Not everyone needs a $300 baitcaster!
Some cannot afford to invest that much amount in fishing gears and some shouldn’t.
Whether you are a beginner angler looking for a beginner baitcasting reel to get started or someone who looking for the best budget baitcasting reel, I have good news for both.
I have come up with 10 best baitcasting reel under 100 dollars. How did I pick them? explaining that later, but first, have a quick look at these baitcasting reels under $100.
At a Glance: Best Baitcasting Reels Under 100
- Abu Garcia Zata Baitcasting Low Profile Reel
- Abu Garcia Revo X Low Profile Baitcaster
- Pflueger President XT Low Profile Baitcaster
- KastKing Royale Legend Baitcasting Reels
- KastKing Spartacus Baitcasting Fishing Reel
- Abu Garcia Pro Max Low Profile Baitcasting Reel
- Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel
- KastKing Royale Legend GT/Whitemax Baitcasting Reel
- KastKing MegaJaws Baitcasting Reel
- KastKing Crixus Baitcasting Reel
Top Baitcasters Under $100 – Product Comparison
1. Abu Garcia Zata Baitcasting Low Profile Reel
Right out of the box the very first thing that will impress you is the weight and color of this very baitcaster.
It comes in matt green that looks incredibly classy, it even feels good to tough this reel. And then it weighs only 9.52 ounces which is pretty lightweight.
There is a lot to say about this Abu Garcia Zata baitcaster, people call it the powerhouse of the baitcasters, what an incredible production for the price.
Talking about the price though you are here for best baitcasters under $100 but this Abu Garcia Zata comes in 120 bucks.
Trust me, you wouldn’t want to miss on this piece for 20 bucks, that is why I put it here. It is an incredibly smooth and pretty tough reel.
Features 11 stainless steel bearings including 1 roller bearing which makes the reel smooth like butter. Constructed with Graphite and in some places, it has carbon fiber as well.
It also comes with a Carbon Matrix drag system that delivers constant smooth drag pressure. It has Duragear brass gear and Infini brake system that performs incredibly.
This reel comes with a great dialing system, the clickers make things way too easier and convenient. The retrieve rate is pretty fast, 29-inches.
It comes in only one gear ratio, 7.1:1, it would have been better if there were few options. However, this is still a workhorse of a reel.
Famous angler Benjamin Nowak, check out what he says about this Abu Garcia Zata Baitcasting reel.
- Gear Ratio: 7.1:1.
- Weight: 9.52 oz.
- Bearings: 10 BB + 1 RB.
- Max drag: 20 lb.
- Retrieve rate: 29-inches.
- Monoline capacity: 135/10 110/12 95/14.
- Braided line Capacity: 145/20 110/30 75/50.
2. Abu Garcia Revo X Low Profile Baitcaster
This Revo X low-profile baitcaster comes with everything that an angler looks for on an ideal baitcasting reel.
From good smoothness to great casting ability, this very reel has everything for a satisfying fishing trip. However, let’s get into everything one by one.
First let’s talk about the smoothness, as I said it is very smooth, it comes with 8 bearings including one roller bearing.
Also features an instant anti-reverse and carbon matrix hybrid drag system which delivers a silky smooth retrieve. It has a magnetic braking system called the MagTrax Braking system.
Everything in this reel is conveniently adjustable, the dial adjustment is very comfortable. The dial adjustment handles both the drag system and the brake system.
The dial features audible clicks while adjusting and it plays nicely. The clicker sound makes it very easy to determine whether the reel is tight or loose.
Not only the look and features that are impressive about this reel, but the price also impresses a lot. I mean, you get a lot under 100 bucks. So it is definitely a win.
However, one thing that few anglers might find a little irritating about this reel is, the handle grip. When wet, you might not get the right grip.
Look what Jared Tuck has found after using this baitcaster…
- Gear ratio: 7.3:1.
- Weight: 7. 9 oz.
- Bearings: 7 BB + 1 RB.
- Max drag: 18 lb.
