Baitcasting reels are top choice of many serious anglers to catch some bass or reel in a big one but many might believe that high-end reels are the only way to go, but there are actually plenty of budget-friendly options available that can still provide excellent performance. In this blog post, we’ll be discussing the best baitcasting reels under $100, so you can get the most bang for your buck without sacrificing quality.
Having baitcasting reel in your fishing arsenal offers tons of advantages just like increased casting accuracy, better control over fish when its hooked, and adjustable braking system to control lure speed. So anglers whether they are beginner or a seasoned angler should consider the mentioned baitcasters as there are many options available in the list that perfectly fit their budget and meet their fishing needs.
If you are in hurry, you can look to the top 3 picks out of best baitcasters under $100 to not to be confused among the all eight shortlisted reels.
Top 3 picks for the baitcasting reels under $10
- Carbon fiber reel body
- 5.4:1 to 7.3:1 gear ratio
- Magnetic brake systems
- 8 ball bearings
- Aluminum reel construction
- 10+1 Stainless ball bearings
- 6.3:1 and 7.0:1 gear ratio
- 18-Pound Max Drag
- Aluminum reel and handle
- 13.3 lb. Max drag
- 5+1 Aluminum ball bearings
- 8.1.1 Gear Ratio
Best Baitcasting reel under $100 reviewed in Detail
Looking for an affordable yet high-performing baitcasting reel? Abu Garcia Revo X is the best option for the surf anglers for accurate casts.
With multiple gear ratio options from slower to fast moving reels i.e. 5.4:1 to 7.3:1, this reel offers versatility and customization to fit any fishing style. You can target any size fish going with the right speed reel.
In order to make saltwater friendly, its sleek design and durable carbon construction make it an attractive option for both novice and experienced anglers.
I really appreciate Revo brand offering carbon fiber reel at this price point. This really make the band for the buck deal for bass anglers looking for a durable reel.
But what sets the Abu Garcia Revo X apart from other budget reels is its impressive performance. The smooth drag system and precision gears ensure a seamless and powerful retrieval.
It features the magnetic brake system, it was more easy to adjust and offered more control over braking power.
And let’s not forget about the comfort factor – the ergonomic handle and soft-touch knobs make for a comfortable and easy grip, even during long casting sessions.
The knob handle is comfortable to hold for every hand size anglers. In addition to the external comfort, the internal components are no less.
This reel features 7 stainless steel ball bearings. So you are free from regular greasing issues, but still make sure to give it a freshwater wash.
Overall, the Abu Garcia Revo X Low Profile Baitcasting Fishing Reel is a top contender for the best baitcasting reel under $100. Without any compromise to quality.
- Suitable for casting heavier lures
- Perfect for various fishing techniques
- Corrosion resistant reel components
- Attractive cosmetics
- Some anglers faced the issue that the side plate fell off
Quantum Energy is a low profile style high-performance fishing reel. It is loaded with advanced features that are sure to impress even the most discerning anglers. It’s a sure choice for fresh water anglers
It’s a high speed line retrieving reel. With two gear ratio options i.e. 6.3:1 and 7.0:1 gear ratio, this reel is lightning-fast and can help you reel in your catch quickly and efficiently.
Moreover, its drag system is great, it is smooth and ensures that you can adjust the tension to match the weight of your catch, making it easier to land even the most stubborn fish. It is recommended reel for medium heavy catches not really designed for ultra-light fishing.
The internal components behind this power pack performance are 10+1 stainless steel ball bearings. Although the outer reel body is aluminum material but inner components are all resistant to corrosion.
The standout feature of this reel is Flippin’ Switch technology which is designed to make it easier and more efficient to flip or pitch your bait into tight spaces, such as under docks or overhanging trees.
The Flippin’ Switch technology is particularly useful when fishing for bass or other species that are known to hide in tight spaces. By being able to pitch your bait with greater accuracy and control, you increase your chances of hooking a fish and bringing it to the boat.
Overall, it’s an easy to operate and durable reel available at a budget-friendly price. If you are a Shimano Curado fan, the Quantum energy is a reliable alternative to that expensive buddy.
- Corrosion Resistant components
- Double coated reel body
- Fast moving reel
- Works with both Mono and braided line
- Incompatible with light lures and lines
While the Fuego baitcasting reel might not be a better choice for saltwater fishing but great choice when throwing lighter lures when fishing lakes, streams, and ponds.
What I really like about this reel is the best for finesse bait presentations. It’s a very lightweight reel with 7.2 ounces total weight. You can spend a lot of time on the water without any arm fatigue.
