10 Best Baitcasting Reel for Saltwater & Freshwater Reviewed

If you are a professional angler you must know the importance of a baitcasting reel, for getting your hands on some big fishes there is no better alternative than a baitcasting reel.

It is true that mastering this reel is tough but trust me, once you master it, fishing will be a whole lot enjoyable to you.

Baitcasting reels cost a good amount of money and that is why it is important that you choose the right one for you. Otherwise, you will end up losing both your money and a good fishing trip.

Choosing the right baitcasting reel is tricky and it is very hard for newcomers. There are a lot of things to be considered.

However, in order to save both your time and money, I have put together a list of 10 best baitcasting reel for saltwater & freshwater fishing. You will find everything about each of these reels which will help you to pick the right one for you.

So your very own baitcasting reel is just a few clicks away.

Top 10 Best Baitcasting Reel for Saltwater & Freshwater Reviewed

I have gone through all the reviews these reels have and also reached to the users who have been using these for a while. I didn’t find any major flaws in these reels and anglers are pretty satisfied with all these reels.

Some of these reels are even recommended by professional anglers. After comparing a lot of factors such as durability, gear ratio, performance, price, etc. I have come up with these 10 baitcasting reels.

How to Buy a Best Baitcasting Reel?

I am assuming that you are an experienced angler who is shifting to baitcasting reel in order to play with big fishes. If you are a newbie, then you should not get a baitcaster for you. This reel is for experienced anglers, even sometimes they also encounter problem controlling it.

However, here I am going to show you some factors that every baitcaster reel have. Make sure you check everything right before you make a purchase decision.

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Materials Used in Construction

In order to produce reels at a cheaper price, many manufacturers use low-quality materials and people are always excited about those since they come at a cheaper price. Only think about the baitcasting reel that is made of either graphite or aluminum.

These materials mostly used and widely popular material for fishing reels since they are highly durable and lightweight (Take a look at the best ultralight spinning reels) Make sure you do not compromise anything if you don’t want your investment to go wrong.

The Gear ratio

Do you know what is gear ratio? Well, gear ration means how many lines your reel will retrieve in one crank. For example, 6.1:1 gear ratio means, the reel will retrieve 6.1 inches’ line in a single crank.  In easy words, the gear ratio is the reel speed.

Gear ratio ranges from 5.4:1 to 7.1:1. Different gear ratios are suitable for different needs and they have their own set of benefits and drawbacks.

Reel brake

This is similar to the brake came to your mind after reading this. The work is to slow down the spool rotation. Have you heard of backlash?

Well, backlash in the last thing in the world that any angler wants. If you are not familiar with it, backlashing means line tangling up in the spool which will not allow you to cast and it happens when the spool releases line faster than the lure.

So yeah, having a braking system in the reel will save you from the mess. There different types of braking system and two major ones are centrifugal and magnetic braking system.

Size of the Spool

There are mainly two types of spool, a large and small one. Both are suitable for different types of fishing. If you will be casting for long distances and will catch big fishes, then you will need a large spool since they will have a good amount of line holding capacity. Large spools also have better line management.

On the other hand, small spools are perfect for small casts because they don’t have a big line holding capacity.

Size of the handle

Baitcasting reels come with different sized handles for different needs. There are shorter handles and there are big ones. If you will be handling jigs or worms than short handles will work perfectly for you but for large crankbaits, you will need a large handle. Large handles will give you more power and allow you to pry the fish out the water quickly.

Reel bearings

Bearing plays an important role, how smoothly you will be able to spool or cast will mostly depend on the bearings. If bearings are smooth, everything will go fine. Always check for bearings that are made of high-quality materials such as aluminum and magnesium.

These materials are highly durable and long lasting, they offer performs better than any other material bearings.

Bearings also come in different types such as shielded bearing, stainless steel bearing, and double shielded bearings.

Drag System

How easily hooked fish can pull out the line from spool depends on the drag. So make sure your reel has a nice drag. And you have to be very careful setting the drag, too lose drag will allow the fish to take out all the line and too tight might break the line. Low startup inertia drag system is balanced.

Anti-corrosive coating: It is highly important for the reel to be corrosion resistant, otherwise saltwater will damage it with no time. 

Round Vs Low-Profile Baitcasting Reel. Which One to Choose?

Have you heard about the types of baitcasting reel? There are two types low-profile and rounded. These two reels have a few dissimilarities which I have described below

Weight: Low-profile reels are lightweight than the round shaped one. And smaller in size too. In order to make easy wrist operation, many anglers choose low-profile reels.

Gear ratio: Since low-profile reels are smaller hence they have a higher gear ratio.

Line capacity: Round baitcaster is the winner here. Because of the bigger size, they can hold a good amount of lines. At least more than a low-profile reel can. Good line capacity makes round reels perfect for longer casts.

Drag: Round shaped reel offers a good drag which low-profile doesn’t. Low-profile baitcasters are only for catching small or medium fishes, they can’t handle large fish. On the other hand, round shaped baitcasters are perfect for big fish species.

Right Handed or Left Handed Baitcaster Reel?

After figuring out the reel most intermediate anglers get stuck in this phase. Which sided handle should I choose, right or left? It actually depends on you. Just because a professional use right-handed handle you don’t have to do the same. Choose one with which you are used to.

Traditional reels come with a right-sided handle. Anglers were used to cast with the right hand and then shift the rod to left hand and crank with the right hand. This might not seem to be very comfortable but almost every angler used to do this.

However, now you don’t have to do that. Now baitcaster comes with a handle on both sides. So if you are right-handed choose reel that has a handle on the left side. You will cast with your right hand and will crank with your left hand, that would be more effective.

If you are used to cast with the right hand and then shift the rod to your left hand, do the same. You will be more comfortable in that.

What are the Advantages of Baitcasting Reels?

Every kind of fishing reels come with their own set of advantage and disadvantages. Each kind is suitable for different needs. However, let’s have a look at the advantages of using a baitcasting reel.

Long distance cast: Fishing in saltwater requires longer casts and Baitcaster offers the longest cast than any other fishing reels. But you need to use the baitcaster combo. The thing that helps baitcaster to cast long is, the line directly rolls from the spool and that is why it becomes smooth.

Strength: When dealing with large and fast fish species, your rod and reel need to be enough strong and fast responsive. You will need to pull that fish up from the water and baitcasters are the winner here, no reel offers strength as much as baitcasting reels do.

Accuracy: Once you have mastered using baitcaster you will be able to cast with great accuracy and that feeling cannot be described in words.

Control: This one of the best quality that baitcasters have. These reels will allow you to adjust the speed and distance of the bait by using thumb, might not be easy at the beginning but with time, it will get better.

Line twist: Line twisting is a common problem in spinning reels, this problem will prevent you from making an accurate cast. But in baitcaster there is no option for line twisting. Plus, in baitcaster line doesn’t get damaged.

Disadvantages of Baitcaster Reel

Hard to Master: Baitcasters are not for newbie angler. Casting and controlling with baitcaster is very hard, it requires a lot of patience to be able to use a baitcaster properly. At the beginning, you will see a lot of backlashing which will happen from not being able to control the baitcaster. Even professional do a lot of practices before hitting the ocean.

Price: Baitcaster reels are expensive than other reels, so you need to be very careful when choosing the one for you.


These are best baitcasting reel for saltwater, all of them performs pretty good according to the users. Choose the one that suits your need, hope you have a satisfying experience.

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