Reels

10 Best Baitcasting Reels For Bass Fishing in 2022

Looking for a new baitcasting reel for bass fishing? We cover the 10 top baitcasters that will take your bass game up to the next level. Find the best one for you below!

Why Choose A Baitcasting Reel For Bass Fishing?

Spinning reels work just fine for bass fishing. They are easy to handle, cast well, and are great for light fishing.

But there’s a reason that professional bass anglers prefer baitcasters over spinning reels. For many bass fishing strategies, baitcasting reels have a winning edge over spinning reels.

Top 10 Bass Baitcasters

To learn more about baitcasters, click here to read more about their advantages and disadvantages.

If you’re already familiar with baitcasters and looking for your next reel, read on to see the list of our top choices.

Abu Garcia Revo SX Low Profile Fishing Reel

The Revo SX reel up close
Rating
4.80625/5
  • Weight (oz.): 7.8
  • Available Gear Ratios: 6.6:1, 7.3:1
  • Bearing Count: 10
  • Mono Line Capacity (yd/lb): 145/12
  • Braided Line Capacity (yd/lb): 140/30
  • Max Drag (lbs): 24

The Abu Garcia Revo SX Low Profile Fishing Reel is one of our favorite baitcasters for bass fishing. The fourth generation of this best-selling low profile casting reel, the Revo SX Baitcast was precision engineered from conception to completion to deliver unrivaled power, performance, and durability for the most serious anglers.

The Abu Garcia Revo SX Low Profile Fishing Reel features an improved DuraClutch design paired with an upgraded Infini-Brake system for effortless engagement and smooth casting. With the D2 Gear Design delivering ultimate durability.

The Carbon Matrix Power Stack Drag System provides uncomparable, tournament-level execution and the power you need to reel in just about anything that swims. The Abu Garcia Revo SX is a fast and durable powerhouse baitcaster.

If you’re looking for a high-quality baitcasting reel to pull in your next trophy bass, look no further than the Revo SX.

Shop Online for the Abu Garcia Revo SX

Reader Review:

“I’ve had the Revo SX for about 6 months now and it’s become my go-to bass baitcaster. I have been pleasantly impressed with the overall performance of the reel.

With a braided 30lbs test line, I have had absolutely no problems reeling in some of the heaviest and meanest largemouth that I’ve ever caught. The reel is smooth in both retrieve and cast and the drag works great.

Overall, I’ve extremely happy with the Revo SX.”

Piscifun Alloy M Low Profile Baitcasting Reel

Piscifun Alloy M baitcaster
Rating
4.65625/5
  • Weight (oz.): 7.4
  • Available Gear Ratios: 6.3:1, 7.5:1, 8.4:1
  • Bearing Count: 9
  • Mono Line Capacity (yd/lb): 175/7
  • Braided Line Capacity (yd/lb): 165/20
  • Max Drag (lbs): 22

With the release of the Alloy M low profile baitcasting reel, Piscifun has shown us once and for all that we’ve been paying too much for our baitcasting reels!

The Alloy M is a solid baitcaster that feels good in the hands. The body of the reel is constructed with ADC12 aluminum alloy providing excellent durability, impact protection, and corrosion resistance.

It’s a lightweight reel, clocking in just about 7.4 ounces. Even after some long days on the water with the Alloy M, we didn’t feel weighed down.

It is equipped with an excellent magnetic braking system. Featuring 12 magnets within the system, it does a great job of preventing backlash and birdnests.

The drag system on the Alloy M is incredibly robust. Made up of 4 carbon washers and a Hamai CNC brass gear, we were a bit surprised at how well it performed.

Doing our best to put it through the wringer, the drag was able to keep up with everything we threw at it. Even performing well at pulling some large bass bunkered down in the weeds.

The Alloy M is very smooth during both the cast and retrieve. In many of the other reels we’ve used over the years, it seems like they typically excel in one or the other, but the Alloy M baitcaster handles well in both.

With the 8 double-shielded ball bears and 1 roller bearing the Alloy M retrieves smoothly, even when under load. We believe part of the smooth feel on the retrieve has to be credited to the oversized handle and knobs. The leverage they provide goes a long way at bringing in the heavy lunkers.

If you’re looking for one of the best baitcasting reels at an incredible price we recommend checking out Piscifun’s Alloy M Baitcasting Reel.

