10 Best Baitcasting Reels of 2023 Reviewed
Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast Low Profile
Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Baitcaster Fishing Reel
Shimano Calcutta B Round Reel - Best Premium
Baitcasting reels are the way to go if you plan to take your fishing game to the next level.
Every angler has varying preferences with regard to species, geography, and techniques. This means a baitcasting reel that may be best for one angler may not necessarily suit another.
Without proper knowledge of baitcasting reels’ typical features, it can be very easy to get overwhelmed. So, it becomes imperative for you as an angler to understand your requirements as you’ll be choosing from a ton of options.
Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, this comprehensive guide lets you explore some of the best baitcasting reels that can help you master your favorite fishing techniques.
Even though baitcasting reels are becoming popular, some anglers still prefer spinning reels for various reasons. Are you one of them? You may want to check out some of the best spinning reels.
Our Top Baitcasting Reels for Every Budget
What is a Baitcasting Reel?
Simply put, a baitcasting reel is fishing gear that allows for extra control when casting your lure exactly where it needs to go.
In addition to various fishing types, an angler also needs to choose from various casting methods. The two casting methods commonly used for fishing are spin casting and baitcasting. It involves choosing the type of reel and rod for fishing.
A baitcasting reel is one of the essential things to consider when you start your fishing journey. Why? Let’s find out.
When you cast with the baitcasting reel, it sits on top of the rod, making the spool parallel to the rod rather than perpendicular like the spincast reel. Moreover, with a baitcasting reel, you have large rings placed on the top of the rod. So, when you are baitcasting, the spool moves along with the line. This design helps you improve your cast in terms of accuracy and distance.
Benefits of Using Baitcasting Reels
Casting Control and Accuracy
One major advantage of baitcasting reels over spinning reels is the casting control. While casting a baitcasting reel, your thumb can control the speed of the spool. So, you can either stop or slow down the spool, as required. You can do the same thing with spinning reels, but only up to a certain extent, and with two hands. This casting control feature makes baitcasting reels prominent with bass fishermen and the other anglers who target various water features.
Enhanced Drag Function
The drag control in baitcasting reels is much better than spinning reels. The line must make a 90-degree turn while using a spinning reel. Doing so will pull the line against the drag, ultimately adding friction leading to drag sticking. On the other hand, the line will be pulled directly off the spool, using baitcasting reels. So, there is no added friction. This ultimately results in smoother drag start-up as well as a consistent drag pressure.
If paired with the right rod, baitcasters can easily work better than spinning gear. Compared to a spinning outfit’s uncoiling, the line comes directly off the spool providing longer casts. Simply said, you cannot beat the baitcasters if you’re bombing hard baits.
Less Line Twist
Line twist is considered to be an enemy of good casting. As compared to spinning reels, the baitcasting reels have lesser problems with line twist as they spool the line vertically with the spool axis. So, the only twist that your line will face is the one coming from your lure.
The spool layout and design help baitcasters to have more power than spinning reels. As the spool is in-line with gears and handles, the reel can apply more power and spin.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Baitcasting Reel
Anglers exhibit different preferences when it comes to fishing techniques, geography as well as species. So, consider the following characteristics to make sure you end up choosing the right baitcasting reel.
If you’re a professional, you know how important it is to consider the gear ratio. It refers to the number of times the spool turns while you spin the handle. So, determine how fast you can retrieve your lure as you get various gear ratios to choose from.
For example, the baitcasting reel with a 3:1 ratio will turn the spool three times when rotating the handle. So, how will you decide the ratio? Simple. Determine the type of lures you are planning to use.
Go for a gear ratio of 5:1 if you’re using soft plastics. If a lure demands swift action, it is recommended to go for a 7:1 gear ratio.
Once you’ve decided on the gear ratio, the next thing to consider is the spool size. It depends on the target you’re planning to chase. If you’re after a bigger and stronger fish, you’ll need a heavier line, which means a heavier spool capable of holding that line.
The bearing count is not that important; however, make sure that the chosen baitcasting reel includes quality ball bearings. It is best to consider one that has sealed bearings or shielded bearings.
Which material are you looking for? Generally, anglers prefer all-metal reels, with aluminum being the desirable choice. Some reels use a combination of aluminum frames with graphite side plates, giving the desired strength required for casting.
Other metal gears that use stainless steel or brass are also known for their performance and durability. No matter what material you choose, remember that the end product should be free of gaps and tightly fitted.
Profile – Low or Round?
Initially, the baitcasting reels were available in round profile. However, manufacturers introduced low-profile reels as soon as they became popular with freshwater anglers.
Each style has pros and cons, so it is crucial to understand your preferences, which enable you to make a decision.
The round baitcasting reels generally use all-metal, making them a bit heavier than the low-profile reels. However, at the same time, the same construction is suited for saltwater applications as the all-metal makes the reels more corrosion resistant.
Round reels are bulkier than low-profile reels. This allows them to hold more line than the latter. They are also a good choice for anglers who indulge in targeting larger, heavier species like salmon, pike, steelhead, or muskies.
The design of low-profile baitcasting reels is similar to that with round profiles. The only difference is a smaller spool and elongated side plates. This option provides a similar level of power and spin, like round reels. Still, they are not efficient enough to hold as much line as round reels do (not to forget, they still have better potential of holding more line than any other average spinning reel).
Low-profile baitcasting reels weigh less and are way easier to cast than round reels. In fact, some anglers feel that it provides better contact with the lure as it can fit in the palms while fishing. These reels may not be suitable for large species but are an excellent choice for catching bass or larger panfish like crappies.
You should also consider the braking system because it helps to create the required friction while fishing. The majority of baitcasting reels come with two kinds of braking systems: centrifugal and magnetic. You may even find certain reels with a dual braking mechanism.
The centrifugal braking system comes with 4-6 brakes, which you can consider switching on and off based on your needs. It basically creates friction by pressing the pins against the spool. You can further change the resistance by removing a side plate and adding or removing the pins on all the spool’s sides.
On the other hand, the magnetic brakes create friction through magnets. So, the contact between the surfaces is nil. You can adjust the magnetic brakes by simply turning the dial or knob on the reel’s outer surface. You don’t need to open the reel body here.
In short, the centrifugal braking system will provide the required control during the initial seconds of a cast, while the magnetic braking system will take a moment for its application.
The Final Verdict
Every baitcasting reel listed above can be a great choice. However, each option comes with its pros and cons, so the ‘best’ for you will only be determined based on your preference and criteria. For instance, if you have a budget constraint, you’ll try to choose from options that are less than $100. This ultimately will narrow down your choice to consider options like Piscifun Torrent or KastKing Royale Legend.
But don’t worry, these budget-friendly options don’t compromise on performance and quality, so you’re surely going to experience a smooth cast with them. That being said, if you are the angler who wants to have a top-grade quality with a variety of fancy features, then Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast Low Profile Reel can be your best bet. Although it is expensive, it’s a smart investment if you want a high-end reel to last for years.
No matter what you choose, practice until you get the drift of your new baitcasting reel. Once you get it, you’re sure to experience continued hours of pleasant fishing.