7 Best Baitcasting Reels of 2021 – Reels That Are Worth Investing In

Finding the best baitcasting reel is quite a task, especially for people who do not know baitcasting.

There are hundreds of baitcasting reels; all are labeled as the best but are they?

No, they aren’t!

So what makes an excellent baitcaster standout from the rest? There are four key factors that an ideal baitcasting reel would have:

  • Smoothness
  • Durability
  • Accuracy and
  • Power

A baitcasting reel with these four should be enough to give you a big bunch of satisfying fishing trips! Apart from those, there are some other factors that you need to consider, such as retrieve rate, comfort, braking quality, etc.

I will be walking you through all those factors at the end of this article.

But for now, let me take you through 7 top-notch baitcasting reels of the market right now. I have reviewed them broadly so that you would know enough to decide whether to get it or not.
Without any further ado, let’s dive right into it!

Which One is the Best Baitcasting Reel?

I would go with the Kastking Speed Demon Elite; overall I think it is the best baitcaster reel in the market right now. The best feature of this reel is its retrieve rate. It is the fastest in the market currently; it gives 42 IPT. Apart from that, smoothness, backlash prevention, excellent braking system, and incredible durability, this reel own them as well. So yes, Kastking Speed Demon Elite is the best grab.

Apart from that, I have one other baitcasting reel that fits in, which is the Lews Custom Inshore speed spool baitcaster, another top-notch reel of the market.

However, I have listed some more baitcasting reels that serve well. Some are best for the quality, and some are best for the price. Check them out!

Top Baitcasters

Image Product Key Features   Price
KastKing Speed Demon Elite
KastKing Speed Demon Elite
The fastest retrieve speed

Item Weight:
6.7 Ounces

Stainless Steel, Aluminum
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Lew's Custom Inshore Speed Spool
Lews Custom Speed Spool

Best Inshore Baitcaster Reel

Item Weight:
6.6 Ounces

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Lew's Inshore Speed Spool
Lews Speed Spool LFS

Best Baitcaster under $100

Material: Synthetic

Hand Orientation: Left
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Abu Garcia Zata Baitcast
Abu Garcia Zata Baitcast Low Profile Reel
Best Baitcaster under $150

Material: Graphite

Item Weight:
9.52 Ounces
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SHIMANO SLX Baitcasting Reel
SHIMANO SLX 150XG Baitcaster Reel
Best Baitcaster for Money

Item Weight:
7.05 Ounces

Hand Orientation: Right
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Daiwa CC80 Baitcasting Reel
Daiwa CC80 Baitcasting Reel
Best Baitcaster for Beginners

Item Weight:
7.2 Ounces

Hand Orientation:
Right Hand
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Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel
Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel
Cheapest Baitcaster Reel

Material: Aluminium

Item Weight:
8 Ounces
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7 Best Baitcaster Reels Reviewed

1. KastKing Speed Demon Elite – Best Bass Baitcaster

  • Weight: 6.7 oz.
  • Gear ratio: 10.5:1.
  • Bearings: 10BB + 1 RB.
  • Max Drag: 18lb.
  • Monoline capacity: 10/140, 12/110, 15/90.
  • Braided line capacity: 20/270, 30/140, 40/115.
  • Retrieve rate: 42 IPT.

The KastKing Speed Demon Elite baitcaster Fishing Reel is my first pick! Because right now this is the fastest baitcasting reel of the market, there isn’t any other baitcaster reel in the market at present that can even come close to this Speed demon in terms of retrieve rate.

You cannot imagine how fast this reel is until you reel in and see the lure coming towards you. Trust me; it is super-fast.

Speed is everything that this reel offers? No!

This reel packs a bunch of features that make it hard for anyone to turn it down. But before everything I want to talk about the price.

The manufacturer has priced reasonably; you get this under 150 bucks. Thinking 150 is much? No, it isn’t in the case of this reel! The features you get with it is something that even some 200 buck baitcaster models can’t offer. So for me, this speed demon elite is a win.

However, let me take you through everything that this reel has to offer!

It features Aerospace Aluminum Hamai Precision-cut 44.3mm main gear, and brass pinion gear the makes this reel perform exceptionally well under any condition. It has a gear ratio of 10.5:1, well which is huge.

