Best Crankbait Reel | Reviews and Buyer’s Guide [2019]

Picture the scene: it is a stunning, clear, and crisp summer morning. All around you, the world is holding its breath with anticipation of the day to come, the early morning mist gently kissing your shoulders as you find the perfect fishing spot and settle in to take your seat.

All around you is blissful peace and quiet. Even better? You are totally equipped and prepared for anything which may appear—you were organized enough to make sure you had packed the best crankbait reel.

Luckily for you, this vision doesn’t have to be a fantasy. We are on a mission to help you make sure you have the best possible equipment. Read on for our very best picks in the world of crankbait reels and make your dream a reality.

 

 

Our Top Pick

If you’re a wee bit short on time, we’ll get right to the point—our top pick was the Lew’s Fishing Tournament MB. This reel is a durable option with great versatility—meaning it will not only suit most users but suit them for a long time. We’ve reviewed it first for your convenience.

 

 

Review the Top Crankbait Reels

Lew’s Fishing Tournament MB Baitcast Reel

Our number one pick for the best crankbait reel has more than earned its place in the top spot. It has the potential to offer a 20-pound drag with none of the excess weight to hold you back, making it an ideal pick for anglers of all abilities and levels.

 

Key Features

  • 20-pound drag strength
  • Multi-brake settings with an adjustable external magnetic brake, and an internal brake
  • 6:1 gear ratio
  • 23-inch line retrieval rate
  • 7 ounces in weight
  • Metal and carbon body

 

What I Like

One of the best aspects of this reel is that it is very lightweight, and this makes it easy to handle and manage even if you are a beginner.

 

What I Don’t Like

The only downside to this reel is that the drag can be quite tricky to tune correctly, and this can result in some frustration.

 

 

Pros

  • Very lightweight and easy to manage
  • The body is durable and hard wearing
  • The adjustable braking system can be customized to suit different lures
  • Ratio and retrieve rate mean that you have a lot of power to play with
  • Lots of control over casting

 

Cons

  • The drag can be quite tricky to tune correctly – this may be harder for beginners

 

Overall, this is a very solid option when you are looking for a crankbait reel. It is lightweight and can be easily handled and manipulated, and the durable design means that it should stand the test of time and last you for a good few years.

 

Overall Rating: 10/10

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Lew’s Laser MG Speed Spool Casting Reel

This option is ideal for those who want high quality, but who don’t have an enormous budget to play around with. It is a great way to blend quality and affordability and offers durability alongside a flexible and lightweight design that is super easy to manage.

 

Key Features

  • 1:1 gear ratio
  • Retrieval rate: 31 inches per rotation
  • Five-bearing system
  • Zero-reverse one-way clutch bearing
  • Six-pin brake

 

What I Like

This reel is very smooth, and a real pleasure to use. It is also surprisingly high-quality, considering it sits at the lower end of many budgets, and this means it would be a great pick for beginners or those who are unwilling to spend a lot of cash.

 

What I Don’t Like

The downside to this model is the drag, which has an annoying tendency to slip every few pulls. The gear ratio is also slightly high when used for crankbait casting, but this is not a significant issue.

 

Pros

  • Aluminum design is durable and hardwearing
  • The price is affordable
  • Very smooth cast and retrieve
  • Adjustable braking helps you maintain more control
  • Very reliable performance

 

Cons

  • The drag does tend to slip a little with every few pulls, and this can be frustrating
  • The gear ration is a little higher than usual when it comes to crankbaiting

 

The smooth action of this reel means that it is a sound investment and a good choice for all anglers. If you are on a limited budget, but still want to enjoy a good quality reel that will allow you to fish with confidence, this could be a great pick.

 

Overall Rating: 9/10

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

KastKing Royale Baitcasting Reel

One of the main selling points of this KastKing model is the resistance to corrosion, which is a significant part of the design. This aspect makes it is ideal for use in a range of water types and is affordable enough to suit even those who are on a lower budget.