- Retrieve rate: 30-inch.
- Monoline capacity: 175/10 145/12 100/15
- Braided line capacity: 90/20 140/30 100/50
3. Pflueger President XT Low Profile Baitcaster – Best Baitcaster Under $75
And then I have Pflueger President XT low profile baitcaster for you, one of the best baitcasters under $75. Unlike the previous two models, this one is actually constructed with aluminum which makes it an extremely durable reel. The material makes it withstand a lot of abuse that is what users say.
It isn’t very heavy, it weighs around 7.7 oz. and it is considered lightweight. Butter smooth reel, comes with 9 bearings which are made of stainless steel and they are corrosion-resistant, so salt buildup cannot do jack.
Also features a magnetic braking system that is conveniently adjustable. The handle of this reel is also made of aluminum, not any aluminum aircraft-grade aluminum so that it can withstand a lot of punishment easily.
For great grip, the handle has a soft tough rubber knob. The dial has an audible clicker which makes adjusting it way too easy and fun.
Comes in only one gear ratio which is 7.3:1. It would have been better there were other options. The retrieve rate is pretty incredible, 31-inch per turn.
- Gear ratio: 7.3:1.
- Weight: 7.7 oz.
- Bearings: 8 BB + 1 RB.
- Max drag: 12 lb.
- Retrieve rate: 31-inch.
- Monoline capacity: 145/12 125/14 100/17
- Braided line capacity: 85/20 140/30 100/50
4. KastKing Royale Legend Baitcasting Reels – Best Baitcaster for Bass Fishing
The kastKing Royale Legend baitcasting reel is a tournament-ready bass fishing reel that lives up to the expectation. This low profile baitcaster delivers pro-level tournament performance.
You are going to have a good time using this very reel if you have used baitcaster before. There are different gear ratios and colors of this reel.
Plus, the manufacturer has launched reels for both rights and left-handed anglers.
Anyways moving on!
It comes with 8:1:1 gear ratio and 11 ball bearings. The bearings are made of stainless steel and they are double shielded, so saltwater cannot do any harm to it but still clean the reel before you store.
This very baitcaster also features anti-reverse, that too is pretty fast. The main gear is made of aluminum that delivers incredible durability. And lastly, the kick levers are made of stainless steel as well.
So I can say, with this very baitcaster you shouldn’t worry about the durability. Even after being incredibly durable, it is a lightweight reel.
It offers 17.6 lb max drag, that allows you to play with big fishes and there are 5 element magnetic brakes, that too with 10 adjustments, so there shouldn’t be any chance of backlashes.
- Gear ratio: 8:1:1
- Max Drag: 17.6 lb.
- Ball Bearings: 11 + 1
- Mono Line Capacity: 12/130
- Braid Line Capacity: 50/130
- Weight: 7.2 oz.
5. KastKing Spartacus Baitcasting Fishing Reel
Like the name Spartacus, this kastKing Spartacus Baitcaster reel is a real warrior. It comes with features that everyone would expect from a top-notch baitcaster. Let’s get into them one by one.
This reel features micro cast dual centrifugal and magnetic brakes. And also features tournament-ready carbon fiber max 17.6 lb drag.
Both of these features make this very reel extremely powerful so you can play with big fishes better.
Moreover, the reel comes with 11 + 1 corrosion-resistant superior shielded ball bearings that give you a smoother feeling. The CNC machines aluminum spool makes the reel even smoother.
The gear ratio is 6:3:1 and the weight is 7.2 oz. Price is very reasonable and performance it just amazing.
If you have the experience of using baitcasting reels, you would love this reel from bottom of your heart. It is extremely popular for the smoothness it offers.
- Gear Ratio: 6:3:1
- Weight: 7.2 oz.
- Bearing: 11 + 1.
- Max drag: 17.6 lb
- Monoline capacity: 10/125 12/100 15/85
- Braid line capacity: 40/125, 50/100, 65/85
6. Abu Garcia Pro Max Low Profile Baitcasting Reel
With 7:1: gear ratio this Abu Garcia Pro Max baitcaster delivers decent speed and it is an incredibly suitable reel for frogging and lightweight lures.
