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10 Best Baitcasting Reels of 2021 Reviewed

Best Overall Choice
Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast Low Profile – Overall

Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast Low Profile

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Best Budget Choice
Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Baitcaster Fishing Reel – Best Budgets

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Baitcaster Fishing Reel

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Best Premium Choice
Shimano Calcutta B Round Reel - Best Premiums

Shimano Calcutta B Round Reel - Best Premium

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Kyle W by Kyle W Updated on April 3, 2021.

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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 of 2021.

Our Top Baitcasting Reels for Every Budget

1. KastKing Royale Legend Low-Profile – Best for Beginners

KastKing Royale Legend Low-Profile

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This ultra-smooth and efficient baitcaster comes with a 7:1 gear ratio, which proves best for pitching, flipping, and much more. The modern dual brake design makes this baitcaster an easy choice to hit on to fishing. It is very affordable and considered best for beginners who want to learn the art of fishing. However, it won’t be as long-lasting as other reels. Overall, it is a good bet for beginners as it is light in weight, affordable, and provides smooth casting.

Pros

  • Light in weight
  • Smooth cast
  • Best for beginners
  • Various color options to choose from

Cons

  • Not durable like other reels
Best Overall Choice

2. Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast Low Profile

Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast Low Profile – Overall

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The Revo series of Abu Garcia has manufactured some of the best-selling baitcasters of all time, and Toro Beast is no exception. It comes with an easy-to-hold lightweight design, the same sleek lines, and a low-profile shape. Additionally, you can expect a smooth action due to the presence of eight stainless-steel bearings.

The frame and side plates are both corrosion-resistant. The rod also uses DuraGear heavy-duty parts along with the Power Stack Carbon Matrix Drag System, making it one of the most durable options of reels mentioned on the list.

Best Budget Choice

3. Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Baitcaster Fishing Reel

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Baitcaster Fishing Reel – Best Budgets

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This round baitcasting reel can be found in multiple models. If you’re looking for a round profile baitcasting reel for the smoothest experience, this particular model from Abu Garcia can be your best bet. Whatever model you choose, both have 3+1 stainless steel ball bearings, a 6-pin centrifugal brake system, and a 5.3:1 gear ratio.

It is fishing gear that is power-packed with performance and at a great price. However, it is important to note that it is a bit heavier. So, if weight is not your concern, this round profile baitcasting reel will work best for all types of fishing expeditions.

There are many other popular baitcasting models available from this brand. You might be interested in checking out the review of one such prominent Abu Garcia Pro Max Low Profile Baitcasting Reel.

Pros

  • Comes with 4 ball bearings
  • Round baitcaster provides power-packed performance
  • Recommended for catfish fishing
  • Great price

Cons

  • Users have faced drag issues

4. Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel - Best Value

Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel - Best Value

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While you may not have heard about this brand, it manufactures products that have solid reviews and ratings. One feature that catches the attention is the high gear ratio of 7.1:1. It is also durable and super light as it has a high-grade carbon drag system. The feature of corrosion-resistant ball bearings is a plus. Overall, this reel sounds promising that it can handle the big fish you are planning to chase.

Pros

  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Smooth casts
  • Large handle
  • Great value

Cons

  • Some users have faced backlash

5. Lew’s BB1 Speed Spool Baitcasting Reel – Best Under $200

Lew’s BB1 Speed Spool Baitcasting Reel – Best Under $200

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Lew’s baitcasters have taken an integral place among the fishing community for years. Every newly launched model takes time-tested features and comes with a better design that uses advanced technology and materials. Like any other Lew’s baitcasters, the BB1 Speed Spool, too, is no exception.

It provides the perfect balance that every professional wants in a baitcaster – a lightweight rod with solid construction. The drag is super strong even when it just weighs 6.5 ounces. The 6-pins braking system gives you the flexibility to adjust accordingly. Lastly, you can easily keep track of your settings due to an audible click emitted by both the tension knob and brake dial.

Pros

  • More line capacity for long casting
  • Stronger as well as a lighter version of a time-tested design
  • Quick and easy set up
  • Easily adjustable 6-pin centrifugal braking system

Cons

  • The only gear ratio available in a left-handed model is 3:1

6. Shimano Curado K Baitcasting Reel - Best Versatility

Shimano Curado K Baitcasting Reel - Best Versatility

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Do you know the best part of this baitcasting reel? It is ergonomically designed and can easily fit in your palm, giving you the desired control. Being light in weight, it is easy to maneuver. It uses the latest gearing technique, i.e., micro-module gearing, and only uses high-quality parts that guarantee a smooth and consistent fishing experience.

