Fishing has been a relaxing sport for generations and will remain a popular outdoor activity for years to come.
Whether you’re a professional angler or just starting out, it is highly recommended that you consider looking at some baitcasters. I will discuss the best baitcaster combos of 2020 and you’ll get a decent idea about why you should get one ASAP!
If you get a baitcast combo you will be able to cast with more precision, tire out a fish quicker and get the advantage of having a heavier line for fish that puts up a good fight. You can also read about best GPS fish finder review.
- Best Baitcaster Combos – Comparisons
- Best Baitcaster Combo for Beginners
- 1. KastKing Spartacus Review – Overall Best
- 2. Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite Baitcast Combo – Runner Up
- 3. Shakespeare Alpha – Baitcasting Reels for Beginners
- 4. KastKing Cadet Casting Combos – Best Baitcaster Combo Under 100
- 5. Abu Garcia Pro Max Baitcasting Combo – Best Low Profile Baitcasting Reels
- 6. Lew’s Fishing Laser MG Speed Spool Series Reel – Top Baitcaster Combo Under 200
- 7. SHIMANO Curado K Baitcast Reel – Best Saltwater Baitcasting Combo
- What Should You Look For Before You Buy?
- How To Use A Baitcaster?
- Baitcaster Vs. Spinning Reel Saltwater
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Final words
Best Baitcaster Combos – Comparisons
Best Baitcaster Combo for Beginners
Fishing is fun and relaxing only if you have the right gear. Although there are quite a few options available in the market, here are seven best baitcast combos you should seriously consider getting your hands on.
1. KastKing Spartacus Review – Overall Best
- NEW features added - Like its gladiator name, the Spartacus bait casting reel is a warrior! KastKing Spartacus bait casting reel has the dynamic features you need in the battle for your personal best.
- POWERFUL - You will love the exceptional micro-cast dual centrifugal and magnetic brakes. Plus tournament ready carbon fiber drag with 17.5 LBs of trophy fish stopping power, make the Spartacus bait caster a strong contender.
- SMOOTH - A Spartacus bait casting reel has: superior shielded 11 + 1 corrosion resistant ball bearings, CNC machined aluminum spool for smooth casting, powerful precision matched brass gears, and KastKing logo embossed hi-grade rubber cork handle knobs.
- NO MERCY - A KastKing Spartacus bait caster fishing reel with its versatile 6.3:1 gear ratio create an exceptional bait casting weapon in your fishing tackle collection that will save you money and bring you years of fishing pleasure.
- GAME CHANGER - Go beyond the limits with this phenomenal, yet affordable new Spartacus bait cast reel that is smoother and more powerful than any other brand bait casters in its price range.
However, you may have a little difficulty in dialing in the drag for your first few attempts. This shouldn’t be a problem because it works just fine after you play with it for some time.
For lovers of variety, you find a varying range of colors such as seafoam green, sword silver, chartreuse green, and rocket red. This baitcast combo is available for both right-handed and left-handed anglers.
Anglers who have used this baitcast reported that they loved the micro-cast dual centrifugal and magnetic brakes. This feature coupled with the carbon fiber drag with 17.5lbs of big fish stopping power will give you an exhilarating fishing experience.
You will get a smooth and sound adventure with this combo because the casting reel has an 11+1 shielded corrosion resistant ball bearings, also a CNC-machined aluminum spool so that you can cast effortlessly and obtain maximum accuracy with the matched brass gears.
- Has a variety of colors to choose from
- Can be used with different types of lures
- Different drag settings to be used with different rods, lures or techniques
- Dialing the drag in can be hard if you wish to change the lures and sizes
2. Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite Baitcast Combo – Runner Up
- Rod features 35% more graphite for lighter weight
- Ugly tuff one-piece stainless steel guides
- Ugly stik clear tip delivers extra strength and is sensitive to the lightest strike
An advancement on the gears that have been designed before, the elite baitcast offers a 35 percent increase in graphite. The rod has been designed with a graphite and fiberglass composite.
You don’t have to worry about missing out on small bites because this combo has a Shakespeare’s clear tip design which will help you to notice even the smallest fish bites. Single-piece stainless steel guides are used to make the rod durable and dependable for longer service.
The company also included their trademark “Ugly Tuff” stainless steel guide technology to secure durability and comfortable cork handle. The reel included in the elite baitcast combo has a 12+1 ball bearing system. It is capable of producing 12 pounds of power coupled with anti-reverse level wind.
