which keeps the pressure on bass without line slippage. Try to search for a baitcasting reel that performs multiple tasks rather than going for a model that performs only specific tasks, for example, high speed retrieves and deep cranking. Almost every other reel these days is made to perform more than one task basically because they have flipping features and cast control features with the magnetics that enable you to disengage the spool, bring the lure out and manage the distance the lure goes with your thumb.

Drag

There are many things drag does when you are fishing. It manages the fish at the end of your line. It controls your line, breaking point, stretches, and pressure on the pool as well. Another thing that varies is the construction of the discs. Based on pressure and speed, these discs heat up when a fish is pulling on the line. To prevent your line from broken, consistent pressure is important. Based on their expansion properties and heat dissipation, ceramic, carbon, and graphite work the best.

Frame

The frame is the foundation of a reel. Whether it is die cast or machine, it is constructed using aluminum, aluminum alloy or graphite. Most of the value-based reels are made from graphite, whereas the high-end reels are machined of a single piece for rigidity. Carbon, aluminum, graphite or a combination of these three is used for the construction of the plates over the frame.

Line capacity

Line capacity is not an issue for most freshwater species. However, a large predatory fish such as muskie and salmon are not included in this. If you are chasing for large fish, then for added peace of mind, you’ll need to have plenty of lines, in case the fish starts a run.

baitcasting reel reviews

Conclusion

There is no doubt that bait casting reel can be challenging to manage for beginners and requires lots of practice to get used to. However, it provides great benefits for experienced anglers as it provides improved power, accuracy, and casting range, and with some practice and experience, you will get to learn all of its aspects. Just make sure that the bait casting reel you are buying covers all the features that you think you might be needing for fishing later.

Frequently Asked Questions

Mentioned below are a few FAQs related to baitcasting reels:

How to clean and maintain a baitcasting reel?

Firstly, you need to gather all the supplies required to clean the reel. You will need a bucket of water, hi-speed reel oil like TG’s Rocket Fuel, a biodegradable cleaning compound such as Simple Green, Super Lube Grease, Ronsonol Lighter Fluid, and Reel X.

1.    To disassemble your reel, you will be required to remove the side cover. Carefully put all the parts on a rubberized mat. To put everything back together correctly without any confusion, you can number the parts as you remove them.

2.    During assembling and disassembling make sure to position your reel correctly. Also to handle springs and wire clips make use of tweezers so that you don’t lose any parts.

3.    Before removing the spool, make sure to secure your fishing line.

4.    Clean the parts using any biodegradable product such as simple clean applied on a toothbrush.

5.    Clean the bearings with lighter fluid and test them to ensure they are spinning easily. After this use a toothpick to oil them with TG’s Rocket Fuel.

6.    Once all of this is done, put your reel back together. Lastly, apply some Reel Magic to protect the outer finish and line.

See more here: How to Repair Your Baitcasting Fishing Reel

Is Baitcasting Reel Easy to Setup and Use?

Though the process of setting up and reel casting might seem a little confusing the first time you try it, you will surely get used to it after two or three uses.

How Long Does It Last?

A high-end reel is bound to last you longer as compared to a cheaper model. As this is not a purchase you make every other day, it is recommended that you invest in a good quality bait casting reel which will not only last long but will also improve its performance.

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