So you are interested in giving baitcasting reels a try?
Perhaps your son is just getting into bass fishing and you want to give him exposure to a baitcaster?
Whichever applies to you it is important from the beginning to choose a good baitcasting reel. After all, if you have a bad experience from the beginning it will only discourage you from continuing.
What is the best baitcasting reel for beginners?
Here is a preview of our top 5. For more information about each one, please continue to scroll down.
- Abu Garcia Max X
- Piscifun Torrent
- KastKing Royale Legend GT
- Sougayilang Baitcasting Reel
- KastKing Crixus
Before we go into detail about which one is the best, let’s talk a little bit about the advantages a baitcasting reel has over a spinning reel.
Why choose a baitcasting reel over a spinning reel?
Over the years this has been a controversial topic and I am certainly not saying that one is better than the other. I strongly feel that both have their advantages and disadvantages.
To be a good bass fisherman I think it is important to have both. The following is a shortlist of the advantages I think baitcasting reels have over spinning reels.
Line Twist: If you have fished with a spinning reel for any given amount of time you no doubt have realized how frustrating it can be to deal with a line twist. Due to the design of casting reels, you will not experience this problem.
Heavy Lures: Casting reels really excel with larger, heavier lures. If you are going to be throwing large swimbaits, deep-diving crankbaits, or other large lures you will want to have a baitcaster in the boat.
Power Handle: One feature that I really like about casting reels is the power handle. A spinning reel usually only has a single knob handle. The reason I like the double power handle is this really gives you the power to crank down on the reel. This is especially important when fishing with crankbaits and larger lures.
Adjustable braking system: Many casting reels have an accessible braking system located on the outside of the reel. This can really come in handy to adjust the reel for the lure you are working with. Spinning reels, on the other hand, do not have this feature.
Heavy Line: While spinning reels excel using lighter lures and lighter lines when fishing with a heavier line you want to grab a baitcasting reel.
Line capacity: Baitcasting reels tend to have a much larger line capacity than a spinning reel.
Abu Garcia Max X
- Ball Bearings: 4+1
- Gear Ratio: 6.4:1
- Line Retrieval: 25 inches
- Weight: 7.4 ounces
- Drag: 15 pounds
- Magnetic Braking System
Any list of the best baitcasting reel without mentioning Abu Garcia would simply be incomplete. This is especially true with the Abu Garcia Max X. In fact, this is one of our readers’ favorite baitcasting reels.
One of the reasons why it is so popular is because it is a great inexpensive casting reel for both beginners and experienced anglers. This baitcasting reel is made from graphite, making it super lightweight and easy to handle. It only weighs in at just under 8 ounces.
It has 4 +1 stainless steel ball bearings and silky smooth drag performance. Like most reels made from Abu Garcia, the gears are made from brass giving you confidence that you will have this reel for many years to come. It also has an adjustable braking system giving you more control over your cast.
One added feature that I really like is the bent handle. As I mentioned before, having a good power handle is important when you really need to use some power to land the fish. The fact that the power handle is bent really helps to make holding this casting reel extremely comfortable.
Let’s just say, after you feel comfortable casting with a baitcaster reel, you may not feel comfortable giving this reel up. This reel is designed to last you a long time.
For more information about the Abu Garcia Max X, check out the video below:
- Ball Bearings: 5+1
- Gear Ratio: 7.1:1
- Line Retrieval: 30 inches
- Weight: 8.0 ounces
- Carbon Fiber Drag System
- Drag: 18 pounds
- Magnetic Braking System
Another great baitcaster for beginners is the Piscifun Torrent. One thing I really like about this reel is the oversized handle. The length of the handle is just over 4 inches.
That is one huge handle, but a great advantage when out on the water. Having an oversized handle really allows you to crank down on the reel and gives you the upper hand when fighting a fish.
Another great feature is the gear ratio. It comes in a 7.1:1 gear ratio bringing in about 30 inches of line on each crank. This is a good gear ratio for just about anything, but my personal favorite is using a reel like this when burning a crankbait across the water.
One thing that really makes this reel easy to cast (especially for those just starting out with baitcasters) is the easy-to-use magnetic braking system. Located on the outside of the reel is a very accessible small dial that allows you to adjust the braking system.
The system goes from 0-10, zero meaning the easiest setting, and ten being the most difficult setting. For those just starting off with a baitcasting reel, I would recommend starting with a high number. You won’t be able to cast very far at first, but it will help to prevent backlashes.
As you feel more comfortable with casting this type of reel you can adjust it down to your liking.
Another thing that really sets this reel apart from the rest is the 5 +1 shielded stainless steel ball bearings. Not only do these ball bearings make it super smooth, but they also are shielded meaning they are built to last.
Overall, I am very impressed with all the features of this reel. The best part is that all these features are available at a very affordable price.
So if you are thinking about picking yourself up a new reel or getting a gift for someone who wants to get into fishing I would definitely recommend checking out the Piscifun Torrent.
Tip: One important thing to keep in mind when first starting out with baitcasters is the type of fishing line that you use. For example, you don’t want to begin by using a braid. Most likely your first few casts will be a backlash-filled event and using braid can be really difficult to get out backlashes.
