Best Baitcasting Reel That You Can Bring In Your Next Kayak Fishing

Though baitcasting reels can be tricky to use for some people, they come with many benefits that make them a great fit for any kayaker.

The systems are incredibly versatile and are able to handle heavy lines or lures in ways that spinning reels cannot. They also are perfect for heavy foliage spots or regions with a lot of weed cover.

It is easy to get a bit skittish around the idea of choosing a baitcasting reel for kayak fishing, but this guide will make that decision much easier.

best baitcasting reel

Baitcasting Options: The Superior Reels

There are many options when looking for the best baitcasting reel for kayakers on the market. While every model has its own specific characteristics, the following options all make the list for their own reasons.

Some of the following items are specifically for kayak fishing, while some are just of the best baitcasting reels that can be used with kayaks. Either way, if you want to catch fish from a smaller vessel these are the way to go.

Out first best baitcasting reel is the Lew’s Fishing Tournament MB. This device has a 10-bearing crank and a completely redesigned slim profile, both of which complement the highly adjustable magnetic brake system with multiple settings.

When looking at the best baitcasting reel you want something that is both high quality and affordable. That is where Lew’s Fishing Tournament MB excels.

Lower price points can make some people skeptical, but this reel cuts no corners. In fact, beyond the above features, it also comes with a range of characteristics that give you total control over your line.

The whole reel weighs just under 7 ounces, making it easy to use even on long days, and the brake system has an internal 4-pin centrifugal brake as well as an external click dial. Both of those allow you to fine tune the magnetic braking system exactly how you want it.

Many of the best baitcasting reels focus on precision, and there is no doubt that this model provides you with the maximum amount of options when it comes to fine-tuning your fishing experience.

It also has gear ratios that range from 5.6 to 8.3. That offers even more options and more customization for people who like to mix it up from time to time.

All of those choices, mixed with the above characteristics, easily make this one of the best kayaking reels for the price in today’s market.

Shimano makes some of the best baitcasting reels on the market, and the Curado is a perfect fit for kayakers everywhere.

The excellent model is not only incredibly light (coming at right around 7.5 ounces) but it has 12 pounds of drag and a gear ratio of 7:2:1.

Those specs are impressive, but they are not the only reason to buy the device. There are many exciting features packed inside of it at an affordable cost. This, like the Lew’s reel, earns the title of best baitcasting reel because it gives you a lot of power without forcing you break the bank.

This reel’s light weight and excellent drag make it one of the most versatile fresh water options on the market.

Such options are important, and they go with the reel’s 5 + 1 ball bearing system. That feature ensures the model operates smoothly no matter how often you use it. Such utility is always a nice bonus.

You can also get this reel in different styles. The grey and black device is available in 5.5, 6.3, and 7.2 ratios. Those options mean you can get multiple reels and then use them for different types of fishing.

Of course, you don’t have to go that route (one should be more than enough) but it is definitely handy.

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Kayak fishing can take you to many different locations. As such, sometimes you want a reel that is able to handle more than lazy rivers. Sometimes you want something that you can take out on vast lakes or the open ocean.

The Piscifun Torrent is the best baitcasting reel towards that end.

This model utilizes an incredible mix of raw strength and enhanced durability that is perfect for going after larger fish on open water. Though you’re going to have a limit to what you can catch on a kayak, there are plenty of big fish out there.

To ensure you can go for larger species, the Thunder comes with both a carbon round drag system and graphite side plates. That combination not only means the reel will last longer than other models, but it also ensures it will give you a smooth drag.

In addition, this has a set gear ratio of 7.1 with CNC machined brass gear, as well as 9 stainless steel ball bearings to provide the best possible casting and reeling performance.

As with any best baitcasting reel, the Thunder comes with both left and right-handed options. That is backed by a wonderful magnetic braking anti-reverse system, which actively stops your line from tangling up while out on the water.

Weighing in at 8.4 ounces and costing under $30 - $50, this is one of the most affordable options for people who want to try and pull in bigger fish.

If you’re looking for the best baitcasting reel that will enable you to fight fish for extended periods of time, this is the way to go.

Daiwa Tatula CT 8BB, 7.3:1, Baitcast Fishing Reel, Right Hand -...
  • Gear Ratio: 7.3:1 - Right Handed - Line Per Handle Turn: 30.5"
  • Weight.: 7.4oz - Max Drag: 13.2lbs - Bearings: 7BB+1RB
  • Line Capacity: (Lb Test / Yards) - MONO: 14/120, 16/100

The next of our best baitcasting reels is the Daiwa Tatula CT. This item, like the above Piscifun, weighs just over 8 ounces (allowing for more control) but it differs in its options. Here, you will find three gear ratios of 5.4:1, 6.3:1, and 7.3:1 as well as 13.2 pounds of drag.

There are many features to like in this particular model. The first is the 8-bearing reel system, a characteristic that ensures everything runs smoothly. Next, there is the Magforce-Z braking system, which actively generates smooth drag.

Both of those work together to create a seamless and enjoyable experience for anyone using the reel.

Beyond that, this is perfect for kayakers because of its TWST wing system. That feature enables long cast with barely any backlash, providing you more balance and control over your line.