We understand it doesn’t have the “prestige” of some of the other brands out there, but regardless of that, the Alloy M delivers exceptional performance, better quality parts, and for less money than the other baitcaster brands.

Shop Online for the Piscifun Alloy M

Reader Review:

“I have both the Piscifun Alloy M and a Shimano Curado Baitcaster. I have always been a Shimano guy but I wanted to give the Alloy M a try after a friend recommended it and I must say, I am impressed.

The action is very smooth and the spool and casting capability are on par with the Shimano. I have used the Piscifun on dozens of outings since the beginning of the year and really like how well it performs.

I would definitely recommend this reel to anyone looking for a quality baitcaster at a great price.”

Lew's Mach Crush SLP Low-Profile Casting Reel

Mach Crush reel sitting on some wood.
Rating
4.59375/5
  • Weight (oz.): 7.3
  • Available Gear Ratios: 7.5:1
  • Bearing Count: 10
  • Mono Line Capacity (yd/lb): 110/12
  • Braided Line Capacity (yd/lb): 110/50
  • Max Drag (lbs): 20

Lews Mach Crush Speed Spool Baitcast Reel an extremely fast and high-performing baitcaster. Sitting as our runner-up as the best bass fishing baitcasting reel. It provides tremendous performance for any angler looking to step up their baitcast game.

The Mach Crush features a great gear ratio of 7.5:1 which is able to perform great in just about all fishing conditions.

The Mach Crush features a solid brass main gear and crankshaft and a double-shielded stainless steel bearing system. The reel features a Centrifugal brake system with four internal brake shoes. The reel also has a 32mm braid-ready fishing spool and comes with two large Winn Dri-Tac knobs on a curved 95mm aluminum reel handle.

One of the great things about the Mach Crush is its weight. It is designed to be strong and durable and still has a lightweight design, great for your swim jigs and buzz baits.

The Mach Crush Speed Spool is designed to be used in freshwater fishing, but can also be used in saltwater with proper care. If you are in the market for a good baitcasting reel the Mach Crush is an excellent choice.

Shop Online for the Lew's Mach Crush SLP

Reader Review:

“I have been fishing for a few years now and this reel is my go-to. I have had it for about a year and it still works great. Is very smooth and has a lot of power to it. I use it primarily for bass and inshore fishing and it works great.

I haven’t had any complaints with it and will be ordering another one soon so I have one for inshore and one specifically for my kayak.”

SHIMANO Curado K Baitcast Reel

Shimano Curado K Reel
Rating
4.5625/5
  • Weight (oz.): 7.6 to 7.8 depending on model selection
  • Available Gear Ratios: 5.0:1, 6.2:1, 7.4:1, 8.5:1
  • Bearing Count: 7
  • Mono Line Capacity (yd/lb): 110/14
  • Braided Line Capacity (yd/lb): 120/50
  • Max Drag (lbs): 11 to 12 depending on model selection

The SHIMANO Curado K Baitcast Reel is the upgraded model offering superior performance over the previous iterations. The Curado K offers an enhanced level of performance as well as an enlarged gear ratio selection of 5:0:1 up to 8:5:1. So no matter what type of bass fishing you favor, the Curado K has a gear ratio that will suit you.

Featuring a high-density, lightweight aluminum frame, this SHIMANO baitcasting reel is sure to stand the test of time, while a cross carbon drag system gives you the ability to control the power on all fish.

The SVS Infinity braking system offers a greater level of control on all lures. Perfect for targeting every kind of bass, the Curado K Baitcast Reel offers top performance, great looks, and the versatility that makes it a great choice for any kind of fishing.

Shop Online for the SHIMANO Curado K

Reader Review:

“I was a skeptic for years about baitcasters. I always thought they looked like a snob reel. I finally gave in and purchased the Curado K because I had a few Shimano spinning reels and they are the best spinning reels I’ve ever used. I’ve only had the Curado K for a few weeks but I’ve gone from being a baitcaster skeptic to a believer.

I have to admit the first time I fished it I was a little worried about the backlash I was getting, but after watching some YouTube videos and just playing around with it I got it down.

It’s a little more complicated than a spinning reel but there is no doubt it’s better. There is virtually no line twist and it’s very smooth. I put a small amount of grease on the gears and I think it will be even better. You can fish a little lighter lures with it and still get them in the air. It’s a great reel and I’m glad I finally gave in.”

