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The 10 Best Baitcasting Reels under $100

If you’re looking to improve your angling skills this summer, then a baitcasting reel could be the answer. Not only will it help you cast farther using a heavier line, but it’ll also give you a greater opportunity to catch larger fish in general.

However, you can’t just go into the store and buy any old baitcasting reel you find because you might end up with something that’s completely useless for what you’ll be using it for. Plus, there are just so many different choices to pick from these days that purchasing anything can be a surprisingly daunting experience.

Price is always a good place to start though, which is why we’ll be looking specifically at the best baitcasters under 100 dollars.

A baitcasting reel is unique in that it requires you to store your fishing line in a revolving spool which is supported by ball bearings. This process enables the spool to spin multiple times with each pull of the handle, which is why baitcasting reels with a high gear ratio are often preferred because they allow you to generate numerous revolutions of the spool with less effort.

This unique construction is also what makes baitcasting reels so versatile, in that you can use them in any environment, and the fact that they come in different weights and sizes makes them suitable for both novice and experienced anglers alike.

Baitcasting Reel vs Spinning Reel

While spinning reels are considered to be a more user-friendly-option, baitcasting reels allow you to cast further into the water and can be utilized for more demanding applications and terrain.

Also, spinning reels are mainly designed for casting light bait, whereas, with a baitcasting reel, you can use any lure you like, from spinner baits to crank baits and jigs.

It’s safe to say that the market is awash with all types of baitcasting reels, many of whom promise great things. To help you narrow down your choices, we’ve put together a list of bait casting reels which in our opinion, are pretty solid options and are versatile enough to suit anglers of different experience levels and preferences.