Its Aluminum CT frame construction make it typically lighter than those made from other materials reels. It is also a strong and durable material, which means that reels with an aluminum CT frame are less likely to break or bend during use.
The updated magnetic brake system i.e. Magforce Z. It automatically adjusts the braking force based on the speed of the spool, allowing for more efficient and effective casting performance.
Its features the highest gear ratio i.e. 8.1.1 till now in the list. This fast moving reels allows you to set fast hooks. Smaller catches are usually fast moving, a high gear ratio can help to quickly reel in the line and keep up with the fish.
Based on all these features, it’s a good reel for beginners as it is easy operate and a versatile reel suitable for variety of fishing conditions.
- The best baitcaster for beginners
- High gear ratio reel
- Better for topwater lures
- It’s a noisy reel produces sound while retrieving
- Not suitable for saltwater fishing conditions
4- Lew’s Mach I Speed Spool
best baitcaster for beginners under $100
The Lew’s Mach I Speed Spool is definitely worth considering as it withstand the toughest fishing conditions, with its high strength speed gears that provide smooth and efficient operation even at under $100 price.
The promising feature of the Lew’s Mach I Speed Spool is its Externally-adjustable Multi-Setting Brake (MSB) dual cast control system.
I really appreciate its performance when I used it to cast into the wind or fishing in heavy cover, the MSB system ensures that your casts are accurate and your line stays under control. It a great feature for beginners to handle baitcasters.
In addition to its advanced braking system, the Lew’s Mach I Speed Spool also features a lightweight, yet durable Aluminum construction.
Majorly all part are aluminum build like body, handle, spool, and spool tension cap resulting in strength and stability in various fishing conditions.
The 7+1 stainless steel ball bearings ensures the reel smoothness for longer period. 7.5:1 gear ratio surely can retrieve enough of line i.e. 30 inches on one turn.
It comes with a maximum drag of 15 pounds, this reel is more than capable of handling most freshwater species.
Overall, the Lew’s Mach I Speed Spool is an excellent choice for any angler who demands top-of-the-line performance and durability from their fishing gear.
- High-end features
- Durable reel and its components
- Fast line retrieving reel
- Attractive Cosmetics
- The anti-backslash and drag adjustment is tricky
- It is only reel not a combo
5- Daiwa Low Profile Baitcasting Reel
best low profile baitcasting reel under $100
If you’re looking for a high-quality baitcasting reel that won’t break the bank especially the Daiwa Tatula fans, the Daiwa CA80XS is an excellent choice.
This reel offers a fantastic combination of performance, durability, and affordability, making it the best baitcaster under $100 on the market.
It contains smooth and responsive 9BB+1RB system, which provides exceptional casting accuracy and control. Moreover, the brake and spool tension is easy to adjust.
The reel can cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time especially when fishing in deep water additionally offer longer casts with reduced rate of backslashes.
In addition to durability concerns, it is a versatile reel with three different options in gear ratio i.e. 6.8:1, 7.5:1, and 8.3:1. With same ball bearings count and line capacity you can choose the right speed according to your fishing type.
Overall, it’s a good combination reel with aluminum frame and graphite plates construction which provide both strength and stability without adding unnecessary weight.
I am confident that this reel is sure to exceed your expectations and help you catch greater number of smaller fish with 11 lb. max drag power.
Although I wouldn’t exaggerate that it is same like Tatula series as you get what you really paid for.
- Smooth reel performance with more bearings count
- Support longer casts
- No backslahes
- Regular Lubrication is required
6- Pflueger President XT Low Profile Reel
best baitcasting reel for bass
The major backslash of baitcasting reels is you are restricted to either the right to left handle, they merely comes with ambidextrous hand orientation. Pflueger President in addition to power pack performance offers affordability too.
It is one of the best baitcaster for bass fishing, famous among bass anglers mainly due to its sturdy nature against aggressive fish.
At start, I was disappointed with its smoothness sit feels very tight and hard when retrieving. But after several casts, and severe line tangles mainly due to my own fault, the reel is smooth and sturdy beyond my expectations.
Obviously, there are many key reasons behind this smoothness and sturdiness, first the aluminum frame body. Secondly, the corrosion resistant 9 ball bearings and last but not least the comfy cork handles.
It is the first baitcaster in this reel with cork handle that also make it special as compared to others.
Magnetic break system is easy to adjust especially by beginners or spinning reels users. By adjusting the star drag system, anglers can easily tire out the fish and bring it closer to the boat or shore without any line breaking or the fish escaping.
