Bass fishing is one of the most popular water-based sports for enthusiasts. However, getting a hold of bass requires more than simply your skills and talents. You also have to get the right tools, including a reel. So, what are the most popular choices on the market? And what should you look for when hunting the best baitcasting reel for bass? The answers to these questions will be addressed right below!
- 10 Best Baitcasting Reels For Bass (In-Depth Reviews)
- 1. Abu Garcia Revo SX – Best For Beginner-Friendly Reels
- 2. Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel – Best For Stability
- 3. Abu Garcia Black Max & Max X – Best For Light Fishing
- 4. Abu Garcia SMAX3 – Best Appearance
- 5. Piscifun Alloy M – Best Value For Money
- 6. 13 Fishing Concept – Best For High-End Reels
- 7. KastKing Crixus – Best Reviews
- 8. KastKing Royale Legend – Best For Professional Use
- 9. Calamus X2 – Best For Spool Speed Control
- 10. Sougayilang Baitcasting Reel – Best For Limited Budget
- Why Should You Choose A Baitcasting Reel For Bass Fishing?
- Fighting Characteristics Of Bass Fish
- Passive And Active Baitcaster Braking System
- Best Gear Ratio For Bass Fishing And How To Choose
10 Best Baitcasting Reels For Bass (In-Depth Reviews)
|Product image||Product name||Editor' review||Editor' rating||Price|
|SHIMANO Curado K Baitcast Reel||Best For Beginner-Friendly Reels||4.9||See last price|
|Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel||Best For Stability||4.7||See last price|
|Abu Garcia Black Max & Max X||Best For Light Fishing||4.9||See last price|
|Abu Garcia SMAX3||Best Appearance||4.6||See last price|
|Piscifun Alloy M||Best Value For Money||4.8||See last price|
|13 Fishing Concept||Best For High-End Reels||4.5||See last price|
|KastKing Crixus||Best Reviews||4.6||See last price|
|KastKing Royale Legend||Best For Professional Use||4.7||See last price|
|Calamus X2||Best For Spool Speed Control||4.8||See last price|
|Sougayilang Baitcasting Reel||Best For Limited Budget||4.6||See last price|
1. Abu Garcia Revo SX – Best For Beginner-Friendly Reels
At the top of my list, today is the Revo SX model from Abu Garcia. This product prides itself on the X2-Craftic alloy frame, offering excellent resistance against corrosion and greater stability during each cast. You will get to enjoy the extended 90mm handle covered in PVC for better grip. Not only is Revo SX durable and long-lasting, but it is also comfortable to use for a long time. Another reason why I particularly enjoy this baitcasting reel is its dual braking system.
The centrifugal and magnetic brakes combined enhance the fish stopping power of the reel, thus backlash is less likely to happen. Coupled with the Infini II Spool design, users are capable of casting heavy baits at further distances without much difficulty. Talking about a beginner-friendly reel! Unfortunately, all these benefits do not come without a cost. Abu Garcia Revo SX does not fall within the affordable price range for the average customer. Hence, many people may struggle to buy this product.
- Corrosion-resistant frame.
- PVC handle.
- Dual braking system.
- Infini II Spool design.
2. Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel – Best For Stability
Next up, let me introduce you to the Torrent reel from Piscifun – a famous brand in the fishing industry. At first glance, Piscifun Torrent stands out with its sleek black coating, which exudes a vibe of masculinity. But the charms of the product exceed the appearance. To be more specific, the Piscifun Torrent is equipped with double wind shafts and a 10-level magnetic braking system. When you cast your bait or start reeling in, these two attributes ensure the movements are without flaws, and the rod remains stable, regardless of the heavy loads.
And that is not to mention its line capacity of 12lbs of monofilament 300 yards. Furthermore, this item is made from aluminum, a material best known for its sturdiness. The Hami cut brass gear doubles down on robustness, so no more worries about the reel breaking down after a few months of extensive usage. That being said, there have been complaints about the reel getting a bit loud. Hence, frequent greasing and lubing are a must before each fishing trip.
