Best Baitcasting Reels Under 100$ – My Top 11 Reviewed in Detail
As with all hobbies, you should continuously hone your skills and strive for perfection. Do you want to know the best way to get more skilled at fishing? The answer is simple: by using the appropriate equipment like Baitcasting Reels. What’s that? Did you hear about them before? You think you don’t have enough experience or that your budget makes it impossible to upgrade fishing gear just yet?
Don’t fret! Using my guide, you’ll find the best Baitcasting reels under $100 and get your fishing skills to the next level! So, what are Baitcasting Reels, and what makes them so popular among professional anglers? Let’s find out.
How Baitcasting Reel Works?
Many fishermen are indeed too afraid to tackle baitcasting reels. At the same time, professionals prefer it. Why are bait-casters better, you might ask? Let’s start with the basics. To put it simply, a bait caster is a reel that you place on top of a casting rod. It consists of the drag, the braking system, and the spool tension knob. The mechanism is basically the same in all reels. Still, there are variants for left-handed and right-handed anglers, as well as low-profile and round versions.
By tightening this part of the mechanism, you can regulate the tension on the line while you fight fish.
The level-wind allows fishermen to distribute the line evenly on the spool by guiding it from the left to right side of the reel.
The braking system is quite similar to the brake system in cars. It’s responsible for the rotation speed of your spool during casting. If you’re new to baitcasting reels and want to get accustomed to their “feel,” you’ll find it easier to experiment using more brakes.
Spool Tension Knob
This part is used to adjust the spool speed kind of like a braking system but to a much greater degree. If you want to become an expert angler, you’ll need to master these mechanisms. Except for level-wind because it’s optional. You can distribute the line using your thumb with some practice. Still, learning how to control braking, dragging, and a mastering spool tension knob separates amateurs from professionals.
Baitcasting Reels: Advantages and Differences
It’s no accident that professional anglers consider baitcasting to be the most advanced yet also advantageous type of reels. But is it better for amateurs? Not exactly. I consider baitcasting reels to be an advanced tool that requires a lot of practice to master. If you’re only starting to get the hang of the angling, then this type of reel may not the best choice for you.
However, in the hands of an experienced angler, baitcasting can make a huge difference compared to spin-cast reels. Want to know why? Then stick with us to the advantages and differences of baitcasting reels!
More advanced braking system. Want to quickly adjust the reel while fishing? No problem! With this reel, you’ll have a great time with a user-friendly mechanism that can help you adjust braking.
Less line twisting. Getting tired of lines getting twisted up? That’s one of the main cons of spinning reels. However, due perpendicular spool axis, you can forget about this with baitcasting reels.
Heavier lures and lines. Want to cast lures up to 1 ounce or even heavier? That’s not a problem! The reason for this is the spool’s rotation axis. It’s perpendicular to the rod guides, which ensures that your line goes straight to them. It also makes it easier to use not only larger lures but also heavier lines. With baitcasting, your average line can get up to 20-25 lb.
They are more customizable and reliable. There are all sorts of setting even in baitcasting reels under 100$. For example, right drag and brake settings will prevent backlashes and bird nests.
More power and control. A baitcasting design easily outperforms that of a spinning reel. You can apply much more power due to the spool that lines with the handle and gears. There’s also little flex. This reel gives you total control over the speed and distance of your lure, granting you more accuracy during fishing.
Sturdiness. I find them to be more durable and long-lasting compared to other types of reels. That makes them more expensive. Still, you can find amazing baitcasting reels even for under 100$ in this very article! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’ll get to that in a minute. Before deciding to look through the best baitcasting reels, you should also know about some other stuff that makes them stand out.
They are more expensive. Of course, not every bait cast would cost you a fortune. It’s just a general rule of thumb.
They are heavy. Spinning reels are usually lighter and more compact.
Requires proper handling. Do you want more control of the flow of the line? Then you should hold the reel properly with your thumb positioned over the reel spool at a slight angle. Fo course, that’s not everything! Just remember that practice makes perfect.
Left-handed and right-handed versions. No, there are no such things as universal baitcasting reels that would suit both left- and right-handed anglers. However, you shouldn’t fret if you’re a “lefty.” There are myriads of reels with handles on the left or on the right side on the market.
