Top 10 Best Baitcasting Reels Reviewed

Best Baitcasting Reels

It’s no secret that most baitcasting reels are purchased for bass fishing. Because bass isn’t as massive as other monster fish, you can afford to have less drag on your reel. Regardless of the lure, you will still want a smooth, light, and well-casting spin.

Out of the many available baitcast reels, only these 10 made the cut. Among these 10 fantastic fishing reels, I suggest the 13 Fishing Concept A Baitcasting Reel for anglers who are willing to splurge a little on a top-notch reel. It has it all: drag, smoothness, lightness, casting ability, and affordability.

If that was beyond your budget, no need to worry. There are numerous affordable alternatives available to accommodate any budget.



Top 10 Best Baitcasting Reels

  • Ball Bearings: 6+1
  • Reel Size: 1000
  • Gear Ratio: 6.6-8.1:1
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❤️ Most Reviewed
  • Ball Bearings: 6+1
  • Reel Size: 1500
  • Gear Ratio: 6.2-8.5:1
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  • Ball Bearings: 10+1
  • Reel Size: 1000
  • Gear Ratio: 10.1:1
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  • Ball Bearings: 7+1
  • Reel Size: 2000
  • Gear Ratio: 7.3:1
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  • Ball Bearings: 10+1
  • Reel Size: 1000
  • Gear Ratio: 6.8-8.3:1
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  • Ball Bearings: 7+1
  • Reel Size: 1000
  • Gear Ratio: 7.1:1
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  • Ball Bearings: 7+1
  • Reel Size: 1000
  • Gear Ratio: 6.3-8.1:1
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  • Ball Bearings: 5+1
  • Reel Size: 1000
  • Gear Ratio: 7.2:1
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  • Ball Bearings: 5+1
  • Reel Size: 1000
  • Gear Ratio: 5.3-7.1:1
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  • Ball Bearings: 9+1
  • Reel Size: 1000
  • Gear Ratio: 6.6-7.3:1
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How To Pick A Good Baitcasting Reel

To start off, this buying guide will provide you with valuable insights on what features to consider when choosing baitcasting reels. This will enable you to easily follow along as we delve into the specifics of each baitcaster.

Ball Bearings

Ball bearings play a crucial role in reducing friction and ensuring a smooth spinning motion for your reel. The greater the number of ball bearings, the smoother the operation of your reel will be.

However, when it comes to achieving a smooth casting experience, having 5+1 bearings is generally sufficient. Once you surpass the 5+1 mark, each additional ball bearing will only contribute a marginal increase in smoothness.

Interestingly, all the reels mentioned in this list happen to have 5+1 or more bearings, which means that smoothness won’t be a significant concern for any of them.

For those who may be wondering, there is always a “+1” in the number of bearings because that additional bearing refers to the roller bearing.

Gear Ratio

Gear ratios indicate the number of times the spool rotates for each turn of the handle on a reel. This factor is significant because higher gear ratios enable you to retrieve more line with each handle turn. Essentially, a higher gear ratio means less effort is required during line retrieval.

In the case of baitcasters, a gear ratio of 5:1 is considered one of the slower options, whereas a gear ratio of 7:1 is regarded as one of the faster choices.

When selecting the gear ratio for your reel, it is essential to take into account the types of lures you will be using. Opt for a higher gear ratio when using lures that require faster retrieves, and conversely, choose a lower gear ratio for slower lures. Matching the gear ratio to the specific lure speed will enhance your fishing experience.

I would suggest considering a reel with a 6:1 gear ratio, as it offers versatility for fishing both slow and fast lures. This balanced gear ratio allows you to effectively handle a wide range of lure retrieval speeds.

Drag System

The drag system in a reel consists of steel plates that are responsible for preventing the line from freely coming out.

As you increase the drag setting, it becomes more challenging for a fish to overpower it. When the fish’s force surpasses the set drag, the reel’s spool will release the line. This mechanism is in place to prevent your line from breaking under excessive strain.

To properly set the drag, it is recommended to adjust it to approximately one-third or one-fourth of the pound test rating of your fishing line. For example, if you are using a 24-pound fishing line, your drag should be set around 6 or 8 pounds.

When selecting a baitcaster reel, it is advisable to consider a model with a maximum drag weight of 15 pounds or more. This level of drag capacity is necessary to handle the force exerted by larger bass during fishing.


Reels are commonly made from either graphite or anodized aluminum. Graphite offers the advantage of being lightweight, while anodized aluminum provides enhanced durability.

