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Using a baitcasting reel can be a challenge – no matter how much experience you have fishing.
Luckily, there are several ways to make learning this new skill a bit easier. Buying the right equipment is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
When you invest in the best baitcasting reel, you’ll start yourself on the right foot. Baitcasts are a must-have item for bass fishing – or for anytime you need a reel that is powerful, easy to handle, and lightweight.
Not to mention, a baitcasting reel also casts accurately and with ease, giving you a bit more wiggle room if your casts as a newbie tend to end up in the weeds!
Here’s what you should look for when you’re shopping for a beginner baitcasting reel – as well as a list of a few of my favorite products.
Best Baitcasting Reels for Beginners 2021
Here are the best baitcasting reels for beginners:
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10 Top Baitcasting Reels For Beginners – Reviewed
Here are the top 10 baitcasting reels on the market today
KastKing Royale Legend/Whitemax Low Profile Baitcasting Fishing Reel
This high-performance reel by KastKing offers all the exceptional performance you would expect from a leading brand. It is also low-maintenance.
One of the best reels for beginners, this reel has a super sleek, low-profile design with excellent line retrieve. It will do so silently, helping you reel in a fish without even being able to hear it.
It has super smooth ball bearings and a corrosion-resistant shield, helping to ensure that your reel lasts much longer – even when it’s being used in saltwater.
You’ll love the level of control you get with this reel, which weighs just over 7 ounces and is made out of durable carbon fiber.
- Ball bearings are corrosion-resistant
- High performance, super silent reel
- 4+1 ball bearings
- Not the best drag system
Daiwa Tatula Baitcasting Reels
With its state-of-the-art hybrid design, this reel takes the durability of a standard reel and combines it with Daiwa’s excellent casting performance.
This baitcasting reel offers exceptional casting performance, giving you more precision with each and every cast.
It has a unique air rotation carbon drag, too, which helps to reduce the overall weight of the reel with its specially designed cutouts.
Its design is durable, made out of lightweight aluminum and carbon. With 7+1 ball bearings, this reel truly leaves nothing to be desired.
- Superb 5.4:1 gear ratio
- Compact design is lightweight and easy to handle
- Efficient and easily adjusted drag
- Can be hard to spool line
Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel
Another leading baitcasting reel to try is this option by Piscifun. It is both affordable and durable, offering exceptional performance without breaking the bank.
It comes with an 18 lb carbon fiber drag that does an excellent job of handling fish. Not only that, but it has industrial-strength brass gear that will allow you to fish anywhere at any time.
They’re equipped with a climate-resistant finish.
The reel operates silently and comes with a side plate oil port. You’ll not only be able to get in a good, solid day of fishing, but maintaining your reel won’t take long either.
- Has a climate-resistant finish
- 18lb drag is perfect for large fish
- Comes with a side plate oil port that makes it easy to maintain
- Bearings can rust when used in saltwater
Abu Garcia Revo SX Low Profile Fishing Reel
Although this baitcasting reel is slightly more expensive than some of the alternatives, trust me – it’s well worth your money. Not only is it high-performing, but it’s also incredibly durable, too.
It’s equipped with nine separate ball bearings and roller bearings, helping to ensure a smooth, efficient cast every time.
The reel is made out of a strong base alloy and has C6 carbon side plates, making it durable and easy to use.
A low-profile, compact reel, it holds up well to larger fish. It has a unique carbon matrix drag system to help you land even the hard-fitting big guys.
It also eliminates the likelihood of your line breaking and has anti-backlash features.
- Reel prevent backsplash
- Strong base alloy material
- Has high-quality brass gears
- Sideplates prone to accidental removal
Daiwa Fuego CT Baitcast Fishing Reel
This baitcasting reel by Daiwa is another excellent option. It comes with dynamic infinite anti-reverse features and a unique “Ultimate Tournament Drag” system that lets you handle even the largest catches without any line breaks or excess tension.
No matter what, you’ll get all the cranking power you need to hook a monster catch. It has smooth casting ability and ample lines.
This reel’s line capacity is so impressive, you’ll probably never reach the end of your line. It also has a silky smooth spool and is ultra-durable.
It’s sure to last for quite some time with minimal (if any) issues.
- 13.2 lbs of drag
- Comes with infinite anti-reverse and cast control
- Super compact with 5+1 bearings
- Lots of plastic components
SHIMANO SLX DC
The Shimano SLX DC is a sturdy, dependable reel that is one of the best baitcasting reels for beginners. It doesn’t matter what kind of fish you are going after – this reel is sure to hold up well to the challenge.
It has a custom Hagane body structure that allows for increased impact resistance and rigidity while also eliminating the likelihood of flexing and breakage. It has a unique braking system that makes it solid and durable, too.
Not only that, but this reel has multiple other braking systems to control the spool speed – it has six centrifugal brakes and an external adjustment knob.