Anglers are fond of Ugly Stik because they produce adaptable as well as dependable baitcast combos. Although you have to practice a bit before you get used to its settings once you do, you’ll love the results.
- The rod is flexible yet strong enough for all fish
- Can be used comfortably for long hours
- Has the option of shifting from spinning reel to baitcast
- The cork handle might become slippery and hard to hold on to
3. Shakespeare Alpha – Baitcasting Reels for Beginners
- Low profile fishing rod and bait cast reel combo offers great performance at a budget friendly value
- Lightweight graphite reel comes pre spooled with 8 pound line for convenience
- Multi stop anti reverse and ball bearing deliver smooth performance
- Tubular glass blank construction offers a responsive feel and rugged durability
- EVA grips offer a firm, comfortable handhold
Baitcasting can be daunting for beginners, but with the Alpha Medium, you don’t need to worry at all. According to the brand Shakespeare, the rod on the Alpha Medium is made of tubular glass blank, which the company says will give its users a receptive feeling and reliable durability.
The handles on this baitcaster have EVA foam grip that provides comfort and ensures proper control. Also, the reel that comes packaged with the combo is not overpowered with excessive features. It will not tire out your wrists and hands when you fish for a long time because of its graphite frame, which is quite light.
Let’s get down to specifics. This equipment has a standard drag system in addition to multi-stop anti-reverse as well as adjustable cast control. The reel is designed with one ball bearing. It is suitable for beginners because it is already spooled with an eight-pound line.
Although this baitcaster combo does have a few issues, it is not something too big to handle for beginners. You just have to be a bit patient with the retrieval time and slowly learn to untangle a line and you’ll be good to go!
- It is affordable
- Effortless casting
- User-friendly assembly
- Retrieving the reel line is a slow process
4. KastKing Cadet Casting Combos – Best Baitcaster Combo Under 100
- Light & Sensitive IM6 Graphite Blanks Cadet casting combos feature a light-weight & sensitive IM6 graphite blank designed specifically for bass fishing enthusiasts. All combos are 2 pc and come in either 66 or 7 lengths in both medium & medium heavy power ratings and either moderate fast or fast actions. These rods are design to be easy to cast and to have plenty of power for most bass fishing applications.
- Performance Guides & Reel Seats Even though the KastKing Cadet casting combo was designed to be one of the lowest priced casting combos made today, we still used quality components, so that your rod will perform like rods costing much more. We use stainless guides with O-ring inserts that are perfect for mono or braided lines. We also use high quality nylon reel seats that will keep your reel firmly in place during long days of fishing and under the pressure of hard fighting fish.
- Easy Storage 2 pc Rod Blank Design All four of the Cadet casting combo rods are made in 2 pieces so they are easy to store and travel with. There are two lengths available, a 66 with moderate fast action and medium power rating or a 7 fast action rod with a medium heavy power rating. These rods are perfect for the following bass techniques Jigs, chatter baits, spinner baits, Carolina rigs, jerk baits, crank baits and more.
- Includes the new Cadet Casting Reel The Cadet casting comb includes a high-quality casting reel that features a 7-magnet braking system that makes it extremely easy to cast without the worry of overruns or backlashes. These reels have 5+1 shielded ball bearings for smooth operation and years of fun. The graphite frame is lightweight & strong and has a gear ration of 6.3:1 which is perfect for most fishing applications.
- Cadet Combos In Either Left of Right Hand Retrieve Whether you are a righty or a lefty, there is Cadet combo made just for you. Both high quality combos are available in either right or left-hand retrieve, so you dont have to use a rod & reel that does not fit the way you fish. You select your favorite length, the perfect action and either left or right-hand retrieve and youll be ready for years of hassle free fishing fun with the new KastKing Cadet Casting Combo!
Apart from great value for money, KastKing uses great rod blanks and components. It is very easy to use since it’s not heavy and comes in two pieces, hence you can pack and carry them when you’re not fishing. The excellent news is that it is available in the two most sought after lengths: 6’6” and 7’.
Usually, anglers have to purchase a reel separately because they aren’t included in a combo, but KastKing has thought it through and has included a reel in the combo.
The reels are designed and manufactured to go precisely with their rods. This reel is made out of high-quality sturdy graphite frame and allows hassle-free experience with its 5+1 shielded ball bearing. It also features a magnetic casting so that it’s easier for beginners to cast.
It is a suitable model for beginners because it has seven magnets that you can tune to ten different levels. This way you can be sure of no overruns and backlashes, making it smooth enough to use for practice.
