Are you searching for the best baitcasting reel? If so, you have come to the right place. In this post, we are going to take an indepth look at some of the best reels to help you decide which one is best for you. Let’s get started…
What is the best baitcasting reel?
Here is a quick preview of the reels that we are going to look at in this post, for a closer look (reviews, specs and videos) please keep reading below:
- Daiwa Tatula CT Type-R
- Shimano Curado 200IHG
- Shimano Curado 200 HG K
- Abu Garcia Revo SX
- 13 Fishing Concept Z
- Abu Garcia BMAX3 Black Max
- KastKing Assassin
- Rated Line Capacity – Monofilament – 14/120, 16/100
- Gear Ratio – 6.3:1
- Inches Per Turn Calculated – 26.3 inches
- Weight – 7.2 oz
- Bearings – 7+1 (2 Corrosion resistant ball bearings)
- Tested Max Drag – 13.2 lbs
- Infinite Anti-Reverse
- Unique T-Wing Casting System
- Right Handed and Left Handed Models available.
If you’re looking for a baitcasting reel that’s purely designed to meet the performance requirements, durability and power to meet all professional angler needs, then the Daiwa Tatula CT Type-R should be on top of your list.
With its full aluminum housing, hybrid casting system, and long casting accuracy capabilities, this little black reel is created for tournament performance. Although there are small differences between this model and its baseline model, there are some unique features that really make the Daiwa CT Tatula Type R series stand out from other baitcasting reels.
One such feature is the unique T-Wing Casting System. The T-Wing Casting System is available on all the Daiwa Tatula casting reel series. Unlike other reels this unique system gives these reels supreme capabilities to cast your lure much further.
How the T-wing casting system works is simple. Once the feel spool button is engaged instead of a small hole you have a “T” shaped hole. This much larger space allows your line to come off much more smoothly, more easily and with less resistance. This gives you two great advantages. Number one is it will reduce the amount of backlashes you experience and number two you will be able to cast noticeably much farther.
The spool is also made from an Aluminum material which is super lightweight, compact and increases your line capacity while it maintains its frame width. It has what is calls the Daiwa’s swept handle. What they have done with the handle is move the paddles closer, this helps to reduce the wobble as you retrieve your lure giving you a more powerful retrieve. The frame is made from a feather-lightweight Aluminum which allows you to maintain its incredible strength and rigidity.
The Daiwa Tatula CT Type-R has a slower gear ratio of 6.3:1. If you are looking for a good baitcasting reel for bringing in those larger baits this is the reel for you.It is available in 7.3:1 and 8.1:1 options
It is also equipped with a super smooth drag system. Maximum drag is at 13lbs.
Overall, based on the performance of this reel there is no doubt that the Daiwa Tatula CT Type-R is the number one pick when it comes to baitcasting reels. Make sure that you don’t leave home without it.
For more information check out the following video:
- Rated Line Capacity – Monofilament – 14/110, Braid – 50/120
- Gear Ratio – 7.2:1
- Inches Per Turn Calculated – 30 inches
- Weight – 7.4 oz
- Bearings – 5+1
- Tested Max Drag – 15 lbs
- Unique SVS Infinity Braking System
- X-Ship Technology
- S3D Spool
- Freshwater and Saltwater Baitcasting Reel
- Right Handed and Left Handed Models Available
The next baitcasting reel that should be included in the list isn’t just one reel, but a series of reels, the Shimano Curado I series.
Specifically let’s talk about the Shimano Curado 200 IHG as I would consider it to be the best baitcasting reel under $200 making it an excellent choice for both the saltwater and freshwater fisherman.
One the best features of any of the Shimano baitcasting reels is its unique SVS Infinity braking system. This braking system is very different from other systems such as the magnetic braking systems commonly found on Abu Garcia reels.
While they both are very effective in giving you control over your cast, the SVS Infinity system allows your braking system just the way you like it.
How to fine tune the braking system?
Once you open the side panel you will see red tabs. Each red tab represents the brake pads. You have the option to turn off or turn on the brake pads. If you decide to turn on the brakes it is always important to turn on the brakes that are across from each other rather than ones that are right next to each other. This will give you more of a balanced control over your cast.
Next, after you have turned on the brake pads you can shut the side plate. Now this is where you can fine tune the brakes depending on the lure and line that you are using. On the outside of the side plate is a little knob that controls how much pressure it put on the brakes. By turning this knob you can control how much brakes you would like to have on your line. Remember the less brakes the longer casting distance, but the greater chance of backlashing.
This unique braking system really sets apart Shimano baitcasting reels from their competition. To learn more about the braking system watch the following video:
Another unique feature is the X-Ship Technology which offers improved gear durability and ease of use in the toughest fishing conditions.
What exactly is X-Ship Technology?