With a thin aluminum wall, this reel is super easy to cast. It reduces friction by keeping the pinion gear and spool apart.
This reel is compact and efficient – it prevents backlash for a smooth and reliable cast each and every time.
- Minimal friction
- Exceptional braking systems to control spool speed
- Has an external adjustment knob with four separate settings
- Some issues with line fluffing
Lew’s Mach Crush
The Lew’s Mach Crush reel is a baitcasting reel with a super strong and lightweight feel and performance.
It reduces backlash, eliminating it almost completely, and offers a surprisingly large number of features, many of which can be adjusted.
One of the most helpful features of this reel is its unique and compact “Speed Spool” design. It has a spool made out of double anodized aluminum and has a helpful U-shape so you’ll get smooth reeling and casting at all times.
Not only that, but this reel has a sturdy SLP graphite reel frame and side plates. It can handle the most difficult catches and water conditions with ease.
With 9+1 ball bearings, made out of double-shielded stainless-steel, this reel is incredibly durable.
You’ll have ultimate control over the braking of this reel, regardless of the conditions that you might encounter out there on the water.
- Lets you apply as much force as you need to while in use
- Compact design
- Double anodized aluminum 32 mm spool
- Can be a bit too complicated for inexperienced anglers
Piscifun Phantom Carbon Baitcasting Reel
Not only one of the best baitcasting reels for beginners but also one of the least expensive, this baitcasting reel by Piscifun is lightweight at only 5.7 ounces.
It doesn’t compromise its ability for its lack of heft, either. It has a 7.01: gear ratio for fast, efficient reeling along with six anti-corrosion stainless steel ball bearings.
It is incredibly powerful, made out of a super hard anodized aircraft aluminum main and pinion gear.
It has a braking system that is both magnetic and centrifugal. You’ll eliminate almost all backlash, even if you’re new to fishing.
It has a small, compact frame, making it ideal for eliminating fatigue and effort when you’re trying to get in a solid day of fishing.
You’ll get the studiest feel and drag imaginable, with a 17lb drag that is surprising despite this reel’s lightweight build.
- Excellent centrifugal and magnetic braking system
- Lightweight build
- Corrosion-resistant bearings
- Smaller spool capacity than similar reels
Lews Fishing Tournament MB Baitcast Reel
As you might expect from the title alone, this reel is designed for tournament use and really lives up to all the hype. It’s lightweight and has great strength, built with a U-style aluminum spool that is easy to use.
The reel comes with an automatic tension adjustment so you can nail that perfect cast each time. It also has ten ball bearings made out of stainless steel along with a clutch bearing that has zero-reverse so you won’t reel backward.
Not only that, the Lews Fishing Tournament Reel comes with a multi-setting brake. With this brake, you’ll be able to exercise serious control so you can cast further and adjust the feel of your fishing line each time you use it.
Its aluminum handle has paddle handles that can reduce hand fatigue, too. No more wrist exhaustion after a long day of fishing!
- Built with a lightweight frame made out of carbon composite
- Minimal hand fatigue with large knobs that have paddle handles
- Has a zero-reverse clutch bearing
- Not the greatest drag system
Pflueger President XT Low Profile Reel
Pflueger is a well-known brand when it comes to the best reels, and this low-profile baitcasting reel is no exception.
It has a smooth ball bearing system (nine total ball bearings included) that is corrosion-resistant so you can use it in both salt and freshwater alike.
In addition, this reel comes with a helpful magnetic braking system. You can easily adjust it to reduce backlash and improve the rotation.
Made out of durable aluminum, the reel feels wonderful in your hands with its soft-touch knob finish. The knobs also have rubber to improve your grip, making for a comfortable and efficient day of fishing.
- Has an adjustable magnetic braking system
- Superb and durable construction
- Ergonomic handle with soft-touch rubber knobs
- Not available in a lefthand configuration
Finding the Right Baitcasting Reel for Beginners
Here are some of the most important things to consider when you’re shopping for a new baitcasting reel.
Try to find a baitcasting reel that is lightweight and easy to handle. This will not only make your casts and controls more precise, but it will make your day out on the water much more enjoyable.
At the end of a long day of fishing, the last thing you’re going to want to do is try to maneuver or cast a heavy reel.
Ideally, you should shop for a reel that weighs less than 7 ounces.
The frame style of your baitcasting reel is particularly important. You want to look for a baitcasting reel that is strong without being overly bulky.
Big fees need a big frame for strength and support – but you don’t have to pick one made out of heavy materials. Usually, aluminum will do the trick.
Not all baitcasting reels come with anti-backlash systems, but the very best ones do. This will give you maximum control over your fishing setup.
Look for an anti-backlash feature, which will provide excellent reeling and casting. It will be super smooth and built into the reel.
Some have magnetic designs, while others are centrifugal. Either way, you should look for a baitcasting reel with controls that can be adjusted externally or internally.
Rounded vs. Low Profile
Most baitcasting reels for beginners have a low profile design, but that’s not true of all of them – nor is it always better.
