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Im looking for a new baitcasting reel online, hoping that some of experienced fisherman would give more info on what to look for when buying a baitcaster.

Whats your favorite baitcaster and what makes them the perfect beyond your reel arsenal.

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Depending on what I intend the reel to do, is what defines the criteria I judge them on. But in general I look for something under 8oz with 10+lbs of drag, at least a spool capacity of 100 yards of 14lb test, 90mm handle or larger, with a good reputation and good reviews. I am a daiwa fan and use mainly those reels, so depending on what I want the reel to do adds another element of what I look for and that is gear ratio or retrieve rate.

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Do a search in the rod, reel and line forum. There are a slew of recommendations about reel choice, but first watch a couple of the videos on using a baitcaster. All you'll need to do then is decide what you want the reel to do and you'll know what type will fit your needs.  One piece of advice, Quality equipment is worth the price, always consider it before affordability.

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Budget is important.  No use looking at $400 reels if $150 is the most you want to spend.  What do you plan on using it for?  If this is your first baitcast reel, then I'd be looking at a ratio that would work for many techniques.  A 9.0 or 5.0 wouldn't be my choice.

 

My favorite reels depend on what I am using them for.

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If you want it to last, look for an ALUMINUM FRAME. Get one with quality bearings, 3 bearings help with casting distance and anymore than that just help with the retrieve. 5.4:1 is a slow gear ratio, it has a lot of torque, good for big cranks. 6.6:1 is a good all around purpose, worms, shallow cranks, topwaters... 7.1:1 is decent for frogs, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, buzzbaits..  These are considered slow, standard and fast, respectively. There are 3 types of brakes, centrifugal, magnetic and dual. Centrifugal brakes slow the spool when it reaches a certain speed during the cast. Magnetic brakes slow the spool and are applied throughout the whole cast. Dual brakes are a combination of both. Brakes are needed to slow the spool because the spool can spin faster than the line and cause backlashes. Your choice of baitcaster depends on what weight lures you use, what type of fishing you do and personal preference.

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If your new to baitcasters I strongly recommend you get one with a duel braking system. I struggled big time with baitcasters until I got one with magnetic and centrifugal brakes. Bought a Kastking Assasin and LOVE IT!

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My favorite day-in, day-out reels have been the Lew's Tournament Pros.  I like the versatility of the dual braking system and the light weight.  Right at $200.

 

My favorite bang-for-the-buck reels are my Daiwa Tatulas (the older 100 models) at less than $100.  Some of the KastKing reels seem to offer tremendous bang for the buck but don't seem to have the solid, quality feel of the Tatulas to me.  The jury is still out on durability, as well.  My Tatulas have held up perfectly.

 

Everyone has their preferences and favorites.  I'd recommend a well-known, quality reel if you want to test the waters.  You may have to spend a little more money, but you'll probably have better odds of satisfaction.  If you end up not liking a bait caster, it would be easier to sell a quality reel and recoup most of your investment.

 

Tight lines,

Bob

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22 hours ago, papajoe222 said:

Do a search in the rod, reel and line forum. There are a slew of recommendations about reel choice, but first watch a couple of the videos on using a baitcaster. All you'll need to do then is decide what you want the reel to do and you'll know what type will fit your needs.  One piece of advice, Quality equipment is worth the price, always consider it before affordability.

I do understand that I'll get what I paid. But I have budget on fishing tackle. When it comes to bait casting reels I will spend a max of $150.

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There are many excellent reels at the 99.00 price point from many manufacturers and, with proper care, will last a long time. Getting info from others is OK but put the reel in your hands and do your homework...

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11 hours ago, new2BC4bass said:

Budget is important.  No use looking at $400 reels if $150 is the most you want to spend.  What do you plan on using it for?  If this is your first baitcast reel, then I'd be looking at a ratio that would work for many techniques.  A 9.0 or 5.0 wouldn't be my choice.

 

My favorite reels depend on what I am using them for.

No, it's not my first baitcasting reel, but this is the first time I buy it myself. I got my first baitcasting reel under Christmas tree last year. It didn't work well actually. So I plan to buy myself a new one and try out some topwater lures this year. Btw, I do lm bass fishing mostly.

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46 minutes ago, austinF said:

No, it's not my first baitcasting reel, but this is the first time I buy it myself. I got my first baitcasting reel under Christmas tree last year. It didn't work well actually. So I plan to buy myself a new one and try out some topwater lures this year. Btw, I do lm bass fishing mostly.

I think you should at least check them in store.  The reason I prefer one brand over another, other than they never failed me is the fit and comfort of the reel.  I tend to favour Shimano for those reasons.  Personal preferences is different for everyone.  If you can, hold them, feel them, put them on a rod...once you make the decision purchase them online!  If I wanted an all around reel, I’d pick a 6 gear ratio reel in general.

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Daiwa Tatula CT is a good reel within your budget.

Tom

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I have baitcasters everywhere from $50 to over $500, and if I were in your situation, I'd get on the auction site and get a Tatula SV. It's a $200 reel that you can buy for well under $150 any day of the week. I think you could pay $250 and it'd still be a good deal. They're really that good. It ticks all the boxes, it's simple to use, especially for beginners. It's comfortable. Should last many, many years. I'd probably get the HS 7.3 version for all around use. It's plenty powerful for most cranks and fast enough to move stuff in a hurry if you need to. 

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How a reel feels in hand is very important to some people.  Guess I am one of the lucky ones.  Probably own around 9 brands of reels and none bother me to use.  Sure a couple might feel a bit better in hand, but not enough so I would get rid of the others.  I never held one of my reels before buying.

 

I agree with Tywithay, the Tat SV is a great reel for anyone and can often be found for $135 and sometimes less.  You do have to keep an eye on ebay though as one day it might be $135 and the next day $179 from the same seller.  I think you would also enjoy the Tat CT Tom mentioned.

 

Another option is the Lew's Tournament MB.  It has dual brakes and is another easy reel to use.  I got mine for $108 and change off ebay.  Actually there are a lot of good reels in the $100-$150 range.  We are lucky today.

 

Do you use RH or LH?  A used reel can be a great deal.  There is an original Fuego for $65 on another site (page 3).  They were originally $229 reels.  It might be gone as a reel repair guy sent the seller a text.  This is another great reel.  I have three.  Or even better for a beginner is a T3 Ballistic for $85 on the same site that has some upgrades already done to it.  These reels have the Magforce 3D braking and are another great reel for a beginner to learn on.  They are very hard to backlash.  Original MSRP was $250.

 

EDIT:  New I'd take a hard look at the new Fuego CT.  Haven't used one myself, but from what I read it is the same reel as the Tatula CT but with a standard line guide.  It received a "Best Value Award" from TT when they reviewed it.  Can be found for around $65.

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