- Double wind shafts and magnetic brakes.
- Durable aluminum frame and brass gear.
- Masculine look.
- Can be noisy.
- Needs greasing.
3. Abu Garcia Black Max & Max X – Best For Light Fishing
If you are a fan of Abu Garcia but cannot afford anything too costly, the Black Max & Max X will live up to your expectations. This model relies on graphite for its mainframe and side plates, which increases the flexibility of the reel. Despite the seemingly bulky look, Black Max & Max X is relatively lightweight and easy to hold in your palms. For anglers with small hands, the product is indeed a treat. Still, what I enjoy most about this reel are its Power Disk system and MagTrax brakes.
Together, they reduce friction when the spool rotates and also become helpful when you need to modulate the line pressure. The 4 stainless steel ball bearings might not be enough for a larger catch, but they certainly can support small-sized bass. For a reel that costs within 45$ – 80$, the efficiency of Black Max & Max X is acceptable. Be aware that while this reel does work, its application is limited to light fishing only. If you strain the reel with anything too heavy, Black Max & Max X may get snapped.
- Cheap enough for the average customer.
- Graphite mainframe for elasticity.
- Lightweight and compact.
- Power Disk and MagTrax brakes.
- 4 ball bearings.
- Only suitable for light fishing.
4. Abu Garcia SMAX3 – Best Appearance
Another offer from Abu Garcia that I believe you would be interested in is the SMAX3 model. The baitcasting reel attracts attention with its silvery frame, accompanied by the black PVC handles. The classic design of Abu Garcia SMAX3 makes it an ideal addition to your tackle box, which is visually pleasing enough for even the pickiest angler. What about the functionality? Rest assured that this baitcasting reel does not fall behind compared to others. SMAX3 is best known for the Power Disk drag system and MagTrax brakes – two attributes unique to the manufacturer.
This way, you can cast and retrieve the fishing line with complete smoothness. Given the reel’s capacity, many people expect it to be rather hefty. But in fact, Abu Garcia SMAX3 can easily snug within your palms. However, some customers have said that this model is slightly overpriced for what it has to offer. According to these fishers, you can find a baitcasting reel with equal quality but costs less money.
- Alluring appearance.
- Power Disk drag system and MagTrax brakes.
- Solid design.
5. Piscifun Alloy M – Best Value For Money
If you are a fan of Piscifun, you cannot miss out on the Alloy M baitcasting reel. This product uses ADC12 grade aluminum to construct its mainframe, giving the entire product the highest level of corrosion resistance, impact resistance, and robustness. Whether you use Alloy M for freshwater or saltwater fishing, the product can handle it all.
To combat backlash – a common problem while using baitcasters – the manufacturers incorporate a 12-magnet braking system that controls the movements of the fishing line. Furthermore, the drag washers and Hamai cut brass gear are 10% larger, which increases the drag power by up to 22lbs.
Also, have I mentioned the 8 double-shield stainless steel ball bearings for more finesse even when fighting against aggressive fish? While the product is not amazingly cheap, it is still available at a reasonable price tag. For a baitcasting reel within the price range, you cannot go wrong with this model. Sadly, the reel emits screeching sounds when casting, making it slightly uncomfortable if you are sensitive to noises.
- ADC12 grade aluminum frame.
- Magnetic braking system.
- 22lbs drag power.
- 8 ball bearings.
- Grinding noises.
6. 13 Fishing Concept – Best For High-End Reels
For anglers with lots of money to spend, I recommend you take a look at the Concept baitcasting reel from 13 Fishing. With an upfront investment that goes up to 300$, this item is not designed for everyone. But should you find this reel captivating despite its cost, below are the two most notable features to examine.
First off, Concept is available in four different gear ratios, including 3.1:1, 6.6:1, 7.3:1, and 8.1:1. This versatility allows fishers to pick up a tool that best fits their fishing purposes, be it bass fishing or trout fishing. Secondly, the baitcasting reel has a 6-way centrifugal braking system and a drag power up to 22lbs, making it highly suitable for big fish. The 6+1 stainless steel, high-speed ball bearings help minimize friction and increase smoothness during each cast, so you do not have to worry about getting tangled fishing lines. This is quite a catch for an expensive reel, don’t you agree?
