Best Reel For Muskie Fishing 2022

  • Reading time:22 mins read
  • Post category:Fishing Reels / Fishing Tips
  • Post last modified:July 1, 2022

Do you want to catch the biggest and most powerful freshwater fish in North America? If so, then you need to use the best reel for muskie fishing. No matter what fishing style you use, having the right reel for muskie fishing is essential. So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at some of the top-rated reels for muskie fishing.

Best Reel For Muskie Fishing Reviews

In this blog post, we will recommend some of the top-rated reels for muskie fishing. We will also provide a buyer’s guide to help you choose the right reel for your needs. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced angler, read on to find out more about the best reels for muskie fishing!

1# Cabela’s DepthMaster Metal Line Counter Trolling Reel

Cabela's DepthMaster Trolling Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Right
Gear Ratio: 4.0:1, 5.1:1
Ball Bearings: 2+1

Cabela’s DepthMaster Metal Line Counter Trolling Reel is a top-of-the-line trolling reel that’s built to last. It features a rugged, corrosion-resistant aluminium frame and spool, reinforced with stainless steel side plate rings. The titanium-coated stainless steel level wind ensures smooth operation, while the carbonite drag system provides powerful fish stopping power. The line counter measures in feet for accurate trolling depths, and the XL brass gearing ensures smooth retrieves. This reel also features a 2+1 system with stainless steel ball bearings plus anti-reverse for optimal performance. The soft-touch knob provides comfortable handling, while the aluminium handle delivers strength and durability.

Pros
  • Rugged, corrosion-resistant aluminium frame and spool

  • Reinforced with stainless steel side plate rings

  • Titanium-coated stainless steel level wind

  • Carbonite drag system provides powerful fish stopping power

  • Line counter measures in feet for accurate trolling depths

  • XL brass gearing ensures smooth retrieves

  • 2+1 system with stainless steel ball bearings plus anti-reverse

Cons
  • It is good for saltwater, but not freshwater

2# Shimano Antares A Baitcast Reel

Shimano Antares A Baitcast Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Right
Gear Ratio: 7.4:1
Ball Bearings: 10+1
Max Drag: 11 Lbs.
Reel Weight (oz): 7.8
Line Capacity: 10/105
Braid Capacity: 30/105
Recovery: 31″ Per Turn

The Shimano Antares A is a baitcasting reel that’s perfect for freshwater use. It features a magnesium Hagane body that’s super-lightweight, and it has an MGL III spool for smooth, consistent casting. The Silent Tune vibration reduction system ensures a quiet performance, and the X-Ship pinion support system provides superior gear alignment. Plus, the premium SVS Infinity Brake delivers up to 11 lbs. of drag power.

Pros
  • Lightweight magnesium Hagane body

  • MGL III spool for smooth, consistent casting

  • Silent Tune vibration reduction system ensures a quiet performance

  • X Ship pinion support system provides superior gear alignment

Cons
  • Not suitable for saltwater fishing

  • lt has a low gear ration

3# Daiwa Steez SV TWS Baitcast Reel

Daiwa Steez SV TWS Baitcast Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Right, Left
Gear Ratio: 6.3:1, 7.1:1
Ball Bearings: 12+1

The Daiwa Steez SV TWS Baitcast Reel is light and responsive, with an ergonomic design that’s almost impossible to backlash. It’s perfect for casting lightweight lures with precision and accuracy, and the 12-bearing system ensures smooth trouble-free performance. The Air Brake cast control system helps you achieve maximum distance and pinpoint accuracy, while the UTD carbon drag provides fish-stopping power when needed. And for anglers who demand the best, there’s the innovative T-Wing line guide aperture that delivers unmatched casting performance.

Pros
  • Light and responsive

  • Ergonomic design

  • Almost impossible to backlash

  • Perfect for casting lightweight lures

  • 12 bearing system ensures smooth trouble-free performance

  • UTD carbon drag provides fish-stopping power when needed

Cons
  • Air Brake cast control system less responsive

  • Does not carry heavy lures as well as other reels

4# Daiwa Zillion TW HD Baitcast Reel

Daiwa Zillion TW HD Baitcast Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Right, Left
Gear Ratio: 8.1:1
Ball Bearings: 1MBB+9CRBB+1

The Daiwa Zillion TW HD baitcasting reel is the perfect choice for anglers who demand high performance and precision. This reel is extremely smooth, yet designed to handle heavy-duty work. Featuring a lightweight aluminium frame and Zaion gear side plate, it’s also incredibly durable. With its T-Wing System-level wind for smooth line flow, G1 Duralumin Deep Spool, Magforce-Z braking system, and Zero Adjuster, this reel delivers premium performance every time you use it. Plus, with its 11-bearing system and magnesium alloy spool, it provides incredible torque and power when fighting fish.