The line retrieves a rate of 42 inches per turn; I don’t think anyone needs more speed than that. In case 10.5:1 is too much for you, there is an option of 8.5:1 as well; choose that. The line retrieves 34 inches per turn.

This reel comes super handy; it is very comfortable to use this reel since it fits perfectly in hands. Plus, it is pretty lightweight as well; it wouldn’t cause hand fatigue.

Talking about comfort, the braking system of this baitcaster makes this reel even more comfortable to use. Features Demon Eye micro-control centrifugal braking system, and the brake adjustment is on the angler’s fingertip.

Are you worried about backlashes? Not happening with this baitcaster! It has a Patent Pending Double Tapered Control chute line guide that prevents backlashing. Moreover, there is a line memory dial that tells you which sized line you have spooled in.

Let’s talk about how smooth this reel is. It comes with 11 double-shielded stainless steel ball bearings, including one reverse bearing. You can guess how smooth a reel could be with 11 top-notch bearings. Casting and retrieving with this reel is incredibly smooth, enough to satisfy any professional.

As I said, this reel weighs only 6.7 oz, which is very light. It doesn’t matter whether you are looking for a tournament fishing baitcaster or a reel to hit the saltwater everyday, this Kastking Speed Demon Elite is your thing. You shouldn’t be disappointed with this reel.


  • Smooth and has a smooth drag
  • Construction is solid and lightweight
  • Retrieve is super-fast


  • Need careful handling

2.Lew Custom Speed Spool – Best Inshore Baitcaster

  • Weight: 6.6 oz.
  • Gear ratio: 7.5:1
  • Bearings: 9 BB + 1 RB.
  • Max drag: 20lb.
  • Monoline capacity: 140/12.
  • Line retrieve: 30 IPT.

At the second spot, I have in hand the Lew’s Custom Inshore speed spool baitcaster, one of the best inshore baitcasting reels.

Let me tell you why you should consider investing your money in this one.

Have you ever caught up in bird nests? It is a nightmare for the anglers who use baitcasting reels. It is not always the reel; the wind direction and the weight of the lure also play a significant role behind the birdnest.

But thankfully, with this Lew’s Custom speed spool reel, you don’t need to worry about birds nesting. It doesn’t matter how much wind or direction or how light lures you are using.

Apart from that, other features that this baitcaster packs are…

C45 gear along with a one-piece aluminum frame and graphite palming side plate. It also features a carbon handle side plate which is extremely strong and lightweight.

Comes with ten corrosion-resistant double-shielded sealed stainless steel ball-bearing, including a zero reverse one-way clutch bearing. The bearings make the reel super smooth, and since the bearings are shielded, corrosion-resistant doesn’t matter how often you hit the saltwater. The reel is going to perform smoothly for years.

Features machined double anodized aluminum spool (Deep U Style) and powerful solid brass gearing.

This reel comes with MSB (multi-setting brake). A dual cast control system that is externally adjustable uses an external click dial to set the magnetic brake.

Suppose we talk about the drag of this reel. It has a carbon fiber drag system that delivers up to 20 pounds of drag power. The reel handle is made of aluminum, and so is the drag star.

If you want to get your hands on a reliable baitcasting reel, then this Lew’s model would be a wise choice undoubtedly. It is a very lightweight, comfortable, smooth, and very reliable baitcaster.


  • Easy casting and quick adjustment
  • One-handed operation and surprisingly comfortable
  • Great beginner reel


  • Need careful handling

3.Lews Speed Spool LFS – Best Baitcaster Under $100

  • Weight: 7.3 oz.
  • Gear ratio: 7.5:1.
  • Bearings: 6 BB + 1 RB.
  • Max drag: 20 Lb.
  • Monoline capacity: 140/12.
  • Retrieve rate: 31 IPT.

You might be thinking the previous Lew’s model and this one is identical, but it isn’t. This one is the LFS model and is a little different from the previous one. And this one costs less as well.

The significant difference between these two reels is the smoothness. Lew’s SLP model is extremely smooth since that comes with ten bearings. And compared to that, this LFS reel isn’t very smooth. It comes with seven bearings, including the reverse bearing.

And then comes the price, this Lew’s LFS comes around 100 dollars, where the SLP model costs almost twice. Apart from these, almost everything is pretty identical in both these reels.

