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Ranking The Best Bass Reel For Bass Fishing (2021)

Best Premium Choice
Abu Garcia Revo MG Xtreme- Overall

Abu Garcia Revo MG Xtreme- Best Casting Reel

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Best Overall Choice
Shimano Stradic Ci4+

Shimano Stradic Ci4+ Best Spinning Reel

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Best Budget Choice
Pflueger President XT- Budget

Pflueger President XT- Best Casting Reel for Under $100

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Kyle W by Kyle W Updated on April 23, 2021. In

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Fishing for bass is common among anglers, but you need a solid tool to succeed at the sport, whether you are an expert or beginner angler. As you may already know, using the wrong reel type for bass fishing can significantly reduce your fishing ability and may even end up discouraging you from fishing.

This article brings you reviews of some of the best bass reels currently available on the market, both in the casting and spinning categories. Don’t forget to read how to choose the best bass reel at the end of the reviews. There is a ton of useful information that is particularly helpful for beginners.

Reviews of the Best Bass Reels

Best Premium Choice

1. Abu Garcia Revo MG Xtreme- Best Casting Reel

Abu Garcia Revo MG Xtreme- Overall

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Specs

  • Weight: 4.5 oz
  • Max Drag: 12 lbs
  • Line Capacity: 145/10; 120/12; 105/14
  • Bearing: 11
  • Gear Ratio: 8:1

Featured Specs

The reel comes with two extra CeramiLite spool bearings in addition to 8 stainless steel HPCR bearings, plus one roller bearing. The result is increased corrosion protection and effortless cranking.

Additional Feature

The frame is extremely strong yet super light, thanks to the one-piece X-Mag alloy frame construction.

Buying Advice

Consider this option if you usually experience fatigue during long days on the water. The weight is very light, making it suitable for handling during extended fishing periods. It is also an excellent choice for beginner baitcastser anglers.

What’s not to love about the Revo MG Xtreme? Abu Garcia’s casting reel is every angler’s dream, and it is certainly deserving of the top spot as the best bass reel money can buy. At only 4.5 ounces, the casting reel is one of the lightest models available.

It is comfortable to hold and cranks up really nicely. The adjustable drag system has six different settings that give you the flexibility to fish in a variety of conditions.

In addition, you will enjoy the outstanding casting and retrieval performance of the reel. There is little to no chance of bird-nesting with the Revo MG Xtreme, even when you are using a light lure.

Anglers who want to splurge on one of the best casting reels for bass fishing should consider adding this to their arsenal.

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Extra smooth
  • Very durable construction

Cons

  • Cork handles can be better
Best Overall Choice

2. Shimano Stradic Ci4+ Best Spinning Reel

Shimano Stradic Ci4+

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Specs

  • Weight: 6.7 oz
  • Max Drag: 20 lbs
  • Line Capacity: 10/200; 20/140; 40/150
  • Bearing: 6 ball bearings and 1 roller bearing
  • Gear Ratio: 6.0:1

Featured Specs

The reel incorporates the new Magnumlite rotor that allows a super-light feel and minimizes tension at the end of your reel. The rotor in the CI4+ is 25% lighter than previous iterations.

Additional Feature

The reel comes with Shimano’s latest technology, including Carbon interfusion (Ci4+), G-Free body, Hagane gear, and Core Protect for overall improved performance.

Buying Advice

If you prefer spinning reels as opposed to casting reels, we recommend Shimano’s offering. The brand offers the best bass reels available in the market.

Shimano’s reel is a go-to choice for many anglers, and the brand has made some upgrades to the stradic spinning reel to improve performance.

To make the gear last longer, X-ship technology eliminates friction between the gear and spool shaft. The result is increased longevity and better operation.

While Shimano’s Stradic Ci4+ retains the performance features that pro anglers love so much, it added a new Magnumite Rotor technology.

This super-light rotor comes in an asymmetrical shape that allows for better rotation during retrieval. It is a practical addition that significantly reduces tension and makes the whole retrieval process a lot easier and hitch-free.

The reel doesn’t come with an anti-reverse switch, which doesn’t seem to make sense to many anglers, especially when you factor in the high price of the Stradic Ci4+.

If you can get over the lack of an anti-reverse switch, you will discover that this is arguably the best bass reel you can find anywhere.

Pros

  • Very smooth retrieval
  • Cranking is a lot easier with the new Magnumlite rotor
  • Extremely light reel
  • The anti-rust bearings make it suitable for use in saltwater

Cons

  • Lack anti-reverse switch
Best Budget Choice

3. Pflueger President XT- Best Casting Reel for Under $100

Pflueger President XT- Budget

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Specs

  • Weight: 6.8 oz
  • Max Drag: 12 lbs
  • Line Capacity: 145/12; 125/14; 100/17
  • Bearing: 9 ball bearings (corrosion-resistant stainless steel)
  • Gear Ratio: 7.3:1

Featured Specs

The reel comes in a low profile design that feels comfortable in the hand

Additional Feature

It features an externally adjustable brake that prevents backlash and controls spool rotation.

