8 Best Saltwater Baitcaster Reels in 2021

Abu Garcia REVO Low Profile Baitcasting Reel

SHIMANO Curado K Baitcast Reel

SHIMANO TRANX, LowProfile Baitcasting Reel

Whether you’re a new angler or a professional angler, you can’t just use old fishing gear; you have to own the right gear so that your fishing experience will be fun and interesting. Baitcasting requires you to have bigger reels, an advanced drag system, and thicker lines; because of this, they tend to be more expensive than regular fishing reels, but if you know what you need, you’ll be able to find a saltwater baitcasting reel that won’t need you to break the bank.

When fishing in saltwater, you have to pay attention to the equipment you need because saltwater can easily cause corrosion, leading to damage to your gear over an extended period.

WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN PURCHASING A SALTWATER REEL

In order to choose the best saltwater baitcasting reel, you need to know what you’re fishing for, the kind of saltwater fishing you plan on.

Baitcasting is a whole different ballgame when it comes to fishing. The extra weight of the live baits and the massive jigs and lures completely change the kind of equipment anglers need and what they need from their equipment. One of the most important pieces of equipment that has to be carefully chosen is the reel.

Baitcaster reels are able to hold more lines and provide a smoother drag compared to traditional reels, and they are the only option for deep-sea fishing where longer and stronger lines are needed.

Whether you’re purchasing a baitcasting reel for the first time or not, you need to make sure you get the best product, as it will make a difference to your performance and fishing experience. Below are some of the factors you have to take into consideration when selecting a saltwater baitcasting reel.

Drag System

The term drag refers to the ability of the reel to let line out of the spool without putting too much stress on the line itself. This comes in handy when you’re battling with a fish in the ocean because you need a line that won’t snap due to tension. Good quality baitcasting reels are made with easily adjustable drag systems that can be simply adjusted by turning a knob on the reel. This allows the user to make real-time decisions on the drag ratio that’s needed to reel in the fish.

When it comes to how loud a reel should be, the drag system plays a key role. Some anglers prefer using louder reels as a way of judging how much line is being released, and this is the main reason why reels make a clicking sound. But, you can get a baitcasting reel that’s more silent if that’s what you prefer.

Gear Ratio

The gear ratio of the baitcasting reel you choose is one of the most important factors determining how it will perform with various types of fishing. Due to this, it has become one of the most advertised features you see when looking at an online product description.

In simple terms, the gear ratio is a measure of the amount of line that it retrieves for each complete revolution of the reels handle. A low gear ratio will retrieve less line per revolution, and a high gear ratio will retrieve more lines per revolution.

High gear ratio rods allow the user to retrieve more lines in a short amount of time, which is quite important when struggling with a big fish in the deep ocean and having to bring them in as quickly as you can.

Reels with a lower gear ratio range from 3:1 to 4:1, but reels with these gear ratios will be useful in any kind of saltwater fishing. The minimum gear ratio you can use for saltwater fishing is 6:1.

Line Capacity

The deeper the body of water, the more line you would need to reel in your catch. That is why any kind of saltwater fishing needs longer reels than creek fishing and lake fishing. Due to this, the reels are larger, heavier, and mostly more complicated than other smaller reels, but all that is worth it when you take into consideration the extra line you would get in return.

Having a large line capacity is preferred for saltwater fishing because you will be covered even if you have a line break situation. If the line left on the spool is still enough, then you would be able to quickly get the entire line re-rigged if the line snaps while something is on the hook.

Profile

When it comes to baitcasting reels, there are two profiles you can choose from, either low profile and round profile reels.

Low profile baitcasting reels are made for fishermen who prefer having control over their bait line for smaller fishes, fishes you would usually find when fishing off a pier or the shore.

Round profile baitcasting reels are best suited for offshore fishing and for catching larger species of fish. A round profile reel provides the user with more leverage over the rod and better control to catch larger fishes. In general, round profile reels have greater line capacity, which is why they are mainly used for offshore fishing.

Strength And Durability

Think of the time and money that would go into replacing a part anytime your reel fails you, plus the frustration you would feel from finding out that your equipment is ineffective while you’re using it and then having to return home early.

With that in mind, ensure you pay attention to the durability and longevity of the model you shoes before buying it, especially if you intend to do a lot of fishing or intend to catch larger fishes.