Let me tell you all the features.

This reel has three external drain ports and a deep capacity braid-ready spool. These two make this reel an impeccable performer in water—it features high strength solid brass speed gear and a five-disc magnetic control system that can be adjusted externally.

The reel also comes with P2 super pinion gear supported by pinion bearing, and this delivers accurate alignment and excellent stability. For convenience, it features a combat grip along with a 95 mm aluminum handle. Overall, a good reel for inshore saltwater fishing around 100 bucks.


  • High build quality
  • Great drag and braking system
  • Great for experienced fishers


  • Not that durable in saltwater

4.Abu Garcia Zata Baitcast Low Profile Reel

  • Weight: 7.5 oz.
  • Gear ratio: 7.1:1.
  • Max drag: 20 lb.
  • Bearing: 10 BB + 1RB.
  • Monoline Capacity: 135/10, 110/12, 95/14.
  • Braid line capacity: 145/20, 110/30, 75/50.
  • Retrieve rate: 29 IPT. 

Once you get this baitcaster of the box, things that will amaze instantly are how low profile, lightweight, and premium looking this baitcaster is. Some people have a tough time keeping the index finger always under the line, but no one will have to struggle for doing that with this reel.

This reel comes in hand very easily. The body of this reel is a little greenish, and it looks cool. After that, you are going to love the smoothness of it; it is really smooth. Features a total of 11 bearings, including one reverse bearing. You can cast far accurately.

The braking system of this reel is a lifesaver. You can cast without a thumb, and the way the braking system works eliminates all the possibilities of bird nests. It is the last thing (bird nest) that every angler wants while fishing and this reel deserves ten on 10 for the unique braking system.

The braking system comes with limitless adjustability.

If I talk about durability, this reel shines there as well. It is constructed with Graphite material which is a very durable yet lightweight material. Not only that, the manufacturer has used carbon fiber material as well in some parts of this reel.

Features Carbon Matrix Drag system, and that ensures consistent and smooth drag. For a long gear lifespan, this reel comes with Duragear brass gear.

This reel has a lube port which makes maintaining the very easy.

Though not as fast as the Kastking speed demon, the retrieve rate this baitcaster offers is pretty good. Twenty-nine inches per turn; for some anglers, this is enough.


  • Very easy and comfortable casting
  • Incredible smooth and great drag


  • Side panel placement is not that great

5.SHIMANO SLX 150XG Baitcaster Reel – Best Baitcaster for the Money

  • Weight: 6.9 oz.
  • Gear ratio: 8.2:1.
  • Max drag: 11 lb.
  • Bearings: 3 BB + 1RB.
  • Monoline Capacity: 10/120, 12/110, 14/90.
  • Braid line capacity: 20/150, 30/135, 40/105.
  • Retrieve rate: 32 IPT.

This is one of the best baitcasters under 100 dollars. If you have a tight budget and want an excellent baitcaster that can fulfill your fishing needs, SHIMANO SLX baitcaster is the way to go.

It is a very sleek-looking baitcaster, and the color looks pretty impressive as well. It has matte black finishing, which looks very attractive. It is a low-profile reel, so it comes in hand very easily and is very comfortable. Moreover, this is a very lightweight reel, weighs around 6.9 oz.

Compared to some other baitcasters this one is a little compact, but that doesn’t reflect its performance. The line capacity is good enough.

Features HAGANE metal body which is Shimano’s signature. This body makes this reel extremely resistant to impacts.

However, this reel is a little less smooth than all the previous models. It comes with only four bearings, including one reverse bearing. But that being said, the retrieve rate would amaze you. It retrieves 32-inches of line per turn.

One thing that I have seen a user complaining about and is the braking adjustment. Once you adjust the brake, then readjusting that gets hard. So I would say pick this reel if you always intend to hunt the same size fish. Otherwise, you would have to deal with the adjusting hassle.

For 100 bucks, this SHIMANO reel offers a lot. You will barely find another baitcaster from such a high-reputed brand.


  • Fantastic choice within budget
  • Really smooth and rubberized handles
  • Smooth with a fast retrieve


  • Not that durable

6.Daiwa CC80 Baitcasting Reel – Best Baitcaster Under 50

  • Weight: 6.9 oz.
  • Gear ratio: 6.8:1.
  • Max drag: 15 lb.
  • Bearings: 4 BB + 1 RB.
  • Monoline capacity: 12/110, 14/100 J-BRAID: 30/115, 40/85.
  • Braided line capacity: 30/115, 40/85.

