Best Baitcasting Reel | Get Casting with These Reviews [2019]

One of my neighbors loves fishing, and she has recently discovered her love for baitcasting. Unfortunately, her firsthand experience with this popular fishing technique was not as good as we were expecting.

The reason? Well, the inexperienced hardware store owner at the nook of our neighborhood handed over a poor quality, left-handed baitcasting reel to a right-handed woman! Sucks to be her, doesn’t it? Well, I decided to spare a day to fish out the best baitcasting reel from the market and compile a review.

 

 

Top Pick

My pick for the best baitcasting reel is the Daiwa Fgct100Hs Fuego High Speed. For starters, this reel is unlike the popular models, yet it still gives even the most expensive models some fierce competition. All thanks to its impressive features and best value for the money!

 

 

The Top Baitcasting Reels Reviewed

Daiwa Fgct100Hs Fuego High Speed

The Daiwa Fuego High-Speed baitcasting reel is a combination of high-end performance and strength, making it one of the best saltwater baitcasting reels. The reel features some significant improvements by the manufacturer and seems to be focused on providing smooth casting for long periods of usage.

 

Key Features

  • Compact and sturdy frame
  • The aluminum frame features composite side plates
  • Unique Mag Force Z cast system for better control
  • Right-handed baitcasting reel

 

What I like about this product

This baitcasting reel is made to take a beating considering its aluminum frame and composite side plates. The 7.31 gear ratio is good enough to catch big fish— 2 to 2.5 pounds easily on a good day.

 

What I don’t like about this product

As indicated in its features, the reel is made for right-hand use only. Additionally, if you want to fish in a peaceful environment, this reel may not be a good option because of its noisy performance.

 

 

Pros

  • The lightweight body can withstand long usage periods
  • Suitable for fishing in fresh and saltwater
  • Enhanced casting control for longer distances
  • 100-yard line capacity

 

Cons

  • Small size, may not fit well in bigger palms

 

For smooth casting and proper line control over long distances, this reel works like magic. Fishers who have bigger hands may struggle with the grip, though, as the reel is quite small in size.

 

Overall Rating – 4.8/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

KastKing Royale Legend Low Profile Baitcasting Reel

KastKing Royal is one of the top baitcasting reels available. The manufacturer has introduced some great improvements in terms of design and performance to let fishers enjoy most of their ventures.

 

Key Features

  • Low profile design featuring lightweight build
  • Precision cut gears reduce friction to a minimum
  • Carbon fiber drag system is highly durable and strong
  • Corrosion resistant ball bearings for longevity
  • Aluminum forged spool improve strength.

 

What I like about this product

I love strong baitcasting reels that can catch considerably bigger fish. This reel meets all the standards of a good gear system featuring a gear ratio of 7.01 and retrieval limit of 17.5 pounds. The performance is also super quiet and fast.

 

What I don’t like about this product

There are some issues with the spool as the reel tends to loosen with every cast. If the problem is not addressed, there is a high chance of intense backlashing.

 

Pros

  • Dual-braking system
  • High speed, ultra-smooth brass gear
  • EVA grips featuring non-slip foam padding
  • Four plates of carbon fiber drag system

 

Cons

  • Tension builds up in spool knob with every cast

 

The KastKing Royale Legend Low Profile Baitcasting Reel features some significant improvements in gear performance and bearing setting. The grip is also good for any expert or new user. Some minor issues with the spool knob are reversible. Overall, this reel offers outstanding value for the money.

 

Overall Rating – 4.6/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

KastKing Spartacus Baitcasting Fishing Reel

It would not be wrong to say that the Spartacus title does justice to this KastKing fishing reel, considering its range of stunning features and major improvements in design and performance. This reel is truly a warrior provided that you know how to handle it.

 

Key Features

  • Dual-braking system featuring micro-cast centrifugal and magnetic brakes
  • Carbon fiber frame offers an impressive drag to pull out fish as heavy as 17.5 pounds
  • 11+1 corrosion-resistant ball bearing system
  • CNC machine spool forged with aluminum

 

What I like about this product

Spartacus features an impressive gear ratio of 6.31, which is sufficient enough to win trophies by catching big fish. The reel has corrosion-resistant components which can give stiff competition to its rivals. I like the powerful brass gears which provide for smooth casting.

 

What I don’t like about this product

The reel can be tricky to operate and can only be learned after some practice. If you are a beginner, you will find it very hard to work the knob and understand the braking system. Some research and guidance can help.

 

Pros

  • Precision marked, machined brass gears
  • Durable graphite body
  • Easy to remove side covers
  • EVA knobs and padded foam grips

 

Cons

  • The reel requires more frequent oiling and cleaning as compared to other models

 

The KastKing Spartacus Baitcasting reel is undoubtedly an amalgamation of impressive dynamics and styling, but you may need to take some care and a lot of practice to enjoy this affordable reel.