Corrosion Resistance

When it concerns saltwater fishing, you have to know that corrosion resistance is an important feature when choosing a baitcasting reel.

If you use non-specialized equipment in saltwater, it will rust and deteriorate quickly. Still, if the equipment is of high quality and is designed for saltwater fishing, then it would be able to withstand the harsh, saline conditions.

Before you start your saltwater fishing, make sure you check with the manufacturers to make sure that the model you chose is corrosion resistant, or you would be needing a replacement in a short period.

Ensure that the reel you choose is made out of corrosion resistant materials such as aluminum, brass, graphite, carbon fiber, and stainless steel.

Specie Of Fish You’ll Be Targeting

You also have to consider the kind of fish you intend on catching. Different fishes are found during various seasons, and they come in different sizes, so you have to get the right equipment to help you catch the specific fish you want.

If you would like to catch big fishes such as bass or a large catfish, you’ll need a baitcasting reel that will be strong enough to do the job. This means you have to focus on features such as rigidity and strength, which will provide you with a strong core foundation to catch whatever fish you want.

If you are more interested in smaller catches, then a lighter and more streamlined model would be suitable for your needs as it will be less tiring even after being used after an extended period.

Experience Level

You have to remember to keep your experience level in mind. If you are a beginner, it may be better for you to go for simpler designs with minor fancy features so that you can get used to using a reel without having to learn about different new features.

But if you are an experienced professional looking for a challenge, you would be more satisfied with trying out new and more fancy features usually found in the more innovative models.

Using Braid

Braid is the most used line these days, especially when it comes to baitcasting because it will increase your casting accuracy and distance. However, not every reel is made with braid-ready spools, and if the model you get isn’t, it may cause issues when you fill your reel.

Weight

If the weight of your reel is too much, it will slow you down. Casting for an entire day is tiring enough; you do not need to add extra weight to the equation. It will make your fishing experience less fun.

Braking And Backlash

A good quality brake will allow you to adjust the spool tension for casting. Being able to adjust the tension will provide you with a long and accurate cast without any backlash. It is important to have a good brake system. If the brake on your baitcasting reel is difficult to set or it fails, you would spend most of your time untangling the line instead of fishing.

Budget

It is a known fact that your budget will play a big role in what baicaster you choose. Even if you intend to spend less, you have to consider that quality and durability will be linked to the price. In simpler words, going for a cheaper model may cost you more money in the long run as you would have to buy another reel sooner or later.

If you spend more at the beginning, you’ll make sure you get a high-quality, durable and robust option that will save you money in the long run. Except you have an unlimited budget, the best thing is to go for any option that’s a compromise between quality and price. Thankfully, most mid-ranged baitcasters are equipped for durability and high performance. Examples of great medium-range baicasters are the Abu Garcia Ambassadeur S and the KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting reel.

When you’re fishing in saltwater, you won’t only be dealing with large fishes, but you would also have to deal with the harsh environment. The reel you choose has to be able to withstand anything that the sea throws its way while still being able to handle large fishes. Choosing the right reel might be difficult because of the large range of products you have to choose from.

But you do not have to worry, we performed our research, and we have provided you with a guide and a list of the best saltwater baitcasting reels. It will make it easier for you to choose the right saltwater baitcasting reel for your needs. Let us check out the list.

The Best Saltwater Baitcaster Reels Are Reviewed Below

Below is the list of the best saltwater baitcasting reels, along with their specifications, key features, pros, and cons. Having all this information will allow you to make an intelligent decision when selecting the best reel for your needs.

1

Abu Garcia REVO Low Profile Baitcasting Reel

This reel was made with an inshore angler in mind. It has an X2-Craftic alloy frame which is actually a material made by Abu Garcia. This provides the reel with excellent corrosion resistant properties and the rigidity it needs for optimal gear alignment. If you combine this with its high-performance bearings and you would get a reel that can handle saltwater incredibly well.

This reel has an exceptionally fast and smooth retrieve due to its high gear ratio and high-quality ball bearings. It can withstand pressure thanks to its rigid body that keeps the gears in line, and its large extended handle also helps.

This reel uses Abu’s IVCB, which is also known as Infinitely Variable Centrifugal Brake. It let’s you to know the spool tension you require with precision, but it’s quite difficult to do. It will be difficult for beginners, and they might experience some backlash at first. Once they have gotten the right tension, it will cast much easily, and there won’t be any more backlashes.