- Four gear ratios to choose from.
- 6-way centrifugal braking system
- 22lbs drag power.
- 6+1 stainless steel ball bearings.
- Too costly.
7. KastKing Crixus – Best Reviews
With more than 1428 5-starred reviews from Amazon buyers, KastKing Crixus deserves a spot on my list of the best baitcasting reel for bass fishing. So, what is it about this product that makes customers go wild? For me, it is the highly accurate adjustable spool tension knob and the 8-magnet braking system. By allowing anglers to alter the spool resistance, you can easily cast without getting backlash. Say goodbye to using thumb pressure and risk getting injured! There are also other features worth mentioning, such as the U-shaped spool with a guided opening.
This way, the fishing line can come off with utter precision at your chosen speed. Another one is the fingertip star drag adjustment, coupled with a four-carbon disc drag system for ultra smoothness. Commanding a drag power of 17.6lbs has never been easier with the support of these fine details. Still, the external coating of this model is not scratch-resistant. If coming into contact with sharp edges, your reel is likely to suffer from cuts and nicks.
- Adjustable spool tension knob.
- 8-magnet braking system.
- U-shaped spool and guided opening.
- Four carbon disc drag system.
- Poorly painted layer.
8. KastKing Royale Legend – Best For Professional Use
If you are looking for a compact, highly functional, and tournament-ready baitcasting reel, look no further than the Royale model from KastKing. Do not get mistaken by its being small-sized. In fact, the compactness of this design allows the manufacturers to include the swing-wing side cover, which neatly attaches to the rod.
However hard you throw the rod, the reel will remain well-seated. Moreover, Royale comes with an instant anti-reverse, 5 elements 10-magnet brakes, and 10 doubled-shielded stainless steel bearings to prevent the fishing line from overrunning.
While beginners undoubtedly appreciate the build quality, even professional anglers can take advantage of how KastKing Royale is constructed. Feel free to engage in serious fishing games and see how this reel holds up.
Should you decide to purchase this item, it is worth knowing that the reel is not corrosion-resistant. If you want to bring Royale along for the next inshore trip, make sure to paint a protective layer first.
- Highly portable.
- Swing-wing side cover.
- Anti-backlash technology.
- Reliable build-quality.
- Cannot stand saline solution.
9. Calamus X2 – Best For Spool Speed Control
Have you ever been frustrated at your reel for not being able to modulate the pressure? If the answer is yes, then Calamus X2 baitcasting reel is your solution. Featuring the 8-magnet, recessed braking system, and a Micro-Transition brake, this item provides users with utmost restraint on how fast the line pulls off. No longer do you have to worry about being unable to navigate your spool speed.
Even better, Calamus X2 is equipped with a 7.2:1 gear ratio, making it speedy enough to reel in small to medium-sized fish. The quadruple disc carbon drag power of 17.6lbs is another feature that helps this model become sufficient enough for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.
Last but not least, you will be pleased to know that the mainframe of this reel is made from lightweight graphite, sparing you from the sore arms of having to carry the rod for too long. Nevertheless, Calamus X2 cannot hold up bigger fish. If you insist on catching anything larger than 10 pounds with this reel, it may end up breaking.
- Micro-Transition brake and 8 magnetic brakes.
- 7.2:1 gear ratio.
- Drag power of 17.6lbs
- Only work with small and medium-sized fish.
10. Sougayilang Baitcasting Reel – Best For Limited Budget
For those of you who have to tighten the belt but still want to go fishing with a baitcaster, this product from Sougayilang seems perfect. At first, I was skeptical whether a reel under $40 could function properly or not. But it turns out that Sougayilang is indeed an effective reel given its low price.
One of the reasons why Sougayilang gets its reputation is the Swing-Wing design, which includes side covers that provide better attachment to the rod. Coupled with the rubberwood handles for more comfort, this baitcasting reel makes sure you have the best experience trying to land a good catch.