If you find it challenging to make a decision, here’s a key point to consider: A graphite spool will be lighter but relatively less robust, whereas an anodized aluminum spool will be heavier but more sturdy.

Low Profile VS Round Reels

Round baitcasting reels typically have larger sizes, allowing them to accommodate more fishing line. Additionally, they often offer higher drag capabilities and greater versatility, suitable for both finesse and heavy fishing techniques.

On the other hand, low profile baitcasting reels are more convenient to palm, providing enhanced comfort during use. They also tend to be lighter in weight.

Considering that bass fishing doesn’t typically require excessive drag or line capacity, it is more practical to opt for a low profile reel. This choice will result in a lighter, more comfortable reel that meets the specific needs of bass fishing.


13 Fishing Concept A

Best Baitcasting Reels


13 Fishing Concept A
  • Durable Aluminum Body
  • Versatile Sling Mounts
  • Inline Bolt System

The 10 Best Baitcasting Reels

To clarify any confusion, it’s worth noting that all 10 of the mentioned baitcasting reels belong to the low profile category.

1. 13 Fishing Concept A

13 Fishing Concept A
  • Ball Bearings: 6+1
  • Reel Size: 1000
  • Gear Ratio: 6.6-8.1:1
  • Max Drag Weight: 22 pounds
  • Weight: 6.8 ounces

The top-rated baitcaster among the options is the 13 Fishing Concept A, which stands out as the ultimate choice. It boasts unparalleled casting abilities, lightweight construction, exceptional durability, and ample power to handle any bass fishing scenario.

First and foremost, the remarkable feature of the 13 Fishing Concept A reel lies in its superior casting performance. It has been meticulously engineered to outshine other baitcasters by offering enhanced casting distance and accuracy. Unlike many baitcaster reels that struggle with casting lightweight lures and lines, this reel effortlessly overcomes such challenges and surpasses even the top-rated baitcasting reels in terms of casting distance.

In terms of weight, the 13 Fishing Concept A reel weighs a mere 6.8 ounces, making it the second lightest reel among the options listed and one of the lightest available in the market. Its lightweight design ensures that you can fish for extended periods on the water without experiencing fatigue or discomfort.

In addition to its impressive features, the 13 Fishing Concept A reel is equipped with stainless steel anti-corrosion bearings. These high-quality bearings are exceptionally durable and capable of withstanding the corrosive effects of saltwater. This makes the reel suitable for fishing in saltwater environments without compromising its performance or longevity.

One of the most critical aspects of a baitcasting reel for tackling large bass is its drag capacity. In this regard, the 13 Fishing Concept A reel shines with an impressive 22 pounds of drag. This substantial drag power surpasses the required 15 pounds for handling monster bass. With such exceptional drag strength, you’ll have no trouble even if you set your sights on capturing formidable fish like salmon. The reel’s ample drag capacity ensures a reliable and effective angling experience in challenging fishing scenarios.

However, it’s important to consider affordability when evaluating the value of a baitcasting reel. Fortunately, the 13 Fishing Concept A reel offers the added advantage of being reasonably priced. This means that even if you’re on a budget, you can still acquire a top-of-the-line baitcasting reel that excels in performance and is suitable for tackling bass and larger fish species. So, if you’re in search of a high-quality reel for your angling needs, the 13 Fishing Concept A reel is an excellent choice that won’t disappoint.

2. Shimano Curado DC

Shimano Curado DC
  • Ball Bearings: 6+1
  • Reel Size: 1500
  • Gear Ratio: 6.2-8.5:1
  • Max Drag Weight: 11 pounds
  • Weight: 7.8-7.9 ounces

As usual, Shimano stands out with their state-of-the-art technologies, positioning their reels at the pinnacle of excellence. The Shimano Curado DC, in particular, surpasses expectations by offering unparalleled casting capabilities.

If we recall the Concept A’s remarkable casting performance, the Shimano Curado DC outshines it. This achievement is made possible through the utilization of Shimano’s Intelligent Digital Control braking system (I-DC 4) and Super Free Spool.

The Intelligent Digital Control braking system employs a microcomputer that meticulously monitors the spool at an astonishing rate of 1000 times per second. It precisely applies the optimal amount of brake to prevent backlash and maximize casting distance. Remarkably, this reel offers four different modes, allowing you to effortlessly cast a wide variety of lures with different fishing lines, including fluorocarbon and monofilament. This not only enables the casting of both heavy and light lures but also significantly reduces the occurrence of line twists.

