10 Best Saltwater Baitcasting Reels Reviewed

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Shopping for the top saltwater baitcasting reel can be a little daunting, however, it does not have to be too difficult if you know what you are looking for. 

Is the reel equipped with corrosion-resistant materials designed for saltwater fishing? What is the minimum gear ratio I need for deep-sea fishing? 

These are the types of questions you should be asking yourself and more. 

In this article, we will answer these questions as well as help you identify the most important factors you should consider when purchasing a new saltwater baitcasting reel. 

In addition, I will review the 10 best saltwater baitcasting fishing reels on the market.

The 10 Best Saltwater Baitcasting Reels

We will breakdown the specifications of each saltwater baitcasting reel later in the article. 

But, for those of you just looking for the list, here is a quick peek at our top ten saltwater baitcasting reels on the market. 

Last update on 2022-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Why Use a Baitcasting Reel for Saltwater Fishing?

Choosing to use a baitcasting reel for saltwater fishing is an excellent idea. 

Baitcasting reels are more accurate and durable, have more cranking power, and are designed for the larger breeds of fish you might encounter when saltwater fishing. 

For accuracy, the baitcasting reel uses a combination of spool tension and its internal braking system to allow you to have complete control over your casting.

Man saltwater fishing for cod

By adjusting the spool tension and the internal braking system, the baitcasting reel also allows for casting great distances.

Both increased accuracy and distance are major advantages you should consider for saltwater fishing. 

For cranking power, the baitcasting reel has an excellent drag setting system that you can easily adjust for the weight and size of the fish you are going after. 

Also, the cranks for baitcasting reels have a much higher inches per crank ratio than other reel types.

For durability, there are baitcasting reels that are built to handle saltwater conditions and they possess corrosive-free parts and materials. 

Baitcasting reels also are designed with heavier-duty materials and can take much more abuse over time than spinning or spin-cast reels.

One last advantage of using a baitcasting reel worth mentioning is the spool’s capacity. For saltwater fishing, you will need a much heavier pound test for your fishing line, and you will need a lot of it.

Saltwater fishing will have you fishing for bigger types of fish at greater depths. This requires a spool designed to hold the heavy line and upwards to 230-yards or more of it. 

When shopping for a new baitcasting reel, be sure to consider what type of fish you are going after and what line capacity your spool will need to enable you to go after these types of fish.

In fact, in addition to line capacity, there are several factors you should consider before purchasing a new baitcasting reel. 

Once you determine what type of fish you are going after, it is time to consider factors like the braking system, gear ratio, drag power, retrieve rate, and material types, among other things. 

Let us take a closer look at all the different factors you should consider before purchasing a new baitcasting reel.

What to Look for in a Saltwater Baitcasting Reel

There are several factors to consider when shopping for a new baitcasting reel. 

Line Capacity

The line capacity of a baitcasting reel refers to the amount of line, and the thickness of the fishing line that will fit on the spool of your reel. 

Typical saltwater baitcasting reels hold either mono or braided fishing line and can hold fishing line with anywhere from a 20-pound to 50-pound test and can hold between 135 to 250 yards. 

Look at the line capacity of the baitcasting reel you wish to purchase to make sure it will accommodate the type of fishing you are hoping to do. 

Reel Weight

When it comes to reel weight, you will want to find a balance between quality and durable materials and finding a reel that is lightweight. 

A lightweight reel is much easier to cast and it is easier to hold for longer periods of time while jigging or trolling.

Further Reading: What Is The Smallest Baitcasting Reel

Corrosion Resistance and Durability

When it comes to durability, look for heavy-duty aluminum or a carbon-steel construction made from quality material that will last you a long time. 

Avoid cheaper composite baitcasting reels whenever possible. 

There are some composite reels, however, that will hold up to the test of time as well. But do your research and make sure you are purchasing a quality product. 

Corrosion resistance is critical for saltwater fishing. Moisture and salt can create a deadly combination for the metals within your reel that will eat away and slowly cause your baitcasting reel to decay. 

Make sure you find a baitcasting reel that explicitly states it is intended for saltwater use.

Material Types

If you are looking for a baitcasting reel that is durable and long-lasting, then aluminum is an excellent choice for the material of your reel.

You may see other materials out there on the market, like graphite for instance, which may work fine.

However, if you are looking to purchase a baitcasting reel that will last decades, then stick with aluminum. 

And of course, steel, or carbon-steel reels make an excellent choice as well.

Gear Ratio

The gear ratio of a baitcasting fishing reel refers to the amount of line that is retrieved with one complete turn of the reel handle. 

The lower the gear ratio, the less line that will be retrieved per reel handle turn. The higher the gear ratio, the more line that will be retrieved per each turn of the reel handle.

