What’s the Best Baitcasting Fishing Rod? An Honest Review.
Before you get out on the water and try to catch some fish, you need to spend some time looking for a good fishing reel. One of the most popular types of reels is the baitcaster. Although its not as simple as the fly or centerpin reels, it does provide more accurate casting. Baitcasters also reduce spool overrun and backlash and are most commonly used in bass fishing. Here are some tips to finding the right make and model baitcaster reel for you.
What is a Baitcasting Reel?
A baitcasting reel is different from spinning reels because it has a revolving spool that is placed on top of the casting rod that is used to store the line. You will usually find the reel crank handle on the right side of the reel, however, if you are used to spinning reels you may want to use a left-sided crank handle to start out with. Remember, the handle cannot be moved from one side to another. The baitcasting reel will also have level-wind devices, anti-reverse handles, and drags attached to them. The level-wind device keeps the line from snagging on the spool and prevents backlash. Anti-reverse handles keep big game fish from running the line. Baitcasting reels are referred to as overhead reels in Australia and New Zealand and in Europe they are called multiplier reels since turning the handle once causes more than one turn of the spool.
Operating A Baitcasting Reel
There is a little bit of an adjustment for those that started out with spinning reels before they first start to use a baitcasting reel. To operate a baitcasting reel, you need to use your whole arm instead of just your wrist and you cast your line by bringing the rod back and flinging it forward. What this does is it allows the spool to spin smoothly and slowly instead of using snap casting with your wrist which causes backlash. The reel itself should also be rotated which helps the line spin evenly. You can halt the lure after its weight has pulled it to the desired location by operating a thumb mechanism – this also prevents overrun. The reel itself should stand on end at the end of the cast. If you want to get more distance when you cast, you can adjust the braking system on the rod. All of this takes a lot of practice to get down.
Baitcasting Reel Variations
Round and Low-Profile Reels
There are two types of baitcast reels. The first is a low-profile reel that is used more by bass fisherman and also referred to as tear-drop type reels. These reels were created to allow fishermen to palm the reel during a retrieve. Abu Garcia creates low profile reels as part of the Revo series. The second type of baitcast reel is the round reel which holds more line because it has a larger spool. These reels are great for going after fish that make long runs like salmon and pike. Most reels are made of graphite or aluminum.
Gears and Ball Bearings
Gears are usually made of brass and a steel pinion gear. A lightweight and extremely strong material called Duralumin is used in high-end reels. It’s better to have less ball bearings that are a high quality than to have a lot of ball bearings that are all made of lower quality steel.
There are several types of fishing lines that can be used for baitcasting reels that are usually made of fluorocarbon, multifilaments, and nylon monofilaments. While learning to cast with a baitcasting reel, its usually better to use a heavier line like fluorocarbon as you can pick out backlashes more easily and its simpler to cast. They usually take about 10 pounds of test line compared to 8 pounds for a spinning reel. Do not overfill spool with line as approximately 0.125 inches should remain empty.
Baitcasting reels usually use heavier lures than what you use for a spinning reel. The lightest tackle for baitcasting should be about 0.25 pounds as a baitcasting reel will not cast light lures. You can adjust cast control when lures of different weights are attached.
The gear ratio, or speed of the reel, is a standardized to a 4:1 ratio. Some baitcasting reels are now featuring higher gear ratios (5.5:1 up to 7.1:1) which means sacrificing your power for a quicker retrieval. Gear ratios can be tailored to the type of fish you are luring.
Spool tension is adjusted with a centrifugal or magnetic brake. In a centrifugal brake system, the tension of the spool is adjusted with pins. In a magnetic brake system, metal like aluminum is used to react to a set of magnets. There are some braking systems that use both centrifugal and magnetic mechanisms. When you adjust the tension on the line, you will not overrun during a cast and have backlash, also referred to as a birdie. Spool tension is adjusted with a knob on the reel and when the spool is disengaged, the tension should be adjusted so that the lure will fall slowly to the ground.
Big Game Reels
If you are fishing in saltwater for larger types of fish, such as marlin, sharks, and tuna, you can use baitcasting reels that are especially designed for big game. The difference between big game reels and regular baitcasting reels is just that they weren’t created for repeated casting. Instead they use lure that are for open water. Since the reel is located close to the rod, these reels give you more leverage when you are trying to pull one of those larger fish in.
