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Pflueger President XT Baitcaster Review

The Pflueger President XT is a good reel for the price, and is worth checking out. It has some nice features like a micro click spool tension adjustment, ergonomic palm shape, and a high number of ball bearings. While it is missing some features we’d like to see, it’s still a very capable reel that’s worth taking a look at.

Pflueger President XT Overview:

Pflueger has been in the business of making fishing reels since 1916, when they released their first baitcasting reel.

Since then, Pflueger has become a well known and loved brand.

It seems in recent years, Pflueger has put most of their focus on designing spinning reels, but their President XT is still holding the line for the baitcaster category.

The President XT is designed as a good all around bass casting reel that offers consistent casting and retrieving performance.

The President XT is priced right around the mid tier pricing level and performs right about how you’d expect this quality of casting reel to perform.

It has some nice features like a micro click spool tension adjustment, ergonomic palm shaping, and a high number of ball bearings.

Overall, the President XT is a good reel for the price, and is worth checking out.

Shop Online for the Pflueger President XT

President XT Specs

  • Ball Bearing: 9
  • Anti-Reverse: Yes
  • Handle: Aluminum with rubberized cork knobs
  • Brake System: 4 Magnetic Braking System
  • Line Capacity: 145/12 mono
  • Gear Ratio: 7.3:1
  • Spool: Aluminum
  • Body: Composite frame with carbon C30 sideplates
  • Drag: 12 lbs
  • Weight: 7.7 oz

John's Thoughts

The Pflueger President XT is a nice budget minded caster. I would have preferred a slightly smoother drag system, but that is a common issue with low priced reels.

The President XT is pretty quiet overall. Not as quiet as some higher priced reels, but quiet enough to not disturb someone fishing out of the same boat.

Spooling the Pflueger was easy with no issues. Fishing line seems to lay on the spool well and distributes evenly via the line guide.

I didn’t notice any significant problems with casting distance. It casts pretty straight and has enough power to get the job done.

This reel doesn’t pack nearly the same punch that some of my higher priced reels do, but it’s not far off.

Overall, I think the President XT is a decent reel for the price. It doesn’t have any major flaws, but also doesn’t have any major selling points.

The reel’s light weight and good build quality are it’s high points. The drag system could use some work though.

I’d recommend a reel like the President XT for someone who is looking for a good spare reel to keep around the boat or wanting to upgrade from a super budget casting reel.


The Pflueger President XT is a fairly straight forward baitcast reel. Coming in at under $100 we’d consider it more on the budget reel side. However, that doesn’t mean it skimps on features.

While, the President XT is missing a few features that’d we’d prefer to have in a casting reel, it’s not missing anything that would disqualify it as a contender for a great all around bass reel.

Let’s take a deeper look at everything the President XT baitcaster is equipped with.

High Bearing Count Delivers Smooth Performance

The President’s high bearing count is a huge selling point for this baitcaster. It makes the reel feel much smoother than what you’d normally expect for a reel in this price range.

The reel’s 8 double shielded stainless steel ball bearings and internal gearing are capable of delivering a level of performance that is generally reserved for reels costing over $100.

You’ll want to make sure you’re maintaining proper maintenance and lubricant application on the President XT. There have been some reports of bearing noise without staying on top of this.

Light Weight with Good Ergonomics

The President XT has good overall ergonomics and a light weight to match. For a reel in this price range, the 7.7 oz weight is pretty good. The Pflueger reel’s weight is great for all day use, and also is easy to palm. The reel’s ergonomics are good for just about any hand size.

The extended handle and rubberized cork knobs feel comfortable in the hand and provide enough grip to enable you to really crank down when you need to.

Micro-Click Spool Tension Adjuster

This reel’s micro-click spool tension adjuster is an added bonus on the President XT. This knob makes it extremely easy to make minute adjustments to the reel’s spool tension. This is a major advantage for when you need to switch between baits and want to avoid backlash and maximize casting distance.

Good Build Quality

Overall, the build quality of the President XT is pretty good. Most of the parts utilize metal, carbon, or aluminum, though the frame itself of the President XT is made of some type of plastic composite material. This isn’t bad, per se, and is probably expected for a reel in this price range, but having a better quality material would be preferred.

