Best Baitcasting Reels 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

A good baitcasting reel is every professional angler’s best friend. These provide you with superb control and accuracy over your fishing.

But with so many choices on the market, how can you tell which one is the best baitcasting reel for you?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the choices, this guide is here to help you narrow it down and make a decision more easily.

The 6 Best Baitcasting Reels for 2019

1. Daiwa Tatula CT

The Daiwa Taula CT Baitcast utilizes the TWS T Wing System, which provides long casting distance and high accuracy.

The TWS T Wing System, especially with light lures, can make a drastic change in casting distance while still keeping the backlash minimal.

Its design is compact, easy to hold, and light on the rod due to its custom soft-touch handle knob. It is lightweight, easy to control and to adjust with precision.

The Daiwa Tatula CT provides 13.2 pounds of maximum drag that works efficiently.

Additionally, it’s equipped with an Air Rotation System that offers smooth operation and easy winding and a free-spinning of the handle.

Besides, the Daiwa Taula CT is rigid. It provides strength and durability, ensuring that it doesn’t bend or break under pressure.

The gear system provides minimal resistance on the reel, so all the force you’re applying is applied to the fish rather than to the gear itself. Therefore, the gear system increases cranking power.

The Daiwa Taula CT also provides a MONO line capacity of 14/120 and 16/100 and bearings of 7BB+1RB.

Pros

  • TWS T Wing System for long casting and high accuracy
  • Easy to hold and control
  • 13.2 pounds of maximum drag

Cons

  • Bearings are not corrosion-resistant

Bottom Line

The Daiwa Tatula CT is popular for its TWS T Wing System for longer casting and high accuracy. It is lightweight, comfortable to hold, and easy to control.

The gear system has minimal internal resistance, so all force is applied to the fish rather than wasted inside the gear system. The Daiwa Taula CT is rigid and durable, with a 13.2-pound maximum drag.

2. Lew’s Fishing Tournament MB

The Lew’s Tournament MB reel comes with a highly-adjustable brake sporting multiple settings, a 10-bearing crank, and a redesigned slim profile.

And for such a low price tag, Lew’s managed to add a centrifugal and magnetic brake system –which gives it excellent value for the price.

Moreover, it’s pretty lightweight at under 7 ounces, so you won’t get fatigued with extended periods of fishing.

With an internal 4-pin centrifugal brake and external click dial for making adjustments to the magnetic braking system, you’ll get maximum precision and control over the performance of the reel during casts.

Pros:

  • Smooth casting with powerful drag
  • Easy to adjust as well as change the settings or cast
  • Reasonable price level

Cons:

  • Clear vibrations can be felt if you hold the reel closely

Bottom Line:

Besides all the practical and amazing features, the Lew’s Tournament reel offers plenty of adjustment options which makes it suitable for professional anglers.

3. Piscifun Torrent

Although Piscifun isn’t talked about a lot, it does have solid ratings and superb performance.

It has a high 7.1:1 gear ratio that allows for quick action and comes at a very affordable price.

Moreover, it’s equipped with a high-grade carbon drag system that makes it both lightweight and very durable.

And this durability is extended thanks to the 5 corrosion-resistant ball bearings and one roller bearing.

Even heavier than the KastKing Royale, the Torrent weighs a relatively hefty 8 ounces.

But that’s made up for by the extended crank that adds to its sleek design and enables you to handle bigger fish.

Pros:

  • Excellent value for the price
  • Corrosion-resistant features
  • Casts smoothly
  • Equipped with a large handle

Cons:

  • Prone to backlash

Bottom Line:

Although heavier than most reels on the list, the Torrent is still pretty durable and capable of reeling in bigger drags.

4. Abu Garcia Ambassadeur SX 

The Abu Gracia Ambassadeur SX provides a multi-disk drag system for a smooth and consistent reel across the entire drag range.

In addition, the Synchronized Level Wind System enhances casting by providing a solid casting reel. It also has three stainless steel bearings and one roller bearing with a six-pin centrifugal brake system that works efficiently.

The Abu Gracia Ambassadeur SX is durable, of high-quality, and provides no backlash. In addition, it provides 12.5 pounds of maximum drag. Also, the compact bent handle provides a comfortable hold for extended periods of use.

Moreover, this reel is also considered a good saltwater baitcasting reel as well as freshwater. In addition, it provides long casting, the drag works smoothly.

The Ambassadeur is made in China, which some people are skeptical about. However, it is made of high-quality materials, it is smooth, and the drag works well.

Pros:

  • Works for saltwater
  • Multi-disk drag system

Cons:

  • The clicker sometimes malfunctions

Bottom Line:

The Abu Gracia Ambassadeur SX’s multi-disk drag system works efficiently and smoothly, together with the Synchronized Level Wind System, they work well to provide long casting with no backlash.

