There are many models and styles of reels on the market today. All will perform the basic function of sending out a lure or bait and then retrieving it. However, many professional anglers prefer to use a style of reel called a baitcasting reel. It can make casting and retrieving easier when throwing baits for longer periods of time. The problem with baitcasting reels is that they have a steep learning curve on learning how to use it.
Baitcasting reels are notorious for being difficult to learn. And simple mistakes can turn a day of fishing into a nightmare of twisted and tangled fishing line around your baitcasting reel. This is known as a birds nest on the reel and if you’re a beginner, bird nests on baitcasting reels are all too common. Getting the best baitcasting reel for beginners can help you avoid these bird nests and days of frustration with tangled line. We’ll take a look at some of the top models and which is best for your fishing adventure.
Best Baitcasting Reel for Beginners
When selecting a baitcasting reel for your fishing adventures it’s best to try and target the most likely species of fish that you will be going for. For instance, if you will be using your baitcasting reel mainly for blue gill fishing then you won’t need a more hefty reel such as if you were fishing for larger fish such as Bass. It’s always best to use a reel that is just heavy enough to handle the largest fish of the species. While a few extra ounces may not seem like much, over a days time throwing and retrieving can really make a difference.
Another factor besides weight when choosing the best baitcasting reel is the gear ratio. The gear ratio is important because it informs you of how fast the reel will retrieve line. The most common gear ratios for baitcasting reels is 7.1:1, 6.4:1, and 5.3:1.
The gear ratio should be considered when choosing the bait you want to use. A lower gear ratio will allow you to move baits slower through the water while a higher ratio can be used for fast moving baits such as top water baits. If you’re using the baitcasting reel for longer runs a higher gear ratio will allow you to retrieve the line faster as well.
Not only that but if you hook a fish, a lower gear ratio will make the retrieval of line easier.
Consider the Number of Bearings
Having a reel with ball bearings is a must. You may find low quality baitcasting reels that have sleeves instead of ball bearings which can quickly turn into a disaster. Even a professional angler will have trouble consistently throwing a baitcaster with sleeves instead of bearings. Always choose a ball bearing model for the best baitcasting reel for beginners. Typically, the number of bearing on average models is 6 or 7.
Materials that the baitcasting reel is also important. Plastic reels never hold up for long especially if you go fishing quite often. Metal such as steel and titanium are great but they can also become heavy after a day of casting. Aluminum reels have strength and usually have a lighter weight which is great especially if you’re planning on spending lots of time on the water.
So What is the Best Baitcaster for Beginners
With all things considered, we’ve listed some of the top baitcasting reels for beginners. Here they are in no specific order:
Abu Garcia Revo SX
The Abu Garcia Revo SX is a low profile baitcasting reel that is great for beginners. Made of stainless steel and carbon it is well balanced and only weighs a total of 8 ounces which makes it perfect for fishing long periods of time. It contains 9+1 steel ball bearings for smooth easy line retrieval and casting. It also has a magnetic braking system in place to help prevent backlash when casting. There are several gear ratios available on the Abu Garcia Revo models.
Abu Garcia Black Max
The Abu Garcia Black Max is a great baitcasting reel for beginners because of it’s exceptionally low price. It has many features which are found in higher quality baitcasting reels but at an affordable price. It is lightweight and only weighs in at 8.8 ounces and has 4 stainless steel ball bearing to help retrieve and cast line smoothly. It has a power disk system which helps braking for the spool of this reel and helps with the accuracy of casting.
Kastking Royale Legend
Looking for an easy to use and low cost baitcasting reel with many options to choose from? The Kastking Royale Legend may be just the reel for you. It has a very low profile compact design but packs a punch with it’s carbon fiber drag system which can handle over 17 pounds. It has a cross-fire magnetic braking system. Plus, it’s available in different gear ratios as well. Choose from models available in 5.4:1 and 7.2:1 gear ratios.
Abu Garcia Ambassadeur
While the low profile baitcasting reels can be great for beginners, some choose to have a round reel and the Abu Garcia Ambassadeur is one of the best round baitcasters. Although it’s a little heavier than other models here weighing in at 9.28 ounces it is very well balanced. It contains 4 steel ball bearing plus 1 roller bearing for smooth operation. The carbon matrix drag also provides pinpoint accuracy for setting your drag.
Goture Baitcasting Reel
With a max drag of over 18lb the Goture Baitcasting reel is one of the best baitcasting reels for beginners. It has a steel ball bearing roller with different gear ratios available. It also has a dual braking system with magnetic brakes to help reduce backlash with this reel.
How Can I Set Up a Baitcaster Reel?
Concerned about how to set up a baitcasting reel once you purchased? Setting up a baitcasting reel is very similar to any standard reel. Since baitcasting reels typically don’t have any line included the first thing you’ll need to do is spool on some line.
Depending on the type of fish you are targeting will determine the size and type of line. One thing you don’t want to do however is put too line on the reel or too little. Having a large spool may throw off the gear ratios and end up causing more of a chance of backlash on the reel.
In order to properly set up the baitcasting reel simply run the line through the eyelet on front of the reel and then tie the line to the spool. Some spools have a line guide directly in the center of the spool to tie the line to. Also the side of the baitcaster can sometimes be removed easily to remove the spool which can make attaching the line much easier.
Remove the tag end of the knot so that it doesn’t cause problems and hold some tension on the line with your fingers or use a reel spooler to add line to the reel.
What is the Advantage of a Bait Casting Reel?
The biggest advantage that you can have when using a baitcasting reel is control. You can better control the way your bait sinks and acts in the water. You can also cast more accurately when using ligher lures on your baitcaster reel. Since the baitcasting reel is typically not as heavy as comparable reels it makes it easier to use for longer periods of time. Low profile baitcasting reels also require less movement of fingers to properly operate the reels.
Can I use a Baitcasting Reel to Cast Out Far Enough While Surf Fishing or Will I Just Get Backlash?
While a baitcasting reel can be used in almost any condition it’s best used for smaller fish which are usually considered fresh water fish. If you decide to use a baitcasting reel for saltwater and are surf fishing you may run into lots of problems. The wind is usually always a factor when surf fishing and typically you’ll always be casting into the wind. When using a baitcasting reel to cast long distances this can be very problematic. While it can be done, you’ll likely have a much better time using a spinning reel.
What Size Reel Should a Beginner Purchase for Inshore Saltwater Fishing
When comparing the different baitcasting reels it’s best to look for models which can handle the fish you are targeting. Inshore saltwater fishing for smaller fish can be a great way to use a baitcasting reel. Larger reels can be much better for larger fish but it’s best to pay closer attention to the amount of drag that can be used on the reel. If you are targeting larger fish you may want to look for a larger drag on the baitcasting reel that you are considering.
Are Expensive Fishing Reels Worth It?
We’ve all heard the old adage, you get what you pay for. For the most part that’s true but there are some great baitcasting reels that are good for beginners which are relatively inexpensive. In fact, some of the models we’ve listed above are less than $50. If you’re a beginner that is just starting out using baitcasting reels it’s probably a good idea to start with a more inexpensive model.