What is the Best Baitcasting Reel?
We’ve reviewed the products, now let’s break down the necessary specifications.
Once you understand what you’re looking for, it’s not at all complicated.
The gear ratio tells you how many times the spool rotates in one revolution of the handle. The higher your gear ratio, the more line is retrieved per handle turn. Gear ratios of the most popular baitcasting reels are most commonly 5.3:1, 6.4:1, and 7.1:1.
The 6.4:1 is an excellent choice because you can use most fishing techniques and baits like worms, topwater, jigs, and shallow cranking. Other gear ratios are often specialized.
Lower gear ratios such as 5.2:1 and 5.3:1 and fantastic for fishing baits that pull hard like big swimbaits, diving crankbaits, and slow rolling heavy spinnerbaits.
The low gear ratio will help you reel the bait slower, keeping the bait in the strike zone for longer. These are an excellent choice for flipping and moving fish out of cover thanks to the higher torque output on the reel.
Higher gear ratios work best for techniques when taking up the slack is critical. If you’re fishing for topwater frogs or toads, go for a 7.1:1 baitcasting reel. High gears excel at pitching jigs and plastics for taking up slack quickly and driving home a good hookset.
Larger spools create smaller coils of line that are user-friendly and easier to manage. Smaller spools work best for short line applications like flipping and pitching.
If you like to fish with heavier 20lb lines, we suggest a bigger spool.
A larger and longer handle creates more torque to grab fish out of heavy cover, like punching grass mats.
Some of the most compact reels have shorter handles that work fine for most applications such as fishing a worm or a jig. However, they’re unsuitable for handling big crankbaits and swimbaits.
Brakes & Tension System
Tension knobs control the line at the start of your cast and the brake system controls the line at the end of your cast. The brakes are especially helpful when casting into the wind because your spool tends to spin faster than the bait as it is slowed down by the wind.
Before making your selection, ensure that your reel has an adequate tension and braking system to be able to make long casts with a variety of lure weights with minimal backlash.
Bearings & Materials
Look for good quality ceramic or stainless-steel ball bearings in your baitcasting reel.
Generally, the more bearings a reel has, the smoother it will cast or retrieve. Seek a reel that’s lightweight and uses strong material such as aluminum, magnesium, or carbon composite materials. These durable strong materials that will give you the best performance.
For targeting big fish in saltwater, you’ll need a spool with tons of capacity for casting distance during those long runs!
For most fishermen, the best saltwater low profile baitcasting reel will have enough line capacity to handle pickerel or bass. However, fish like muskies, salmon, and, steelheads will require you to consider a full capacity fishing baitcaster.
Why use a Baitcasting Reel?
Although spinning and spincast reels are easy and comfortable to use, baitcasting reels are far more superior in many situations.
You will have more control over casting distance with a baitcaster. This is because you’re able to vary the distance and speed of the lure by using your thumb to slow down the spool.
Increased Reel Strength
The baitcaster handle is connected directly in line with the frame of the reel and the spool is in line with the handle. This allows you to apply more strength when reeling in big game fish.
Fishing Line Strength
Baitcaster spools are perpendicular to the rod, this allows the line to feed directly straight through into the rod guides. Therefore, you’re able to cast with heavier lines and lures to catch bigger fish.