Best Bass Reel for the Money in 2021 – Top 10 Picks

If you’ve ever gone fishing, you probably know how hard it can be to get huge large-mouth bass out of the water. These fish are ferocious, and they don’t let anyone with just any equipment catch them.

The solution to catch bass with little hassle is to use the best bass reel for the money. If you use the right reel and rod, you can get any fish off the water – as long as you have the proper technique.

Furthermore, the skills are for you to learn. We can’t give you a class on how to fish – you’ll have to learn yourself. But we can teach you which bass reel you can go for. And that’s what we’re doing here.

If you’re interested in getting the most effective product to get any bass off the water without making much of an effort – then you’re in the right place. Keep reading, and you’ll learn all you need to know!

In a Hurry? Check Our Best Bass Reel for the Money

ProductRatingCheck Price
Pflueger President4.7 check price on Amazon
Abu Garcia Black Max4.6 check price on Amazon
KastKing Royale4.5 check price on Amazon
Daiwa Black Gold (BG)4.2 check price on Amazon
Penn Battle II check price on Amazon


How Does a Bass Reel Work?

To catch bass, which means using a bass reel correctly, you’ll have first to learn how it works.

Every reel consists of a line pickup. This is the part that winds the line to the spool, helping to pull the fish every time it bites the lure or bait.

This line pickup works along with the drag system. Here is where the line gains strength to pull the fish out of the water. But if the fish pulls too hard, then the drag system will release.

When the drag system releases, it is letting the line pickup disengage. When this happens, the line goes out of the spool again. To prevent that, the user can crank the handle to pull the line back. The drag system helps to gain some momentum in the pulling process.

Some reels are more complex, though. They can have brake systems to control fish more effectively and prevent them from pulling too hard. There are also tension knobs, so the user can control how fast the spool unwinds when casting the line.

Overall, it is all about letting the line fly off the spool, rewinding the line-up, and preventing it from getting off too much when a fish tries to pull. That’s the secret to reels, and that’s why every fish needs one.

10 Best Bass Reel for The Money Reviews

Now that you are familiar with how they work; it is time to take a look at the best fishing reels for bass fishing out there. Here are ten models that we think are worth considering for your next fishing trip:

1. Pflueger President Spinning ReelPflueger President Spinning Reel

There aren’t many brands as reliable, performance-oriented, and quality-ensuring as Pflueger. And with the President spinning reel model, they make it all clear.

As soon as you start looking at its specs, you’ll be amazed by the 10-bearing system – one of the strongest and most resistant in the market. It boasts stainless-steel ball bearings, which ensure exceptional strength when using.

The body of this high-quality reel is made of graphite, including the rotor. This adds a light construction that allows smooth operation.

Also, the drag system is completely sealed. This ensures permanent lubrication and durability. Add on the slow-oscillation gearing, and you can enjoy the smoothest drag out there without line twists.

You will have the chance to use the spool directly when it arrives, with a simple tying of the line. There won’t be a single thing keeping you from getting the max out of this reel.


  • Long-Lasting and lightweight graphite build
  • Sealed drag system for durability & smoothness
  • Superb 10-ball bearing system for strength


  • Noisy spool can be annoying to use

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What type of rod fits better with this reel?

A: You will have the best experience with a light and fast-action rod.

Q: What size would be ideal for bass?

A: The PRESS25X model will do fine for bass.

Q: How much is the gear ratio of this reel?

A: It has a gear ratio of 5.2:1.

2.  Abu Garcia Black Max Baitcasting Fishing Reel   

Abu Garcia Black Max Low Profile Baitcasting Fishing Reel

Enthusiasts and beginners alike love Abu Garcia. This brand delivers some of the most straightforward and most affordable products in the fishing market – and they never disappoint. The Black Max reel is not an exception.

This is one of the lightest reels you can get, boasting a graphite frame & side plate. The graphite build allows a much lighter construction than its competitors while still offering decent strength. You can easily get exceptional quality out of this reel for bass fishing.

The bearing system doesn’t stay behind. It’s all made of stainless-steel with four balls – ideal for proper smoothness and durability.

Add the Power Disk system, and it will surpass expectations. Whether you want to hold fish more effectively or improve the drag – this reel will work wonders.

And that’s without mentioning the MagTrax brakes that boost the effectiveness of every cast you make.