13 Fishing Concept A Baitcaster

13 Fishing Concept A Gen II baitcasting reel
Rating
4.5625/5
  • Weight (oz.): 7.4
  • Available Gear Ratios: 5.6:1, 6.8:1, 7.5:1, and 8.3:1
  • Bearing Count: 7
  • Mono Line Capacity (yd/lb): 12/100
  • Max Drag (lbs): 25

The 13 Fishing Concept A is a powerful baitcaster with high-quality construction and a small form factor.

The 6-way centrifuge braking system, 25 lbs. of drag, 3+3+1 stainless steel high-speed ball bearings, and concept cork handle make this one of the best reels in its class. Weighing in at just 6.8 oz the Concept A was built for the bass angler that likes to fish light, but still requires the power to pull in large bass.

The 13 Fishing Concept A is available in 4 gear ratios: 5.6:1, 6.8:1, 7.5:1, and 8.3:1.

The Concept A really stands apart from other baitcasters on this list for its consistent casting ability. If you like a reel that lets you hit the same spot on the water every cast, then this is definitely a reel worth looking at.

This lightweight reel is packed with features and quality construction that is designed to withstand years of use and abuse. Overall the 13 Fishing Concept A is a very high-quality baitcasting reel that is going to be a great addition to any angler’s arsenal!

Shop Online for the 13 Fishing Concept A

Reader Review:

“While I’m not a professional bass fisherman, I have used all the mainstream brands. After using the Concept A for a few months, I can say it’s the easiest baitcaster I’ve ever used. It is responsive. It has no backlash. I love the way it looks. I can easily recommend the 13 Fishing Concept A Baitcaster.”

Abu Garcia Revo IKE Low Profile Reel Baitcast Fishing Reel

Abu Garcia Revo IKE Baitcaster
Rating
4.5625/5
  • Weight (oz.): 7.6
  • Available Gear Ratios: 6.6:1, 8.0:1
  • Bearing Count: 11
  • Mono Line Capacity (yd/lb): 145/12
  • Braided Line Capacity (yd/lb): 140/30
  • Max Drag (lbs): 24

The Abu Garcia Revo IKE Low Casting Reel is a premium baitcasting reel custom-designed by bass fishing legend Mike Iaconelli.

Featuring the X2 Craftic frame that is coated in unique, Iaconelli-inspired cosmetics, the Abu Garcia Revo IKE is built for optimal performance and durability. The 10 stainless steel bearing system, 1 roller bearing, and the Duragear brass gear ensure the Revo IKE is ready for anything that you throw its way.

The Revo IKE is built with an Infini II spool design and D2 Gear Design. The Infini II spool design allows for the experienced angler to cast baits further and the D2 Gear Design allows the angler to get the line feeding quickly and smoothly.

This model utilizes a DuraClutch design, which has been tested and proven time and again. The Revo IKE also features a pinion gear shaft and pawl coated with Everslik delivering smooth and reliable execution.

Additionally, the Revo IKE includes Revo’s Power Stack Carbon Matrix Drag System providing you with 24 lbs of bass fighting drag power. The Revo IKE is also equipped with the Infini IVCB-6L braking system bringing consistent braking and greater feel and control.

The Revo IKE is designed for bass anglers looking to take their game to the next level and don’t mind spending over $200 to do so.

Shop Online for the Abu Garcia Revo IKE

Reader Review:

“This is the reel that I have been waiting for. I have been looking for a reel that can throw as far as this one can with this little effort, get the lure back in the boat, and not birdnest.

When I finally got this reel I was blown away. I have been on the lake so many times with it and haven’t had any issues yet. The feel of it is really smooth. The machined aluminum spool is really nice.

It’s not too heavy and is easy to use. The best part is that it looks good. When I take it out to the lake, I feel like I’m on a different level.”

Lew's Speed Spool LFS Baitcast Reel

Product photo of the Lew's Speed Spool LFS
Rating
4.515625/5
  • Weight (oz.): 7.1
  • Available Gear Ratios: 5.6:1, 6.8:1, 7.5:1, and 8.3:1
  • Bearing Count: 10
  • Mono Line Capacity (yd/lb): 120/12
  • Braided Line Capacity (yd/lb): 120/50
  • Max Drag (lbs): 15

If you’re looking for a quality baitcaster for bass fishing while staying under $100 then look no further than Lew’s Speed Spool LFS Baitcast Reel.