You also want to avoid fluorocarbon as it can be difficult to work with and very stiff. Many have found themselves having more backlashes with fluorocarbon.
Instead, you want to choose a monofilament such as Berkley Trilene Monofilament .
KastKing Royale Legend GT
- Ball Bearings: 5+1
- Gear Ratio: 7.2:1
- Weight: 7.2 ounces
- Retrieval Rate: 29.8 inches per turn
- Drag: 17.64 pounds
- Magnetic Braking System
The next option on our list is the KastKing Royale Legend GT. One of the best features of this reel is that it is extremely lightweight, making it a great starter reel for both the inexperienced as well as the pro anglers.
The low-profile frame is made out of graphite, making it lightweight. In fact, it only weighs 7.2 ounces. This is exactly what you want when casting all day long. Additionally, it is very easy to hold in your hold, measuring only 1.65 inches off the reel seat.
It also is equipped with a magnetic braking system. We like this system for beginners or people just starting out with baitcasters because it allows you to adjust the reel to the lure that you are throwing.
For example, the braking system for throwing a large swimbait is not going to be the same as throwing a light lure such as a jig. For that reason, you need a good braking system that you can fine-tune to fit the lure you will be throwing.
That is what the KastKing Royale Legend GT has to offer.
Now let’s take a look at a few of the specs. It has a good all-around gear ratio of 7.2:1. It is a great option for ripping lipless cranks through the water. Additionally, it is equipped with, 5+1 ball bearings, and just about 18 pounds of drag.
Sougayilang Baitcasting Reel
- Gear Ratio: 8:1
- Max Drag: 18 pounds
- Weight: 7.4 ounces
- Ball Bearings 9+1
Another inexpensive reel to get a feel for what it is like fishing with a baitcaster is one made by Sougayilang.
This reel has a quick gear ratio of 8:1. It has 10 stainless steel ball bearings giving you a smooth drag system.
The reason I think this is a good baitcasting reel for beginners is because of the magnetic braking system. This braking system is adjustable from a small knob located on the outside.
What this allows you to do, is it allows you to adjust the reel so as to prevent having backlashes.
The more practice and the more comfortable you get to use a bait caster you can slowly decrease the braking system.
Thus this is a great inexpensive reel for practicing.
- Carbon Infused Nylon Frame
- Ball Bearings: 7+1
- 17.6 pounds of drag
- Gear Ratio: 7.2:1
- Weight: 7.3 ounces
- Magnetic braking system
Next on our list is the Kast King Crixus.
First, let’s talk about the frame. This is equipped with a carbon-infused nylon frame. The main reason for this design is to keep the overall weight down. In fact, it only weighs 7.3 ounces. In my opinion, that is not bad at all.
However, don’t let the weight fool you. This has all the coveted features you would want for an affordable price.
Let’s talk about some of those features.
It has 8 stainless steel ball bearings. Ensuring a quiet and smooth performance. It has a quick 7.2:1 gear ratio with 17.6 pounds of drag.
Like many options on this list, it too is equipped with a magnetic braking system allowing for long and controlled casts.
Lastly, it is available in a number of different cool colors.
How To Adjust Your Baitcasting Reel For Success
Just as important to choosing the right equipment is to adjust it properly. So let’s quickly talk about the different types of braking systems and how to adjust them properly. Keep in mind that some reels have multiple braking systems.
Pin Braking System. The first type of braking system is called the pin braking system. If you remove the side plate from your reel you will notice a number of different pins (usually 6). The ones pointing outward are the brakes that are engaged and the ones pointing toward the center are disengaged. The more brakes that are engaged the more control you have.
If this will be your first time fishing with a baitcasting reel, I recommend engaging 3 or 4 brakes to start with. As you gain more experience you can then adjust the braking system accordingly.
Centrifugal Braking System. The Centrifugal braking systems can be adjusted with a knob that is located next to the reel handle. By turning it clockwise you are increasing the brakes and by turning it counter-clockwise you are loosening the brakes.
When you turn the knob you are actually increasing the internal brakes that control the spin of the spool. Play around with this knob until you find your sweet spot.
Magnetic Braking System. Lastly and probably one of the most popular braking systems on beginner baitcasting reels is a magnetic braking system. Magnetic braking systems use a magnet to apply braking pressure towards the end of the cast. This makes them great for throwing light lures, casting into the wind or for beginner anglers.
To adjust this braking system you will use the gauge that is located on the opposite side of your handle. Usually the numbers range from 1 to 10. 10 being the maximum amount of brakes are applied and 1 being the least. For starters, I recommend you start somewhere in the middle and adjust accordingly.
For more tips on casting a baitcasting please check out a previous post entitled: How To Cast A Baitcaster Without Backlash.
What is the Best Baitcasting Reel for beginners?
Well, it really depends on your fishing needs.
If you want an inexpensive fishing reel just give it a try, I would definitely recommend the Abu Garcia Max X. Not only is it a great beginner’s casting reel, but it is great for experienced fishermen as well.
Now, it’s your turn, share with us in the comments below, what you think is the best baitcasting reel for beginners.