In summary, the Shimano Curado DC sets a new benchmark in casting performance, thanks to its Intelligent Digital Control braking system and Super Free Spool. It provides exceptional versatility and minimizes line twist, making it an outstanding choice for anglers seeking optimal casting capabilities across various fishing scenarios.

In addition to its outstanding features, the Shimano Curado DC reel boasts the Super Free Spool technology, which further enhances its casting capabilities. This technology ensures optimal alignment between the pinion gear and spool shaft by supporting the pinion gear with a ball bearing. As a result, there is zero friction on the spool shaft, enabling even longer and smoother casts.

However, one aspect where this reel falls slightly short is its drag capacity. With an 11-pound drag, it can handle relatively sizable bass but may struggle with the largest ones.

Apart from that minor drawback, the Shimano Curado DC excels in all other areas. If you’re seeking the absolute best baitcasting reel and have the means to invest in it, this reel is the ideal choice that surpasses expectations.

3. Abu Garcia Revo Rocket

Abu Garcia Revo Rocket
  • Ball Bearings: 10+1
  • Reel Size: 1000
  • Gear Ratio: 10.1:1
  • Max Drag Weight: 18 pounds
  • Weight: 7.3 ounces

Next on the list is the Abu Garcia Revo Rocket, which stands out as the fastest baitcasting reel featured. As its name suggests, it offers rocket-like retrieval speed. With an impressive gear ratio of 10.1:1, a single handle turn results in a significant amount of line being reeled in. This makes it ideal for lures that require rapid retrieves, reducing the effort required to bring fish out of the water and into your hands.

However, speed is not the only standout feature of this reel. It also offers remarkable strength and exceptional smoothness. With 18 pounds of braking power, it possesses the capability to stop even prize bass in their tracks.

To ensure unparalleled smoothness, the reel is equipped with 10+1 bearings. These bearings not only provide a silky-smooth operation but are also corrosion-resistant, making the reel suitable for saltwater fishing without concerns of damage.

In summary, the Abu Garcia Revo Rocket is the go-to reel for those seeking effortless retrieval when battling fish. Additionally, its robustness and buttery-smooth performance make it a highly desirable choice for anglers.

4. Daiwa Coastal TW

Daiwa Coastal TW
  • Ball Bearings: 7+1
  • Reel Size: 2000
  • Gear Ratio: 7.3:1
  • Max Drag Weight: 15.4 pounds
  • Weight: 8.1 ounces

When it comes to line capacity, the Daiwa Coastal TW reel is unmatched by many others. It features the innovative T-Wing System (TWS), which allows the line to smoothly exit the spool with minimal angle and friction. This not only reduces noise and backlash but also enables more accurate and longer casts.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting that the Daiwa Coastal TW is the largest reel among the options listed, providing ample line capacity. Although there are rare casting reels in the market that may compete or even surpass its line capacity, what sets this reel apart is its exceptional all-around performance.

With 15.4 pounds of drag, 7+1 corrosion-resistant bearings for smooth operation, and the TWS for enhanced casting, this reel encompasses all the desired features.

However, it is important to mention that, like most baitcasting reels, casting lighter lures with significant distance may prove challenging. For optimal casting distance, the lure should weigh at least 1/2 ounce.

Setting that minor drawback aside, the Daiwa Coastal TW reel is nearly flawless. If you are seeking a baitcaster with superior line capacity, you won’t find a better option than this.

5. Lew’s Tournament Pro Speed Spool LFS

Lew’s Tournament Pro Speed Spool LFS
  • Ball Bearings: 10+1
  • Reel Size: 1000
  • Gear Ratio: 6.8-8.3:1
  • Max Drag Weight: 20 pounds
  • Weight: 6.4 ounces

Moving on to the next reel, the Lew’s Tournament Pro Speed Spool LFS impresses with its remarkable combination of lightness, smoothness, and strength.

First and foremost, its standout feature is its weight of just 6.4 ounces, making it the lightest reel on the list. With this reel, you can expect a refreshing feeling even after a long day of fishing, as it reduces fatigue and strain on your arm.

During my testing, I was thoroughly impressed by the exceptional smoothness of this reel. This can be attributed to its 10+1 double-shielded ball bearings. While the Abu Garcia Revo Rocket may have the same number of bearings, the double-shielding of the Lew’s Speed Spool LFS keeps debris away, resulting in an even smoother performance. As a result, this reel stands out as the smoothest option.

