This article will prove to you there’s no need for you to punch a hole in your wallet just to get an effective and efficient baitcasting reel. If you want to know your best options for the best baitcasting reels under 100, definitely check out what we’ve shortlisted for you below. They aren't just affordable, but reliable and sure to last as well!
Best Baitcaster Under 100 Dollars
Here we take a look at our main picks:
1. KastKing MegaJaws Baitcasting Reel
This is one that almost everyone can agree to be the best. The KastKing MegaJaws has features that make it suitable for use in tournaments.
To complement the double-shielded bearing system made of stainless steel, the reel’s worm drive gear is made of nickel-coated brass and its primary gears have a manganese brass material construction.
All these give you the assurance that this reel is truly one of the best. It provides the strength, durability, and consistent performance you would want from a tournament-ready baitcasting reel under 100. It’s made for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.
The carbon fiber drag makes use of several discs to provide a maximum of 17.6 drag power. The baitcasting reel is also available in different gear ratios such as 7.2:1, 5.4:1, and 6.5:1.
2. KastKing Royale Legend Baitcasting Reel
Another one from KastKing, next on our list of the best baitcasting reels under 100 is the Royale Legend model. The brand manufactures the most exceptional fishing gear while maintaining affordability.
With an impressively high gear ratio, beautiful design, and dual brake system, it’s one to have as a backup and addition to your collection of fishing reels.
To be successful at using this excellent reel in obtaining an enormous yield, we advise you to apply the scent activators to baits. Doing so will compel fish to go after your baits. The Royale Legend from KastKing provides maximum reel performance while ensuring you still have a decent amount left for other fishing gear.
Its drag ratio is at 7.0:1 which is hot and fast enough, leaving you flabbergasted at how it’s able to retract line quickly.
3. Pflueger President XT Low Profile Reel
It wouldn’t be a list of the best baitcasting reels under 100 without the Pflueger President XT. It’s one of the most reliable low-profile baitcasters currently available.
What we love about this is it has something that suits every user. It’s perfect for use with topwater buzz baits and spinners – even trollers. It can be regarded as the butler of baitcasting reels.
Its magnetic braking system is absurdly good. Just a few tweaks and you’ll cast the reel without you having to thumb the spool.
4. Abu Garcia’s Black Max Fishing Reel
The brass layout for this baitcaster’s gear denotes durability. This means you’re sure the reel will last a long time and keep functioning perfectly.
The MagTrax brake system is worth mentioning as we’ve found it to provide a constant brake pressure.
But, what made us decide to add Abu Garcia’s Black Max is the maximum convenience and comfort it’s able to give users while fishing.
5. Shimano SLX Baitcasting Reel
This baitcaster only has 3 bearings. Yes, you read that right. However, its Japanese quality ensures users of their efficacy and longevity.
We’ve tested it out ourselves and it operates at its peak every single time. It’s small and lightweight, but don’t get fooled by its look as it’s a powerful baitcaster with smooth, durable, and long-lasting brass gearing.
6. KastKing Speed Demon Elite Fishing Reel
This high-speed baitcaster from none other than KastKing has a gear ratio of 9.3:1. But, that’s not the best part.
The reel has a carbon fiber drag, handle, star drag, and side lates to function flawlessly even in saltwater. Its extremely durable material is what keeps the reel lightweight. You can use the reel for continuous fishing.
It’s also strong enough to stand against the toughest conditions. But, you can expect nothing less from the brand.
7. Piscifun Phantom Baitcasting Reel
One of the most impressive features of this baitcasting reel under 100 is its weight. It’s so light you won’t even think it’s added to your fishing rod.
The reel also has an incredible brake system, which makes use of both magnetic and centrifugal brakes that are easily adjustable.
Its braking system is powerful but you can also fine-tune it to your liking which is a plus. Switching between different settings is easy on this reel.
8. Abu Garcia’s Pro Max Baitcast Fishing Reel
Any seasoned angler knows good engineers whenever they feel it. We suggest you consider this, too. It’s built for smooth customizable casts and the drag is quite smooth as well.
This is why you’ll get the sensation that it offers professional performance. We also noticed that it’s comfortable to use even for hours at a time.
When it comes to the braking system, it exerts consistent pressure instead of sudden reactions. What this means is it promises casts that go where you aim them.
How to Pick the Best Baitcasting Reels Under 100
To help you make the right choice, consider these crucial factors that can affect the best baitcaster under 100 that’s suited for your specific requirements:
This is a crucial or essential point you should take the time to consider before you decide on a particular model from our list of the best baitcasting reels under 100.