You can reel in light lures pretty easily. Casting with this one is very convenient, credit goes to the eight ball bearings which ensure the smoothness.
Not only that, but the comfortable handle grip also plays a major role in the over the convenience of the angler.
The reel foot and little bent handle provides extra torque to fish with the fish. The 18 lb drag power makes this reel suitable for largemouth bass, pike, and fish species like that.
It features machines aluminum spool and a braking system that allows the angler to cast accurately in longer distances.
But having that said, you need good casting skills as well. Moving on, for controlling backlashing you need to be little experiences and there are some adjustments you have to do.
If we talk about the durability, this very reel is great in that as well. The entire reel is constructed with graphite material which is known as one of the best materials for fishing gears.
- Weight: 7.3 oz.
- Max drag: 18 lb
- Gear Ratio: 7:1:1
- Ball bearings: 7 + 1
- Monoline capacity: 12/145
- Braid line capacity: 30/140
7. Piscifun Torrent 18LB Baitcasting Reel – Best Beginner Baitcasting Reel
Want to hook big fishes? Then the Piscifun torrent Baitcasting reel would be a great companion of yours. It features highly advanced 4 washers that make this baitcaster extremely powerful.
It gives 18lb carbon fiber drag that enables you to handle big fish pretty easily, obviously with the right skill.
It has 7:1:1 gear ratio that is something versatile anglers will love. And this reel is pretty silent. Plus, getting the fish out of cover with this baitcaster is quick as well.
The manufacturer has constructed this reel heavily with top-notch Graphite material which is known as one of the best materials.
And that makes this extremely durable. They also used climate-resistant Japanese Hami Cut 3604 brass gear that ensures you get satisfying baitcasting experience.
This baitcaster reel comes in four variations. 5.3.1 gear ration for right and left-handed. And 7:1:1 gear ratio for both handed.
- Gear ratio: 7:1:1
- Max drag: 18 lb.
- Ball Bearings: 5 + 1
- Weight: 8 oz.
- Braided line capacity: 30 lb/120 yard
- Mono Line Capacity: 10 lb/ 120 yard
8. KastKing Royale Legend GT/Whitemax Baitcasting Reel
The Kastking Royale Legend GT will deliver you a satisfying performance at a very affordable price. This is not a top-notch baitcaster but it decent enough to give you a smooth fishing experience and that too at an extremely low price.
It is a low profile reel and looks pretty cool, though look shouldn’t matter when it comes to fishing reels.
To make sure the angler can reel comfortably for longer periods, the reel handle features an extremely comfortable grip. And that is why it has GT (grand tough) in the name.
It has a highly durable 95.5 mm 6061 aluminum alloy handle. This reel comes with 8 crossfire magnets that deliver efficient braking and enables you to control the casting better.
With this very baitcaster, you get quadruple disc carbon drag and 17.6 lbs drag power that allows you to play with medium-big fishes very easily.
For smooth performance, it also features 5 + 1 double-shielded stainless steel bearing that is highly durable and smooth.
Apart from that this reel also features 37mm cut brass main gear, stainless steel hardware, ceramic line guides, pinion gear, and main shaft made of brass.
The gear ratio is 7:2:1. Overall, this Kastking Royale Legend GT is a highly durable baitcaster reel that will serve you pretty well.
- Gear Ratio: 7:2:1
- Max Drag: 17.6 lbs.
- Weight:7.2 oz.
- Ball bearings: 5 + 1
- Monoline capacity: 10/130, 12/110, 14/90.
- Braid line Capacity: 40/130, 50/110, 65/90
9. KastKing MegaJaws Baitcasting Reel
The KastKing Megajaw Baitcasting reel comes in four gear ratios and each of them comes in different colors so that angler can identify the gear ratio by seeing the color. This is an extremely high-performing baitcaster that features stainless steel bearings which are double shielded as well. Smooth bearings make sure you have a smooth reeling experience.