And, of course, I have to bring up the 10-magnet braking system and 10 stainless steel bearings, as they create an effective mechanism against backlash. Who says that cheap reels cannot compete with higher-end versions? But do not get ahead of yourself and think Sougayilang is flawless. This item gradually decreases in terms of quality after using extensively for roughly a year, as it is not built to last.
- Extremely cheap.
- Swing-Wing side covers.
- Rubberwood handles.
- 10 magnetic brakes and 10 ball bearings.
- Short lifespan.
Why Should You Choose A Baitcasting Reel For Bass Fishing?
Better line control
When it comes to fishing, having complete control over how fast your fishing line goes and how well it goes with your tackle box is essential. If you fail to monitor your line’s performance, you are more likely to encounter endless difficulties while casting and retrieving.
So, how do baitcasting reels come into the picture? Unlike spinning reels – which use a line guide for line control – baitcasting reels pride themselves on a well-built spool.
This spool is shaped like a cylinder, where the fishing line gets wound. By having a solid foundation for the line to lay on, anglers have a better hold over the line coming off. The spool also helps you to double down on the torque, giving you a firmer stance on the ground when fighting with heavy, aggressive fish.
Better control over lure speed
Many people compare baitcasting reels with spinning reels, citing that the latter is easier to accompany different types of lures and baits. But it cannot be further from the truth. If we are talking about light fishing using anything that weighs less than 1/4oz, then spinning reels are indeed superior.
They have a fixed bail that enables fishers to cast the lures and baits freestyle, and there is no need to attune the lure speed manually. For those of you intending on going bass fishing, this feature will not suffice. Therefore, baitcasting reels are an ideal choice when confronting big fish games.
These reels include a lever that pushes or pulls the drag, meaning you can alter the lure speed based on your preferences. Also, the spool is open for thumb pressure, so you can decide how quickly the lures or baits hit the water.
Easier to detect fish strikes
Another reason why having baitcasting reels is a must for your bass fishing trip is its sensitivity to fish strikes. Since the fishing line is directly connected to the spool, anglers are only a few inches away from instant contact during the entire time holding the rod.
Hence, as soon as a fish approaches your lures or baits, you can easily catch its movements. This way, you have more time to react and stand a higher chance of landing a catch.
More cranking power
While baitcasting reels are not flexible, they gain an advantage by being extremely sturdy. The robustness provides fishers with more cranking power, meaning the reel is less prone to snapping or breaking when handling heavy fish.
When you retrieve the fishing line, wobbling is no longer a problem, even if you use spinnerbaits, crankbaits, or any other types of baits that appear to be too hefty. Catching medium-sized and large fish relies on a baitcasting reel, so do not forget to learn how to use one.
Fighting Characteristics Of Bass Fish
Bass fish – both smallmouth and largemouth ones – are best known for their predatory instincts. Some people even joke that the motto of bass fish is “If it moves, eat it!” Bass are not picky regarding their diets, and they can devour from worms, frogs, snakes, crayfish to even fallen baby birds with their flexible stomachs.
Another point to remember is that the older the bass grows, the more adaptive it becomes to the living habitat. Subsequently, their killing nature is sharpened and they should have no problem sensing danger. Coupled with their hefty weight and their fighting characteristics, bass is among the most challenging species for anglers.
Given their mass and the tendency to squirm and yank from the lures, baitcasting reels are the perfect addition to one’s tackle box.
You are bound to benefit from more torque, stability, smoothness, as well as cranking power of a baitcaster when fishing for bass.
Passive And Active Baitcaster Braking System
When you press the release button, the fishing line will come off the spool almost immediately. If there is no stopping force, it is likely to continue to loosen until the spool is empty. Hence, passive and active braking systems are required to modulate the speed of the fishing line.
