Hey there my fellow fishing enthusiasts and welcome to my post covering my 3 best baitcaster reels for bass fishing this year. Baitcaster reels are generally considered one of the best reel options for bass fishing as they’re very effective for casting in areas around structure or hot spots. Some anglers also use baitcaster reels (with heavy line) since they are more efficient when catching bass as their drags are more sensitive and the spool can be easily controlled by using the thumb.
So, if you are looking for a good baitcasting reel for Bass we have got you covered. Listed below are the best baitcaster reels and the factors that you need to consider prior to purchase…
My 3 recommended baitcaster reels for bass fishing
I will review these in more detail below but if you just want to get moving without all the carry on, my 3 are listed here for your convenience:
Check out these: High-End Baitcaster Reels For Bass Fishing
What is a Baitcaster Reel?
Baitcaster reels are the upside-down models where the reel sits on top of, rather than underneath, the rod. Functionality can vary from the simple beginner models where the cover or closed face keeps all of the essential parts of the reel protected to the more complicated ones where casting speed and brake settings etc. can be adjusted dependent upon the environment.
The base models here can be good for beginners as they simply press down on the thumb button on the back to cast the line. In my experience, however, these are harder to use and do tend to tangle or ‘birds nest’ a little more than their spinning cousins.
With that in mind, Baitcasters are generally accepted as being more suitable for experienced fishermen due to their tendency to tangle (bird’s nest) on casting. However, as I mentioned above, there are some definite advantages to them as well including:
- More accurate when casting.
- Longer casting capabilities.
- Can handle heavier line and lure/sinker weight.
- Can handle much bigger fish for their size than spinners.
So, if these are requirements that you have when fishing for Bass (or you have an interest in them), I will give you a quick run-through below on what to think about when looking for a good reel option for your needs. Some of this will determine your purchase and the rest is just an outline in case you have some personal preferences. Let’s check it all out…
Note: Fishing rods that are used with spinning reels are not interchangeable with baitcasters. This post is being written based on the assumption that you have a casting rod at the ready. If not, check out my post covering baitcasting rod and reel combos for Bass fishing.
What Should You Be Looking For?
Ok, so as you start to think about your own baitcaster reel, consider the following:
I am starting with the location as it can definitely have an effect on the type of fishing reel that you could choose – especially as Bass like to hide under or around structure such as trees, rocks, weed, bridges, jetties and so on. We have already discussed that baitcasters tend to be more accurate when casting and are also able to handle larger fish than spinners too so the location will definitely have an influence on their use.
Some location considerations include:
- Holes: If there are any holes that you like to fish into then greater accuracy may be required.
- Rocks and other obstacles: Will you want to cast into them or over them? Baitcasters can generally cast a little further than spinners so again, this may be worth a look if the longer casting is required.
- Current: Is there a strong tidal current running? If so, a larger line and tackle may be needed.
- Wind: Windy waters are harder to cast in for obvious reasons.
There is more to this but from a general point of view, if you are constantly fishing in an area where you either need accuracy or are chasing larger species (such as Largemouth Bass) then a baitcaster may serve you well. That said, if you are fishing from a kayak then the lighter the setup you can get, the better.
Baitcaster reels are mostly made from a corrosion-resistant metal, carbon fiber, and/or aluminum body with variations of the following:
- Bearings – bearings are utilized within the reel for smooth casting and retrieval – the more that the reel includes for the price, the better.
- Rotation – Winding rotation ratios are also evident in baitcaster reels. This is usually set up to 6 or 7:1.
- Drag – The drag of a baitcaster is one of its real advantages over a spinning reel in that they can be set with greater sensitivity and are generally a lot stronger as well. This is why many who chase really big fish use a baitcaster over a spinning reel.
- Casing: This is the part of the reel that contains the springs, levers, gear cogs, etc. that make much of the stuff above work. Make sure any you purchase has everything included encased for ease of use and maintenance.
Baitcasters release their line via the main spool which, once released by the press of a button or lever, rotates at high speed to let the line out. The line runs in a straight line which increases distance and accuracy as it is effectively unwound directly from the spool.
The problem here however that baitcasters spools have a nasty habit of continuing to spin even once the bait or lure has hit the water. We will discuss this more below.
As above, one of the main issues that many have with baitcaster reels is that they tangle much easier when the line is being cast. This is due to a phenomenon called ‘backlash’. Put simply, this is when the spool turns faster than the lure/sinker can pull the line out during casting, and the line tangles.
In early models, the spool was slowed by placing your thumb onto the spool as it wound out and this took some practice. In modern reels, however, this is managed via the implementation of brakes. There are a number of variations here including:
- Centrifugal Brakes: During the first part of the cast, the rod sends the weight (lure or sinker) out in a slingshot motion. Centrifugal brakes use gravity to adjust the spool speed to ensure it spins at the same rate as the cast. In this case, the brakes extend from the center of the spool running along a shelf in the center of the reel to slow it down. These can be adjusted but in most reels, this is not a simple task.
- Magnetic Brakes: Magnetic brakes are another way of controlling spool speed with easier adjustment via a small dial on the side of the unit. As the dial is turned, magnets move closer or further away from the side of the spool – the closer they are, the more they can slow the spool. These work the same as the centrifugal brakes in that they are mainly designed to work during that first ‘whip’ of the cast and release once the spool slows over the casting duration.
- Spool Tension Adjustment: Most baitcaster reels also come with a spool tension adjustment – if not, put it down and walk away. This is designed for use at the end of the cast when the lure or sinker hits the water (as opposed to centrifugal and magnetic brakes which operate in the first part of the cast). In simple terms, the tension adjustment stops the spool shaft at the same time that the tackle hits the water meaning an excess line is not released.
