Best Baitcaster For The Money

Best Baitcaster for The Money

Baitcasters are the original and more conventional reels for serious anglers.  With so much out there, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with what is the best baitcaster for the money.

Have you ever heard the phrase “you get what you pay for?” Well that's not entirely true in my book. Instead of listing all the great baitcasters on the market I think it's best to list some affordable options along with a couple high-end models for comparison purposes.

The best bait casting reels can handle heavier line, and can generally cast longer distances than their spinning counterparts.  Why is that important?  A longer cast will allow you to get out beyond the surf if you're fishing from the beach, and if you are casting from a river bank, access to the deeper pools or well known spots can increase your chances of landing an awesome catch.  That's going to leave you with plenty of bragging rights come the end of the day. 

The question of baitcaster vs spinning reel is a mute point in my opinion. One is not better than the other as they both serve a purpose.  Start off with a spinner and learn to use that.  If you find yourself enjoying your time on the water, then move on up to a baitcasting reel when you are ready.  

Table of Contents

Best Baitcaster Reel for 2021

When it comes to finding the best baitcaster for the money in 2021, I found a lot of junk out there.  Don’t waste your money on low quality fishing equipment.  There is plenty out there and it will leave you feeling frustrated.  Lots of backlash, jammed lines, poor casting and so on.  You want to enjoy the precious time you have on the water.  

If you invest wisely, and that doesn’t have to mean spending a fortune, you can bag yourself a great baitcaster which should then help you bag that beast of a catch you have always dreamed of. 


Here are my top 3 picks for the best baitcasters in 2021:

1. Pflueger President XT Low Profile Reel

The Pflueger President XT Low Profile Reel is one of the best baitcasters for the money. Not only is it a quality unit, but it will last you a good few years of casting enjoyment due to its durability.  Considering the quality, it’s very affordable. At less than the cost of a meal out, your other half will be hard pushed to complain when you buy one.   


What makes it even better is the fact it is suited to both fresh and saltwater environments.  In theory, you can get away with just one reel for longer trips where you might be taking in both environments.  Alternatively, this would make a great spare reel to take with you on trips.  


The Pfluger President XT is made with aircraft grade aluminum, giving it the aforementioned strength. It has 9 corrosion resistant stainless steel ball bearings, so casting is super smooth. This magnetic braking system also assists with smooth casting which can greatly assist the avoidance of the snake’s mess in your reel; AKA the Backlash!.  The soft touch rubber knob creates a comfortable grip, even on longer fishing days so no more blisters.


Pflueger President XT Low Profile Specs:


  • Gear Ratio: 7.3:1
  • Line Capacity (lb/yds): 145/12, 125/14 (Mono)
  • Line Retrieve: 31 in
  • Weight: 6.80 oz
  • Bearings: 9
  • Max Drag: 12 lbs

2. Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Line Counter Baitcast Reel

This Abu Garcia Ambassadeur is one of the best baitcasting reels in their range. It can handle 135 yards of 12 pound mono or 30 pound braid line making it incredibly versatile in a range of environments. This model also comes with Abu Garcia’s variable centrifugal brake system that will afford you smooth, silent and precision casts. This is sure to give you an air of grace and experience when you're in front of your buddies.

The reel frame and side plates are made of a strong and lightweight alluminium. 10 stainless steel bearings that allow fast and smooth line retrieval – reducing time with knotted spools.

The carbon fiber drag is really cool. It applies up to 15 pounds of pressure but still feels smooth.

The Abu Garcia Ambassadeur should be seen as an investment. With these obvious benefits it is hard to discount. It's one of the best medium duty reels on the market. That's why I could not leave it off my list of the best baitcasters this year.