A low profile reel is usually the favorite, though, because it is sleek and easier to handle. You’ll enjoy the utmost level of comfort and control with this kind of reel.
It also offers easier access when it comes to handling the spool.
A rounded reel, though, is one that is best used on large fish like pike, steelhead, catfish, and salmon. The line length can be increased and you’ll be able to use heavier lines, too.
A deeper (larger) spool can be helpful if you plan on fishing a stiff, heavy line (20lb fluorocarbon would be an example). You’ll be able to create smaller coils of line that are also easier to manage.
Material and Durability
Look for a reel made out of high-quality, durable materials that are also lightweight. Some of the best are magnesium, aluminum, and carbon composite.
Pay close attention to the line guides on your reel. These will help keep your fishing line straight and secure. Most are made out of ceramic or titanium, which makes them lightweight as well as durable.
Investing in a reel with good line guides is essential, as it will increase the lifespan and usability of your reel.
Investing in a reel with a good braking system is essential if you are new to fishing. This will help you reduce the likelihood of tangles and knots, both of which can seriously hamper your fishing.
You will want to use a baitcasting reel with centrifugal or magnetic braking mechanisms.
A magnetic braking system is one that includes small magnets that initiate the brakes. The farther the magnets are from the spool, the quicker it will spin.
A centrifugal braking system will utilize side plate friction to help slow the spool. Either system can work well for you – but make sure the braking systems are adjustable so you can find the perfect balance.
The right drag system on your reel will help you manage friction on your line. It can also reduce the likelihood of line breakage, which is something you definitely don’t want to have to deal with when you are in the midst of reeling in the catch of a lifetime.
Here’s a quick lowdown on how drag works.
When fish pull on your line, they apply friction to it. The drag system prevents your reel from being damaged by helping it rotate back and release more lines.
You will want to look for a reel that incorporates a drag system that maintains power and balance. Look for one made out of heavy-duty (yet lightweight) materials such as ceramic, graphite, or carbon.
Gear ratio will tell you just how fast you can retrieve a lure, as well as how much line is picked up with each handle turn. A 7:1 gear ratio, for instance, means that every time you turn the handle the spool will spin seven times.
A 7:1 gear ratio is usually what you are going to want to look for. If you’re more interested in fishing with a deep-diving crankbait, you’ll need something more along the lines of 6.4:1.
This will combine speed and power so you can handle just about any situation.
Maintenance and Ease of Use
Most baitcasting reels are offered in left and right-handed designs. Make sure you pick the one that matches your preferred hand so you have a more comfortable, less awkward cast.
You will also want to consider how easy it is to clean and maintain your new baitcasting reel. Regular maintenance is essential.
In general, most baitcasting reels can be cleaned with water and a brush. However, some may require oil and lubrication to keep them in tip-top shape.
On a beginner baitcasting reel, you are going to want to look for a reel with bearings that reduce the amount of friction produced when you cast. This will increase the durability and performance of your reel.
Usually, the more bearings you have, the better. This means you’ll be able to have more control over your cast – and enjoy a smoother cast, too.
You can find reels with as few as five or up to eleven bearings. Look for those made out of stainless steel when possible.
Your reel handle is also important. You need to invest in a reel with a comfortable handle so that you can use it to reel in any kind of fish. Some of the best baitcasting reels have double handles with two large knobs, making them easy to turn.
That said, you could also invest in a reel with a low-profile or oversized handle, depending on your needs and preferences.
How the Best Baitcasting Reel Can Make Your Life a Lot Easier
If you’re new to fishing, the long list of fishing techniques and equipment that you might encounter can be intimidating. Which resources are best to use, and which are not really worth your money?
There are tons of reasons why you should consider using a baitcasting reel if you’re a beginner.
For one, all kinds of fishing situations are best tackled (no pun intended) with a baitcasting reel.
From tossing heavy, deep-diving crankbaits to power fishing spinnerbaits, only a baitcasting reel will deliver the smooth, strong casting ability you need.
When compared to a spinning reel, a baitcasting reel offers much more versatility. You’ll be able to fish both small and large fish alike – plus, your setup will be easy to control.
In addition, fishing certain kinds of baits also requires a powerful bait caster. You’ll need excellent drag and a slow gear ratio to draw fish out of the cover.
When you have a powerful bait caster, you can fish heavier baits in heavy weeds and still will be able to pull fish up and out.
You can use a heavier line, too, since baitcasting reels are set up to be used with heavy pound tests. The line will peel right off the reel so you don’t have to worry about uneven casts.
Overall, your casting control will simply be better. You’ll be able to better control the presentation of your lure and you will be able to fish your lure in tight spots, like under overhangs, too.
When you invest in a baitcasting reel, you will experience unparalleled accuracy, control – and, dare I say, enjoyment. Consider our best baitcasting reels for your next (or very first!) fishing adventure.