None of this of course is to say that you can’t still use your thumb if that suits – or you have set your brakes or tension adjustment incorrectly – but these tools can definitely make the use of these reels much more enjoyable.
Spool size is what determines just how much line you can put onto your reel. As baitcasters can generally handle heavier lines than spinners and can cast further the more line you can fit onto the spool the better. Baitcaster reel spool size is usually categorized as the length of line that can be loaded by line size.
For example, the reel may be specified as capable of loading “150 yards at 15lbs mono capacity – or 15/150” (slightly longer for braid). Some manufacturers will also stipulate maximum and minimum line weight limits as well.
Spools are usually made from high-strength aluminum or stainless steel.
Unlike the spinning reel, there are not as many other influences to consider with a baitcaster. The handle and weight are obviously still a consideration and some do also come with a line holder. However, the handles are not as easily interchangeable meaning a left or right-hand version is required. Anti-reverse settings however can often be better managed on baitcasters as well.
Are baitcaster reels good for Bass fishing
This obviously depends on personal preference however baitcaster reels provide for some definite advantages when fishing for Bass. This includes accuracy of casting (Bass like structure) and the ability to stop a fish very quickly. They also work extremely well when fishing with lures as they provide for greater ability to stop or slow a lure as you cast into or over your targeted area.
What did/do I use?
For my freshwater Bass fishing exploits, I use a Shimano Caius baitcaster reel with a 17lb Berkley Fireline braid. It is not an expensive model but has certainly handled anything I have caught with ease.
The baitcasters in general are tricky to get used to and I have certainly suffered my fair share of backlash however for large freshwater Bass species, I would certainly recommend them. The specifications of my reel are as follows:
- Spool Size: 12/110 Mono, 20/150 Braid
- Bearings: 3+1
- Ratio: 7.2:1
- Composition: Aluminum
- Drag: Star drag on side (5kg/11lb)
- Brakes: VBS Centrifugal – 6 x magnets that can be adjusted by removing side casing
My 3 recommendations broken down
Based on the information above, and my own experience, I recommend the following baitcasting reels for Bass fishing:
1. Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel
This first reel will definitely catch your attention because of its remarkable style for a great price. When it comes to durability, it provides an industrial durable strength with climate-resistant Japanese Hami cut 3604 brass gears for large catches way above its price grade. Specifications are as follows:
- Spool Size (yd/lb): Mono: 195/10, 120/10 – Braid: 145/30, 120/30
- Bearings: 5+1
- Ratio: 7.1:1
- Composition: Aluminum
- Drag: Star drag on side – 18 lb.
- Brakes: Magnetic Brake set on side
Other advantages include:
- Unique side-plate oil port for maintenance
- Four premium carbon fiber drag washers.
- With double line winding shafts for stability.
- Optimal shielded stainless steel bearings.
Why have I chosen it?
I chose to start with this because of its unique style and maintenance with great reviews for a great price. It features bigger gear and a super silent high-speed ratio that’s perfect for fast fishing tactics. It is also a great starting point for those new to the world of baitcasting reels.
2. Abu Garcia Revo SX Low Profile Baitcast Reel
From all the SX models, the Abu Garcia Revo SX Low Profile fishing reel is considered the most powerful and high-performance with an improved DuraClutch design. Its frame features an X2-Cräftic alloy (strong yet lightweight frame) that’s corrosion-resistant and can handle high drag pressures. Specifications are as follows:
- Spool Size (yd/lb): Mono: 175/10 145/12 100/15 – Braid: 190/20 140/30 100/50
- Bearings: 10
- Ratio: 6.6:1 – 7.3:1
- Composition: Stainless Steel, Carbon
- Drag: Star drag on side – 17-24 lb.
- Brakes: Dual Centrifugal and Magnetic Braking System
Other advantages include:
- Power Stack Carbon Matrix Drag System.
- Extended 90-millimeter handle with oversized PVC knobs.
- Infini II Spool design.
- Features DuraClutch design that increases its durability.
Why have I chosen it?
I chose this fishing reel because of its dual braking system. The Abu Garcia Revo SX Low Profile has a brake system that is a combination of centrifugal brake and magnetic brake to severely increase casting distance and reduce backlash. This great feature will give you a wide range of adjustments that can suit to your personal style of fishing. Oh, and it will handle the big catches as well.
3. SHIMANO Curado K Baitcast Reel
Anglers love the SHIMANO Baitcast Reels because of their smooth retrieve (thanks to its Micro Gear System) with more contact points between its pinion gear and driver gear. Its body is made from Hagane metal steel with high rigidity and impact resistance that eliminates body flexing. It also features a super stopper anti-reverse that uses a one-way stainless steel roller bearing to eliminate back-play and provides instant hook setting power. Specifications are:
- Spool Size (yd/lb): Mono: 110/14, 155/10, 180/8 – Braid: 120/50, 190/30, 80/65
- Bearings: 6+1
- Ratio: 6.2:1 – 7.4:1 – 8.5:1
- Composition: Metal reel body with high rigidity.
- Drag: Star drag on side – 11 lb.
- Brakes: SVS infinity – centrifugal
Other advantages include:
- A-RB stainless steel ball bearings.
- Super free spool.
- C12+ material (250% stronger.)
Why have I chosen it?
I chose the SHIMANO Curado K Baitcast Reel simply because of its composition and quality. Reels with Hagane steel are a big advantage for Bass fishing because of their high quality and the ability to easily transform your actions directly into cranking power that will help catch any fish that you hook.
And there it is – my 3 best baitcaster reels for bass fishing this year. I hope it has been helpful and as usual, please let me know of your experiences with them.
Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections, or would like me to check anything else out for you.
Until next time