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Specs:

  • 2 stainless steel ball bearings + 1 roller bearing provides smooth operation
  • Carbon Matrix drag system provides smooth, consistent drag pressure across the entire drag range
  • Power handle
  • 5:3:1 Gear Ratio; 15lb Max Drag; Right hand retrieve
  • Carbon Matrix Drag System
  • Line-out alarm

3. Abu Garcia Revo SX

My research has shown me that you can’t really go wrong with an Abu Garcia. Thats why the Revo SX takes the third spot on my list of the best baitcasters in 2021. This fishing reel is a low profile type, with C6 carbon sideplates on the sides. This makes it lighter weight so more comfortable on longer days. Even though it’s light weight, the Abu Garcia Revo SX is robust and built to last.

This baitcaster has 9 ball bearings that are made of stainless steel, and one roller bearing. The ball bearings help the crank go smoothly when you reel in. It has a DuraGear gear mechanism made of strong brass. With a bit of care this will last you many years and hopefully plenty of good memories.

The Abu Garcia Revo SX reel also has a strong drag system. There's nothing more frustrating than luring on a big catch just to loose it due to a faulty reel. The DuraClutch design makes this reel easy to hold. It stays comfortable even after a long day on the water.

The Abu Garcia Revo SX is safe to use on both saltwater and freshwater. That means you can fish on the ocean or a lake with no problem.

Abu Garcia Revo SX Specs:

  • Gear Ratio: 6.6:1
  • Line Capacity (lb/yds): 175/10, 145/12, 100/15 (Mono),
  • Line Retrieve:27 in
  • Weight: 7.83 oz
  • Bearings: 9+1
  • Max Drag:24 lbs

Top 3 Baitcasting Reels Under $100

Top 5 baitcasting reels under $100

Maybe you’re just starting out or have decided now is the time to give baitcasting a go having been using spinning reels previously.  Or you might find that you just don’t have the time to put into your angling hobby that warrants expensive equipment.  

he thing is, baitcasters can be affordable and it does not necessarily mean you are going to be scrimping on the quality.  I have found 3 baitcasting reels for under $100 that will meet the needs of most and stop your wife or girlfriend nagging.  You can enjoy your precious time luring those fish with the guys and not worry about the grief when you get back home!3

1. KastKing Royale Specs

The KastKing Royale Baitcast reel is awesome value for money.

Not only does the Royale boast features that are normally seen on reels priced hundreds of dollars more, it also has a high-quality drag system which is quiet and smooth.

The design of the reel itself allows anglers to switch between left hand and right hand retrieve quickly and easily, making it suitable for both beginners and professional anglers. The only downside to the reel is the weight, which makes it unsuitable for smaller fish like trout and other small freshwater species, but if you’re after a good bass or musky fishing reel then the Royale has got you covered!

Kastking Royale Specs:

  • Gear Ratio: 7.2:1
  • Line Retrieve:29.8 in
  • Weight: 7.2 oz
  • Bearings: 5+1
  • Max Drag: 17.64 lbs

2. Piscifun Phantom Carbon

The Piscifun Phantom Carbon baitcasting reel is a bargain.

This reel has all of the features you could wish for: a mid-arbour design, multi-disc carbon fibre drag system, and an X-Hard body and stainless steel components that make it durable and reliable.

The Piscifun Phantom is packed with great features and comes in at well under $100. How will this reel benefit you?

This is a great reel for bass fishing, being strong in terms of drag and line capacity It's also super-smooth when you reel in making it a pleasure to use all day long.

The Piscifun is a bit chunkier than other low-end reels so is best suited to bass fishing from the shore as opposed to from a kayak.

Piscifun Phantom Carbon Specs:

  • Gear Ratio: 7.0:1
  • Line Retrieve:30.3 in
  • Weight: 5.7 oz
  • Bearings: 6+1
  • Max Drag: 17 lbs

3. KastKing Crixus ArmorX Baitcasting Reel

KastKing Crixus ArmorX Baitcasting Reel is the third on my list. Another entry in the budget range from Kastking, the Crixus is an extremely popular baitcasting reel among anglers who require a large-capacity aluminium frame and body, as well as a powerful ratio for faster retrieval.

The overall quality of this reel is fantastic; it's smooth to use and reliable, and one thing I particularly like about Kastking reels is what they offer in terms of warranty.

If you break it or lose or somehow manage to overuse your Crixus, the company offers a lifetime replacement guarantee!