Our Top 10 Picks Under $100

Piscifun Phantom Carbon Baitcasting Reel Only 5.7oz, Our Lightest Baitcaster, 17LB Carbon Fiber Drag, 7.0:1 Gear Ratio, Dual Brakes Baitcast Fishing Reels, Incredible Cast Distance (Right Handed)
ROSE KULI Spinning Metal Spool Bait Casting Fishing Reel 12 Plus 1 Ball Bearings for Freshwater and Saltwater, 3000/4000 Series
KastKing New Assassin Carbon Baitcasting Reel, Only 5.7 OZ, 16.5 LB Carbon Fiber Drag, 11+1 BB, Dual Brakes, Our Lightest Baitcaster Fishing Reel, Affordable! (Right Handed)
Piscifun Torrent 18LB 7.1:1 Baitcaster Right Handed Baitcasting Reel Carbon Fiber Drag Fishing Reel Tournament Baitcast Reels
Abu Garcia BMAX3-C Black Max Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel
Cost Factor
$$
$
$$
$
$
Weight
5.7-oz
8-oz
5.7-oz
8-oz
8-oz
# of Ball Bearings
6+1
12+1
11+1
5+1
4+1
Gear Ratio
7.0:1
5.1:1
6.3:1
7.1:1
6.4:1
Max Drag
17-lb
19-lb
16.5-lb
18-lb
18-lb
Warranty
1-year + 30-day money back guarantee
None
1-year
1-year + 30-day money back guarantee
1-year
Piscifun Phantom Carbon Baitcasting Reel Only 5.7oz, Our Lightest Baitcaster, 17LB Carbon Fiber Drag, 7.0:1 Gear Ratio, Dual Brakes Baitcast Fishing Reels, Incredible Cast Distance (Right Handed)
Cost Factor
$$
Weight
5.7-oz
# of Ball Bearings
6+1
Gear Ratio
7.0:1
Max Drag
17-lb
Warranty
1-year + 30-day money back guarantee
ROSE KULI Spinning Metal Spool Bait Casting Fishing Reel 12 Plus 1 Ball Bearings for Freshwater and Saltwater, 3000/4000 Series
Brand
Cost Factor
$
Weight
8-oz
# of Ball Bearings
12+1
Gear Ratio
5.1:1
Max Drag
19-lb
Warranty
None
KastKing New Assassin Carbon Baitcasting Reel, Only 5.7 OZ, 16.5 LB Carbon Fiber Drag, 11+1 BB, Dual Brakes, Our Lightest Baitcaster Fishing Reel, Affordable! (Right Handed)
Brand
Cost Factor
$$
Weight
5.7-oz
# of Ball Bearings
11+1
Gear Ratio
6.3:1
Max Drag
16.5-lb
Warranty
1-year
Piscifun Torrent 18LB 7.1:1 Baitcaster Right Handed Baitcasting Reel Carbon Fiber Drag Fishing Reel Tournament Baitcast Reels
Cost Factor
$
Weight
8-oz
# of Ball Bearings
5+1
Gear Ratio
7.1:1
Max Drag
18-lb
Warranty
1-year + 30-day money back guarantee
Abu Garcia BMAX3-C Black Max Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel
Brand
Cost Factor
$
Weight
8-oz
# of Ball Bearings
4+1
Gear Ratio
6.4:1
Max Drag
18-lb
Warranty
1-year
Daiwa 0001-4481 Fgct100H Fuego Low Profile
Lew's Fishing Speed Spool LFS Baitcast Reel, 7 oz./120 yd./12 lb./7.5:1
Sougayilang Baitcasting Reel, 11+1 Stainless Steel Bearings, 18LB Super Drag, Magnetic Brake System Fishing Reel for Bass, Crappies, Perch, Trout, Walleyes Fishing
Shimano Caenan 150 A HG Right Hand Baitcasting Fishing Reel, CAE150AHG
Lixada 17+1 Ball Bearings Baitcasting Fishing Reel 7.0:1 Bait Casting Reels Left / Right Hand Fishing Reel with One Way Clutch Baitcasting Reel
Cost Factor
$$$
$$$
$
$$$
$
Weight
7.6-oz
7-oz
7.6-oz
7.2-oz
7.3-oz
# of Ball Bearings
5+1
9+1
11+1
4+1
17+1
Gear Ratio
6.3:1
6.8:1
7.0:1
7.2:1
7.0:1
Max Drag
13.2-lb
10-lb
18-lb
11-lb
12-lb
Warranty
1-year
1-year limited
1-year
2-year
1-year
Daiwa 0001-4481 Fgct100H Fuego Low Profile
Brand
Cost Factor
$$$
Weight
7.6-oz
# of Ball Bearings
5+1
Gear Ratio
6.3:1
Max Drag
13.2-lb
Warranty
1-year
Lew's Fishing Speed Spool LFS Baitcast Reel, 7 oz./120 yd./12 lb./7.5:1
Brand
Cost Factor
$$$
Weight
7-oz
# of Ball Bearings
9+1
Gear Ratio
6.8:1
Max Drag
10-lb
Warranty
1-year limited
Sougayilang Baitcasting Reel, 11+1 Stainless Steel Bearings, 18LB Super Drag, Magnetic Brake System Fishing Reel for Bass, Crappies, Perch, Trout, Walleyes Fishing
Brand
Cost Factor
$
Weight
7.6-oz
# of Ball Bearings
11+1
Gear Ratio
7.0:1
Max Drag
18-lb
Warranty
1-year
Shimano Caenan 150 A HG Right Hand Baitcasting Fishing Reel, CAE150AHG
Brand
Cost Factor
$$$
Weight
7.2-oz
# of Ball Bearings
4+1
Gear Ratio
7.2:1
Max Drag
11-lb
Warranty
2-year
Lixada 17+1 Ball Bearings Baitcasting Fishing Reel 7.0:1 Bait Casting Reels Left / Right Hand Fishing Reel with One Way Clutch Baitcasting Reel
Brand
Cost Factor
$
Weight
7.3-oz
# of Ball Bearings
17+1
Gear Ratio
7.0:1
Max Drag
12-lb
Warranty
1-year

Top Pick


Weighing only 5.7ounces, this is one of the lightest baitcasting reels on the market, and yet it boasts a premium carbon frame construction and 17lbs of stopping power.

