Best Baitcasting Reels in 2021

Mark Johnson
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Picking a baitcasting reel can be a confusing process. There are a lot of reels out there, and most look similar with different features and capabilities.

In a nutshell, a baitcasting reel is used for fishing, especially for saltwater fishing.

The setup is a little different than a spinning reel, but both styles can be used for a variety of fishing applications. In our list, we will look at the best baitcasting reels along with a selection of low priced and beginner baitcasting reels for newbies.

NameCategoryProduct
Daiwa Tatula 100 TWS Baitcasting ReelBest OverallDaiwa Tatula 100 TWS Baitcasting Reel
KastKing Royale Legend GT Baitcasting ReelsBudget PickKastKing Royale Legend GT Baitcasting Reels
Abu Garcia C3 Species Special Baitcast Round Fishing ReelUpgrade PickAbu Garcia C3 Species Special Baitcast Round Fishing Reel

1. Daiwa Tatula 100 TWS Baitcasting Reel

Our rating: 9 / 10

Daiwa Tatula 100 TWS Baitcasting Reel

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Pros:

  • Smooth operation
  • Accurate casting
  • Durable construction
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Great value

The Daiwa Tatula series is famous for its smoothness, and the Tatula 100 TWS reel is no exception. It comes in a compact body, and weighs in at just over two pounds. It is made for durability and longevity, and the aluminum body is rust resistant.

The drag system does a fantastic job of minimizing backlash and increasing general usability. The magnetic brake system on the 100 TWS is fantastic and easy to use. Another great feature is the machine cut brass lined roller bearing system, which keeps the reel spinning silently.

The brakes are made from industrial polymer, so they are in no way flimsy. The reel can hold up to 400 yards of 10lb monofilament line, which is more than enough for almost any fishing job.

2. Penn SQL30LW Squall LevelWind

Our rating: 9 / 10

Penn SQL30LW Squall LevelWind

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Pros:

  • Levelwind system
  • Comes with a spare spool

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive
  • Baitcasting mechanism can catch on bait

This is a quality level wind baitcasting reel from Penn with a max drag of 25 lbs. Anglers have noted that this means it can handle the long throws and distance needed to cast effectively.

The reel’s sturdy frame allows for smooth operation, and the cork handle is lightweight and comfortable. The reel comes with a spare spool, as well as a drilled aluminum frame for extreme durability.

Overall users have been very pleased with the quality of this reel, and it’s sure to function well for years to come. The reel has been touted for its smooth operation and simple design. This is great for beginners and intermediates alike.

3. Abu Garcia C3 Species Special Baitcast Round Fishing Reel

Our rating: 9 / 10

Abu Garcia C3 Species Special Baitcast Round Fishing Reel

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Pros:

  • Very good quality
  • Great worm-gear level for casting
  • Different types of line capacity

For baitcasting reel reviews, we checked the Abu Garcia C3 Species model. This one has consistently been reviewed and commented on as one of the better models out there. It features a 4-bearing system and a gear-system level that offer you a smooth rewind of the line.

It can be used for many different applications, including for both saltwater and freshwater fishing. It’s made from one solid piece of aluminum for sturdiness and dependability. It’s also compact in size, so it can fit into smaller places for use.

The metal used to make the reel has been hardened, then polished for a smooth and sleek look. It’s ergonomic, so you can easily hold it with either your right or left hand. The flared handle makes it easy to grab.

4. Quantum Accurist S3 PT Baitcast Fishing Reel

Our rating: 9 / 10

Quantum Accurist S3 PT Baitcast Fishing Reel

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Pros:

  • Great Accurist Magnetic braking system
  • Easy retrieve
  • AMT (Air Rotation System) that channels air into a chamber to reduce those rebound-causing vibrations
  • Excellent drag performance
  • Resists jamming and is easily cleaned
  • Smooth braking mechanism
  • Comes fully preloaded with 100 yds of 14 lb Berkley Trilene Big Game monofilament line
  • Runs smoothly
  • Durable and sturdy

Cons:

  • Not suitable for beginners
  • Noisy

This quiet baitcast reel is ideal for fishing. It's a dream to use and the drag is easily adjusted. The reel comes with a 6.1:1 gear ratio to make retrieving a breeze.