 KastKing Crixus ArmorX Specs:

  • Gear Ratio: 7.2:1
  • Line Retrieve:29.8 in
  • Weight: 6.8 oz
  • Bearings: 9+1
  • Max Drag: 17.1 lbs

Best Baitcaster Combo Under $150

As a beginner, you might not need to spend a lot of money to buy your first baitcasting reel.

Some cheap ones are not worth the price. That's why it's important to take your time and do some research before buying.

You don’t need to worry though…. I’ve done the research!

Here are my recommendations of the top 3 Best Baitcaster Combos Under $150

1. Lew’s Fishing Mach 1: Best Baitcasting Rod And Reel

Lew’s Fishing Mach 1 is the best baitcasting rod and reel combo that I would recommend for beginners.

It's lightweight, easy to use, and can handle both freshwater fish like trout and saltwater fish like redfish or snook.

The features to look out for on this combo are the ball bearings and the solid, durable design which will stand up to saltwater fishing.

The Lew’s Fishing Mach1 has a number of features that make it a great deal for the price.

The stainless steel guide frames and aluminium oxide guides are stand out at this price point. These components ensure the lure you’re casting goes exactly where you want it to. 

All in all, this is an awesome combo to get you started out.

Lew’s Fishing Mach 1 Specs:

  • Gear Ratio: 7.5:1
  • Line Retrieve: 30 in
  • Weight: 6.8 oz
  • Bearings: 7+1
  • Max Drag: 15 lbs

2. Shakespeare Alpha Medium 6’: Budget Friendly

Shakespeare Alpha Medium 6’ is the cheapest baitcaster combo for beginners. on this list.

It has a low price tag and performs amazingly considering the price. You'll be able to land a decent sized fish which is exactly what you need on one of your first outings.

Apart from the price, I like this combo because it's super easy to set up and use. It's so lightweight and low profile that it's a comfortable option for anyone.

This combo might not have all the features you would get from a more expensive reel but from my experience, just getting a baitcasting rod & reel is what you need to get started. At this price, you don't really have an excuse to not give Baitcasting a go!

Shakespeare Alpha Medium 6’ Specs:

  • Gear Ratio: 3.1:1
  • Line Retrieve: 26 in
  • Weight: 6.8 oz
  • Bearings: 1
  • Max Drag: 18 lbs

3. PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Next up is the PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo.

This is a very good combo for the money. It's got a solid aluminum frame that is very strong and durable.

This reel can be used for both saltwater fishing because of the corrosion-resistant design, as well as freshwater fishing due to its moderate gear ratio.

This combo has a solid feel and can handle a decent amount of weight.

I would recommend you use this reel for smaller fish like trout, panfish or bass until you get enough experience to move on to something bigger.

PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Specs:

  • Gear Ratio: 5.2:1
  • Line Retrieve: 26 in
  • Weight: 6.8 oz
  • Bearings: 1
  • Max Drag: 18 lbs

Farthest Casting Baitcaster

Farthest Casting Baitcaster Reel

Does the casting distance even matter? Hell YES!!

But why…?

Put simply, the further you cast, the less tension you're gonna have on your line…

And…? Less tension means less chance of the line breaking.

Result: fewer lost catches. That's why it's SOOOO IMPORTANT!

bNow, let's be clear. When it comes to reel vs rod, the rod is the most important part of the equation. All things being equal, a 7 foot rod will trump a 6 foot rod. Just like in the NBA, are you going to pick a 6foot center or a 7 foot center… do the math!

But, as this is a Baitcasting article, let's focus on the reels. There are some that will give you a few more get for your buck and that can make all the difference when it comes to snagging the most fish!

SHIMANO Core Baitcast Reel

A friend of mine has the Core 100MG and loves it:

“It's the favourite reel I own. It's Light, versatile, tough, powerful, fits perfectly in my hand and casts a country mile. Like anything else, it's user dependent – for example, some people hate that you need to crack it open to adjust the braking system. I have a bunch of other good reels and, for me, they don't compare to the Core”

It can feel a little strange when you first start casting with it. It almost feels like it is a loose cast. But when you get this batboy dialled in you'll cast far and with more accuracy.