 

Key Features

  • 11+1 ball bearings
  • Great corrosion resistance
  • 5 pounds of drag
  • 7:1 gear ratio

 

What I Like

The versatility of this rod was a major bonus for me. It can be used in both salt and freshwater with no issues, and this means you only need to carry around one reel instead of two— perfect if you are planning to travel while fishing.

 

What I Don’t Like

For this reel to work and function correctly, the brake and drag need to be adjusted, and this has the potential to become very annoying quickly.

 

Pros

  • Designed to be very durable and hardwearing
  • Able to resist corrosion and can be used in both saltwater and freshwater
  • Adjustable brake is very forgiving
  • Suitable for a range of experience and ability levels
  • Lightweight but strong

 

Cons

  • The braking and the drag will need to be carefully adjusted to work effectively – this may make it unsuitable for total beginners
  • The gear ratio is quite high for crankbaiting, especially when compared with other models

 

This reel offers a surprisingly great quality considering the low price tag and is a versatile option which can be great for anglers of all levels and abilities. The fact that it is suitable for use in both fresh and saltwater is also a huge bonus.

 

Overall Rating: 9/10

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

ABU Garcia Revo SX Casting Reel

This model from ABU Garcia is smooth and easy to use, with a cast and retrieve action that help the whole process feel effortless. It is also lightweight and easy to handle, making it perfect for those who may be transporting their kit, or who may be new to the whole sport.

 

Key Features

  • Nine stainless steel bearings
  • 12 ounces in weight
  • 4:1 gear ratio
  • 20-pound maximum drag force
  • X2-Craftic alloy frame

 

What I Like

The adjustable braking feature this reel has makes casting is more consistent, and the whole process is far more straightforward and easy to manage. Retrieval is also much simpler, reliable, and makes the entire experience more enjoyable.

 

What I Don’t Like

This reel is likely to require quite a lot of maintenance and upkeep—the smooth feeling needs to be kept up with regular cleaning, ideally after every use. This aspect could become frustrating if you plan to use it a lot.

 

 

Pros

  • Very comfortable to use
  • Retrieving action is very smooth
  • A lightweight design which is easy to handle
  • Casting is consistent thanks to adjustable braking
  • A reliable piece of kit

 

Cons

  • Requires frequent maintenance and cleaning to stay in good shape
  • The low-profile design means that there is more limited space for a line

 

If you are looking for a lightweight yet durable reel, this has the potential to be a great pick. It may not be suitable for frequent fishers, though, due to the ongoing maintenance it requires.

 

Overall Rating: 9/10

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Daiwa Tatula Baitcasting Reel

This option catches your attention with ease thanks to a sleek and glossy appearance—and you will be pleased to know that it is not merely a case of looks over quality. One of the major benefits of this reel is its great drag force and smooth operation, all wrapped in some very sleek packaging.

 

Key Features

  • 4:1 gear ratio
  • 2 pounds of drag force
  • 7+1 ball bearing
  • 4 ounces in weight

 

What I Like

The slick appearance of the Daiwa reel was a big selling point, and it is nice to have a reel that looks as good as it performs. It is easy to cast and offers a good drag force to ensure that it is suitable for a variety of fish types and sizes.

 

What I Don’t Like

This reel may not be the best choice for newbies who are still getting to grips with the basics, as the braking system tends to be very harsh and unforgiving. It is a better choice for those with a little more experience under their belts.

 

Pros

  • Great appearance and aesthetic
  • Very easy to cast and use, even for those who are still honing their skills
  • Very good drag force for great performance
  • Casting is consistently smooth and accurate

 

Cons

  • The braking system is quite harsh and unforgiving – perhaps not the best choice for newbies
  • The whole reel needs some tuning and perfecting when you first receive it – again, this is more suited to those with a little more experience.

 

This reel is a solid pick for more experienced anglers who can undertake the necessary maintenance which is required to keep this reel in tip-top condition.

 

Overall Rating: 9/10

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Shimano Caenen Baitcast Reel

This is another option for those who are looking to combine a budget price with high-quality performance. While it may not offer the higher power of some other models, it is nonetheless a solid option even for larger and stronger fish.