The side plate features interchangeable spool angle to match specific casting styles. This versatile design allows anglers to choose between normal or right-angle retrieve positioning depending on what works best for them.

The Quantum Accurist S3 PT Baitcast Fishing reel is constructed with cold-forged aluminum to help withstand years of use. The AMT Air Rotation System gently spins air into a chamber around the spool to further reduce vibrations.

5. KastKing Royale Legend GT Baitcasting Reels

Our rating: 9 / 10

KastKing Royale Legend GT Baitcasting Reels

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Pros:

  • Superior design, easy to handle
  • Can be used by anglers of any experience level
  • Very durable
  • Ergonomic design for easy handling
  • Affordable price

This new low profile baitcasting reel from the KastKing Royale Legend GT is the most advanced lightweight fishing reel ever made. It comes with a super high-performance Mag braking system for incredible durability.

The KastKing Royale Legend GT Baitcasting Reels comes with an advanced brake system that will give you precise control when setting the reel, making it incredibly versatile for any types of fishing.

The brake and tightening system is designed for professional and novice fishermen alike, even though it is the ideal choice for anglers who want top-notch performance on the water.

6. Shimano Corvalus 400

Our rating: 8 / 10

Shimano Corvalus 400

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Pros:

  • Excellent sensitivity for casting
  • Sharp drag system
  • Smooth surface for comfortable grip
  • Perfectly balanced

If you’re an angling enthusiast looking for a fishing reel that can handle light freshwater fishing, then the Shimano Corvalus 400 is a good choice. This well-balanced reel provides you with the kind of casting and retrieval performance you require to enjoy the thrill of top-notch angling.

The Corvalus 400 is made from an aluminum-alloy blend that is corrosion-proof. This gives it an extremely lightweight body that doesn’t overload your arm and wrist with unnecessary weight. It works very well with a power rod for an inexperienced fisherman.

The line clicker in this reel allows for a quick line pick up. Once a fish bites, you can quickly increase the speed to reel it in. This is further backed up by the spool tension and integrated A-RB system that can be operated with one hand.

7. 13 Fishing Concept A Freshwater/Saltwater Baitcasting Fishing Reel

Our rating: 7 / 10

13 Fishing Concept A Freshwater/Saltwater Baitcasting Fishing Reel

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Pros:

  • Double-anodized aluminum spool
  • 4 stainless steel bearings
  • Built for rugged conditions
  • Smooth casting and retrieve
  • Button-free anti-reverse
  • O-ring sealed bearings
  • Lifetime warranty

We recommend the 13 Fishing Concept A Baitcasting Fishing Reel for fishing and fishing gear. This reel is built for rugged conditions, and it's ideal for fresh and salt water use.

This reel has a unique oversized spool that was designed for durability, enhanced performance, and extended casting distances. It can handle anything you choose to put it up against.

The Concept A is designed with 4 stainless steel bearings and a double-anodized aluminum spool. It has a reliable and durable clicker, a smooth ball bearing drive, and a dependable anti-reverse system. It also has a waterproof drag knob.

8. Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Blue Yonder

Our rating: 7 / 10

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Blue Yonder

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Pros:

  • Good for complete beginners
  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver
  • A very smooth reel
  • Holds a good amount of line
  • Easily disassembled for cleaning
  • Affordable price

The Ambassadeur Blue Yonder Baitcaster is the top-selling baitcasting reel among beginners and weekend anglers. With this versatile reel, you can fish both freshwater and saltwater. And since it has a quick-release sideplate, you can even swap spools and use spinning reels.

The reel comes loaded with features that will make your angling experience a whole lot easier. For example, the free spool innovation ejects the line rapidly to make it easier to set the hook. Plus, you can forget about backlashes with the Dyna-Cast disc drag system. Not to mention, the reel has a powerful drag that you can adjust to suit your individual preferences.