Buying Advice

This baitcaster retrieves so well there simply no chance of a backlash. Consider choosing this option if you want a highly durable casting reel at an affordable price.

This is arguably the best bass reel when it comes to baitcasters under $100. If you are just getting started with fish reels, you simply can’t go wrong with this option at its price range.

But the Pflueger President XT is not just about affordability. It features a Magnetic Braking System that makes backlash nearly impossible. The system also lets you get good spool rotation control in addition to long-distance casts.

Surprisingly, this reel is made from durable material. The handle is constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum for improved durability and a comfortable grip. This model fits nicely in your hand and doesn’t feel bulky, thanks to the XT low-profile design.

Pros

  • Excellent bearing reduces cranking effort
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum handle for maximum durability
  • Feels comfortable in the hand due to its low-profile design

Cons

  • Might have a slightly weak drag

4. Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning Reel- Runner-Up Spinning Reel

Pflueger Supreme XT Spinning Reel

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Specs

  • Weight: 6.8 oz
  • Max Drag: 10 lbs
  • Line Capacity: 255/4; 145/6; 130/8
  • Bearing: 10 ball bearings (corrosion-resistant)
  • Gear Ratio: 6.2:1

Featured Specs

Features a carbon handle that is 21% lighter than aluminum, making it a lot easier to crank

Additional Feature

A sealed carbon drag keeps the reel always smooth, and the feather-light construction of the magnesium body and rotor makes the reel extremely light yet strong.

Buying Advice

Consider getting this reel, especially if you experience difficulty in laying the line on your spool. The SMART retrieve feature ensures that every cast has a high-precision line lay.

The Pflueger’s Supreme XT Spinning Reel might just be what you are looking for if the price tag on Shimano’s offering is something you are not willing to part with, at least for a reel.

There are loads of impressive features with this model, but the most notable among them (at least for us) is the SMART retrieve technology.

Many anglers struggle to get a good cast and casting distance because it can sometimes be stressful to evenly lay the spool line. Pflueger’s SMART retrieve feature offers the perfect solution for that recurring and annoying problem.

The Supreme XT may not match Shimano in overall performance, but it is worth considering for its light weight, bearing system, and affordable price. Besides, it is not common to find a reel in this price category that beats Pflueger’s offering.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Features anti-reverse
  • Extremely light

Cons

  • Does not last as long as other reels

5. Abu Garcia Revo X- Best Spinning Reel for Under $100

Abu Garcia Revo X

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Specs

  • Weight: 7.5 oz
  • Max Drag: 10 lbs
  • Line Capacity: 140/4; 110/6; 80/8
  • Bearing: 6 stainless steel HPCR and 1 roller bearing
  • Gear Ratio: 6.2:1

Featured Specs

Noteworthy features include an IM-C6 (insert molded C6) body design, lightweight graphite motor, and carbon matrix hybrid drag system that all work in unison to produce a reliable, super-smooth performance every single time.

Additional Feature

The construction incorporates a Rocket Spool Lip design that enhances the line lay on the spool.

Buying Advice

The Rocket Line management system of this reel offers anglers better control, regardless of the fishing lines they use. Consider buying this one if you want an incredibly affordable spinning reel that is ready to go.

Looking for the best bass spinning reel that won’t hurt your wallet? Check out the Revo X from the popular fishing reel company, Abu Garcia. It is really difficult to beat this option for the price.

Revo X is clear proof that it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to own a good-quality, highly-functional, and lightweight spinning reel for bass fishing. For less than $100, you can buy this reel that comes with stainless steel HPCR plus roller bearing combo.

EVA handles allow you to comfortably fish for extended periods with hand fatigue. An X-crafty gearbox design and a lightweight graphite rotor ensure that the gear is in correct alignment, making it a lot easier to use the reel.

Abu Garcia made the Revo X in four size models, including Revo 2×10, Revo 2×20, Revo 2×30, and Revo 2×40, all of which are under $100. We picked the Revo 2×30 and recommend it for beginner anglers, especially those who want to use it for finesse applications.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Excellent build quality
  • Improved line management

Cons

  • Slightly heavier than other spinning reels

6. Daiwa Tatula CT Baitcast Fishing Reel- Runner-Up Casting Reel

Daiwa Tatula CT Baitcast Fishing Reel- Premium

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Specs

  • Weight: 7.4 oz
  • Max Drag: 13.2 lbs
  • Line Capacity: 14/120; 16/100
  • Bearing: 7 ball bearings and 1 roller bearing
  • Gear Ratio: 5.5:1

Featured Specs

The reel incorporates the Daiwa T-Wing System for preventing friction during cast and retrieval.