Gear ratio refers to how many times your reel’s spool rotates with every turn or crank of the lever. In order to give you an example, let’s say you found the cheapest baitcaster with a gear ratio of 6.1:1. In this case, the reel will rotate the spool fully exactly 6.1 times with one crank of the reel’s handle.
For this reason, the gear ratio of a baitcasting reel is often classified as speed metrics. The faster gear ratios like the 7.1:1 can quickly retrieve the fishing line back on a spool. A slower gear ratio like the 5.4:1 can return the fishing line gradually or at a slower pace.
Although the difference in gear ratio between different reel models doesn’t seem to have a huge impact on your purchasing decision, it’s actually critical to experienced anglers when selecting the best budget baitcast reel. This is because there are different gear ratios that are best to use depending on the kind of angling that’s going to be done.
Topwater angling will require handlers to quickly skim the bait or else it will sink. Anglers will be better off having a reel with a faster gear ratio like 7.1:1 in order to meet the speed requirement. The faster gear ratios can be useful when strike zones are very small as anglers are forced to cast and make retrievals several times.
As for deepwater angling, a slower gear ratio is required e.g. 5.4:1 or even the 5.1:1. When specific species are skeptical when it comes to quick motions while water is cold, the last thing that an angler would want is zipping by a spinner bait or crank bait.
Gradually working the lure using a low gear ratio like the 5.1:1 allows an angler to keep the bait within the strike zone for much longer. Curious fish won’t be scared off.
If it weren’t for a reel’s brake system, there’d be a huge bird’s nest that’s in the spool of every experienced angler.
A bird’s nest (also called backlash) happens when the fishing line flies off the spool faster than the lure is able to carry it. As it has nowhere to go, the line is built up into a knot within the spool, which resembles a bird’s nest, hence its name.
Such unfortunate events can definitely happen even to the most seasoned of anglers. However, the severity and the frequency of backlash happening can be reduced dramatically with the use of a good quality brake system.
Not even the most expensive baitcast reels will stop the spool totally by the time the lure hits the water. However, this doesn’t mean the best baitcasting reels on sale aren’t useful. A brake system has a simple purpose and that’s to control the spool and prevent it from over-rotating.
There are various types of brake systems for baitcasting reels and they are the following:
A magnetic brake works by slowing down the spool gradually by applying a certain amount of magnetic force onto it.
The small magnets that are within the reel can be moved close or far from a spool. This adjusts the speed of the line coming off.
When the magnets are adjusted to be far away from your reel’s spool, the spool spins more freely. Adjusting them so they’re much closer to the spool will slow it down dramatically.
The centrifugal type of brake system for baitcasting reels operates with various brakes activating whenever there’s the centrifugal force that is applied.
As soon as the lure is cast, the centrifugal brakes will operate in proportion to the specific amount of applied force.
Casting with a much greater force will allow the brakes to put a greater amount of pressure. Casting with less force can hardly activate the brakes.
This is the final variant of braking systems for the best baitcasting reels under 100. A mechanical brake system works by putting consistent pressure onto a spool.
A mechanical brake, unlike the centrifugal or magnetic brakes, is going to put the same exact amount of force starting from a cast’s beginning up to the end.
To find just the right amount of force, simply tighten the mechanical brake system to the maximum potential, then hold the lure and rod above ground, and back off until the lure has hit the ground.
As soon as it’s done, your mechanical brake will continue to put a consistent amount of pressure on every cast.
Bearings can sometimes be tricky to deal with. They’re often misunderstood ”“ even by the most experienced anglers. Manufacturers that try to make good baitcaster reels also toss different numbers and terminology which can confuse anglers further.
Just remember that bearings are designed specifically to reduce the friction that a reel experiences during casts and retrievals. The bearing mechanism of a reel functions as a set of rolling balls which spin around a raceway.
The raceway is enclosed and this allows for a smoother rotation of the components. Although the process may be discussed in more depth, there’s truly no need for you to know every single technical jargon.
Nevertheless, selecting the best cheap baitcaster with the right number of ball bearings will come down to a few things. A lot of manufacturers try cramming as many bearings as possible into a raceway even on a cheaper model.
They are hoping that the higher number would impress anglers. Although this is definitely effective, there’s no one true way of absolutely figuring out the bearing system’s quality.
Basically, even if a reel has 18 ball bearings, that won’t necessarily mean this particular model is worth something. This is because the bearings may be constructed of poor-quality materials.
What we would suggest is focusing on the quality of the bearings rather than the quantity. The kinds of ball bearings that are most effective would be those that are made of stainless steel and protected from the elements.
These bearings often have totally enclosed circuits and high-quality balls which can resist corrosion and irreversible damage from soils.
The drag strength is also an important factor to consider before you decide on one product from the top 8 or top 5 baitcasting reels under $100. A baitcaster’s drag strength determines the force that’s required to reverse the spool and release the fishing line back to a lure.
