A baitcaster reel keeps your rod and the spool parallel to one another and goes especially well with braided line, fluorocarbon, and monofilament lines. You’re going to buy your first baitcasting reel, and you want it to be a good one. What are the top options?
These are the 10 best baitcasting reels:
- Lew’s HyperMag Speed Spool Baitcast Reel
- Abu Garcia Ambassadeur SX Baitcast Reel
- Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel
- Shimano Curado DC Low-Profile Baitcasting Reel
- KastKing Royale Legend II Baitcasting Reel
- Lew’s Tournament MP Speed Spool LFS Baitcasting Reel
- Daiwa TATULA LT
- Shimano Tranx Baitcast Reel
- 13 Fishing Concept Z Baitcasting Reel
- Kalex XL3 Baitcast Low-Profile Reel
This guide will be full of useful information so you can make a confident purchasing decision. We’ll review the features, materials, and pricing of each baitcasting reel on the list above, so make sure you keep reading!
These Are the Top 10 Baitcasting Reels
Lew’s HyperMag Speed Spool Baitcast Reel – $300
Starting our list is one of the most renowned baitcasting reels on the market, Lew’s HyperMag.
This speed spool baitcasting reel has a multitude of features that makes it a standout. These include a Speed Keeper and Speed Dial, which is a patented technology that works in conjunction with one another to maintain your hook and indicate your line length.
The drag star, which is double-anodized, has a click adjustment that you can listen for. With a line guide coated in titanium zirconia, you can fish with great precision.
The 11 bearings throughout the HyperMag reel promote awesome performance. You also get a Zero Reverse one-way clutch bearing which has double-shielded stainless steel ball bearings. With a SpeedCast Adjustable Braking System or ACB, you can set the centrifugal braking in 27 positions with four pins.
Winn Dri-Tac knobs with carbon-fiber handles weigh 95 millimeters apiece and are bowed for easy use. The Speed Gears are precision-cut and built of sturdy anodized aluminum. The frame of the HyperMag is single-piece magnesium and features C45 carbon side plates.
The alloy gears are aircraft-grade anodized aluminum while the 32-millimeter U-shaped spool is made of double-anodized aircraft-grade Duralumin. These parts are built to last!
Abu Garcia Ambassadeur SX Baitcast Reel – $103
The Abu Garcia Ambassadeur SX is another highly-acclaimed baitcasting reel, and it’s more affordable than the HyperMag.
You can select from five models: the 5600, the 5600-c, the 6600, the 6600-c, and the 6601 for lefties. The other models are all for right-handed anglers.
Built from machinated aluminum, the Ambassadeur SX is high quality through and through. The braking system and bearings are a formidable combination. The centrifugal brakes feature six pins while the bearings include a roller bearing and three other stainless steel bearings.
You’ll likely use the synchronized level wind system often, as it’s designed to better your castability and line lay so you can rely on the Ambassadeur SX no matter where your fishing adventures take you.
With a multi-disk drag system, you can maintain the drag pressure on the whole drag range while keeping your reel consistent and smooth. The compact bent handle stays out of your way so you can fish with ease.
Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel – $40
A quality baitcasting reel for less than $50? They are out there, and the Piscifun Torrent is one such great example.
Just because you’re spending less money doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing on features. The Torrent has double-line winding shafts to boost this baitcasting reel’s strength, performance, and stability.
Magnetized brakes and a spool tension knob are precision features, the latter of which prevents your line from getting hopelessly tangled.
Side plates are protection features for longevity. To access the side plate, all you have to do is use the included lever. Then you can clean the plate and put it back so it’s ready to go for your next fishing trip.
The stainless steel bearings are shielded within the baitcasting reel so salt and water can’t affect them. With custom-fit fiber drag washers, four in all, you’ll reduce reel pressure even when you’re not fishing.
The CNC Japanese Hami-cut brass gears of the Torrent are reinforced for reliable retrieval each time. Its low-profile style and lightweight design are also great features.
You can select from three gear ratios for the Piscifun Torrent, 5.3:1 for righties, 7.1:1 for lefties, or 7.1:1 for righties.
Shimano Curado DC Low-Profile Baitcasting Reel – $270
The Shimano Curado DC is a highly-rated baitcasting reel from a trusted brand that’s available at a decent price.
The Curado has a Hagane metal-reel body with C14+ lightweight technology. The impact resistance and stiffness of this baitcasting reel’s body reduce flexing and improve your strength and cranking.
Included with your purchase is a cross-carbon drag with adjustable drag settings for a smoother fishing experience. The Intelligent Digital Control Braking system or I-DC4 is also adjustable, as you can customize the settings via a microcomputer. Yes, fishing reels sure have gotten smart!
The gears, as you can imagine, are highly adjustable as well thanks to X-Ship technology. The bearings support either end of the pinion gear to keep it aligned with the Curado DC’s drive gear.
Even if you increase the load by a huge margin, the gears won’t slip out of position. There’s also no friction between the gears and the spool shaft, which is nice.
The Micro Module Gear System is quite interesting. The gear set has more teeth than in other Shimano baitcasting reels; the teeth are also downsized. In making this design change, the Micro Module Gear System increases its contact points between the pinion gear and the drive gear, which keeps your retrievals smooth just the way you want them.
KastKing Royale Legend II Baitcasting Reel – $40
Here’s another low-priced baitcasting reel for your consideration, the KastKing Royale Legend II.
The graphite frame has been streamlined compared to other KastKing baitcasting reels, and the graphite side covers don’t add to the weight of the reel either.