This reel also comes with 6+1 shielded and corrosion resistant ball bearings and a double brake system with both a magnetic and a centrifugal brake.

The 105mm extended carbon crank handle on this reel will give you the added power needed to help you reel in great catches with ease. And to back its massive pulling power it has a gear ratio of 7.0:1.

You’ll be glad to know that this reel comes with a 30-day money back guarantee on top of its 1-year limited warranty.

What We Like

  • Overall solid construction throughout
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    Comes with a free reel cover
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    Super-duper lightweight
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    Handles comfortably
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    Amazing value for money
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    Casts like a dream
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    1-year limited warranty + 30-day money back guarantee

What We Don't Like

  • Customer service could use some improvement
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    It has a bit of bearing noise

This baitcasting reel from ROSE KULI has a solid build, and it’s compact and highly portable, as it weighs just 8 pounds. It’s also quite durable and has 12 ball bearings along with a one-way clutch.

It has a gear ratio of only 5.2:1 and an aluminum spool with high tensile gear and a foldable handle that makes it easy to travel with. ​

This baitcasting reel also features an impressive 19 pounds max drag and a VERY reasonable price tag...the lowest in this category.

What We Like

  • Super affordable
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    Compact with foldable handle
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    Good drag system
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    Smooth casting

What We Don't Like

  • Some complaints of premature breakage or non functioning parts 
  • No warranty

This ultra-lightweight baitcasting reel from KastKing weighs just 5.7 ounces and is made from carbon, a material that is naturally resistant to corrosion and so tough that it can practically withstand anything. The 11+1 ball bearings are made from shielded and corrosion resistant MaxiDur, while the spool boasts hardy construction from aero-grade aluminum.

It also features 16.5 pounds of stopping power, a two-brake system that includes centrifugal and magnetic brakes, as well as a gear ratio of 6.3:1.

This reel also features a notably elegant and sleek design with a midnight black finish that’s highlighted by midnight blue accents. To top it off, it’s backed by an awesome 1-year warranty, so you know the manufacturer is confident about the quality.

What We Like

  • This reel offers great value for money
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    Casts smooth and for long distances
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    Lightweight
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    Beautiful design
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    1-year warranty

What We Don't Like

  • Using this reel takes some getting used to, and the setup is difficult

This low profile baitcasting reel from Piscifun is built to last and boasts a graphite composite body and reinforced gears with a max drag of 18 pounds.

Other notable features on this reel include shielded stainless steel bearings that are long-lasting and offer a smooth butter cast. The high-tech magnetic brake will not only reduce backlash, but it also comes with a removable side plate for easy maintenance.

The gear ratio on this Piscifun baitcasting reel is 7.1:1, with 5+1 ball bearings, and a 1-year warranty that’s accompanied by a 30-day money back guarantee.

What We Like

  • Great price, amazing value
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    Super smooth cast
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    Solid construction
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    Works in any weather condition
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    1-year warranty + 30-day money back guarantee

What We Don't Like

  • It gets a bit fussy when you use large tackle

Abu Garcia BMAX3-C Black Max Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel

Abu Garcia

BMAX3 Max Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel


With its minimalist design and sleek black and red finish, this baitcasting reel is made for easy handling and smooth casting. A machined aluminum spool complements its sturdy graphite body, and it features a Power Disk system to make sure that you enjoy smooth drag performance.

To control casting speed, it has a MagTrax braking system, and Abu Garcia has paid particular attention to the design of the handle, which comes with a grip-friendly recessed reel foot and compact bent handle.

The gear ratio of this baitcasting reel is 6.4:1, and it weighs just 8 ounces with a right-hand configuration.