- Available for both right and left-handed retrieve
- A reel is included in the combo
- Can be used for various bass techniques
- Is available in one color only
5. Abu Garcia Pro Max Baitcasting Combo – Best Low Profile Baitcasting Reels
Fishing enthusiasts will love this combo because you can cast your reel for up to 145 yards, in addition to a gear ratio of 7:1:1, which is great when you wish to catch big fish. This combo is also convenient if you use a spinner or lip less crank bait.
The combo features a MagTrax brake system that will assist you with reliable brake pressure. Its concise and functional design with a bent handle is coupled with recessed reel feet, which ensures comfort. The weight of the reel is 7.3 ounce so you can imagine that it’s pretty lightweight.
If you like fishing for long hours then you can consider this combo because the grip on it is quite comfortable so you won’t have to keep on putting it down or picking it up. Easy operation is guaranteed for its seven stainless steel ball bearings and roller bearing.
Although there are a number of good features incorporated in this combo, you will find other combos in the market offering similar and somewhat even better features. Yes, it provides unproblematic operation but it can also be unreliable at times when you wish to tune it for specific lures.
- Suitable for drag due to its power disk drag system
- It is lightweight
- Not reliable when it comes to tuning
6. Lew’s Fishing Laser MG Speed Spool Series Reel – Top Baitcaster Combo Under 200
- Premium IM8 graphite one-piece blanks
- American tackle microwave guide System. Eliminates wind Knots, improves casting distance and improves casting accuracy
- Lew's exclusive skeletal graphite reel seats
Lew’s baitcast combo reel can be used in all kinds of weather conditions. Be it a calm or windy day, you can fish with it comfortably. The number of backlashes is also limited when its windy and generally difficult to cast.
It may be a bit temperamental while using light soft plastics but it isn’t something that would hamper your fishing experience. If you spend a few minutes adjusting the dials, you can adjust it to lure weights and wind speed for its Magnetic Control System feature.
You can spend long hours fishing with this reel because it weighs only 7.2 ounces. The lews laser mg speed spool combo offers three gear ratios, which is convenient for many different types of techniques.
Lew’s Fishing Laser MG Speed Spool Series Reel’s most exceptional feature is its 95-millimeter power crank handle, which you can find on the 5:4:1 gear ratio. With its durability and capability of adapting to all your casting techniques, this spool series is a must grab for all anglers.
- It is light and has a small size
- Comfortable grip for day-long use
- Limited backlash
- The packaging is inconvenient
7. SHIMANO Curado K Baitcast Reel – Best Saltwater Baitcasting Combo
This Shimano baitcaster rod and reel is an advancement of Shimano chief fishing combos. Shimano’s Curado range has been in the market for approximately 25 years and quite popular amongst anglers. It is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.
A MicroModule gearing has been installed for effortless casting. The manufacturers have enlarged the size of the Micromodule while decreasing the size of the teeth by increasing their numbers; this aids in a hassle-free operation and laid back fishing experience.
The reel is of a hagane body, meaning that the reel is light yet not that light as to make the body too flexible. Its size has been decreased by about 10 percent, hence making it even lighter than its predecessors.
Shimano has used a C14+ material for its side plate, further reducing the weight of the reel but at the same time, making sure it is sturdy and reliable with its ergonomic design. A highlight of this model is the SVS Infinity Braking System, which equips its user with a variety of brake settings.
For some anglers, vibration while casting a reel can be a real put off. This issue has been taken off in this Shimano creation because they have introduced an S3D Stable Spool Design that will reduce vibrations both during casting and retrieving lures.
Durability is ensured with their 6+1 S A-RB stainless bearings to prevent erosion.
- Hassle-free casting
- Compact and light
- Line retrieve requires a short time
- Beginners may need time to get used to it
What Should You Look For Before You Buy?
So far you’ve learned about the best baitcast combos available in the market. But how would you understand which one is best suited to your needs? Worry not! I will discuss that in details as well.
Step 1: Set Your Budget
No matter what fishing gear you want to buy, you need to know how much money you’re willing to pay to get that gear. There is a variation in price ranges in the market. Look for the one that suits your budget and look at its specifications.
Step 2: Learn About The Pricing
More often than not, baitcast combos are priced depending on their specifications or features. Without setting a budget or purchasing the cheapest model in the market might not conjure the best performance.
Step 3: Magnetic Cast Control
It is advisable to look for this feature in your first baitcast model as it shields against the continuous backlash. This feature works in putting pressure on the spool when it turns. You won’t have to put your thumb on the spool if the magnetic cast control features work properly.
