Best Baitcasting Reels For The Money In 2020 – Top 5 Models Reviewed!

The Best Baitcasting Reels need to be stronger, durable, lightweight, and resistant to corrosion. Those features allow you to use heavier lines and lures, which come in handy when reeling in big fish. Big fish apart from weighing more require more muscle to reel in, and can put up quite a fight before you are able to reel them in successfully. To be able to handle big fish, casting reels also need to have optimum gear ratios. Gear ratios balance between speed and turning power of the reel.

Furthermore, because of the pro-corrosion nature of water, only reels that are made of quality corrosion resistant materials last. The use of materials such as aluminum and carbon is not only corrosion-resistant, but they are also light. That additional benefit allows you to fish for long without your hands getting fatigued. In this Best Baitcasting Reels review, we look at reels with features that make angling a truly relaxing vacation or weekend activity.

5 Best Baitcasting Reels – Comparisons!

Image Baitcasting Reels Maximum Drag Weight Price
Shimano 200i Curado Rh Baitcast Reel 12 lbs. 7.4 ounces [su_button url="" target="blank" style="3d" background=" #e42a09" radius="0" rel="nofollow"]Check Latest Price[/su_button]
Daiwa Tatula Baitcast Fishing Reel 13.2 lbs. 6.4 ounces [su_button url="" target="blank" style="3d" background=" #e42a09" radius="0" rel="nofollow"]Check Latest Price[/su_button]
Abu Garcia Revo Sx Low Profile 20 lbs. 11.2 ounces [su_button url="" target="blank" style="3d" background=" #e42a09" radius="0" rel="nofollow"]Check Latest Price[/su_button]
Abu Garcia Black Max Low Profile Reel 18 lbs. 7.3 ounces [su_button url="" target="blank" style="3d" background=" #e42a09" radius="0" rel="nofollow"]Check Latest Price[/su_button]
Abu Garcia Ambassadeur S Reel 15 lbs. 10.9 ounces [su_button url="" target="blank" style="3d" background=" #e42a09" radius="0" rel="nofollow"]Check Latest Price[/su_button]

5 Best Baitcasting Reels For 2020-Reviews

1. Shimano 200i Curado Rh Baitcast Reel

The Shimano 200I Baitcast Reel is light and easy to use. It is made of a rigid body that is impact resistant, with a super-free reel for easy and fast casting. It has a one-frame design to make it light, durable, but still fully functional. It has a maximum drag of 12 pounds and a weight of only 7.4 ounces.

The thin walls of this lure eliminate vibrations to allow you to cast and retrieve your bait smoothly. The SVS technology that is used with this reel uses internal friction to deliver additional friction control. That allows you to enjoy a steady spool control even when casting lighter bait.

The Shimano’s Metal Hagane body is impact-resistant, which enhances its resistance to wear and deformation. The ball bearings support the pinion gears to ensure that the gear and the spool shaft remain aligned. That’s crucial for the proper functioning of its advanced design, especially when the clutch is not engaged.

This reel is made in Malaysia and can retrieve 26 inches of line per each complete revolution. It has a monofilament line capacity of 8/180, 10/155, and 14/110. During operation, it provides a maximum drag of 12 pounds, which is suitable for sail fishing. If you are looking for a lightweight reel, then this is it.

PROs :

Its design is impact and corrosion-resistant.siteground web hosting

Minimal vibrations experienced when casting.

The quality bearings maximize its smoothness.

It’s resistant to wear.

CONs :

It doesn’t operate silently, needs some lubrication.

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2. Daiwa Tatula Baitcast Fishing Reel

The Daiwa Tatula Baitcast Reel is made of an aluminum frame, and side plate. It also features an Ultimate Tournament Carbon drag or UTD and uses air rotation to deliver an enhanced smooth operation. The clutches are made of corrosion-resistant material.

To cut down on the design’s weight, it has a 90mm handle with cutouts. Overall, these features make its design comfortable to use and among the best reels, you can get.

The Ultimate carbon drag design provides a maximum drag of up to 13.2 pounds. That ensures that you have maximum control when casting your bait or retrieving your catch. Furthermore, the Magforce-Z cast control delivers a consistent braking force that is proportional to the speed of your cast.

That makes it among the best reels for experienced users and first-time users. It also includes 7 ball bearings and one roller bearings.

