3 Best Baitcasting Reels [Performance & Budget Friendly Options]

For centuries, fishing has been one of the top leisure activities. People all over the world fish for food, sport, fun, and more. However, since there is a wide range of components involved, it can be hard to choose what products you’re going to use on your adventures. If you’re new to fishing, you’ll need a reel, pole, bait, and other odds and ends. 

Our suggestion is to start with a baitcaster. Baitcasting reels are perfect for casting large lures at long distances with accuracy and ease. They’re generally used for crowded areas or in a hotspot such as a riverbed. You can also use them for offshore fishing.

We chose the Sougayilang Baitcasting Reel as our top pick because it outperformed several other reels and has decently good components.

We suggest checking that particular reel out first.  

Top Baitcaster Reels

1.Sougayilang Baitcasting Reel – Best Overall Performance

When you’re out on a fishing expedition, you’ll want a baitcaster that’s going to treat you well and offer you 100% reliability, especially if you’re fishing for food. Because of its high-quality performance and generous 1-year warranty, the Sougayilang Baitcaster Reel is our top pick. 

Outstanding Performance

The first thing we have to mention is the super silent high-speed gear ratio 8.0:1 line retrieve. This allows you to recover the bait quickly and find the fish that keeps taunting your radar. This ratio allows you to stay on your toes and get better control of the fish. With this comes increased pleasure while on your trip. Additionally, the star drag helps achieve a balance between speed and power, allowing you to handle the big fish with ease. 

We want to take a minute to talk about how well the reel performed while casting. There is a high-speed 0-type line guide that helps reduce outlet resistance. This allows you to cast smoothly and at a longer distance with a reduction in backlash. 

Lightweight Yet Powerful

Who says something can’t be both lightweight and powerful? We certainly didn’t. When we tested this reel out, it actually outperformed many of the others. This is due to the CNC machine’s aluminum forged spool that provides you with the strength needed for reeling in those large fish. There’s also the magnetic brake system that really aids in the easy retrieval of your catch. 

Durable

We’ve used fishing reels that have broken after just a few and we’ve used reels that have lasted us years. This is one of those reals that’s going to last for many years to come. It’s constructed with 10 stainless steel bearings and an instant anti-reverse system. We found that you can use this in both freshwater and saltwater fishing. Saltwater tends to be rough on certain reels, corroding them until they’re useless, but you don’t need to worry about that with this reel. 

What We Like

  • It can be used in both saltwater and freshwater
  • It has a magnetic brake system
  • Durable construction
  • Good balance between power and efficiency
  • Instant anti-reverse system
  • 1-year warranty

What We Don’t Like

  • Reports of a faulty line guard

2.KastKing Royale Legend II – Most Popular

Since 2014, KastKing has been a fan favorite. Today, the KastKing Royale Legend II is one of the most popular baitcasters thanks to its completely redesigned look and performance abilities. For the price you’re going to pay, you really can’t beat it. 

Lightweight & Strong

This version of the KastKing Royale weighs just 7.2oz, which is lighter than most comparable reels on the market, even with having graphite side covers. As most seasoned fishermen know, heavier reels can make the fishing experience tiring and frustrating. 

Don’t let the fact that this reel is so lightweight make you think that it’s not strong. It actually has a superior stainless steel main shaft and Hamai precision machine brass gears. The quadruple disc carbon drag provides users with 17.6 lbs of drag.

Quick Gear Ratios

The new and improved 5.4:1 gear ratio is ideal for crankbaits. The 4:1 ratio is a slower speed, but it’s great for the torque that will come from battling with a large catch. If you’re looking for something with a little more power, the 7.2:1 model will pick up the fishing line at 29.8” per turn. This is a good option if you plan to pitch jigs or burn bait at a higher speed. So if you plan to go fishing for largemouth bass or any other large fish, the 7.2:1 model is your best bet. 