This reel has just about everything the higher-end models have. Featuring a one-piece, high-strength aluminum frame, this reel is lightweight while retaining durability. The graphite frame has three drainage holes that allow water to easily escape and the stainless steel ball bearings provide smooth operation and minimize maintenance. The maximum drag on this reel is 15 pounds and is fully adjustable.

The Speed Spool LFS comes with a 95mm bowed anodized aluminum blade handle with paddle knobs. It has a positive grip handle that was built for long days of fishing.

The Lew’s Speed Spool LFS casting reel has a large diameter spool, which holds a lot of line.

The Speed Spool LFS is available in both left and right hand retrieve models and is a great reel whether your left or right handed.

The Speed Spool LFS utilizes a zirconia line guide which is less susceptible to corrosion and will provide better and longer-lasting performance.

The Lew’s Speed Spool LFS baitcaster has an externally adjustable magnetic cast control system, which allows you to tune your cast to the conditions you are fishing in. This helps you to easily cast longer distances with more accuracy.

If you’re a budget-conscious angler, but still looking for top-notch performance, this is a reel worth checking out.

Shop Online for the Lew's Speed Spool LFS

Reader Review:

“The Lew’s Speed Spool LFS is an incredible reel. I wanted an affordable reel that would help me get back into fishing. I like to fish from the bank and sometimes in the boat.

This reel is perfect for me. I like the feel of it and the way it casts. It has a smooth drag and is very easy to use. I also prefer a baitcast reel because it is more compact than a spinning reel and it can be more accurate.”

Daiwa Fuego CT Baitcast Fishing Reels

Daiwa Fuego CT casting reel
Rating
4.40625/5
  • Weight (oz.): 7.6
  • Available Gear Ratios: 6:3:1, 7:3:1, 8:1:1
  • Bearing Count: 6
  • Mono Line Capacity (yd/lb): 120/14
  • Braided Line Capacity (yd/lb): 140/30
  • Max Drag (lbs): 13.2

The Daiwa Fuego CT Baitcaster is a palm-sized baitcasting fishing reel that even though small is ready for any fishing opportunity. The CT frame is constructed from a lightweight aluminum frame and composite side plates that are perfect for a smaller diameter baitcasting rod and will stand up to continued use.

This round reel is equipped with a Magforce-Z cast control system that enables long smooth and predictable casts. This baitcasting reel also features a 5+1 ball bearings system that will provide quick line retrieve and features a 6.3:1 up to an 8:1:1 gear ratio selection. The 120 yard/14 pound, and 100 yard/16-pound line capacities provide you with plenty of line even when casting deep diving swimbaits.

This baitcasting reel can be used for both freshwater and inshore saltwater fishing. The Daiwa Fuego CT Baitcast Reel also has a comfortable contoured, swept reel handle that will provide maximum comfort while fishing.

Even though last on our list, the Fuego CT baitcaster is still worth checking out.

Shop Online for the Daiwa Fuego CT

Reader Review:

“I would highly recommend this reel for anyone who wants an inexpensive bait caster. I have had mine for a little over a year now and it has been very durable.

I have to admit the first time I used it I was a little disappointed in the casting abilities, but after I broke it in I now have no complaints. I also have the same reel in the 6.3:1 gear ratio and I like it better for catching bass than the 8.1:1.

I have caught some pretty big bass with these reels. It is a little noisier than the higher priced reels but if you are looking for a quality reel without the high price tag this one is for you.”

Pflueger President XT Low Profile Reel

Rating
4.40625/5
  • Weight (oz.): 6.8
  • Available Gear Ratios: 7.3:1
  • Bearing Count: 9
  • Mono Line Capacity (yd/lb): 145/12
  • Braided Line Capacity (yd/lb): 140/30
  • Max Drag (lbs): 12

The Pflueger President XT Low Profile Baitcasting Reel is a mid-priced baitcaster offering smooth performance in one of the lightest form factors on our list.

The reel features a 9 ball bearing system, externally adjustable magnetic and centrifugal brakes, and an oversized, rubberized handle. At only 6.8 ounces, this reel is a popular choice among anglers looking for a reel that won’t tire their arm out. The reel has a 5.3:1 gear ratio and a 12-pound maximum drag.