It has a gear ratio of 5.4:1, which is great when dealing with a big catch. It may not reel it in as fast as you would want it, but your catch will not out muscle you. That’s important when it’s hot and your hands are sweaty. The low gear ratio delivers a huge turning force making the wiggling of your catch inconsequential.

PROs :

It’s easy to operate.

The clutches are corrosion resistant.

It’s good for retrieving a big catch.

CONs :

Some of its parts are made of plastic.

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3. Abu Garcia Revo Sx Low Profile

The Abu Garcia Revo SX has a Low Profile, which makes it compact and easy to use. Its frame is made of an alloy of aluminum, while the side plate is made of C6 carbon, which is 25% lighter than its predecessor is. It makes use of the MagTrax Brakes, while the spool has the Infinite II design.

To deliver maximum drag without affecting casting performance, it uses a Carbon Matrix drag system. Everything about this reel has therefore been optimized to enhance its performance. Do you need a small compact reel that can out-muscling big fish? Well, this is it. It comes with 9 stainless steel ball bearings plus one roller bearing.

That allows it to provide smooth and effective operation, even when reeling in big fish. While fishing in salty water can be a problem with other reels, this one uses a corrosion-resistant alloy frame. This means that you don’t have to worry about saltwater corroding your reel.

To complete its ergonomic design, it features a compact bent handle and star. The extended bent handle makes cranking easy and fast. The knob design ensures that when you hold the handle, you feel is a comfort, but not pain. It weighs 6.625 ounces, provides a drag of 26 pounds, and is designed for the right use. It has a balanced gear ratio of 6.4:1. Overall, you want this reel when you are going after small, medium, and big fish.

PROs :

The magnetic brakes work very well.

It’s corrosion-resistant.

They cast smoothly.

They maintain their accuracy even for far casts.

CONs :

Gears need lubrication to get a silent operation.

Buy it only if you are left-handed.

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4. Abu Garcia Black Max Low Profile Reel

The Abu Garcia Black-Max Reel has a Low Profile, is sleek, stylish, and lightweight. It has a graphite frame as well as graphite side plates. It has five stainless steel ball bearings that offer a reliable, smooth, and effective operation.

It offers a constant drag courtesy of its power disk system. If you need a reel that is designed to be precise, then this is what you are looking for. It makes use of MagTrax brakes that allow you to control your cast expertly. The Magnetic brakes vary the level of braking they impact of the reel to make it spin at optimum speed.

That allows you to cast different lures precisely, even when they are of different weights. The reel’s handle is bent while the reel foot is recessed. This design is comfortable even for small hands. That means you can cast your bait all day and reel it in, without feeling that your hands are burning out.

It weighs only 8.8 ounces and measures 8 inches by 5.8 inches by 2.2 inches. Once you try, would probably never want another brand, it has a great design and is easy to use. It’s resistant to wear and corrosion. Finally, it is lightweight, which makes it handy even for kids.

PROs :

It offers a smooth operation.

Available in Left and Right-hand designs.

It has a sturdy construction.

CONs :

It’s not the best for muscling a big catch.

Not the best if you prefer a heavy reel.

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5. Abu Garcia Ambassadeur S Reel

The Abu Garcia Ambassadeur AMBS-6500 comes in two configurations. There is the 230-yard that provides 14 pounds of drag, and there is the 255-yard that provides 17 pounds of drag. This reel is made of quality components and designed for professionals who are looking for a great fishing experience.

The hardened aluminum used in its design makes it lightweight, durable, and strong. That makes it suitable for salt and freshwater fishing.

It has a four-pin centrifugal brake system that allows any expert to cast their bait accurately, and therefore, it improves the overall fishing experience.

The smooth multi-disk drag system, as well as the synchronized level wind, ensures that as you retrieve the line, it wounds perfectly in the spool. Furthermore, you can choose either the left-handed design or the right-hand design, for both sizes.

To make sure that it feels right in your hands, it features an ergonomic handle, drag star, and bent handle. That allows you to reel in the catch with minimal effort, and still not lose your catch. The design also makes it easy to outmuscle a big catch. Something you will need when reeling in both medium and big fish. It’s definitely one of the best fishing reels you can buy.

PROs :

This reel casts smoothly.

