Best Baitcaster Under 100 Dollars

Best Baitcaster Under 100 Dollars Review

Shimano Caenen Baitcasting Reel
Lew's Speed Spool Baitcasting Reel
Abu Garcia Pro Max Baitcasting Reel
Price: $$Price: $$Price: $$
Retrieve Ratio: 6.5:1Retrieve Ratio: 7.5:1Retrieve Ratio: 7.1:1
Ball Bearings: 6Ball Bearings: 9Ball Bearings: 7
Line Capacity: 10 lbs/155 yardsLine Capacity: 12 lbs/150 ydsLine Capacity: 12 lbs/145 yards
Weight: 7.2 ouncesWeight: 7.0 ouncesWeight: 7.3 ounces
Orientation: Left HandOrientation: Right HandOrientation: Right or Left

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Shimano Caenan Baitcasting ReelEDITOR’S PICK – Shimano Caenan Baitcasting Reel

If you are searching for the best baitcaster under 100 bucks, look no further. For this price or less, you can get a great baitcaster that’ll last for years of great performance. If you need more info about how to select a baitcasting reel, click here to learn more, then come back and choose your reel.

Shimano Caenan Baitcasting Reel

Shimano Caenan Baitcasting Reel
The Shimano Caenan is a beautiful reel that offers outstanding performance. It is clearly a very aesthetically pleasing baitcaster, but it also is a great value as a reel itself. With a retrieve ratio of 6.5:1, it is a fairly quick reeling reel, though not the quickest. This makes it ideal for lures that shouldn’t be reeled too quickly and actually make it an ideal option for the vast majority of fisherman.

It has 6 ball bearings that will provide a pretty smooth reel as well as cast. The grips are made of EVA foam and are rounded for comfort. It is rated for 155 yards of 10 pound test line, and weighs only 7.2 ounces, making it a fairly light reel.

All in all, this baitcaster is a solid all around performer for under $100 that will last for years. It comes from a well-known and respected manufacturer in Shimano. If you are looking for a happy medium between speed and power, and want a good all-around fishing reel, this reel will be the way to go. Keep in mind this version is a left handed version, and there are also right handed versions available on Amazon.



Lew’s Speed Spool Baitcasting Reel

Lews Speed Spool Baitcasting Reel
Here is the fastest reel out of these three for those primarily doing spot casting, then quickly reeling back in to re-cast, or those consistently using fast moving lures. It would also be the best reel for those pulling in quick running fish so they can never get ahead of you to get slack. It’s so fast because it has a 7.5:1 gear ratio, one of the quickest available, which is blazing fast.

This reel also has 9 ball bearings to make it incredibly smooth as well. The body of the reel is made from a single piece of aluminum, making it durable but also extremely lightweight at only 7 ounces. It is designed to hold 150 yards of 12 pound test line.

Many reviewers say this was the smoothest, fastest baitcaster they have ever used, and the specs definitely uphold that opinion. This version is a right handed version, but you can find left handed versions there on Amazon as well. If you need speed in your reel, this reel is definitely the best option under 100 bucks.




Abu Garcia Pro Max Baitcasting Reel

Abu Garcia Pro Max Baitcasting Reel
Lastly, we have the Pro Max from another renowned fishing manufacturer, Abu Garcia. This reel comes in in between the other two reels with a retrieve ratio of 7.1:1, which is also considered to be a fast reel. It has 7 ball bearings for a smooth reel and cast.

The body is made from a single piece of graphite, and it weighs 7.3 ounces. This reel is also available in both right and left hand orientation. The standard PMAX3 is right hand, while the PMAX3-L is left handed.

The Pro Max 3 is rated for 145 yards of 12 pound test line. This reel is a great starter reel at a great price, and many compare it favorably to the Revo, a much more expensive Abu Garcia baitcaster. If you’re looking to save a little more money, this reel is a solid option.





Depending on what you want out of a baitcaster, any of the three above are a great option for under 100 dollars. Choose the one that fits your needs well – the Shimano Caenan for reliability and power, the Lew’s Speed Spool for speed and lightness, and the Abu Garcia Pro Max for quality at a great price. Good luck!

How to Choose a Baitcasting Reel

How to Choose a Baitcasting Reel

Lew's Fishing Tournament Baitcast Reel

Baitcasting reels come in many different sizes and with many different options. Many people may be wary of these reels due to their reputation for backlashing, but these reels are oftentimes what you’ll find the pros and trophy fisherman using, with few exceptions. Their propensity to backlash depends strongly on your experience level as well as your commitment to practice, as you’ll find that when you put in a day of practice, backlashes will come few and far between.

