When it comes to catching Bass, there is no piece of equipment as good as the baitcasting reel. A baitcaster reel offers control like no other type of reel and has a level of accuracy that makes catching Bass a breeze. But finding the perfect baitcasting reel for your fishing rod can be difficult.
If you don’t use the right reel, your entire fishing trip can be pointless and make a day wasted. Without the right reel, the chances of you catching any bass are very slim, which can cause endless frustration and anger. This is why finding the perfect baitcasting reel is so essential. We’ve put together this guide to the best baitcasting reel for bass, complete with everything you need to know about them and suggestions of the best options available on the market in 2022.
Baitcasting Reel: What is it?
Before we look at the critical components of a baitcasting reel that you need to think about when making a purchase, let’s quickly establish exactly what a baitcasting reel is.
A baitcasting reel is, of course, a type of fishing reel. Like all fishing reels, it is designed to be able to cast out the line, lure, and hook into the water, and also to be able to pull it back to shore when you get a bite on the bait (find the best buzz bait for bass here).
As we have said, this is true of all fishing reels, so you might wonder what makes baitcasting reels unique?’ and the answer is simple. It all lies in the design.
The baitcasting reel was first designed and constructed to sit on top of the rod alongside the rod guides if you aren’t aware of the rod guides, the metal holes, or the eyelets that the line is fed down through.
This is how the baitcasting reel differs from other traditional reels, as most fishing reels are designed to attach to the underside of the rod rather than the top where the baitcaster attaches.
This might seem like a minor difference, but the baitcasting reel’s placement on the rod makes it the superior option for fishing reels. This is because the placement improves both the distance and the accuracy of the reel, making it a much more popular choice.
A baitcasting reel also differs from other types of reels due to the design of the handle. The baitcasting reel is designed with a handle that makes it easier to control, which opens up the number of techniques that you can use to lure in your catch.
But even with full knowledge of what a baitcasting reel is, it can be challenging to understand why these are such a popular option for catching bass. However, the main reason that baitcasting reels are connected to bass is because of the larger spools in their design.
These larger spools can hold more reels, making them perfect for reeling in larger fish, like bass. So now that that is clear, let’s look at the differences between baitcasting and spinning reels.
When exploring the best baitcasting reel for bass on the market today, we considered essential things that beginner and experienced anglers should be aware of in quality reels.
- Ease of use
- A digital braking system, magnetic brake system, and/or centrifugal brakes
- Low-profile reel options with stainless steel parts
- Fishing line capacity and speed with a heavier line
- Smooth casting, an aluminum spool, and max drag
- Stainless steel ball bearings
- Affordable price or price range
What is the difference between Baitcasting and a Spinning Reel?
Even though the baitcasting reel is, without a doubt, the type of reel that is most associated with bass, there is another type of reel that some people choose when fishing bass. This is, of course, the spinning reel.
Despite this, many well-experienced bass anglers will not use the spinning reel. So why is it also associated with bass fishing? Well, the reason that the spinning reel is often associated with bass fishing is that this type of reel is commonly recommended to those who are beginners (learn about the parts of a spinning reel here) at fishing bass.
This is because the spinning reel (see the best ultralight spinning reels here) is more straightforward to master than the baitcasting reel, but even though they are similar, there are some significant differences between the two types of fishing reels.
We’ve just told you that the stand-out feature of the baitcasting reel is the size of its spool. So, it probably won’t surprise you that the spool is one of the main differences between a baitcasting and spinning reel. However, the differences in the reel between these two aren’t the size of the reel; instead, the method the reel uses to catch fish differs.
The spool on a baitcasting reel is pressed down when the line is released. Due to this, no other components of the reel have to be moved, removing the need for complex elements in the design.
When the spool is pressed, the line is cast out and released from the reel with the touch of a thumb. In contrast, the spinning reel has a different design. The user must release the line in a spinning reel by moving the bail arm, and unlocking the spool. Once the spool is opened, the line will cast out from the reel, ready to fish.
As well as this, there are a few other differences between the two types of fishing reels. One of these differences is the drag system. In a spinning reel, the drag system is controlled by buttons on the spool. In a baitcasting reel, a lever on the handle allows you to control the drag.