If you are a beginner, then obviously, you should not spend much on your first baitcaster. Have a look at this Daiwa CC80 baitcasting reel, one of the best baitcasting reels under $50.

This reel has a bunch of good features that make this reel suitable for professionals as well sometimes. Let’s take a look at all the features of this very baitcaster.

It is very lightweight, weighs only 6.9 oz. This reel is not only lightweight but is pretty compact as well. Palming this reel is also super easy.

With this reel, you can cast a light lure and cast a mile smoothly. It comes with magnetic cast control that prevents backlash.

The reel offers decent durability as it is constructed with Aluminum. That said, the frame of the reel is made of carbon fiber. The thing that most users liked about this reel is its smoothness.

For the price, this is very smooth. It comes with a total of five bearings, four ball bearing, and one reverse bearing.


  • Can be used in saltwater
  • Lightweight Smooth drag
  • Magnetic cast control helps with preventing backlashes


  • Durability is not that great

7.Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel – Best Cheap Baitcaster Reel

  • Weight: 8 oz.
  • Gear ratio: 7.1:1.
  • Max drag: 18 lb.
  • Bearings: 5 BB + 1 RB.
  • Monoline capacity: 10 lb/120 yd.
  • Braid line capacity: 30 lb/120 yd.
  • Retrieve rate: 30 IPT.

You can use this reel if you are a beginner or looking for an extra baitcaster in case something goes wrong with the main reel during fishing. For the price, hands down, this is an excellent baitcaster. With just 40 bucks, you get a lot from this reel.

This reel features advanced 4-washers, which makes this reel pretty powerful. It has carbon fiber drag and offers consistent drag. You get 18 lb. drag power; for the price, this is a lot.

Offers good durability as well. It comes with climate-resistant Japanese Hami cut 3604 brass gears; these are top-notch gears found in high-end baitcaster reels.

It is a low-profile baitcaster, so keeping the index finger under the line wouldn’t be an issue at all. Surprisingly, this reel takes care of backlashes as well, thanks to the adjustable magnetic braking system.

Let me clear the wind for the last time. This is not a baitcaster on which you can rely. I have kept this on the list only because it comes at a very low price and still offers good features.

I only suggest this for the beginners, who just need a baitcaster to get used to. And those who need a backup reel in case something happens to the main reel.


  • Drag is nice and solid and the brake works well
  • Super smooth and very adjustable


  • Need careful handling

Main Components of a Baitcasting Reel


A spool is a container that holds the line on a fishing reel. It is usually plastic or aluminum and has a lip that holds the line against the spool’s interior surface while allowing it to be fed out of the reel. Most commonly, the spool is mounted so that it can be turned in either direction by hand or with a switch. On some reels, the spool may be pushed against the inside wall of the fishing rod holder to wind line onto it from above.

When you are casting a line, the spool keeps the line from unraveling as you reel it in. A baitcaster uses an internal mechanism to convert your arm movement into the line being drawn tight or released from the spool, allowing for accurate casting at any time.

Reel Seat

The reel seat is a small padded platform that sits on top of the reel. It allows you to set the rod down on top of the reel without having to grip it like a handle. The padding also helps absorb vibrations from the water coming off your line. When setting up a new rod or re-entering an old one into your spool, always ensure that the reel seat is installed correctly. Also, some reels will have an integrated reel seat, while others will require you to buy a separate one.

The height of the reel seat can be adjusted, providing you with the option to cast at different heights. The handle can also be adjusted for a comfortable fit and the rod tip angle, allowing you to tune your setup for various conditions and fish species. Each Reel Seat is designed specifically for each lure in our catalog with specific attributes such as weight distribution, line management system, and rod tip angle.

Drag System

The drag system in a baitcaster is designed to ensure the lure will fall where you want it to. That means no more wasted time-fighting with the line or trying to get a lure to drop. Using special clips and springs, the drag system brings your lure down at a precise rate so it can be picked up quickly by the hungry mouth of a fish. It’s not just about getting the lure down there…it’s about getting it exactly where you want it!

