Best Saltwater Baitcasting Reels in 2019 | Expert Reviews

You cannot confront an enemy with a tank and a huge army with just a basic gun, two even. Well, you can confront him but you cannot win. Similarly, when you are targeting the larger species, spinning reels won’t be enough for you. In fact, you might think that if you are highly skilled you will be able to catch your targets with a basic reel. However, it is necessary for your equipment to be upgraded to your skill level. You need the perfect platform to use your accuracy and strength, don’t you?

Now, you are probably out of your beginner phase in fishing and looking to fish the larger species. Your previous reel will neither be able to handle the weight and strength of those nor be able to provide you with the control you need. It will be dysfunctional long before that. So, what you need now is a baitcasting reel. It not only provides you with more strength but better accuracy and control while casting. However, if you do not select it properly, chances are that the spinning reel will perform better than it. The task is even harder when you plan to use it in saltwater. So, in order to get your hands on the best saltwater baitcasting reels, gain knowledge about each of its part and functions and choose deliberately.

10 Best Saltwater Baitcasting Reels in 2019:

1. ​Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel

Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel

The best reels out there make everything easy for you before the task, during the task and also after the task. Keeping that in mind, the Piscifun Torrent reel has earned one of our top places with its quality, service, and efficiency. What it provides you before you start fishing is ease of use and assurance of a great performance. It will earn your confidence with its durable and string build of carbon fiber. You will feel comfortable holding it thanks to its low-profile build that does not weigh much. It features 5+1 bearings made of brass which assures you smooth performance and minimum troubles. You can adjust it easily with the drag system. Furthermore, you will have maximum control and resistance to bird nests with the magnetic brake system that you can control with the help of a dial gauge. As for performance, you will be able to retrieve your lines very fast as the reel has a gear ratio of 7.1:1. Furthermore, you will never again be worried about catching the fighting fishes with this reel thanks to the 18lbs drag.

 If you are worried about the pressure on your hand, you have the protective and comfortable layer of EVA foam handle to keep you going for hours. Finally, you can easily take care of this reel after using it even in saltwater. The magnetic brake system has a removable side to allow you to clean it easily. Moreover, you can oil the reel quickly and conveniently using the oil-port design by just unscrewing it and pouring the oil in.

Pros

  • ​​Dial gauge for adjusting the brake pressure makes it easy to use.
  • ​​Convenient star drag system.
  • ​​High speed with a gear ratio of 7.1:1.
  • ​​​Strong builds of carbon fiber.
  • ​​​Smooth brass bearings.
  • ​​​​EVA foam handle.
  • ​​​​​Oil port design and removable side for maintenance.
  • ​​​​​Reasonable price.

Cons

  • ​​It has a line winding shaft that does not work in free spool mode.
  • ​​​​Many complained it to be noisy.
  • ​​​The release button often gets locked and becomes dysfunctional.

2. ​KastKing Speed Demon 9.3:1 Baitcasting Fishing Reel

KastKing Speed Demon 9.3:1 Baitcasting Fishing Reel

The Speed demon is exactly what it sounds like, very speedy. If you are dealing the larger species and you want to have greater chances of catching it, you have to retrieve it as fast as possible when it is lured. The Speed Demon with a gear ratio of 9.3:1 allows you to exactly that alongside becoming one of the speediest baitcasting reels there is. Furthermore, it’s not just the speed but the strength that is necessary as well. With a carbon fiber star drag system of 13.2 lbs, it provides you with the pressure you need as well. You would expect the line to get stuck or some kind of mishap to accompany this much speed and power, but the 12+1 corrosion-resistant, shielded ball bearings keep it going smoothly.

Apart from that, you will have good control over your casts with the magnetic brake system that can be adjusted easily. The high-torque handle it features is also very efficient, large and comfortable to use as it is made from EVA foam. You will rarely lose your preys with this high-speed reel that has a good line and weight capacity as well.

Pros

  • ​​​High speed with a gear ratio of 9.3:1.
  • ​​​Efficient and strong drag power.
  • ​​​The high number of ball bearings that are corrosion-resistant and shielded.
  • ​​​​Easy to adjust magnetic brake system.
  • ​​​​​Ergonomic EVA foam handle.
  • ​​​​​​Casts really far and smooth.

Cons

  • ​​The reel makes a squealing noise.
  • ​​​​It is prone to backlashes as the tuning mechanism in it is not very effective nor efficient.