If you’re looking for a baitcasting reel for lures like spinners, crankbaits, and heavier jigs, this is the ideal option. It offers three gear ratios – 6.2:1, 7.4:1, and 8.5:1, so you have options to choose from according to your requirements.

Pros

  • Quality parts and durable construction
  • Smooth and consistent pressure due to the Cross Carbon Drag
  • Compact and light in weight
  • Great performance while casting
  • Provides exact adjustments

Cons

  • Not suitable for big fishes

7. Daiwa Coastal TWS Casting Reel – Best Inshore Saltwater

Daiwa Coastal TWS Casting Reel – Best Inshore Saltwater

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The Daiwa Coastal TWS casting reel consists of a deep spool that is manufactured using aircraft-grade aluminum. It is specifically designed to withstand exposure to saltwater. The TWS, i.e., T Wing System, contributes to reducing line friction, ultimately allowing you to cast long while having better line control.

This baitcasting reel is durable and light in weight and comes with high strength gears that are built to last long with great performance. You can consider getting this casting reel for tackling the striped bass or any other large fish as it has a drag of 15.4lbs.

Moreover, the seven ball bearings and one roller bearing will last 12 times longer than any other normal bearings as it is resistant to corrosion. Last, but not least, you can experience minimized backlash due to Magforce Cast Control. Overall, it is one of the top-rated baitcasting reels on this list.

Pros

  • Strong and durable
  • Light in weight
  • Great price
  • Improved casting distance
  • Extra spool capacity

Cons

  • This low-profile reel is not best for offshore fishing

8. Pflueger President XT Low Profile Reel - Best Approachable

Pflueger President XT Low Profile Reel - Best Approachable

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This baitcasting reel is a connecting link between a beginner baitcaster and the advanced tournament reel. It comes with a low-profile design and a magnetic braking system that can be adjusted externally. The braking system is good enough to control the spool, which ultimately assists in reducing backlash. It is manufactured with a 9 Bearing system using corrosion-resistant stainless-steel bearings. Additionally, the soft-touch rubber knob gives an enhanced grip.

Pros

  • Light and compact baitcasting reel
  • A dependable bass fishing reel having great features similar to other expensive models
  • Little to no backlash
  • Cork handle finish
  • Enhanced grip

Cons

  • There is a little gear ratio variation
  • Only the right-hand model is available

9. Abu Garcia Black Max Low Profile Baitcasting Fishing Reel - Best Accuracy

Abu Garcia Black Max Low Profile Baitcasting Fishing Reel - Best Accuracy

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Known for delivering quality baitcasting reels, Abu Garcia already has a big fan following and for obvious reasons. Black Max, too, is yet another great mid-entry level option to consider as it comes with a lightweight design and a one-piece graphite frame with slide plates. It uses four stainless steel ball bearings and a MagTrax brake system to boost casting range and accuracy. You can expect an ergonomic grip as it comes with a compact bent handle and recessed reel.

Pros

  • Value for money
  • Comes with machine aluminum spool and power disk drag system
  • Best for anglers who prefer finesse over style

Cons

  • Takes time to adjust the settings that can match your preferred casting range
Best Premium Choice

10. Shimano Calcutta B Round Reel - Best Premium

Shimano Calcutta B Round Reel - Best Premiums

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This is another round reel option to consider if you’re looking for quality, versatility, and durability. The centrifugal brake system is quite impressive, creating desired drags on the spool. These brake weights are adjustable and can be turned off and on to control the speed of the spool.

It works best while greatly reducing backlashes. The Calcutta provides six different models, so depending on your requirement, you can choose from a reel that is ultra-light to some heavier gear applications. Overall, they can last a lifetime if they are maintained properly.

Pros

  • Anti-rust bearings
  • Uses Variable Brake System (VBS)
  • Instant hook setting power
  • Increased strength and durability
  • High-quality metal construction
  • Ergonomic design

Cons

  • Need to maintain well
  • The level-wind version has some plastic parts

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.

Longer Casts

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.

More Power

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.

10 Best Baitcasting Reels Reviews

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.

Gear Ratio

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.

Spool Size

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.

Ball Bearings

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.

Construction

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.

Round Profile

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.

Low Profile

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.

Braking Systems

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.

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