Baitcaster reels are often intimidating because of the method required to stop the spool from spinning when casting the line. It’s not uncommon to experience backlash (often called bird nesting) when learning to cast a baitcaster.

Backlash occurs when the line continues to cast while the spool has stopped spinning. This causes a tangle known as a bird nest, which can be the bane of many anglers’ existence.

The Apex Elite is the perfect baitcaster reel that is not too big and not too small with features to back it up.

About the Apex Elite

Apex Elite

The Apex Elite by Ardent Outdoors is appropriately classified in the elite series because of how lightweight and high strength the reel is. The Apex Elite is the upgraded version of the Apex Tournament and Apex Ranger baitcaster reels, but it is not as heavy-duty as the Apex Grand and Apex Lightning models.

Why it Stands Out

The Apex Elite stands out because it is a baitcaster reel that has the best of both worlds. It is affordable yet full of features. It’s not as loaded (or expensive) as the Apex Grand or Apex Lightning, but it’s better than the Apex Tournament and Apex Ranger with many features to show for it.


  • 9 ounces
  • 150-yard line capacity
  • 12lb test
  • 12 + 1 ball bearing
  • 270 degree Mag Brake System
  • EVA grip knobs


  • Extremely lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Long line capacity and strength
  • Easy to cast
  • 3-year manufacturer’s warranty


  • Drag not as easy to adjust as similar Abu Garcia models
  • Can be noisy when reeling

The History of Ardent Outdoors

Ardent Outdoors, also known as Ardent Tackle LLC, was founded in 2003 in Saint Louis, Missouri. Ardent Outdoors was founded as a distributor of outdoor products, primarily focusing on fishing products. Ardent Outdoors operates fully in the United States with various marketing, sales, engineering, and shipping specialists to ensure the company provides quality service and products to each customer.

Today, Ardent Outdoors offers various products, including fishing rods, reels, line, accessories, and apparel.

Fish in Bucket

Things to Consider Before Buying a Low Profile Baitcaster

Drag, ball bearings, braking, and line capacity are just a few of the things you need to consider when purchasing a low profile baitcaster reel. These are important features because they will ultimately make using the reel more effective than reels that don’t have these features.

Adjustable Drag

Make sure you choose a reel that has a drag that can be easily adjusted. Adjusting the drag will allow you to make the exact adjustments necessary to wear down the fish you are reeling in through the tension you have created in the line.

Number of Ball Bearings

Ball bearings in a reel are important because this will affect both the smoothness and how easy the hook will be to set. A higher number of ball bearings will be smooth and increase the likelihood of setting the hook when the fish strikes.

Braking System

The braking system of the reel will help prevent backlash (bird nests) from occurring when casting. If you want to avoid as much backlash as possible, choose a reel with a highly reputable braking system.

Line Capacity

Line capacity refers to the length of line that the spool of the reel can hold, so you will need to consider this feature if you will be targeting fish that often run when hooked.

Features and Benefits of the Apex Elite

The 270-degree braking system, high-strength and lightweight aluminum frame, and EVA grips on the knobs of the handle are the most prominent features and benefits of the Apex Elite.

270-Degree Adjustable Magnetic Braking System

The 270-degree adjustable magnetic braking system minimizes the chance that backlash will occur during your cast.

About the Apex Elite

Lightweight Aluminum Design

The Apex Elite is made of aircraft-grade aluminum, which makes it lightweight yet durable. It weighs only 5.9 ounces but is made of strong aluminum that allows the reel to stand up to at least 12 pounds of line test.

Lightweight Aluminum Design

EVA Grips

The knobs of the handle are made of EVA foam. This makes the handles comfortable and easy to hold.

Adjustable Magnetic Braking System


When you’re looking for a baitcaster reel that won’t break the bank and is packed with features, the Apex Elite is the one you should choose. The adjustable magnetic braking system with large line capacity and 12+1 ball bearing all make it a great option for low profile baitcaster reels.