Abu Garcia BMAX2 Black Max Baitcast Reel RH 5BB 6.4:1 145/12-Pound
The Abu Garcia BMAX2 Black Max Baitcast Reel is one of the more affordable reels on the market. It features a new, compact Black Max design with a smooth retrieve and 4+1 bearing system that has enough built in strength to withstand the demands of hardcore fishing. It has a lightweight graphite frame and only weighs 7.9 ounces. It also has a compact bent handle and star that provides an ergonomic feel during retrieves. The Abu Garcia BMAX2 Black Max includes a limited manufacturer's warranties against any defects in the materials and the workmanship of one year on reels and three years on roods.
- Four stainless steel ball bearings plus one roller bearing that provides even operation.
- A compact bent handle and star that provides an ergonomic design.
- Machined aluminum spool that provides strength without additional excess weight.
- Power Disk drag system that gives even drag performance.
- Duragear brass gear that provides extended gear life.
- MagTrax brake system that gives consistent brake pressure throughout the cast.
- Recessed reel foot that provides a more ergonomic reel design.
- It’s has a lightweight one piece graphite frame with graphite sideplates.
- One year limited manufacturer’s sarranty.
- Bullet Point 2
Things We Liked
- It’s smooth and casts well.
- Greet reel for the price.
- It’s great to buy several and have them all spooled up differently.
Things We Didn't Like
- It comes without line and it’s confusing to load.
- Can’t use heavy lures with it.
- Rod is on the small side.
Click here for more information on the Abu Garcia BMAX2 Black Max BaitcastReel RH 5BB 6.4:1 145/12-Pound.
Abu Garcia Pro Max Low Profile Baitcast Reel (12-Pound/145-Yard)
The Abu Garcia Pro Max Low Profile Baitcast Reel provide a first rate performance with a superbly smooth design. It has an externally adjustable MagTrax™ casting brake that ensures an efficient cast control while the 7+1 stainless steel bearing system provides an outstandingly even retrieve. The Abu Garcia Prom Max is lightweight and compact and is designed to be used steadily daily.
- Made with high quality parts.
- Professional grade fishing equipment.
- Tested for strength and quality.
- Has a 12-pound and 145-yard mono spool capacity plus a 30-pound and 130-yard braid spool capacity.
- Has a 7.1:1 high-speed gear ratio that picks up 31 inches per turn.
- It is lightweight and has a one-piece graphite frame with sideplates.
- Top of the line reel created for maximum performance and professional results.
Things We Liked
- Great for both beginners and pros.
- Very well made and casts like a dream.
- Smoother than its more expensive competitiors.
Things We Didn't Like
- Be careful with your casts, the spool will keep feeding out line.
- Can’t cast any further than with a regular reel.
- Drag gears will lock up after a few uses.
Click here for more information on Abu Garcia Pro Max Low Profile Baitcast Reel.
Piscifun® Tuned Magnetic Brake System Low Profile Baitcaster Baitcasting Fishing Reel
Piscifun Tuned Magnetic Brake System Low Profile Baitcaster is is a great reel no matter what type of fishing you are doing. It is strong and affordable and can be used for a variety of fishing experiences although it is recommended mainly for ice fishing but can be used for other lighter fishing purposes. The Piscifun Low Profile Baitcaster is a durable reel that is made of high-quality nylon plus a machine formed aluminum reel. It will not easily corrode so you should have it for years to come with regular maintenance. It is perfect for ice fishing and one of the top selling ice fishing reels in the world. It has a low-profile reel that is useful for many lighter purposes as well.
The Piscifun Low Profile Baitcaster comes in with a very high 13+1 bearing count that will keep your spool turning evenly all day long. Add that to its high gear ratio and you have a great fishing reel at an affordable price that will make your fishing experience fun and easy. As long as you aren’t fishing for gar or large marine fish, the drag poundage is a lot and it is easy to set with the smooth star next to the handle. The star design allows for quick and simple control of the drag so you don’t have to take your hand off the crank. It also has a great look with its yellow and black design that is bold instead of gaudy.
The Piscifun Low Profile Baitcaster is lightweight and has ergonomically designed handle that you can use all day without tiring your hands and wrists. If you prefer magnetic brakes throughout a whole cast, this is an advanced reel that adjusts easily with the changing conditions.
- Weighs only 7.37oz.
- Gear Ratio: 6.3:1.
- Line Capacity (Braid) is 12Lbs and 100Yds.
- Comes with 13 Stainless Steel Ball Bearings + 1 Roller Bearings.
- Has easy release side plate.
- Has a one Way Clutch System.
- Has a High Strength Nylon + Platinum Solder Theme and Side Plate.
- Excellent Tuned Magnetic Brake System.
- Ultra-light Aluminum Handle.