 

Overall Rating – 4.4/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Penn Squall Lever Drag Reel

When it comes to professional fishing or global fishing tournaments, the Penn Squall might be the most significant purchase you can ever make for a baitcasting reel. This reel has some significant advantages over the rest of the reels included in these baitcaster reels reviews.

 

Key Features

  • Lightweight graphite side plates and frame
  • Stainless-steel pinion and main gears
  • Dura-drag system for amazing power
  • Ergonomic handle suitable for versatile grips

 

What I like about this product

The Penn Squall Lever Drag reel has some impressive ergonomics prominent in its handle design and level shape. The reel does a great job pulling fish smoothly out of the water, and the dura-drag is also impressive and works amazingly for near shore fishing.

 

What I don’t like about this product

Besides its technical adjustments, which may take a lot of time and effort, the mechanical parts are not as durable as one would expect. This reel is not suitable for saltwater fishing.

 

Pros

  • Ratcheting lever drag complements the dura-drag system
  • Silent double dog to ensure two-way silent reverse
  • Aluminum forged spool
  • Bronze gear system

 

Cons

  • The uncoated metal parts are susceptible to quick erosion

 

The Penn Squall Lever Drag baitcasting reel is a good example of enhanced drag power and ease of use. It is an excellent buy for anyone who wants to go fishing near the shore.

 

Overall Rating – 4.5/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Abu Garcia Black Max Low Profile Baitcasting Fishing Reel

Abu Garcia is considered among the giant manufacturers and produces some of the best baitcasting reels in 2019. The manufacturer is still ruling the world with its impressive range of baitcasting reels. The Black Max Low Profile baitcasting reel is a great addition to any fisher’s arsenal.

 

Key Features

  • Lightweight and durable one-piece graphite frame
  • Durable and easy to remove side plates
  • The innovative Power disk system
  • MagTrack braking system
  • Ergonomic handle grip

 

What I like about this product

Apart from its four stainless-steel ball bearings which reduce the friction in the spool to a great extent, the MagTrack braking system offers impressive control on casting ranges. I like how the handle is compact and has a bent formation and recessed reel to provide a better grip. This reel offers plenty of drag too.

 

What I don’t like about this product

One big shortcoming in this reel is that it has a considerable learning curve. If you are a beginner, you may be initially disappointed. However, with little practice, you will start to love this reel.

 

 

Pros

  • Professionally built lightweight graphite body
  • Disk system for power adjustment
  • Exceptional drag force
  • Unique braking system

 

Cons

  • The reel ages quickly as the roller bearing start to slip away with every cast

 

The Black Max fishing reel by Abu Garcia is a unique piece of style and performance. If you are looking for a professionally made baitcasting reel to hone your fishing skills, this model is your star.

 

Overall Rating – 4.5/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

SHIMANO CASITAS, LowProfile Baitcasting Freshwater Fishing Reel

Shimano’s commitment to precision engineering and introduction of innovation is significantly reflected in the Shimano Casitas Low Profile Baitcasting reel in our baitcaster reel reviews. Because of its powerful drag and casting distance, it is the best baitcasting reel for bass.

 

Key Features

  • Low profile baitcasting reel suitable for catching bass and inshore fish
  • One super stopper roller bearing helps the operation of five ball bearings
  • Stable spool technology enhances balance while casting
  • Aluminum handle
  • SVS infinity brake adjustments

 

What I like about this product

This baitcasting reel is a great pick for versatile line action. I love how the manufacturer has introduced modern technology in spool and braking system to help the fishers.

 

What I don’t like about this product

The handle does not have a great design which can cause uneven turning of the spool. Drag also breaks after an extended period of usage.

 

Pros

  • Delivers versatile performance for different action
  • Super smooth retrieving and casting
  • Easy to operate spool control and braking system
  • Stable spool design provides an enhanced balance

 

Cons

  • The reel is not designed for long distance casting

 

Shimano Casitas is a reasonably good option for anglers looking for an affordable purchase for bass fishing. The limited casting range may be an issue. As far as performance is concerned, this reel is quite good.

 

Overall Rating – 4.6/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Ming Yang CL25 Baitcast Reel

Although the brand is new in the market, the Ming Yang CL25 Baitcasting reel is an epitome of smooth performance and affordable pricing. If you are expecting to enjoy a high-quality reel without paying an arm and a leg for it, this reel is a great option to invest in.

 

Key Features

  • Dual-bearing system featuring stainless-steel ball bearing
  • The considerable gear ratio of 3.81
  • Top-notch drag system
  • Twin rubber covered handle knobs for easier spool adjustment
  • Aluminum forged spool

 

What I like about this product

This reel is such a great choice for crappie fishing. I love the aluminum-forged spool supported by the dual stainless-steel ball bearing system.

