3 Best High End Baitcasting Reels For Bass Fishing

Hey there my fellow fishing enthusiasts. Today, for those of you looking treat your self with some good quality, top of the range equipment, I have had a good look around and come up with my 3 best high end baitcasting reels for Bass fishing in 2021.

These are the reels that are just that little bit smoother, more durable and will work just that little bit better when casting, or when those monster Bass hit. Additionally, if you fish more than a couple of times a month, then these options may not only make your fishing a little more enjoyable, but also last a bit longer as well.

So, let’s see if the below can get you on the right track in terms of a really nice, high quality baitcaster for catching Bass…

My 3 recommended high end baitcasting 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:

 Baitcasting ReelPriceGet it
high end baitcasting reels for bass - Lew's Custom Baitcaster ReelLew’s Custom Inshore Speed Spool Baitcast Reel$CURRENT PRICE
high end baitcasting reels for bass - Daiwa TatulaDaiwa Tatula Elite Baitcasting Reel$$CURRENT PRICE
high end baitcasting reels for bass - Shimano CURADOShimano CURADO DC Baitcasting Freshwater Fishing Reel$$$CURRENT PRICE

What should you be looking for?

high end baitcasting reels for bass - baitcaster with lure

Ok, so here we are talking the cream of the crop and although that definitely doesn’t mean you need to go for the most expensive reel you can find, there are definitely some things to look into that make it worth spending the extra $$ on. Below then, I am going to run through what to look for in terms of a high end reel to ensure that you are getting good value for the extra price.

Before we get started however, I am writing this post with the assumption that you are aware of the basic mechanics when it comes to baitcaster fishing reels. If not, please check out my other post on baitcaster fishing reels for Bass fishing.

Internal component manufacture

As with anything, the higher the price of the product, the more care and expertise you should expect when it comes to the parts used in manufacture. This is no different when it comes to the components inside a fishing reel. Generally, high end fishing reels are machined (such as with CNC machinery for example) with a little more precision to ensure absolute smoothness and silence in operation.

Manufacturers usually call their high end component builds by branded names (such as Shimano Hagane) so you may need to research those as well however in most cases, they will elaborate on the build within their sales blurbs.


Most reels these days incorporate some sort of waterproofing in their component however when it comes to high end reels it is this area that is taken to the next level. Although almost all Bass fishing in undertaken in fresh water, any recurrent moisture (and all the little micro-bits within it) can still do significant damage to the internal workings of a reel hence anything that can be done to keep this out, will definitely increase its lifespan.

Where the really good reels enhance their waterproofing capabilities are in the protection for each piece individually rather than the workings as a whole. This can include:

  • Fully encased bearings
  • Corrosion-resistant components
  • Corrosion resistant coating on all external parts (knobs, screws etc.)
  • Fully sealed, or increased seals around casing

As above, the more water resistant components that are included, the longer the reel will last.


Drag is another area where the high end reels really come into their own. On a baitcaster reel, the drag works in a similar fashion to their spinning cousins via a set of washers inside the reel that rotates backwards if the line is pulled hard enough (by a fish obviously) to stop the line from snapping.

These washers (often called friction plates) rub against each other as the drag system kicks in meaning that in the budget level reels where they are often made of stainless steel, they can wear. The better models however incorporate carbon fiber washers meaning less wear and smoother operation when the drag is in use.

Baitcaster reels are known for their sensitivity and setting abilities however again, better quality components also make for a more sensitive drag setting system as well.


If you have used a baitcaster reel for any more than a couple of casts you will know that they are extremely susceptible to backlash – when the spool turns faster than the lure/sinker can pull the line out during casting, and the line tangles. This problem is rectified by the use of magnetic brakes as follows:

  • Centrifugal Brakes: The magnets are located inside the reel and extend from the center of the spool running along a shelf in the center of the reel to slow it down.
  • External Brakes: These 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.

It is here that high end baitcasters tend to really come into their own. Most will have both brake types included that can be set with way more sensitivity and effectiveness than the cheaper options. I have used both budget and high end baitcasters in my time, and as someone who is not great with them, the high end models are definitely a cut above.

high end baitcasting reels for bass - man casting with baitcaster

Spool tension adjustment

These are 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. They also determine just how fast you can let the spool turn as well.

As with the brake settings above, they are just that much better on the higher quality models.


Most manufacturers outline how ‘tough’ the casing of their reels are when they discuss their more expensive options. Many are made of metal or carbon and fully encased as well adding to greater component protection. In fact, many reels of this caliber will be waterproof rated as well with terms such as “PX5 sealed body and spool” etc. commonly used.

No gaps

I am not sure what the technical term for all of this is and it could probably be incorporated into the sections above around competent quality and casing. However, one thing I have noticed myself (and seen in my research) is that the better quality reels are just put together that little bit better.