They require adjusting. As I mentioned before, baitcasting reels are highly customizable with a lot of flexible options. Professional anglers take advantage of that. You’ll need to fine-tune your reel to get the maximum performance. Don’t worry if that sounds complicated. You’ll get the hang of it very quickly, just not from the get-go.
Steep learning curve. Master fishermen can indeed get the most out of baitcasting reels. Just remember that you will need experience and a lot of dedication to get the hang of it.
Top 11 Best Baitcasting Reels Voted Best
So, now you should know what makes baitcasting reels the best choice for professional anglers. What about you? Are you willing to try them? If your answer is “yes,” then keep on reading!
Today, I want to introduce you to my Top 11 Best Baitcasting Reels you can get for under 100$. Without further ado, let’s jump right in!
Introducing a summary table of all our fishing reels
1# Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel 18 LB – Editor’s Choice
If you’re looking for a versatile and reliable Baitcast reel for a reasonable price – Piscifun Torrent may be an excellent option for you. It’s a low-profile, silent, and high-speed product. It makes it easy to catch fish that weigh up to 18 pounds. The durable reel will show top performance for years to come. My only complaints are about the spool tension knob that doesn’t click well when tightened down and the fact it’s time-consuming to maintain it in shape. Other than that, Piscifun Torrent offers fantastic value for a low price.
- Carbon fiber drag.
- Climate-resistant brass gears.
- Unique side-plate oil port.
- Comes in a 5.3:1 and 7.1:1 version for right-handed and left-handed users.
- Drags over 18 pounds.
- Over 30 inches of line retrieval.
- Weights 8 ounces.
2# KastKing Royale Legend II – Best Easy to Use Reel
Do you want a smooth-looking and sturdy baitcasting reel? KastKing Royale Legend II is a fantastic choice for anglers looking for a good reel for pitching jigs and burning baits at high speed. I tried many KastKing’s accessories in the past, and this one lines up with the best of them. It offers an amazing value for the price. I also advise you to oil it before using it for the first time. And before your second time. Actually, you should oil it regularly if you want it to serve for a long.
- Cross-fire 8 magnet button braking system.
- Double bearing pinion gear technology.
- CNC aluminum spools.
- Weights about 7.2 oz.
- 17.6 pounds of drag.
- Comes in 5.4:1 and 7.2:1 gear ratio in left-handed and right-handed versions.
3# KastKing Royale Legend Whitemax – Best Adjustable Reel
With top-grade built and a reasonable price, this product is a great solution for fishermen who want to master baitcasting reels quickly. With some practice, you’ll be able to boost your accuracy and feel the rod in your hands much better than you would with other types of reels. I recommend you watch some guides online set the magnets correctly before you start practicing with this reel. Soon, you’ll find out this is a perfect gateway for baitcasting fishing.
- Low-Profile design.
- High-speed 7.0:1 ration.
- Over 17.5 pounds of drag.
- Maxi-Dur corrosion-resistant ball bearings.
- Weights under 7.7 ounces.
- Available in 2 colors in versions for right-handed and left-handed users.
4# SHIMANO SLX 150XG – Best Shimano Baitcasting Reel Under $100
Some baitcasting reels just offer much more value for a price. Shimano’s SLX 150XG comes just a few dollars under 100$. However, it can show great performance for that price. It’s an excellent low-profile baitcasting reel with nice casting distance and crank smoothness. Want a high-quality product? You won’t be disappointed with this one! Honestly, it’s easily among the best baitcasting reels under 100$ you should absolutely get in 2020.
- 150 PowerPro line capacity.
- Metal reel body with excellent impact resistance.
- 6 pins VBS adjustments.
- Various retrieve options.
- Low-profile reel.
- 3+1 ball bearings (3 for normal reeling, 1 for pulling on drag).
- About 12 pounds of drag.
- Line capacity: Nylon (10 pounds) – 120 yards, Braid (20 pounds) – 150 yards.
- Comes in 6.3:1, 7.2:1, and 8.2:1 ratio with versions for lefties and righties.