There are two main ways to set the drag on a Baitcaster Reel: tight and loose. With the tight drag system, you can adjust how far the lure or bait will fly out before it has enough momentum to go the rest of the way. A loose drag allows for more distance between your hand and where the lure or bait leaves the reel. They are very similar in their work and performance, but each has its own advantages that make sense depending on what kind of fishing you are doing.


The Baitcaster Braking System is designed to complement the unique braking system found on most modern baitcasting reels. Activating the brake allows you to quickly adjust your line length without physically touching the rod or reel.

This also keeps your hands away from potential danger, which is especially helpful when fighting larger fish. Because of this, many professional fishermen prefer baitcasters over other types of reels. The Baitcaster Braking System can be adjusted using either the lever or knobs on your reel and will function properly.

Spool Release Button

The Baitcaster’s spool release button helps you quickly retrieve the line as the bait hits the water so that you can get a strike in seconds. Moreover, it is super easy to use: just press down on the lever and your line will fly out, making it ideal for beginners.

You don’t have to change out the line while you’re casting. As long as the spool is empty, press down on the release button and let go – your line will instantly drop. Easily swap out reels between rods of different lengths by pressing and holding the button down until your new preferred length clicks into place.

Line Guide

Baitcasters have a line guide that enables you to easily see where the leader is running through your reel and which way you should be casting. This feature also works well when shore fishing, as you can see which direction the line is running without having to look at your rod tip.

This will eliminate to track whether or not the lure is following the right direction. In addition, baitcasters are great in windy conditions because you will not lose your lure quickly as with a conventional reel setup. Baitcasters are also ideal for fishing around docks, trees, and other structures where casting accuracy is crucial.

Spool Tensioner Knob

The Spool tensioner knob is a relative innovation in baitcasting reels, and it is an essential piece of the reel’s internal mechanics. By loosening the grip on the spool tensioner, you can adjust how taut the line gets when you pull the trigger on your fishing rod.

This allows you to control how tight or loose your line gets when casting and hooking fish. You can also use this feature if you’d like to set the drag on your baitcaster in order to get the perfect amount of resistance.

Reel Handle

The Baitcaster Reel Handle is a small, lightweight handle that attaches to the side of a baitcast reel. With it, users can quickly load and unload their reels by hand, without using an extra hand or foot to do so, which improves control and increases casting accuracy. The handle can also be used for other purposes, such as resting your forearms.

Baitcaster Reel Handle is usually made of durable material, and the handle also has a spring which makes it easier to operate. There is also an anti-slip rubber pad at the bottom of the handle to ensure a better grip when casting. In addition, it comes with an ergonomic design that is easy to use and is lightweight in weight too.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best baitcasting reel for the money? 

Want the best bang for the money? Check out this SHIMANO SLX 150XG Baitcaster Reel. It wouldn’t even cost a hundred dollars but the features it comes with are incredible. And if you need something that comes at a very low price, then go with the Daiwa CC80 Baitcasting Reel. It costs less than $50 and is pretty cool.

What is a good beginner baitcaster reel? 

For beginners, I have the Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel. The reason why I suggest this one is, it comes at a very low price, under $40. First-timers need to be careful, they shouldn’t invest more than $50 on their very first baitcaster. Once they get a good hang on the reel, they can move to expensive models.

Plus, from this Piscifun torrent, you will get a little bit of all. It is smooth for the price, offers 18 lb. drag power, is pretty durable, low profile, and features a magnetic braking system as well.

Are expensive Baitcasters worth it?   

Of course, they are, as long as you don’t invest in the crappy one. All expensive baitcasters are not worthy, you need to find a reel that deserves the price. Go with the well-reputed brands such as Shimano, Abu Garcia, Kastking, Lews, etc. They might cost you a big buck but they are worth it.

Are Lews Baitcasters good?

Yes, they are! Comes with incredibly impressive features always. And serves for long period as well if maintained well.


I hope this guide helps you pick the best baitcasting reel. All the baitcasters on the list are good ones since users are having good times with them. But still, do your own research and then decide which one you should pick.

Always try to pick reels from well-reputed brands so that you get the warranty coverage. That’s all for now, if there is anything else I can help you with, do not hesitate to ask via the comment section.

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