3. Piscifun Perseus Low Profile Baitcasting Reel

Piscifun Perseus Low Profile Baitcasting Reel

If you want a baitcasting reel that can handle the large species you are after, this is the one. It will, apparently, amaze you with its quality and performance. With the three carbon fiber drag washers with an 18.5 lbs drag, you can barely act weak when fighting with fishes triple to quadruple the reel’s size. Furthermore, the gear ratio of 6.3:1 allows you to retrieve the fish from obstacle-filled areas at the speed you need. The brass ball bearings will make these successful casts even more smooth for you with their number. In fact, there are 5+1 bearings to keep you going smoothly.

Controlling and adjusting the reel is a breeze as well with its brake system that utilizes both the centrifugal and magnetic ways. Furthermore, you get the double line winding shafts to keep those lines working stably and smoothly. Lastly, you will look forward toward the regular maintenance as it is so easy with the oil hole that the reel harbors in the side plate. Although most customers praised how it never creates any backlash issue, a few unlucky customers only complained of facing backlash each time they cast.

Pros

  • ​​​Great quality builds with a powerful drag system.
  • ​​​Delivers smooth performance.
  • ​​​The ergonomic handle is comfortable and also helps you to keep balance.
  • ​​​​Casts well.
  • ​​​​Easy to maintain.
  • ​​​​Good speed.
  • ​​​​​Durable.

Cons

  • ​​​Backlash errors for some.
  • ​​​​Started making noise after a few uses for some customers.
  • ​​​​The quality is not consistent for all the reels.

4. ​Abu Garcia BMAX3 Max Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel

Abu Garcia BMAX3 Max Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel

Looking for the closest to perfect casting experience? Although a lot depends on your skills, the BMAX3 is somewhat well capable of giving you the near-perfect casting experience. How? By providing you with better control over your casts. While you get a smooth and strong power drag system with this reel, you also get a MagTrax Brake system. This does not just broaden your range but also improves the accuracy of your casts. So, you get a better control over how you are casting. Apart from that, the reel has a graphite frame with a machined aluminum spool.

Moreover, you get four stainless steel ball bearings to keep things smooth and trouble-free. The power, quality, and durability are not as good as the previous ones we mentioned but you get the performance that you pay for. One more great thing about this reel is the comfort it allows you to have for long-term sessions. The ergonomic handle is bent to provide you a better feel.

Pros

  • ​​​​Accurate, easy to adjust and long-range magnetic brake system.
  • ​​​​Efficient power drag system.
  • ​​​​Well-built with quality materials.
  • ​​​​​Comfortable to use thanks to the handle.
  • ​​​​​Smooth action.
  • ​​​​​​Reasonably priced.

Cons

  • ​​​​Not the most durable reel as it often stops working properly after a certain period of time.
  • ​​​​​You might have initial backlash troubles.

5. Piscifun NEW Phantom Carbon Baitcasting Reel

Piscifun NEW Phantom Carbon Baitcasting Reel

If holding the reel for longer hours is an issue for you, it won’t stay one. The Phantom claims itself to be the most lightweight baitcasting reel weighing only 5.7 oz. However, that does not reduce its strength in any way. The lightweight is due to the carbon fiber and low-profile construction. With its max drag of 17 lbs, you can easily stop any big fighting fish. Moreover, you can control the pressure and also cast according to your wish by using the centrifugal plus magnet brake system which is super easy to use. Furthermore, the gear ratio of 7:1 with 6+1 ball bearings backing it up for smoothness provides you with a winning speed.

You will feel assured of its quality through its clever builds with CNC hollow spool, double anodized main gear, titanium line guides, and many more. Apart from that, you will feel the control you have more through the carbon crank handles that will provide you with the leverage and power needed.

Pros

  • ​​​​​Powerful carbon fiber drag system.
  • ​​​​​Smooth performance and retrieval.
  • ​​​​​Easy to use and adjust the brake system accurately.
  • ​​​​​​Very lightweight.
  • ​​​​​​Good-quality.
  • ​​​​​​​Great speed.

Cons

  • ​​​​​The trouble with the cast button after a few uses.
  • ​​​​​​Some complain that it has a cheap feel and also cheap parts.

6. KastKing Stealth Baitcasting Reel

KastKing Stealth Baitcasting Reel

Remember when you had learned not to make assumptions by seeing the size of things? The Stealth reel will provide you a revision of that lesson. Apparently, this is one of the most lightweight baitcasting reels you will ever find. However, it loses none of its strength or precision with the lightweight thanks to the clever design it has. The factor that contributes most to its lightweight yet strong builds is the materials involved. While the majority of the carbon construction maintains its lightweight, the other parts like the aero grade aluminum bearings, gears, and washers keep it strong and smooth.