Finally, you can expect the bent handle to be comfortable enough so you can reel any fish out of the water in a way that not many other models can.


  • Light & reliable graphite construction
  • Power Disk system & 4-ball steel bearings for strength
  • Better fishing performance with MagTrax brakes


  • Small grips can be tricky to use

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What gear ratio does this reel offer?

A: This reel has a 6.4:1 ratio.

Q: What’s the hand direction of this reel?

A: This is an ambidextrous reel.

Q: Can I use this reel for saltwater fishing?

A: Yes, it will perform well in saltwater fishing.

3. KastKing Royale Low Profile Baitcasting Reel

KastKing Royale Legend/Whitemax Low Profile Baitcasting Fishing Reel

If someone is talking about reels, there’s a brand that can never be dismissed. And it happens for a reason; the Royale is a perfect example of that.

This baitcasting reel has a ratio of 7:0:1, which means it focuses on speed. The retrieve capacity will be enough to pull even the largest bass out of the water without problems.

What makes it so efficient is the 17.5-pound capacity for dragging. The carbon fiber drag system, along with brass gearings, will deliver one of the most durable reels in the market. You won’t have any problem getting fish out as long as you use it correctly.

The reel is still low-maintenance. You won’t have to spend hours trying to make it work or doing upkeep before or after using it.

This pairs up well with its superb MaxiDur corrosion-resistant ball bearing. And with the anodized aluminum spool, you can expect a durable & practical reel for your bass fishing experiences.

Lastly, you can enjoy dual-brakes for outstanding performance. It won’t let any fish pull harder than you can resist. You’ll have total control over the fishing with this high-quality baitcasting reel.


  • Strong drag system at 17.5-pounds
  • High-Quality carbon fiber with an aluminum build
  • Top-Notch dual brakes for control


  • Powerful brakes won’t offer the best experience

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What kind of brakes does it have?

A: The brakes are magnetic, which are strong & reliable.

Q: Can I use a 6-foot rod with this reel?

A: Yes, you can use any rod as long as it fits.

Q: Is it necessary to oil the gears before using?

A: No, the gears and spool come pre-oiled.

4. Daiwa Black Gold (BG) Spinning ReelDaiwa Black Gold (BG) Heavy Action Spinning Reels

For those looking for exceptional spinning performance, the Daiwa Black Gold will be the right model. It offers everything any bass-fishing enthusiast could need.

Also known as the BG series, this reel manages to provide heavy-duty gears that stand lots of weight and provide exceptional smoothness. Its light rotor also adds more versatility & ease of use.

You can add the 6+1 bearing system. It allows the carbon ATD drag system to work so smoothly that you won’t have the chance to think twice before pulling, as a result  this reel makes it a piece of cake. Along with the dynamic-cut aluminum ABS spool, you can receive outstanding reeling performance.

Reeling in won’t be a problem either with the screw-in-handle. It offers the chance to get superior smoothness without losing the opportunity to get the handle off when needed.

Everything is covered in a Hardbodyz aluminum body, ideal for durability and corrosion resistance. You won’t experience a single drawback with the exterior of this piece.


  • Durable & resilient Hardbodyz aluminum body
  • High-Quality ATD drag with aluminum ABS spool
  • Light rotor and heavy-duty gears for smoothness


  • Cumbersome design

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where are Daiwa products made?

A: All Daiwa fishing products come from China.

Q: Is it possible to use this reel left-handed?

A: Yes, you can easily change the handle direction by re-screwing.

Q: What size should I pick for bass fishing?

A: The BG2500 would be the best Daiwa Black Gold model for bass.

5. Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing ReelPenn Battle II Spinning Fishing Reel    

If we had to pick the best reel for bass fishing, we wouldn’t give the prize to any other model apart from the Penn Battle II. Coming from one of the best brands in the market, this reel is a great option to choose from.

You will receive a product made of metal, with a sturdy side plate, and a well-made rotor. They pair up with an aluminum bail wire so you can obtain one of the most durable options out there.

What makes it so fantastic is the HT 100 carbon fiber drag system. It allows a potent drag, so you won’t lose the fish if it pulls hard. And it does this smoothly, so you won’t have to worry about your line breaking.

The cranking handle is also fantastic, working well with a set of ball bearings made of steel. This goes well with the anti-reverse design, so not only will you get durability but also excellent results.

