5 Best Baitcaster Combo Under $300 in the US – 2024

John Hunt
Owner at - FishingMet

John Hunt is a professional angler! He has been fishing for the last 12 years, he loves to participate in fishing tournaments everywhere with his...Read more

A spinning reel is a better choice for a wide range of applications, but when you step up your fishing game for a heavier catch bait caster reel is the boss.

I took quite a long time to master baitcasting reels from my grandpa. But I can vouch the effort and time were worth the result. My fishing game was never the same!

Baitcaster combos are very efficient, especially if you are a novice angler. It saves you the time you would spend on testing, balancing, and setting up. But with so many baitcaster combos in the market, are you wondering how to find the best performance, durable, and affordable combo?

However, I know what you would need in the best baitcaster combo under $300. So, I have reviewed the five best baitcaster combos here with a buying guide to help you choose the best one today.

Editor Choice

Lew’s Mach 2 SLP

Lew’s Mach 2 SLP
  • Material: Graphite
  • Fishing Technique: Casting
  • Rod Length: 7 Feet
  • Hand Orientation: Right
  • Weight: ‎0.4 Kilograms
  • Dimensions: ‎84.1 x 4.7 x 5.1 inches
Great Value Combo

Abu Garcia Max STX Baitcast Reel & Rod Combo

Abu Garcia Max STX Baitcast Reel & Rod Combo
  • Color: Multi
  • Style:‎Max Stx
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Size: ‎6’6″ – Medium – 1pc
  • Sport Type: ‎Fishing
  • Weight: ‎0.45 Kilograms
  • Dimensions: ‎78 x 5 x 3 inches
Great Beginner Baitcaster

Lew’s Mach Smash SLP Baitcast Combo

Lew’s Mach Smash SLP Baitcast Combo
  • Color: Red
  • Material: Blend
  • Fishing Technique: Casting
  • Hand Orientation: Left
  • Size: 6’10”-1
  • Weight: ‎0.36 Kilograms
  • Dimensions: ‎81.89 x 4.72 x 3.54 inches

Comparison Chart:

Best Baitcaster Combo Under $300Best forBrandMaterialsWeightFishing Technique
LEW’S FISHING American Hero Camo Speed Spool ComboEditor ChoiceLew’sGraphite0.4 KilogramsCasting
Lew’s Mach Smash SLP Baitcast ComboBest Smooth ActionLew’sStainless Steel0.85 Pounds‎Casting
Abu Garcia Max STX Low Profile Baitcast Reel and Rod ComboGreat Value ComboAbu GarciaAluminum0.45 Kilograms All
Lew’s Mach 1 Speed Spool Baitcaster ComboGreat Beginner BaitcasterLew’sBlend0.36 KilogramsCasting
Lew’s Mach 2 SLPGreat Pole & ReelLew’sGraphite 12.9 OuncesCasting

Best Baitcaster Combo Under $300 Reviews

Now that we know what to look for in the best baitcaster combo, it’s time to hop into the review.

But before that, if you are on a budget, you would be happy to know that most of these combos are below $200. So, you are getting here the best baitcaster combo under $200 too.


Four out of the five best baitcaster combos on this list are of Lew. Don’t mistake this list as Lew’s best baitcaster combo under $300. They are just a bit better than the rest, and you will soon know-how.

1. Lew’s Mach 2 SLP- Best Baitcaster Combo Under $300

If we start with the reel, the combo features a double-anodized aluminium U-shape 32mm spool, and the frame is made of graphite. The bear system in the reel is sturdy and reliable. It has a 10-bearing system with stainless steel ball bearings. The speed gears are of solid brass.

The brake system in this reel is smooth and well-functioning. It uses Magnetic brakes that are easily adjustable from the outside. The Zero Reverse one-way clutch bearing prevents backlash and bird’s nest.

The reel has a brilliant 15 lbs. of drag power. So, you can have a good fight with the larger catches without worrying about the reel. The aluminium star drag is also double-anodized aluminium and very easy to adjust.

The line release speed of this reel is super fast. The Winn Dri-Tac handle knobs are very ergonomic, comfortable, and durable.