The braking system is the final significant difference between the two types of reels. Due to the braking system, it is recommended that beginners use a spinning reel rather than a baitcasting reel (learn about the best baitcaster for beginners here).
The braking system is easy to master and control on a spinning reel but not on the baitcasting reel. With a baitcasting reel, it is the user’s job to open the reel and manually set the breaks inside themselves, so it is easy to see why this is the more complex option.
With that covered, let’s now look at some of the main reasons why baitcasting reels are seen as the better option for fishing bass.
Advantages of Baitcasting Reels
We’ve compared the baitcasting reel to a spinning reel, but now let’s take a look at what makes baitcasting reels so good. After all, this is the most popular type of reel for bass fishing, so there have to be outstanding factors that make it the best, indeed?
Of course, there are, and in general, all of these good things surround one main factor of the baitcasting reel: the casting ability.
Due to its unique design, the baitcasting reel has better control and speed than other reel types. This is incredibly important when it comes to the cast. The speed and control in the design of the baitcasting reel make it more effective in reaching areas that are traditionally hard to reach.
This allows your casting to be more precise, increasing the chance of catching the bass you want to reach.
As well as having excellent accuracy when casting, the design of the reel also allows you to bring in any fish that take the bait quickly. Speed is one of the main selling points of the baitcasting reel, as it will enable you to cast out many more times during one fishing session than other types of fishing reels.
This is great for fishing bass, as a big part of this task is simply locating the fish in the water, that’s, without trying to catch them.
Another excellent thing about the baitcasting reel is its ability to handle heavier lines and lures, which most other fishing reels cannot. This is very important for fishing bass due to the areas of water where they commonly live.
Many basses tend to live in water areas with a heavy cover which can cause thinner lines to snag and tangle in the weeds. Thicker lines will withstand the greenery that lives beneath the water, allowing you to use a baitcasting reel to catch bass in their prime location.
Finally, all of these combined features make the baitcasting reel more sensitive than other reel types. Sensitivity is critical when it comes to catching fish, especially bass. It also allows you to use various fishing techniques, which increases the chance of catching these fish even further.
So it is clear to see why the baitcasting reel is such a popular choice for bass fishing, but it seems only fair that we take a look at the areas where the baitcasting reel doesn’t work.
Disadvantages of Baitcasting Reels
It is clear that baitcasting reels have many great features, but nothing is perfect. Due to this, some areas of the baitcasting reel aren’t that great, so let’s look at what they are.
Ironically, the best feature of the baitcasting reel is also one of the main components that can cause this reel to be wrong: the casting ability. As we mentioned earlier, the cast of a baitcasting reel is the reel’s best feature as it is totally unlike any other type of reel that exists.
But, as we also stated, casting the baitcasting reel can take some getting used to, and it is because of this that the cast can cause a baitcasting reel to be seen as ‘bad.’
If you are a beginner at fishing, then the chances of you being able to master the baitcasting reel are slim. Aside from beginners’ luck, getting any results from the baitcasting reel takes a lot of practice, even for the most experienced anglers.
This is because the baitcasting reel operates utterly different from any other reel.
Unlike other fishing reels, the baitcasting reel requires a particular method to cast it correctly. In this, you must use both your thumb and a flipping method to move the rod forward to release the spool. This might seem like an easy thing, but as soon as you get that rod in your hand, it is clear that this is very difficult.
Even the most experienced fishermen regularly encounter tangles and other issues when they first use a baitcasting reel, and this is only increased if you lack fishing experience.
This is why beginners at bass fishing are pushed towards other fishing reels, such as the spinning reel, rather than the baitcasting reel. Due to the difficulty level of this reel, it is almost impossible for beginners to successfully catch any bass with it until they get experience, which can be incredibly frustrating and can put people off attempting bass fishing again.
As well as the casting ability, it is also worth noting that baitcasting reels tend to be more expensive than other reels due to their ability, which can be off-putting to some people. Also, as you would expect from the complex design of this type of reel, it requires quite a lot of maintenance which some people will also see as a disadvantage.
As you can see, the main issue with the baitcasting reel is also its main benefit, so it all lies in your view. If you are a beginner at fishing, the cast of the baitcasting reel might be off-putting, but if you are well-experienced in fishing, then this will be a good thing. Now that we’ve covered that let’s take a quick look at the key features you need to consider before buying a baitcasting reel.
