Best Bait Casting Reel of 2017
Bait casting reels are extremely important in sea angling, they allow you to use much larger lures, whilst still being able to cast properly. A decent quality bait casting reel allows you to maintain control over placement, and ultimately the strength to pull in those seawater fish!
In this review, we’ve looked at 5 of the best bait casting reels on the market right now. They’re all less than $50, and some of them offer superb value for their price.
|Maximum Drag||12 lbs||16.5 lbs||18 lbs||20 lbs|
|Weight||7.27 oz||5.7 oz||Not detailed, but light.||6 oz|
|Pros||Great price, solid build quality from a manufacturer we’re slowly becoming to respect.||It's cheap, and you get cool addons like carbon fibre brakes and a well-made bearing setup.||An Abu Garcia reel that's inexpensive.||A premium feel reel with a budget price tag.|
|Cons||We couldn’t find any.||That same funky brake system is just a little clunky for our tastes. Perhaps it might mellow with time, yet for our review it just didn’t match the Piscfun.||They cut too many corners to make it an Abu Garcia reel.||Absolutely none, quality is perfect and for the money it’s an unbeatable deal.|
The Best Bait Casting Reel of 2017!
Tuned Magnetic Brake System
Our Rating: (4.3/5)
|Maximum Drag||12 lbs|
We’ve reviewed Piscfun rods and reels before, finding them great value compared to the more established brands such as Shimano and Daiwa.
The Low-Profile Bait Casting Reel continues this theme, offering features like stainless bearings, 6.3.1 gear ratios and a smoothness it’s tough to beat for under $50.
- 6.3.1-reel gear ratio.
- 13 stainless steel bearings plus 1 main bearing.
- Magnetic brake design allows before control when placing your lure.
- Machine manufactured aluminium forged spool.
Once again, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by Piscfun. This reel is silky smooth in use and that magnetic brake really does allow a degree of finesse when casting.
The other quite useful thing about the magnet system, is that I could put on whatever lure I wanted, without having to reset the magnets with each change in weight. The entire system feels capable of handling whatever you can throw at it.
The handle and spool are equally well made, from the short time we used it, we feel it should stand the test of time well. Casting from the shore, or casting from a kayak or boat will be easy, especially with a solid trolling battery.
As for the negatives, there aren’t any. Of course, there’s always an issue when purchasing a non-brand name item, yet we’ve reviewed many Piscfun units now, they always appear to be high quality.
Our Rating: (4.3/5)
|Corrosion Resistant BB|
|Maximum Drag||16.5 lbs|
The KastKing is an interesting looking reel, its carbon fibre drag and 7.0.1 gear ratio you just wouldn’t expect to find on a reel costing just $40.
As for its other merits, you’ll find the same low-profile design as the Piscfun, plus other goodies like dual brakes and a fully anodized aluminium spool.
- Precision cut brass gears at 7.0.1.
- Aluminium forged waffle spool.
- Corrosion protected ball bearing pack.
- Low profile design.
The KingKast reel is easy to use, especially the braking system. It literally takes two separate turns of the plate to adjust the reel, and there’s a high degree of control over everything.
Like the Piscfun, the KingKast works like a dream. It’s able to cast some large lures over quite a distance with incredible accuracy, whilst there’s little drag too.
The dual carbon brake system works well too, although we felt it didn’t quite have the finesse of the Piscfun. Perhaps KingKast overcooked the braking system, we’re not sure; however, there’s a difference between the two systems and we prefer the Piscfun more.
3. Abu Garcia
Our Rating: (4.7/5)
|Weight||Not specified, but light.|
|Magtrax Brake System|
|Maximum Drag||18 lbs|
This time we’ve a reel from the well-known fishing brand Abu Garcia. We’ve waited for some time before getting our hands on this model, so we’re excited to check it out.
As with all Aby Garcia reels, we’re looking for that high level of quality, smooth drag and the dura brass gear system they’re well known for!
- 4 Stainless steel bearing and 1 roller bearing.
- Machined aluminium spool.
- Dura brass gear system.
- Power disk drag system.
The great thing about this Abu Garcia reel, is the fact it opens up the quality of their brand to newcomers. The BMX3 is only $40, so could well be one of the first reels you’d ever purchase.
In reality, there are some cost savings made along the way. We feel the Dura Brass System isn’t quite as perfect as it is on their more expensive models, plus we often found the reel outperformed by the Piscfun when it came to casting, drag and the generally feel of the unit. Comparable to spinning reels though, they are still cost effective.
It’s a real shame because we absolutely love the Abu Garcia brand, yet apart from the name on the side, there’s little here to excite us!
Our Rating: (4.3/5)
|Maximum Drag||20 lbs|
The Royale KastKing is worth a shout in our review, even if it doesn’t quite match the Piscfun in terms of performance.
We’ve decided to include another KastKing, this time the Rover, to see if by upping our budget another $15 we could get something real special to round off our review.
The Rover isn’t exactly short on features either, it serves up a fully anodised aluminium construction, an uprated carbon brake system plus a host of other goodies.
- Carbon fibre brake system
- Stainless steel worm gearing.
- Stainless steel bearing pack.
At $45, the KingKast Rover is the most expensive reel on review; however, it really blew us away the moment we opened it!
The reel itself is slightly larger than you’d expect, probably a touch larger than an Abu Garcia 6500. Even so, it’s well balanced so doesn’t cause too many issues. Anyway, getting back to the exciting stuff, the quality of the KingKast Rover is unbelievable. Casting is a breeze thanks to a set of bearings that don’t appear to drag at all, plus the quality of the spool is spot on too.
Another cool feature, although a throwaway one, is the fact you get a full schematic drawing and carry bag with the reel. Sure, this is normal for a quality reel, yet this one is retailing for $45 and we just wouldn’t expect that attention to detail for that money.
If you’re considering purchasing an Abu Garcia, such as the 6500 or 7000, we would urge you to look at this KingCast. It’s better quality, come with all the bits you’d expect on a premium reel – except it costs much less!
Early on in our review, we were going to plump for the Piscfun. It’s a decent reel and for $30 you really can’t do better for the quality you’re getting. The KingKast Royale just couldn’t match it for smoothness and some of the fittings on the Royale were a little low rent too.
However, this all changed when we looked at the KingKast Rover. We were blown away by the premium feel, quality and features we had never seen on a sub $50 reel before.
Casting with the Rover is a dream and that uprated carbon brake system is light years ahead of the Royale, it’s a wonder why they bothered making a worse system to save $15.
- Best for Budgets: The Piscfun is a superb starter reel and will do everything you need to and more. It’s silky smooth, well made and is backed up by a new coming brand that’s just now earning a reputation.
- Best Overall: It just has to be the KingKast Rover. Everything the Royale version just isn’t, and for only $15 more! Everything gets an upgrade with this reel, from the carbon brake system, to the carry bag and gear system. This is a premium level reel selling for budget money, buy it now before they realise!