The rod is made of a one-piece IM8 graphite blank. So, the rod takes a good amount of space. But in a one-piece, you don’t have to worry about losing the tip.

However, many buyers in Amazon complained that they received a broken tip or casting guide, probably due to bad shipping. So, make sure to buy the authentic combo. It’s a 7 feet 3-inch tall pure graphite rod.

It’s not too heavy, not too light. The casting guides are made of durable stainless steel, so that’s a big plus. The grip of the rod is also commendable.

Overall, it’s one of the best rod and reel combo, and it’s bound to serve you for a long time. Lew has made the combo for both left and right-handed anglers. The bright green colour in the combo makes it look super sleek and cool.


  • Double anodized aluminium spool and graphite frame of the reel
  • Easily adjustable magnetic brake
  • Excellent 15 pounds of drag power
  • Pure graphite sturdy fishing rod
  • Zero-reverse one-way clutch prevents tangling
  • 1-year warranty from Lew


  • One-piece rods are more troublesome to carry

2. Lew’s Mach 1 Speed Spool Baitcaster Combo

Lew combos are my favorites when it comes to affordable baitcasting combos. Their Mach 1 Speed Spool Baitcast Combo is similar to the Mach 2, but it’s cheaper and uses a dual brake.

The magnetic brake can be utilized externally, and there is a centrifugal brake inside the reel. The construction material of the reel is the same here, double anodized aluminium 32 mm deep spool with a graphite frame.

Unlike Mach 2, Mach 1 has an eight bearings system. It has double-shielded stainless-steel bearings and also features a zero-reverse one-way clutch like Mach 1.

The handle of the baitcasting reels is very large compared to the reel’s body. So, they should be constructed well for proper balance and grip. Lew used a bowed aluminium handle with Winn Dri-Tac grip and EVA butt for Mach 1. EVA is cheap but durable.

The reel also has a 15 lbs drag power and an easily adjustable spool tensioner. The thumb bar is compact and comfortable.

The rod is one-piece IM8 graphite. It’s available in two different sizes of 6’10” and 7’2″, and the smaller one is left-handed.

The design of this combo is very sleek and stylish too. The green, black, and white combination steal the show. It is the best baitcaster combo under $150 on this list.


  • Double anodized aluminium spool and graphite frame of the reel
  • Easily adjustable dual brake system
  • Excellent 15 pounds of drag power
  • Pure graphite sturdy fishing rod
  • Affordable
  • Zero-reverse one-way clutch prevents tangling


  • One-piece rods are more troublesome to carry

3. Abu Garcia Max STX Low Profile Baitcast Reel and Rod Combo

Ya, I heard you, finally, a review of a combo other than Lew’s. Abu Garcia is a renowned company in the fishing gear industry. Abu Garcia baitcaster combo, reels, rods, and all different types of gear have gained customer trust over the years.

The Max STX Low Profile Baitcast combo has an older and a new model. The main difference between the models is their exterior looks and designs. The features are the same.

The low-profile aluminium reel has a 5 stainless steel ball-bearing one roller bearing. So, this reel is fast but not as quick as Lew’s reels. It uses a Magnetic brake system, and its drag power is strong too.

The one-piece fishing rod is made of pure graphite. The combo is lightweight yet sturdy. The reel’s handle has a comfortable polymer grip.

So, you can do bass fishing with this combo with no worries. It is the most affordable baitcasting combo on this list.


  • Most affordable
  • Powerful drag system
  • Smooth magnetic brake system
  • Comfortable polymer grip
  • Stainless steel bearings for a soft cast


  • One-piece construction again

4. Lew’s Mach Smash SLP Baitcast Combo

It’s a bit older than the previous two baitcasting combos from Lew’s, but it was the best of its time and still in the first lane in the competition. It won the ICAST 2019 best of show baitcasting combo award.

The reel has a 32 mm aluminium deep spool, and a graphite frame covers it. The SLP or super low profile reel has side plates with three drain plots.

It has an impressive 8-bearing system with double-shielded stainless-steel bearings. So, this baitcasting combo was fast in its time. The drag pressure is 15 lbs., enough for catching large fish and winning an award.

