Best Baitcasting Reels for Every Occasion

While a spinning reel has its own perks, there are many situations where a baitcasting reel can prove to be a far superior choice.

Baitcasting reels afford you much more control over casting distance, feature on average much higher reel strength, and are much more accommodating towards more weighty fishing lines.

Daiwa TACT-R100H TATULA CT Baitcast Reel, Black
KastKing Royale Legend Baitcasting Reels,Elite Series Fishing Reel,8.1:1 Gear Ratio,Right Handed,Rage Red
Pflueger President XT Low Profile Reel
Piscifun Torrent Right Handed 7.1:1 Baitcasting Reel 18LB Carbon Fiber Drag Low Profile Baitcaster Fishing Reel Tournament Baitcast Reels
Abu Garcia 1365366 Black Max Low Profile Reel, 6.4: 1 Gear Ratio, 5 Bearings, 26" Retrieve Rate, 18Lb Max Drag, RH, Boxed
MSRP
$149.99
Price not available
$79.99
$45.99
Price not available
Our Rating
96
92
88
86
85
UTD
13.2 lbs
17,65 lbs
12 lbs
18 lbs
18 lbs
Bearings
7+1
11+1
9
5+1
4+1
Weight
7.2oz
7.2oz
6.8 oz
8 oz
7.3 oz
Material
High Grade Aluminum
High Grade Aluminum, Stainless Steel
High Grade Aluminum, Graphite
Graphite
High Grade Aluminum, Graphite
Line Capacity
MONO:14/120, 16/100
MONO 12/130, 50/130
MONO 12/145, 17/100
MONO 10 /120, 30 /120
MONO 12/145, 20/140
Daiwa TACT-R100H TATULA CT Baitcast Reel, Black
MSRP
$149.99
Our Rating
96
UTD
13.2 lbs
Bearings
7+1
Weight
7.2oz
Material
High Grade Aluminum
Line Capacity
MONO:14/120, 16/100
More Information
KastKing Royale Legend Baitcasting Reels,Elite Series Fishing Reel,8.1:1 Gear Ratio,Right Handed,Rage Red
MSRP
Price not available
Our Rating
92
UTD
17,65 lbs
Bearings
11+1
Weight
7.2oz
Material
High Grade Aluminum, Stainless Steel
Line Capacity
MONO 12/130, 50/130
More Information
Pflueger President XT Low Profile Reel
MSRP
$79.99
Our Rating
88
UTD
12 lbs
Bearings
9
Weight
6.8 oz
Material
High Grade Aluminum, Graphite
Line Capacity
MONO 12/145, 17/100
More Information
Piscifun Torrent Right Handed 7.1:1 Baitcasting Reel 18LB Carbon Fiber Drag Low Profile Baitcaster Fishing Reel Tournament Baitcast Reels
MSRP
$45.99
Our Rating
86
UTD
18 lbs
Bearings
5+1
Weight
8 oz
Material
Graphite
Line Capacity
MONO 10 /120, 30 /120
More Information
Abu Garcia 1365366 Black Max Low Profile Reel, 6.4: 1 Gear Ratio, 5 Bearings, 26" Retrieve Rate, 18Lb Max Drag, RH, Boxed
MSRP
Price not available
Our Rating
85
UTD
18 lbs
Bearings
4+1
Weight
7.3 oz
Material
High Grade Aluminum, Graphite
Line Capacity
MONO 12/145, 20/140
More Information

Baitcasting reels do take a bit more bit time to get used to, but once you grow confident in its handling, the biggest benefit is a much higher chance of you landing a successful catch, especially when it comes to large fish.

Whether it is for your deep waters fishing needs, or if you are just looking to upgrade your gear to catch a bigger-sized bass, in this guide, we list down the best baitcasting reels for every occasion.

Continue reading and find out which one is exactly the right choice for you.

Best Overall – Daiwa Tatula CT Baitcast Reel

Daiwa Tatula CT Type-R Baitcast Fishing Reels Review

When it comes to baitcasting reels, lighter is always better. Weighing at just 7.2 oz, the Daiwa Tatula CT Type-R is one among the lightest ones out there.

However, this doesn’t mean that there is any compromise on toughness. The reel’s spool is composed of A7075 grade aluminum, the kind used in military aircraft design, and the frame is made an equality durable aluminum variant.

You can trust this reel to be both highly durable and long-lasting, and capable of handling sustained abuse terrifically on your fishing trips.

The baitcasting reel comes featured with Daiwa’s patented T-Wing system and Magforce Z Cast Control.