- Ergonomically Shaped EVA Knob for Comfortable & Sure Grip.
- Max. Braking Force: Approx. 4kg/8.8lb.
- High Strength Nylon Glass Fiber Body and Brass Gear.
- Computer Numerical Control Machined Aluminum Spool.
Things We Liked
- Great for kids or people with small hands.
- Really affordable and great quality for the price.
- Really smooth to use and built to last.
Things We Didn't Like
- Parts are plastic and it makes noise when using it.
- Doesn’t spool smoothly.
- Doesn’t perform as well as it looks.
Click here for more information on the Piscifun® Tuned Magnetic Brake System Low Profile Baitcaster Baitcasting Fishing Reel.
Noeby Baitcasting Fishing Reel 10+1 Ball Bearings Casting Reel Right/Left Handed Baitcast Fishing Reel Baitcaster
Noeby Baitcasting Fishing Reels Right/Left Handed Fishing Reel was created to be one of the best baitcasting fishing rod on the market. Its perfect for a competitive angler and consists of 10 ball bearing pieces and one way clutch. It has a magnetic cast control that lets you cast in any type of wind or weather.
- Made with an ultra -lightweight design that has super smooth performance.
- CNC machine cut aluminum spool with brass gears and a nylon body.
- Has a removable quick release side plate for fast spool change.
- Includes a balanced double handle with PVC knobs that is perfect for fishing.
- Comes with a one year warranty.
- Has 10 Ball Bearings plus a one-way Clutch.
- Maximum Braking Force is approx. 5kg or 11lb with a Line Capacity of 12Lbs or100Yds.
- Has a Gear Ratio: 6.3:1 and weighs 198g/6.98oz.
Things We Liked
- Great reel for the money.
- Good cranking reel.
- Stands up well against more expensive reels.
Things We Didn't Like
- Is noisy when you use it.
- Backlashes easily.
- Hard to cast properly with it.
Click here for more information on the Noeby Baitcasting Fishing Reel 10+1 Ball Bearings Casting Reel Right/Left Handed Baitcast Fishing Reel Baitcaster.
KastKing Spartacus Baitcasting Reel - Ultra Smooth Carbon Fiber Drag 17.5LBs - 11 + 1 Shielded Ball Bearings -- The Perfect Warrior for Bass Fishing
KastKing® Spartacus baitcasting reels are a high quality and a high performance reel that is affordably priced. The Spartacus' has a unique centrifugal and magnetic dual brake system plus its 17.5 lbs. carbon fiber drag and 11 + 1 shielded MaxiDur steel ball bearings that are resistant to corrosion and have deep races to run evenly. It also has instant stop anti reverse and touch brass gears. The CNC aluminum spool provides the best baitcasting reel value on the market.
You will enjoy many hours using the KastKing Spartacus baticasting reel due to its corrosion resistant components. Its available in right or left hand models and comes with a one-year warranty for recreational fishing use.
- Comes with a Dual Brake System High-end Centrifugal and Magnetic Brake System.
- Has 11+1 Shielded Stainless Steel Ball Bearings.
- Carbon Fiber Drag System provides 17.5LB Max Stopping Power.
- Has a One Way Clutch System.
- CNC Machined Aluminum Spool.
- Includes Precision Machined Brass Gear.
- Has a Clicker System for the Action Adjusting.
- Graphite Body and Quick Removing Side Covers.
- Comes in Left and Right Hand Models with CNC Aluminum Handle and EVA Knobs.
- Includes Ceramic Insert Line Guide.
Things We Liked
- Great quality and well made for the price.
- Great looking, really smooth and lightweight.
- Has a good power handle, casts extremely well and the cast control is easy to adjust for different lure weights.
Things We Didn't Like
- Drag and braking system stopped working after you use it a few times.
- Clutch system stops working easily.
- Lower quality reel than you expect.
Click here for more information on the KastKing Spartacus Baitcasting Reel - Ultra Smooth Carbon Fiber Drag 17.5LBs - 11 + 1 Shielded Ball Bearings -- The Perfect Warrior for Bass Fishing.
The winner of the Best Baitcasting Fishing Rod is the Abu Garcia Pro Max Low Profile Baitcast Reel. It has an awesomely smooth design with an externally adjustable MagTrax™ casting brake that makes sure you have effective cash control. It also includes a 7+1 stainless steel bearing system that provides an superbly smooth retrieve. The Abu Garcia Prom Max is lightweight and compact reel that is designed to be used on a daily basis. The clear winner of the Best Baitcasting Fishing Reel is the Abu Garcia Pro Max Low Profile Baitcast Reel.