The handle’s construction is not much different from the previous two on the list. Aluminium handles with Combat Grip paddle knobs, very comfortable and reliable grip.

The rod here is made of IM6 high modulus graphite blanks. It has a Winn Dri-Tac grip with an EVA butt so you can do fishing for hours, even with wet or slippery hands.

The casting guides are of stainless steel. The red and black design is not my favorite, but the combo looks nice. This combo is also under 150 dollars. However, you don’t get many options with the length of the rod, only 6’10”.


  • Externally and easily adjustable magnetic control system
  • SPL reel with a fast 8-bearing system and shielded stainless steel bearings
  • Aluminium spool, handle, and graphite frame
  • Excellent 15 lbs. drag pressure
  • Sturdy graphite rod
  • Comfortable reel handle and rod grip


  • The same one-piece issue

5. LEW’S FISHING American Hero Camo Speed Spool Combo

The American Hero Camo Speed Spool Combo is one of the best baitcasting combos from Lew’s. Its design is a bit different from the other three of Lew’s combos in the list.

The graphite frame has camo print side plates. I don’t know what service this camo print provides, but it certainly looks dope.

It has the same classic anodized aluminium spool and graphite spool frame. The handle is made of aluminium too, but the star drag is of graphite. The drag power is also the same 15 lbs.

It has a 6-bearing system, and the gears are double shielded with stainless steel and the main gear of brass. So, the reel is fast enough. It features a magnetic brake that is easily controllable externally.

The fishing rod is an IM7 graphite one-piece blank, and the casting guides are made of stainless steel. Both the reel and rod have a comfortable grip.


  • Externally and easily adjustable magnetic control system
  • Six bearing system and shielded stainless steel bearings
  • Aluminium spool, handle, and graphite frame
  • Excellent 15 lbs drag pressure
  • Sturdy IM7 graphite rod
  • Comfortable reel handle and rod grip


  • The one-piece fishing rod is the only problem in every Lew’s combos

How To Choose The Best Baitcaster Combo Under 300 Dollars?

Before jumping into the review, you must know the features of the baitcasting combos that I have considered for ranking and choosing the combos. You better also check the following things before buying a baitcasting rod and reel combo:


The material of the rod and reel directly determines the durability of the combo. Graphite and fiberglass are the two most popular rod materials in the market now, and many debates on which one is better than the other.

Graphite rods are stronger and more sensitive than fiberglass. As the rods are not so flexible, the anglers need to cast in perfect time with accuracy. Graphite rods are the experienced anglers’ favorites. They are highly reliable when fishing larger catches.

On the other hand, fiberglass rods are the beginners’ favorite. They have a mid-slow action that helps beginners. These rods are also flexible and lightweight.

I have reviewed here graphite rods for more experienced anglers. Graphite rods also come larger than fiberglass rods as they are more rigid and unyielding. The frame of the reel should be of aluminium or stainless steel for increased durability.


The size of both the rod and reel matters while buying a baitcasting combo. Larger reels hold more fishing lines and are also heavier. It’s the best choice of the reel while deep-sea fishing. And smaller reels are ideal for fishing small to medium fish.

The average length of a baitcasting rod is between 6’5″ to 8′. Longer rods naturally cast further, but shorter rods are more efficient and easy to use.

The Reel Brake Type

There are three types of brakes in baitcasting reels: centrifugal, magnetic, and dual brake. Magnetic brakes seem the best to me in overall performance and ease of use. I would leave the centrifugal brake for more experienced anglers.

More experienced users use fewer brakes, so this feature mainly concerns beginners. Easily adjustable auto brakes make the work a lot easier.

Rod action

Best Baitcaster Combo Under $300

Rod action is how much the fishing road bends under strain or pressure. If it turns near the tip, it’s a fast-action rod. The further it leans from the lead, the slower it gets. A medium-action fishing rod is suitable in both fresh and saltwater.

Control and balance

Amid the complex features, people often forget the most basic requirements like proper balance and control. Baitcasting reels are generally heavier, so they are fishing rods compatible with them. A good baitcasting combo will evenly distribute the weights.

