10 Best Saltwater Baitcasting Reels in 2021 [Expert’s Recommendations]

best saltwater baitcasting reels

Fishing doesn’t just require skill, but also the right equipment. You see, the right stuff can further level up your game. Whether you’re just starting or have been going at it for years, your equipment should match your level to make sure you keep honing your talent.

If you’re looking and are interested in larger fish, the reel that you’re using should be apt for the task. Yes, you can be really good but still fail to get that big catch because you didn’t saddle up for the job.

That is why you should choose a reel that will give you the advantage of better accuracy and control that you need. With the right one, getting the big fish will be easier.

Benefits of Baitcasting Reels for Saltwater

If you’ve been fishing for at least a fair amount of time, you’ll be familiar with the three main types of reels- the spin-cast, spinning, and the bait cast. Depending on what level you’re at, choosing the right one is paramount to leveling up your game.

All of them have their benefits and major drawbacks, but in this guide, we will be talking about some reel choices of experienced anglers.

    • Accuracy

The baitcasting reel, compared to other types, has a fair amount of advantages such as it allows you to catch bigger fishes and gives you better accuracy compared to spinning reels.

    • Cranking Power

You can also slow down the lure, and this is especially important when you’re trying to flip baits into a cover, and you don’t want to spook the other fish around.When you’re using high drag baits, this can provide just the right amount of cranking power.

    • Durability

It’s also extremely durable, so you can take it with you on your fishing trips several times.So if you’ve been practicing your game and you’re thinking of stepping off the beginner’s boat and start aiming for bigger fish, then a bait caster reel would be the obvious choice.

10 Best Saltwater Baitcasting Reels Review

There are tons of baitcasting reels available in the market today, and you may find it hard to find the perfect one. Well, we have narrowed it down to the top ten best to make things easier for you!

1. SHIMANO Curado K Baitcast Reel

The first one that you may be interested in and worth considering is the Shimano Curado K.

This is widely known for its strength and durability, requiring little maintenance for a long time! No wonder why it is definitely a good idea for long fishing sessions.

shimano reel

It is extremely hard-wearing, thanks to the aluminum and graphite construction! Anyway, reels should be able to withstand the wear and tear of your fishing activities no matter how long they take, and this can do just that! The design is very rigid and lightweight, so you won’t even notice the added weight when using it.

Although it’s popularly known for use in saltwater, it can also be used in freshwater. Much more, for greater corrosion-resistance, the ball bearings are made out of stainless steel.

Incorporated with the latest technology, this reel is made with a super smooth and tough micromodule gearing. The infinity braking system it comes with makes it easy to use and provides stable brake force and uniform spool control.

All of these features ensure precise casting of light bait and allow the right adjustments when switching baits.As for drag power, it’s a little lower when compared to others on this list, but it can still give you ample power to catch big fish. Anyway, given all the features, it makes the reel really worth it!

And yes, we understand that price is a very big factor in buying one, and no one wouldn’t want to purchase something overpriced without giving optimum features like durability and performance.

You will be happy to know this isn’t the case with this one. Its price tag is pretty reasonable, taking into consideration the features it has to offer.If the above-mentioned features tick all the things on your list, then choosing this may be worth it!


  • Comes with a smooth and easy to adjust the drag system
  • Can last long provided its handled properly
  • Featherweight
  • Has an ideal brake system
  • Practical and money worthy


  • Lower drag power compared to others

2. Abu Garcia Max Baitcasting Fishing Reel

Are you looking for a reel to improve your fishing experience? Well, if you want added accuracy to make sure you catch those big fish, then this will certainly help you out.

It also broadens your casting range while giving you full control of your casts. This is the perfect reel to switch to if you’re upgrading from spinning reels.

abu garcia baitcasting fishing reels

You will also be sure that it will stay for a long time since it has stainless steel bearings giving it the durability that you’ll need. When you’re dealing with large fish and a catch is so close, the first thing that you probably don’t want to happen is for the reel to malfunction, especially when it couldn’t handle the force.