Magnetic Breaking System

Say goodbye to overruns and backlashes. This baitcaster includes a completely redesigned magnetic braking system with 8 buttons. Other reels have 5 or 6, but this baitcaster has a ten-level adjustable braking system that helps eliminate issues with casting. This does not take away from the casting distance, though. It helps maintain control in windy conditions as well. We can’t tell you how many times our lines have gotten away from us with other reels. 

What We Like

  • Lightweight construction
  • Durable frame
  • More affordable than comparable models
  • Adjustable magnetic brake
  • Multiple gear ratios
  • Smooth crank

What We Don’t Like

  • Users report backlashing

3.Piscifun Torrent – Best Value

The Piscifun Torrent is a powerful and unique baitcaster. It offers fishermen of all experience ranges an 18lb carbon fiber drag capable of handling even the largest fish. When you’re out on the boat in the middle of the lake or ocean, you want to ensure you have a reliable reel by your side, and this is it. 

High-Quality Performance

We’re impressed by the high-quality performance this baitcaster offers. It features a low-profile design with 7.1:1 gear ratios that are designed for all fishermen. If you’ve been tirelessly trying to reel in big fish to no avail, then you’ll appreciate the Super Silent power of this reel. Additionally, backlash is virtually eliminated with the 0-10 magnetic dial-in setting. 

Durable

Let’s not forget to mention how durable this baitcaster is. The reel is made from durable-streng Japanese Hami cut 3604 brass gears. The high-quality build of this reel will provide you with a better fishing experience. Whether you’re a novice or a pro, this reel is sure to bring you better performance. 

What We Like

  • Powerful performance
  • High drag rating
  • Durable materials
  • Reliable 
  • Affordable compared to other models

How To Choose A Baitcaster

There are tons of baitcaster reels on the market today. Some are affordable while others are going to cost more than your whole fishing setup. Don’t be fooled by the price, though. Just because it’s expensive, doesn’t always mean it’s an acceptable product. We tested a couple of baitcasters and most of the time the cheaper ones outperformed the more expensive models.  Let’s go over everything you need to know before buying a batcaster. 

What Is A Baitcaster?

When you look at a fishing pole you usually see a reel under the rod, right? This is a spinning reel. A baitcaster actually sits on top of the reel. It may look a little funny, but it has some serious advantages for big game fishing. You can find these reels in both right and left-handed models for better accommodation. 

What’s The Proper Gear Ratio?

More often than not, a baitcaster will have a higher gear ratio than its counterpart. One of the most common configuration choices amongst anglers is a 6.4:1. With this configuration, each time the crank is turned, it reels in 6.4 spool revolutions of line. It’s specifically designed to hold heavier lines than others. So if you plan to cast heavy lures over long distances for big game, this is what you’ll want to use. 

Common Ratios

You will find baitcaster reels with different ratios. Some of the most common are 5.4:1, 6.4:1, and 7.1:1. What do these numbers mean though? The first set of numbers is how many revolutions the spool makes as you turn the handle. The higher the number, the mor eline the baitcaster will reel in. If you’re using spinnerbait or buzzbait, you’ll want to use a 7.1:1. If you plan to use crankbait, a slower gear ratio such as 5.4:1. Higher ratios are better for fishing in small areas. 

Braking System

All baitcaster reels come with braking systems. These braking systems will slow down the spool rotation after you cast. If your baitcaster reel didn’t have the braking system, then you would fall victim to the ever-so-frustrating backlash. We have had some serious experiences with knotted lines and we can safely say that the braking system saved our sanity. 

One word of advice from us is that you need to learn to thumb the spool correctly, no matter what braking system you have. This will guarantee headache-free casting. 

Frames

We looked into it and found that most baitcasters either come in aluminum or graphite, the latter costing much less than the former in most cases. Graphite is much lighter than aluminum, but it won’t withstand as much abuse as aluminum frames would. We also found that the high-end reels are made from aluminum one-piece frames. 