In terms of strength, the Lew’s Tournament Pro Speed Spool LFS offers an impressive 20 pounds of stopping power. This provides you with the confidence to tackle any bass, regardless of its size. Moreover, it is more than capable of handling larger fish species like walleye.

In summary, the Lew’s Tournament Pro Speed Spool LFS is an incredibly lightweight and smooth reel that delivers outstanding performance. It will not disappoint you, no matter the size of the bass you encounter.

6. Abu Garcia Max Pro

Abu Garcia Max Pro
  • Ball Bearings: 7+1
  • Reel Size: 1000
  • Gear Ratio: 7.1:1
  • Max Drag Weight: 15 pounds
  • Weight: 7.4-13.2 ounces

Continuing with the Abu Garcia Max Pro, I included this reel with beginner anglers in mind. Baitcasters can be more challenging to use compared to spinning reels, and I believe some beginners would appreciate an easier-to-use baitcaster, even if it means sacrificing some of the more advanced features found in higher-end models.

Although the Abu Garcia Max Pro is not specifically marketed as a reel for beginners, in my personal experience, it is the most user-friendly and intuitive baitcasting reel available.

Another aspect I appreciate about this reel is that it doesn’t overemphasize any specific feature to keep costs down. It may not excel in terms of absolute smoothness or power, but it provides all the necessary features and functionality for a satisfactory fishing experience.

For beginners seeking a baitcaster that offers premium performance without the premium price tag, the Abu Garcia Max Pro is an ideal choice tailored to meet your needs.

7. Daiwa Tatula 100

Daiwa Tatula 100
  • Ball Bearings: 7+1
  • Reel Size: 1000
  • Gear Ratio: 6.3-8.1:1
  • Max Drag Weight: 11 pounds
  • Weight: 6.9 ounces

For those who prioritize lightness and value, the Daiwa Tatula 100 reel is an excellent option. Weighing just 6.9 ounces, it ranks as the third lightest reel on the list, trailing behind the Concept A by a mere 0.1 ounce.

Without going into further detail about its components, it’s evident that the Daiwa Tatula 100 is a solid fishing reel with impressive specifications.

Although it is priced around $150, it falls into the category of being a mid-range reel rather than an ultra-budget option. However, if you desire both quality and lightness without wanting to spend over $200 for a sub-7 ounce reel, the Daiwa Tatula 100 is certainly worth considering.

8. KastKing Royale Legend GT

KastKing Royale Legend GT
  • Ball Bearings: 5+1
  • Reel Size: 1000
  • Gear Ratio: 7.2:1
  • Max Drag Weight: 17.6 pounds
  • Weight: 7.2 ounces

The KastKing Royale Legend GT is the ultimate budget baitcasting reel, offering impressive performance at an affordable price.

Despite its low cost, this reel comes with sufficient bearings to ensure smooth operation and provides adequate drag power suitable for a range of bass fishing scenarios. Additionally, weighing in at a modest 7.2 ounces, it is a relatively lightweight option.

While it may not compare favorably to more expensive baitcasting reels, it’s important to consider the value proposition. With a price tag of less than $40, the KastKing Royale Legend GT offers a remarkable amount of functionality.

As with most casting reels, it may not be compatible with lighter lines and lures, but considering the affordability, this reel delivers exceptional value for the price.

When you are on a tight budget, the KastKing Royale Legend GT is the perfect choice. For the cost of just a few cups of coffee, you can acquire a reliable and functional baitcaster.

9. Piscifun Torrent

Piscifun Torrent
  • Ball Bearings: 5+1
  • Reel Size: 1000
  • Gear Ratio: 5.3-7.1:1
  • Max Drag Weight: 18 pounds
  • Weight: 8 ounces

For those seeking a budget-friendly baitcasting reel, the Piscifun Torrent serves as an excellent alternative to the Royale Legend GT.

The Piscifun Torrent impresses users with its strength and casting capabilities. While it may not match the performance of more expensive baitcasters, it offers advantages over the Royale Legend GT. With the Piscifun Torrent, you can utilize slightly lighter lines and lures, and it provides a slightly higher drag capacity.

One important note is that this reel may require lubrication upon initial use. However, if this is not a significant concern for you, the Piscifun Torrent could be the ideal reel for your angling needs.

10. Abu Garcia Revo SX

Abu Garcia Revo SX
  • Ball Bearings: 9+1
  • Reel Size: 1000
  • Gear Ratio: 6.6-7.3:1
  • Max Drag Weight: 24 pounds
  • Weight: 7.8 ounces

The Abu Garcia Revo SX Low Profile Reel, the final reel on the list, stands out with its remarkable drag power.