The good thing is that using this won’t let you experience that problem. Much more, it has an effortless and secure power drag system that is pretty impressive, considering how lightweight it is. And it comes complete with a long-range MagTrax Brake system that can be adjusted to suit your range and accuracy.

This model is specifically designed to give you an ergonomic grip with its recessed reel and compact bent handle. Although the line capacity of this particular model is slightly shorter compared to others, it does not fall short when it comes to other features.

Durability, power, and accuracy- just a few features that make the price pretty worth it. Surprisingly, it also has a lower price range compared to others that are available in the market.

So if you’re looking for the right reel to level up your fishing game, this can give you better accuracy and durability. It can also ensure you with longer fishing sessions. For as long as the above-mentioned features suit your needs, then look no further.


  • Has a powerful drag system
  • Very durable
  • Lightweight
  • Has a great break system
  • Affordable price range
  • Ergonomic grip


  • Slightly has a shorter line capacity

3. Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel

The best reel to choose is one that can make your fishing experience easier and, at the same time, enhance your fishing skills.

When you’re dealing with bigger fish, the reel should be able to give you the power you need. This model has earned a top spot on the list greatly because of the power and durability it has to offer.

piscifun torrent baitcasting reel

And this is equipped with four washers to give you just the right amount of power to this low profile reel. Battling stubborn catches won’t be a problem because of its 18 pounds drag. It also ensures industrial-grade durability and is climate-resistant, which is pretty important since the weather is very unpredictable at times.

To maximize the life and performance of your reel, this is uniquely designed with a side-plate oil port to ensure prolonged maintenance. The drag system is also easily adjustable. Its magnetic brake system gives you greater control, and this is usually controlled using a dial gauge.

It is very easy and comfortable to use with its string build made of carbon fiber. This is also lightweight, so using it during long fishing sessions won’t be a strain.

Yes, you read it right! You won’t have to worry about excessively straining your hand anymore because it has a layer of EVA foam for added protection and comfort. Now you can go fishing for long hours.The price range is also very worth the reel’s performance. It’s a pretty good investment in the long run.

If all of these features amaze you, then you should think about getting this reel for your next fishing trip so you can have the first-hand experience with durability, control, and ease that it can offer you.


  • Very easy to adjust the brake pressure
  • Lightweight
  • Comfort with EVA foam handle
  • Good price
  • Designed with a unique side-plate oil port


  • Makes a slight noise during use

4. KastKing Royale Baitcasting Fishing Reel

KastKing has a reputation for making high-quality reels at an affordable price, and it certainly lived up to that reputation with this model. This particular reel has many note-worthy features;

that is why it is widely chosen by many anglers. Well, offering top of the notch performance makes it a good idea even for starters!

kastking fishing reels

This reel is pretty versatile as you can use it for salt and freshwater fishing. Its body is made of aluminum with brass gears and a drag system made of carbon fiber.

So it will certainly give you the power and control that you need to go against those stubborn fish. This can amazingly give a drag of around 17.5 pounds. It has a smooth casting and fast retrieval high gear ratio and is designed with a top of the line dual braking system.

The magnetic braking system is very easy to use to give you the maximum casting control. Retrieving the line can also be done quickly with reduced noise, so using this won’t be annoying. Much more, the corrosion-resistant ball bearing ensures a super smooth casting and minimal maintenance for longer use.

Since it has anodized aluminum spools that come with multiple ports, you are ensured of its sturdiness as these features provide added strength. Not to mention, it functions to reduce the weight of the equipment so you won’t feel the heaviness of the reel.

Also, it has an excellent texture and is waterproof so it can withstand different kinds of weather. More excitingly, you may find it hard to believe, but it comes with a very cheap price tag considering all the ultimate features it comes with.

And this is pretty affordable.That is why it is perfect if you want to try baitcasting on a budget. With its durability and state of the art design, this is a must-try reel.


  • Has a low profile design
  • Easy to use
  • Comes at a very affordable price
  • Has an adjustable brake system
  • Gives just the right amount of power


  • Requires slight maintenance to keep the optimum condition
  • May need an extra setup

5. Penn Squall LevelWind

The next one on the list can give you a great angling experience with its compact design and durable composition. If you’re looking for a new baitcasting reel to try, you may want this product!