And to make it all even better, you will receive a backing-free design, which makes it almost instantly ready to be used. You won’t have to prepare the reel apart from just braiding the line in.


  • Superb carbon fiber construction
  • High-Quality steel anti-reverse ball bearings
  • Sturdy metal side plate & rotor for durability


  • Heavy and difficult to handle for beginners

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I turn the anti-reverse feature off?

A: No, the ball-bearing system can’t be turned off.

Q: What line would work with this reel?

A: For 2500-3000 models, go for 8-10-pound lines.

Q: Is this reel resistant to saltwater?

A: Yes, you can use it on fresh or saltwater without problems.


Gearings and bearings, SHIMANO focuses on the best of them all. And sure enough, the Sienna FE is a perfect example of what this brand can offer to the fishing market.

This great reel will work wonders on any saltwater body. You won’t have any problem getting years of use without corrosion.

The M-Compact body offers a light construction that reduces fatigue but also improves the oscillation, for a smooth reeling experience.

You can pair this up with the Super Stopper II tech. It will prevent any fish from pulling too hard thanks to its anti-reverse feature. And with the Dynamic Balance system, you won’t have any problem retrieving the line in the smoothest of ways.

To make the whole line better, you’ll receive the Propulsion Line Management, a system that allows long castings no matter the bait or lure.

Pairing it all together ensures an exceptional experience for a very affordable cost.


  • Light & effective M-Compact Body design
  • Outstanding Super Stopper II drag system
  • Easy to cast long with Propulsion Line Management


  • The spool is not as smooth as expected

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the weight of this model?

A: It depends on the model you pick; it ranges from 4 to 8 ounces.

Q: How much line length can this reel hold?

A: At 4-pounds, it can hold 100 yards. At 6-pounds, it holds 60 yards.

Q: What is the spool made of?

A: It is made of aluminum.

7. Cadence CS8 Spinning ReelCadence CS8 Spinning Reel

One of the highest-quality models in the entire list: The Cadence CS8 Spinning Reel. It won’t disappoint you in the least, no matter what type of angler you are.

The first thing you’ll notice is a super durable and robust body. It is made of carbon magnesium carbon or CMC, one of the most reliable constructions you can hope to get. And still, it is one of the lightest, so you can receive top-notch performance – especially with the aluminum spool.

This pairs up well with a set of 9 bearings made of stainless-steel. They offer an anti-reverse system that prevents any fish from pulling too hard. The gears have a ratio of 6.2:1, which ensure fast action and smoothness.

The drag system also boasts an excellent carbon fiber construction. And with the EVA handle knob, you won’t have any problem reeling the spool in.

If you’re a demanding user who doesn’t want to spend a fortune in a premium-quality reel, then this is your best bet.


  • Exceptional carbon fiber drag system
  • Durable & corrosion-resistant CMC build
  • Smooth & reliable nine steel bearings


  • Heavy reel

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is this reel ideal for saltwater fishing?

A: Yes, it will hold well, but it will need extra care.

Q: How much is the gear ratio of this reel?

A: You will get a 5.2:1 ratio with the 1000 model, and 6.2:1 with the rest.

Q: Can I use lines over 10-pounds with this reel?

A: Yes, it can handle lines of up to 20 to 30-pounds.

8. Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite Baitcast ComboShakespeare Ugly Stik Elite Baitcast Combo

If you want to get both the rod and the reel at the same time, then you should go for the Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite.

This combo boasts one of the most reliable reels you can get. The 2-ball bearings construction with an anti-reverse drag system will make it easy to reel fish off the water in seconds.

The reel also comes with machined aluminum construction. It allows several yards of the line but also delivers one of the most durable builds out there.

To make the whole reel better, you can enjoy a light graphite composite construction. This ensures a more resistant build for years. And with the double-paddle aluminum handles, you won’t have any problem using it.

The cast control is magnetic, so you can have an even easier experience when using it.

Overall, it leaves nothing to be desired – and it comes with a rod already, which adds tons of convenience.


  • Super convenient rod & reel set
  • High-Quality graphite composite build
  • Magnetic cast control for ease of use


  • Not ideal for bass larger than 20-pounds

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the maximum line strength this reel handles?

A: You can make it work with lines of up to 20-pounds.

Q: What’s the gear ratio of this reel?

A: It has a gear ratio of 6.2:1.

Q: Does this reel come with brakes?

A: Yes, good enough brakes to catch bass.


