Best Musky Reel 2022

Musky Reel

Musky is one of the most powerful and cunning fish, which is called the “Queen of freshwater“. But it is not as hard to catch as many things. The first thing you should think about is a quality tackle. Today we are talking about the best musky reels. From my own experience, I was convinced that the same reel as for fishing trout will not work for musky fishing.

Our Top Picks – Review 10 Musky Reels

ImageProductBrandLink
KastKing Royale Legend Baitcasting Reels,Elite Series Fishing Reel,5.3:1 Gear Ratio,Left Handed,Winner WhiteKastKingBuy on Amazon
Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel,Blue,Black,60-HSAbu GarciaBuy on Amazon
Okuma Komodo SS Large Capacity Low Profile Baitcaster, KDS-471P, 130 yds-30LB, Power Handle , GreyOKUMA FISHING TACKLEBuy on Amazon
Piscifun Alijoz Baitcasting Reels Size 300 Low Profile Baitcaster Aluminum Frame Baitcast Fishing Reel, 33lb Drag 5.9:1 Gear Ratio Freshwater Saltwater Power Handle Casting Reels (Right Handed)PiscifunBuy on Amazon
Shimano Fishing Tranx 400 A Low Profile Reels [TRX400A]SHIMANOBuy on Amazon
Lew's Speed Cast 5.3:1 Right Hand Casting ReelLew'sBuy on Amazon
Piscifun Chaos XS Baitcasting Reel Round Reel Reinforced Metal Body Conventional Reels for Catfish, Musky, Bass, Pike, Saltwater Inshore Surf Fishing Reels (40 Left Handed)PiscifunBuy on Amazon
Abu Garcia 6500 Ambassadeur S Round Baitcast Fishing Reel Black, AMBS-6500- 255yd/17LbAbu GarciaBuy on Amazon
Sougayilang Fishing Baitcasting Reels, 8:1 Gear Ratio Super Smooth Baitcast Reel with Magnetic Braking System, 9 + 1 Ball Bearings Anti-Corrosion Baitcaster Reel-Right Hand(Blue)SougayilangBuy on Amazon
KastKing Crixus Baitcasting Reels,Glacier White,6.5:1 Gear Ratio,Right Handed Fishing ReelKastKingBuy on Amazon

I suggest reviewing the 10 Best Musky Reel For The Money. I tested about 30 different reels and found the 10 best for musky fishing. If you want to enjoy the exciting fishing of this fish then continue reading!

1# KastKing Royale Legend Baitcasting Reel

KastKing Royale Legend Baitcasting Reel

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If you want an unambiguous answer to the question of what is the best reel for musky fishing, then I will definitely call KastKing Royale Legend Baitcasting Reel. This model is ideal for fishing in freshwater and playing big musky. The reel has characteristics suitable for professional tournaments. This model is available in different gear ratios: 5.3: 1, 6.6: 1, 7.3: 1, or 8.1: 1 and varies in color. 10 double-shielded bearings ensure smooth operation. The C60 carbon fibre body and carbon handle provide a comfortable lightweight. Centrifugal brake and magnetic brake system make casting easier when fishing on a boat. The carbon fiber retention system provides higher drag performance.

Pros
  • Ideal for newcomers to musky fishing

  • It is lightweight

Cons
  • It has some plastic parts

2# Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast Baitcast Low Profile Fishing Reel

Abu Garcia Low Profile Fishing Reel

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The Abu Garcia Revo Toro is a classic low-profile baitcasting reel in black and white. The four models in the series are designed for catching big and strong fish. Depending on the specific model, their weight ranges from 377g to 396g, but the gear ratio is the same for the entire line and is equal to 5.3: 1. The body is made of X-Craftic alloy, which combines special strength and low weight.

Duragear Heavy Duty transmission features increased power and durability. To achieve smoother and better performance, the reel is equipped with 5 bearings. 4 of which are ball bearings HPCR (made of stainless steel) and one roller. The magnetic brake can be adjusted without disassembling the reel, as there is a convenient switch on the outside of the cover. The powerful friction brake is capable of withstanding a maximum load of 12 kg.

Pros
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum spool is extremely lightweight with high strength

  • The handle is equipped with rubberized knobs and is available in both left-handed and right-handed versions

Cons
  • I would not recommend beginners to start with this reel due to the price

3# Okuma Komodo SS Low Profile Baitcaster

Okuma Komodo Low Profile Baitcaster

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Powerful low profile baitcasting reel. Okuma Komodo SS offers top-class performance at a reasonable price! The insides parts of the reel will withstand a fight even with a large predator. The responsive reel allows for long-distance casting, and the large handle is comfortable to rotate. The gear ratio is just right for modern fishing. The reel is also equipped with a mechanical back bow that prevents the handle from rotating in harsh conditions.