It also features manganese brass pinion and gears for durable and strong service. If we talk about the dragging power, anglers love the carbon fiber power drag washer that this very reel offers. It eliminates all inconsistent drag tension with a 17.6 lbs dragging power. The powerful drag enables you to play with the big fishes.
Casting with this reel is easy, the reel spool is very smooth and so are the line guides. There is very low friction occurs when the line flows through the guides. The braking system of this reel comes with 10 level controls for any bait and 8 magnets to stay away from backlashes.
This reel features a durable reel handle, and that has rubber cork handle knob for comfortable reeling. The entire reel is constructed with graphite material that makes it extremely durable and long-lasting.
- Gear ratio: 7:2:1
- Weight: 7.5 oz.
- Max drag: 17.6 lb
- Ball bearings: 11 + 1
- Monoline capacity: 10/125, 12/110, 14/90
- Braid line capacity: 40/125, 50/110, 65/80
10. KastKing Crixus Baitcasting Reel
Performance, classy look, and affordability, you will get all of that with this KastKing Crixus baitcasting reel. It is designed for professional anglers so the manufacturer made sure it comes with everything that an experienced angler would expect from a baitcaster.
It features Carbon Infused Nylon Frame that makes it durable, and lightweight as well. The main and pinion gears are made of brass in order to ensure high durability and strength.
Moreover, for smoothness, this reel comes with 7 + 1 stainless steel shielded ball bearings that are extremely durable and smooth. The spool wouldn’t make any noise and the reeling and casting would be smooth. The smoothness enables the user to achieve longer casting distance as well.
The handle is made of strong aluminum and is pretty strong. Not only that, but it also comes with a super polymer grip so that you can comfortably do the reeling for longer periods. Plus, the handle grip is completely slip-resistant.
Let’s come to the dragging power, this reel has one of the best drags. Features quadruple 4 carbon disc drag system and deliver 17.6 lb drag power.
This much drag power is enough for fighting big saltwater fishes. The gear ratio is 7:2:1, so line retrieving will be very quick. This is one of the most popular gear ratios now.
This reel is easy to control compared to other baitcasting reels. The braking system has 8 magnets and adjustable to 10 levels, so you can easily control the overrun and backlashing issue.
- Gear ratio: 7:2:1
- Max drag: 17.6 lb.
- Ball bearings: 7 + 1.
- Weight: 7.3 oz.
- Monoline capacity: 10/130, 12/110, 14/90.
- Braid Line Capacity: 40/128, 50/110, 65/80
How to Choose the Right Baitcasting Reel?
Misconception and fears keep the angler’s far from using a baitcasting reel. Most of the newbie anglers think that baitcasting reel is hard to learn and use.
But the truth is baitcasting reel is the most important, it will take your fishing experience to another level. You just need to learn some technique and have patience.
This article will help you to choose the right baitcasting reel for you.
What is the baitcasting reel?
In simple words, baitcasting is a reel that has a revolving spool and you have to attach it at the top of a casting rod with a trigger handle. Baitcast reel is the exact opposite of a spinning reel because the spinning reel sits at the end of the spinning rod.
You cannot swap the handle with a spinning reel, for that reason baitcasting reel comes with two types of models. One is for lefthanded and another one is for right-handed.
If you are a left hand then you have to choose the left hand otherwise right hand will be right for you. If you are right-handed then the reel will be placed in your left hand and your right hand will be crack the handle. If you are left-handed then you have to follow the exact opposite direction.
Baitcast reel has two different shapes, round and low-profile. Both have different purposes and pros and cons. Depend on what you need you have to choose one baitcasting reel for you.
Round baitcasting reel used for heavier duty. It can easily hold more lines than the other baitcasting reel. People used this reel to toss longer baits.
If you plan to catch big fish like steelhead, salmon, muskie, and pike then this round bait cast will be very helpful to you.
Low profile baitcasting is the most used reel because it is easy to use and handle.