What We Like

  • Lightweight
  • Casts smooth and far
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    Great customer service
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    Great choice for beginners
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    Drag system works really well

What We Don't Like

  • Some complaints of reel handle sticking and gear bearing noise

This lightweight baitcasting reel from Daiwa Fuego is easy to handle and weighs just 7.6 oz. It features a Carbon Drag of 13.2 pounds and comes with 5+1 ball bearings, an anti-reverse, air rotating aluminum frame, and Magforce-Z cast control.

It also comes with a magnetic braking system, adjustable cast control, a swept handle with a comfortable grip and a compact design that makes it easy to travel with.

What We Like

  • Affordable price
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    Light weight and compact design
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    Easy and comfortable handling
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    Amazing drag and smooth casting
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    Low profile and minimal design

What We Don't Like

  • None to speak of

With its sturdy aluminum frame and removable graphite side plates, this reel is as durable as it is easy to maintain. The spool is made from robust anodized aluminium, and it uses a magnetic brake system that makes it easy to control.

All 9 of its stainless steel bearings are shielded, and it comes with one Zero-Reverse anti-reverse bearing as well. Its Rulon drag system means that you’ll have 10 pounds of drag power to work with.

Its gear ratio is 6.8:1, and it has a zirconia line guide, custom paddle knobs from Lews on the handle, as well as an external lube port that makes for a more straightforward setup.

What We Like

  • Very light and easy to handle
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    1-year limited manufacturer’s warranty
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    Casts smoothly
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    The drag is easy to adjust
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    Well-built and long lasting

What We Don't Like

  • Lews should look into improving its shipping facilities, as many reviewers have complained of receiving broken or missing reels

Although it’s made from super durable and corrosion-resistant carbon, this baitcasting reel is very light and weighs only 7.6 oz, which makes it ideal for an all-day fishing excursion.

It features 11+1 shielded ball bearings, all of which are made from Corrosion Resistant MaxiDur, a magnetic brake system that goes from 0-9, a machined aluminum spool, and a high-tech 3 Disc Carbon Fiber Star Drag System that gives you 18 pounds worth of drag power.

To top it off, this baitcast reel comes with a high gear ratio of 7.0:1, and a 1-year warranty backs it.

What We Like

  • Good quality solidly built
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    Fully resistant to corrosion
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    Lightweight
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    Smooth retrieve
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    1-year warranty
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    Great for beginners
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    Very affordable

What We Don't Like

  • The casting could be better
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    The braking system can get glitchy sometimes

This durable baitcasting reel from Shimano comes with a gear ratio of 7.2:1 and yet it only weighs 7.2 pounds, and features High-Efficiency Gear that gives you a super smooth retrieve.

It’s a low profile reel with a max drag of 11pounds and 4+1 ball bearings with a sleek black design.

What We Like

  • Sturdy and very well-made
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    Good drag system
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    Smooth cast and retrieve
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    Good value for money
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    Lightweight and easy to handle

What We Don't Like

  • No side plate adjustment
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    Reports of reel sticking

Lixada has managed to combine performance with good looks in this 7.3 ounze baitcasting reel, which has a gear ratio of 7.0:1, 17+1 stainless steel ball bearings, a decent max drag of 12 pounds and a dual brake system.

It’s constructed from a combination of high strength nylon and polished metal and features a CNC machined aluminum spool as well as a handy Soft EVA handle knob, which makes for a sturdy grip and effortless control.

What We Like

  • Great retrieve
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    Smooth cast
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    Beautiful design
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    Solid construction
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    Light and easy to handle

What We Don't Like

  • None to speak of

In a Nutshell...

Baitcaster reels have been around for centuries, and even though they’ve gone through a few renditions since they were first invented, they still remain the most versatile reel option for anglers.

With a baitcasting reel, you can enjoy the same precision regardless of the type of terrain you’re angling in, and this includes tough environments like weed beds and Lilly ponds for example.

This is what makes baitcasting reels a logical next step once you’ve gotten tired of, or reached the limits of spinner reels.  Good ones are lightweight, easy to control and long lasting.

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