Multi-Disc Drag System

The President XT features a multi-disc drag system with a star drag adjustment. The carbon fiber drag system isn’t the smoothest out there, but it’s sufficient for a reel in this class.

The drag system is rated at 12 lbs of max drag pressure. While this is a little low when compared to other similarly priced casters, it should be sufficient for most freshwater applications.

If you need to use this reel for inshore saltwater applications, you’ll probably want to look at a reel that’s equipped with a stronger and smoother drag system.

Magnetic Breaking System

In more recent years, Pflueger transitioned the President baitcasting reel from a traditional centrifugal braking system to a newer magnet only brake system. In part, this was likely to reduce down the overall cost of the reel.

One of the primary advantages of the magnetic braking system is the easy adjustability. You’re able to make on the fly adjustments utilizing the dial on the side of the President XT.

While we personally prefer the inclusion of both a centrifugal and magnetic system, the President XT’s brakes handle pretty well overall and should prevent most backlash.

Jerry's Impressions Of The Reel

I purchased this reel just as the fishing started to heat up here on the FL Gulf Coast, which allowed me to get several excellent test conditions. The President XT is a lightweight reel that provides great performance at an affordable cost. For about $99 you can’t go wrong with this reel.

This reel is perfect for fishing tackle such as Carolina rigs or flipping and pitching. The drag is perfect for these techniques and provides what you need to get the fish into the boat. The drag is easily adjustable via a star knob at the base of the reel.

This reel feels great in the hand and has a very sleek design that provides a great finish to the reel.

Pros and Cons


  • Lightweight
  • Good ergonomics
  • Easy to palm
  • Micro-click spool tension adjuster
  • Decent build quality


  • No longer includes centrifugal brakes
  • Plastic frame
  • Low drag pressure

Paul's President XT Review

I’ve had the Pflueger President XT for a few months now, and I’m starting to get a good feel for the reel.

The first thing I had to do was take it apart and lubricate everything according to the instructions. This is something that needs to be done on every reel you purchase. After doing that, the reel felt much smoother with less noise than it did before the initial disassembly.

While the initial feel of the President XT is quite smooth and quiet, I don’t know that the reel will stay that way over time if it’s not properly lubricated and maintained. So far so good, but I’ll continue to keep a close eye on it.

One of the things I really like about the President XT is the quality build for the price. It’s not the best reel I’ve ever used, but it’s high up there.

All the materials used in the reel appear to be high quality. All the metal parts are well machined and look good. The reel has a nice matte finish that should resist scratches and corrosion over time.

Performance wise, it has handled well. I haven’t had any problems out on the water and haven’t birdnested once while using it, which is always a good sign.

The only thing that is a bit of a let down is the reel’s handle. I’m just not a fan of the cork knobs.

Otherwise, I don’t have any complaints about the President XT.


Yes, Pflueger has been making high quality fishing reels for over 100 years. They are a well established and highly trusted brand.

It can be used for saltwater. If you do use the President XT for inshore fishing, it’s recommended to wash it off well with freshwater after use. You’ll also want to perform regular maintenance on the reel as to prevent performance issues.

They are made in China.

As of the current date, the only baitcasting reel that Pflueger lists on their website is the President XT. They have consistently released new models and versions of their spinning reels, but it doesn’t seem like the casting reels have been getting much attention from Pflueger.

Yes, it’s originally a German surname, that means a plowman, as in someone who uses a plow.

The President XT is designed to be a versatile all-around fishing reel that can be paired with a number of different rods. But a good casting rod to pair with the President XT would be a 6’6″ medium-heavy casting rod. This will provide the best balance for the reel and give you a good all around setup for bass fishing.

No, it looks like the President XT is available in a right hand model only.


We’ve given the Pflueger President XT caster ratings in four categories. They are as follows:

  • Price: A
  • Build: B
  • Feature Set: B
  • Design: B+

The Pflueger President XT baitcaster earns an overall score of: B


The Pflueger President XT baitcaster is a good casting reel. It offers a solid feature set, decent build quality, and good performance. While it may not have the same features or performance as some of the more expensive baitcasters on the market, it’s a great reel for the price.

If you’re looking for a good all around bass casting reel that’s available for under $100, the President XT should be a contender on your list.

Shop Online for the Pflueger President XT


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