Review: KastKing Bassinator Elite Baitcasting ReelReview: KastKing Bassinator Elite Baitcasting Reel Review: KastKing Bassinator Elite Baitcasting Reel
By Glenn May
For the past month, I’ve been giving a workout to KastKing’s top-of-the-line reel in their lineup of high-speed, low-profile reels, the KastKing Bassinator Elite baitcasting reel. Weighing in at just 5.7 ounces, this reel falls into the featherweight category. Weight is shed by utilizing carbon fiber side plates, and using mostly aluminum internal components. Despite the light weight, the durable aluminum frame forms a beefy foundation that keeps its inner workings in perfect alignment.
The Swing-Wing style side cover opens easily and swings out and away for access to the spool. It stays attached to the frame and will never be lost. The centrifugal braking system under the cover features 6 adjustable braking shoes to virtually eliminate overruns and backlashes with baits of any size in all conditions. The aluminum tension control knob has click adjustments and won’t back off during use.
I could easily fine-tune the reel to my personal preferences as I switched lures and casting techniques. It was easy to cast and control, even in wind and with light lures.
It’s definitely a feature-packed reel for the price. Key features include 11 stainless steel ball bearings (10BB+1RB) including two free-spin super speed bearings on either side of its CNC aluminum spool. These exceptional bearings greatly reduce noise and increase performance for farther casting distance. The reel also features aluminum construction with carbon side covers, a carbon drag system that delivers over 17lbs of drag, an audible star drag, and a 6.6:1 gear ratio. It also comes in an 8.1:1gear ration model, coming in at 27.8 and 34.1 IPT respectfully. The reel holds 130 yards of 12-pound test line.
On the water, I found the reel to be smooth and responsive. With most new reels, it can take an hour or two of fishing before you have the cast controls fully dialed in. But I had this reel set perfectly within a few casts. And I didn’t find the need to mess with the controls much as I switched between lures and techniques.
One thing that took getting used to was the sound the reel made during casting and retrieving. It’s a little louder than more expensive reels in my collection, but it didn’t seem to reduce performance. I believe the thinner walls of the lightweight materials just don’t muffle the gears as well; a tradeoff between weight and noise. The drag performed quite well while fighting big fish. It’s plenty strong, smooth and responsive.
I could tell KastKing spent considerable time and effort perfecting the creature comforts of the reel. The curved aluminum handle along with the low-profile design of the reel gave it an ergonomic comfortable feel in the palm of my hand. I like the fact that the cork grips don’t feel bulky. It’s just a more comfortable fit for me.
In a sea of choices, the KastKing Bassinator is for anyone looking to add a super lightweight, feature-packed baitcaster to their arsenal at a reasonable price. The reel is available in both left- and right-hand retrieves and comes with a full 1-year warranty.
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