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
Our favorite baitcasting reel on the market is the KastKing Royale Legend II Baitcasting Reel. One of the key features of this reel is its compact design which is great for two reasons.
The first is that it can be easily slotted into your fishing kit without adding any weight for you to carry, and the other is that it makes this reel easier to control and more comfortable to hold when fishing for bass.
As well as having a compact design, this reel also has a double bearing design which ensures that this device is more durable and also ensures that it has a smoother cast when it is being used. Finally, the braking system of this reel is excellent.
It uses an eight-button magnetic design that can take some getting used to, but once you master it, it can control the line in all weather conditions, including high winds. So with all this in mind, it’s clear that this is one of the best baitcasting reels for bass on the market.
- Compact Design – This means that this reel can easily fit into your fishing kit and make it more comfortable to hold and control when fishing bass.
- Double Bearing Design – enhanced design at a cheaper price allows this device to be more durable and smoother when casting out to catch bass.
- Magnetic Braking System – new and unique eight buttons magnetic braking system gives you better control over the line when casting out in windy conditions.
- No notable drawbacks
We also love the Abu Garcia Black Max Low Profile Baitcasting Reel. The thing that we love the most about this baitcasting reel is its lightweight design. Lightweight isn’t necessarily a good thing for some components of your fishing equipment, but for the reel, it is.
To create this lightweight design, the reel is constructed using graphite which is very durable but also very light, allowing you better control over the reel without your hands tiring. As well as being comfortable due to its lightweight design, this baitcasting reel also has an ergonomic grip which enhances this.
This ergonomic design consists of a bent handle and a recessed reel, making the reel’s handle smaller, allowing for better comfort and more control every time you use it to catch bass. With all of this, plus an impressive MagTrax Braking system for even more control, considered, it is obvious that this is one of the baitcasting reels that you can buy for catching bass.
- Lightweight Design – side plates and frame of the reel are constructed with graphite giving excellent durability without the heaviness accompanying other metals.
- MagTrax Braking System – gives an increased range and better accuracy every time you cast the line, making fishing for bass a much easier experience.
- Ergonomic Grip – utilizes a bent handle and recessed reel to provide a compact and ergonomic grip that will provide better comfort and control over the reel and the rod.
- No notable drawbacks
Another great option by KastKing is the Spartacus I and II Baitcasting Reel. The best thing about this KastKing design is that it utilizes new technology to improve this reel’s casting ability and control.
With a five-button magnetic braking system and a tapered line guide, this baitcasting reel allows you to catch even the largest of bass with ease, which is more than enough for you to be able to overlook the slight squeak that this device makes when in use.
This new technology also extends to corrosion-resistant ball bearings and other components, making this device an excellent investment because of its brilliant durability. If that wasn’t enough, it also has a sleek and stylish lightweight design which makes it comfortable to use. So there’s no doubt that this is one of the best options on the market.
- Dynamic Design – gives this reel a sleeker look and a lighter weight allowing for a better cast and better control when reeling in your catch.
- Durable – corrosion-resistant ball bearings, spool, and handle ensure that this reel will withstand the wet wear and tear of fishing and last for years to come
- New Technology – 5 buttons magnetic braking system and tapered line guide provide control to this reel unlike any other, allowing you to reel in the largest fish with ease
- It Squeaks – the design makes a squeaky noise occasionally when in use.
You should also consider the Piscifun Phantom Baitcasting Reel. This is another lightweight design that doesn’t compromise strength or durability. Even though this is a featherweight baitcasting reel, you don’t have to worry about damaging or breaking prematurely.
You also don’t have to worry about the lightweight design limiting your control over the reel. It comes with an easily adjustable centrifugal braking system that gives enhanced control over the device. This allows you to catch your bass and easily reel them in, ensuring that you will get a catch if you get a bite on your bait.
Finally, this reel offers a wonderful performance due to the great gear ratio that it has. This ratio means that this device can offer an accurate cast and allow you to catch a cast for long distances, which increases the chances of you catching bass significantly. So with all this considered, there’s no question that this is one of the best options if you want a baitcasting reel to catch bass.