This reel comes with a carbon matrix drag system that is powerful, smooth, and will withstand the saltwater environment. The line capacity and the drag work together to create a reel that provided you with long cats and can handle large fishes. It also comes with anti-reverse brass gears, a braid-ready spool, and an overall great saltwater baitcasting reel.

Key Features:

  • A maximum drag of 24 lb
  • Seven ball bearings
  • A gear ratio of 7.3:1
  • Braid compatible
  • A retrieve rate of 30 inches
  • Duragear brass gear
  • D2 gear design

Specification:

  • Brand: Abu Garcia
  • Model: Abu Garcia REVO Baitcasting Reel
  • Weight: 7.9 oz (7.7 Ounces)
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Color: Black and Blue
Pros
  • It has a smooth and fast retrieve
  • It is a great caster
  • It has a high maximum drag
  • It is made with high quality gears
Cons
  • It is quite expensive
  • Its brake can be tricky to set
  • It may corrode over time in saltwater

2

SHIMANO Curado K Baitcast Reel

Shimano is a well-known brand, and they have produced a series of high-quality baitcasting reels, which include the Curado K, and it lives up to the brand’s reputation for quality. Using this reel is quite easy, and it’s also easy to adjust.

This reel has one of the smoothest drags ever; it uses a Micro Module Gear system that provides a smooth retrieve. The new gear set it uses has smaller teeth, so there is more contact meaning more efficient gear train with less gear feels. It has an X-Ship feature that improves the durability of the gears on each side of the bearings.

Key Features:

  • Hagane body
  • A gear ratio of 6.2:1
  • Monoline capacity of 8/180, 10/155, 14/110
  • Maximum drag force of 11 lbs
  • Six bearings
  • One roller bearing

Specification:

  • Brand: SHIMANO
  • Model: SHIMANO Curado K Baitcast Reel
  • Weight: 7.6 Ounces
  • Dimensions: 6.3 * 4.33 * 4.33 inches
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Color: Black
Pros
  • It has an incredibly smooth drag
  • It is durable
  • It has great value for money
  • It is easy to operate
Cons
  • The micromodules need to be lubricated frequently; if not, they could seize and rust

3

SHIMANO TRANX, LowProfile Baitcasting Reel

This reel is one of Shimano’s best saltwater baitcaster. It comes in different sizes that work great for almost every fishing situation. The frame of this reel is made out of machined aluminum which makes it durable and corrosion resistant.

It was made to be rigid in order to keep the gears aligned and stop any flex when it’s fighting against pressure. This provides the user with efficient retrieval when combined with the high gear ratio and ball bearings.

It has a super smooth retrieve, and it’s so fast you’ll be reeling in baits and fish at incredible speeds. This reel is sealed using the Shimano core protect system. The body, roller clutch, and line roller are all protected but be careful; water might still get inside.

Its brake is easy to set and adjust, which aids in achieving long, smooth, and accurate casts. The drag of the reel is smooth and powerful. The maximum drag is not as high as other brands, but it works for most situations.

Key Features:

  • Six ball bearings
  • A gear ratio of 7.6:1
  • Line retrieval rate of 40 inches
  • A maximum drag of 18lb
  • It uses Shimano’s core protect tech
  • Water resistant
  • Hagane build
  • Impact-resistant

Specification:

  • Brand: SHIMANO
  • Model: SHIMANO TRANX (TRX300A) LowProfile Baitcasting Reel
  • Weight: 3.04 Ounces
  • Dimensions: 6 * 6 * 6 inches
  • Material: Hagane
  • Color: Silver
Pros
  • It has a fast retrieve
  • It is sealed, meaning its water-resistant
  • It is durable
  • It’s able to cast far
  • It has a smooth drag
  • It is easy to use
Cons
  • It is quite heavy and expensive
  • Its max drag is not as high as other models
  • When the bearings are submerged, they could corrode
  • The worm gears may get stuck, and this could cause uneven line lay

4

KastKing Royale Legend GT Baitcasting Reel

This reel from KastKing is one of the best when it comes to value. This rod is loved by fishermen for its ability to make baitcasting fun and easy for beginners. Most people don’t want to pay a lot for a reel that they have no idea how to use, but this reel comes at a cheaper price but do not underestimates its quality.

It uses a high-quality braking system. If you pair that with its high gear ratio, you’ll have a baitcasting reel that is affordable but still tournament-ready for professional users.