Being made of a lightweight graphite frame makes it portable enough to withstand different adventures. 

penn squall level wind

Together with an exemplary pinion gear, side plates, and gear made of bronze, this reel is made with durability in mind. So you no longer have to worry about replacing it oftentimes.

Since fishing can be very taxing on your gear, this is built to stand the test of time so you can enjoy doing so with this in hand. Furthermore, when you’re dealing with headstrong fish, a large drag force can be a big help. With the reel’s T-100 drag system, you will be given a powerful drag without compromising smoothness.

Such a system is also made with carbon fiber, thereby warranting a maximum performance. With this, stubborn fish won’t be a problem anymore. You’ll be able to get more great catches too.

Moreover, tangling will no longer be an issue with its anti-reverse feature. You also can eliminate rotor back play since the ball bearing is built with stainless steel. The main gear is made of marine-grade bronze alloy to give it additional strength. Line capacity rings are also provided to know how much rope is left on the spool.

If all its amazing features and premium grade performance are not enough to astound you, let me tell you this, it also comes at a very reasonable price. Now you won’t have to go over the budget to have first-rate fishing experience.

Well, you can never go wrong if you choose one of the best reels in the market. And this product, without a doubt, will suit your fishing needs.


  • Very easy to handle
  • Minimal weight
  • Budget-friendly
  • Has a carbon fiber HT-100 drag
  • Ensures maximum performance


  • Needs to be properly maintained

6. KastKing Spartacus Baitcasting FishingReel

Conquering the bigger fishing game will be pretty easy when using the KastKing Spartacus. I mean, even the name itself is pretty spunky.

But all jokes aside, this will definitely help you in leveling up your game and improving your fishing skills.

kastking spartacus reel

With its powerful drag system, you can certainly catch the big ones. Amazingly, it can handle up to 17.5 pounds, which is definitely enough to win over those stubborn fish. And when you find yourself battling with your huge catch, you will still feel comfortable and not be weighed down with its lightweight design.

It also features a double brake system that is very easy to adjust and control. With this, you can cast to farther distances more accurately. And you know that you will get a huge catch if you cast a little further.

Much more, this comes with 11 plus 1 ball bearings, so you can keep on going effortlessly and ensure strength and heavy-duty built. The bearing is also designed to be corrosion-resistant; this can be used in extreme conditions. With the addition of a 6.3:1 gear ratio, this is undoubtedly the ultimate bait casting weapon.

Moreover, it comes with brass gears and aluminum that are CNC machined. The entire equipment is not just lightweight, but can also perform maximum performance, especially that the gears are made to be durable.

When it comes to affordability, the price tag complements its performance. Considering what you get for what you pay, then you really can see that it is worth it.

Anyway, it’s not just fishing. All other hobbies require an investment, which in the long run is bound to pay off as long you choose one that is durable and efficient. With its durability, power, and stability, this will surely be perfect for your next fishing adventure.


  • Made of optimum drag system
  • Gives just the right amount of speed
  • Corrosion-resistant so it’s perfect for saltwater
  • Very easy to use
  • Lightweight


  • Creates minimal noise according to some users

7. Abu Garcia Pro Max Low Profile Baitcasting Fishing Reel

If you think you still need to develop your fishing skills, but your expectation is high, and you want to try a bigger catch, then this reel may be a good idea!

Although the equipment doesn’t really offer professional level qualities, this may be an ideal reel to start with. It will eventually help you develop your skills in the long run.

abu garcia promax

Since it is designed to be lightweight, it is portable enough to carry anywhere, and at the same time, it can give you maximum performance. Smoothness is also incorporated in the roller and ball bearings so you can experience an effortless retrieve. They are corrosion-resistant, too, so you can use this in extreme situations.

One feature that stands out is the MagTrax braking system. This feature provides more accuracy and long-range casting. It is also equipped with a power disk system, thereby ensuring a smoother drag through your drag span. And this is a very big factor in getting a successful catch.

The whole structure is very durable, so it can last for long fishing activities while maintaining its efficiency. Not to mention, it is also made with comfort and convenience in mind, so using it won’t be a headache. The aluminum spool and the machined double-anodized also add to the strength of the reel.