If you are saltwater fishing in greater depths, you will want a baitcasting reel with a high gear ratio.

The higher gear ratio will allow you to fish at greater depths and to battle the larger breeds of fish typically found in the ocean.

For any saltwater fishing, it is highly recommended that you do not use a baitcasting reel with a gear ratio lower than 6:1.

Braking System

Another especially important factor to consider when looking at new baitcasting reels is the braking system. 

The braking system controls the spool to prevent it from spinning faster than the fishing line. If the braking system is poor, or not set up properly, you run the risk of massive tangles and the fishing line falling off the reel. 

The braking system not only prevents the reel from spinning backwards too quickly which causes the tangles, but it also gives you great control while you cast. 

With an excellent braking system, you will be able to control the distance of your cast much easier. The main types of braking systems are centrifugal and magnetic.

A centrifugal braking system uses several pins that can be turned on or off. Each pin, or brake, can be turned on or off to give you the precise amount of braking power that you need. 

The average saltwater baitcasting reel with a centrifugal braking system contains between two and six pins.

A magnetic braking system uses a set of magnets that interact with the spool to brake and to release while the baitcasting reel is in use. 

When the brakes are activated, the magnets move closer to the spool, slowing it down. When the brakes are released, the magnets move away from the spool allowing the line to go free. 

Between these two braking systems, none is superior to the other. It is a matter of preference, the type of fishing you will be doing, and water conditions.

Retrieve Rate

The retrieve rate is simply the rate at which line is retrieved onto your spool. This is determined by a combination of the number of bearings as well as the size of the reel handle.

To ensure a smooth retrieval of your fishing line, be sure to always oil your reel’s bearings and reel handle properly.

For more information on how to properly oil your reel, check out our article here. 

Drag Power

Drag power is another important factor to consider when looking at new baitcasting reels. This is especially true for saltwater fishing. 

The higher the drag power, the easier it is to bring in larger fish. Drag should also be adjustable to allow for a fish to “run” to tire them out a bit before netting them. 

If your drag is set too high, and the tension becomes too much with a large fish on the line, you run a risk of snapping the line and losing your catch. 

Drag is also important in ocean fishing to establish some control while fishing in strong currents and rougher water. 

Bearings

A baitcasting reel’s bearings are there to help you make more accurate and consistent casts and to reduce a reel’s tendency to spin backward which can lead to tangles and having your fishing line fall off your reel.

When shopping for baitcasting reels, it is critical you find a reel that contains corrosion-resistant bearings. 

The bearings are one of the most important parts of your baitcasting reel and to protect them from salt corrosion and moisture is a must. 

A basic and mostly accurate idea to live by when shopping for a new baitcasting reel is, the more bearings the reel has, the more accurate your cast will be and the more control you will have over your fishing line. 

Right vs. Left-Handed

This is a no-brainer, are you right or left-handed when holding and casting your fishing rod?

If you have never fished with a baitcasting reel before, go into a pro shop and ask to hold the baitcasting rod and reel setups they have there. 

Try both a right and left-handed setup and determine which is more comfortable and best for you. 

Affordability

When it comes to purchasing the best saltwater baitcasting reels, it is important to remember that your purchase should be something that will last you 10 or more years. 

Purchase a reel made from quality aluminum, that is heavy-duty and durable, and that has corrosion-resistant properties. 

But, as always, spend within your means and be weary of reels with a high price tag that may not be worth it. Do your research and spend wisely. 

10 Best Saltwater Baitcasting Reels Reviewed

Here are the top 10 saltwater baitcasters on the market today

Piscifun Phantom Carbon Baitcasting Reel

The Piscifun Phantom Carbon Baitcasting Reel makes for an excellent entry-level baitcasting reel. 

This reel is ultra-light, easy to hold, easy to cast, and works incredibly well for someone making the switch from a spinning reel to a baitcasting reel. 

There is a slight learning curve on the braking system which might be a little difficult for younger anglers and beginners, but with some practice, it should not be too difficult to manage. 

Corrosive resistant and affordable. 

Pros: Lightweight. Durable. Quality stainless steel and carbon-steel construction. Corrosion-resistant.

Cons: Complicated brake system.

Gear Ratio: 7:1

Bearings: 6 anti-corrosion stainless steel ball bearings. 1 clutch bearing.

Braking System: Dual brake system. 6-pin centrifugal brake and a magnetic brake.

Drag Power: 17 lbs.

Retrieve Rate: 30.3 inches.

Mono Capacity: 10 lb – 120 yards.

Braid Capacity: 30 lb – 120 yards.

Material: Carbon-steel. Stainless steel.

Weight: 5.7 ounces.

Hand Orientations: Right and left-handed.