The Pflueger President XT Low Profile Baitcasting Reel is what you need if you are looking for a super-light baitcaster reel that is capable of handling stronger bass. With its lightweight design, this baitcasting reel will be comfortable to fish with for hours on end.

Shop Online for the Pflueger President XT

Reader Review:

“I bought this reel last year and have been very impressed with it. I have used it with 50 Lbs braided fishing line and spinnerbaits and it’s done a great job. I have even used it for trolling and have had no problems at all. The drag works very well.

The only downside is that the paint on the side plate chipped off after a few months. I have had this problem with all of my Pflueger reels.

This reel is a must-have for a beginner fisherman or a seasoned angler that is looking for a good reliable reel.”

Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel

Up close picture of the Piscifun Torrent
Rating
4.34375/5
  • Weight (oz.): 8
  • Available Gear Ratios: 5:3:1, 7:1:1
  • Bearing Count: 6
  • Mono Line Capacity (yd/lb): 120/10
  • Braided Line Capacity (yd/lb): 120/30
  • Max Drag (lbs): 18

The Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel is one of the least expensive baitcasters on our list but still holds its own.

The Torrent baitcaster features a double line winding shaft which increases the reels casting and winding stability. The Piscifun Torrent is capable of holding 300 yards of 12lb monofilament fishing line. It has a magnetic brake system that allows you to adjust the brake setting from 0-10 on the fly as well as a 20 max pound carbon fiber drag system.

The Piscifun Torrent is equipped with strong gears and a sturdy aluminum body to last many years of fishing. The precision gears give it strong, reliable, and quiet retrieves.

The Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel is made with high-quality components, a full feature set, and a 1-year warranty all at a very low price.

Many anglers have been quite surprised after using the Torrent baitcaster reel because you can hardly beat the value when you get such a strong reel for such a small price.

Get the best price directly at Piscifun.

Shop Online for the Piscifun Torrent

Reader Review:

“I purchased the Piscifun Torrent about 2 months ago and it has been great. I have been using it with a variety of different rigs and without issue. I use it with a 6’6” Ugly Stik GX2 medium heavy fast action casting rod.

I have been using it with a variety of different rigs and without issue. The drag system is smooth and greatly helps in landing bigger fish. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for great value.”

Key Baitcast Advantages: Why Choose A Baitcasting Reel For Bass Fishing?

Spinning reels work just fine for bass fishing. They are easy to handle, cast well, and are great for light fishing.

But there’s a reason that professional bass anglers prefer baitcasters over spinning reels. For many bass fishing strategies, baitcasting reels have a winning edge over spinning reels.

So what are the top benefits of a baitcaster reel when compared to a spinning reel? Well, let’s take a look.

Baitcasters Provide Better Line Control

Line is one of the most important items when fishing. Without line, you can’t catch a fish.

So it’s important to have a reel that is able to control the line well. Spinning reels work well for lighter fishing, so they are better for light work.

But for heavy fishing, the best baitcasting reels have a distinct advantage over spinning reels. That’s because baitcasters use a spool to hold the line. This gives you better control over the line and makes it easier to cast.

Spinning reels, on the other hand, use a line guide to control the line. While the line guide makes spinning reels easier to use for beginners, it also reduces down the amount of torque the reel puts out.

This often results in a lot of line twists and tangles that can make fishing difficult.

Better Control Over Lure Speed

Another significant advantage that a baitcaster reel has over a spinning reel is the ability to control lure speed.

Spinning reels are notoriously difficult to control when fishing with heavier baits and lures. That’s because spinning reels with a fixed bail have a hard time keeping a steady speed when the drag is set too tight.

This is because the drag is set by the friction of the line against the inside of the bail. These spinning reels are better for light fishing because fishermen don’t need to control lure speed when fishing with light baits.

But baitcasters use a lever that is pulled or pushed to adjust the speed. This makes it easier to control the line and change the speed of the lure. The spool design of a baitcaster also helps with speed control.

A baitcaster reel is usually designed with a drag that can be set at any level. And if you set the drag too tight, the brake can be set to compensate. This gives better control over the line and the lure.

So while spinning reels work well for lighter fishing, baitcasters are better for heavier fishing.

Easier To Detect Fish Strikes

Another advantage that baitcasters have over spinning reels is the ease of detecting a bait strike.

By maintaining constant contact with the line you can feel the weight of the fish. This lets you know when a fish is on the line and when to set the hook.