 

What I don’t like about this product

Despite the rubber padding on the handle knobs, the reel has hugely uncomfortable handling. Consequently, the handle was slipping from my hand frequently despite all efforts of holding it in place. It’s really disappointing.

 

Pros

  • Brass is used in the main pinion gears
  • One-way clutch system for smooth casting
  • Lightweight body
  • Good dragging

 

Cons

  • The reel has a petite size which can cause grip issues

The Ming Yang CL25 Baitcasting reel is a great pick for beginners who want to enjoy a leisure time catching crappie. It features an impressive drag force and ball-bearing system. Aluminum forged spools prevent backlashing. This reel has some striking features, but it is not a great pick for experts looking for a robust reel action.

 

Overall Rating – 4.4/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Abu Garcia C4-6601 Ambassadeur Round Baitcast Fishing Reel

The C4-6601 Ambassadeur Round Baitcast Fishing Reel is an emblem of low-maintenance and high performance. The super soft operation coupled with durability and precision engineering make this round baitcasting reel a great choice and a sound investment.

 

Key Features

  • Dura-gear system provides for abundant gear power
  • Single-braking system featuring six-pin centrifugal brakes
  • The compact bent handle offers great grip
  • Synchronized level wind system for balance and improved castability

 

What I like about this product

I appreciate the concept behind the Duragear system, which is aimed at improving strength under all conditions. I must say this reel is as versatile as it can get. You can’t go wrong with this purchase.

 

What I don’t like about this product

It is limited to left-handed use only. Although this is not as much as of a shortcoming, beginners with lesser left-hand practice can find it hard to practice their skills on this reel.

 

Pros

  • Smooth, frictionless casting due to ball bearings
  • Super-efficient performance
  • The bent handle offers great ergonomic support
  • Impressive castability control due to the dual braking system

 

Cons

  • Loose Drag does not meet up to the expectations

 

The Abu Garcia C4-6601 Ambassadeur Round Baitcast Fishing Reel is an excellent pick for beginners as well as expert bait casters. You can easily spot the difference in the gearing system, which seems to be the reason behind the exceptional performance. Pricing is also affordable.

 

Overall Rating – 4.1/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Piscifun Phantom Baitcasting Reel

The Piscifun Phantom Baitcasting reel is suitable for professionals and beginner baitcasters alike. It boasts some significant tweaks in design and performance when compared to other standard reels if this type.

 

Key Features

  • Anodized aluminum frame double hardened from every side
  • Aircraft grade main gear featuring 7.01 gear ratio
  • Four-disc carbon fiber drag washers
  • Dual-braking system
  • Extended carbon fiber handle

 

What I like about this product

The combat thumb grip is undoubtedly a sweet treat to be enjoyed. The simple operation allows beginners to learn baitcasting without spending too much money. I like how the extended handle improves casting range.

 

What I don’t like about this product

The manufacturer has used cheap materials, which is evident from the weak outlook of the reel. I have seen users report loosening nuts and screws with an increase in the usage period.

 

 

Pros

  • Features both magnetic and centrifugal braking system
  • Low profile reel featuring precise casting
  • Combat grip pad on thumb bar
  • CNC hollow spool
  • Extended titanium line guide

 

Cons

  • Combat thumb grip may not be suitable for every baitcaster

 

The Piscifum Phantom baitcasting reels is a strong rival for some of the most expensive baitcasting reel manufacturers in the market. Beginners can equally enjoy this reel as much as experts do. Some improvements in the quality of material and build can help in taking this reel to the heights of popularity and market success.

 

Overall Rating – 4.5/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Baitcasting Reel Buying Guide

Finding the best baitcasting reel is no easy task—there’s definitely a lot more to consider than price. While the reels reviewed here are a great place to start, it’s also helpful to understand how to buy a good reel to begin with—and that’s where my buying guide comes into play. We also recommend you check out ice-fishing reels because they deliver the highest performance at a price that’s still reasonable.

 

What kind of material should a baitcasting reel be made from?

The choice of materials for a baitcasting reel determines the durability and performance of the system. No matter how much anyone brags about any particular material, make sure not to fall prey to scams and only choose the baitcasting reels which use high-quality materials.

 

Two types of materials are commonly used for baitcasting reel manufacturing

 

  • Graphite graphite is a lighter material than other widely used metals. It has superb durability and can withstand greater strengths.

 

  • Aluminum Although it is a bit heavier than the graphite, high-grade aluminum provides for exceptional raw metal strength as compared to any other metal.

 

What is the role of gear ratio in the selection of a baitcasting reel?

Gear ratio refers to the number of turns a spool makes for every rotation completed by the handle. Take the example of a 5.41 baitcasting reel. These numbers indicate that the reel takes 5.4 turns with every rotation completed by the handle.

