Bait casting reels are favored by skilled anglers who desire accuracy and more control when fishing. Because bait casters a specialized type of reel, most people think these devices cost a lot of money. Not quite.
It’s possible to buy a good bait caster with a budget of just $100. In fact, the world’s fastest and lightest bait casting reels cost a lot less than that.
If you are on the lookout for affordable fishing gear, here is a list of the best baitcasting reels under 100:
5 Best Baitcasting Reels Under $100 – 2018
This is an incredibly lightweight bait casting reel. In fact, it is the lightest produced by KastKing. The body of the reel is made from “bulletproof” carbon, which reduces the weight dramatically. The total weight of the reel is about 5.7 ounces (or about 164 grams). Carbon is a reliable material too. This bait casting reel is resistant to corrosion, and is superbly rigid. Obviously, if you plan on going on long fishing trips, you can use this reel without experiencing fatigue due to weight.
We fished on one trip for about 2 hours straight using this bait casting reel. We managed to catch fish weighing around 2 pounds with easy. The spool control is really impressive too. It really dials in. Overall working is really smooth, especially compared to competing brands. The reel has good stopping power thanks to a 4 disc carbon fiber tournament. It comes with two dynamic 6-pin centrifugal and magnetic brakes that wonderfully increase casting accuracy. The only drawback we experienced was with casting distance. This reel doesn’t go as far as some of the competitors’.
- Incredibly lightweight
- Good stopping power
- Smooth operation
- Casting distance is short
We would call this product one of the best baitcasting reels under 100 because it’s the fastest in the market. There really is not faster bait casting reel than this, despite the shockingly low price tag. This reel comes with a 9.3:1 gear ratio. Casting is really precise and matches the gears. The reel is relatively lightweight too, though not as light as the KastKing mentioned above. Thanks to the lightness and gears, this reel can really cast lightening fast. The smooth operation helps the speed too. This reel cast MaxiDur shielded ball bearings that operates superbly without any hitches.
This bait casting reel also has an interesting carbon fiber drag system. The drag is suitable for reeling in big game fish up to 13.2 lbs. The drag system has 3 discs to facilitate this feature. So, this bait casting reel is really ideal for saltwater fishing tips. The reel has a trilateral magnetic brake system that is suitable even for tournaments. The reel uses aluminum spool, which can squeal or get managed when not greased well. Also, the adjusting knob for the brake is too small.
- Fastest bait casting reel in the world
- Smooth operation
- Relatively lightweight
- Tournament ready brake system
- Spool needs greasing
- Brake adjusting knob is small
This is a wonderful budget bait casting reel well known for its smooth operation. This reel was quite hefty. It has black side plates and a tension knob. The blue spool this reel uses is made from machine forged anodized aluminum. The line has a generous 12/120 capacity. Bearings are 5BB, and the gear ratio is 6. It’s a bit weighty at 7 pounds, but the super smooth operation makes up for it. The reel can cast a mile without any hitches. We highly recommend this reel to beginners because the operation is so smooth, it requires little to no experience. The reel is also 100 percent anti reverse.
It’s great for catching Bass, and we were impressed by how durable this product is. Some of our reviewers had used this reel for years without an issue. While the operation is great, some did have issues with the tension knob. There were complaints that the knob fell off after a few uses. It can be screwed back in easily, but still, it’s somewhat of a drawback. Also, the reel has to be assembled out of the box. Assembly has to be done carefully to avoid casting problems.
- Super smooth operation
- Long cast
- Tension knob sometimes comes off
- Requires assembly
This is a rather low profile bait casting reel that nevertheless manages to make an impression with extraordinary control and higher levels of durability. We were quite impressed by the design, which has 7 stainless ball bearings plus the single roller bearing. Interestingly, it has a pitch centrifugal brake system. Most bait casting reels have disc brakes. The advantage with the pitch system is that it allows this reel to cast longer. The drag system is carbon matrix so it’s quite smooth. The frame of the reel is made from X2-Craftic alloy, so it has a higher resistance to corrosion.
This reel manages to maintain a smooth and consistent drag pressure throughout. The reel is really easy to adjust, even in a matter of seconds if needed. It’s great for big game fishing. One drawback is the spool, which is not long enough to take full advantage of the reel’s casting ability. The spool sometimes snags too. Also, beginners may need some time to get used to this reel. Otherwise, we liked this reel as much as some of the previous ones. If you are looking for a decent reel with mid-range qualities and excellent smoothness, this would be a good fit.
- Longer casts
- Smooth operation
- Better control
- Durable, corrosion resistant frame
- Short spool that may snag
- Not for beginners
This is a Japanese made precision bait casting reel that also ensures high speeds. It has a stainless steel frame, pinion gear, and corrosion resistant bearing. It’s also completely anti reverse. The reel is a bit heavy at about 8 pounds, but it can manage smooth operation easily. This is a great reel for getting the tough saltwater swimmers. We found this reel to be rather comfortable, thanks to the bent handle.
We love this bait casting reel because it’s one of the handful we have had close to zero issues with. It’s great for kayaking, both on freshwater or saltwater bodies. This reel can bring in formidable catches like fluke, blues, stripers, and sea bass. This reel can handle long casts with ease. The cast can really get away from you if you are not careful, though. Pay attention, otherwise you will end up unspooling a bird’s nest. Sloppy casts can result in bird’s nesting too. We were a bit disappointed by the drag system. It’s adequate, and that’s about it. Sometimes, strong swimmers like stripers can tow away a float like a kayak with the existing drag.
- Corrosion resistant
- Anti reverse
- Good for distant casting
- So-so drag system
- Prone to bird’s nesting
Tips for Buying a Baitcasting Reel with a $100 Budget
Even if your budget is only $100, you can still purchase a really good baitcasting reel, including the fastest one in the world! When shopping, be aware of the following though:
Check the weight of the reel. If you plan on lengthy casts or fishing for more than one hour during a session, then you will need to choose a lightweight reel. The above list includes the lightest bait casting reels in the world.
Mind the spool size. If you are going to catch big game fish, then you will need longer and stronger spool.
Comfort is important when choosing a fishing reel. The reel must be easy to hold and comfortable in your hands to make fishing less strenuous.
Look for additional features like corrosion-resistant frames to ensure durability.