How to Select the Best Baitcasting Reel


How to Select the Best Baitcasting Reel

For fishing enthusiasts, the baitcasting reel is the must-have fishing equipment. A regular spinning reel might be doing the job right, but to enhance the accuracy and enjoy better control over your line, you need to invest in a bait caster.

Are you thinking about getting one but not sure which one? Since there are multiple options available in the market, thus choosing one can get a bit daunting. Not to worry because we got you covered.

Today in this guide, we will be looking at the main features that one needs to consider when investing in a baitcaster reel. Let’s go ahead and jump right into the details.

What is a Baitcasting Reel?

There are some components of a baitcaster that every fisherman should know before he decides to pick one. In the following sections, you will find some useful tips that can assist you in finding the best baitcasting reel for both saltwater and fresh water fishing..

If we were to put it in simple terms, we would say that a baitcaster is a reel that comes with a revolving spool placed on top of the casting rod. The good thing is that the rod also comes with a trigger handle which allows you to control the motion of the line and enjoy enhanced accuracy when luring your baits.

The ability to control a baitcaster is its main advantage over spinning reels. Its design allows the angler to adjust the spool to increase or decrease drag. This feature comes in handy when fighting a big fish and having tight control of the reel. It also makes it easier to let out or reel in more line in order to get a proper cast.

Features to Consider When Buying A Bait Casting Reel?

Now that you understand what a baitcaster reel is, let’s move on to the major features that a buyer should consider before investing. These features highlight the functionality and durability of the baitcasting reel, which allows the buyers to choose the best baitcaster reel out of the multiple options available in the market.

1.    Brand

First things first, you need to consider the manufacturer. The brand you choose says a lot about the baitcaster itself. Some of the major brands in the market are Lew’s, Abu Garcia, Shimano Curado DC, etc. You can always go with others but believe us the performance of these will blow your mind.

2.    Brakes

Next, you need to consider the braking system. The brakes of the reel must be dependable so you can enjoy ease and comfort during your fishing adventures. There are two types of brake systems currently used by manufacturers.

  1. Magnetic system– It is the most commonly used brakes system because it is highly user-friendly and inexpensive at the same time. But at the same time, it doesn’t work efficiently when it comes to adjustments.
  2. Centrifugal system– As the name suggests, it is a manual brake system that allows the angler to manually adjust the brakes. Depending on wind speed and water currents, you can adjust the system as per your professional judgment and needs.
baitcaster gear ratios explained

3.    Speed, Gear Ratio, and Spool Size

Depending on the material of your reel (brass or metal), you can adjust the speed and lessen the torque to enjoy more control. Furthermore, the material used for the construction of the gears also determines the durability and price of the baitcaster. So, choose wisely.

Next, you need to consider the gear ratio and size of the spool on your bait caster. The gear ratio is how many times the handle will turn in one crank of the reel. A baitcaster with a 7:1 Gear Ratio means the handle will make seven full revolutions every time you pull in and stop once. We do not recommend choosing anything less than a 6:1 or over 7.5:1 gear ratio.

Usually, it cost more for a higher gear ratio. But believe us it’s worth spending now to get a decent baitcasting reel as opposed to paying in the future for a new one that costs way more.

4.    Bearings

The number and quality of bearings added to your baitcaster also affect the performance and lifespan of the reel. The bearings help reduce friction between the gears present in the reel, which enhances its durability and helps you get a better cast. So, make sure to consider the quality of the bearings and opt for a higher number in a baitcaster.

Which bearings are necessary in a baitcaster and how the more expensive reels compare to cheaper reels

5.    Frame/Spool

Lastly, you should consider the spool of the baitcaster. Commonly it is made of aluminum and comes with drilled holes as they make it lighter in weight. But they are not as strong as spools (made of graphite and alloy). Make sure to consider which material you want to go with based on the type of fishing you are planning on enjoying.

Frequently Asked Questions

The guide covers almost everything one needs to know to invest in the best baitcaster reel. But buyers still have a few questions hovering in their heads. Here are the most commonly asked questions. Have a look at them, as they might be the solution to your mystery questions as well.

1.    What should I look for in a baitcasting reel?

Baitcasters come in a wide range of designs, equipped with various features to meet the needs of diverse fishers. When buying one, the fishing enthusiast needs to consider the gear ratio, spool size, reel side/handle, brakes, brand, and budget.

These key factors allow you to choose the reel which will deliver the most comfortable fishing experience. Brands such as Lew’s, Abu Garcia and Shimano Curado DC, offer the best type of baitcasting reels.

2.    Are Baitcasting Reels good for beginners?

Yes, a baitcaster is a profitable investment for beginners. In just a few years, they have become the new favourite equipment for all because of their enhanced accuracy, better control, and durable handle.

They also work great for heavier lines and lures. It makes them worth the investment for beginners interested in big game fishing.

3.    What are the benefits of a baitcasting reel?

Investing in a baitcasting reel offers a wide range of benefits and opens a whole new fishing world to beginners. Here are a few major advantages of baitcaster reel:

  • Better control over a spinning reel
  • Accurate Casts
  • It prevents the fish from getting spooked
  • Works best for heavy lines

Other Resources

Here are some other articles that I found useful as well:

Lew’s Baitcaster set-up – the basics

Final Words

The type of baitcaster reel that you choose depends entirely on your fishing style and needs. They are used for light spin fishing to big game fishing and surfcasting depending on their design and in-built features. Make sure that you consider them all before purchasing so that you can enjoy a comfortable fishing experience with your best baitcasting reel for saltwater.

Tracy Villarreal

I'm the owner of Active At The Beach. I grew up in a beach town in which I was fortunate enough to spend tons of time around the sea and the beach.

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