- Light but Strong – featherweight design ensures that this device is light in your hands and does so without compromising the strength and durability of the reel
- Excellent Performance – brilliant gear ratio means that this reel can offer both accurate and long-distance casting to help you catch bass easier
- Great Control – centrifugal braking system can be easily adjusted when necessary to help you catch your bass and reel them in effortlessly.
- It Takes Time – while the braking system of this reel is excellent, it does take some practice to get used to using it.
Finally, we can’t forget about the SOOLF Baitcasting Fishing Reel. Despite its lower price point, this baitcasting reel is still incredibly durable, thanks to its design, instead of being made with multiple pieces of metal attached. This reel is instead constructed with a single piece of aluminum.
This means that there are no joins along the surface of the reel, which minimizes the risk of damage or corrosion. This is further supported by the fact that the aluminum used to construct the reel is both corrosion-resistant and climate-resistant so you know this is an investment that will last.
On top of this, the SOOLF Baitcasting Reel offers a smooth and accurate cast every time you use it, and it is also incredibly versatile. This versatile design means that you can use this reel to catch freshwater and saltwater fish and bass so there are no limits to this design. With all of this in mind, it is clear that this is one of the best options available.
- Durable Build – created with a single piece of aluminum that is both climate-resistant and corrosion-resistant to ensure this reel will last for years to come
- Versatile – includes three different drag washers for a drag power up to 17.5 pounds, allowing you not only to fish but other types of freshwater and saltwater fish too.
- Smooth and Accurate – includes a 7 point magnetic braking system and an excellent gear ratio ensuring that every cast is both smooth and accurate so that you will always be able to get a catch
- Quality Equivalent to Price – you get what you pay for; this is a budget baitcasting reel, so you shouldn’t expect expensive quality.
Best Baitcasting Reel for Bass Buying Guide
Things to Consider before buying a Baitcasting Reel
To help you decide whether or not a baitcasting reel is a suitable option for you, we’ve put together this helpful buyer’s guide full of all the key things you need to consider before you buy a baitcasting reel. This buyer’s guide will help you decide whether or not a baitcasting reel is right for you and help ensure you buy the best type of baitcasting reel available.
Build Material – you must consider the build material of the reel as this will dictate the device’s durability. As you will probably expect, most baitcasting reels are constructed of metal, but the type of metal they are made of is significant.
Generally, baitcasting reels tend to be constructed of cast aluminum, machined aluminum, or graphite, which are durable and last. But some baitcasting reels are made of weaker metals to have a lower price point. As we have said, baitcasting reels tend to be expensive, so it is essential that you invest your money into one that will last.
Spool Size – the spool of the baitcasting reel is one of the most important components of the device, so you must consider the size of the spool before you purchase a reel. As well as considering the size of the spool, you also need to think about the line and lure you want to use, as this will impact the correct spool size that you should buy.
Usually, you will have two options for spool size: small and large. Smaller spools tend to be more popular if portability is important to you, but they significantly restrict your line, limiting your ability to catch bass. Whereas larger spools can handle more lines, allowing you to cast out further and increasing the chance of catching a fish.
As you can see, it is generally accepted that a larger spool is better, but there are some circumstances where you might prefer to buy a smaller spool. So you must consider your situation before making a purchase.
Brake System – finally, you need to think about the brake system of the baitcasting reel you are considering buying. As we said earlier, the brake system of the baitcasting reel makes it difficult for beginners to use this system, but you can make the braking system easier to control depending on the type you buy.
The best baitcasting reels will have a brake system that can easily be set in the reel’s body via a spool tension knob or another component. This knob is usually found on the reel’s handle, giving the user easy access to the braking system when they need to use it.
There are other braking systems that you will find in baitcasting reels, including magnetic or centrifugal braking systems. Still, generally, baitcasting reels that use a tension knob as a brake are the best option if you want to control the device easily.
Now that we have covered all of the critical things you need to know before buying a baitcasting reel to catch bass, let’s look at some of the best baitcasting reels that money can buy.
Final Thoughts on the Best Baitcasting Reel for Bass
In short, this is your complete guide to baitcasting reels for bass, full of all the information you need to know about baitcasting reels with suggestions of some of the best options currently available on the market.
So if you need a new baitcasting reel for bass, this guide will help you get the perfect one for you!