When it comes to quality, few brands can match SHIMANO. And the Citica model is the perfect example of that. We could even say it is the best bass reel on the whole list.

What makes the Citica series reels so amazing is the X-Ship retrieval system. It will let you reel the line in the spool smoothly while delivering a superb casting capacity.

This pairs up well with the S3D spool, another magnificently smooth part of the reel. And with the SVS Infinity brakes, you won’t have any problem achieving superior dragging capacity.

It boasts five ball bearings made of stainless-steel, which ensure proper durability. And with a Super Stopper Anti-Reverse roller, you won’t have any problem keeping your catch at bay.

Add the Stable Spool Design for even more smoothness, and a gear ratio of 5.5:1 that ensures a worry-free experience when handling the largest bass. This reel is simply fantastic.


  • Effective fishing with S3D spool and Infinity brakes
  • An excellent X-Ship retrieval system
  • Durable & reliable steel bearings build


  • More expensive than others

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is this reel useful for left-handed people?

A: Yes, you need to buy the left-handed model beforehand.

Q: Can I change the gear ratio?

A: Yes, you can get the 5.5:1, 7.2:1, and 6.3:1 accordingly.

Q: Is this reel useful for saltwater fishing?

A: It will stand the corrosion well enough to work in saltwater.

10. Daiwa Fuego Spinning Fishing ReelDaiwa Fuego Spinning Fishing Reel

Lastly, let’s come back to Daiwa. This brand offers some of the highest-quality models out there without leaving the price behind. And the Daiwa Fuego is one of its best models.

This superb reel comes with a Hardzboyz carbon construction that ensures a long-lasting reel. But it is not the body that stands out, but the 9-ball bearing system made of stainless-steel. Along with the aluminum spool, you can receive tons of durability & resilience.

The shaft or drag system comes with a Magsealed system, ideal for keeping everything oiled for long and preventing corrosion damage. This also ensures smooth performance, so reeling the line in is easy with this model.

As for the handle, you will get a machined aluminum build. It will work wonders with the bearing system and the roller so that you can bring fish out of water effortlessly.

Whether it is lightness, ease of use, or superb performance – this reel is your best bet.


  • High-Quality carbon fiber construction
  • Durable and reliable Magsealed system
  • Top-Notch set of handles & anti-reverse roller


  • Gears make a lot of noise while reeling

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What’s the gear ratio of this reel?

A: Depending on the model, you can get either 6.2:1 or 5.3:1

Q: Can I swap this reel for left-handed people?

A: Yes, you can change the direction of the handle easily.

Q: What type of line would work with this reel?

A: You can use lines of up to 30-pounds.

What to Look for In A Bass Reel?

What To Look For In A Bass Reel

After going through our top bass fishing reels reviews, it is time to learn precisely what you should look for. Here, we explain all the different factors to consider before making your choice:


Not necessarily the most crucial part when it comes to performance, but necessary to think about if you want durability.

We recommend carbon fiber builds for the best results here. But you can get decent results with a graphite or aluminum body.

You should focus on getting something that resists corrosion and works well in both freshwater and saltwater bodies.


The drag system of the reel is an essential part to think about. It will tell you how well the spool holds the line when a fish is pulling back.

Bass is not the strongest of fish out there, but it is a great fighter. So, you will need a robust drag system that prevents bass from pulling too hard while making it easy to drag them out of the water.

Go for a drag system with anti-reverse technologies. If you can go for an excellent carbon fiber construction, that would be even better.

Ball Bearings

This is one of the first factors you’ll encounter when looking at spools. And they are super important because they tell how durable, resistant, and smooth the system will be.

Typically, the more ball bearings a reel boasts, the better it will perform. But, it is also essential to consider the quality of its construction.

We recommend systems with at least six ball bearings made of -steel. Those are the best ones you can find. But brass bearings are not bad either, just not as suitable as steel.


The spool is the part that keeps the line in place. Here, you’ll have to consider its construction as well as how many lines it can handle.

For example, the largest baitcasting reels can handle lines of up to 8-pounds for about 250 yards. This is a more-than-decent capacity to consider.

But if you can go for a spool that handles lines of 6-pounds at 150 yards, then that will be enough for bass fishing.

As for the construction, we recommend graphite, carbon fiber, and aluminum spools. But focus on carbon fiber for the best results.