The different types of reels have different ratios. The speed of the reel depends on its ratio. 5.4:1, 6.4:1, and 7.1:1 are the most popular ratios for the baitcasting reel. Most newbies do not know the meaning of this number.
If your gear ratio is 5.4:1 then it means your spool will revolve 6.4 times higher with one crank. The higher number of ratios means at the same time it can easily retrieve more line.
The most famous reel ratio is 6.4:1 because it can easily work for both fast and slow-moving. But the most important thing is you need to know the perfect technique. If you know it then both low and high ratio will work best. Choose a ratio in your budget which can easily cover all your need.
Every baitcasting reel has a braking system. This feature helps you to adjust the baitcasting reel and slow-fast down the spool ratio at the time of casting. If this feature is not added to the baitcasting reel backlash would be happening.
To adjust spool speed you need to knob the tension in the first line of offense. On the reel handle side, you can easily find the large knob. You have to tighten your knob enough, as a result, the lure will fall slowly when you disengage your reel. Stop revolving when it makes contact. It will be tighter if you use a heavier lure.
To adjust the reel you have to use centrifugal breaks which are friction based. Push the pins upward to engage the brake. Apply your reel pin across each other if your reel is the six-pin system.
Some baitcasting reel has a magnetic reel. But their working principle is a bit complicated.
what kind of braking system you use does not matter. The main matter is how correctly you can thumb the spool.
Frames: Aluminum and graphite these two types of baitcasting reel frames available in the market. Aluminum frames are expensive and heavier than the graphite frame. Aluminum frames are also work fine and durable.
Spools: Most of the baitcasting spools have aluminum spool. Some expensive baitcasting reels have forged aluminum. Forged aluminum makes the spool lightweight and easy to use.
Handle: Anglers like to use Soft rubber handle knobs.
Line guides:Line guides are basically made of either titanium or ceramic. Ceramic line guides are less expensive than titanium ones. But they have a chance to break. On the other side, titanium line guides are more sturdy and expensive.
How to Cast a Baitcasting Reel?
Baitcasting isn’t an easy task and nor it is too hard. All comes down to how dedicated you are and how much you know!
Compared to spin casting, baitcasting is a little tough and that is what demotivates a lot of intermediate anglers to move on to baitcasting.
If you have the right baitcasting skill, then it will turn out extremely rewarding for you, no doubt on that. So do not miss on this out of fear.
I have designed this very guide for beginner and intermediate anglers who don’t know how to cast a baitcasting reel. Going through this guide should give you enough get started with baitcasting.
So without further ado, let’s dive right in!
I know you want to hit the water but to make sure you hit the water in the right manner, practicing on the ground is a must.
This is what you are going to do, get yourself a good quality baitcast rod and reel. You won’t have to spend over a hundred bucks for a baitcaster at the beginning, pick one that offers decent performance.
If the reel doesn’t come pre-spooled with a line, you will have to purchase fishing line and then spool it. You can pick a used line, lures, rod, as well for practice purposes.
And then find an open field which isn’t very populated, so that you can practice well.
The best way to start learning baitcasting is to learn how baitcaster reel exactly works. Having this knowledge in mind will make big difference, trust me!
Baitcaster reel doesn’t work like spinning reel. In spinning reels, the bait keeps pulling the line during the cast. But baitcaster reel spools are set in a motion.
And when the bait travels in the air (I mean when you finally throw the bait towards the water), the reel keeps feeding the line and when the gravity and air-resistance make the bait slow down and the lure hits the water, even then the reel keeps feeding the line almost at the same pace.
So what is the issue here?
Have you ever heard of backlash? If you have spent a decent amount of time in fishing, you must know what it is and you surely hate it the most!
When the reel will keep feeding the line even when the lure or bait already hit the water, that will result in line overrun and which will lead to a backlash. A nightmare for the anglers! Trust me, you don’t want to get caught in the backlash.