Pros
  • Extremely smooth

  • Lightweight aluminium frame and Zaion gear side plate

  • Incredibly durable

  • G1 Duralumin Deep Spool

  • Magforce-Z braking system

  • Zero Adjuster

Cons
  • Might be too expensive for some

  • Not very good on the ocean

5# Shimano Calcutta B Round Baitcast Reel

Shimano Calcutta B Baitcast Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Right
Gear Ratio: 4.7:1, 5.0:1
Ball Bearings: 3+1

Shimano Calcutta B Round Baitcast Reel – Professional grade baitcasting reel designed for bass fisherman. Features a durable cold-forged aluminium frame and side plates, as well as a spool and bearings that are resistant to rust. Boasts a wide range of drag settings to handle any fish imaginable, as well as Shimano’s Super Stopper one-way roller bearing system for smooth, accurate casting. The CT 200GTB also features the Lo-Mass Drilled Spool System which reduces the overall weight of the reel without sacrificing strength or performance.

Pros
  • Cold-forged aluminium frame and side plates

  • Durable

  • Wide range of drag settings

  • Super Stopper one-way roller bearing system

  • Lo-Mass Drilled Spool System

Cons
  • None

6# PENN Fathom Baitcast Reel

PENN Fathom Baitcast Reels

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Specification

Retrieve: Left, Right
Gear Ratio: 6.2:1, 6.6:1, 7.3:1, 7.6:1, 8.0:1
Ball Bearings: 6+1

The Penn Fathom baitcasting reel is built for professional anglers who demand the highest quality and performance. The full-metal body and crank side plate protect internal components, while the smooth 6+1 stainless steel bearing system ensures a smooth drag at all settings. The brass main gear and bearing-supported bronze pinion gear provide durability and power, while the HT-100 carbon-fibre drag washers deliver consistent pressure fishing after fishing. And with line-capacity rings that tell you to line status at a glance, the TiN coated level wind system laying line straight and even, and dual-action casting brake dialling in control, you’ll be able to fish like a pro with the Penn Fathom baitcasting reel.

Pros
  • Smooth 6+1 stainless steel bearing system ensures a smooth drag at all settings

  • Brass main gear and bearing-supported bronze pinion gear provide durability and power

  • HT-100 carbon fibre drag washers deliver consistent pressure fishing after fishing

  • Line capacity rings that tell you to line status at a glance

  • TiN-coated level wind system laying line straight and even

Cons
  • The star drag can be a bit too sensitive for some people

  • It can be difficult to use for beginners

7# Shimano TranX 300/400 Baitcast Reel

Shimano TranX 300 Baitcast Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Left, Right
Gear Ratio: 7.6:1
Description: Power Handle
Ball Bearings: 5+1

The Shimano TranX baitcasting reel is one of the most powerful and durable reels on the market. The Hagane body ensures a long life, while the oversized HEG gearing provides more power and torque than ever before. The X-Ship internal reinforcement system keeps everything in perfect alignment, while the Advanced Coreprotect sealing system protects your gears from the harshest environments. The precision aluminium S3D spool holds more line than ever before, and the QuickFire II clutch bar ensures smooth and easy operation. Plus, with 5+1 bearings and a variable braking system, this reel is ready for any fishing challenge you might encounter.

Pros
  • Powerful

  • Hagane body for a long life

  • Oversized HEG gearing for more power and torque

  • X-Ship internal reinforcement system keeps everything in perfect alignment

  • Advanced Coreprotect sealing system protects your gears from the harshest environments

  • Precision aluminium S3D spool holds more line than ever before

  • Quickfire II clutch bar ensures smooth and easy operation

  • 5+1 bearings

  • Variable braking system

Cons
  • Too expensive

  • Best used for smaller fish

8# Lew’s Custom Lite SLP Baitcast Reel

Lew's Custom SLP Baitcast Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Left, Right
Gear Ratio: 7.5:1
Ball Bearings: 10+1

The Lew’s Custom Lite SLP baitcasting reel is perfect for anglers who demand quality performance without sacrificing weight. Featuring a Tanso Tech frame, C45 carbon side plates, and 3 drain ports, this reel weighs in at only 4.9 oz., making it one of the lightest baitcasters on the market today. With its titanium-anodized aircraft-grade Duralumin 30mm U-spool, aluminium alloy Speed Gears®, bearing-supported P2 Super Pinion system, and externally adjustable 6-pin 27-position ACB braking system, this reel can handle any fishing situation you might encounter.

