Best Baitcasting Reel (for Bass, Freshwater, Left-Handed, Etc)
1) Best Value for Money: Lew’s Tournament MP Speed Spool Casting Reel
Designed specifically to help you win your next tournament, this baitcasting reel from Lew’s Fishing is armed with competitive features at a reasonable price.
Sizes: Small (1000)
Weight: 7.0oz for variation TS1SMP
Gear Ratio: 5.6:1, 6.8:1, 7.5:1, 7.3:1
Super smooth cast and retrieve
Features zero reverse
Balanced and comfortable grip
Spool size is comparatively small
Drag weight is unremarkable
Performance that won’t break the bank – that’s what Lew’s Tournament MP Speed Spool Casting Reel promises.
Made for the competitive angler who wants the most bang for their buck, this baitcasting reel guarantees a full arsenal of benefits.
For one, its main appeal is its casting ability smoothed by its astounding 9 stainless steel bearing plus one roller bearing system.
It also sports Lew’s P2 Super Pinion gear system, creating a compact, aligned, and stable gearing system, with several gear ratios to choose from.
What makes it the best baitcasting reel in our opinion is how well it casts and retrieves.
The Tournament MP Speed Spool is ideal to use with both crankbaits and jerk baits, and will get you through walleye and bass fishing, in addition to other freshwater catches.
Aside from that, it sports more than enough features to enhance your fishing experience.
Its zero reverse feature eliminates backlash for every cast and even allows for easier hook setting no matter what bait you’re using.
It also has adjustable retrieve speeds, a patented auto-reset function to help you hook more fish, 5 brake pressures, and Lew’s own “pendulum weight system” for a more comfortable grip.
However, for a baitcasting reel mainly designed for competitions, it does have a smaller spool size compared to other Lew’s baitcasting reels. The line drag is also not exceptional, so you might want to pass if you need something better in that aspect.
Nevertheless, we still deem Lew’s Tournament MP Speed Spool as the best baitcasting reel for its balanced functionality, design, and price.
If you want something that can weather the hard knocks that will inevitably come your way while chasing bigger fishes, then you should get something as sturdy as the Piscifun Torrent.
Sizes: Small (1000)
Weight: 8.0 oz for both variants
Gear Ratio: 5.3:1, 7.1:1
Machined brass drive gear
Easy maintenance with drilled oil port
Double winding shaft for faster retrieves
10-setting magnetic brake system for on-the-fly adjustments
Thumb bar isn’t sturdy
Light reels don’t cast far
Our second best baitcasting reel is the Piscifun Torrent, with its fantastic price and great performance.
At less than half a hundred bucks, this capable reel can go head-to-head with some of the best baitcasting reels around.
For one, the Torrent is made to be sturdy where it truly counts: the interior workings.
The screws, springs, and other reinforcements are made with Japanese Hamai Cut stainless steel.
It also has a powerful machined brass gear, along with six shielded stainless steel ball bearings and four 3-layer carbon fiber drag washers for 18lbs of steady drag pressure.
Aside from those high-performance features, this reel also features a 10-setting magnetic braking system for unparalleled pressure control.
It also has 30 inches of maximum line retrieve per turn, courtesy of its impressive double winding shafts that are comparable to more expensive reels.
Lastly, it has two gear ratios and even a convenient drilled oil port.
It does have a few weaknesses, though. For one, it can’t cast light reels well, and the thumb bar feels a bit too delicate.
The handle is also not as satisfactory since it’s rather small and feels cheap.
All things considered, though, those are pretty minor complaints.
After all, the quality performance that the Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel brings to the table at this price point, such as its durability and exceptional braking system, makes it one of the best baitcasting reels around.
8) Best for Bass: Abu Garcia Revo SX Low Profile Fishing Reel
Going for your next big fish, maybe bass fishing? All bass anglers need the sturdiness, accuracy, and control of the Abu Garcia Revo SX with them.
Weight: 7.7 oz for size REVO4SX model
Gear Ratio: 6.6:1, 7.3.1
Durable and light frame
Impressive drag pressure
Smooth 10-ball bearing construction
Features a dual brake system
Dependable brass gear and internals
Flimsy spooling system compared to frame
Why It’s Worthy
When going for bigger fish, such as in bass fishing, you’re going to want a dependable baitcast reel with the durability and drag capacity to match.
A great example of this is the Abu Garcia SX Low Profile Fishing Reel.
This light reel is made for professional bass anglers to enhance their bass fishing experience.
It features a feather-light and corrosion-resistant X-2 Craftic alloy frame, side palm plates made of C6 Carbon, and 10 stainless steel ball bearings – a solid construction designed to withstand aggressive fish.
