Best Baitcasting Reels Under $50 – 2020 Guide

| Last Updated April 29, 2021

A good baitcasting reel is as crucial to fishing as the presence of fish itself.

A good reel needs to give the user control, precision, and support to pull the fish out of the water and into the bucket. But do you really need to spend a fortune on it?

We think otherwise! Here we have reviewed the best available baitcasting reels under $50! Sounds too good to be true. Read on to find out!

Comparison of the Best Baitcasting Reels Under $50

  • Drag system made of carbon fiber
  • Magnetic dual brake system
  • Durable ball bearings resistant to corrosion
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  • Frame and side plates made of graphite
  • 4 ball bearings made of stainless steel
  • Efficient Power Disk System
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  • Best for the Money
  • Highly durable brass gears
  • Advanced washers for increased power
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  • Three anti-reverse bearings
  • Cast control that can be modified
  • Tough, long-lasting pinion gears and brass drive
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Can You Find a Quality Baitcasting Reel For Less Than $50?

A lot of misconceptions related to cheaper baitcasting reels are often not accurate. Sure, you need a product that is reliable, but that doesn't mean you have to empty your wallet to get it. If you know the right products, there are plenty of options out there that are less than $50 but are still quick, allow maximum control using the thumb, and fast retrieval once the line has been cast.

They also don’t usually compromise on the strength of the structure either. Below we review some of those baitcasting reels for you to get deep in the water and deep in the fishing game with affordable options.

How Do I Choose a Baitcasting Reel

There are a few things that, when looked into, would allow you to make smart purchasing decisions best suited to your needs. Once you familiarize yourself with the features that make a reel truly dependable, you'll spend far less money and time.

The Gear Ratio

You need to decide what gear ratio you will need depending on the size of your lures. A gear ratio basically refers to the number of times the spool turns over in one handle rotation. So, a 6:1 reel would mean the spool turns over six times per handle rotation. Crankbaits can be retrieved using a gear ratio as low as 3:1 with it increasing for bigger lures to as high as 6:1, which is pretty fast.

The Spool Size

The second thing to consider is the spool size that depends on the size of the fish you plan on catching. Larger fish need strong and heavier lines for retrieval, and a large and deep spool that would hold all the line you'll need is required. For lighter fish, a lighter spool would work just fine.

The Comfort of Your Hand

One thing that cannot be compromised upon is how comfortable the reel and rod combination is in your hand. It is ideal if they are comfortable enough to act as an extension of your own arm! Before buying a reel, be sure to test out mechanisms like tensioners, reel handles, thumb latches, and drag settings to ensure you won't tire out in the water after a few castings.

Quick Take | Best Baitcasting Reels Under $50

Just looking for the top three best baitcasting reels under $50? Here they are:

  1. KastKing Royale Legend/Whitemax
  2. Abu Garcia Black Max
  3. Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel

Review of the Best Baitcasting Reels Under $50

Now we explore some of the reels that are available under $50. Let's see what they offer and how they have been experienced by some of the recent users.

KastKing Royale Legend/Whitemax Low Profile Baitcasting Fishing Reel – 11 +1 Shielded Bearings, 17.5 Lb Carbon Fiber Drag (A: Left-Black)


  • Fast, yet super silent operation
  • A high 7:1 gear ratio for fast retrieve
  • Aluminum forger lightweight but tough structured spools
  • Efficient dual brake systems for superior casting control
  • Corrosion-free ball bearings to assist in casting and retrieve
  • Precision cut brass gear structure with carbon fiber drag system


  • Time and practice is needed
  • Works best for large, massive fish
  • The thumb press needs to be pressed down strongly

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers knew they had made a great purchase right after having spent some time in the water with it. Despite having to take some time to master the spool control fully, the anglers were impressed, especially with the accuracy of the reel. Moreover, they found the retrieve to be smooth, drag controls reliable, and handgrip to be firm.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This reel is an excellent value for money. It comes with both magnetic and centrifugal brakes that give immense control overcasting. The 7:1 gear ratio will take the heaviest of the sea monsters right out of the water, and the four plate Carbon fiber star drag system is strong enough to deliver 17.5lbs of drag.

Who Will Use This Most

With its advanced unswerving features, the KastKing Royale Legend/Whitemax baitcasting reel is perfect for hobbyists, professionals, and beginners who hunt for the big fish alike. It has a user-friendly design and easy controls so it won't present difficulties to a newbie, yet it has a swift drag ratio and can deliver an incredible drag, combined with its sturdy build, will prove to be a valuable asset for the trained anglers.

Bottom Line

Fishing for the big ones with an affordable and reliable reel is every fishermen's dream come true. With this baitcasting reel, you will not regret your decision and will be settled for good, thanks to its characteristic features of speed, precision, and design.