X-Ship Technology is designed to make your fishing reel last longer, specifically your gears. With most baitcasting reels the pinion gear is only supported on one end. Over time this can put stress on the internal gears. With the X-Ship technology, this pinion gear is supported on both ends. This will give you more torque, more power and last much longer.
Finally, we cannot mention the Shimano Curado 200 IHG series without mentioning the S3D spool. The S3D spools means that the spool is perfectly balanced. Having a perfectly balanced spool means it will be smoother and allow for longer casts.
To learn more about the Shimano 200IHG Curado check out the following video:
The Shimano Curado I Series is available in 3 different gear ratios.
The Shimano 200I Curado has a good all around gear ratio of 6.3:1 good for throwing just about any bait.
The Shimano Curado 200 IHG has the super fast 7.2:1 great for flipping and pitching.
The Shimano 200I series make it a top of the line baitcasting reel to suit both your freshwater and saltwater fishing needs. Without a doubt you will not be disappointed with this series.
For a very thorough review of the Shimano Curado I encourage you to check out the following video:
- Rated Line Capacity – 8lb/180yards, 10lb/155 yards , 14lb/110 yards
- Gear Ratio – 7.4:1
- Inches Per Turn Calculated – 31.1 inches
- Weight – 7.58 oz
- Bearings – 6+1 (Shielded)
- Tested Max Drag – 11 lbs
- MicroModule gearing
- X-Ship Technology
- CI4+ Sideplates
- Compact Body design
- Stable Spool design
- Freshwater and Saltwater Baitcasting Reel
- Right Handed and Left Handed Models Available
One of the newest baitcasting reels of 2018 is the Shimano Curado 200 HG K. Will it have what it takes to be the best baitcasting reel of 2018? Well, time will tell, but everything is pointing toward a resounding yes!
To begin, let’s do a brief review on the specs of this device, then we will do a little comparasion between the Curado K and the previous Curado I.
The Shimano Curado K is made with an all metal body and CI4+ sideplates. The all metal body is going to make it more durable and the CI4+ sideplates help to keep it lightweight and easy to use.
It comes in a number of different gear ratio option. For example, the one pictured above is the 7.4:1 gear ratio model that hauls in 31.1 inches per crank. I really like the this option as it is the perfect combination of torque and speed. There is a slower option a 6.2:1 gear ratio. This one is going to give you the most torque and works great for bigger baits such as large spinnerbaits or swimbaits. Lastly, the 8.5:1 model which brings in just under 36 inches of line per turn. This would be my go-to reel when fishing with topwater baits or jerkbaits.
Next, let’s talk about ball bearings. It is equipped with 6+1 shielded ball bearings. The fact they they are shielded means that they can be used in those tough saltwater conditions.
Similar to the Curado I it does have an improved SVS braking system and the X-Ship technology mentioned earlier.
Shimano Curado I vs Shimano Curado K – Is it worth it?
Now that we have talked about a few specs, let’s talk about some of the differences to see if it is worth making the upgrade.
MicroModule Gearing. The first biggest change is what Shimano calls the MicroModule Gearing. What this means is that the gear itself is larger, but it does contain many more smaller teeth. That change even though might sound minute is going to affect the performance of this reel. The results are a much smoother reel without sacrificing power.
More Compact Design. As we mentioned earlier the K has CI4+ sideplates which is an upgrade to help the overall reel feel more compact. It is important to note that the Curado I weighs 7.4 ounces and the K weighs 7.58 ounces. As you can see the K is slightly heavier, but you probably won’t notice the difference. What you will notice is that the K is 10% smaller in size. It is really difficult to distinguish that improvement by a photo or even in video, but in person you will definitely notice the difference. Surprisely a reel that is more compact even by as little as 10% really makes a difference and fits quite comfortablely in the hand.
SVS braking system. In the previous review we highlighted the superior performance on reels with SVS technology. Who knew that Shimano could take an already great technology and improve upon it. Yes, the K has an improved SVS braking system. The adjustable knob helps you to adjust your brakes accordingly. With the improvement in the SVS braking system you may not notice an improvement on casting distance, but you will notice a difference on the variety of different types of lures that you can throw (including lighter lures)
Higher gear ratios. Another change that I personally enjoy is the fact that they made this great reel available in higher gear ratios. The Curado I was only available in 7.2:1 max, however, the Curado K is available in a high speed gear ratio of 8.5:1 bringing in just about 36 inches.
The overall look. Lastly, the Curado K looks quite a bit different from the previous generation. It has a sick looking black finish. Couple that with a more compact design and larger power handle and you would think it was a completely different reel.
So which one is better? Check out the following video:
Bottom line is that this is a great reel and if it is anything like the Curado I series, we know it will be here to stay for many fishing years to come.