Well, this is lightweight, too, as it is made with graphite side plates as well as a graphite frame to reduce the overall weight of the reel. This only means that even if it weighs less, you are still ensured of its durability. Well, durable items do not necessarily need to be bulky.

Moreover, this reel is made with EVA handles that provide comfort for your hands. This is very crucial as it can save your hands from the strain you get if you go on long fishing adventures. The price is also on a budget, and that is just appropriate for the performance it can give you.

Overall, this product is suitable for all your fishing needs. So if you’re looking to test your luck fishing for bigger catches, then you may try this out.


  • Can be used for saltwater fishing
  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Convenient to use even for a long duration
  • EVA handles for a comfortable grip
  • Gives just enough power drag


  • Comes with a slightly higher price tag

8. SHIMANO SLX Baitcasting Reels

Its key features ensure that you will get a great fishing adventure with added precision and control and more great catches. So if you’re new to using baitcasting reels, then this may be a good idea!

Well, it’s durable, lightweight, and accurate to use, so even if you’re not a pro, you can surely improve your fishing skills. 

shimano slx baitcasting reels

In terms of design, this one is pretty slick and minimalistic. It features a smooth and modern matte finish, and the added bright blue anodized elements give it a sharper character.

Backed up with the latest technology from Shimano’s long-tested legacy, this will provide you- whether you’re an angler, novice, or adept- a reliable and performance-oriented fishing experience. It comes in a compact and small size too. But don’t be deceived because it can give you a pretty big drag power.

And even if it is small, it has a 150 PowerPro line volume. Much more, the hagane metal body makes it durable enough to withstand different conditions. It also reduces the need for flexing when you are trying to learn how to throw that perfect cast.

This product employs centrifugal forces instead of usual magnets that can certainly help you improve your casting. The braking system provides for flexibility and reduces backlashing to ensure that you have farther casting. As mentioned many times, the farther the cast, the more you can obtain a bigger catch.

The price is very affordable, so you don’t have to spend that much, even if you still get all the key features for a great fishing adventure. Well, paying for its cost is definitely worth it.

So if durability, improved precision, lightweight, and affordability are features that you give utmost importance in your list, then no need to look any further.


  • Good braking system
  • Improves casting precision
  • Cheaper price compared to others with similar features
  • Can withstand various conditions
  • Ideal for anyone- pro and starter alike


  • The braking system can be slightly challenging

9. Piscifun Phantom Carbon Baitcasting Reel

You will never get disappointed with something that can give you optimum fishing experience. Well, this is made of high-quality materials and designed with a low profile to ensure that you get a very smooth casting.

This is equipped with a dual braking system to maximize your casting distance. 

piscifun phantom carbon baitcasting reel

This is equipped with a dual braking system to maximize your casting distance. You can also adjust it easily to suit your needs. With a very large line guide, you will be able to minimize line friction that will certainly help in improving your performance.

Catching big fish won’t be a struggle, too, since this has a drag power that is up to 17 pounds. So no matter how stubborn the fish is, there is a high probability that you’ll be able to catch it. Much more, magnetic brakes are added to reduce backlash and allow more precise adjustments.

The design also includes an anodized aircraft-grade alloy gear and a shaft to enhance the stability of the reel when in use. Not to mention, the aluminum spool is not only durable, but it also allows the reel to accelerate at faster speeds. So even if the fish is too fast, you can still enjoy its use while the reel catches up to its pace.

With this, you won’t have to worry about losing your grip, especially while battling with a large catch. This comes with a crank handle that is made of carbon, so you get a maximum grip as well as comfort, especially when you’re dealing with complicated fish. It can give you better control and force.

Moreover, you will not find it hard to control the entire weight of your catch because it employs easy centrifugal and magnet stopping mechanisms. The rigging proportion of 7:1, backed up by metal balls to promote smoothness, can help you obtain a triumphant speed.

Also, its quality is not questionable since it comes with various inclusions such as CNC hollow spool, twofold anodized primary apparatus, and titanium line guides, just to name a few. Notwithstanding all the amazing features that this reel has to offer, the price is very affordable.