It is comfortable to hold due to its compact bent handle. Also, it works just as well in saltwater.

5. Shimano Citica

The Shimano Citica includes the X-Ship, which controls the retrieval of the bait, making the retrieval as smooth as possible. In addition, the S3D spool and the SVS Infinity Braking System work together to extended casting distance.

The X-Ship reduces friction, therefore, increases longevity and enhances durability. The SVS Infinity Brake System provides precise control, and the S3D spool provides smooth running.

Furthermore, the Citica uses five stainless ball bearings and one Super Stopper anti-reverse roller bearing. It provides a maximum drag of 12 pounds, and retrieve-per-crank ranges from 26-30.

In addition to smooth casting and retrieving, the Citica allows no backlash. It is durable, allows long casting, and it feels good.

However, some customers reported hearing a weird noise during casting, but a few drops of oil seem to fix that.

Pros:

  • X-Ship provides reduced friction
  • S3D spool and SVS Infinity Braking System provide long casting distance

Cons:

  • Sometimes there’s weird noise during casting

Bottom Line:

The Citica is a great value for the money despite it being more on the pricey side, it is still not considered an expensive reel, and you get good features for the price. It is durable, smooth, and has no backlash.

The X-ship reduces friction, the SVS Infinity Brake System for precision and control, and he S3D for smoothness.

6. KastKing Royale Legend/Whitemax 

The KastKing Royale comes with a 7.0:1 gear ratio that makes it super smooth and efficient for a reasonable budget baitcasting reel.

It’s a little heavier than other options on the list as it weighs 7.5 ounces. And while it isn’t the highest quality reel on the list, it still provides you with all you need from a baitcasting reel.

It comes with 11 ball bearings and a roller one to make your reel smooth enough for pithing, flipping, and more.

Moreover, it’s equipped with dual brakes and is more or less ready to use out of the box.

Pros:

  • Multiple color options
  • Smooth casts
  • Ideal for beginners or pros looking for a budget option

Cons:

  • Not durable
  • Feels cheap

Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for a baitcasting reel for beginners, I’d highly recommend this one. It may not be as durable as other options, but it’s a great way to get started on your baitcasting adventures.

How to Choose a Baitcasting Reel?

Frames

They come in either aluminum or graphite. Graphite is less expensive and lighter in weight, but it will not withstand much abuse as aluminum.

High-end reels are usually manufactured from one-piece aluminum frames.

Ball Bearings

The top-notch reels do not necessarily need to have a lot of bearings, just quality ones.

Inexpensive reels packed with "10" bearings will be of poor quality. You should look for shielded, double-shielded, and sealed bearings. These are on the top in the bearing list.

Spools

The most popular types of baitcasting reels come with an aluminum spool.

The high-end reels are constructed from forged aluminum, while less expensive reels are die-cast.

Forged spools are more rigid and harder to scratch. Spools with holes drilled in them are lighter in weight and are easier to stop and start spinning. Apart from the inexpensive reels, all the reels in the market have drilled spools.

Handle

The ones that have soft rubber knobs or those designed as oversized are the best.

Braking Systems

They adjust and slow down the rotation of the spool during the cast. Without them, the dreaded backlash would be happening relentlessly.

Line Guides

They are made from either titanium or ceramic. Ceramic is less expensive, but it can crack or break from alleviated abuse. High-end reels are manufactured with titanium, and honestly, they are the best.

How to choose the Gear Ratio for a Baitcast Reel?

All reels have a gear ratio that describes the speed of the reel.

The common gear ratios in baitcasting reels are 5.4:1, 6.4:1, and 7.1:1. But what is meant by these numbers?

The first part tells how many revolutions the spool makes for each turn of the reel handle.

For example, a 7.1:1 reel, the spool will revolve 7.1 times with one crank of the handle. The higher the number, the more line can be retrieved with the same amount of work.

The most common reel's gear ratio in the market is 6.4:1. This allows you to work both fast-moving presentations as well as slow; however, for some certain techniques and applications, a very high or low gear ratio often works best.

Round vs. Low Profile Baitcast Reels

Round: It holds more line, used for heavy lines, used to toss larger baits, and used for long runs during the fight.

Low-Profile: It is the most popular, used for palming, easier for wrist-action, and more ergonomic.

Final Thoughts

While all the previously mentioned reels are the best baitcasting reels you’ll find on the market, I’d highly recommend the Lew’s Fishing Tournament MB Baitcast Reel is for those who use crankbaits and prefer slower retrievals.

If you’re looking for something durable and reliable, opt for the Daiwa Tatula. And if you want a reel for saltwater fishing, go for the Abu Garcia Ambassadeur SX.

Finally, if you want a budget-friendly reel that doesn’t compromise quality, go for the Piscifun Torrent.

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