- Rated Line Capacity – Monofilament – 10/175, 12/145 Braid – 20/190, 30/140
- Gear Ratio – 6.6:1
- Inches Per Turn Calculated – 27 inches,
- Weight – 7.83 oz
- Bearings – 10
- Magnetic/Centrifugal Braking System
- Carbon Fiber Drag System
- Tested Max Drag – 24 lbs
- Right Handed and Left Hand Models Available.
It’s time to take your fishing experience to the next level with the Abu Garcia Revo SX. With its low profile yet highly ergonomic and efficient design, you’ll be in for a bountiful catch on your next fishing trip.
While the Abu Garcia Revo SX is certainly not new to the baitcasting scene, recently it did under go some upgrades from the RVO3 to the RVO4. First, let’s talk about the many great features and then we will talk about these changes.
The frame is made with what Abu Garcia calls a X2-Cräftic™ alloy frame, this means that it has a corrosion resistant alloy frame that was built to last. When you think of something that is built to last what do you imagine? Perhaps you are imagining a reel that is heavy, bulky and cumbersome. This is not true with the this reel.
It comfortably fits into your hand and overall it weighs 7.83 ounces. So, it is not the lightest baitcasting reel, but at least we have the assurance that it is high quality.
One thing that certainly has helped to reduce the overall weight and make it comfortable to use is that the sideplates are made from a C6 Carbon. This material is extremely durable yet at the same time very light.
Another great thing that Abu Garcia has done with this model is they have designed it be to ergonomic. There are two features that make this reel ergonomic. The first feature is the compact design.
The Revo SX is a low profile compact baitcaster designed to be held comfortablely in one hand. This design extremely comfortable for both casting as well as retrieving.
Another feature it the bent power handle. Having a large power handle is essential in giving you that extra leverage you may need when cranking. However, working a large power handle all day long can take its tolls on your hands and forearms. With that in mind Abu Garcia decided to create a power handle and star that are bent.
At first glance you may assume this was by mistake or the product is damaged. This was not by accident nor is it damaged.
Having the star and the handle bent allows your hand to be more closer to the reel, thus making it more comfortable and best of all more ergonomic. These two features not only makes fishing with it a breeze, but it also makes those long days on the water that much more enjoyable.
The Revo SX is available in two different gear ratios, 6.6:1 and the HS model is available at a 7.3:1. If you are looking for a good all around baitcasting reel I would suggest going with the 6.6:1. This is a good all around gear ratio when fishing with crankbaits, spinnerbaits, or topwater lures.
Most customers are fans of the unique magnetic braking system that Abu Garcia has on most of their reels. This braking systems allows for pressure to be put on the line throughout the cast. However, the Revo SX has both a magnetic braking system on the outside and a centrifugal braking system on the inside. The magnetic brakes can be adjusted with a knob located on the outside of the reel. By turning the knob you can move the brakes closer to the line giving you much more control.
Now that we have talked about the many features, I would like to talk about a few of the upgrades made to this model and why I think it was a smart move.
The first upgrade is the gear ratio. Before the gear ratio was 6.4:1 and 7.1:1 on the HS model. While this change isn’t a huge upgrade it does bring it up to that more standard all around 6.6:1 gear ratio.
The next upgrade that we want to highlight is the braking system. Before the Revo SX only had a magnetic braking system, but by adding the centrifugal braking system it allows you to really fine tune your reel to the lure that you are using. For example, when fishing with lighter lures instead of having to change reels because of the fear of backlashing, you can simply adjust the brakes to match the lure. Personally, I really like this upgrade and think that it helps to make it a better all around reel.
Lastly, the weight. This reel went from 6.7 ounces to 7.83 ounces. While that is quite a big jump to make, many anglers probably won’t even notice the difference. In addition, I think that many of the upgrades (brakes, gear ratio, X2-Cräftic™ alloy frame) are worth a little heavier reel.
If you’re looking to have a much more solid investment on your fishing trip, then you can look no further than the Abu Garcia Revo SX. With its compact and ergonomic features, you’ll be sure to have the most enjoyable bass fishing adventures.
Learn more about the Abu Garcia Revo SX in the following video:
- Rated Line Capacity – Monofilament – 12lb/135 yards
- Gear Ratio – 8.1:1
- Weight – 6.4 oz
- Ball Bearings – 0
- Centrifugal Braking System
- Ocean Armor – Corrosion Resistant
- Dead Stop Anti Reverse
- Tested Max Drag – 22 lbs
With a look that is designed to get attention and a name that sounds like a science fiction movie the next baitcaster is like no other. What is even more shocking is what is underneath the name and crazy color, but more on that it a little bit. We are talk about another one of the newest baitcasting reels to hit the market the: 13 Fishing Concept Z. Since its release in 2017 this reel is quickly climbing up to become one of the best baitcasters of 2018.