These reels are known for their power and retrieve ratio, making them great candidates for you if you are looking to cover water, catch monster fish, or are pulling bigger lures around, and they’ll complement your spinning reels well. Read more about baitcasting vs spinning reels here.

There are a few things that are important to look at when thinking about purchasing a baitcasting reel. They are: size, gear ratio, braking systems, and construction.


KastKing WhiteMax - Rated for 10 lbs / 100 yds

The first and foremost thing is to ensure that you are getting the correct sized reel for the species of fish you will be targeting with it. These reels come rated for certain line weights and capacities, and it’s important to make sure that you get the correct size. For example, a reel may say 160 yds / 8lb test, meaning it is rated to hold 140 yards of 10 lb test monofilament. It is also extremely important to note that monofilament and braid are far different in diameter, and many baitcasting fisherman choose to use braid because the line pairs well with the whole style of baitcasting – speed and power. So, with the above example, you could probably fit the same amount of 30 lb test braid on the spool. The above example would be a great reel for bass fishing, northern fishing, and more, though you could go slightly bigger and still have a great performing reel.

With this in mind, make sure that you purchase a reel suited for the species of fish you target. Some fish, like salmon, are notorious for making long runs, so make sure it can hold plenty of line and can handle it. It is important not to load a reel up with line that is much smaller of a diameter than the reel recommends, as this can increase your chances of backlashing.

Gear Ratio

Quantum Accurist, 6.3:1 Gear Ratio

Gear ratio is what controls how fast you can reel a lure in. Like spinning reels, these come in a wide variety of gear ratios. Basically, the gear ratio tells you how many times the spool will turn for every full rotation of the handle. For example, a 7.1:1 ratio means that every time you make a full rotation of the handle, the spool has turned 7.1 times. This is a very fast reel, and you would benefit when you are trying to rip lures through the water or when you are merely spot casting then retrieving rapidly to recast.

Some general rules that are good to follow are to stick with around 5:1 ratios when you are pulling slower moving lures through the water like crankbaits and softbaits. Go up to around 6:1 if you are planning on doing some crankbaits and softbaits as well as spinners and other fast moving lures, and upgrade to around 7:1 if you want to really rip lures around or do a lot of spot casting. Reels around 6:1 are very good for all purpose use, while the other two sizes have their own special uses. You can certainly use a 7:1 reel for pulling slower lures, but will have to reel very slowly, which isn’t a big deal if you are only doing this 10 percent of the time. You can also use a 5:1 reel for ripping spinners through the water, but it may get tiring. However, this too is fine if you are only doing that a small percentage of the time.

Try to choose a reel with a gear ratio that matches the style of fishing you do the vast majority of the time.

Braking Systems

The braking system on a baitcasting reel can make or break your day on the water, as it is what really assists you in your fight against backlashes. Basically, these are magnetic or physical brakes that apply pressure to the spool to slow it down as you cast, drastically reducing the chance that the spool will keep spinning after the lure hits the water, which is what causes backlashes.

Most all reels have adjustable braking systems, so you can change it easily based on the size lure you are throwing. If it is very heavy, tighten the system down, but if it is very light, lighten it up so you can cast your lure. Many people simply will tighten it all the way up, then let their lure hang and loosen it until the lure starts slowly dropping. This is a good starting point to fish from, and you can adjust it slightly either way according to your preferences.

Ensure that the reel you are purchasing has a braking system that is easily adjustable and will suit the size lures you are looking to cast.


Look for a baitcasting reel that is light yet strong, and where the frame is made from one piece. The most expensive reels are made of titanium, which is lightweight and strong. A notch down from that is aluminum, which is also very light and strong, then there are steel and magnesium. Magnesium corrodes with saltwater, so remember to avoid that if you do any saltwater fishing. There are alloys you can purchase today that are also light and high quality.
Abu Garcia Baitcast Reel with 9 Ball Bearings, Made from Carbon Alloys

Just like spinning reels, the more ball bearings, the smoother it is reeling it in, which makes fishing a lot more enjoyable.

The more of the reel is constructed of metal, the better, as your chances of breaking this are a lot less than plastic. Make sure everything feels tight and precision machined, otherwise return it.


These are the first four basic things to look at when choosing a baitcasting reel. If you are aware of these when you are looking for your next baitcasting reel, you’ll find exactly the reel you are looking for. Remember to practice often at first to avoid the bird’s nest called a backlash.

Good luck!