What's not to love about that!!

SHIMANO Core Baitcast Reel​ Specs:

  • Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
  • Line Retrieve: 26 in
  • Weight: 5.4oz
  • Bearings: 8+1
  • Max Drag: 11 lbs

Best High End Baitcaster

Best High End Baitcaster

Baitcasting reels are different than spinning reels. They're better at catching large fish. These reels also have the power and drag to perform for long hours of fishing meaning more in terms of your catch!

I am going to tell you about the different performance features. This will make it easier for you to make a decision. These reels would be good for fishing in both fresh and salt water.

Like any sport, you can spend a ton of money on equipment, and if you have money to burn take a look at my top 3 picks for highend baitcasters.

1. Lew's Team HyperMag Speed Spool Baitcast Reel

I’ve already established that Lew’s Fishing products are FREAKING AWESOME!  Funny old thing, the HyperMag Speed Spool Baitcast Reel is amazing too. 


At close to $250 it is a stand out within the high-end market. The build quality is immense and, with a little care, will last for ages!.

The HyperMag has 11 double shielded ball bearings and a zero-reverse clutch bearing, so casting is really smooth. The reel itself has a one-piece magnesium frame with lightweight carbon side plates, and solid brass gearing. It  has a dual cast control system with externally adjustable multi-setting brakes.  It handles light line and lures better than traditional-size baitcasters without compromising power and performance, so it can also handle all bass fishing techniques.

 Lew's Team HyperMag Specs:

  • Gear Ratio: 8.3:1
  • Line Retrieve: 33 in
  • Weight: 5.4oz
  • Bearings: 10+1
  • Max Drag: 14 lbs


The shimano slx baitcast reel rocks. This reel is preferred by many anglers for its consistent performance. This reels capacity to cast smoothly, at distance and with great accuracy is down to 6 shielded stainless steel bearings.

Do not be fooled by its simple design, this is one of the best baitcasters offered in the market today. The Shimano slx uses an oversized bail spring which allows for casting lures up to 325 yards.

For many anglers, the reel is worth every penny spent with good reason; it is durable, smooth and reliable.

I recommend the Shimano slx baitcaster for people who like to fish in all types of waters including small lakes or the open sea. As an angler you always want quality equipment that will help you catch more fish; this reel assures you great performance under any conditions.

 Shimano SLX DC Specs:

  • Gear Ratio: 6.3:1
  • Line Retrieve: 26 in
  • Weight: 7.4oz
  • Bearings: 4+1
  • Max Drag: 12 lbs

3. Lew's Custom Speed Spool SLP Series

The Lew's Custom Speed Spool SLP Series is the last, but no means least in the list. It is the most commonly used baitcast reel due to the fact that  it is  cheaper than others in the range.

Don't be fooled though.The Lew's performance is comparable to more expensive reels on the market.

With 10 bearings, this baitcaster has an aluminum frame and side plates  and it weighs just under five ounces.  In addition to this, it has a dual braking system and a trampoline style line roller.

 Lew's Custom Speed Spool SLP Specs:

  • Gear Ratio: 7.5:1
  • Line Retrieve: 30 in
  • Weight: 4.9oz
  • Bearings: 9+1
  • Max Drag: 20 lbs

Best Shimano Baitcaster

Shimano makes reels that are trusted and respected. They have been making them for a long time.

Many people have looked to Shimano for their fishing reel because they're so good and last a long time.

The reels are fairly priced and Shimano will stand by their product if you have a problem – their after sales support is excellent!

Lets have a look at 3 great baitcasters in the Shimano range.

1. Shimano Curado MGL 70 K Low Profile Baitcast Reel

The Shimano Curado MGL 70 K Low Profile Baitcast Reel is fantastic.

It's a great reel for the money –if you're looking for a sturdy baitcasting reel that won't break your wallet – this is it!

This top-notch reel is designed to be durable and tough, delivering the performance that Shimano is noted for.