More Cranking Power

Due to the design of baitcasting reels, they provide you with more direct torque and power to crank in a large bass which makes them ideal for higher drag baits like crankbaits and spinnerbaits.

These reels use a much smoother rotation compared to a spinning reel’s wobble cast which also makes them a better option for heavier fishing.

Getting To Know The Layout Of A Baitcaster

Fishing with a baitcaster is much different than using a spinning reel. Spinning reels are ready to use out of the box. Baitcasters need to be tweaked before fishing with them.

It’s recommended to spend time reading the reel’s manual before spooling it with line or using it to fish. This will equip you with the knowledge you need to line it correctly and familiarize you with all of the features.

Also, take some time to become accustomed to the location of all of the parts and features of the reel like the drag, clutch, spool, spool tension knob, and brake system.

Difference Between Active and Passive Braking

In baitcaster casting two braking forces are being applied to the spool.

The first is passive braking. Passive braking is what happens to the spool naturally when you cast. This naturally slows down the line automatically when casting.

Active braking is what happens when you place your thumb on the spool and manually brake it during the cast.

Most modern baitcasters also incorporate an automated braking system to help prevent backlash, also referred to as bird nesting the line. The automated braking system typically incorporates some type of centrifugal braking system or magnetic braking system. This system is controlled via a dial on the outside of the reel.

It’s very important to become familiar with how the braking systems work on your baitcasting reel. Especially if you’re new to using a baitcaster. This will help you tremendously and save you a lot of time and headache.

Many anglers have written off baitcasters as being too complicated and cumbersome because they haven’t taken the time to learn how to correctly brake their reel which in turn, means they’ve never learned to correctly cast.

How To Choose The Correct Gear Ratio

A point of confusion for many people when picking out a fishing reel is what gear ratio you should choose.

Baitcasting reels come in a variety of different gear ratios and knowing which one to choose will depend on what type of bass fishing you’re going to be doing with it.

On our best baitcaster list, we have gear ratios ranging from 5.0:1 up to 8.5:1.

What these numbers stand for are the number of spool rotations per handle turn. So on the 5.0:1 (pronounced five to one) gear ratio, for every single turn of the handle, the spool will turn 5 times.

For the 8.5:1, for every time the handle turns once, the spool will have turned 8.5 times.

These numbers are important to note when choosing your next baitcaster as they will have a direct effect on your fishing techniques.

In general, the lower the gear ratio, the slower your line retrieve will be. While the inverse is true. The higher your gear ratio, the faster your line retrieve will be.

So let’s take a look at each of the gear ratios.

Gear Ratio 5 to 1 - Fishing For Giant Bass

The 5:1 gear ratios will generally work best when you’re using big hard baits or big soft baits and are fishing for giant bass.

Now, the typical rule of thumb when bass fishing is to get the fish in as quickly as possible. So using a lower gear ratio reel might seem a little counterintuitive. While, in concept, that may be true. In practice, it plays out a little differently.

Once a large 10 to 15-pound bass grabs onto your bait the amount of resistance a big fish of that size can put on your reel is almost unbelievable. If it was the first time you experienced hooking a bass of that size, you may just think you snagged your hook on a stump.

If you’re using a higher gear ratio, like a 7:1, a giant bass of this size may just lock up your reel and you won’t even be able to turn the handle. In that situation, even though you’ve snagged a trophy bass, chances are you won’t be able to pull it in.

The advantage a lower gear ratio provides you with is a higher torque level that will allow you to turn your handle, despite the pressure the bass is putting on the reel.

This lower gear ratio will provide you with the force you need to pull in that giant bass.

Heavy Cover

You’ll also want to use a lower gear ratio when you’re fishing in heavy cover and vegetation. Since you’re more likely to get stuck in the weeds and really need the strength to punch your way through.

Another consideration when in heavy cover, is that if you snag a bass in this type of area, they’ll have the surroundings that will allow them to root down into the undergrowth. Once there they will drastically increase the amount of power needed to retrieve them.

Gear Ratio 6 to 1 - General Workhorse

The 6:1 gear ratio will provide you with a very consistent fishing experience. While they don’t really shine in any particular area, they are probably the reel you’ll want to choose if you’re just getting started and purchasing your first baitcaster.