Pros
  • Ultra-fine adjustment of the friction brake

  • 7 high-performance ball bearings HPB + 1 roller bearing made of stainless steel

Cons
  • Much heavier than aluminium reels

4# Piscifun Alijoz Baitcasting Reels

Piscifun Alijoz Baitcasting Reels

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This reel offers great durability when fishing large fish such as musky. It has a premium aluminum frame and gear side plate. You will be able to catch big fish and use large lures thanks to the 33 lb drag. 8 ball bearings provide excellent casting smoothness. This series of reels are available in a variety of colors and gear ratios. A high-quality magnetic braking system avoids overruns and backlash.

Pros
  • Bearings ensure quiet use

  • Multifunctional model

Cons
  • It casts at a shorter distance than other models

5# SHIMANO TRANX LowProfile Baitcasting Fishing Reel

SHIMANO TRANX Baitcasting Fishing Reel

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Shimano Tranx A is a range of versatile, powerful baitcasting reels for both saltwater and freshwater fishing. CoreProtect technology reliably protects the reel from water and dirt getting into the mechanisms. Hagane’s low-profile, robust die-cast aluminum body fits comfortably in the hand and provides excellent ergonomics. HEG / X-Ship technologies guarantee angler’s sufficient strength. The reliable braking system will confidently cope with the jerks of trophy predators. The cold-forged spool has a high line capacity, and the double handle provides a secure and comfortable grip when pulling fish.

Pros
  • Robust construction

  • Smooth retrieving

Cons
  • The spool is too narrow compared to others

6# Lew’s Fishing Speed Cast SC600 Reels

Lew's Fishing  SC600 Reels

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I love Lew’s brand. It produces truly decent fishing equipment. And this coil is no exception. It has a carbon fiber drag and is also equipped with a six-pin centrifugal brake system. I can say that this is one of the fastest musky reels on the market. It is capable of pulling out even the largest fish. The reel is very smooth when fishing musky.

Pros
  • New design

  • Smooth operation

Cons
  • The handle can slide

7# Piscifun Chaos XS Round Baitcasting Fishing Reel

Piscifun Chaos XS Baitcasting Fishing Reel

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This standard round baitcasting reel has an aluminium spool that protects your line from premature wear and tear. It also makes spooling easier. High quality 6 + 1 bearings are corrosion resistant and provide smooth operation. You will be able to fish using a variety of techniques thanks to an extended forged handle. Catch big musky with 20 pounds of stopping power.

Pros
  • Increased casting distance

  • Exceptional durability

Cons
  • Many anglers note that the reel is quite bulky

8# Abu Garcia Ambassadeur S Round Baitcast Fishing Reel

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Baitcast Fishing Reel

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This reel pleases with its strength and meticulous study of all elements, reliability, stylish appearance, and high level of functionality. A feature of this model is the multi-disc braking system, which ensures smooth braking. Smooth running is ensured by two ball bearings and one roller bearing. To eliminate the possibility of line tangling, the design has a six-beam centrifugal brake. In this model, it is worth noting the presence of a synchronized line stacker system, which accurately and evenly distributes the line over the spool drum.

Pros
  • Synchronized level-wind system

  • Convenient bent handle

Cons
  • This reel seemed too heavy to me

9# Sougayilang Fishing Baitcasting Reels

Sougayilang Fishing Baitcasting Reels

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This is a new model from the Sougayilang brand. It has a trendy design that will please any angler. This model has a gear ratio of 8.0: 1 and 9 + 1 stainless steel bearings. In addition, the coil is equipped with durable 10 magnetic brakes. Your line will not tangle and will keep its shape thanks to the o-shaped ceramic line guide. You can handle fish up to 18 pounds so this reel is great for musky fishing.

Pros
  • Waterproof handle

  • Not heavy

Cons
  • Probably It won’t last more than two fishing seasons

10# KastKing Crixus Baitcasting Reels

KastKing Crixus Baitcasting Reels

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KastKing offers a high-quality low profile reel at an attractive price. This model could be more expensive due to its high performance. It is a sturdy reel that is lightweight. It only weighs 7.3 ounces. It is able to accommodate a large amount of line and allows for longer casts thanks to a CNC machined aluminum U-Shaped spool. This accessory has 7 shielded stainless-steel high-quality ball bearings and an instant anti-reverse bearing.

Pros
  • Affordable price

  • Slip-resistant handle

Cons
  • It will not be enough for advanced fishermen

What is Musky?

As Wikipedia says, musky is a large, relatively rare freshwater fish of the pike family. The largest member of the family. It lives in North America. The fish prefers lakes, lake-like expansions and river bays. Musky switch to predatory food in the first year of life, with a length of about 5 cm. Fish are distinguished by a fast growth rate. They reach a considerable size of 1.8 m and a weight of 32 kg. Their life expectancy is up to 30 years. The color of the fish is silvery, brown, or green with dark vertical stripes on the sides, which can disintegrate into spots.

Musky Species

Three types of musky are distinguished by color:

  • Barred musky
  • Spotted musky
  • Clear musky

As a rule, one musky coloring prevails in one body of water. But all three varieties may be present. In addition, there is the Hybrid “Tiger” musky which is the result of crossing a musky with a pike. The hybrid does not have the ability to reproduce, so this species does not create independent populations.