And this time, leveling up your fishing skills is easier and faster. So if you’re looking for a reel that can fit your fishing needs- one that is affordable, durable, and very efficient- then this is something that you should try.


  • Comes with an attractive packaging
  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Efficient
  • Casts are easy to adjust
  • Has a powerful drag system
  • High-quality


  • Design can be confused with other models

10. Abu Garcia C4-6601 Ambassadeur Round Baitcast Fishing Reel

Probably, your expectations will be exceeded if you try to use this reel. From its throwing capacity alone, you will most likely be awed with more features that it can provide.

Having a 6-pin divergent brakes means that the reel can obtain a reliable brake pressure throughout the cast. 

abu garcia reels

This is particularly rated by the manufacturers to have a maximum drag setting of 15 pounds.

Being made with aluminum circles and carbon fiber gear, the C4-6601 ensures long-term use, so you don’t have to replace this oftentimes. Well, all the materials made therein are exceptional of high-quality, making it durable enough to withstand various conditions.

There is no question about the features of an ideal reel except for its cranking power that is slightly weaker compared to others on this list. While this is capable of catching fairly sized fish, catching larger fish may be a struggle.

This only means that if you’re angling with medium or shallow running crankbaits, this reel can provide you with incredible performance. It is not intended for a larger catch and overwhelming wrenching needs.

This reel is quite big; that is why you may find it hard to control it.

The standard-sized handle also gives you a normal feeling, so there is not much difference with the way the reel feels as you wrench the handle. But then, if you opt for this reel, you can get it at an affordable price, so there’s no harm to give it a try.


  • Ease of use
  • Affordable
  • Smooth operation
  • Effortless drag performance
  • High-quality, durable materials


  • Not very well suited to extremely large fish
  • Overall size is quite big compared to other

How to Choose the Best One Saltwater Baitcasting Reels

With so many options in the market, choosing the best reel for your fishing needs can be very tricky. You may want something durable, easy to use, and affordable, among other things. Of course, you should also make sure that you’ll be getting your money’s worth.

So before you go out and buy one for your next fishing trip, make sure it ticks all the features on this list.

    • Braking Systems

There are two types of braking systems-centrifugal and magnetic. A centrifugal brake system uses two to six pins that allow you to turn on and off the breaks. On the other hand, a magnetic braking system is based on a set of magnets that react to non-magnetic metals in the spool.

The principle behind this system is that when the magnets move nearer the spool, it will activate the breaks while moving them away from the spool will freely release them outside. Anyway, depending upon your needs and preferences, each type may have its benefits and drawbacks.

Baitcasting reels are made with the standard braking mechanism. This mechanism is intended to control how the spool pivots while casting it. It also keeps the spool from tangling.A good braking system will prevent the spool from swiveling too fast than the fishing line.

This will further give you an increasingly effective, accurate casting.

    • Line Capacity

Angling in deep waters is nearly impossible without enough line capacity. Thus, most saltwater fishermen need long lines. You will never know, but there is a great possibility to have a big catch if you go a little further, so make sure to have a line that has enough length.

Moreover, saltwater angling utilizes heavier lines. That is why you should opt for heavy-duty lines. Otherwise, they will be prone to breakage. And if it happens, your reel will be rendered useless. Anyway, the length is not very significant for freshwater, unlike when baitcasting in saltwater.

    • Bearings

Bearings are very essential as they help you get a more accurate cast and eliminate rotor back play. You should choose one that is suitable in any weather conditions as well as a reel that is corrosion-resistant so that you can use it throughout the year.

Moreover, this can make your throwing smooth and quick. It is very helpful in keeping your angling activity peaceful, precise, and simple. The number of bearings may differ from model to model. Normally, there are 9 to 11 orientations on a standard level angling reel.

The greater bearing your reel has, the more it can help in making your fishing skills better. That is why it is highly recommended to purchase one with more bearings.

    • Drag Power

If you want to go and capture the bigger game, then you should consider the drag power. A higher drag power means that you don’t have to exert too much force in pulling a large fish. Choose a drag power that is apt with your needs. But if you aim for smaller fish, drag power is not a significant factor.

