If you are in the market for a new baitcasting reel or maybe just dipping your toe into saltwater fishing for the first first time, you’ll have noticed there are tons of options on the market right now. We’ll help you navigate through the many options so you can find the best saltwater baitcasting reels for you.
In the following guide we’ll review 5 of the top baitcasting reels in the market today.
- Shimano Tranx LowProfile Baitcasting Fishing Reel
- Daiwa Coastal TWS T-Wing Reel
- Abu Garcia Revo SX
- Shimano Cardiff
- Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast
I have also created a buyer’s guide that will highlight the considerations that you need to have in mind when choosing the right one for you.
Baitcasting Reel vs. Spinning
A baitcasting reel is best for people who would like to have more control and accuracy with their casts. However, they require some additional skill to use vs. the spinning reel and can take some getting used to. However, that does not mean a beginner cannot catch on pretty quick with some practice. Everyone was a beginner once.
How to Choose the Best Saltwater Baitcasting Reel
With the baffling number of choices out there, all with different features, choosing a reel can be overwhelming. Worry not, however, I got you. Below are some of the key features that you need to take into account when purchasing your saltwater baitcasting reels.
The braking system on a baitcasting reel will help prevent the show stopping backlash . Brakes in a reel are of two types.
Magnetic system: this system is very easy to use, especially for a beginner and is very affordable too. However, it not easy to adjust for multiple baiting options.
Centrifugal system: this system is largely manual and allows you to make adjustments for different conditions. It, however, is not very easy to use and can be challenging for beginners.
This is one of the most critical parts of your reel. Before buying, ensure that the whole frame is one piece because it is stronger like that. A strong frame is critical to increasing the life of your baitcasting reel. Aluminum is by far the strongest material that is ideal for this piece of equipment. Graphite and alloy frames are the other common types of frames but they are weaker. I would recommend getting the strongest frame despite the cost because a baitcasting reel is a long term investment. As such, it would be great to get a high-quality product.
Speed and gears
The ideal baitcasting reel should have a good speed if you are looking for a more powerful performance since it will lower the torque. The standard gears in this type of reel are mostly made from brass. Higher priced reels have metal gears that are more durable and work better. Avoid choosing one with plastic gears since these will not last for a long time and do not function as well as metals and brass ones.
The bearings in a baitcasting reel are meant to reduce friction between the moving gears. As such, the bearings should be made from quality long lasting material for a durable reel. Reel bearings are graded in performance from 1, which is the lowest to 9 as the highest. Additionally, a reel with more bearings will work better than one with less although you need to ensure that you get high-quality bearings. I would prefer working with a few high-grade bearings than lots of low-grade bearings.
5 Best Salt Water Baitcasting Reels Reviewed
What stands out the most for us is the power that this small fishing equipment has. It is a low profile reel that is simply designed but provides maximum power and is highly durable. Furthermore, it can work in both salt and fresh water.
To begin with, it features a hegane metal construction with magnesium and aluminum that is strong, impact resistant, and offers maximum performance. This technology combined with X-ship technology delivers a huge cranking power for smooth bait throwing and easy retrieval when you catch something. It also provides enough power to pull in even big fish.
Durability is another key benefit to this baitcasting reel. To this end, the reel incorporates the Shimano coreprotect technology that is water resistant for maximum performance and resilience even in harsh environments.
At 12 pounds, this baitcasting reel will not feel heavy in your hands. What’s more, the reel features high gears and power gear for a wide range of gearing and has a maximum drag of 18 pounds. The body protects the gear engagement and systems from shock.
- Has a high cranking power
- Strong body and frame made of metal
- Has a wide range of gears
- Made using X-ship technology
- It is quite heavy
Made with an aircraft grade deep spool made of aluminum, this Daiwa Coastal combines its power with 154 pounds of drag for a smooth fishing experience. The gearings are made from high strength material to last longer in saltwater.
A 100mm swept handle made with EVA handle knobs gives more cranking power for maximum performance. This strength will allow you to catch even the largest of fish. Additionally, the reel has ball bearings that are corrosion resistant to keep saltwater out.
What is most attractive about this reel is how durable it is. Daiwa Company have been in the market for over 3 decades now with products not only in the fishing sector but also in other sectors. As such, you can be sure that they are capable of producing good quality products thanks to their long experience.
- Does not rust
- Gears are made from high-quality material
- Quite expensive
Beauty meets performance on this stylish baitcasting reel. First off, it is made using an X2-Craftic alloy frame and a C6 carbon side plate that are extremely lightweight for comfortable use even over long hours. A compact bent handle is ergonomically designed for a comfortable grip even when using it over long hours. The reel has extended bent handles and a power knob that make it easier to pull in big fish.
Notable is the Magtrax braking system on this baitcasting reel that offers a smooth and steady drag. Coupled with its wide Infiniti II spool design, it can cast even heavy loads. The D2 gears are highly efficient for maximum performance. Moreover, the titanium-coated line guide and the Duragear gear system are highly durable for longer use.
To add to the smooth operation are 9 ball bearings made of stainless steel and 1 roller bearing. The X2 alloy frame is also corrosion resistant for more durability.
- Corrosion resistant
- Ergonomic handle for comfortable use
- Consistent drag
- Users have complained that it is not very durable
Designed like it is built to last, this rough and strong looking baitcasting reel is not only functional but also has a smooth finish probably to compensate for all the gruff. Do not be fooled, however, to think that it is very expensive due to its superior construction. The Cardiff is extremely affordable!
It has a strong durable construction featuring a one-piece aluminum frame, a spool, and the side plates. The 4 ball bearings are also made of stainless steel, thus making it one of the strongest reel for catching fish in saltwater.
Despite its strong construction, Shimano Cardiff is extremely lightweight at only 8.9 ounces. The handle side VBS brakes provide superior braking and it has an anti-reverse stopper. It can be used with PowerPro, Mono, and Fluorocarbon lines.
- Very affordable
- Has an anti-reverse stopper
- Smooth finish
- Small drag
Just like the name suggests, this baitcasting reel is actually a beast. The frame is made of an X-Craftic alloy frame that is lightweight and durable. The line guide is also titanium coated for longer usability. It is available in 6 styles.
This baitcasting reel is powered by a Power Stack Carbon Matrix, which makes its drag powerful but also smooth. This ensures that it can handle even tough hard pulling fish from saltwater.
An InfiniMax braking system offers effortless adjustment and retrieval of big fish. The Duragear gear design is heavy duty and built to last. 1 roller bearing and 7 HPCR stainless steel bearings also allow a smooth operation and are long lasting for continued use.
- Very powerful but smooth
- Multiple handle options
- Comes in 7 styles to choose from
- Quite expensive
- Users have complained that it is quite heavy
Our top pick is the Shimano Tranx LowProfile Reel since it is arguably the best saltwater baitcasting reel for beginners and intermediate users.
To begin with, I like how powerful it is when coupled with two technologies for maximum performance. The construction is not only durable but it also adds to the performance by being very stiff and impact resistant. What’s more, it is easy to use and all users alike will appreciate the effortless retrieving of even big fish in both salt and fresh water. The small shortcoming is that it might feel a little heavy in your hands.