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Abu Garcia REVO Inshore Low Profile

The Abu Garcia REVO Inshore Low-Profile baitcasting reel is constructed with heavy-duty stainless steel and aluminum and it is built to last. 

It includes one roller bearing in addition to the 6 stainless steel ball bearings. Three of the HPCR bearings are located in key locations. 

The reviews on this reel are outstanding and would make a fine reel for any type of fisherman, from beginner to expert.

Pros: Stainless steel bearings. Excellent braid capacity. Durable. 

Cons: Not available in right-handed. 

Gear Ratio: 6.6:1

Bearings: 6 stainless steel ball bearings and 1 roller bearing.

Braking System: Magnetic brake system.

Drag Power: 10-30 lbs.

Retrieve Rate: 27 inches.

Mono Capacity: Not given.

Braid Capacity: 50 lb – 100 yards.

Material: Stainless steel and aluminum.

Weight: 8.32 ounces.

Hand Orientations: Left-handed.

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Abu Garcia Revo Rocket

If you have the money to spend, you will not find a better saltwater baitcasting reel that will last many fishing seasons. 

The entire reel is constructed from heavy-duty and durable stainless steel, has 11 stainless steel bearings, and packs an incredible 10.1:1 gear ratio. 

The Revo Rocket by Abu Garcia is worth every penny!

Pros: Completely constructed of stainless-steel. Heavy-duty. Durable. 11 bearings with a 10.1:1 gear ratio.

Cons: A little expensive. 

Gear Ratio: 10.1:1

Bearings: 10 stainless steel HPCR bearings and 1 roller bearing.

Braking System: Centrifugal brake system.

Drag Power: 18 lbs.

Retrieve Rate: 41 inches.

Mono Capacity: 12 lbs – 145 yards.

Braid Capacity: 30 lbs – 140 yards.

Material: Stainless steel.

Weight: 10 ounces.

Hand Orientations: Right and Left-handed.

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Shimano Tranx 300A Low Profile Baitcasting Fishing Reel

From a well-trusted brand, the Shimano Tranx 300A baitcasting reel is sleek, powerful, and is perfect for both fresh and saltwater. 

It comes with massive cranking power and has an incredible 30-inch retrieve rate. This reel would make any fisherman happy and it would make the most perfect gift for a loved one. 

Pros: Almost indestructible. Water-resistant. Corrosion-resistant. High line capacity.

Cons: A little expensive.

Gear Ratio: 5.8:1

Bearings: 6 total bearings. 5bb bearings and 1rb bearing.

Braking System: Variable brake system using both magnets and centrifugal pins.

Drag Power: 22 pounds.

Retrieve Rate: 30 inches.

Mono Capacity: 12 lbs – 230 yards, 14 lbs – 180 yards, 17 lbs – 150 yards.

Braid Capacity: 40 lbs – 195 yards, 50 lbs – 190 yards, 65 lbs – 125 yards.

Material: Metal.

Weight: 11.6 ounces.

Hand Orientations: Right and Left-handed.

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Daiwa Coastal TWS T-Wing Reel

The Daiwa Coastal TWS T-Wing Reel makes an excellent choice for shore casters. 

Its lightweight design and TWS casting system make it the perfect choice for a rugged and durable baitcasting reel that will be exposed to sand, moisture, and salt. 

It is also compatible with most fishing rods.

Pros: 8 total corrosion-resistant bearings. 100mm swept handle. Sleek design.

Cons: Not best suited for deep-sea fishing with a winch.

Gear Ratio: 7.3:1

Bearings: 7 corrosion resistant ball bearings and one roller bearing.

Braking System: Centrifugal brake system.

Drag Power: 15.4 pounds.

Retrieve Rate: Not given.

Mono Capacity: 14 lbs – 165 yards.

Braid Capacity: 40 lbs – 190 yards.

Material: Synthetic.

Weight: 8 ounces.

Hand Orientations: Right and Left-handed.

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Shimano Curado K Baitcast Reel

Shimano does it again with the Curado K baitcasting reel. If you are looking for a quality aluminum baitcasting reel at an affordable price, then this reel is perfect. 

With seven bearings in total and an 11-pound drag force, this reel would be perfect for shore casting and pier fishing. 

The Shimano Curado has a centrifugal brake system that is ideal for shore casting as well as adding maximum distance and accuracy to each of your casts. 

You cannot go wrong with this baitcasting reel. 

Pros: Excellent aluminum construction. Durable. Trusted brand. 

Cons: Lower retrieve rate.

Gear Ratio: 6.2:1

Bearings: 6rb bearings and 1 roller bearing.

Braking System: Centrifugal brake system.

Drag Power: 11 pounds.

Retrieve Rate: 26 inches.

Mono Capacity: 8 lbs – 180 yards, 10 lbs – 155 yards, 14 lbs – 110 yards.