Passive brakes refer to the natural force that slows down the fishing line after it has extended for a certain length. Depending on what types of fishing line you employ, the number of yards needed for the line to halt will vary. Lightweight monofilament lines may stall after 40 to 40 yards, but bulkier braided lines should take roughly fewer than 30 yards. Should you not want to leave things as they are, using the active braking system is highly recommended.
Simply put, this is when you place your thumb over the running line and press down on it. The sheer physical pressure will interrupt the line’s movements and stop it altogether when you need it to.
While the active and passive braking systems are helpful, they alone are not enough to prevent the fishing line from overrunning – a situation commonly known as backlash.
This is why most high-quality baitcasting reels incorporate at least one automated braking system. It can either be a magnetic one or a centrifugal one. The former is under control of 6 to 12 magnets, while the latter is linked with centrifugal force.
Both of these can be adjusted using an external dial placed at the opposite end of a reel’s handle. While you can definitely use thumb pressure to regulate the fishing line, make sure to take care of the automated braking system for more concrete impact.
Best Gear Ratio For Bass Fishing And How To Choose
Gear ratios – or transmission ratios – refer to the number of times a spool can rotate when you turn the handle for a complete cycle. The higher the gear ratio is, the faster you can retrieve the fishing line. As far as baitcasting reels are concerned, common gear ratios mostly range from 5.0:1 (the spool rotates five times for each cycle of the handle) to 8.5:1 (the spool rotates 8.5 times for each cycle of the handle). The gear ratio is usually inscribed outside the package of each reel.
It is considered one of the most important specifications that anglers should examine when shopping for a suitable reel. Thus, it makes sense that you should know everything about gear ratios in order to figure out which one works best for your next fishing trip. Contrary to popular beliefs, having a high gear ratio is not always preferable when it comes to bass fishing.
High-speed baitcasters definitely have an advantage for their speediness, but it does not mean that the torque provided by low-speed baitcaster is no good. Below is a detailed explanation for the application of each range of gear ratio.
For example, if you are going after super heavy bass, it is best to stick to anything 5:1 and below. Giant bass weighing at least 12 pounds can lock your reel and prevent you from reeling them in, especially if your reel lacks torque and gives in to pressure.
Hence, a low gear ratio will provide anglers with an easy win as they are stiffer and more prone to rotation. Whenever you detect a fish strike, simply take advantage of the force and pull the reel in. No more worries about your rod snapping into halves!
Another situation where a low-speed baitcaster is helpful is when you fish in heavily planted bodies of water. When your lures or baits get stuck in dense weeds or wooden trunks, you need to snag them out right away. In this case, physical power is more important than fast speed.
Medium speed baitcaster
Medium speed baitcasters have a gear ratio of approximately 6:1. Falling in the middle means these reels are not excellent for handling heavy bass and tiny bass.
However, they offer steady performance and are beginner-friendly. Medium speed baitcasting reels are suitable for multipurpose fishing and can go with various types of lures and baits, so go for it if you have no experience using baitcasters before.
For tiny bass that is roughly under 5 pounds, a 7:1 gear ratio will do you good. It allows you to quickly catch the fish once they just grab the bait, leaving a little window for bass to fight back. Experienced anglers tend to enjoy high-speed baitcasters due to their higher threshold of speed control.
If you are using a 6:1 gear ratio, you can only expect the spool to revolve 6 times maximum. But using a 7:1 gear ratio enables you to achieve 7 rotations and anything fewer than that.
Do you want to slow down the fishing line? Simply use the braking systems and thumb pressure! Apart from catching giant bass, high-speed baitcasters are designed for virtually all species.
Hopefully, after reading through 10 recommendations and the comprehensive buying guide above, you will have no trouble pinpointing the best baitcasting reel for bass. So once again, let’s check out the pros and cons of each product and make a decision right away!
Born in Lakeland, Florida, Daniel has started fishing since he was just a tiny little kid. His father was a real good fisherman, as he taught Daniel tricks and tips to catch the fish better. From those childhood memories, Daniel has built up his love for fishing. Until now, he has been participating in several bass tournaments and currently serves as the Chief Editor of fishingonsunday.com to share his precious knowledge and experiences with many more people.