As baitcasting reels are one of the toughest to master, features like anti-backlash ensure smooth casting and prevent bird’s nest. So, the baitcasting reels get easier to control.

Handle type

Another important feature people tend to forget. The handles should be able to provide grip to wet or slimy hands of anglers and provide comfort.

The EVA handles are more durable, but the Corks offer more comfort. Some manufacturers also make left-handed baitcaster for the lefties. So, don’t compromise on your best fishing experience if you are a leftie.

Why Baitcaster Combo Under $300 Is Best for You?

Considering the market price of reels and rods, baitcasting combos under $300 are the ideal ones. They have all the necessary features with the best results.

I have already mentioned the parts you need to check before buying a baitcasting combo. All those features and more are available in the five best baitcaster combos under $300 that I have mentioned here.

Pros and Cons of Using a Baitcaster Combo

We know baitcaster reels are tougher to master. These reels sit on top of the fishing rod. And the line on this reel comes off the spool directly along the rod.

The spool here is directly controlled with the thumb bar. All types of lines fit well on baitcasting reels. A baitcaster combo makes the job easier by choosing the right rod for the reel.

Pros of Baitcaster Combo:

  • It saves the pain of looking for a fishing rod that balances the weight of the reel well
  • Well-matched design of the baitcasting reel and rod
  • Budget-friendly
  • High-performance with heavier lures and lines and also catch heavier fish better
  • Best baitcasting combo for the money

Cons of Baitcaster Combo:

  • Anglers shouldn’t mismatch their reels and rods as they could cause imbalance and hamper your casting

Fishing Like a Pro: with Baitcaster Combo in Saltwater

Baitcaster reels are more powerful than spinning reels as they usually have a larger capacity and cover more distance. The combos on my list are the best baitcaster combo for beginners and they are budget-friendly too.

The gear ratios of baitcasting reels are more, so they cast a larger space at every turn of the handle. So, experienced anglers prefer baitcasting combos during saltwater fishing. Some tips that you can follow when saltwater fishing are:

  • Use a larger rod if you aim to cover a larger distance. But if you want a stronger rod, then a shorter rod is better.
  • Look for combos with more drag power. More power will give you an upper hand when you are fighting with heavier catches offshore.
  • Low-speed reels are better for stronger fishes
  • Carry tools like Saltwater gaffs and nets, Pliers and Scissors, Fishing knives, and Hook remover while saltwater fishing.
  • And most importantly, do not forget to take necessary safety measures before you go offshore fishing

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Are Baitcaster combos just for bass?

Baitcaster combos are not just for bass. These reels are usually more suitable than spinning reels for bass fishing. That’s because baitcasters are stronger.

2. What is the best baitcaster combo on the market?

The best baitcaster combo on the market is the Abu Garcia Max STX Low Profile Baitcast Reel and Fishing Rod Combo.

3. Can I use my freshwater Baitcaster combo in saltwater?

Yes, you can use your freshwater Baitcaster combo in saltwater. Don’t forget the proper maintenance, though.

4. What are the best baitcaster rod and reel combo for bass fishing?

The Lew’s Mach series are the best baitcaster rod and reel combo for bass fishing.

5. What is the best baitcaster combo under $300 dollars?

The best baitcaster combo under $300 dollars is the Lew’s Mach 2 SLP Baitcast Combo.

Final Thoughts

Baitcaster reels are my favorite as they offer the most versatile fishing experience. Though these reels are hard to master, they are worth all the effort.

The bigger the size of the reel, the more line capacity.  And the longer distance the reel can cover. But as baitcasting reels have large handles, they are tough to balance with the right fishing rod.

Baitcasting combos make this job easy for you by making the most compatible rod and reel duo. And I have done the job even easier for you by reviewing the best baitcaster combo under 300 dollars.

John Hunt is a professional angler! He has been fishing for the last 12 years, he loves to participate in fishing tournaments everywhere with his favorite fishing gear. As a pro angler, he is sharing his valuable fishing guide with newbie anglers...

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