 

Key Features

  • 3:1 gear ratio
  • 26-inch line retrieve rate
  • 11 pound maximum drag
  • 4+1 bearing
  • Right- and left-hand configuration available
  • Variable brake system

 

What I Like

This is a nice combination of high-quality and affordability and would be a good choice for a newbie, or a more experienced angler looking to add a spare reel to their collection. It also has a good retrieval rate and is super easy to handle even if you lack lots of experience.

 

What I Don’t Like

Like a previous model, this does need quite a lot of ongoing maintenance to function effectively—it tends to jam and become stuck very easily if it is not carefully looked after. Again, for frequent users, this could become frustrating.

 

Pros

  • Very smooth cranking
  • Lots of control over retrieval
  • Can be purchased in both right and left-hand configurations for greater versatility
  • Reeling is super smooth
  • Allows for more accurate casting

 

Cons

  • Requires a lot of maintenance

 

This reel is high-quality and accessible, which makes the whole fishing experience far more pleasant and relaxing. It comes in at a very reasonable budget but does need careful looking after to get the best out of it.

 

Overall Rating: 8/10

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel

The main feature of this offer from Piscifun is the near silent operation. It is a perfect choice if you need to be sneaky to capture your dream fish, and allows you to sit in total silence and concealment for as long as it takes.

 

Key Features

  • 18 pounds of drag
  • 1:1 gear ratio
  • Magnetic brake with 11 settings
  • Strong double wind shafts
  • Uses brass gears

 

What I Like

The main appeal of the Piscifun reel for me was the super quiet operation—it is barely above a whisper. If you are in a situation where silence is essential, this should absolutely be the first reel you turn to, as it is far more likely to grant a successful outcome.

 

What I Don’t Like

The low-profile design of this reel is often touted as one of the appealing factors, but this does mean that there is a limited amount of line available—this could become an issue depending on your aspirations and preferences.

 

 

Pros

  • Super quiet operation and performance
  • Great drag force allows you to tackle bigger fish with ease
  • Very flexible
  • Double wind shafts make retrieval much easier and less likely to tangle

 

Cons

  • Both the drag and the braking do require fairly frequent adjustment, even without needing to change the lure
  • The amount of available line is limited due to a low-profile design

 

If you need a reel that can help you stay as quiet as possible while you are hunting your prey, this could be a great choice. Quiet as a whisper, it allows you to stay discreet and concealed, increasing your chances of a successful outcome!

 

Overall Rating: 9/10

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Crankbait Reel Buying Guide

Finding the best crankbait reel is a challenge—it requires careful planning and research. A crankbait rod is primarily used for bass fishing and designed to cover water very quickly and explore a range of different depths. The reel you choose can have a significant impact on your overall fishing experience and can be the difference between a great catch and a disappointing trip. You can also check out this post for other great reels to enhance your fishing efficiency and comfort.

There are several factors to consider when choosing your reel, and it is important to understand these differences to help you make the best choice.

 

Ratio

The ratio of a reel is the number of times that the spool will rotate with each turn of the handle. For crankbait fishing, you will want to stick between 5.3 and 7.5 spool revolutions for each one revolution of the handle—this will give the lure a slower, more natural motion which is more likely to attract fish.

 

 

Line Recovery

The line recovery is responsible for controlling how much line will be retrieved with each crank. For a crankbait lure, the recovery should be in the low to mid-20s for the best results.

 

Bearings

The quality of the bearings is more important than the number you have. If your bearings are of a low-quality, they are more likely to lock up, causing you a headache down the line. The best options are those that are shielded, double-shielded, or sealed.

 

Final Thoughts

Picking the best crankbait reel for your needs is a tricky process, but the options we have listed above help you to narrow down your selection to the very best choices available. With this advice in mind, all that is left for you to do is to go forth and fish with confidence! We also recommend you check out spincast reels as they are also a great option for many anglers.

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