It is a low profile baitcaster with 12 lb. max drag power. At this, the reel perform the best, it can decently handle freshwater species as compared to saltwater.
The Pflueger President XT also features a lightning-fast 7.3:1 gear ratio, so whenever you’re fishing in deep water or trying to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time, you can retrieve your lure quickly.
It’s ergonomic design, lightning-fast gear ratio, and responsive drag system can surely wins your expectations especially from a $100 reel.
- Durable construction
- Ambidextrous handle orientation
- Initially, the anglers might face the bird nests
7- 13 FISHING – Origin A – Baitcast Reels
best baitcasting reel for finesse fishing
Going with cheap baitcasters is especially beneficial for anglers as low-price reels are made simpler as compared to high end reels. The higher the price, the more it is made for professionals.
13 fishing is one the best cheap baitcast reel in the tackle market. A suitable option for finesse fishing techniques.
Even at this price point, the reel’s advanced braking system is also worth mentioning. It’s incredibly smooth and easy to adjust, which means you can make precise casts with ease.
The magnetic cast control system makes it easy to dial in the perfect settings for your specific fishing needs, whether you’re casting lightweight lures or heavy baits.
The reel itself is a lightweight option, total weighs 7.2 ounces even its composite construction do not add any additional weight overall.
In addition to these, the knob size is great. These are suitable for both small and big hand anglers. These aren’t ambidextrous handles so you have pick one.
It is also not ideally fast like other baitcasters listed above as it has 6.6:1 gear ratio. Or you can jump to its 8.1.1 gear ratio version there is no in between option.
This reel is sure to become a favorite among seasoned anglers and beginners alike. So, whether you’re a weekend warrior or a serious angler, the Origin A is definitely worth considering.
- This 200 size baitcaster is suitable for most of the fishing conditions
- Can bear the saltwater bruises
- Lightweight reel
- Not an ambidextrous handle reel
- Bird nests is also an issue but not much
8- Abu Garcia Pro Max Low Profile Baitcast Reel
best baitcasting reel for steelhead
Getting an ABU Gracia baitcaster under $100 is bang for the buck especially when it is all corrosion resistant to confidently make it go through the saltwater exposure.
As an experienced angler I really recommend these two models from Abu Garcia as they really stood out to me with their innovative features and superior performance.
I tried my best to use them as harsh as I can, the result was precise and accurate casting, even in challenging conditions.
It features graphite frame and side plates construction, that make it spin smoothly with longer gaps of lubrication.
The reels braking system is equally impressive. It ball bearings count is great i.e. 8 plus they are stainless steel.
You can quickly set hooks to catch those skittish or fast running fish. You can throw heavy jigs, spinner baits, or other live or heavy baits without backslashes issues.
A reel at this price can impressively land Salmon, steelhead, bass, and some other species while jigging.
Make sure to add the Abu Garcia Pro Max as a powerful backup reel in your fishing arsenal.
- Performs great at throwing heavy lures
- Long lasting smoothness
- Can handle bigger and heavy catches
- I wish it casts more longer
How to choose the best baitcasting reels under $100
The outer covering of the reel that protects the internal components is the reel body. Mainly two main materials are used for reel’s body construction i.e. Graphite and Aluminum.
The graphite reel is lighter and more corrosion resistant as compared to aluminum reel although aluminum is more durable and sturdy than graphite.
Carbon fiber is also an option among the baitcasting reels but among the high-end and expensive one. Overall, for a full day long fishing conditions, reels with graphite body are popular these reels mostly has aluminum spool.
If you prefer the sturdy reels, aluminum oxide is for sure the best for durability.
Size of the baitcaster
The baitcasting reel size representation is bit confusing as compared to spinning reels. These are mentioned as 50, 70, 100, and up to 400.
Here’s the case, the size representation of baitcasting reels varies with their types. The low profile baitcasting reel sizes are mentioned as 50 up to the 400. Keep in mind that smaller value indicates smaller spool capacities on the reels.
With round spool baitcasting reel, the brands mention their sizes as “1000” up to the 10,000 or even bigger. These are larger spool reels for bigger catches.
Although size is directly proportional to the fishing type, if you want to go with the general option, a 200 size baitcasting reel is optimum pick.
It offers much spool capacity and cover wide range of fishing applications.
The number of time a spool rotates on one complete turn of the handle indicates the gear ratio i.e. 5.1 means a spool rotates 5 times on one handle crank. So greater the gear ratio is, the more line will be retrieved.
Baitcasting reels are often picked by bass anglers, for this size fish a fast moving reel is a better choice. As slow reels are for bigger catches.