There is a ton of versatility within this reel, especially when you consider all of the different ratios available. It also has a carbon drag system and a corrosion resistant clutch to increase the overall durability.

You never want to purchase a reel that is only going to last for a few months. The Tatula CT is a reel you won’t have to replace very often, if at all, and that alone can be worth the money.

Such features are key when searching for the best baitcasting reel and they are on full display here. So much so that other bonuses of this reel, including the large handle, specialized grips, or soft –touch knob, are simply icing on the cake.

KastKing Speed Demon 9.3:1 Baitcasting Reel,Right Handed Reel
  • Lightning fast - the world's fastest bait casting reel! KastKing speed Demon bait casters break the speed Limit! a truly...
  • Ultra smooth - 12 + 1 maximum shielded ball bearings for effortless casts and smooth speedy retrieves
  • Unique - state-of-the-art 3 disc carbon fiber Star drag System with 13. 2 lbs./6 kg drag power handles big game fish

The KastKing Speed Demon is an excellent baitcasting reel for kayakers because it comes with a wealth of features many other models lack.

First and foremost, as the name suggests, it is extremely fast. The reel has a stunning gear ratio of 9.3, as well as specially designed aluminum spool and CNC machined brass gear. Those three aspects combine to pull in line faster than any other best baitcasting reel out there.

Though that high gear ratio makes it tricky to pull in bigger catches, the Speed Demon is equipped with 13 ball bearings to ensure each cast is incredibly smooth.

In addition, the lightweight capabilities of this item work with the unique 4-disc drag system to make it the best baitcasting reel on the market for kayakers going after smaller fish.

Of course, the incredibly fast reel time does leave the reel more likely to mess up. To fix that, KastKing equipped it with a magnetic brake system to stop both backlash and tangled line.

That is a small feature, but it is a key one that keeps everything running smoothly, enabling you to cast again and again without stopping or slowing down.

If you want a light reel specifically made for fast casting, you won’t find anything better than the Speed Demon.

It also comes at lower price point which, as covered, is always a welcome bonus.

Abu Garcia Revo T2 BST50-HS Toro Beast Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing...
  • Powerful, low-profile baitcast fishing reel engineered to battle hard-pulling fish
  • 7 stainless steel HPCR bearings and 1 roller bearing offer long-lasting durability and smooth operation
  • Power Stack Carbon Matrix drag system delivers unparalleled power and smoothness

Easily the best looking reel on the list, the Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast is an amazing kayak baitcasting reel.

This model not only looks good on the outside, but it looks great on in the inside as well. It comes packed to the brim with 8 stainless steel ball bearings, a Power Stack Carbon Matrix drag system, and InfiniMax Braking System.

The stainless steel is important because it protects the reel from water (always key for kayak fishing), while the drag system generates a ton of power and the braking system enables you more control over extended periods of time.

If those upgrades don’t drive home the idea of longevity enough, the Toro Beast has an alloy frame/side plate that are coated specifically for corrosion resistance. This is a long-term investment, and one that is more than worth the money.

That durability, paired with the unique titanium-coated line guide, makes this the best baitcasting reel for people who like kayak fishing in saltwater. Of course, it is fine in fresh water as well, but the ability to repel salt is a fantastic bonus.

This model comes in two different ratios (6.2 and 4.9) and also has the extremely adjustable Power Stack carbon matrix drag system. This is the complete package all around.

Okuma Citrix Lightweight Low Profile Baitcast Reel
  • Made using the highest quality materials
  • Tested for reliability and quality
  • Used by professionals worldwide

The final item in this search for the best baitcasting reel for kayakers is the Okuma Citrix.

This model is different than most of the others on this list because, rather than being extremely busy, it is a light-duty, light-weight option that comes at a low cost.

Despite that low price point, it has plenty of exciting upgrades.

For example, there is a 10-bearing drive system (especially high for a cheaper reel) as well a brake setting dial. The diecast aluminum frame also helps make the frame rigid, and the graphite side plates cut the weight.

This reel is high-speed, weighs just 7.2 ounces, and still manages to spool 130 yards of a 12-pound line. It then pulls that in at 31 inches per crank.

In addition, it is easy to cast, an important feature for people floating out in a kayak. That function largely comes from the magnetic adjustment that allows the beginner to find the right setting quickly.

The micro-click star drag also operates smoothly, and the rounded star ends actively keep your line snag free.

Though the handle size on this model is larger compared to the body, that should not concern you. It is incredibly comfortable for all different hand sizes.

All of the above models come with their own distinct features that set them apart, and the Citrix has a great fit and finish for the cost. Cheap reels can have issues in both form and function, but the Okuma Citrix is incredibly smooth and dependable all the way through.

Comparison Table

Fishing in a Different Way

Baitcasting can be a daunting process, but if you have the right equipment and understand the different steps you can get amazing results.

Reels are a big part of kayak fishing. You never want to go into the process with faulty or subpar equipment. Rather, choose something that feels smooth, looks good, and has the durability to last.

It is not about getting the flashiest or most expensive reel, it’s about getting the one that is best for your situation.

Janice Friedman

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 1 comments
Jeremy - May 5, 2019

Why would you write an article about bait casters and use a picture of a fly rod for the cover?


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