There’s typically a braking system that’s within a reel. When the force exceeds a brake’s strength, fishing line is being let loose. But, from their unique design, the best budget baitcaster has more drag strength compared to spinners.
Comparing a good baitcaster under 100 dollars and a spinning reel will indicate a baitcaster has a stronger drag system. Though this is true for the freshwater models, you’d find the same holds for the saltwater baitcasting reels ”“ yes, even models under $100.
Many baitcasters have drag settings that are suitable for the majority of freshwater species. A drag setting can be adjusted to be a third of a line’s strength. For a 30 lbs. test, it’s going to be fitted with a drag setting of 10 lbs.
As a result, the majority of baitcasters have a maximum setting of 20 lbs. This would hypothetically let anglers spool a 60 lbs. test.
Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly are baitcasting reels?
Baitcasting reels are common reel variants. They’re primarily used by competitive and experienced anglers. Novice anglers often choose spinning reels to accompany them during their first few trips on the water. This is because spinners are easier to handle. They also unwind line easily, which is from the central spool that’s on top of spinning reels.
As for baitcasting reels, they are not as simple. They are structured around frictionless wheels which release line rapidly. The reels are somewhat flat with a frictionless wheel reaching across the middle directly.
There is a button in front of a baitcaster’s spool which you can press. This releases the locking mechanism and lets an angler cast. In addition, a baitcaster sits on the upper portion of a rod. It also runs the line through a set of top-mounted fishing rod guides instead of bottom-mounted.
As soon as an angler casts the bait, the line is released by the swift spinning of the frictionless reel. For this reason, a handle must place his/her thumb on the line to monitor the release speed. This is where it gets kind of tricky. New anglers will find it a struggle to figure out the right amount of pressure needed in preventing the fishing line from getting bundled inside a reel. But, with a lot of practice, any angler can figure it out.
Where can I use the best baitcasting reels under 100?
Baitcasting reels are versatile. They’re durable, solid, and ideal for various fishing applications. Experienced anglers, in particular, love using baitcasters whenever they are hunting bigger game. Because baitcasters are situated over the rod blanks, so are the fishing line guides.
This means when tension is placed on the guides, the digging is directly down into a blank instead of pulling away from a blank anglers can put a tremendous amount of pressure on a baitcaster. This is also why the best saltwater rods and surf fishing rods are bait-casters.
Why should I use a baitcaster?
A good quality baitcaster that’s under 100 is far more lightweight, capable, and convenient compared to a spinner of the same size and price.
First off, a baitcaster is significantly smaller compared to an inshore spinning reel that’s equipped with the same amount of line strength.
Even the best and cheapest baitcasters are more lightweight and compact compared to a similar-rated spinner. The upside to this feature is anglers are able to cast consistently without tiring out themselves from the added weight of spinners.
Second, baitcasting reels under 100 can generate more drag compared to the other types of reels. Even a cheaper baitcaster is able to generate drag of up to 20 lbs, which means it can hold up to freshwater trophy fish.
This fact coupled with the placement location of a baitcaster on a rod which is on top rather than below, the rod and the reel combo becomes remarkably powerful.
Lastly, a baitcaster that’s under 100 dollars has a massive line capacity. It can hold a tremendous amount of line, subsequently allowing it to cast further compared to a spinner. Anglers who fish for the shoreline often require as much line and this is where a baitcasting reel stands out.
How far can I cast a baitcaster?
Although a baitcasting reel can cast a longer distance, it’s unrealistic for one to think that it can cast several football fields. Even the best baitcasting reel under $100 won’t be capable of reaching from one goal post to another.
The most experienced anglers are able to cast up to 60 yards when the right techniques are used. This distance is sufficient in getting as far away as possible from rubber banks. But, this distance doesn’t come overnight. It often takes most anglers years or even decades to achieve.
One of the best ways in increasing your distance is practicing with plugs on dry land. Plugs are small weighted pieces without lures or hooks but they imitate the feel of these objects. Understanding and learning the process using a cheap baitcaster is an excellent way of getting a feel for this particular method.
You can also determine the perfect time for you to thumb the line, as well as prevent a bird’s nest from occurring. Remember that it pays to practice, most especially if you’re using a new kind of fishing equipment.
Spending some time out on the water and trying to reel hard-hitting fish would most definitely be an exhilarating activity.
So, before you head out for a memorable and successful fishing adventure, equip yourself with your most solid choice for baitcasting reels under 100, which is the KastKing MegaJaws. It’s the one that we know for sure won’t let you down.
Nothing beats this affordable, quality reel. It’s even capable of beating the more expensive baitcasters on the market today!