And to make sure you don’t run into such a scene, you got to know when to slow down the spool and when to stop the spool from the feeding line. That discussion is in the next section.
There are few adjustable components in the baitcasting reel which are a spool control knob, braking system, and the use of an educated thumb. These are used in three different phases of casting.
Here are they!
The first thing of casting is to throw the bait towards the desired spot. How far the bait would go that depends on how better is the launching motion, how flexible the rod tip is, and how well you have set the spool control knob. But if the control knob isn’t set to the right setting, the other two aren’t going to make any difference.
When you launch the bait, the spool will start to spin because the bait will take line with it. And if the spool control knob isn’t set right, then the bait wouldn’t be able to take line with it and will result in an ineffective cast. So it is the most important part.
What most beginners do is, they set the spool control very loose thinking that the bait will be able to take as much as the line needed with it. It is true! But you cannot do that because that will cause backlash even before the bait hits the water.
So what you are going to do?
First, tight the spool control knob, you will turn the knob towards you if you want to tighten it. Then hold the lure at the eye level and you want to depress the clutch bar.
When the spool control is tight, you will see the bait will dangle a bit right before starting descent slowly onto the ground. Once the lure hits the ground no matter how the spool control was set, it will start backlashing. And to stop that what you have to do is active braking. How do you do that?
With your thumb. The moment the lure hits the ground you would want to put your thumb on the spool to stop it from spinning. You cannot do active braking before the lure hits the ground and not very after, you will have to do it in the middle exactly when the lure hits the ground.
Finding the right timing will require little practice. Set the spool control so that the lure can fall down freely and you can stop the spool right the moment when it hits the ground. That will be the perfect setting.
Tight spool control wouldn’t let you cast from any distance and too loose control will cause backlashing. You have to set it in the middle.
When the bait flies through the wind, it faces resistance and gravity pull, which causes the bait two slow down. And that is exactly where the braking system comes in.
After you have set the control knob, now it is time to adjust the braking system. Put the setting to maximum, doing that you will start to have an understanding of how exactly the braking system works. Once you understand how the braking system affects the casting, you will be able to find out the proper setting for you.
To put it plainly, the braking system helps in controlling the spin of the spool. When the bait or lure flies through the wind at a speed, the braking system allows it to take the needed amount of line with it, not less nor much. So when the braking system is set properly, that also can help get rid of the backlash issue.
In order to find the perfect braking system, you would want to cast it in the yard. Find a place and then circle a spot a little far from you, assume that you desired hit spot, that is where you want your lure to land.
At the beginning cast with a decent gentle flip in a pendulum motion. You have already set the braking system to the max, so you might find it difficult to reach the desired spot. In that case, you would want to cast with more power, and see how that works. If it still falls short, then set the braking system a little loose.
Actually, there isn’t much to talk about this since I have explained this in the above section a couple of times. However, summarizing it again.
The use of the thumb is necessary because it is what can prevent backlashing. Stopping the reel from spinning or slowing it down from spinning with the thumb is called active braking.
And active braking is needed when the lure hits the water, not before nor after. The timing needs to be perfect and for that, you will need heavy practice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Well, there are plenty good casting reels in the market. Since this guide is about bait casting reels, i’ll suggest few good quality baitcasters.
If you need the best deals on baitcasting reels then check out these two good cheap baitcasters.
These two are the cheap baitcasting reel of the list that delivers more value than the price.
KastKing Royale Legend Baitcasting Reels is a best value baitcaster under $75.
If you are looking for the cheap bait casters then take a look at the Piscifun Torrent Baitcaster reel. And If you need a budget baitcaster then go for the Abu Garcia Pro Max baitcaster.
For efficient fishing, expensive baitcasting reels are not necessary, if you have the right skill you can get along with a decent quality reel. However, these 7 best baitcasting reel under 100 dollars seem to be good so far, since a lot of people have used and used it. And so far most of them looks happy with it.
I urge you to do your research and then decide. Do not pick any model just because I put them on the best list. Hope you get your hands on the right baitcasting reel.
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