Gear Ratio

After considering the spool-type, consider the ratio it offers. This refers to how easy it will be to retrieve the line when reeling.

High ratios like 7.2:1 tend to be ideal for deep-swimming fish and the strongest ones like sharks and blue rays. But if you want to catch bass, something of about 5.2:1 will be perfect for a fast response in the surface or shallow waters.


Not every reel comes with a brake system, but they can be amazingly helpful. Similarly, to the drag, brakes help to prevent the line from getting out of the spool. We recommend this feature if you are a beginner who doesn’t want to let catches go away easily.

Crank Handle

The handle is the part you’ll grab to reel the line in. It is vital to get a comfortable and easy-to-use handle.

We recommend taking a good look at the size of the handle and how smooth it is. But make sure it fits your needs in terms of handling control so you can have a pleasant experience when trying to get fish out of the water.

How to Use a Bass Reel?

Fishing bass is not an easy job, especially if you aren’t familiar with how to use a reel. Here, we’re going to give you a few bass fishing tips so you can learn fast:

  1. The first thing to do as soon as you get the reel is to reel the line on the spool. You should reel until the line ends up at about 6-inches to 12-inches from the tip.
  2. Then, look for a hook. Make sure it is a proper hook that won’t harm the fish too much but can still grab effectively. Tie it down to the end of the line on the rod tip.
  3. Find the right lure or bait that bass can bite effortlessly. We recommend jigs, crankbaits, and finesse worms. Tie them down to the hook or close to it.
  4. Now, you’re ready to start using the reel. It is time to cast the line now so you can place the bait on biting territory.
  5. Place your thumb on the reel spool. Then turn the rod until the tip points up. The handles should also point up.
  6. In this position, press the release button. Hold the rod back a little, in a semi-diagonal place pointing backward. And with a strong swing, try to launch the line as far as possible.
  7. Try to place the tip of the rod forward only until it reaches eye level or your face. Here, you can wait for the line to touch the water.
  8. If the line doesn’t reach too far, you can start reeling back up again using the handle. Otherwise, wait until a fish bites.
  9. Once a fish bites, you’ll have to keep your thumb on the handles to prevent any drag. Then slowly reel in the line to bring the fish out of the water.
  10. Try to be patient and reel in every 3 or 5 seconds. This way, you don’t tire yourself too much. You’ll reel the fish into the boat or shore in a few seconds.

This is a beginner’s guide on how to use a bass reel, but following it will give you a better idea of what to do.

Frequently Asked Questions

Buying a reel for your bass fishing won’t be easy, even after reading all about the top bass reels in the market. To help you with that, here are a few additional questions & answers to consider:

1. How do I know the reel is ideal for bass fishing?

You’ll have to consider the strength and durability of materials. The stronger and more durable the reel, the better it will be when holding large bass.

2. How do I put the line on the reel?

Pass the line through the rod’s guides, then into the spool. Tie it down, then start reeling the line in until there are only a few inches left from the tip.

3. What is the best type of reel for fishing bass?

The best reel would be the baitcasting reel due to its launching or casting capacity. But spinning models won’t be bad either.

4. What rod should I use with my reel for bass?

We recommend a light or ultra-light rod with fast action. You will need something sensible but easy to handle, so focus on that.

5. Is it normal for reels to make noise?

Yes, some of them make a lot of noise. We recommend a shielded or sealed bearing system if you want a less noisy model.

6. Is it necessary to lubricate my reel over time?

Yes. You need to lubricate the reel every time before and after using it. If you want to prevent this, get a sealed reel that needs less lubrication.

7. Can reels break or wear off over time?

Yes, like any other product, they also have a lifespan. But if you get a high-quality model with a durable construction, you can get decades of use out of the reel.

8. Can I use my bass fishing reel for other types of fishing?

Yes, whether you pick a baitcasting or spinning reel, it will be useful for any fishing you want.

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve read all there’s to know about reels for bass fishing; then you should be ready to pick the right model. But if you’re not – then don’t worry.

We recommend the SHIMANO Citica if you are willing to spend the money it is worth. But certainly, this is an excellent reel to have from its performance to its build.

If you want something slightly cheaper, then the Penn Battle II will not be a wrong choice. It is as reliable, durable, and smooth as the former – so you can get top-notch performance from it as well.

In the end, the best bass reel for the money is the one that best matches your needs and budget — taking that into account before buying will help you pick the ideal product.

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