The T-Wing system helps improve your casting distance by reducing the friction on the line as it flows out from the reel. And, when it is time to retrieve the line, it is dropped to the narrower portion of the T-Wing, significantly reducing backlash.

The Magforce Z Cast Control feature, which makes use of magnets, enhances the braking function of the reel, also ensuring a smoother and more controlled line casting and preventing backlash.

For a better reeling performance, the baitcaster also comes featured with a corrosion-resistant eight bearing system. Equipped with a heavy-duty drive gear too, this baitcasting reel manages to achieve an Ultimate Tournament Drag of a decent 13.2 lbs max.

The baitcasting reel is one of the best we have tried our hands on, with little to no drawbacks. However, if there is anything to criticize about, it is that the magnetic anti-backlash settings are a bit tricky to get used to.

Key Specifications

  • UTD: 13.2 lbs
  • Bearings: 7+1
  • Weight: 7.2oz
  • Material: High-Grade Aluminum
  • Line Capacity: MONO: 14/120, 16/100

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Strong Durable Construction
  • Very smooth line casting and control
  • Reduces backlash
  • Excellent Grip

Cons

  • Anti-magnetic settings are tricky to get used to

Key Takeaway

For general use, this is definitely one of the top baitcasting reels currently on the market. Unless you are after a reel for a very specific specialized purpose, you can’t go wrong with this purchase.

Runner Up – KastKing Royale Legend Baitcasting Reel

KastKing Royale Legend Baitcasting Reel Review

KastKing is an easily recognizable and reputable brand when it comes to fishing gear. The company is known for high quality, yet affordable, products and their Royale Legend Baitcasting Reels – Elite Series is no exception.

The first attention should be given to its overall construction. This compact and futuristic baitcasting reel is one of the smallest manufactured by the company. The reel features a very ergonomic design that fits effortlessly in your palm.

Both the spool and frame is composed of high- grade aluminum, is resistant to corrosion, and can withstand abuse well. The main shaft, as well as the kick-lever, is made of stainless steel.

Accessing the spool is easy thanks to the patented ‘Ergo’Twist’ release switch on the reel. Since the switch remains attached to the frame, you have the certainty that it will never get lost.

To enhance performance and reduce drag tension, the reel makes use of carbon drag washers, which also helps in the effective delivery of 17.6 lbs of max drag power.

The baitcasting reel’s excellent magnetic braking system ensures much smoother and controlled casting, and features ten control levels that help you avoid overruns and prevents backlash.

To better suit an angler’s preferences and fishing styles, the Elite Series baitcasting reel is offered in 4 different color-coded gear-ratio systems.

Each features ultra-durable brass gears that you can be guaranteed won’t wear out quickly. One genuine criticism, however, is that the gears are not as smooth as one would prefer.

Key Specifications

  • UTD: 17.65 lbs
  • Bearings: 11+1
  • Weight: 7.2oz
  • Material: High Grade Aluminum, Stainless Steel
  • Line Capacity: MONO 12/130, 50/130

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Strong Durable Construction
  • Smooth line casting and control
  • Reduces backlash
  • Excellent Grip
  • Available in different gear ratios
  • Ergonomic design

Cons

  • Not exactly the one with the smoothest gears out there

Key Takeaway

The Elite Series offers pretty much the same level of quality and function as many, more premium baitcasting reels. For the price it is being offered at, the product is almost a steal.

Best Low Profile – Pflueger President XT Low Profile Reel

Pflueger President XT Low Profile Reel Review

In terms of design, low profile baitcasters boasts two advantages over their more conventional round counterparts – being more compact and lightweight.

If you are on the lookout good baitcasting reels on the market that are low profile, Pflueger President XT is one of the best out there. It is remarkably lightweight – weighing just 6.8 oz.

Composed of aircraft-grade aluminum and graphite, the reel is corrosion/rust resistant, and very durable against wear and tear that can arise from extended usage.

For better casting control and precision as well as smoother retrieval, the baitcasting reels feature a superb 6-pin centrifugal magnetic braking system.

Thanks to the adjustable dials, you can change the cast control settings instantly as the fishing conditions change. It features an anti-reverse stainless steel 9-bearing system which can be switched on and off at will.

For sturdier handling and extra durability, the reel comes with high-performance C45 carbon side plates. Thanks to its oversized ergonomic rubber cork handles, you are able to maintain an excellent grip on the reel during your fishing sessions.