Additional Feature

It features the Magforce-Z Cast Control technology for casting accuracy.

Buying Advice

Consider this option for small water finesse applications. The drag makes it a great casting choice.

Here is a casting reel that can you can use for very accurate casting distance with every cast. The Daiwa Tatula CT Baitcast Fishing Reel combines Magforce-Z Cast Control technology with the T-Wing System to give you exceptional performance in terms of precise casts.

The baitcaster is designed for speedy spool unraveling to minimize the chances of your line getting tangled up during long-distance casts. The handle comes in an ergonomic design, making it very comfortable in your hand and increases cranking power.

The main downside with this casting reel is the weight. It is slightly heavier than many other options in the same range. However, the 13.2 drag rating is quite impressive. Overall, this is a good alternative to the Revo MG Xtreme, and it is a lot more affordable, too.

Pros

  • Handle knobs are extra-soft
  • Very smooth casting
  • Long-distance casting without tangling

Cons

  • Slightly heavy

Choosing the Best Bass Reels

Choosing the Best Bass Reels

You will notice that we listed the specifications for each of the best bass reels we reviewed. The reason for doing so is to help you decide what works best for you.

In case you haven’t figured out what those specs really mean, this section explains and shows you why those details are important. For starters, they are the factors you should consider when choosing the best bass reel.

Reel Weight

This is a no-brainer. The weight of your reel can impact your fishing experience, making it an enjoyable and worthwhile venture or a frustrating one. Lighter reels are more comfortable to handle, even when you spend the entire day fishing. There is less strain on your hand because of the lightness, which can increase your overall performance as an angler.

But you need to find a balance between the weight and durability of the reel. Many beginner anglers are quick to assume that the lightest reel (and the lightest fishing gears) is the best option. That is not necessarily correct, as lightness may negatively impact the reel’s strength and durability.

Drag Rating

A fish will naturally try to pull away when you catch it. The amount of resistance involved in the struggle is what a reel’s drag rating indicates. A high drag rating means the reel has a lot of resistance, and that makes for easier retrieval. The reverse is the case for a low drag rating.

Bass are good fighters and will struggle until they break free if you don’t have a solid hook set to drag them into your fishing boat. In other words, a high drag rating is what you should look for if you plan to fish bass.

Here’s the thing, though. Manufacturers usually make sure reels have enough drag for bass fishing, whether you choose a casting or spinning type. What you should be looking for is the quality of the drag washers.

Line Capacity

The line capacity indicates what the spool can accommodate. For example, 140/4 means your spool can take 140 yards of a 4-pound line.

Again, you do not need to worry too much about line capacity for bass fishing because you are not likely to finish an entire 140 yards of line (for example) just to bring in the bass.

Bearing

Reel bearing is the same, regardless of whether you are fishing for bass, trout, or any other type of fish. A smoother reel is the function of more bearings. But you want to choose bearings with a form of corrosion resistance such as stainless steel, as this will prevent quick wearing.

Gear Ratio

The gear ratio indicates the number of cranks required to rotate the fishing line. For example, a 6:1 ratio means the internal gear will turn six times for every one crank of the handle. In other words, you can save yourself a lot of hard labor by choosing reels with a higher gear ratio because you don’t have to crank so hard to pull your catch into the boat.

Casting Reel vs. Spinning Reel

We have included both casting and spinning reels in this review to give you a chance to decide what reels work best for you. Keep in mind that one type is not better than the other. Instead, both reel types excel in different situations.

A smart choice will be a casting reel or baitcaster if you are using a 20+ pound braided line with your lures. A baitcaster provides a stronger cranking ability in this situation. In addition, it will offer the power needed to reel in larger fish.

On the other hand, you will need a spinning reel if you have lightweight lures with small diameter lines of about 10 or 12-pound.

Here’s what all this comes down to. The major determining factors for choosing between a casting and spinning reel are your lure and line weight. Lightweight lures and smaller lines work best for spinning reels, while casting reels are best suited to heavier lures and thicker lines.

Another thing to keep in mind is your fishing rod. Some of these are available as casting rods, while others are spinning. You want to be sure of the type of rod you have so that you will pick a compatible reel.

Final Thoughts

We are sure you can now confidently choose the best bass reel for your purpose, whether your preference leans toward a casting or spinning reel.

The last thing we would recommend is for you to buy your preferred reel from reputable brands. Manufacturers such as Pflueger, Daiwa, Shimano, and Abu Garcia are well-known in the fishing community and highly respected among anglers because of their solid reputation for building high-performing reels.

You do not need to split hairs about minute details such as gear ratio or drag rating. You are good to go, as long as you choose a reel that makes sense to you from a reputable company.

You will likely not notice any difference between an 11-pound drag and a 12-pound drag. In fact, a 7:1 gear ratio might feel just about the same as a 6:1 gear ratio, so don’t worry too much about details. In any case, they won’t have too much impact on your catch.

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