Its construction is sturdy.

It’s resistant to corrosion.

It retrieves the line smoothly.

CONs :

It’s not the best for sail fishing.

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How To Buy Baitcasting Reels

Gear Ratio

The gear ratio determines how many times the spool will turn when you give the handle one complete revolution. That means that when you have a gear ratio of 7.1 to 1, you will make one revolution but the spool will turn seven times. On the other hand, a gear ratio of 6.4:1 means that you get 6 spool revolutions for every one turn the handle gets. The lowest common gear ratio of 5.3:1 means that the spool will make 5 turns for every revolution the handle makes.

While having a high gear ratio allows you to make faster retrievals, it also requires you to input more turning power to reel in your catch. On the other hand, a lower gear ratio means that you will require less effort to reel in your catch. In that regard, you will need to choose a reel with a bigger gear ratio if you intend to go after the small catch, or if you have no problem using extra effort to reel in a big catch.

However, it is worth pointing out that it is best to go for a medium gear ratio such as 6.4:1. That will prevent big fish from putting extra strain on the fishing rod, frame, and line. If you need more turning power (torque), then go for the lowest gear ratio such as 5.3:1. These will allow you to reel in your catch and with great ease, but a little bit slower.

Spool Size

The size of the spool is determined by what you intend to do with your reel. A big and deeper reel will hold more line. That allows you to cast your line deeper and far. A small spool is only best if you will only be using short lines or you only intend to be flipping and pitching. The plus side of a small reel is that it is lightweight, and therefore, you can fish for long without getting hand fatigue.


Previously, anglers needed to choose between a strong but heavy frame, and a lightweight but weak frame. Even though some frames can look solid and still break when subjected to stress. The good news is that we do not have to worry about that anymore. You can opt for a lightweight but strong frame. You simply have to choose one that is made of hardened aluminum, composite carbon, or magnesium.


The bearing makes the retrieval and casting experience smoother and accurate. They also prolong the reel’s life by reducing friction between the moving parts. When looking for reels with quality bearings, go for those that have a minimum of four bearings. Moreover, the bearing should be made of stainless steel or premium ceramic.


Brakes allow you to cast your reel using various types of lures without getting backlashes. You can choose either a magnetic or a centrifugal design. The centrifugal design actuates during the last moments of the cast. That makes it suitable for experienced users. The magnetic brakes on the other hand only actuate immediately you cast your line. They offer greater control, making them more suitable even for beginners.

Handling And Comfort

The level of comfort you get from your reel is determined by the design of the reel and you as an individual. For example, if you are left-handed, then you can only use a reel designed for left-handed persons, or both left-handed and right-handed individuals. Therefore, it is best to test a reel first to get its feel before you buy it. You should also ask for the seller’s return policy if you are buying online to be on the safe side if you were to return it.


This feature gives you greater control over how you angle by preventing the reel from turning backward. Some reels with this feature incorporate with a switch to turn it on and off. You can turn it off you wish to back-reel, which is something you would want to do when you lose your catch.

Smooth Drag And Drag Capacity

You need a smooth drag to be able to enjoy your fishing experience. Most reels when new have it, which ensures that ones you catch the fish, it does not get away before you reel it in. Depending on your style of fishing, you will want a reel with a smaller or bigger drag capacity. Generally, when sail fishing, go for up to 12 pounds of drag. When you are bottom fishing, the drag capacity should at most 20 pounds.

Final Verdict

When buying a reel, you have to consider factors such as its weight, durability, resistance to corrosion, gear ratio, ant-reverse features, as well as ergonomic handles. While some reels might not have all those features, they may have some that you will need most, such as an optimum gear ratio, weight, comfortable handle, and resistance to corrosion.

If you are a left-hander, you should go for a reel designed for a left-hander. If you are new to angling, or you are buying it for your kid, choose a reel that has a magnetic braking system. Magnetic braking systems are more responsive to changes in speed through the various casting stages, not just during the final stages of the cast.

Centrifugal brakes, on the other hand, come in the later stages of casting, however, they are more effective in terms of braking power. That is why they are recommended for experienced users. Overall, each of the above reels is designed and optimized for different users or casting techniques. For a great experience, choose a reel that matches your needs perfectly. We hope this review has been informative, and you will enjoy your fishing trip.

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