Braid Capacity: 30 lbs – 190 yards, 50 lbs – 120 yards, 65 lbs – 80 yards.

Material: Aluminum.

Weight: 7.6 ounces.

Hand Orientations: Right and Left-handed.

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Abu Garcia Black Low Profile Baitcasting Fishing Reel

The Abu Garcia Black Low-Profile baitcasting fishing reel makes an excellent starter reel at an affordable price. 

This reel would also make a good beginner reel with the Magtrax Brake System ensuring the accuracy of casts and helping to maintain control at all times. 

With a 6.4:1 gear ratio, you can confidently fish your favorite saltwater destinations and know you have the retrieve rate and drag power to bring in some of the larger fish. 

Pros: Affordable. Lightweight. Good gear ratio for saltwater fishing. 

Cons: Made from graphite.

Gear Ratio: 6.4:1

Bearings: 4 stainless steel ball bearings and 1 roller bearing.

Braking System: Magnetic.

Drag Power: 16 pounds.

Retrieve Rate: Not given.

Mono Capacity: 12 pounds – 145 yards.

Braid Capacity: 30 pounds – 140 yards.

Material: Graphite.

Weight: 10 ounces.

Hand Orientations: Right and Left-handed. 

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel

The Piscifun Torrent baitcasting reel is well designed with brass gears and stainless-steel bearings. 

With a 7.1:1 gear ratio and 18 pounds of drag power, this is one of the best saltwater baitcasting reels at an affordable price. 

One unique feature of the Piscifun Torrent baitcasting reel is the side-plate oil port. This oil port makes it incredibly easy to keep your reel properly oiled for ensuring high-performance and long life. 

Pros: brass gears and shielded stainless-steel bearings. Durable. Heavy-duty.

Cons: Not designed for deep-sea fishing with a winch.

Gear Ratio: 7.1:1

Bearings: 5 ball bearings and 1 roller bearing.

Braking System: Magnetic.

Drag Power: 18 pounds.

Retrieve Rate: 30 inches.

Mono Capacity: 10 lbs – 120 yards.

Braid Capacity: 30 lbs – 120 yards.

Material: Aluminum.

Weight: 8 ounces.

Hand Orientations: Right and Left-handed.

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

KastKing Royale Baitcasting Fishing Reel

The KastKing Royale baitcasting reel is a quality graphite reel loaded with durable double-shielded stainless-steel ball bearings. 

The KastKing Royale may be a graphite encased baitcasting reel, however, it’s strong where it counts with a stainless-steel main shaft and brass gears. 

Also, this reel comes with a cross-fire magnetic braking system with 8-pins to maximize casting distance and to prevent overruns and tangles. A quality reel at an even better price.

Pros: Solid stainless-steel bearings. Excellent 7.2:1 gear ratio for saltwater fishing. Affordable.

Cons: Made with graphite.

Gear Ratio: 7.2:1

Bearings: 5 double-shielded stainless steel bearings and one roller bearing.

Braking System: Magnetic.

Drag Power: 17.6 pounds.

Retrieve Rate: 29.8 inches.

Mono Capacity: 10 pounds – 130 yards. 12 pounds – 110 yards.

Braid Capacity: 40 pounds – 130 yards, 50 pounds – 110 yards.

Material: Graphite.

Weight: 7.2 ounces.

Hand Orientations: Right and Left-handed.

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

KastKing Spartacus Plus

Another great affordable option brought to you by KastKing. With a 7.2:1 ratio and a state-of-the-art magnetic braking system, this lightweight baitcasting reel packs a powerful punch. 

You cannot go wrong with this budget-friendly option. Comes in right or left-handed options, and you can choose from silver, black, blue, or silver. 

This would make the perfect gift for the young angler in your family just starting out.

Pros: Comes in an assortment of colors and available in right or left-handed. Affordable.

Cons: Reinforced nylon frame.

Gear Ratio: 6.3:1 and 7.2:1.

Bearings: 7 corrosion resistant ball bearings and one roller bearing.

Braking System: Magnetic.

Drag Power: 17.6 pounds.

Retrieve Rate: 28 inches.

Mono Capacity: 10 lbs – 140 yards, 12 lbs – 110 yards.

Braid Capacity: 20 lbs – 270 yards, 30 lbs – 140 yards, 40 lbs – 115 yards.

Material: Reinforced Nylon.

Weight: 6 ounces.

Hand Orientations: Right and Left-handed.

>>Check Price on Amazon<<

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Sean Ward

Sean Ward

Hey there, my name is Sean – OnTrack Fishing is my site. I’ve been fortunate enough to catch bass in the States, barramundi in Australia, trout here at home, and carp on the Danube delta. If I’m not fishing, or talking about fishing, then….I’m probably asleep.

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