 

Baitcasting reels have gear ratios ranging from a minimum of 5.41 to a maximum of 9.11. The significance of faster baitcasting reels is linked with their ability to quickly slow down a catch during retrieving. Low-speed models make cranking easier, but retrieval is quite tricky. If you are using small and light baits you should consider checking out high speed spinning reels.

 

 

Should I go for a single braking or dual-braking system?

Just as vehicle brakes help in slowing down the movement of vehicles, the braking system in baitcasting reels retards the spool’s speed to adjust the rotation. The braking system is a crucial part of any baitcasting reel because it prevents backlashes in the reel’s spool and enhances the performance under normal circumstances. The following types of braking systems are common in baitcasting reels

 

  • Centrifugal Braking systems feature two to six pins which provide for a single-mode activation or deactivation of reel brakes.

 

  • The magnetic braking system is based on the interaction of a set of magnets within non-magnetic components of a baitcasting reel. The unlocking or locking of the braking system depends on how far the magnetic sets are from the non-magnetic spool. Greater distances mean that you can enjoy faster, smoother reel action.

 

Although mastering the technique of controlling spool speed using your thumb is necessary to ensure a smooth baitcasting fishing experience, going for a dual braking system can offer you the advantage of catching bigger fish with a lesser chance of losing the catch.

 

What spool and handle size should my baitcasting reel have?

Spool size plays a vital role in ensuring that the line does not break or backlash when you go fishing. The choice of spool size highly depends on the type of fishing you want to do.

 

  • Bigger and deeper spools are good for easy management of the lines as they reduce the line size. If you are using heavy-duty lines, bigger spool sizes are better.

 

  • Small and shallow spools are suitable for catching small sized fish from shallow waters.

 

As far as the handle size of a baitcasting reel is concerned, there is a variety available in the market based on the kind of worms and usage you plan to use.

 

  • Long and large handles are useful for generating higher torque, which helps pull fish out of the water smoothly.

 

  • Smaller handles are suitable for handling jigs and worms. However, they are not ideal for crankbaits or swimbaits.

 

What is the role of bearings and drag system in baitcasting reels?

As a beginner, it can be hard to understand the bearing types and drag system for baitcasting reels, but don’t worry; it is easy to get the hang of baitcasting limbo once you know the basics. Bearings play a central role in enhancing the rotation of the baitcasting reels by reducing the friction between adjacent parts.

High-quality bearings range from shielded, stainless, or double-shielded types. All these types are made by using lightweight and durable metals such as aluminum. Any other bearing type is a BIG NO.

Drag system in baitcasting reels determines the startup inertia you have to overcome to start fishing. The drag is the tension in the reel, which determines the ease of pulling for the line by directing the spool. Choosing low startup inertia drag systems will require you to employ drag smoothly and uniformly.

 

 

What is meant by left or right baitcasting reels? Which should I pick?

Since every angler has a different set of skills, there are right and left-handed baitcasting reels available. It is not necessary to pick a right-handed baitcasting reel simply because your right hand is dominant. Your angling technique and ease of switching from left to right hand and vice versa matter the most in the selection of left or right baitcasting reels. Make sure that your hand is firmly gripped on the handle to avoid any slipping.

 

How does a low-profile baitcasting reel differ from a round baitcasting reel? Which one should I pick?

As a newcomer in the world of baitcasting, you may frequently face the terms round and low-profile baitcasting reels. Here is a brief breakdown of the significant differences between these two

 

  • Round Baitcasting reels are as much as 50 percent bigger than low profile reels. Thus, they are heavier. Anglers who spend long hours fishing prefer the smaller and lightweight, low profile baitcasting reels.

 

  • Round baitcasting reels have a greater gear ratio as compared to low profile reels.

 

  • Line capacity is the actual reason behind the success of round baitcasting reels over low profile ones because these reels can tire the fish if the catch tries to run.

 

  • Round profile baitcasting reels have a great drag system which is useful in catching bigger fish (over 12 pounds). Low profile baitcasting reels are suitable for catching smaller fish (up to 14 pounds) because of lesser drag.

 

Final Thoughts

The most important aspect of purchasing a new baitcasting reel is that it works well for you—and that’s the thing about both rods and reels—what works well for one angler may be a nightmare for another. You might have to do a little trial and error to find the best match, but our top pick is a fantastic place to start.

With a sturdy aluminum frame, innovative braking system, and an extended spool capacity, the Daiwa Fgct100Hs Fuego High-Speed baitcasting reel pays for itself. As the best baitcasting reel, it offers excellent value for the money. Any right-handed angler will simply love the lightweight body designed to deliver strong performance during long fishing hours. You can’t go wrong with this purchase!

I hope this review cleared all your confusion regarding baitcasting reels. Happy fishing!

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