It has a seven ball bearings plus one roller bearing design for extra smoothness and an Infinite Anti Reverse system to prevent back play.

The Quick Fire II spool makes for super easy spool conversion from right to left hand retrieve or vice versa.

Shimano Curado MGL 70 K Low Profile Baitcast Reel Specs:

  • Gear Ratio: 7.5:1
  • Line Retrieve: 30 in
  • Weight: 4.9oz
  • Bearings: 9+1
  • Max Drag: 20 lbs



It has a lightweight graphite body and side plate, perfect for fishermen who need to maneuver their boat or kayak easily.

The 13 OCEA CALCUTTA 300HG also features a C6+1 gear system with high gears designed especially to make line retrieval fast and smooth while reeling in the big one!

The Reel is easy to use, smooth functioning and built with the Shimano quality that fishermen have come to trust. This reel will last you a long time, but when it does need servicing there are tons of videos on YouTube and plenty of How-to articles online.

Shimano also offers a 3-year warranty on the reel so you can rest easy investing here.


  • Max Drag: 13.23 lbs.
  • Gear Ratio: 6.1:1
  • Weight: 12.35 oz.
  • Line Retrieve: 31.89″
  • Bearings: 5BB + 1R



This reel is designed for the fisherman who's looking to go big. It has an incredible 8+1 bearings componentry.

The next time you want to cast out any lures, be confident that this baitcaster will not let you down!

You can bring in all types of fish with this beast of a reel.

It is heavy duty and built with high-quality Shimano parts that will keep on ticking for years to come.


  • Max Drag: 11 lbs.
  • Gear Ratio: 6.2:1.
  • Weight: 7.6 oz.
  • Line Retrieve: 26″
  • Bearings: 6BB + 1RB

Best Daiwa Baitcaster

Another famous bait caster brand is Daiwa. So what makes Daiwa great?

Daiwa has been making reels for over 70 years.

This Japanese company is committed to producing high quality fishing tackle that's easy to use and durable, able to withstand even the strongest of ocean currents.

1. Daiwa Tatula CT Casting Reel

First on my list is the  Daiwa Tatula CT Casting Reel.

This reel is one of the smoothest fishing reels I've ever used.

It comes with a 9 bearing system, including an instant anti-reverse bearing, for unparalleled smoothness and durability.

Perfect for bass fishing, this reel is built to last.

And it's easy on your wallet, to boot!

Looking at the Daiwa BG Casting Reel, you can tell that this reel was designed with performance in mind.

Daiwa Tatula CT Specs:

  • Max Drag: 13.2 lbs.
  • Gear Ratio: 6.3:1.
  • Weight: 7.4 oz.
  • Line Retrieve: 26.3″
  • Bearings: 7BB + 1RB

2. Daiwa Tatula 100 TWS Baitcasting Reel

Next up is the Daiwa Tatula 100 TWS Baitcasting Reel.

This is another smooth reel.

It has a host of features, including 7+1 bearings (including roller bearing), infinite anti-reverse system and even an elastic polymer oscillation brake that reduces backlashes.

This reel will not let you down when it comes to catching fish! Packed with features the Daiwa Tatula 100 is truly performance-driven.

Easy to use, the Daiwa Tatula 100 TWS has everything you could possibly want in a baitcasting reel. It will deliver when it matters most!

Daiwa Tatula CT Specs: 

  • Max Drag: 13.3 lbs
  • Gear Ratio: 7.3:1.
  • Weight: 7.4 oz.
  • Line Retrieve: 30.5″
  • Bearings: 7BB + 1RB

3. Daiwa Coastal TWS 150 Baitcasting Reel

And last up in this section is the Daiwa Coastal TWS 150 Baitcasting Reel.

The Coastal TWS baitcast reels truly give you the best of both worlds.

At first glance, it looks like a spinning reel, but functions as a conventional baitcaster.

This way you get to use the best of both worlds and pick whichever one is more suitable for your fishing environment!

In all seriousness, this is an incredible fishing reel.