Key Specifications

  • UTD: 12 lbs
  • Bearings: 9
  • Weight: 6.8 oz.
  • Material: High-Grade Aluminum, Graphite
  • Line Capacity: MONO 12/145, 17/100

 Pros

  • Very lightweight
  • Ultra-durable construction
  • Excellent Grip
  • Smooth line casting and control
  • Reduces backlash

Cons

  • Not the most high-end baitcasting reel systems

Key Takeaway

When it comes to quality, Pflueger is a brand that rarely makes any compromise. Their reel is incredibly lightweight, but also among the toughest ones in its price range. This purchase will easily last you a good number of years.

Best for the Money – Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel

Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel 18LB Review

Not every one of us can manage to dole out a significant sum for our fishing gear, but that doesn’t mean that one needs to compromise on quality.

If you are shopping for a baitcasting reel on a strict budget, then the Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel may well be one of the best choices out there.

Despite its low price, this low-profile baitcasting reel packs plenty in terms of quality and functionality.

Thanks to carbon fiber washers, the reel can afford a max drag of up to 18 lbs, ample enough to handle big game fish without risk of breaking. The double line winding shaft ensures better stability on the reel, and enhances line strength.

Durability-wise, this reel is no slacker either. Its body is made from composite graphite, and is highly resistant to corrosion from the elements.

The gears are made of reinforced brass while the bearings are that of rust-free stainless steel. Whether it is fishing in the freshwater or saltwater setting, you can make sure that this reel won’t be requiring regular maintenance and tuning to continue to function properly.

To ensure better control over line casting and reduce backlash, the reel also boasts a potent magnetic brake system with 10-control adjustable settings. A nifty little feature that we particularly liked on this baitcasting reel was the quick access oil port.

For the novice and experienced anglers alike, it makes properly oiling the casting reel a much simpler and hassle-free process.

As for any drawbacks, while it certainly an exceptional reel for the price, don’t expect it to offer the same level of casting distance and smoothness as pricier, more high-end baitcasting reels.

Key Specifications

  • UTD: 18 lb
  • Bearings: 5+1
  • Weight: 8 oz
  • Material: Graphite
  • Line Capacity: MONO 10 /120, 30 /120

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Great value for money
  • Affordable
  • Smooth line casting and control
  • Reduces backlash

Cons

  • Cast distance and smoothness not comparable to more higher-end options

Key Takeaway

Piscifun’s baitcaster is probably one of the best baitcasting reels for the money that you can currently find on the market. Consider it if more higher-end reels are out of your budget range.

Best Alternative – Abu Garcia Black Max Baitcasting Reel

Abu Garcia Black Max Low Profile Baitcasting Fishing Reel Review

Abu Garica is another well-known name when it comes to fishing gear products. Their baitcasting reel is affordable, performs remarkably, and is quite durable.

The reel’s frame is a single piece graphite structure, which helps it reduce weight without compromising on toughness.

The spool is made from high-grade aluminum, which can withstand the effects of corrosion from the elements incredibly well. A small handle that is slightly bent ensures that handling the reel is comfortable at all times.

Thanks to its Magtrax brake system, you are promised an almost silky smooth casting, and with adjustable settings, you are better in control of your casting distance which allows for more accuracy.

The power disk system helps against backlash and allow for more stable handling.

As for any shortcomings, the reel has two worth a mention. The first is minor – the feel of the reel does not feel substantive. The second, more major one is that the reel may need to be thoroughly washed and oiled after every use, which is a lot of hassle.

Key Specifications

  • UTD: 18 lbs
  • Bearings: 4+1
  • Weight: 7.3 oz
  • Material: High-grade aluminum, graphite
  • Line Capacity: MONO 12/145, 20/140

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Smooth line casting and control
  • Reduces backlash
  • Excellent Grip

Cons

  • Construction feels cheap
  • Frequent maintenance is a hassle

Key Takeaway

If you’re a beginner, the Black Max should be your first baitcaster. It’s smooth, casts far, and has plenty of drag while being very easy to use and maintain.

However, it packs in just enough performance to also be not a bad choice for seasoned anglers.

Baitcasting Reel FAQ

What Is the Baitcasting Reel Used For?

As we mentioned before, a baitcaster holds three advantages – better control over casting distance, higher reel strength, and being able to accommodate heavier fishing lines.

This makes baitcasting reels ideal for casting lures such as jigs, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits, as well as for fishing techniques where precision and focus are essential. Also, because of its mentioned advantages, baitcasting reels are often the best choice for tackling large catches.

Baitcasting reels are often not recommended for beginners as a certain level of thumb finesse and skill is required to cast a line properly with them. So if you are new to fishing, a conventional spinning reel would be a better option.