Baitcasting reels have much higher gear ratios values as compared to spinning reels up to 9.1:1 and good part is it is easier to control the speed.
The 7.1 to 9.1 gear ratio reels are good for lighter lures. When throwing topwater, jigs, soft plastics, and lipless crankbaits, a high speed reel is best.
Whereas for live baits or bigger ones, the slow moving reels are recommended as they allow to attract the bigger fish more naturally by slower lure presentations and allows to retrieve lure slowly when the fish properly engulfs it. A winter fishing style.
When throwing deep crankbaits and spinnerbaits, and bigger swimbaits slow baitcasters of 5.1.1 gear ratio are top choice.
Baitcasting reels with gear ratios less than 6.1 are considered slower reels. So a reel with 6.1 gear ratio is an in between best option to work in different fishing conditions.
Overall it is utterly important to match the type of fishing with the reel speed as it will reflect your cast.
Round vs Low profile Baitcaster
Baitcasting reels are further available into two different styles i.e.
- Round spool Design
- Low Profile Design
You can clearly spot the difference among the two
Again the type of fishing will decide which one to pick. The main difference between these two is the spool capacity. Round spool reels have larger spool and more drag power and hence offer more line capacity so pick them when you are up to bigger catches i.e. saltwater (surf) fishing.
Low profile baitcasting reels are easier to operate and have smaller spools as compared to rounder one. So if you are a beginner or planning for light fishing low profile baitcasting reels are the best choice.
Both also differ by weight, round spool reels are heavier than low profile. You can fish full day long without any arm fatigue with a low profile baitcasting reel.
The drag is the direct fight with the fish as it relies on friction plates that prevent the extra line coming off the spool when a fish is hooked.
If you have set the drag loose, the fish can easily retrieve more line and swim far away thus placing tension on the drag plates while if you have set the drag to tight, the tension between the plates and the pulled line by the fish can cause line breakage.
So if you have set the drag right, you are totally “IN” in the game and definitely superior over the catch. You might have noticed that the max drag power is mostly mentioned with reel description, make sure to follow it as set as required.
Overall, set the drag at the one third of the line strength. For example if you are using a 10lb. line then set the drag around 3 lb.
Learn how to set the drag on a baitcaster and some reel basics
There are many terms to know about the baitcasting reels and braking system is one of those. The reason why baitcasting reels offer casting accuracy and more control over the lure speed is its braking system as you can control the spool rotation on a cast.
The braking system of a baitcasting reel is a crucial component that helps prevent backlash and improve casting accuracy. Mainly you have two types among the baitcasting reel’s braking system: centrifugal and magnetic.
Centrifugal brakes use small weights that are positioned inside the reel’s spool. These weights are adjusted by the angler to control the speed of the spool during casting. The more weights that are engaged, the slower the spool will spin, which reduces the chances of backlash.
Magnetic brakes, on the other hand, use a series of magnets positioned around the spool to slow it down during casting. Like centrifugal brakes, magnetic brakes can be adjusted by the angler to control the amount of braking force applied.
Both types of braking systems have their pros and cons, and many reels will use a combination of both to provide maximum control and adjustability. Ultimately, the braking system you choose will depend on your personal preferences and the type of fishing you plan to do.
The ball beatings in the fishing reels are the smaller circular bearings the reduce friction between the internal moving parts of the reel and leads to smooth spinning operation of the reel.
Higher number of ball bearings are preferred by anglers for long lasting smoothness but at this point the material of the ball bearings matters a lot.
For example, If you are a surf angler and using a reel with aluminum 9+1 ball bearings, they will be rusted after some time if wouldn’t greased regularly. A rusted reel is a total failure.
Graphite ball bearings are lighter in weight and more importantly corrosion resistant, the recommended material for saltwater fishing and also works great in freshwater.
Generally, the minimum requirement of ball bearings in a baitcasting reel is 4+1. These count ball bearings are reliable to offer smooth spinning rotation of reels.
So make sure that your best baitcasting reel under $100 have this ball bearings count.
Frequently Asked Questions
In conclusion, never underestimate the low-budget reels they offer bunch of characteristics i.e. good performance, versatility, and durability. So, anglers can choose the best baitcasting reel under $100 for their fishing style and preferences.
If I have to select the one reel from the list, I will go with the Abu Garcia Revo X, it can handle a variety of fishing situations. You can choose different gear ratios, braking systems, and other features that best suit their fishing needs.
So, get out there and catch some fish with your new budget-friendly baitcasting reel!
Check out some best spinning reels under $100 if you are spinning technique user.