Recalling the need for 15 pounds of drag in bass fishing, the Abu Garcia Revo SX offers a drag capacity so substantial that it can be used for musky fishing as well. This reel expands the range of fish species you can target, making it highly versatile.

Undoubtedly, power is the primary focus of this reel. Nevertheless, it does not neglect other important aspects, evident in its 9+1 stainless steel ball bearings that deliver impressive smoothness.

One drawback to note is that the sideplate button is positioned in a way that makes it susceptible to accidental clicks during casting.

Taking everything into account, if you’re seeking a baitcaster with significant power, the Abu Garcia Revo SX is a highly commendable choice. While it has a minor flaw, it offers exceptional drag performance and delivers solid overall performance.

Baitcaster Advantages Over Spinning Reels

If you’re here, it probably means you want a baitcasting reel.

In case you still aren’t sure whether a baitcaster is the right choice though, here are all the advantages that a baitcasting reel grants over a spinning reel.

Heavier Tackle

To begin, it’s important to note that baitcasters excel when used with heavier lures, whereas spinning reels are better suited for lighter lures.

In most cases, baitcasting setups allow for casting larger baits at greater distances, while spinning setups are more effective for casting light lures over longer distances.

Similarly, when it comes to fishing lines, heavier lines (above 10-pound test) are generally better suited for baitcasting gear. Baitcasters can handle the added weight and provide the necessary power and control for heavier lines. On the other hand, lighter lines (below 10-pound test) tend to work more efficiently with spinning gear, as spinning reels are designed to handle the delicacy and finesse required by lighter lines.

While there can be exceptions to these general guidelines, it is a common practice among anglers to utilize baitcasting gear with heavier lures and lines and spinning gear with lighter lures and lines. It’s essential to match your tackle appropriately to maximize performance and achieve optimal results in your fishing endeavors.

Reduced Line Twists

It is widely accepted among anglers that line twists occur more frequently with spinning reels compared to baitcasting reels.

The design of a baitcasting reel ensures that when the line is released, the spool rotates in the same direction, resulting in fewer line twists. This characteristic makes baitcasting reels significantly less prone to line twists, ultimately leading to less frustration during fishing sessions.

Casting Accuracy

Baitcasters offer significantly higher casting accuracy compared to spinning reels.

Unlike spinning reels, baitcasting reels have a freely spinning spool. By using your thumb as a brake, you can precisely control the outgoing line, allowing for pinpoint accuracy in your casts.

It may appear that baitcasters have the upper hand over spinning reels in terms of casting accuracy. However, one important factor to consider is the ease of use. Since the only brake on a baitcaster is your thumb, proper usage requires more skill and practice.

Many beginners have faced challenges when using a baitcasting reel for the first time, often resulting in unsuccessful fishing trips. However, once you have mastered the technique of using a baitcaster, your fishing endeavors will become much more rewarding. Despite the initial difficulties, the ability to use baitcasters effectively can elevate your fishing game to the next level.

It is important to note that while baitcasters offer superior casting accuracy, spinning reels have their own advantages, such as ease of use and versatility with lighter lures. Ultimately, the choice between the two reel types depends on personal preference, fishing style, and skill level.

Casting Distance

The spool rotation of a baitcasting reel in sync with the line release not only reduces friction and resistance but also results in significantly increased casting distance. This seamless interaction between the spool and line minimizes any hindrance, allowing for extended and more precise casts. As a result, baitcasting reels excel in delivering greater casting range, providing anglers with the ability to reach distant fishing spots with ease.

My Verdict

To summarize, it’s important to note that not all baitcasting reels are equal in terms of casting distance with light lines and lures. However, the reels listed here are among the best available on the market and are specifically chosen to address these concerns.

For those who are still undecided, the 13 Fishing Concept A is a highly recommended option. It offers a combination of durability, smooth performance, lightweight design, and affordability.

If the Concept A doesn’t meet your preferences, there are plenty of other reels on the list to choose from that can suit your fishing needs, regardless of your budget. I hope you find one that aligns with your requirements.

It’s worth mentioning that if you are a bass angler, it’s likely that you’re considering a baitcasting reel due to recommendations from professional bass anglers. This list of the best bass fishing reels was compiled with that in mind, aiming to provide you with suitable options for your bass fishing endeavors.

On a side note, chances are, you’re a bass angler who’s getting a baitcaster because you’ve heard that professional bass anglers recommend using baitcasting reels. That’s why I compiled this list of the best bass fishing rods for you.