The line guide of the Royale Legend II is ceramic and shaped like an oval to keep your line retrievals smooth even if you have a heavy load.
The awesome quality of this baitcasting reel extends to the EVA handle knobs, which remain steady and sure while accentuating your comfort. The precision main gear is sturdy brass and the CNC spool is machinated aluminum that’s lightweight but still promotes a great casting distance.
The carbon fiber drag washers are quadruple-disced and allow for drag power up to 17.6 pounds. The smoothness of the drag washers ought to impress as well, especially with a reel at such a low cost as the Royale Legend II’s $40 price tag.
KastKing promises 35 percent increased smoothness and 30 percent more durability with the Royale Legend II due to the included ball-bearing sleeve and the double-shielded ball bearings, which are built of hardy stainless steel.
The braking system utilizes eight magnets to give you 10 different brake adjustment levels. Even on those windy days when you’d second-guess going fishing, the Royale Legend II’s braking system is built for this kind of weather.
You can buy the KastKing Royale Legend II in three gear ratios: A left-handed 7.2:1, A right-handed 7.2:1, B left-handed 5.4:1, and B right-handed 5.4:1.
Lew’s Tournament MP Speed Spool LFS Baitcasting Reel – $130-160
Another great Lew baitcasting reel is the Tournament MP Speed Spool LFS.
For the price, this Lew’s reel features a P2 Super Pinion bearing-supported pinion gear for impressive stability and gear alignment no matter the fishing conditions. The bearing system includes 10 bearings that are double-shielded stainless steel.
The Speed Keeper and Speed Gears are a feature of the Tournament MP Speed Spool LFS as well.
Lew’s trusted Multi-Setting Brake system or MSB is adjustable externally using magnetic brakes and a click dial. You can also set the internal brake shoes, of which there are four that are all disc-mounted.
The 95-millimeter reel handle is lightweight aluminum with a Lew Combat Grip thumb bar and paddle knob for your comfort. Its bowed style keeps it unobstructed. Be ready to amp up your fishing game with a baitcasting reel like this!
Daiwa TATULA LT – $200
Daiwa is another major name in reels, and the TATULA LT is one of the best baitcasting reels you can get from this brand.
The frame of the TATULA LT has been streamlined. Its Zaion body is made of woven high-density carbon resin that’s stronger than many other reel materials while remaining lightweight.
With its Air Rotor, which Daiwa calls state of the art, pressure distribution remains even. The baitcasting reel is also stronger and lighter overall, up to 15 percent more than other Daiwa reels.
The aluminum alloy machinated Digigear sends handle power to your reel’s rotor. With a seven-ball bearing system and a machine-cut handle, the TATULA LT is quality through and through.
You can select from five models for the Daiwa TATULA LT: the TALT1000D-XH, the TALT2000D-XH, the TALT2500D-XH, the TALT3000-CHX, the TALT3000D-CHX, and the TALT4000-CHX. All feature a gear ratio of 6.2:1.
Shimano Tranx Baitcast Reel – $300
If you’re looking for more quality baitcasting reels from Shimano, the Tranx delivers.
Its Hagane metal-reel body has excellent impact resistance. It’s stiff where you need it to be for optimal fishing performance. The Coreprotect water-resistant technology is sure to keep your reel looking and working great even in less-than-optimal conditions.
Advanced technology built into the reel such as X-Ship makes your retrievals smooth while allowing you to improve your cranking power. If you want to toss a huge bait and reel in an equally large catch, the Tranx is the baitcasting reel for you.
Usable in saltwater and freshwater alike, the Tranx offers a max drag of 22 pounds and a line retrieve of 30 inches. Its gear ratio is 5.8:1. The reel weighs a slim 11.6 ounces.
13 Fishing Concept Z Baitcasting Reel – $230
The brightly-colored 13 Fishing Concept Z should certainly grab your attention, and rightfully so.
The HD aluminum frame won’t weigh you down. The gear side plate is also aluminum. Besides weighing less, the aluminum has great weather resistance.
This baitcasting reel features no ball bearings at all, which is quite unique. Its Concept Zero Bearing or CZB technology promotes better control without too much effort. The Concept Z is also intended to be a quieter baitcasting reel than most.
With a Japanese Hami-cut gear and a Bulldog drag (up to 22 pounds), you’ll find many premium features in this baitcasting reel. Included also is a six-way centrifugal braking system with six pins below a beetle-wing side plate. Ocean Armor 2 Saltwater Protection will resist corrosion of both internal and external parts.
Kalex XL3 Baitcast Low-Profile Reel – $42
For the angler on a very tight budget, there’s the Kalex XL3 low-profile baitcasting reel.
For under $30, this composite fishing reel has 12 ball bearings to improve your ease of retrieval. After one use, you won’t believe that you paid so little for such a great baitcasting reel with a solid ball-bearing system.
The ported spool keeps the baitcasting reel lightweight. We have to talk about the handle as well, which is 90 millimeters with EVA knobs. You’ll fish all day without those awful hand cramps that can cause you to miss a big catch.
The side plates are graphite, which is another feature for shedding weight from the XL3. The side plates also lend this baitcasting reel further strength and durability. The brass gears are a durability feature as well.
A Rulon drag system keeps the drag pressure consistent and smooth so your performance is never hindered. You can select from left-handed or right-handed versions of the XL3, both of which feature a 7.2:1 gear ratio.
Baitcasting reels are a must in any angler’s arsenal. You don’t have to spend a fortune on a quality baitcasting reel if you select from the many affordable options that we reviewed today. Of course, if you have the budget, you can get your hands on a high-end baitcasting reel too courtesy of this list.