5# Lew’s Mach Crush Speed Spool Baitcast Reel – Best Ergonomic Baitcasting Reel
A slick-looking and sturdy reel, which shouldn’t be a surprise if you consider its price. Looking for an amazing cast and retrieve in your spool? Then Lew’s product is a great choice! When I received it, it left a good first impression. And it still didn’t disappoint me! Fits perfectly in my hand and weights just right. I can wholeheartedly recommend this product for any baitcasting reel fan out there. Just make sure to oil properly and take care of it.
- 10-bearing system
- Double-shielded stainless-steel ball bearings
- Zero reverse one-way clutch
- Side plate for quick release
- Lightweight aluminum 32mm spool
- Winn Dri-Tac handles
- Dual-braking centrifugal and magnetic brakes
- Can get up to 200 yards of pool with 20 lb braided line
- 7.1:1 ratio
- About 20 lb of maximum drag
- Left-handed and right-handed versions available
6# Pflueger President XT
Do you hate backlashes and bird nests? Well, who doesn’t? Pflueger will make sure you can forget about stuff like that, as long as you dedicate some time to practice. It has everything professional fishermen love in a baitcasting reel. The casting distance is great, and you can fight massive fish that weigh up to 15 lb. Even if you find it difficult at first, as long as you master, you’ll find it to be a perfect reel for all your needs!
- 9 bearing system.
- 7.3:1 ratio.
- Made from stainless steel with an aluminum frame.
- Adjustable magnetic brake system.
- Weights about 7.4 ounces.
- Holds up to 170 yards of line.
- Over 12 lb of drag.
7# KastKing MegaJaws
Sometimes I get amazed at how much performance baitcasting reels under 100$ can offer. KastKing’s MegaJaws offers terrific value for a reasonable price. It’s smooth, fasts, and rests so comfortable in your palm you’ll think it has become an extension of your hand. I also love how adaptive the spool tension is. It really makes it easy to fine-tune this reel. Want high-end performance at a budget price? This product should be right up your alley!
- Funnel-shaped line.
- Low-profile frame.
- Aluminum handle with rubber knobs.
- 8 magnets.
- 10 adjustment settings for control.
- 11+1 double shielded bearings.
- 17.6 lb drag.
- It comes in 4 colors.
- Available in 5.4:1, 6.5:1, 7.2:1, and 9.1:1 ratio.
8# Piscifun Phantom Carbon
Accuracy, tightness, precision. These are the qualities that come to my mind when I think about Piscifun’s Phantom Carbon. It’s incredible how excellent this baitcasting reed is, considering it costs so little compared to other professional products. The handles are super comfortable and would fit any hand quite nicely. It’s also highly adjustable. It might take some time, but after fine-tuning, this might feel like the smoothest reel you have ever cast!
- Dual brakes.
- 17 lb drag.
- Premium carbon fiber frame.
- 7.0:1 gear ratio.
- 6+1 stainless steel ball bearings.
- Dynamic 6-pin centrifugal and magnetic brake.
- Super lightweights (about 5.7 oz).
- Available for right- and left-handed people.
9# KastKing Speed Demon – Cheap Price For Such Quality
For a reasonable price, KastKing offers this extra fast baitcasting reel. Just think how fast it can get with a 9.3:1 ratio! It’s also smooth, precise, and extremely sturdy. Are you planning on getting the best baitcasting reels under 100$? Then do yourself a favor and try this one!
- Superb 9.3:1 ratio.
- 12+1 shielded ball bearings.
- 3 disc carbon fiber star drag system.
- Trilateral magnetic brake system
- Over 13.2 lb of drag.
- Suits any lines up to 20 lb.
- 115mm handle
- Versions for left-handed and right-handed anglers.
- Weights 8.3 oz.
10# Abu Garcia Black Max (Bmax3) – Best Low Profile Reel
Are you new to baitcasting reels? Then try this one. Black Max is a great model for beginners who want to get into it. You’ll enjoy the smoothness, good casting, and plenty of drag it offers. If you can spend a few weeks practicing, this reel might be perfect for you! You should know that Bmax3-L and Bmax3-C are made for left-handed anglers. Be careful to make sure you are getting the version that suits you.
- 4 stainless ball bearings.
- Low-Profile reel.
- Power Disk and MagTrax brake system.
- 6.4:1 ratio.