It's smooth and easy to use, making it perfect for beginners as well as experienced anglers.

The Daiwa Coastal TWS 150 Baitcasting Reel is just another example of how Daiwa continuously strives to deliver high-quality, innovative products at reasonable prices. It does not disappoint!

Daiwa Coastal TWS 150 Specs: 

  • Max Drag: 11 lbs
  • Gear Ratio: 7.1:1.
  • Weight: 6.9 oz.
  • Line Retrieve: 29.9″
  • Bearings: 7BB + 1RB

Best Anti-Backlash Baitcast Reel 2021

Best antibacklash baitcast reel 2021

When you start baitcasting, either as a beginner or switching over from spinning reels, you're gonna get acquainted with something very quickly.


What is it I hear you say….?

The good old BIRD”S NEST!

First up is the Abu Garcia Black Max X Low Profile Baitcast Reel.

This reel was built to last.  It features 8 bearings, including instant anti-reverse, as well as an Aero Wrap II system that keeps the line nice and tight without breaking the bank!

This baitcaster will help you hook more fish today.

It’s light weight is a game changer when it comes to long days of fishing.  A couple of ozs here or there may not seem like much when you’re checking things out in the shop.  

When you spend a day casting though, every ounce counts.  If you can avoid arm or wrist strain from packing too heavy equipment,  you’re going to quit before the day is out.  Why waste those precious hours right!

Abu Garcia Black Max X Low Profile Baitcast Reel Specs: 

  • Max Drag: 15 lbs
  • Gear Ratio: 6.4:1.
  • Weight: 10.2 oz.
  • Line Retrieve: 25″
  • Bearings: 5BB + 1RB

2. Kastking Spartacus II Baitcast Reel

Next up is the Kastking Spartacus II Baitcast Reel.

This is the best baitcaster if you want to save some money.

It's also one of the fastest baitcasters I've ever used, making this reel perfect for light lures or when you are far out in the ocean or river! It even comes with a 6 year warranty!

The KastKing Spartacus is the best anti backlash baitcast if you prefer a reel that works smoothly and looks superb in the process.

This reel is packed with state-of-the-art features, thanks to a next generation drag system and well-engineered bearing arrangement. It also looks fantastic thanks to the use of retro cork grips.

 Kastking Spartacus II Baitcast Reel Specs: 

  • Max Drag: 17.6 lbs
  • Weight: 6 ozs
  • Gear Ratio: 7.2:1.
  • Line Retrieve: 28″
  • Bearings: 7BB + 1RB

3. Kastking Kapstan Elite Baitcast Reel

If you’re tired of reels with reduced line capacities, and are dying to hit your mark from a distance, then the KastKing Kapstan Elite is what you need.

This is the best baitcaster for anglers who want tons of line capacity. You can easily cast your lures or bait straight back into shore thanks to the use of massive bearings and enhanced gearing!

This reel was built with anglers in mind whose favourite pastime is pulling in the big one! It's smooth and versatile, and will last you a lifetime thanks to its high-quality components and materials.

Kastking Kapstan Elite Baitcast Reelo Specs: 

  • Max Drag: 35 lbs
  • Weight: 10.9 ozs
  • Gear Ratio: 5.4:1.
  • Line Retrieve: 26″
  • Bearings: 8BB + 1RB

Final Thoughts

Final thoughts on the best bait caster for the money

It's been a long read, but don't worry. I've shown you what to look for when buying a bait caster reel and rod combo. The best reels are Abu Garcia, Shimano, Lew's and Daiwa which have different features that will help them work better in certain situations.

There is no one “best” fishing gear company because it really depends on your needs so buy the right equipment for where you want to go with this sport!

Backlash impacts all of us fishermen even though we try our hardest not too let it get to us- there are some companies who do make backlashing less by adding more bearings or reducing weight from the spool shafts etc.

Just be sure to read the reviews, watch some videos but, above all else, don't overthink it.

The main thing is to try your next baitcaster reel and learn from the experience, good or bad.

Remember, a bad day on the water will always beat a good day in the office!

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