Baitcasting Reel

The Best Baitcasting Reel Under $100

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For those that are looking to improve on their beginner fishing rod, upgrading with a baitcasting reel will allow you to fish larger lures.

It will provide a higher degree of control and the ability to pinpoint lure placements with extra power too.

The best baitcasting reel is the KastKing Royale Legend GT, which is available with a 7.2:1 gear ratio and a GT micro click Spool tension knob that allows you to fine-tune for consistent performance.

Gear ratios are significant with regards to a baitcasting reel as it describes the amount of spool turns in a single revolution of the handle.

The most common gear ratio is 6:4:1 and works well for both beginners and experienced anglers.

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Table of Contents

Best Baitcasting Fishing Reel

Baitcasting ReelPreviewGear Ratio
KastKing Royale Legend GT7.2:1
Abu Garcia Pro Max7.1:1
Abu Garcia Ambassadeur5.3:1
Piscifun Phantom Carbon7.0:1
KastKing Royale5.3:1

The two main benefits of using a baitcasting reel are the additional control and the improved cast accuracy.

This allows you to have a better chance of catching more fish and enjoy fishing more in general.

Once you have upgraded your fishing rod and reel, you will be able to catch more impressive fish.

A baitcasting reel is compatible with heavier lures and lines that can handle more power and drag in the water, which is required for catching large fish.

In terms of the options available, there is anything from around to low profile design and other dedicated to certain types of fishing.

Below is a list of the best baitcasting reels that provide additional control, power, and accuracy when fishing.

KastKing Royale Legend GT

Not only does the KastKing Royale Legend GT deliver outstanding performance, it looks great while doing so. The striking matte red finish on the frame and trim perfectly compliments the sleek gloss black side covers. This black and red anodized aluminum spool will look good when you are reeling in the big one.

The KastKing Royale was created for anglers looking for outstanding performance, ease of use and comfort. 

Here are some of the notable features of the KastKing Royale:

  • Has a precision machined brass main gear for smooth operation
  • The GT micro click Spool tension knob allows you to fine-tune for consistent performance
  • Ceramic line guide protects your line during retrieval
  • Synthetic soft-grip handles, the “Grand Touch” gives a great grip
  • Reels have 8 cross-fire magnets for magnetic braking efficiency
  • Lightweight 7.2 ounces
  • Available in right and left-hand models, can be used for fresh or saltwater fishing.

You can have a great look and feel at a very affordable price with the KastKing Royale.

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Abu Garcia Pro Max Low Profile

If you are looking for smooth drag and precise engineering, the Abu Garcia ProMax low-profile bait cast fishing reel will deliver a professional-grade performance. 

You will have precise and customized castability with its MagTrax brake system. This system will exert consistent brake pressure to boost your cast’s range and accuracy.

The Abu Garcia Pro Max Low Profile reel features:

  • Seven stainless steel ball bearings
  • Machined double anodized aluminum spool
  • Power disk drag system
  • Dura gear brass gear for extended life
  • Magtrax brake system

You will find that Abu Garcia’s drag system provides the smooth drag that is needed to capture hard-pulling fish. With the ergonomic feel of the reel, you will be able to outlast even the toughest catch. 

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KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel

Anglers who want an affordable, dependable level wind round bait casting reel will appreciate the high quality and low price of the KastKing Rover.

This reel will help you go after giant catfish, carp, or walleye. Troll offshore for large saltwater species; the Rover will be your go-to reel for deep water fishing. 

This casting reel from KatKing features: 

  • Thick anodized aluminum side plates
  • Precision cut brass gears
  • Industry-first stainless steel worm gear
  • Round bait casting reel with a superior carbon fiber drag
  • Premium MaxiDur double shielded stainless steel ball bearings
  • Non-slip EVA grips
  • Line-out clicker alarm
  • Easy access thumb bar spool release

The full metal body on the KastKing Rover is great for saltwater fishing to give you the power and durability you need without worrying about corrosion. 

The Rover is equipped with a 3.6:1 gear ratio, a fatigue-reducing weight-saving design, and an oversized single T handle with a non-slip grip to give you maximum control.

This reel has tons of power that will give you the control you need to reign in these large fish while you’re out on the water.

Unlike other similar alternatives, it is powerful yet still runs smoothly and is easy to use.

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Piscifun Phantom Carbon Baitcasting Reel

lightest baitcasting reels

The Piscifun Phantom Carbon baitcasting reel is designed to be one of the lightest baitcasting reels on the market.

This makes it the perfect choice if you struggle with handling a heavier reel.

Although it is very light, the construction is very durable and efficient, so you don’t have to worry about the reel falling apart or damaging easily.

Here are some of the notable features of the Piscifun Phantom Carbon baitcasting reel.

  • Carbon fiber frame that weighs only 5.7 ounces
  • 6 stainless steel ball bearings that are primed against corrosion
  • 1 clutch bearing
  • Anodized main gear made of aircraft-grade aluminum
  • 4 disc carbon fiber drag with 17 LBS of stopping power
  • 6-pin centrifugal brake system
  • Extended carbon fiber handle
  • 7:0:1 gear ratio

If you are looking for a lightweight baitcasting reel that doesn’t sacrifice power, the Piscifun Phantom Carbon is one of the best options on the market.

The efficient design provides exceptional control, so you can focus your energy on catching fish instead of struggling with the reel.