- Holds over 80 yards of line with 30 lb mono, and over 110 yards with braided 30 lb line.
- 18 lb of maximum drag.
- It comes in black and red colors.
- Right and left-handed versions.
11# Abu Garcia Revo X (Revo 4X & Revo 4SX)
As someone who’s looking for smooth and cost-efficient baitcasting reels, Revo 4X and Revo 4SX would make a perfect choice. Yes, it’s very close to 100$ price point. On the other hand, it offers good quality for this price tag. It’s light but not lightweight. You can be confident that with this baitcasting reel, you’ll experience fewer backlashes. You can also forget about birds nesting. Overall, if you’re looking for something sleek and powerful, this reel is worth every cent!
- Low-profile reel.
- 8 ball bearings om Revo 4X version.
- 10 ball bearings on Revo 4SX version.
- 18 lb of maximum drag.
- Weighs 7.9 ounces.
- Works great with a braided line up to 30 lb.
- Available in 6.6:1 and 7.3:1 ratio for left-handed and right-handed fishers.
FAQ About Baitcasting Reels
Now you should know why professional anglers prefer baitcasting reels. Enhanced reliability, better adjustability, and a more advanced braking system – this is what makes baitcasting reels different from regular spin-cast ones. Rumors are being spread among amateur fishermen that baitcasting reels are too hard to master and that they are extremely expensive. Even though this type of reel does require a lot of practice, I think we managed to dispel the rumor about the high price tag. Because now you know you can easily find one of the best baitcasting reels for under 100$! So, are you ready to get one today? I hope you are! I wish you the right amount of luck and great fishing!
Tags: #best baitcasting reel under 100 / #best baitcasting reel under $100 / #best saltwater baitcasting reel under 100 / #best baitcasting reel under 100 dollars / #best baitcasting reel for under 100 / #what is the best baitcasting reel under 100
I live in Tenerife (Canary Islands) for the last 10+ years and share my daily fishing experiences on my website. Many years of personal experience as a fisherman and the vast experience of my friends allow me to write professionally on any fishing topics (from choosing a flashlight and equipment to deep-sea fishing).
All of my advice is based on practical real-world experience and will be useful to both novice anglers and professionals. Read more about the author.
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I couldn’t agree more with the importance of having high-quality fishing gear to improve your skills and sharpen them for life. In particular, a great baitcasting reel can make a huge difference in how you hook a fish out of the water. And the best part is that you don’t have to break the bank to get one – there are plenty of options available under $100 that can still offer exceptional performance.
That being said, it’s important to choose your bait caster wisely and not rush into a decision. Take your time and consider all the factors that are important to you. And once you’ve made your purchase, don’t expect to master baitcasting overnight. Practice every day, and soon you’ll start to see improvement.
One tip I have for beginners is to dress comfortably when you’re out on the water. You don’t need to go overboard with fancy gear – just wear something that keeps you cool and comfortable throughout the fishing process. And if you’re looking to improve your skills without spending money on lessons, YouTube can be a great resource. There are plenty of experts out there sharing their knowledge and techniques, so take advantage of that and always strive to learn and improve.
As someone who has used a baitcasting reel before, I can definitely say that it’s a bit more difficult to use than simpler reels. However, once you get the hang of it, you’ll see just how efficient and effective this technique of fishing can be.
To use a baitcasting reel, start by turning the handles so that the handle points up, then grip it effectively. Your thumb should rest over the reel and if your reel features a spool button, press on it. Next, bend your casting arm from the elbow and make sure that your rod’s tip goes into a 90-degree angle. Once it does that, sweep the rod forward so it reaches your eye level, which would be horizontal and approximately 30 degrees. Finally, press on the spool with your thumb and stop the bait once it has reached your targeted area.
It may take some practice to get the hang of using a baitcasting reel, but don’t get discouraged. Keep at it, and soon enough you’ll be using it like a pro.
I don’t think there are any baitcasting reels worth buying under $100 anymore. The Garcia Ambassador reels, for example, just aren’t what they used to be when they were made in Sweden. Nowadays, I like to throw large lures like bucktails and jerk baits for pike and musky, and in my opinion, the entry point for a good baitcasting reel is in the $150-250 range. I would recommend looking at brands like Shimano or REVO for reels in this range.