9. Okuma Cold Water Linecounter Trolling Reel

Our rating: 7 / 10

Okuma Cold Water Linecounter Trolling Reel

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Pros:

  • Trolling reel with first class braking system
  • Outstanding fresh and saltwater performance
  • Superb castability
  • Decent priced

The Okuma Cold Water Linecounter Trolling Reel was designed for the coldwater fishing community and was built for professionals and the serious fisherman. This reel boasts a smooth yet powerful and reliable braking system that is designed to prevent the line from breaking even during spring or summer time when the water is warm.

Designed with a heavy-duty brass gearing and cutlass bearing system, this reel can take the abuse that the cold water environment puts on it. With an on-board anti-reverse mechanism, this reel has a back-up instant anti-reverse mounted in with an astounding 6-pound breaking force.

Since this reel is made for cold water, it runs just a bit noisier than those made for warm water. So, if you are someone who likes some quiet, this may not be a good fit for you. But, if that’s not your thing, this reel is the real deal.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best baitcasting reel on the market?

When buying a new baitcasting reel, always err on the side of spending more money. This is especially true nowadays because of how many cheap/low-quality spinning reels are littered all over the place.

Getting a high-quality baitcasting reel will save you money in the long run. Plus, you'll be able to use it for a long time with no problems. On the other hand, the cheap/low-quality reels will only last a few seasons before you end up spending more money to buy another one. Although reviews of these top models in 2021 won't be published until later – we already know from previous experience that all of the reels listed below are the best baitcasting reels on the market.

What is the best baitcasting reel for beginners?

If you’re willing to spend the money, the Shimano Alfine is the best baitcasting reel for beginners. This baitcasting reel boasts a ton of advanced features, many you may not even find in the more expensive Shimano Chronarch. For example, it has a smoother and more accurate brake system, a great drag system, and a line lay and line release system that doesn’t require any new techniques to set up. This baitcasting reel comes with a 50-pound monofilament leader, a tackle tray, and a lifetime warranty.

The XT4 is also a great choice for beginners. It will do most of what the Alfine will do, but probably won’t last your entire lifetime. The XT4 has a one-piece frame, large ergonomic handle, 6.2 bearing drive that will make it smooth on the retrieve and on the cast.

What kind of Baitcaster should I get?

Before selecting a bait casting reel, always ask yourself what you'll be using it for. Are you a skilled fisherman who wants to catch big fish from the ocean? Or are you looking for a reel that’s easy to use because you’re an amateur who wants to play around on the lake with the family?

There is something for everybody, but before purchasing a reel, determine what kind of fishing you want to do. If you are a skilled fisherman who wants to target bigger fish, you'll want a heavy-duty reel that holds a lot of line. On the other hand, if you are just getting started and don't intend to cast really far, then you are probably better off with a lighter reel. So think about where you plan on using the reel, how far you will be casting and how big your catch is likely to be.

What is the best cheap baitcasting reel?

The Abu Garcia Veritas has everything you could possibly want at this price point. Smooth casting, an innovative drag system, and a strong build quality are but a few reasons to check out this reel.

Conclusion

When shopping for a baitcasting reel, buyers have a wide variety of choices in terms of how they want to use the reel.

Should it be for fishing? Sportfishing? Tackle? We hope that by the end of this guide, you’ll have a better idea of which baitcasting reel is best for you. Each reel we’ve featured represents a range of price points, but they all have their place in your fishing arsenal.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Daiwa Tatula 100 TWS Baitcasting ReelBest OverallDaiwa Tatula 100 TWS Baitcasting Reel
KastKing Royale Legend GT Baitcasting ReelsBudget PickKastKing Royale Legend GT Baitcasting Reels
Abu Garcia C3 Species Special Baitcast Round Fishing ReelUpgrade PickAbu Garcia C3 Species Special Baitcast Round Fishing Reel