Baitcasting reels should be anglers’ first choice for catching heavy, fighting fish or when bait of 1/2 ounce or more is used. For lake bass fishing, baitcasters are the best choice of reels. They deliver accurate casts and quick line retrieval.
A baitcaster can be a challenge to someone new to fishing. The backlash of the line sometimes causes the dreaded “nest.” New technology features are reducing this, even in low-cost baitcasting reels. The low-cost baitcasting face reel of yesteryear has been replaced with user-friendly features.
These 10 affordable baitcasting reels are sure to please anglers of all skill levels.
1. Abu Garcia Record Baitcast Reel, 6600HC
For more than 70 years, Abu Garcia has made quality reels like the Record. Great casting and line lay can be achieved with this reel’s synchronized level wind system and six pin centrifugal brake system. The drag pressure remains smooth and consistent with the Carbon Matrix. This reel is constructed with seven stainless steel HPCR (High Performance Corrosion Resistant) bearings plus one roller bearing.
2. Daiwa Tatula Baitcast Fishing Reels
An eight corrosion resistant bearing system lies inside a lightweight, solid aluminum frame of Daiwa Tatula reels. They have the new T-Wing System (TWS) that reduces casting friction which allows greater casting distances. These reels also feature U.T. Drag that Daiwa says “allow maximum fish stopping power.” Fast casting start and longer spins happen with MagForce Z cast control featured in this reel.
3. Lew’s Fishing Tournament MB Baitcast Reel
Lew’s newly designed MB low profile series is lightweight (6.7 ounces). Its one-piece aluminum frame contains a 10 double-shielded stainless steel bearing system. It features Lew’s MSB (Multi Setting Brake) which contains an internal four pin position on/off centrifugal brake system and an external click dial for adjustment. Long distance casting is achieved with both a centrifugal braking system and magnetic cast control.
4. Shimano 201I Curado LH Baitcast Reels
This is a durable low profile baitcasting reel suitable for saltwater or freshwater fishing. Shimano’s new X-Ship technology gives durability and provides gear smoothness. Even with large fish on the line, the pinion gear keeps precise alignment with the drive gear. Casts, even with lighter lures, are more precise with the X-Ship, SVS Infinity and Shimano Stable Spoil Design (S3D) technologies featured in this baitcasting reel.
5. Shimano Curado E Reels
The Curado E reels are perfect for the angler that catches the large species of fish. It is designed to handle all types and weights of lures. The low-profile Magnumlite aluminum frame has a titanium line guide and a Super Free pinion gear system. This pinion system reduces start-up inertia and friction. Bringing in the “big ones” will be effortless with a Curado E reel.
6. Lew’s BB1 Speed Spool Baitcast Reel
Back by popular demand is the BB1. The new and improved BB1 Speed Spool baitcasting reel is now available with a large-capacity Duralumin U-shaped spool that allows long and deep casts. The reel has a one-piece aluminum frame with graphite side plates equipped with a tension knob with an audible clicker. Tangles are almost non-existent with the extremely adjustable six pin Speedcast Centrifugal Braking System.
7. Shimano Tekota Saltwater Casting Reel
For anglers trolling for medium to large game fish such as walleye, salmon and small tuna, the Tekota is a great choice. It’s four anti-rust bearings (A-RB) are at least 10 times more corrosion-resistant than standard bearings. There’s less chance of losing fish with the Super Stopper anti-reverse technology in this reel. Some versions have line counters that read how much line is let out.
8. Abu Garcia Revo Rocket Low Profile Reel
The Revo Rocket was designed for anglers who enjoy fast retrievals and smooth performances. With a 9.0:1 ratio, this reel can retrieve 37 inches of line per turn with its extended bent carbon handle. It features 10 stainless steel HPCR (High Performance Corrosion Resistant) bearings plus one roller bearing.
9. Penn Fathom Star Drag Conventional Baitcast Reel
Penn Fathom Star Drag Conventional Reels feature the Live Spindle Design, making it one of the best for castability. Just throw the clutch lever in free spool mode, then the spool disengages from the spindle and pinion gear. The result is that it rides on the five shielded stainless steel ball bearings, producing very long casts. It is great for beach fishing.
10. Daiwa Lexa – HD
The HD model of the Daiwa Lexa is for heavy duty extreme inshore fishing. The 400 series features up to 25 pounds of drag; the 300 series features up to 22 pounds of drag. This reel has a stainless steel drive and pinion gears plus six Corrosion-Resistant Ball Bearings (CRBB) and one roller bearing. Xtra Hyper Speed 8.1:1 gear ratio is available to bring in the large fish quickly.
Life is too short not to experience the joys of fishing. There’s just nothing that compares to the excitement of reeling in a fish of any size. Choose one of these baitcasting reels, and enjoy many days on or near the water.
See also: Top 10 Closed Face Spinning Reels