So, besides the unique color selection, what is so unique about this reel? The ball bearings or lack of ball bearings is what makes this device like no other. As you can see from the feature section this baitcasting reel has zero ball bearings. No, that was not a typo, there are zero ball bearings! Crazy as it sounds, this reel is going to change the way we view baitcasters and how they are made in the future.
How in the world does this operate without ball bearings?
Let’s take a look under the hood so to speak in the following video:
So as you could see, 13 fishing has developed what they call polymer bearing technology. This allows them to create bearings, but not your typical ball bearing. Rather them making them from metal they are made out of polymer.This is going to do a number of things to the reel itself.
First, it is going to cast farther. Because of the reduction of friction obviously your lure is going to go further. Next, ball bearings weigh a lot. Naturally, without them the reel is going to weigh less. As you can see, this reel weighs 6.4 ounces making it one of the lightest baitcasting reels on this list. Lastly, polymer bearing are going to last longer particularly when saltwater fishing because they are truly corrosion resistant. No need for the bearing to be shield here.
Beside the no ball bearings, what other features does it have? It is equipped with a centrifugal braking system that can be adjusted by the knobs located on the outside of the reel. It is available in a few different gear ratio options such as the 6.6:1 and the 7.3:1. The one pictured above is the 8.1:1 model which is a great for burning your lures across the water.
Overall, I was really impressed with what the Concept Z has to offer and I think you will be too.
Learn more about this reel which first started off as just a concept and how it ended up being possibly one of the best baitcasting reels in the following video:
Not looking to spend a lot of money to purchase a baitcasting reel? If so, you may enjoy a few of the follow picks. Some of our favorite best baitcasting reels under $100
- Rated Line Capacity – Mono: 12lb / 145 yards, Braid 30lb/140yards
- Gear Ratio – 6.4:1
- Inches Per Turn Calculated – 26 inches
- Weight – 7.3 oz
- Bearings – 4+1
- Tested Max Drag – 15 lbs
- MagTrax Magnetic Braking System
The Abu Garcia BMAX3 Black Max is made from high-quality materials and designed in such a way that it can be handled with ease. It is so easy to use it made our list of the best baitcasting reels for beginners.
It has a graphite body and lightweight construction, which is even made better by the fact that it is one of the most affordable options when it comes to choosing a baitcasting reel.
One thing that really sets this reel apart from others and makes it an excellent option would have to be its affordable price tag. It is one of the most economical options for a baitcaster reel on the market.
At its price point, many would expect a reel that is huge and heavy or one that does not deliver an astounding performance. In contrast, however, this model is affordable, yet it is lightweight and powerful. Weighing just 7.3 ounces, this is the ultimate baitcasting reel you should have in your boat.
Another outstanding feature is the Abu Garcia Max Black was built to last. When shopping for a good baitcaster, one of the most important considerations would be durability, which will be affected by the specific materials that are used.
Abu Garcia Black Max Baitcast Reel is one option that stands out from the competition because of the intelligent choice of materials, making it long-lasting. It is made with four stainless steel ball bearings, which do not only ensure smooth performance but also longevity. At its price, it is very impressive that it has been rated high when it comes to durability.
Whether you are a novice or a pro in fishing, the Abu Garcia Black Max Baitcast Reel is easy to love because it is created to be user-friendly. There is an abundance of features that will make it effortless to handle. For instance, it has machined aluminum spool, which makes the body even lighter.
It also comes with a compact bent handle, which makes it a breeze to handle. The recessed reel foot, in the same way, makes sure that the design is ergonomic. Regardless of how long you are fishing, you will never have to worry of discomfort as it is very easy to use.
The Abu Garcia Black Max reel has a variety of technical features that allow it to deliver performance that is hard to rival by its competitors. For instance, it has MagTrax Magnetic Braking, which allows the delivery of consistent braking pressure.
To learn more about the Abu Garcia Black Max Reel check out the following video:
- Gear Ratio – 6.3:1
- Weight – 5.7 oz
- Bearings – 11+1 Shielded
- Magnetic/Centrifugal Braking System.
- Tested Max Drag – 16.5 lbs
Are you looking for a good baitcaster, but don’t want to spend a ton of money? If so, you will be impressed by what the KastKing Assassin has to offer.
Made from a carbon construction this reel is pretty durable and it is the lightest baitcasting reel on this list, weighing in at only 5.7 ounces. Just stop and think about that for a minute, you could own a reel for under $100 that weighs less than 6 ounces. Really is quite amazing.
It has a good gear ratio of 6.3:1 coupled with 12 shielded ball bearings, meaning that your investment is protected. Lastly, it is equipped with a magnetic and centrifugal braking system allowing you to tune the brakes to your liking.
For the amount of features that you get at this affordable price point, no doubt you would agree with me that this is the best baitcasting reel under $100.
Now it is your turn. What do you think is the best baitcasting reel? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below.