Abu Garcia BMAX3-C Black Max Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel


  • Compact yet unyielding graphite structure
  • Dura gear brass gear gives the great winding ability
  • Power disk drag system gives a robust drag performance
  • A powerful gear ratio of 6:1 suitable for medium to large-sized fish
  • Four stainless steel and one roller ball bearing for unforced retrieve


  • Might make some noise
  • Significant weight is required to cast at a longer distance

What Recent Buyers Report

This Abu Garcia bait caster has been hailed by recent buyers. The casters require minimal maintenance even if you are tough on them. It offers smooth, resistance-free casting and a quick retrieve. Works like a pro even in saltwater and is a value-oriented reel that would not backlash once you've found settings optimal for your use.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The bait caster is an overachiever when it comes to powerful performance. Yet, it is so lightweight that you won't exhaust your arms casting and retrieving it all day long. The reason being, its single frame lightweight graphite structure with robust systems for drag and brakes.

Who Will Use This Most

As popular as it is among its users, the Abu Garcia Black Max would be of great advantage for anyone who's beginning to fish with swimbait. They might not be the easiest to master within some aspects, but that's how it provides a learning curve for beginners to learn the basics of baitcasting fishing.

Bottom Line

The Garcia Black Max comes from a series that is known by the anglers to have value and reliability that comes through the incorporation of new styling. Once mastered, it delivers silky smooth performance and a powerful drag to tame the hard fighting fish.

Piscifun Torrent Right Handed 7.1:1 Baitcasting Reel 18LB Carbon Fiber Drag Low Profile Baitcaster Fishing Reel Tournament Baitcast Reels


  • 7.1:1 gear ratio provides versatility in use
  • 18lbs of drag that is powerful against mighty fish
  • 4.33 inch extended aluminum handle gives enhanced drag
  • Uniquely designed oil hole on the side plate for lubrication of the reel
  • Increased winding ability and durability thanks to the double line winding shaft


  • Not very comfortable to hold
  • Gears might disengage or grind for brief moments
  • The reel is prone to produce noise due to adjustments in brakes

What Recent Buyers Report

The aluminum thumb bar offered by this reel is what the recent buyers have enjoyed the most since they were tired of dealing with plastic thumb bars that break too often. Additionally, the bearings are reported to work like a breeze, and the drag doesn't slip against the weight of the fish.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Apart from the high price the reel offers, it combines features that provide excellent leverage and power that works fine against five pounder fish and more. The three-layered high-grade carbon drag washers combined with the extended handle and the brass gear gives you great control. The design variation with the oil hole is also a plus point.

Who Will Use This Most

The Piscifun Reel is fit for use by all. However, it would particularly suit those who are looking for comfort and affordability. It works fine for both fresh and seawater fishers and provides performance that would be appreciated by all.

Bottom Line

The Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel offers unparalleled value for money. Ease of use, efficient operation, robust technology that won’t wear you out after a day on the water. It is made to rule the game on water without causing a dent in your bank balance.

Shakespeare Agility Low Profile Reel


  • Provides a reliable gear ratio of 6.2:1
  • Comes spooled with a number 14 line
  • Anti-reverse bearings to prevent backlashing
  • Brass drive and pinion gears for effective drag
  • Supports a sturdy machined aluminum spool for the line


  • Not suitable for use in seawater
  • Only contains 2 balls; casting might not be as smooth
  • The line might get tangled if the weight during casting exceeds 10lbs

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have found the drag offered by the reel to be effective against active fish as heavy as up to 15lbs. The ball bearings work well to prevent backlash but are not enough in number for a smooth, breezy cast. Moreover, the aluminum spool is deep enough to hold your line and comes wrapped in a #14 line ready to use.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Shakespeare products are well known in the world of fishing, and this reel lives up to the brand's reputation. Weighing only 6.4oz, the reel is lightweight, yet it supports brass and pinion gears that ensure optimum performance. Offering a 6.2:1 gear ratio, it certainly brings your catch home.

Who Will Use This Most

Although Shakespeare products are versatile enough to serve all user groups, they are especially user-friendly for children. Without having to break the bank, the kids can have a high performing reel to learn and master the hobby. The reel is lightweight, and the drag powerful enough to not tire out their hands. The usability, however, is not limited to children as adult hobbyists, and professionals will find it equally useful.

Bottom Line

If you have some extra time and energy to put in some work to cast your line, the Shakespeare baitcasting reel is a great option for you. Other than the less smooth casting, it has a durable drag, reliable gears for winding, and a dependable, lightweight structure.