The 6:1 is a great all-around speed and will serve you well without requiring you to manually adjust your retrieval speed. They will work well for spinnerbaits, jigs, jerkbaits, and many other lure types.

The 6:1 will also offer you a good speed to torque ratio. So if you are fighting a larger bass, it should help keep your reel from freezing up.

Gear Ratio 7 to 1 - Favorite Gear Ratio

The 7:1 is a great gear ratio for just about everything. From buzzbaits, crankbaits, top waters, light lure, flippin’, pitchin’, spinnerbaits, and chatterbaits…really just about anything.

For a more experienced baitcast user, the beautiful thing about a 7:1 gear ratio is that you can manually decrease your retrieval speed. A 5:1 and 6:1 are physically limited on how fast they are. You can only spin the handle so fast. But with a 7:1 if you want the lure to be retrieved slower, all you have to do is slow down the rate you’re spinning the handle.

This makes the 7:1 a very diverse fishing reel, once you get the hang of it.

If you’re fishing a topwater, you reel in at the maximum speed. If you’re fishing with a heavier lure or deep-diving crankbait, just slow down your handle spin and your retrieval rate will decrease, allowing your lure more time to sink.

So for most fishing techniques, outside of those that are looking to grab giant bass, the 7:1 is a great ratio to go with. As the main disadvantage of the 7:1 ratio is that you have a lot less torque than you do on the lower gear ratios.

So it’s important to think again and plan accordingly on the type of fishing you’re going to be doing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our number 1 recommendation is the Abu Garcia Revo SX. This is an amazing baitcaster that provides everything you need for just about any type of bass fishing presentation you want to use it with.

For many bass fishing strategies, baitcasting reels have a winning edge over spinning reels. So what are the top benefits of a baitcaster reel when compared to a spinning reel?

Well, let’s take a look.

  • Baitcasters Provide Better Line Control.
  • Better Control Over Lure Speed.
  • Easier To Detect Fish Strikes.
  • More Cranking Power.

The main difference between baitcasting reels and spinning reels is that baitcasters are designed for heavier line and lures. The line feeds directly onto the spool, versus a spinning reel which requires the line to be redirected. This gives you more torque to handle larger fish.

They also have a brake system (centrifugal or magnetic) to control the spool speed and prevent backlash.

Baitcasting reels are a good choice for just about any type of presentation, like flipping jigs, deep diving crankbaits, casting large swimbaits, topwaters and even using Alabama rigs.

They can be a little tricky to use for beginner anglers, but they are a good all-around reel for bass fishing once you get the hang of them.

If you’re looking for a good baitcaster at an incredibly affordable price, we’d suggest checking out the Piscifun Torrent.

You can typically pick one up for around $40, which is an excellent deal for everything this reel brings to the table.

The short answer is that they can both work very well and that neither is really better than the other.

The long answer requires a little more detail about braking systems.

Centrifugal brakes are activated by the centrifugal force at the first part of the cast. These brakes are good for providing the brake action on the casting reel for the first part of the cast, but are limited once the lure stops and the baitcaster keeps backing. These reels need a brake system that is activated by a push/pull motion and is capable of braking the spool as the reel is returning.

Magnetic brakes work best at the end of the cast. Magnetic brakes are activated at the end of the cast by a push/pull motion using magnets that are inside of the reel.

Centrifugal brakes are located within the reel itself and typically require removing the sideplate of the reel to make adjustments. This is an extra step and so requires more work to tweak the brakes.

Magnetic brakes are typically controlled via a dial on the outside of the reel. This makes them very easy to adjust.

So, which is better?

It’s actually not really that easy to answer that question since each manufacturer’s braking system is different. Some brands have great braking systems, whether magnetic or centrifugal. Though, in our observations, some of the best braking systems utilize a combination of centrifuge, magnets, and cast control tension.

Overall, each of the reels on this list has a very reliable braking system.

The best gear ratio for flipping jigs will vary depending on the weight and size of the jig, as well as the angler’s personal preference. In years past, the general advice would have been slower gear ratios like 5:1 and 6:1. However, as reel technology has advanced and high gear ratio reels have been produced, that advice has shifted to higher numbers.

So if you’re wanting to do other types of fishing with the reel, a 7.5:1 will get you a good all around gear ratio. However, if you’re using the reel primarily for flipping and pitching, you may want to go with something that’s 8.5:1 or higher.

Check out this article by Piscifun for more information.