    • Type of Materials

Perhaps, a reel that is made of high-grade heavy-duty aluminum is the most durable. Other reels are made of graphite, but the main issue with this is, of course, its sturdiness. Other materials aside from aluminum are not strong enough to give enough force for an ideal baitcasting.

If you ever want to ensure the longevity of your reel, focus on those products that are constructed with aluminum.

    • Reel Weight

Having a lightweight reel makes it easier for you to cast. It also helps lessen the strain when you’re going on long fishing sessions. Well, no one wants to carry extra and unnecessary weight because it might be tiring. But with a lightweight reel, you can relax and enjoy your fishing adventures.

    • Gear Ratio

This refers to the speed of the reel, and the usual proportion of the reel is between 5.4:1 and 7.1:1. It shows the number of turns the spool makes for every loop of the handle. For instance, if you have one with an assignment of 7:1:1, it simply means it has 7.1 loops with one turn of the handle.

Obviously, the higher the ratio, the more the turns it requires. That is why, with a proper gear ratio, it will be easier for you to use the tool.

    • Handle Size

Reels come in various handle estimates, and some are larger than others. If you already know where you will be using the reels, it will help you choose the right handle size. Of course, greater and longer handles produce more torque, so it’s important to focus on that.

    • Size and Strength of the Spool

A bigger spool is required for lines with larger lengths. Additionally, in saltwater circumstances, it is best to have a durable reel. This is because when you’re angling for a huge fish and when you caught one, you will need to lift it. If the reel is not durable enough to bear the weight of the fish, it will be damaged.

So to make sure you won’t lose your hard-earned catch, it’s important to get a reel with a heavy-duty spool.

    • Retrieve Rate

Retrieve rate refers to how rapidly the line can be recovered when you have to bring it back in. A higher rigging proportion will mean a quicker recovery rate. However, the speed and simplicity of the handle likewise have impacts on your retrieve rate.

    • Reel Handle Position

The position of the reel handle is very important as it may determine which hand you will be throwing and using to battle large fish. Some baitcasting reels bolster both hands throwing, while others do not offer the same, that is why you have to choose a right-gave or left-gave reel position.

    • Affordability 

Indeed, you want to make worthy purchases, and the same is true when you’re buying a reel. Make sure that its price is appropriate with the performance it offers. You wouldn’t want to overspend on something that can’t even do its job properly.

Just think of your fishing equipment as an investment. Make sure to always look at the quality first. A cheap reel that’s bound to break after just a few uses is pointless, and you’ll just end up wasting your money.

So in buying a reel, look for one that is durable and ensures longevity to prove that it is worthy in the long run. Choose wisely and always consider a product within your budget.

Best Saltwater Baitcaster? Lew’s Custom Inshore Speed Spool SLP Series Review

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are the most important queries regarding the best saltwater baitcasting reels:

1. How do I make sure that the lines don’t get tangled?

Usually, the line tangles either due to a problem with the reel or to the way you set it up. To avoid tangles, make sure that the spool is not overpacked. Most importantly, know the appropriate line length and thickness of the reel.

2. Is a baitcaster better than a spinning reel?

This will depend on your level of expertise. Beginners are usually not recommended to go straight ahead to using bait casters. Well, bait casters offer greater precision and drag power, and these are usually employed in catching larger fish easily.

3. What material is best for reels?

Stainless steel has an obvious advantage as it can give you a durable and corrosion-free reel. It’s also going to last longer with proper handling.

4. When is baitcasting reel appropriate?

You’ll need to use a baitcasting reel whenever you’re using heavy lures. It’s also the best choice if you want to get bigger catches.

5. Do I have to be a pro angler to use a bait caster reel?

You necessarily don’t need to be a pro. But you do need to have enough skills in your pocket because this is not that easy to use compared to other reels. Surely, with enough practice, you’re bound to get used to it.

Final Words

Of the myriad of reels discussed above, practice is still one of the key factors to ensure proper, accurate, and effective usage. The best saltwater baitcasting reel will surely suit your needs, and at the same time, improve your fishing skills to enhance your adventures.

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