Spools

Most baitcaster reels will be equipped with an aluminum spool. High-end reels will be made from forged aluminum, but lower-end models are made from die-cast. If you’re looking for a reel that you can use without the fear of scratching, you’ll want the forged aluminum. Additionally, the spools that have holes drilled into them are better for starting and stopping spinning as well as being lighter in weight. These are pricey though. Very rarely will you find drilled holes in cheap spools. 

Line Guides

The line guides on baitcaster reels are either titanium or ceramic. The latter of the two are more affordable but are easier to crack and break from overuse. You will find titanium line guides on the higher-end reels. 

Ball Bearings

It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. Some say that cheap reels with 10 ball bearings are poor quality, but we actually found that they work just as well as the more expensive ones. However, just to be on the safe side, look for the words “shielded”, “double-shielded” and “sealed”. These are some of the best types of ball bearings, but stainless steel isn’t terrible either. 

How To Use A Baitcaster

So now that you’ve picked your baitcaster, it’s time to learn how to use it. Even if you already know how, it’s always nice to have a refresher once in a while. 

Spooling

First, you should learn how to spool your baitcaster. Once you have chosen the fishing line that works best for your expedition, If you chose monofilament or fluorocarbon for your line, you can tie it directly to the spool. If you use a braided line, you have to slip it into the spool and it requires backing. Here’s how to spool a traditional line: 

  1. Thread the line through the guides on the rod and the reels level wind guide.
  2. Wrap the line around the spool and tie an Albright knot. You then need to wet the knot and pull on the main line to make it tight. 
  3. Get as close to the knot as possible and trim the tag end.
  4. Secure the spool of line towards the rod tip. The line should flow off the holding spool in the same direction as it’s going onto the spool. 
  5. Maintain tension on the line between your thumb and finger to hold even pressure while spooling. 
  6. Reel the line on the spool until it’s about 1/8th inch from the top of the spool. 

Set & Adjust the Reel

This is the next most important step; setting up the reel. You don’t want to try to do this after you’ve cast because it could lead to tangles and backlash. Here’s how to do this: 

  1. Hold your rod at the 2 o’clock angle and leave about a foot of line hanging down with the lure. 
  2. Tighten the tension knob and push the thumb bar. 
  3. Hold the spool with your thumb and slowly loosen the tension so the lure takes around 3-seconds to fall to the ground. 
  4. Check it a couple of times to ensure the lure drop is consistent. If it speeds up and backlashes, tighten the spool tension. 

Repeat these steps every time you put on a new lure. If you don’t, you may encounter backlashing. 

Adjust the Brake

The braking system is what’s used to determine how quickly your spool stops allowing the line to exit after you’ve cast. 9/max is the highest break pressure and 1/min is the lowest. So 9 means it’s slow and 1 is fast. When adjusting your braking system. Turn the magnetic brake to 1/min. Once you’ve set it, turn the brake to 9/max. If you’re new to fishing, set it to 5-7. You can loosen the tension and lower the brakes to allow a more distant cast. 

Adjust the Drag System

Drag refers to the tension that is applied to your line while trying to reel in your catch. You will find a gear spoke next to your handle that looks like a pinwheel. If you push it forward, it will tighten. If you push it backward, it will loosen. If you tighten the drag, the line won’t slip while you’re reeling in your fish. Remember, you always want some drag. It helps keep your line taut so it doesn’t slack or snap under the pressure. Smaller fish require a looser end and bigger fish require a tighter end. 

Conclusion

We want to reiterate that we chose the Sougayilang Baitcaster Reel as our top pick. We really liked this reel better compared to the others because of that 1-year warranty and its outstanding performance in the water.

 It’s not too expensive and it does have some of the less expensive components, but it still outperformed a lot of the other baitcasters and we were all around happy with it. We hope that this guide has given you some helpful information regarding types of baitcasters and how to use them. 

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