Pros
  • It is one of the lightest baitcasters on the market today

  • The Duralumin 30mm U-spool allows for smooth cast and no reverse turnover

  • Extremely durable aluminium alloy Speed Gears® that will not break or corrode easily

  • Bearing-supported P2 Super Pinion system that provides improved accuracy and increased cranking power

Cons
  • Not ideal for big fish

  • Some reports of high quality but finishing work can be rough

9# Daiwa Tatula 300 Baitcast Reel

Daiwa Tatula 300 Baitcast Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Left, Right
Gear Ratio: 6.3:1, 7.1:1, 8.1:1
Ball Bearings: 7+1

The Daiwa Tatula 300 baitcast reel is the big brother of the popular Tatula CT reel. Designed for fishing bigger bass baits, this reel sports a beefy frame and massive gearing that provides super-smooth long-cast performance. The T-Wing level wind system ensures accurate casts time after time, while the external Magforce cast control allows for easy adjustments. When it comes to serious bass fishing, the Tatula 300 baitcast reel delivers.

Pros
  • Super-smooth long-cast performance

  • T-Wing level wind system ensures accurate casts

  • External Magforce cast control allows for easy adjustments

Cons
  • This baitcasting reel is not the best reel for novice anglers

  • It is not good for ultralight rods

10# Okuma Komodo SS Casting Reels

Okuma Komodo SS Casting Reels

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Specification

Retrieve: Left, Right
Gear Ratio: 6.3:1, 6.4:1
Ball Bearings: 7+1, 6+1

Looking to make the most of your time on the water? Look no further than Okuma’s Komodo SS Casting Reels. Constructed with die-cast aluminium frames and side plates, as well as heavy-duty stainless steel gearing and shafts, these reels are built to last.

The corrosion-resistant coating ensures smooth operation in harsh freshwater or saltwater environments. Multidisc Carbonite drag system with a micro click star adjustment creates precise drag settings and puts perfect pressure on running fish. Machined anodised-aluminium spool reduces overall weight without sacrificing strength.

Pros
  • Reliable and efficient

  • Excellent value for money

  • Durable and corrosion-resistant

  • Smooth operation

Cons
  • None found

11# Shimano Curado DC Baitcast Reel

Shimano Curado DC Baitcast Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Left, Right
Gear Ratio: 6.2:1, 7.4:1, 8.5:1
Ball Bearings: 6+1

The Shimano Curado DC Baitcast Reel is the computerized version of the performance favourite, making it even easier to cast with precision and accuracy. The unique “Cast Smart” Digital Control technology system measures spool speed every 1,000th of a second, and the microcomputer adjusts brake pressure accordingly to prevent backlashes and maximize casting distance.

The reel’s rigid, durable Hagane body is made of lightweight CI4+ carbon alloy construction for ultimate strength and durability. X-Ship pinion support bearing and MicroModule gearing ensure smooth operation, while the 6+1 bearing system with S-ARB shielded stainless steel anti-rust ball bearings provide dependable performance.

Pros
  • Hagane body

  • Computerized for accuracy

  • Lightweight and durable

  • Smooth operation

Cons
  • It does not come with a handle

  • The reel is a little heavy

12# Lew’s Custom Inshore SLP Casting Reel

Lew's Custom Inshore Casting Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Right
Gear Ratio: 7.5:1
Ball Bearings: 9+1

The Lew’s Custom Inshore SLP Casting Reel is a top-of-the-line choice for serious anglers who demand the best performance and durability. This reel features a one-piece aluminium frame for added strength, along with an aircraft-grade aluminium spool that provides ample capacity for longer runs.

The multi-setting brake dual cast control ensures smooth, precise casting, while the sealed 10-bearing system keeps everything running smoothly. The corrosion-resistant stainless steel ball bearings provide unmatched durability and performance, while the carbon-fibre drag system offers up to 20 lbs. of drag power. The bowed aluminium handle with Winn Dri-Tac knobs provides a comfortable grip, and the bowed aluminium drag star ensures reliable operation.