Step 4: Find The Gear Ratio That Works Well For You
The gear ratio helps you to understand the speed of your lure retrieve. It is basically how many times the spool rotates when you turn the handle once. For example, if a reel has a gear ratio of 5:1 that means the spool will rotate 5 times if you turn the handle once.
Step 5: Consider The Spool Size
You will need to keep this feature in mind if you’re interested in fishing large fishes. Fishing large fishes require lines that are heavy and so eat up more spool space. For this reason, you will require a spool deep enough to house the line you need.
How To Use A Baitcaster?
Since I’ve discussed different baitcaster models and also the things you should keep in mind before making the final purchase, why not discuss how to use it too? Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting you started on your fishing journey!
Step 1: Draw Back The Line
Make sure your bait has a distance of 6 to 12 inches from the tip of your rod.
Step 2: Get A Good Grip On Your Reel
Rest your thumb on the reel spool. If you wish to hold the rod behind the reel when you retrieve you will have to change hands when you cast your reel.
Step 3: Face The Reel Handles Upward
When the handles are facing upward you can use your wrist to cast. On the other hand, if you cast with your other hand they can face down.
Step 4: Press And Release The Reel Spool
Baitcast models available in modern times have the reel spool release button behind the spool, which you have to press with the thumb that you rest on it.
Step 5: Right Angle Motion With Casting Hand
Position your casting hand in a way that the crook of your arm makes a right angle toward your chest. The rod in your hand should be placed in an almost vertical way, which will make it easier for you to cast the line.
Step 6: Swing The Rod At Your Eye Level
When you do this your positioning will be at a 10 o’clock position to make it more visible for you. Release the reel spool bar just enough for your bait to take the line from the spool to move forward toward your target.
Step 7: Press On Reel Spool Bar When It Finds The Target
When the bait finds your target press the bar to stop it from going forward and catch your fish!
Baitcaster Vs. Spinning Reel Saltwater
There are usually two types of anglers; ones who like baitcasting and the others who enjoy spinning reel. Some exist who likes both of the methods but a few numbers of anglers enjoy those.
Baitcasting reels employ more than one gear to revolve its spool. A level wind mechanism is used for the line to flow in a straight pattern when coming off the spool. Their designs are also different. The spinning reel utilizes a fixed-spool design, which causes the line to fold around the spool in a form resembling a coil.
This coil moves in and out via a roller in a right angle. Some spinning reels have only one gear but a greater number have a roller along with a bail wire mechanism. Level wind is ensured when the bail combined with the roller spins due to the handle and the spool is free to move up and down.
Anglers prefer baitcasters because they believe spinning reels require a lot of effort. Baitcasters have a direct network between the bait and the reel spool. Spinning reels generally produce coils or line twists. This can be daunting for anglers using it for the first time.
The parts that require attention in these two are also different from each other.
Most of the times you have to adjust the tension of the reel spool according to the weight of your bait. Anglers who know how to handle the tackle forego all tension adjusting points except their thumbs. Spinning reels require more attention to their coils.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. When do I use a baitcaster reel?
A. You can cast lures such are jigs, spinner baits, crankbaits, and etcetera.
2. Why should I use a baitcaster?
A. Baitcasters are popular amongst anglers due to their accuracy.
3. How do I tie a line on a baitcaster?
A. Encircle the line around the axle of the spool by the tag end of the line. Tie one overhand knot on the standing portion and tie the second overhand knot an inch from the first one.
4. What kinds of bait should I use with a baitcaster?
A. You can use three types of baits and they are monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braid.
5. How does a brake work on a baitcaster?
A. The brake system works with a dial that is placed on the side plate of a reel to set its strength.
6. Why are baitcasters right-hand retrieve?
A. The baitcasters are right-hand retrieve for the right-handed anglers to cast the line and then take it in their left hand to maneuver the reel with the right hand.
7. What kind of line should I use for a baitcaster?
A. I can recommend four: Spiderwire ultracast invisi-braid superline, KastKing super power braided line, Seaguar red label fluorocarbon, KastKing masters tournament-grade monofilament.
8. How do I use a baitcaster rod?
A. Make sure the bait is 6 to 12inches away from the tip of your fishing rod. Next, point your rod handle upward and push the spool release button.
Fishing can be relaxing and exhilarating at the same time. You just have to equip yourself with the right gear suited to your needs and you’re good to go!
Follow the points in this article and surely it will come to your aid when you buy yourself a best baitcaster combos.
Last update on 2020-07-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API