If you’re going to be doing some light fishing, like sitting on the bank and catching catfish, then an $80 Ambassador will work just fine. But, if you’re planning to do some serious fishing, I suggest saving your money and investing in a higher-end reel.
As for the best baitcasting reel under $100, in my opinion, it’s the Daiwa Crossfire 100HG. This reel has a 5.1:1 gear ratio, 6 ball bearings, and a 7/8 handle. I believe this is the best value for your money in this price range, and I really love using it myself.
When it comes to fishing reels, it can be overwhelming to choose the best one for your money. I started out with a cheaper reel until I knew I was committed to fly fishing regularly. I wouldn’t recommend spending a fortune on a high-end reel because they can get pretty pricey, with some costing upwards of $500.
Personally, I find the Lamson Lite Speed to be the best high-end/mid-priced reel, which costs around $250. If you’re looking for something more affordable, the Orvis Battenkill is a great option for around $100.
However, I wouldn’t expect anything less than $100 to hold up for the long haul. My $98 Orvis reels have started to wear after 20 years of hard use, so it was money well spent.
When it comes to the material of the reel, you have two options: machined aluminum (which is the better one) or cast aluminum (which is much cheaper). I would recommend checking out Redington Rise, Lamson Liquid or Guru, and Orvis Clearwater.
One thing I would recommend is buying Bass Pro, Cabelas, white river, or knockoff reels. I have tried these cheaper options before and found that they don’t hold up as well in the long run. It’s better to buy one and cry once.
Lastly, if someone tells you that a reel is “just something to hold your line,” they’ve clearly never fished for monster trout in Arkansas. Every piece of your fishing gear matters so invests in the best reel you can afford.
Choosing between a baitcasting and spinning setup depends on the situation and personal preferences. While spinning rods and reels can cast with ease, offer greater casting distance, and are less prone to backlash, baitcasting setups can be more accurate, have smoother and stronger drags, and are better suited for heavy or drag-resistant baits.
That being said, in most cases, either setup can get the job done. I personally like to carry both for versatility, but if I had to choose just one, it would be a medium-heavy spinning outfit with an 8 to the 12-pound hybrid line. This setup offers a good balance of power, sensitivity, and casting distance. Ultimately, the choice between baitcasting and spinning comes down to the angler’s preference and the specific fishing situation at hand.
I can say that baitcasting reels are designed for those who have a bit more knowledge about fishing techniques and can handle the added weight and size of the reel. However, this doesn’t mean that beginner cannot try their hand at using a baitcasting reel.
Baitcasting reels are positioned on top of the fishing rod, which is specifically designed to accommodate these reels. Baitcasting rods have smaller guides and a small trigger grip at the bottom. Unlike spinning reels, the spool on a baitcaster is not fixed and moves as you reel in or cast out the line.
One of the main advantages of using a baitcasting reel is the added control you get over your cast. This is why many professional anglers prefer to use baitcasters over spinning reels. With a bait caster, you don’t have to hold the line with your fingers as you cast, which provides more control, but it does take some time to get used to.
Baitcasting reels and rods also offer better sensitivity due to the stiffer backbone of the rod and the direct contact with the lure. Additionally, baitcasting reels have a smaller profile, making them more compact and easier to handle.
However, baitcasting reels are more prone to backlash and tangles due to the way the spool moves. It takes practice to avoid backlash, and even experienced anglers still experience it from time to time. Baitcasting reels also tend to be more expensive and require more maintenance compared to spinning reels.
Another potential downside of using a baitcasting reel is that they are typically either right or left-handed, which can be inconvenient for some anglers. In contrast, spinning reels have a handle that can easily be switched from one side to the other.
Overall, if you’re an experienced angler looking for more control and sensitivity, a baitcasting reel might be a good option for you. However, if you’re a beginner or prefer a more straightforward and easy-to-use reel, a spinning reel might be a better choice. It’s always good to have both options available in your fishing arsenal.
I have been using different kinds of fishing reels for a while now and I have to say, baitcasting reels have their own set of advantages that cannot be matched by spinning reels. The straight-off spool design of the baitcasting reel allows for a better drag system that never slips or tightens on its own. This means that it’s easier to control the fish when reeling it in, and reduces the chance of the line breaking.