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KastKing Royale Legend Low Profile Baitcasting Reel

best cheap baitcasting reels

The KastKing Royale Legend is one of the best options for baitcasters looking for a cheap option that still provides quality.

The KastKing Royale Legend is very affordable but has a powerful and efficient design that is similar to some of the more expensive models on the market.

Here are some of the notable features of the KastKing Royale Legend.

  • 12 total MaxiDur corrosion resistant ball bearings
  • 4 disc carbon fiber drag system provides 17.5 LBS of drag
  • Dual brake system provides increased control
  • Centrifugal brake as well as 7 magnet brake system
  • Padded foam grips prevent slippage
  • 5:3:1 gear ratio

The KastKing is a great option for any fishing enthusiasts on a budget and is the best cheap baitcasting reels you can buy. It is light and easy to carry, and it’s still strong enough to reel in big fish.

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Baitcasting Reel Buying Guide

What to Look For in a Baitcasting Reel?

Close-up of male hand with a fishing rod and baitcasting reel. Caucasian man is fishing with casting rod. Sports and recreation. Selective focus.

You need a strong baitcasting reel to be successful when you’re fishing, particularly if you are catching very large fish.

If you are new to fishing, you may not know exactly what to look for when choosing a baitcasting reel.

There are many factors to look at that are indicative of the reel’s quality. Here’s what you should keep in mind when looking for a baitcasting reel.

Baitcasting Reel Gear Ratio

One of the first things to look at when shopping for a baitcasting reel is the gear ratio.

The gear ratio indicates how many times the spool turns when you rotate the handle one time.

A higher gear ratio would mean that you’re pulling in more line with one handle turn.

The 6:4:1 gear ratio is usually the best all-around option for bait casters, as it works well for many different types of fishing and different types of baits as well.

The lower gear ratios are better when you are using a bait with a strong pull because they give you a bit more time and control as you pull in.

A higher gear ratio is best for anything where you would need to pull in right away, such as fishing for frogs.

If you are interested in a specified type of fishing, you likely already know what gear ratio you need for that. If you aren’t sure, start with the 6:4:1 and go from there.

Handle Grip

The better grip you have on the handle of your reel, the easier it will be to pull in and fish.

The grip of your handle should be ergonomically designed and comfortable to hold, as you will be keeping your hand in the same position for a long period of time.

Reels also come with a variety of different handle sizes, and you likely have a preference for the type of grip that you want.

Larger handles are typically more effective when fishing for large fish, as one might expect.

However, smaller handles are easier to control, so if you’re only fishing for small critters, then this might be a better option.

Bearings Material

Every baitcasting reel comes with ball bearings, which are balls in between the gears that help them run more smoothly.

You should check before purchasing the reel to see what materials the ball bearings are made from.

The ball bearings need to be smooth and very durable because if they wear down, the gears won’t run as well.

Stainless steel and ceramic are the two most popular materials for bearings, and they are both very durable and reliable bearings materials.

Frame Material

The material of the frame of the reel is something else to take into account.

The frame needs to be durable and resistant to denting and scratches, but it should also be light enough that it’s easy to hold and carry around.

If the frame is too heavy, that makes it quite difficult to maneuver and can make for a challenging fishing experience. Some common frame materials to look for are graphite, aluminum, and carbon fiber.

Brake System

The brake system is the part of the reel that stops the line once you have cast it.

A good brake system allows you to have more precision and control over exactly where the bait lands, so you can catch fish much more efficiently and effectively.

There are two different types of braking systems that are used in baitcasting reels, magnetic and centrifugal.

A magnetic braking system is typically more affordable than a centrifugal one, and it’s a bit easier for beginners to use.

However, it isn’t as efficient as a centrifugal braking system. There should also be a tension knob on the side of the reel that controls how much tension is in the line.

Ideally, you should aim to test the brake system in person if you can. However, if this isn’t an option, look for detailed information about how the brake system works online.

Drag System

The drag system is the mechanism of the reel that pulls the line back in after the fish has been caught.

The important specification to look at here is how many pounds the drag system can pull.

The stronger the drag system, the more effective it will be at pulling in very large fish.

A good drag system usually can pull at least 15 pounds. Ideally, you need to be able to adjust the tension in the drag system for different types of fish.

Different types of fish put varying amounts of pressure on the line, so being able to adjust the drag will make for more effective fishing.

Spool Size

Depending on the type of fishing you are doing, you may need a specific size of spool.

When shopping, you will want to ensure that you get the proper size of the spool for the type of fishing that you are intending to do.

For example, if you are looking for large fish or fishing in deep bodies of water, you might need a larger spool.

If you are unsure of what size of spool you need, you may want to consult a professional at a fishing gear specialty store to learn more about what would be best for your specific needs.

Ease of Use

This is something that is a bit harder to quantify when looking for a fishing reel, but it’s just as important.

The mechanisms on your baitcasting reel should work together to create an overall experience that is simple to use.

This is particularly important to look for if you are just starting to learn to fish. Many baitcasting reels that are good for beginners will market themselves as such.


A good baitcasting reel is absolutely essential for anyone who loves fishing. With so many different choices on the market, it can be difficult to determine what type of reel would be best for your needs.

The reels listed here in our guide are all reliable choices, and you can use our buying guide for even more guidance when making your final choice.

Any baitcasting reel that you choose will have an initial learning curve, but once you master it, it’s easy and fun to use.

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