The Difference Between Musky and Pike

Musky is very similar in body shape and appearance to common pike and American pike. Like most fish of the family, this fish has an elongated body, flathead, and anal and dorsal fins located close to the tail. Unlike the pike, the lower part of the gill covers of musky is completely devoid of scales, and the edges of the caudal fin have a pointed shape, while in the pike they are slightly rounded. Another surefire way to tell one species from another is to count the number of sensory points on the lower jaw of the fish. The musky always has more than seven, while the pike never has more than six.

Size

Musky is a large fish that can grow to enormous size. Cases of catching a musky weighing more than 32 kg and a length of about 1.8 m have been recorded. There is also unconfirmed news about a 50-kg fish, which was allegedly fished out at the beginning of the 20th century. Of course, significantly smaller specimens predominate in the catches. On average, the weight of the musky caught on sports tackle is from 2.5 to 16 kg.

Habitat

The favorite habitats of such fish are lakes, bays, and floods of large and medium rivers. musky avoids areas with fast currents, likes clean and cool water. The fish prefers reservoirs with a varied bottom topography, where there are both shallow and deep-water areas. Musky love to stay near large areas of aquatic plants such as water lilies, cattails, Pontederia, and others. In reservoirs where there is no abundant aquatic vegetation, fish for habitation choose places near steep banks, in the shade of tree branches hanging over the water, among snags and flooded trees, on underwater edges, rocky ledges, and ridges, as well as on flooded islands between pits. Fish are also found among man-made shelters: bridge piers, docks, piles, stone platforms, and various sunken objects.

Lifestyle and Habits

Musky is mainly an ambush predator and leads a solitary way of life. Nevertheless, it moves more actively in the reservoir than other pikes. Musky can move quite far from their camp, following a school of food fish. In addition, at a certain water temperature, the fish can begin to constantly patrol a certain, rather large section of the reservoir in search of food.

Food

Musky is considered a very voracious carnivore. Barely reaching a length of 5 cm, small fish actively begin to hunt for everything that can get into their mouths, as a result of which the fish gains weight very quickly in the first years of life. The musky diet mainly consists of fish, but it also includes crayfish, frogs, snakes, ducklings, mice, muskrats, small birds. In general, anything that gets into the water can become food for this predator. The fish grabs the prey, as a rule, from the head, often swallowing it completely in one go. Musky is capable of swallowing prey that is a third of its own length. In the spring, due to slow metabolism, the fish prefers medium-sized prey, in the fall, before the cold weather, on the contrary.

Distribution in the USA and Canada

The natural habitat of musky is the north of the USA and the south of Canada. The fish is found in lakes and rivers in northern Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, in the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River, as well as in the upper reaches of the Mississippi River. The musky has also been found in the Red River Basin that empties into Lake Winnipeg, Canada. Musky is also found much further south in the Tennessee River Basin. Also, a small population of musky was found in the Broad River, South Carolina.

In addition, musky was introduced by man into the western part of the St. John River in the late 1960s and has now spread to many adjacent drinks of water throughout northern Maine. Musky has also been released into some bodies of water in the south and center of the country, where it has created healthy populations that are artificially supported by humans (for example, in the lakes of North Georgia and Missouri).

What is the Best Reel for Musky Fishing?

You should definitely understand what kind of reel to look for musky fishing. Let’s start by looking at what types of reels are suitable for freshwater use.

Reel types:

  • Spincast reel
  • Spinning reel
  • Baitcasting reel

However, spin-cast and spinning reels are not suitable for musky fishing. You can of course use a spinning reel, but this will not be the best option. Therefore, I would advise you to use this type of reel. As for the baitcasting reel, this is what you need! This reel has all the necessary characteristics for musky fishing. It has excellent line capacity, tough drag, high gear ratio.

What is the Best Line for Musky Fishing?

I always use a fluorocarbon line. From my own experience, I have found that this line is best suited for catching such large and aggressive fish. The best choice is an 18-inch long leader weighing 50 to 80-pound test. This line has high abrasion resistance and holds knots perfectly.

Conclusion

Musky is the dream of every avid fisherman. You cannot imagine what a pleasure it is to hold such a huge fish in your hands! To pull such a fish, you need a powerful fishing reel. All of the above models will work for you perfectly. However, my favorite model is the KastKing Royale Legend Baitcasting Reels.

Tags: #best musky reels / #best musky reel under 100 / #best musky reel for bucktails / #best musky reel gear ratio / #best musky reel for big rubber / #what is a good musky reel / #best musky reel for the money

Sergio Smirnoff
Sergio Smirnoff
Professional fisherman with 40+ years of experience.
Fishing and the ocean is a passion of my life. I am passionate about all kinds of sea fishing: fishing from the shore (spinning, float, baitcasting), from a boat, and spearfishing day and night.

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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About the author: Each article is verified by the fishing expert Sergio Smirnoff. The articles are written by professional and amateur fishermen with 20+ years of fishing experience.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency. The articles are for informational purposes only, share your opinions in the comments and join the fishing discussions, let's share our fishing experiences together!

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