Key Features:

  • Dual brake system
  • Larger line capacity
  • Low profile design
  • A gear ratio of 7.0:1
  • Precision cut brass gear structure
  • A maximum drag of 17.5 lbs
  • Aluminum spool

Specification:

  • Brand: KastKing
  • Model: KastKing Royale (KK-RS1000H-p) Legend GT Baitcasting Reel
  • Weight: 0.48 Pounds
  • Material: Aluminum, brass, and graphite
  • Color: Black and Red
Pros
  • It has a high performance for a budget level reel
  • It is easy to understand and operate
Cons
  • It is not as durable as the more expensive baitcasting reels

5

Ardent Apex Pro Baitcasting Reel

This reel is one of the most affordable reels on this list, but it still works great even though it is affordable. The frame, spool, and handle are made out of aluminum, making it durable and corrosion resistant. It is great at casting due to its low weight and great braking system. The brake is easy to adjust to micro-increments using its 270-degree dial that is placed on the outside of the reel.

This allows you easily and quickly change the tension while you’re using it. It has an 11 ball bearing system with a high gear ratio that makes retrieval smooth and quick. Add this to its rigid aluminum body and strong handle, and you’ll have a reel that will serve you well. This reel has a smooth drag but a low max drag.

Key Features:

  • 10 + 1 ball bearings
  • Adjustable 270-degree magnetic brake
  • Aluminum frame
  • Swept-back aluminum handle
  • EVA grip knobs
  • A gear ratio of 7.3:1
  • Max drag of 11 lb
  • Line retrieval rate of 34 inches

Specification:

  • Brand: Ardent
  • Model: Ardent Apex Pro (AA73RBB) Baitcasting Reel
  • Weight: 6 Ounces
  • Dimensions: 2.5 * 4 * 4 inches
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Color: Black and Red
Pros
  • It is lightweight
  • It is affordable
  • It has a smooth and quick retrieve
  • It is a great caster
  • Its backlash control is impressive
Cons
  • It has a low max drag
  • It is not corrosion resistant, so you have to look after the reel

6

Daiwa Coastal TW Casting Reel

This reel from Daiwa is impressively light with all the necessary features of a good quality inshore reel. It was made for inshore use; its low max drag won’t help you against a large fish.

The line capacity of the reel is quite great, considering its small size. They achieved this by using a smaller spool, it will be able to take on any inshore species of fish, and the spool is made braid ready.

It has a useful braking system that is easy to adjust. Combine that with the T-wing design that reduces the friction, which makes it a great caster. With this reel, you’ll be able to enjoy a long day of casting.

The frame and side plate are constructed out of aluminum, making them durable enough to be used in saltwater. The drag of this reel is smooth but not all that powerful; it is constructed out of high-density carbon strain material that is light, strong, and corrosion resistant.

Key Features:

  • Made from Aircraft-grade aluminum
  • Eight bearing system
  • High strength gear material
  • Retrieval rate of 33.9 inches
  • Braid capacity of 20/220, 30/165
  • Max drag of 11 lb

Specification:

  • Brand: Daiwa
  • Model: Daiwa Coastal (CLTW200HS) TW Casting Reel
  • Weight: 8.16 Ounces
  • Dimensions: 6 * 6 * 3 inches
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Color: Blue and Black
Pros
  • It has a great braking system
  • It is durable
  • It is a great caster
  • It has a quick retrieval rate
  • Its line capacity is quite impressive
Cons
  • It could have a higher drag rate
  • It tends to scratch easily
  • Its line guide may fail

7

KastKing Spartacus I & II Baitcasting Fishing Reel

This reel has a pretty look, but it’s not just about looks. The reel is well constructed, and it is an affordable choice for saltwater fishing. This makes it suitable for surf fishing because you will have the length and power to manage a large fish.

This reel is corrosion resistant, increasing its durability; this is all thanks to its aluminum frame and spool. It has a rigid frame that keeps the brass gears in the right place for maximum cranking power when needed. You won’t feel any play in the frame or handle when winding under pressure which is something to love about this reel.

This reel uses a dual braking system which promotes great casts. The side plate of this reel is quite hard to remove, so it may be difficult to set the spool’s tension, but once you get it done, you’ll be good to go.

It has ten ball bearings and a reasonable gear ratio which allow for a quick and smooth retrieve. The gear ratio could be higher, but it doesn’t affect the functionality of the reel. This is an overall versatile reel that is made properly and affordable.