Everything, from the drag setting on the side, to the handle and the spool release is just a little smoother and there are usually no gaps between where these components meet. This also means that there are fewer places for fishing line to get caught in such as between the handle and drag wheel or beside the spool.


These don’t effect the outcomes as much as the above however they are worth considering. Most are built with good quality EVA or rubber handles – many are oversized for greater comfort.

What do I use?

Ok, so I don’t actually own a high end baitcaster reel at the moment and have been relying on a more budget aligned model called a Shimano Caius. Don’t get me wrong, it is not a bad reel however I used a higher end model belonging to a friend of mine recently and Oh.. My..God – I really couldn’t believe how much easier it was to use.

  1. I got no backlash
  2. I could cast so much further – end on a lighter lure
  3. The brakes setting adjustments was exquisite – yep, I said exquisite.

It was one of the options I have listed below called a Diawa Tatula. The specs are found below so I won’t repeat them here but again, if you can afford a higher end model for your baitcasting needs, they really are worth the extra cash…

My three recommendations broken down

So based on the information above, and my own experience, I recommend the following for beginners:

1. Lew’s Custom Inshore Speed Spool Baitcast Reel

My first reel here is a good choice for those looking for something of quality with great durability and usability that won’t cost the earth (in terms of high end reels that is). The component manufacture is of the highest quality with solid brass Speed Gears, precision cut on Hamai CNC machines, double-shielded stainless steel bearings and a lightweight full carbon casing. It is an all-round high quality option with specs including:

  • Spool Size (yd/lb): Mono: 140/12
  • Bearings: 9+1
  • Ratio: 7.5:1
  • Composition: Aluminium frame with C45 carbon side plate on handle side and graphite palming side plate
  • Drag: Star drag on side
  • Brakes: Externally adjustable Multi-Setting Brake (MSB) plus 4 individually disengaging, disc-mounted internal brake shoes

Other advantages include:

  • Double anodized aluminum deep U style 32mm spool
  • Fully sealed components and bearings.
  • One-piece aluminum frame with drain ports

Why have I chosen it?

Lews is a well-known and trusted brand – especially by Bass fishers – with great quality and durability. As above, this one won’t cost the earth making is a great higher quality option for those who many not fish all the time however still want a little better performance when they do.

Prefer Penn – check out the Penn Fathom LH here.

2. Daiwa Tatula Elite Baitcasting Reel

Our next option is for those who really want to chase those hard hitting Bass without losing strength and versatility. Like the others in this list, Diawa is well-known and trusted and this option provides all of the high end manufacture influences listed above such as machined componentry and waterproof protection all the while weighing next to nothing. It’s specifications include:

  • Spool Size (yd/lb): Mono: 125/14 – Braid: 140/30
  • Bearings: 7+1
  • Ratio: 6.3:1 or 8.1:1
  • Composition: Aluminium frame and side plate.
  • Drag: Star drag on side – 11 lb.
  • Brakes: Modified Magforce braking on side

Other advantages include:

  • Fully sealed components and bearings
  • Low startup inertia for reduced backlash
  • Equipped with Daiwa’s legendary T-Wing System

Why have I chosen it?

I have chosen this reel for its extreme light weight build whilst maintaining full strength – especially for those chasing hard hitting fish such as Bass or Jacks. I have used this one and know its quality firsthand. It is a true Bass fishing reel for beginners and experts alike.

Want the next level? Check out the Daiwa Zirion SV as well.

3. Shimano CURADO DC Baitcasting Freshwater Fishing Reel

The third reel I have chosen is taking us to the start of the Shimano high end fishing reel range with components made with high tech ‘Hagane’ technology and a braking system that utilises a microcomputer to monitor spool speed 1000 times every second and apply the perfect amount of brake. The fully encased body and lightweight design make it is part of the reason for the higher cost but it also means that it can handle the bigger catches whilst maintaining the sensitivity that experienced Bass fishers crave. Its specs include:

  • Spool Size (yd/lb): Mono: 120/10 – Braid: 135/30
  • Bearings: 6+1
  • Ratio: 6.2:1 or 8.5:1
  • Composition: Lightweight CI4+ carbon alloy
  • Drag: Star drag on side – 11 lb.
  • Brakes: SVS infinity – centrifugal

Other advantages include:

  • X-Ship pinion support bearing
  • S-ARB shielded stainless steel anti-rust ball bearings
  • Cross Carbon Drag

Why have I chosen it?

I have chosen this Shimano option here as these reels are well-known and trusted – and some of my favourites. The components are extremely well manufactured and precision cut from aluminium and Hagane steel using cold forged technology meaning it is light and simply will last forever. And let’s be honest, anything that recons it can stop backlash has to be a good thing right?

Prefer the absolute high end? Check out the Shimano Metanium Dc instead.


And there it is – my 3 best high end baitcasting reels for Bass fishing in 2021. 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

Have fun


3 Best High End Baitcasting Reels For Bass Fishing
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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.