FISHINGSIR Baitcasting Fishing Reel 17.6LB Carbon Fiber Drag, 7.1:1 Baitcasters Low Profile Saltwater Baitcast Reels Right Hand


  • Carbon fiber, robust drag up to 17.5lbs
  • Low profile lightweight graphite design
  • Extended aluminum handle with EVA knobs
  • Fast retrieve provided by the 7.1:1 gear ratio
  • 9+1 bearing system ensures an ultra-smooth casting
  • Efficient dual brake systems with both magnetic and centrifugal brakes


  • Built for use only in saltwater
  • Requires some time to find the most suited knob tension
  • Requires regular maintenance against the weariness caused by seawater

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are really appreciative of the ten ball bearings system that smooths out the performance without making any noise. The casting is easy and without a hitch. The 17.5lb drag is another factor that increases its value in the eyes of the users. With the same smoothness with which it casts, it also pulls the fish out. The grip is firm and does not turn slick when wet.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Characteristically something that promises performance as high as this reel is difficult to miss. The layout overall is user-friendly and takes into account the comfort. The cast and retrieve are almost effortless. The gears are strong and long-lasting, and the brakes are reliable. It's a complete package at a very affordable rate.

Who Will Use This Most

The FISHINGSIR reel is perfect for seawater anglers who love to spend hours fishing. The design is meant to help the anglers in such a way that it reduces operational effort. It offers a gear ratio and drag that can easily tackle the big fish, and with a little maintenance, the reel is here to serve you for a long time.

Bottom Line

A high-performance baitcasting reel that functions quietly and produces enough torque to drag heavy sea dwellers out of the water and into your boat. A great option for beginners and a reliable option that would give relief to the professionals.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Baitcasting Reels

Before buying a baitcasting reel, one needs to be sure if it suits their needs and what shortcomings they might face with the product in comparison to other reels. Here we present a few advantages and disadvantages for your better understanding.


Below are the main advantages:


The baitcasting reels are fashioned and built to provide precision to the angler’s operation. Using such a reel, you would be able to cast out the lines exactly where you want and retrieve the line overrunning and moving sideways, losing balance, and making it a bit of a hassle.

Swimbait Lures

Baitcasting reels are strong and sturdy and, as discussed, work against the drag produced by the resisting fish in the water. If you are using these reels, you can work with heavier swimbaits, which not only increases the chance of a fish mistaking them for prey and falling in the trap but also increases the chances of targeting bigger fish.

Less Effort Required

Once you’ve mastered how to use it, the effort employed to operate these reels is far less compared to spinning reels. The casting is smooth, and the forceful drag pulls the fish out without tiring you out.


Below are the main disadvantages:

Requires Time to Learn

With all the benefits provided, one of the main objections against the bait casting reels is that they are considered a little difficult to learn. Anglers, especially beginners, need to spend some time figuring out the best-suited settings, casting and retrieving angles to gain use of the investment fully.

Cost More

Compared to spinning reels, the baitcasting reels are a little towards the pricier region of the spectrum. Moreover, if they break, the repair is again costly compared to spinning reels. In case the reel is not repairable, a lot of money is wasted. Also, they don't work well with the lighter lures as they are built for the heavier ones.


Buying a baitcasting reel that delivers and is in for the long run could be a difficult decision. You might also find yourself inclined towards buying the more expensive ones because of the misconceptions that the cheaper ones do not offer everything. Having know-how of your need, coupled with a little research regarding the available options, can get you an amazing reel without spending a lot of money.

People Also Ask

Here we answer a few of the most sought after questions regarding baitcasting reels that will further help you in the matter.

How Do You Prevent Backlash on a Baitcaster Reel?

Avoiding a backlash is a matter that is not limited to just one factor. A few things need to minimize the chances of a backlash:

1. Buying the proper equipment suitable for the type of fish you are targeting. For beginners, microfilament lines work the best as they backlash the least and are easier to untangle.

2. You need to set the brakes and tension knot again in the light of the size of the fish you plan on carrying.

3. After setting the brakes and the tension knots, do a test.

4. Practice until you master the concept.

Is Braided Line Good For Baitcasters?

Braided lines are an excellent choice for bait casters. They are highly sensitive and have great knot strength. They also produce very low friction and are easy to cast. Also, they have great abrasion resistance making sure they don't wear and tear after a few round-ups.

What Causes Reel Backlash?

Backlash occurs when your lure or bait slows down after being casted and once in the water. The spool, on the other hand, is working at the same speed. As a result, the spool turns faster than the line leaving it and the line backlashes tangling around itself, creating a mess commonly known as a bird's nest, which is then opened for further use.

What is a Baitcasting Reel Used For?

Baitcasting reels are primarily used to achieve casting precision and accuracy, as well as, fast retrieve in fishing. They also counter the drag produced by the fish resisting to come out of the water. They can withstand pressure, saltwater, and weather, and are used to cast larger lures or swimbaits.

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My name is Jeff and I have been hunting and fishing for over 40 years. I am an avid archery lover, bass fisherman, and all-around outdoorsman. Currently, I'm obsessed with elk hunting but I'm sure I'll move onto a different favorite soon. You gotta love hunting for that reason :) If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at Read more about Big Game Logic.