In fact, weighing only around 6 oz it has a max drag of 16.5 LB so you can catch that fighting fish without any hesitation. Furthermore, it has a gear ratio of 7:1 with 11 bearings that keep it performing at a high speed smoothly. You will be able to adjust the dual brakes easily as well thanks to the 7-pin structure.

Pros

  • ​​​​​​One of the most lightweight baitcasting reels.
  • ​​​​​​Strong drag power.
  • ​​​​​​Smooth performance.
  • ​​​​​​Easy to adjust accurately.
  • ​​​​​​​Comfortable yet lightweight EVA handles.
  • ​​​​​​​Smooth action.
  • ​​​​​​​​Reasonably priced.

Cons

  • ​​​​​​​Uncertainty about durability.
  • ​​​​​​​Backlash occurrences.
  • ​​​​​​​The reel may get noisy after a few uses.

7. Daiwa Tatula Baitcasting Reels

Daiwa Tatula Baitcasting Reels

If you want to enjoy casting to its best at an affordable price then the Tatula would be a good choice. You will enjoy holding and using this reel all day long thanks to its lightweight and ease of control. Apparently, you will find it quite easy to adjust and very accurately too with its Magfroce-Z cast control. The control it will be providing you backed by its maximum drag of 13.2 lbs is everything you need for that perfect cast. Furthermore, with seven ball bearings which include a roller bearing working in its nook and crannies, you will barely face problems. The 5.4:1 gear ratio paired up with the corrosion-resistant clutch system enables you to have an incredible speed of this level.

With an aluminum frame and side plate and a carbon drag system, this baitcasting reel won’t leave you alone and disappointed anytime soon. Furthermore, the 90 mm power handle makes you feel comfortable both with its feel and reduced weight. The most probable problem that you might face with this reel is when retrieving the line.

Pros

  • ​​​​​​​Lightweight yet strong.
  • ​​​​​​​Easy to control accurately.
  • ​​​​​​​Good drag power.
  • ​​​​​​​Casts far.
  • ​​​​​​​Quite smooth.
  • ​​​​​​​Corrosion-resistant.
  • ​​​​​​​​Suitable for saltwater.
  • ​​​​​​​​Comfortable to use.
  • ​​​​​​​​​Reasonable price.

Cons

  • ​​​​​​​​May get stuck when retrieving the line.
  • ​​​​​​​​Gets noisy over time.
  • ​​​​​​​T​The drag can be hard to turn.

8. KastKing Spartacus Plus Baitcasting Fishing Reel 

KastKing Spartacus Plus Baitcasting Fishing Reel

Once you set this reel properly, you are good to go and conquer big fishes all day as gallantly as Spartacus himself. The old man would be proud of seeing you do it. Apparently, this reel harbors a powerful 17.5 lbs drag system of carbon fiber in it. Therefore, while you enjoy the strength of the reel to the fullest you can still feel comfortable holding its lightweight for hours. Furthermore, in order to help you cast properly, accurately, and far, it features a dual brake system which is very easy to adjust and control. Now, that you have a perfect strength and cast for your preys, you need the efficiency. And, Spartacus ensures efficiency with its 11+1 ball bearings that keep everything going smoothly and also its strong build.

 In fact, this reel features CNC machined aluminum spools that are not just lightweight but also strong and brass gears. Furthermore, its gear ratio of 6.3:1 provides you with the perfect balance between too slow and too fast for catching the big fishes.

Pros

  • ​​​​​​​Powerful drag system.
  • ​​​​​​​The dual brake system that is easy to adjust and control.
  • ​​​​​​​Ball bearings to keep the reel efficient.
  • ​​​​​​​Good-quality builds.
  • ​​​​​​​​Corrosion-resistance makes it good for saltwater.
  • ​​​​​​​​Just the right amount of speed.
  • ​​​​​​​​​Comfortable and lightweight cork handles.

Cons

  • ​​​​​​​Some found the plastic parts to be of low-quality and not durable.
  • ​​​​​​​​A few customers found it difficult to adjust the brakes.
  • ​​​​​​​​​Noisy.

9. Abu Garcia Pro Max Low Profile Baitcasting Fishing Reel

Abu Garcia Pro Max Low Profile Baitcasting Fishing Reel

If you want to start fishing with a baitcasting reel and enter the higher skill levels with just one reel, this would be a good reel to choose. Apparently, the Pro Max does not offer you professional level features but what it offers works well for developing your skills. With its power disk drag system, you cannot always go after the larger species but you can fish the moderate-sized once quite easily. What you will surely have is adequate control over your casts thanks to the MagTrax brake system. In fact, it allows you not only to cast farther but also more accurately. The seven stainless steel bearings will work efficiently to makes your retrieves smooth.

