What is the best crankbait reel? When it comes to crankbait fishing it is not only important to choose the best crankbait fishing pole, but also the best reel.
In this post, we will answer two questions many have when shopping for the right fishing reel: What should I look for in a crankbait reel? What are the best reels on the market?
What is the best crankbait reel?
Here is a quick preview of what we think to be the best reels for crankbaits. For more information on each reel please continue reading…
- Abu Garcia REVO4 WNCH Revo Winch Low Profile Fishing Reel
- KastKing Assassin
- Lews Mach Crush Speed Spool
First, let’s address the first question: What should I look for in a crankbait reel? The main feature that is going to set apart a reel for this technique is the gear ratio.
What is gear ratio and why is it important?
The gear ratio is used to measure how many times the spool inside turns over with one rotation of the handle. For example, a very common fishing reel has the gear ratio of 6.4:1. How you read that is 6.4 to 1. That means for every rotation of the handle the spool turns over 6.4 times. Let’s look at another example. A much slower reel may have the gear ratio of 4.7:1. Read as 4.7 to one. In this example, how many times does the spool turnover with each rotation? 4.7 times. This is a very slow gear ratio.
As we have seen in a previous post ice fishing reels have even slower gear ratios. Obviously this is because a high gear ratio isn’t as crucial when ice fishing. However, when fishing with crankbaits it is very important to consider the gear ratio.
Another important factor to consider when searching for the best crankbait reel is the IPT. The IPT stands for Inches Per Turn. This is used to measure how many inches of line is retrieved with one rotation of the handle.
Doesn’t the IPT measure the same thing as the Gear ratio?
No, simply because no two crankbait fishing reels are designed exactly alike. More importantly the spool sizes are different. For example, a large spool that would rotate 6.4 times would obviously bring in more line than a fishing reel with a much smaller one. Another thing to consider is the diameter of the fishing line will also affect how Inches Per Turn measurements.
What is the best fishing reel for deep diving crankbaits?
When fishing with deep diving crankbaits we want our lure to stay in the strike zone for as long as possible. That being said we would want to choose a fishing reel with a slower gear ratio such as: 5.1:1. By design, fishing reels with a slower gear ratio have more torque. This is important because larger fishing lures while in the water create more resistance. Having a reel with more power will make it easier to retrieve.
What is the best fishing reel for squarebill crankbaits?
As we know squarebill crankbaits work best when bumped into whatever may be on the bottom of the lake; logs, brush, structures etc. However, it is important to get to the bottom in the first place. When fishing with a squarebill crankbait or even medium size crankbaits you want gear ratio that is not too fast, but not too slow. A good all around gear ratio for fishing with these crankbaits is 6.4:1. This will allow you to get to the bottom, but still give you enough speed to generate a reaction strike.
What is the best crankbait fishing reel for lipless crankbaits?
Ripping it through the grass, burning it over a structure, using a stop and go approach are all very effective ways to use a lipless crankbait to generate a reaction strike. Can you image trying to burn a crankbait across the water with a slow gear ratio? I can promise you, you wouldn’t last very long. For that reason, a good gear ratio when fishing with lipless crankbaits would be 7.1:1 or faster.
Best Crankbait Reels
Abu Garcia Revo Winch
- Ball Bearings: 8+1
- Gear Ratio: 5.4:1
- Line Retrieval: 22 inches
- Weight: 7.55 ounces
Fishing all day with a high resistance bait such as a deep diving crankbait can be very tiring. It is for that reason that Abu Garcia designed the Abu Garcia Revo Winch Low Profile Fishing Reel series.
This reel has a low gear ratio of 5.4:1. This low gear ratio gives you that extract torque you need when fishing with larger baits. It also features an extended bent power handle. This handle makes it easier for you to crank down on those baits, thus allowing the reel to do all the work.
Just how durable is this reel? This fishing reel was made to last. The frame and the side plate are made from a highly corrosion resistant material which is both very durable and yet lightweight. It also includes 8+1 high performance corrosion resistance bearings. This reel will not only last you this fishing season, but many more to come.
Learn more about this reel in the following video:
- Ball Bearings: 11+1
- Gear Ratio: 6.3:1
- Drag: 16.5
- Weight: 5.7 ounces
Looking for a good crankbait reel, but don’t want to spend a bunch of money? The KastKing Assassin may be just what you are looking for. The KastKing Assassin has a gear ratio of 6.3:1. This gear ratio is perfect when fishing with medium-sized and squarebill crankbaits.
Weighing in at 5.7 ounces it is both compact and lightweight. Those long days on the water won’t be so physically exhausting with this reel.
It also features 11 shielded stainles steel ball bearings and 1 roller bearing. Being shielded helps to keep the lubrication in and the dirt out. This also can help in making your fishing reel last for a long time. So whether you are looking for a beginner crankbait fishing reel or just one that won’t break the bank this is definitely a great option.
Lews Mach Crush Speed Spool
- Ball Bearings: 9+1
- Line Capacity: 12lbs/110 yards
- Retrieval Rate: 30 Inches per crank
- Gear Ratio: 7.5:1
- Drag: 16.5
- Weight: 7.3 ounces
- Maximum Drag: 20lbs
In my opinion the best all around crankbait reel is the Lews Mach Crush Speed Spool.
What makes this reel great is its gear ratio and its durability. First, let’s talk a little about the gear ratio. The Mach Crush features a high speed gear ratio of 7.5:1. This gear ratio is perfect when fishing in shallow water, or you want to burn lipless crankbaits across the water. If you really like Lews fishing reels and are looking for something perfect for fishing with small to medium-sized crankbaits. You may want to check out the Lews BB1HZL Series which is available is a slower more all around gear ratio of 6.4:1.
Now, let’s talk about durability. Yes, they might not be the lightest fishing reel on the market, but they were built for the long haul. This strength and durability can be noticed when we take a look on the inside. Inside this reel includes all brass gearing making it super strong, super durable. Featuring 10 stainless steel bearing system gives it an ultra smooth retrieval. It also has a carbon star drag system that can provide up to 20 pounds of drag power.
7.5.1 gear ratio not fast enough for you? You may want to take a look at theLews Fishing Superduty G Speed Spool LFS Series coming in at 8.3:1 and bringing in 35 inches of line per crank.
Another great feature to the Lews Mach Crush Speed Spool are the large handles. So the next time you really need to crank down on a big fish, you can be sure that the Mach Crush won’t let you down.
Check out why this reel is different from the rest in the follow video:
What to look for in a crankbait reel? When it shopping for a reel it is important to consider the gear ratio. Remember a 5.1:1 gear ratio is a much slower, but much more powerful fishing reel. It works great when fishing with larger deep diving crankbaits. A 6.1:1 and higher gear ratio offers a more all around speed. They work great while fishing with small to medium-sized crankbaits. Lastly 7.1:1 or higher are much faster, but not as powerful. They work great for fishing crankbaits in shallow waters as well as burning lipless crankbaits.
With that being said, which one is my favorite? I like to use the Abu Garcia REVO4. The Revo has always been a solid option in this field. However, new to the baitcasting scene I really like what the Lews Mach Crush has to offer as well.
What is the best reel for crankbaits? Now it’s your turn. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.