Just about every angler in the world is passionate about the gear they use. In some cases, in becomes an obsession over every small detail and investing in the best gear available. This gear can stretch to thousands upon thousands of dollars. However you can get a very good baitcaster reel for under 150 dollars.
At some point there is a diminishing amount of returns for the dollars invested. Certainly there are shops and manufactures out there who are overjoyed to take your hard earned money and hand you a top of the line rod, reel or kayak, but is it worth it.
Honestly, unless you are looking for bragging rights, tournament wins, or just have to have the best of the best. then in our opinion no, its not worth it. The construction may be better, they may last a lifetime, but with the updates and manufacturing techniques improving who is to say your 1000 dollar reel in not out of date in a couple of years.
If you are in a rush, our recommendation for the best baitcaster reels under 150 dollars, is either the Abu Garcia Revo X, or the Abu Garcia Max Black, if you are looking for an even less expensive but quality reel. The brand is great, they are both the best bang for your buck you can get and they will see you get fish in all circumstances. We link below to this is you want to check it out.
We advise, and also follow our own advice, to buy gear that if it breaks, while an annoyance, wont break your bank when you replace it. So here we have the top baitcaster reels for under 150 dollars. Which is a pretty good price point for everyone except a professional angler.
Although it is possible to hand line for fish, I have actually been out and sat next to fishermen in Hong Kong who have had way more success than me doing just this. For the rest of us however we are going to need a reel.
Reels come in various shapes, sizes, brands, types, and colors and with so many factors, it can be very a maze to find which ones you want to buy.
Today, we will talk about a baitcasters, these are especially popular when fishing for bass and similar species, the bait caster is king. Technological advances have allowed for fantastic reels to be very affordable. If you are in the US and Canada baitcasters will be very common, if you are reading this from elsewhere they are less so. The difference are explained here.
It is possible to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on baitcaster reels, however finding a baitcaster reel for under 150 dollars is a sweet spot and there are some great options and great brands who are happy to furnish you with a top quality reel. We look at 8 of the best baitcaster reels below.
Abu Garcia Revo X
First on our list, and our go to reel, is the Abu Garcia Revo X. Abu Garcia is one of the most popular bass fishing gear brands ion the planet, so they bring a reputation for quality. They also are popular with fishing kayaks due to low profile and reliability. We actually have this, the black max and the c Pro MAx. All of which we can say out perform there pretty modest price tags.
- PREMIUM CONSTRUCTION: The Abu Garcia Revo X Baitcast Reel is made from an X2-Craftic alloy frame, providing...
- RECOVERY RATE: Recover 27” | 69cm of line for every turn of the crank. Gear ratio of 6.6:1. Made with a D2 Gear...
- BRAKE SYSTEM: The MagTrax brake system gives you consistent brake pressure throughout your cast. Lube port allows...
- DRAG SPECS: Carbon Fiber Star Drag, Max: 18lb | 8.1kg. The Carbon Matrix hybrid drag system provides smooth,...
The Revo is a line of baitcaster reel that is very popular, especially amongst the budget to mid range shopper amongst us ( us included!) . The Revo X is a low profile reel that gives you 18 pounds of drag. Although it does come in at the very top of the price range, it is backed by the name brand and the reputation of giving you a good product that will last a good few seasons.
Although Abu Garcia is a very well known brand, perhaps the best known around the world is Shimano. It also has the reputation for producing some of the most expensive reels on the market. However, they do have more accessible options though including a line under $150. The SLX is well regarded and smooth.
The SLX is one of Shimano’s most affordable models, and is another low profile baitcaster reel, and it still delivers fantastic results. It uses the VBS break system to help eliminate bird nesting tangles and control casting and has 12 lbs of drag. This is super affordable and gives you that famous Shimano performance that can be found in reels well over $100. You know it will be well made and it gives you the bragging rights of a much more expensive reel!
Lew’s American Hero Camo
There are many lines in a similar price range that Lew’s produces, the Camo is very easy to find and is a great entry-level reel. There are some concerns over the build quality but for the price you are getting a steal.
- FISHING REEL: One-piece, lightweight, graphite frame and digital camo sideplates
- CASTING REEL: Features a premium five bearing system with double shielded stainless steel ball bearings and Zero...
- MAGNETIC CONTROL SYSTEM (MCS): Externally adjustable, full-release magnetic braking system. As the spool...
- BAITCASTER: Features an anodized aluminum 35mm spool, durable Rulon drag system, provides up to 15 pounds of drag...
You can tell this is a budget baitcaster, but sometimes you get more than you pay for and this is one of those times. It will be one that comes through on a regular basis. One of the best ways to buy the American Hero Baitcaster is on a combo where the rod pairing is already down for you. If you are thinking about trying for a baitcaster its one to consider.
Abu Garcia Black Max
Known to many as the ultimate beginner’s baitcaster, the Abu Garcia Black Max is probably the best bang for your buck on this list. Coming in at $40-50 at most retailers, this is a great starting point. It simple, effective , well made and cheap. What’s not to like!