How Do You Cast a Baitcasting Reel?

how to cast a baitcasting reel

The proper casting of a baitcasting reel can be a tad bit more difficult compared to a standard reel, especially for first-time novices. However, with a little practice, it can be mastered.

To cast, turn the rod so the reel handles point up and grip it properly with your thumb resting over the reel. Then, press the spool release button if your reel comes featured with.

Bend your casting arm at the elbow until the rod tip goes past 90 degrees, and then quickly sweep it forward until the rod reaches eye level – around 30 degrees above completely horizontal. Press down on the reel spool with your thumb to stop the bait when it reaches the targeted area.

Congratulations! You have successfully cast a baitcasting reel.

Why Is Baitcaster Better Than Spinning?

Spinning reels hold plenty of their own advantages such as being easier to learn, use and maintain, and have little or no backlash.

However, for certain fishing scenarios, such as where a heavier line or lure is being employed and the target is large – a baitcaster will always be better than spinning.

Plus, baitcasters afford better accuracy and control, enabling you to aim for a particular spot and hit it right every time. In case of a bad cast, you can also quickly stop the line from flowing and avoid running into any potential issues.

Not surprisingly, baitcasters are highly favored by experienced anglers for fishing purposes.

How Do You Prevent Backlash on a Baitcaster?

prevent blacklash on baitcaster

Backlash is a term used to describe a casting occurrence where the lure slows down after casting, but the spool does not. This can result in a tangled line, also known as a ‘bird’s next.’

Compared to conventional spinning reels, the risk of such backlashes on baitcasters are much higher.

Fortunately, many of the top baitcasting reels, such as the ones we mentioned on our list, have mechanisms in place to significantly reduce chances of backlash.

However, there are also a few things you can do yourself to help eliminate the risk of backlash. When using a new baitcaster, dial the brake setting to the max and do a test cast.

Adjust the settings until the tension on the spool is just right. You need your lure to fall at just the right spend from the cast; it should be neither too high nor low of a speed.

Another thing you can do is practice casting for short distances. Once you get used to the baitcaster, you can try moving to overhand.

Lastly, make sure to cast your line in the direction of the wind, not against it. Otherwise, the wind can slow down your lure and increase the chance of backlash.

What Kind of Line Do You Use on a Baitcaster?

new baitcast reel on rod

There are three main types of lines you can use on your baitcaster – Monofilament, Braided, and Fluorocarbon.

Monofilament lines boast higher elasticity. This makes them easier to untangle in case of a backlash. However, this very elasticity is also a drawback in that it makes it harder for an angler to ‘feel’ what their line has hooked.

Braided lines are very opposite of monofilaments. They are stiff but are high in strength.

They are useful for catching large fishes as they do not break easily and also hold the advantage of being very sensitive to movement. However, braided lines are not recommended for beginners as the risk of backlash is higher, and trying to untangle them is guaranteed to be a headache.

Lastly, fluorocarbon lines combine the advantages of the two above mentioned lines but carry a significant drawback in the form of a much higher price.

Concluding Note

When looking to buy a baitcasting reel, there are a few common factors you should incorporate into your judgment on which one would be the best for you.

The first, of course, is your budget, which can help you better narrow down your choices in a sea of listings available.

Another is to find the correct gear ratio, which has a significant impact on the swiftness of your bait retrieve. The higher the difference in gear ratio, the quicker would be the retrieve.

Getting the gear ratio right is essential to successful fishing of your targeted fish species as different lures and bait are most compatible with varying speeds of retrieve.

Comfort is also an important criterion to factor in while judging. Comfort and good grip not only can help eliminate the unneeded frustration but actually be vital for an angler to more accurately and efficiently cast their lines.

The best baitcasting reels should be easy to work with, lightweight, and ergonomically designed so that they operate effortlessly in your palms.

Each of the products mentioned in our baitcasting reel reviews has been highly rated by past customers, and we employed our own testing and research as well to narrow down the absolute best ones available.

We hope you found our buying guide to be useful and helped you make a better, more informed decision on the purchase of a baitcasting reel.


Best Baitcasting Reels for Every Occasion 1

Roy Ericson

Roy Ericson started fishing when he was just a boy, like many of us did. He spent far too much time on the piers not being able to catch anything, until his uncle brought him deep sea fishing, out to the lakes of Michigan, where he lived, and to the various ponds in neighboring states. He’s been all over, caught over 400 different species of fish, and doesn’t believe you should embellish your stories. He’s just here to teach you about his absolute favorite thing in the world: fishing.