Pros
  • One-piece aluminium frame for added strength

  • Aircraft-grade aluminium spool with ample capacity

  • Multi setting brake dual cast control, smooth and precise casting

  • Corrosion-resistant stainless steel ball bearings provide unmatched durability and performance

  • Carbon fibre drag system offers up to 20 lbs. of drag power

  • Bowled Aluminium Handle with Winn Dri Tec Knobs provides a comfortable grip

Cons
  • Doesn’t offer much in the way of breakaway power

  • The handle can get uncomfortable in long casts

13# PENN Squall Baitcast Reel

PENN Squall Baitcast Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Right
Gear Ratio: 6.2:1, 6.6:1, 7.3:1, 7.6:1, 8.0:1
Ball Bearings: 5+1

The Lew’s Custom Inshore SLP Casting Reel is a top-of-the-line choice for serious anglers who demand the best performance and durability. This reel features a one-piece aluminium frame for added strength, along with an aircraft-grade aluminium spool that provides ample capacity for longer runs.

The multi-setting brake dual cast control ensures smooth, precise casting, while the sealed 10-bearing system keeps everything running smoothly. The corrosion-resistant stainless steel ball bearings provide unmatched durability and performance, while the carbon-fibre drag system offers up to 20 lbs. of drag power. The bowed aluminium handle with Winn Dri-Tac knobs provides a comfortable grip, and the bowed aluminium drag star ensures reliable operation.

Pros
  • Top Metal Gear System

  • Aluminum Frame, Aircraft Grade Aluminum Spool

  • Smooth drag system

Cons
  • The reel is quite noisy

14# Lew’s Pro SP Baitcast Reel

Lew's Pro SP Baitcast Reel

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Specification

Retrieve: Right, Left
Gear Ratio: Gear Ratio: 8.3:1
Ball Bearings: 8+1

You demand the best when you’re casting for bass, and that’s what you’ll get with Lew’s® Pro SP Baitcast Reel. Its Super Low Profile design ensures a smaller profile on the water, while the shallow Duralumin spool provides ample space for line and bait. The included QuietCast ACB 6-pin brake system gives you precise control over your casts, while the external adjustments make it easy to customize your skipping zone. You’ll love fishing with this reel thanks to its 8+1 bearing system and 95mm aluminium handle with EVA knobs.

Pros
  • Shallow Duralumin spool provides ample space for line and bait

  • Included QuietCast ACB 6-pin brake system gives you precise control over your casts

  • External adjustments make it easy to customize your skipping zone

  • 8+1 bearing system keeps everything running smoothly

  • 95mm aluminium handle with EVA knobs provides a comfortable grip

Cons
  • The handle can get uncomfortable in long casts

FAQ

How do I choose a musky reel?
When choosing a musky reel, there are several factors to consider. The first is size. You’ll want a reel that’s big enough to handle the large fish you’re targeting, but not so big that it’s cumbersome to use. The next consideration is a drag. A good drag system will be able to handle the powerful runs of a musky without slipping. Finally, consider the price and quality of the reel. It’s important to choose a reel you can trust to perform well when fighting big fish!
Can you use a spinning reel for musky?
Yes, you can use a spinning reel for musky. However, it’s important to choose a reel that is big enough to handle the large fish you’re targeting. A good drag system is also essential, as muskies can make powerful runs. Finally, consider the price and quality of the reel before making your purchase.
How much drag should a musky reel have?
A good drag system is essential for musky fishing, as these fish are known for their powerful runs. When choosing a musky reel, be sure to consider the quality of the drag system. It’s important to choose a reel you can trust to handle the stress of fighting a big fish!
Why are musky rods so long?
Musky rods are long because they need to be able to cast large lures at a great distance. A longer rod also provides more leverage when fighting a big fish.

Conclusion

Best Reel For Muskie Fishing Buyer’s Guide. A full-length article answering common questions with product reviews and useful tips about Best Reel For Muskie Fishing – TOP-Rated Reels For Muskie Fishing This is a buyer’s guide to help you find the best reel for muskie fishing by reviewing all of your options, including both spinning reels and baitcasting models. We also provide some practical advice on how to choose the right one based on what you plan to fish for most often. From our research, we recommend that beginners start with a decent reel but nothing too expensive in order to get accustomed to using it before investing in something more expensive later down the line as their skills improve.

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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