Key Features:

  • A gear ratio of 6.3:1
  • Eleven ball bearings
  • Line retrieval rate of 27.5 inches
  • Max drag of 25 lbs
  • Sleek lower profile
  • Five-button magnetic brakes
  • 4-disc carbon fiber drag
  • CNC anodized aluminum spool
  • EVA handle knobs

Specification:

  • Brand: KastKing
  • Model: KastKing Spartacus I & II (B07BD4K1VT) Baitcasting Fishing Reel
  • Weight: 17.6 Pounds (9.16 oz)
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Color: Red and Black
Pros
  • It is affordable and durable
  • It casts well
  • It has a high max drag
  • It has a sleek and pretty look
Cons
  • It can get quite noisy when winding
  • The side plate is hard to remove, so its more difficult to adjust the brake

8

Piscifun Phantom Baitcasting Reel

One of the reasons this reel is so impressive is its price point. You can easily access the brake system from the left plate. It uses a dual braking system; the magnetic brake is 0 to 10, while the centrifugal brake uses a six-pin construction which combined together makes it a great braking system that’s almost as good as the braking system on Abu Garcia and KastKing.

It has an integrated star drag clicker system that is constructed from aluminum; it also has an ultra-light carbon handle that is sturdy and made with high-density EVA foam grips. It is a comfortable reel with high performance components.

Key Features:

  • A gear ratio of 7.0:1
  • Six anti corrosion stainless steel ball bearings
  • Dual brake system
  • Carbon crank handle
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum main gear

Specification:

  • Brand: Piscifun
  • Model: Piscifun Phantom (B07FKNQTVB) Baitcasting Reel
  • Weight: 5.7 Ounces
  • Material: Stainless Steel and Aluminum
  • Color: Black
Pros
  • It is lightweight and sturdy
  • It has an advanced braking system
Cons
  • It gets more backlash, especially if you’re using it with heavier jigs

Buying Guide Questions

Below are answers to some commonly asked questions concerning saltwater baitcasting reels.

What is a good saltwater baitcasting reel?

A good saltwater baitcaster has to have all the important features a reel needs to survive being used in saltwater. Our top pick for the best saltwater baitcasting reel is the Abu Garcia REVO.

Can you use baitcaster reels in saltwater?

Baitcaster reels can be used in saltwater but make sure it is corrosion resistant so that you do not have to keep replacing your reels.

What is the best baitcasting reel on the market?

The Abu Garcia Revo SX is a great baitcasting reel.

Can you use Abu Garcia Black Max in saltwater?

You can use it in saltwater as long as you rinse it when you’re done. It doesn’t have features that can help it withstand saltwater, so even though you can use it in saltwater, it won’t last long.

Does Abu Garcia make saltwater reels?

Yes, Abu Garcia makes saltwater reels.

What is the best saltwater spinning reel for the money?

The Shimano Baitrunner D is a great saltwater spinning reel.

Why do pros use baitcasters? What is the advantage of a baitcaster?

Pros enjoy using baitcasting reels because it provides them with better casting accuracy than other reels.

They provide you with better control and allow for more accurate casts.

Why is baitcaster better than spinning? Are expensive baitcasters worth it?

Baitcaster reels can withstand heavier lines and allow longer cats compared to spinning reels.

Expensive baitcasters are definitely worth their price; they are usually lighter and come with better components.

What should I look for when buying a baitcaster?

You should keep an eye out for the gear ratio, the spool size, line capacity, among others, but remember comfort is the key.

What is the easiest baitcaster to use?

One of the easiest baitcasters to use is the Piscifun Perseus.

What is the best Daiwa baitcaster?

The overall best Daiwa baitcaster is the Tatula CT Type-R baitcaster.

Conclusion

Fishing has become one of the most popular hobbies, so you need the right equipment to make your experience more fun. When purchasing a saltwater baitcasting reel, make sure you know what you’re looking for and get yourself the best model within your budget.

Saltwater fishing requires you to pay attention to the features and design of the reel and make sure it is corrosion resistant because saltwater can be brutal. With all the information above, you should be able to make a choice on the best saltwater baitcasting reel for your needs.

Also, see;

(Best Baitcast reels)

(Best Crankbait Reels)

(Best Fishing Line For Baitcaster Reel)

Leave a Comment