Apart from that, the overall build of the reel is quite good and durable. For example, the machined double-anodized aluminum spool makes it suitable for saltwater fishing and yet last longer. On the other hand, it is very comfortable to use too. You get the graphite frame and sides to reduce the overall weight and also the EVA handles to provide comfort. However, not all of its parts, specifically the joints are very strong and durable.

Pros

  • ​​​​​​​​A decent reel for beginners to use regularly to reach higher levels.
  • ​​​​​​​​Moderately powerful drag.
  • ​​​​​​​​Accurately controllable brake system to provide consistent pressure.
  • ​​​​​​​​Suitable for saltwater.
  • ​​​​​​​​​Quite durable.
  • ​​​​​​​​​Comfortable to use.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​Casts far and smoothly.

Cons

  • ​​​​​​​​​​A bit overpriced.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​The handles are not very durable and when it is, it is not very effective.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​Provides a cheap feel.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​Might be a bit noisy.

10. ​YONGZHI Fishing Reels

YONGZHI Fishing Reels

Looking for a budget-friendly reel that will just provide you with better than an average performance than this is a good option to have. This is definitely not the best but it’s better than average. In fact, this low-profile reel with a max drag of 16.5 lbs is a great reel to keep with yourself for moderate-heavy species. Yeah, it is best to avoid the larger and heavier fishes with this one. The features that will amaze you most about this reel are the smooth retrieve and its power. When you are after the right species, you will see how easily it applies pressure with the star drag system to bring them in. Furthermore, you can adjust the brake system to control the range and pressure of your casts. The 11+1 bearings also make these actions worth it with the smoothness they provide.

While it is corrosion-resistant and suitable for saltwater, you might at times find the drag to be sticky. Moreover, backlash and birds’ nests may occur even if you take full preparation. Apart from that, it does not have clear instructions on how to use it which might pose a problem for beginners. As we mentioned, this is a decent budget-friendly reel that will amaze you in a few sectors while disappointing you in others.

Pros

  • ​​​​​​​​Smooth performance.
  • ​​​​​​​​Casts well and also retrieve well.
  • ​​​​​​​​Moderate speed and power for catching medium-sized species.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​Corrosion-resistant.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​Accurate and easy to control brake system.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​Affordable.

Cons

  • ​​​​​​​​​​The drag tends to be sticky at times.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​Birds’ nests may occur.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​No clear instructions about how to use it.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​Not the best for heavier species.

Buying Guides For The Best Saltwater Baitcasting Reels

Reels are the mechanical part of the rods and if they are inefficient, your whole fishing trip will be fruitless. Keep the following in mind and chances are that you will have the best in your hand:

1. Why You Need It:

Yes, we know, you definitely need it for fishing. The question here is what kind of fishing? Are you actually planning to fish for the larger species or are you hoping to fish for ultralight and light species more easily and speedily with it? If the lighter fishes are your target then baitcasting reels are a big no. With its strength an accuracy you will end up having more trouble using it for something it was not meant to be used for. Therefore, when you target larger species like bass, trouts, and others then you can get the most out of your baitcasting reel.

2. Your Experience And Skills:

If you are a beginner, spinning reels will suit your better than baitcasting reels due to their ease of use. However, if you are still targeting the larger species, it’s best to take the baitcasting reel with you. While it may be more difficult to control and may require more skills than what a spinning reel does, it performs really well once mastered. What you can do is look for certain features that you think will provide you with ease as a beginner. For example, since the braking features will be a new thing when you use a baitcasting reel, you should emphasize more on its ease of use and quality than other features.

Another consideration that comes with your experience level is your budget. The more you are on the beginner side, the less you should spend just to be sure and develop your skills. Because your heart will sting when that expensive reel is destroyed due to amateur handling. On the other hand, it’s not always necessary for experts to break their banks to buy a high-quality reel. You can just look for the best ones within your ‘moderately’ set budget.

3. The Shape And Weight Of The Reel:

Apparently, there is not much difference in the shape of the reel as most of them are round or near round. It’s mostly the weight that differs. The traditional round reels are heavier and bigger in size than the recently developed low profile reels.

In fact, if you want to feel the weight and catch even heavier fishes the round model is the better option. Moreover, they usually have all metal parts which make them corrosion-resistant. So, it is safer to use the round reels for saltwater.