However, I must warn you that baitcasting reels require a lot of practice and technique to master. It’s definitely not for beginners and requires a certain level of skill to use properly. But once you get the hang of it, it can be a great addition to your fishing gear.
In my personal experience, I use a bait caster for catching bass and catfish, and a spinning reel for smaller fish like bluegills. I also find that baitcasters are the best option for trolling.
Each type of fishing reel has its own advantages and disadvantages, and it really depends on your skill level and the type of fish you’re targeting. But if you’re looking for better control and stronger lines, then a baitcasting reel may be worth considering.
I would steer clear of the first three-reel brands that you have listed. From my experience, their quality and durability are not even close to Shimano and Daiwa reels. I highly recommend going for the Daiwa Tatula or Shimano SLX line, which is both top-notch in terms of quality and performance.
While I understand that some people on the internet can be elitist and push expensive products just for the sake of the brand, I can assure you that in this case, the higher price tag is justified by the superior quality of these reels. Of course, it ultimately depends on your budget and needs, but I have found that investing in a high-quality reel pays off in the long run.
Regarding your question about KastKing, I do not have personal experience with their reels. However, I have heard mixed reviews about their products, with some people praising their affordability and others criticizing their durability and performance. If you are satisfied with your Royale Legend GT, then by all means, stick with it. But if you are looking to upgrade, I would still recommend considering the Daiwa Tatula or Shimano SLX line.
I’m really interested in getting my hands on a Levant rod. I live in San Antonio, but unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find any local stores that carry high-end rods. Bass Pro Shops has a decent selection of reels, but they fall short in terms of nice rods.
Luckily, my brother lives in Katy, so on my next visit, I plan on stopping by Fishing Tackle Unlimited in Memorial to try out and feel some of the higher-end rods. Although I currently own Falcon, 13 Fishing, St. Croix, and other nice rods, I don’t have anything that compares to the quality of a Zillion rod.
As a Shimano enthusiast, I would highly recommend the SLX reel for experienced baitcaster users. However, I’ve noticed that Daiwa reels are more beginner-friendly and tend to have fewer backlashes. Personally, I use the Tatula CT 100, which is very similar to the Fuego but has a T wing. This is the only reel I never get a backlash on.
In my opinion, the Fuego is more comparable to the SLX XT than the standard SLX. I’ve seen many people opt for the SLX, but for just $20 more, it’s definitely worth it to upgrade to the SLX XT for the extra bearing and improved brakes. While I would still choose the Fuego over the SLX, it would be a close decision between the Fuego and the SLX XT.
When it comes to quality fishing reels, my top picks are Shimano, Abu Garcia, and Daiwa. These are the most popular brands and for good reason – they make great reels. However, there are also other brands that may not be as popular, but still produce quality reels, such as Pflueger, Okuma, Quantum, and Lew’s.
Speaking of Lew’s, they have really gained popularity in recent years. I can remember when they have hardly talked about 15 years ago, but now they’re quite popular. I actually have two Lew’s reels myself, alongside many Shimanos, and I like them a lot. I have no complaints.
One thing I would definitely avoid is those cheap reels you find on Amazon. They are often of poor quality and will likely break down quickly, which will end up costing you more money in the long run. Instead, I would recommend saving up and investing in a good-quality reel. It may seem like a lot of money upfront, but it will be worth it in the long run.
Personally, I am a fan of Okuma reels. They are of good quality but are also more affordable, which means I don’t feel as bad if they get a little banged up during use. I used to baby my more expensive reels, but I’ve come to realize that defeats the purpose of having a quality reel. After all, it’s meant to be used and enjoyed.
It’s true that most reels in the $100 range will perform pretty well, but there are some reels that stand out in terms of build quality and durability, like the Daiwa Fuego CT and Shimano SLX.
I’ve personally used both Lew’s and Abu reels, and regardless of the price point, they tend to have a shorter lifespan and decreased performance over time. In contrast, I’ve been using some of my Daiwa reels for almost a decade on a daily basis, and they still perform like new. In my experience, investing in a higher-quality reel is worth it in the long run.