I often have friends come fishing with me who are perhaps not as avid a fisherman as I am and this is ideal to teach them how to bait cast, with the advantage if it gets banged up I am not going to break down and cry! Also as the Black Max is super straight forward, easy to use, and can be found all over the place it is perfect for those just getting into bait casting, and at well under 150 dollars you could buy 2 for the price of others on this list.
- Lightweight design with one-piece graphite frame and side plates
- 4 stainless steel ball bearings
- Power Disk system
- MagTrax brake system boosts range and accuracy of casts
You have to keep in mind that mid-range reel probably won’t have a 10-year career and is more prone to breaking down over time. But, it will perform far better than some of the competitors and non branded options at this price point.
Another international brand that is extremely popular, especially in Asia, is Daiwa. In that sense, this brand is similar to Shimano, but can be seen as a little lesser on the hierarchy. As a rule we tend to go for spinning reels by Daiwa, but their baitcaster reels should not be over looked.
- Ultimate Tournament Carbon Drag UTD with 13.2 lbs. of drag
- Magforce-Z cast control
- Large, 90mm swept power handle with cutouts for reduced weight
- 5BB + 1RB, 8.1:1 Ratio
One of Daiwa’s most affordable lines is the Fuego. Again, this is a reel that registers at the very top of the price scale, but that is for good reason. These reels are built to last and even heavy use will see it going through a good many seasons. They are super smooth and will cast a good distance. So, if you do decide to drop $$ on it, you can feel confident in your purchase and the value it will bring you.
Quantum Throttle 100
A brand that is very similar to Abu Garcia is Quantum. Quantum is centered in the freshwater fishing space and produces some excellent baitcasters at a few price points. One of the most fairly priced reels within the brand is the Throttle 100
- POWERFUL REEL: The Throttle Baitcast is an open-cast fishing reel that features DynaMag cast control, a Zero...
- SMOOTH RETRIEVAL: This reel features 8 bearings (7 + clutch), a 28-inch retrieve rate, and a right hand retrieve to...
- RELIABLE: The Throttle Baitcast Reel brings an elevated fishing experience to a trusted baitcast. Continuous...
- VERSATILE USE: With a mono capacity of 135/12 and the ability to hold 170-yards of 30-pound braided line, this reel...
Like a few others on this list, it is priced at the top of te range, but will be on your lineup for a long time. This is not just a beginner’s reel, although it certainly can be. 15 lb of drag is a useful addition as it the spool holding 170 yards of braid. You would need some arms or some monster fish on the line to be using that.
Piscifun is a brand that is also very popular in the Asian countries and amongst ecommerce sites looking to push the next big thing. A fantastic reel under that brand’s umbrella is the Phantom. This is one of the lightest baitcast reels on this entire list. Registering at just 5.7 ounces, this reel still packs a punch when reeling in big fish. Even being lightweight a brass spool and 18lb drag shows its a well priced quality piece of kit.
The Phantom’s breaking system is fantastic for beginning anglers because it becomes very hard to birdsnest. Getting backlashes is one of the most frustrating parts of using a baitcaster reel. This is when the spool keeps spinning while the line stops – this creates a lot of issues and swearing.
13 Fishing Origin A
A brand that really burst onto the scene and is super popular, especially amongst the younger crowd, is 13 Fishing. The brand has been very innovative and pushing the envelope for what baitcasters can really be. This is why the 13 Fishing Origin A is a great purchase.
- The Origin A is a feature-packed low-profile reel with unmistakable style that is designed for when you don’t...
- ULTIMATE CONTOL - Proprietary Arrowhead line guide and 6-way centrifugal braking system deliver exceptional...
- SOFT TOUCH KNOB - Soft touch knobs ensure your bass thumb will stay comfortable all day.
- LIGHTWEIGHT COMPOSITE FRAME - With a composite frame and 13 lbs of drag, the Origin A embodies the strength and...
They make much higher-end lines, but the Origin A is by far the most affordable. This is the perfect reel for those who want to be introduced to the brand, start out at a reasonable price. If you wanted to be at the pointy end of fishing and try out some new gear the baitcaster reel is worth a look.
Baitcasting takes a little learning to master, if you are just starting out it is worth purchasing a baitcaster reel under 150 dollars, just to be sure it is something you want to continue. However that doesn’t mean you have to get either basic or cheap construction. The standard has reely (ha!) improved over the last few years.
However that said, we have still chosen a classic as go to baitcaster reel under 150 dollars, and in honesty it is our go to no matter what price of reels are out there.
So as we mentioned our go to choice is the Abu Garcia Revo X Baitcaster. The reason is simple, the other brand names may have more prestige but you are buying their budget options. The Abu Garcia Revo is a mid range baitcaster reel under 150 dollars from a top end company. Tried tested again and again it give you the confidence to take it into the field.
Further reading on reels below 🙂
Simply the best – best bait casting reels ( one may look familiar)