On the other hand, if weight and comfort are issues, the low-profile reels have shapes and designs that contribute to reducing their weights. While they are easier to cast, they cannot handle larger species well nor can they handle saltwater well.

4. The Number And Quality Of Bearings:

The basic and simple rule, in this case, is to look for reels with a higher number of bearings. Apparently, bearings are what aid the spool when spinning. So, when it comes to smoothness and speed, they have a major contribution. Apart from that, you have to check the quality of the bearing as well. The higher number will be useless if the bearings break or malfunction. It’s not just the material you should check but also check for extra features like if it’s sealed or doubled sealed, etc.

5. The Drag System:

What exactly does the strength or resistance with which you pull the fighting fish depend on? Mostly on the drag of the reel. Its quality and capability determine how much pressure it can provide you with to hold and bring in the fighting fish. If you do not want to lose your line along with your prey then make sure that the drag is highly efficient and effective with enough capacity to deal with the large species.

You might also come across two types of drag systems- the star drags and the knob drags. Apparently, the star drags are easier to control than the knob drags.

6. Centrifugal Or Magnetic Braking System:

You might be wondering where did a braking system come from in this discussion about fishing reels. Well, the braking system is a special feature of the baitcasting reel which allows you to have better control over the casting. You are ought to experience tangles and bird nests when dealing with baitcasting reels, that’s a fact. However, the braking system helps to reduce the number of occurrences.

What centrifugal braking systems do is apply pressure by pressing pins to create resistance. Since friction is involved, there is both a pro and a con. You will get better control, accuracy, and pressure with it but the increased friction will lead to early decay. On the other hand, the magnetic braking system uses magnets to create resistance. While it does not create friction and is fairly strong, it is not always accurate or even functional. Ultimately, it totally depends on you, which risks you are willing to invest in.

7. The Handles:

Since you will be fishing for quite a while, a little irritation can weigh a lot. Therefore, in order to make sure your body is comfortable while fighting with the giants, your ally (reel) should support you. How? With a comfortable handle! The problem with baitcasting reels is that the can only be one-handed. If you want it to be right-handed, you can not use your left hand to do the same job. So, decide which hand you are more comfortable using and choose accordingly.

Apart from that, the handle should feel soft yet sturdy, shouldn’t it? Apparently. baitcasting wheels normally have a paddle-wheel design. This helps to keep the weight balanced and also provide better efficiency when being used or removed. It is best if the handle is as light as it can be and large enough to be comfortable. You can look for reels with handles of EVA foam or cork.

8. Line Guides And Flipping Switches:

These are not always there with a reel but if you want it, you just have to pay a bit more but you can enjoy a lot more and longer. If you are easily irritated with tangles and inaccuracy, the line guides are a must for you. What they do is keep your reel operation as smooth and trouble-free as possible by guiding the line perfectly.

Flipping switches allow you to re-engage the spool even if it was set free just now. While it’s not a necessity, it does provide you with more flexibility.


Benefits Of Buying Baitcasting Reels For Saltwater

There are reasons why you would want or need to shift from using any other reel to using a baitcasting one. You will probably want to for the following benefits of buying the best saltwater baitcasting reels:

Better Accuracy:

While you can be accurate using other reels, baitcasting reels provide you with better control over your casts so that you can use your skills to cast with better accuracy. For example, you have more control over your spool’s speed with a brake system.

Longer Distance:

 You will often want to cast far and a baitcasting reel can help you do that if you loosen it enough.

More Drag Pressure:

When you are fighting with bigger fishes, you need more drag pressure. Baitcasting reels are capable of providing you with more rag pressure than spinning reels.

Better Line Handling: 

If you need to handle thicker and longer lines, only baitcasting reels can do it for you without causing a worry.

Higher Speed:

You can retrieve your line faster with baitcasting reels.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q. How To Prevent The Lines From Getting Tangled?

Answer: Line tangles will generally occur if there is something wrong with either the reel itself or how you set it. In order to avoid manually caused tangles, keep in mind the following. Firstly, make sure that you have not overfilled the spool with line. Secondly, use the right length and thickness of the line for the reel. Finally, wind it around the spool without tangles.

Final notes

You are looking for more accuracy and control when you are buying a baitcasting reel. Therefore, in order to ensure that you get better quality and performance, you have to make sure that the reel provides you with what you demand, has the required specifications and finally, actually delivers the value.

If you do not consider each of these three points, you will never be satisfied with your reel unless you are miraculously lucky.

So, if you want to end up with the best saltwater baitcasting reels for yourself, be a clever buyer and have no fear or shame when judging mercilessly.