If you’re fishing with oversized swimbaits, you’re going to want a reel with a high max drag rating, good quality components, and available in a lower gear ratio that provides you with plenty of torque.

With this in mind, the 13 Fishing Concept A in the 5.6:1 gear ratio would be our top pick.

Yes, baitcasting reels are good for beginner anglers. They can be a little tricky to use at first, but with a little practice, most people can get the hang of them.

Baitcasting reels offer more power and control than spinning reels, which makes them a good choice for fishing for large fish.

We’d recommend going with a slow reel. One with a gear ratio in the 5:1 range. This will slow down the retrieve speed and allow the crankbait enough time to sink deep into the water column.

While you could get a higher gear ratio and manually slow down your retrieve, if you’re primarily crankbait fishing, I’d recommend going with the Shimano Curado K.

No, the handle side is determined at assembly. So unlike a spinning reel, you’re unable to change the side the handle is attached on.

If you need a right or left handed model, make sure you make the correct selection at purchase.

The general consensus is to use a reel with a higher gear ratio. However, you can technically skip a jig with any type of reel. The main benefit of having a higher gear ratio would be to get the fish out from under the dock as quickly as possible. This avoids the potential of the bass getting wrapped up around a dock post.

So, with that in mind, any of the reels on our list with a 7:1 or higher gear ratio will work fine.

If you’d like a direct recommendation though, I’d say to check out the Revo SX or the Alloy M.

If you’re fishing with an umbrella rig (Alabama rig) you’ll want to get a heavy duty, low gear ratio, baitcaster.

We’d recommend checking out the 5.6:1 GR Lew’s Speed Spool LFS. It should provide you with the power you need for throwing a-rigs, while also being general purpose enough to allow you to fish other presentations.

If you’re looking to fish umbrella rigs exclusively and would like a little more substance to the reel in your hands, then you should check out the Curado 300 K on Amazon or the 13 Fishing Concept A3 on Amazon. Both of these are beefed up models from the ones listed on this page.

To learn more about using an Umbrella rig, check out this article by ShopKarls.

While many of the reels here would likely be up to the task of fishing for striped bass, you may want to have more line capacity available to you than these low profile casting reels provide.

With that said, the Revo SX or Revo Ike should provide you with enough power and line to handle most inshore fishing situations.

However, you may want to opt for a reel with a larger spool design like a conventional reel or a more reinforced baitcasting reel like the Curado 300 K on Amazon or the 13 Fishing Concept A3 on Amazon.

Braided fishing line is a great choice for baitcasting reels. It is very thin and strong, so it can handle large fish without breaking. It also doesn’t curl up on the spool like monofilament line does, which makes it easier to cast.

The Revo SX at the 7.3:1 gear ratio should provide you with everything you need for bass froggin’.

If you’re looking to really burn it back to you, then you may want to get an 8:1 GR like the Alloy M or the Curado K.

This depends on the type of lure you’re going to be throwing into the weeds.

If you’re using an underwater lure, like a lipless crankbait, you’ll want to go with a lower gear ratio, something like the 5:1 Curado K or Concept A.

If you’re throwing a topwater, you’ll probably want to go with a higher gearing like Curado K, Alloy M, or Revo Ike.

Conclusion

When shopping for the best bass baitcaster it’s important to figure out what type of fishing you’re going to be doing. What gear ratio you’re going to need, what type of braking system you want, and what type of budget you want to stay within. This information will help you choose the best casting reels for you.

All of the reels on this list are highly recommended for their performance, functionality, and quality. We’ve selected top contenders from every price range and gear ratio to present you with the top baitcasters available today. Our top selection are:

  1. Abu Garcia Revo SX
  2. Piscifun Alloy M
  3. Lew’s Mach Crush SLP
  4. Shimano Curado K
  5. 13 Fishing Concept A
  6. Abu Garcia Revo IKE
  7. Lew’s Speed Spool LFS
  8. Daiwa Fuego CT
  9. Pflueger President XT
  10. Piscifun Torrent

While we excluded baitcast combo rod and reels, we have put together a list of the top casting rod selection that you can review by clicking here. We feel each angler’s requirements are unique and that a baitcasting combo doesn’t fulfill the needs as well as personally selecting the perfect bass fishing rod and manually making your own reel combo.

We hope that you find the right baitcaster combo for you and it helps you catch that next big bass fish!

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