The Revo SX Low also has 6.2:1 or 7.3:1 gear ratios, DuraGear brass gear, DuraClutch, and an Infini dual braking system to give you an impressively far, accurate, and smooth casting.
In addition to this, it sports Abu Garcia’s own Power Stack Carbon Matrix Drag System.
This drag system delivers an astounding 24 lbs of drag to fight big fish.
The Abu Garcia reel can do this due to the unique addition of keyed cartridge to the carbon fiber drag system, providing additional pressure.
On the downside, the spooling system is not the most durable, and it’s a noisy caster compared to most baitcasting reels.
Minor drawbacks aside, the Abu Garcia Revo SX Fishing Reel is a dependable fighter to add to your big fish arsenal, especially when bass fishing.
Designed specifically to minimize corrosion risk for a wide variety of inshore fishing applications, the Concept Z is an exciting innovation that is set to give anglers rugged functionality and impressive durability.
Sizes: Small (2000)
Bearings: polymer hybrid
Gear Ratio: 6.6:1, 7.3:1, 8.1:1
Excellent drag capacity
High corrosion resistance
Three choices of gear ratios
Lightweight and packed with features
Smooth and long-distance casting ability
Quite a noisy operation
As anglers, one of our most constant and most pressing issues is how to keep our reels corrosion-free at all times.
Corrosion is the primary enemy of most reel’s precious steel ball bearings, and the grinding feeling that comes from damaged bearings is simply the worst.
13 Fishing has designed the concept Z to address this issue by eliminating the use of steel ball bearings entirely and instead opting for solid polymer bearings.
This design choice does several positive things.
The first is that it drastically reduces corrosion since polymer offers greater corrosion resistance than stainless steel.
This is a plus, especially for inshore applications where your reel is likely to acquire dirt, seaspray, and even get dunked outright into salty water.
Second, stainless steel is comparatively heavy, so replacing stainless steel ball bearings with polymer modules also reduces the weight.
This allows Concept Z to pack more features while remaining light and comfortable.
Lastly, the polymer modules that the Z Concept introduces spin faster and produce less friction because it doesn’t expand as it heats up in their spin.
This means the Z Concept can have an exceptionally farther and smoother casting range for your line despite not having stainless steel bearings.
Aside from that winning feature, this reel also sports Hamai cut gears, a 6ix-pin centrifugal force braking system, an easy access plate, an open Arrowhead line guide, an impressive 22 lbs drag capacity, and three variants with different gear ratios.
On the downside, it’s quite expensive, pretty much on the same level as high-end traditional baitcaster reels.
Plus, it also generates quite a bit of noise, and not just because of the ball bearings.
There’s a significant whirring sound while casting and a small chattering sound during retrieves.
That said, if you want a reel that you can use hard and put away wet, then the 13 Fishing Concept Z should be on top of your list.
There are many things that make an excellent baitcasting reel, like a good baitcasting rod in general. But if you want something specifically for you, you should choose one that delivers a great performance, lasts a long time, and has a price tag that you’re comfortable with.
Luckily for you, there’s bound to be an awesome baitcasting reel for you on our list.
From the premium Abu Garcia Revo IKE Low Profile Reel and Shimano Curado DC, to the capable budget options the likes of Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel, you can pick your own best baitcasting reel on this list.
What is the easiest one to use?
Most bait casting reels are easy to use when you’ve grown accustomed to their features and quirks. However, a beginner probably wouldn’t care too much about their reel setup, such as their gear ratio, or a stack carbon matrix drag, or a dual cast control system.
So if you want the best baitcasting reel for beginners, we suggest a stripped-down yet still competent reel, such as the KastKing Royale Legend GT or the Lew’s Tournament MP Speed Spool.
These cheap but quality reels are sturdy, functional pieces that can guide you through the curve of learning how to fish.
How do you pick a baitcaster reel?
As mentioned above, the best baitcasting reel for you should align with your usage, skill level, and budget. Usage refers to the kind of fishing that you do. Since there are many fishing techniques, you should pick a high quality reel that is either amazing in one, or that can do everything fairly well.
Your skill level is basically your experience.
If you’re a beginner, the best baitcasting reel for you is something made for newbies, or something made to suit everyone like the Shimano Curado DC.
Lastly, baitcasting reel varies widely in price, so you have to make sure that you balance your budget to your wants.
The best reels shouldn't have to cost you your entire month's salary just to give you an outstanding experience.
Is a baitcasting reel better than a spinning reel?
Not necessarily since both reels have their own strengths, like other reels. Spinning reels are made for light applications and delicate fishing techniques. They offer great functionality and flexibility when used for light lures and fishing for small to medium-sized fish.
Baitcasting reels, on the other hand, are less delicate and flexible. Instead, they're designed for increased power and torque.
With this type of reel, you can cast your bait farther and reel in bigger and more aggressive fishes.