Top 5 Baitcasting Reels Under $100 – [Updated 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

Even though it’s the first choice for professional fishers, baitcasting reel has become quite popular among hobbyist fishermen, as well. But if having one baitcaster for your holiday fishing costs you a fortune, it’s never worth the shot. However, the good news is, there are reels that are quite affordable, and you don’t need to reach the end of your pocket to get one.

To make it an easy search for you, we have listed down the top 5 baitcasting reels under $100. These 5 reels are no less than the expensive ones in quality and deliver superior performance with that below the 100-buck price tag.

So, if you are ready to explore these affordable yet powerful bait casters, you better fasten your seatbelts!

Top 5 Baitcasting Reels Under $100 Reviews

So, the following reviews will comprise what we have found in these 5 baitcasting reels and how you can get the most out of these options. Read the reviews till the end to find out your match.

How We Choose 5 Best Baitcaster Under 100 Dollars

As the market is flooded by thousands of baitcasting reels, there’s hardly any short route to locate the most useful ones in one go. To find the most suitable ones, we had to take a different route of the bottom to top fashion. We went through some of the most commonly used reels that cost under $100 and considered the reviews from users and customers.

Upon researching from different sources, we finally made sure that we have made a list of the most promising products according to the users. That’s how we ended up listing these top 5 baitcasting reels under $100 in our reviews today.

List of top 5 best baitcaster under 100:

backpac Pflueger President XT Weight: 7.7 oz
Gear ratio: 7.3:1
Max drag: 12 lb
Ball bearings: 8+1
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backpac Lew’s Mach I Speed Spool Weight: 10.4 oz
Gear ratio: 7.5:1
Max drag: 15 lb
Ball bearings: 7+1
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backpac Abu Garcia Ambassadeur S Weight: 10.5 oz
Gear ratio: 5.1:1
Max drag: 12.5 lb
Ball bearings: 2
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backpac KastKing Crixus ArmorX Weight: 6.8 oz
Gear ratio: 7.2:1
Max drag: 17.6 lb
Ball bearings: 9+1
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backpac Lew’s American
Hero Camo Speed Spool
Weight: 7.2 oz
Gear ratio: 7.1:1
Max drag: 15 lb
Ball bearings: 5+1
Check Price

1. Pflueger President XT – Best Baitcasting Reel Under $100

Pflueger President XT

We start off with the Pflueger President XT reel. The first look of this baitcasting reel gives you the impression that this one is a pretty compact fishing reel. And with the 8-ounce weight of it, there’s nothing more to describe it.

Apart from the excellent low profile, it comes with; the device is actually full of useful features. For example, the 9 bearing system of the reel is totally going to surprise you with the reeling works during fishing.

As these bearings are made from stainless steel balls, the rotation of the reel is pretty effortless. This is what you need in a fishing reel, especially when you are having a battle with the big guys in the water.

Not to mention, the bearings are also corrosion-resistant. This means you can easily use the device in both freshwater and saltwater. There’s no chance of the bearings getting damaged by the harsh saltwater even if you submerge the reel every time you go fishing.

Not so surprisingly, we have a magnetic braking system in it. This indicates that you are going to have more control over the reel in the case of spool rotation and reeling. Plus, the possibility of backlash is way less than any other reel with other types of braking systems.

As for the handle of the reel, it’s quite comfortable, to be precise. First of all, it is made from aircraft-grade aluminum materials. Secondly, the handle-knob is covered by soft rubber that provides an excellent grip so that you don’t slip the device in the middle of a battle with the crazy fishes out there!

Highlighted Features

  • The bearing system consists of 9 ball bearings
  • Ball bearings are made from stainless steel
  • The handle is constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum
  • Features a modern magnetic brake system
  • The handle knob is covered by soft-touch rubber


  • The corrosion-resistant profile is suitable for saltwater fishing
  • Extremely durable stainless-steel build-up
    Quite a comfortable handling
  • Reduced chance of backlash
  • Smooth reeling experience due to 9 ball bearings


  • You can feel the gear movement when you turn the handle

2. Lew’s Mach I Speed Spool – Affordable Baitcaster Under $100

Lew’s Mach I Speed Spool

If you are looking for a complete package for your fishing solution, look no further when you come head to head with Lew’s Mach I Speed baitcasting reel. The device is a top-notch one in every possible field. From the design of the frame to the dragging capacity, it leaves the mark of excellence in every aspect.

The reel comes with an LP graphite frame with side plates that are constructed from the same material. Plus, it places three drain ports along with the slide plate for extra convenience, as well.

Thanks to its 8-bearing system that allows smooth movement for the spool, no matter how hard the situation is. You have to appreciate the double-shielded stainless steel bearings that come with a single-way clutch system with a zero-reverse option.

To control the line and the overall reel, you have solid brass speed gears. Adjusting the gears according to your need is quite an easy task on this device.

The best part of this device is the dual-brakings system. On the external side, the reel has a smart magnetic braking system, and the internal portion is housed by a centrifugal braking option. Together, you get maximum control over the line. This also reduces the chance of a backlash to a greater level.

The spool itself is a highly durable one. It is made from anodized aluminum with 32-mm depth. So you can use any line, no matter how heavy or lightweight it is, on the spool. It will definitely fit it in style!

Highlighted Features

  • The device-frame is made from SLP graphite
  • It features 2 different braking system – magnetic and centrifugal
  • 32-mm deep anodized aluminum spool
  • Anodized aluminum handle
  • Features a company grip thumb bar


  • Extremely durable frame and side plates
  • Smooth movement with 8 bearings and a zero-reverse clutch
  • The smart dual-braking system reduces backlash
  • Solid grip handle for non-slip use
  • The adjustable gear system is easy to set up


  • Braided lines seem to struggle on the spool

3. Abu Garcia Ambassadeur S – Best Round Baitcasting Reel

One of the most popular names in the baitcasting reel industry is Abu Garcia. They have produced some of the best baitcasting reels to date, and Ambassador S is one of them. This one comes with an ergonomic design to support your hand’s position while you are fishing.

Starting with its double stainless-steel ball bearings, the reel is an absolute beauty to work with. The bearings may be a bit lower in the ball count, but the smoothness of the movement of the spool or the delivery of the line is not at all compromised. You can feel the smoothness when you are casting in any water type – freshwater or saltwater.

Supported by a 4-pin centrifugal brake, the device lets you take control of the reel in a real sense. Unline magnetic brake, you can control the brake system on your own terms. So that gives you more freedom and control over the casting and reeling back.

To add more, the reel has a multi-disk dragging system that leaves no chance of a miss for any catch. Thanks to the synchronized level wind, you can pull the catch in no time without any issue. That’s why you can drag fish weighing up to 13 pounds pretty easily, given that you are using some of the strongest lines on the spool.

As for the handle of the reel, it’s totally made from stainless steel. That’s what you can easily feel when you touch it on your hand. Plus, this heavy-duty handle is also designed in a special way to make sure that it doesn’t have any impact on your hands. That’s why the handle is a bit dent on both sides, giving it a flat feeling so that you get a more ergonomic feel.

Highlighted Features

  • The device is constructed from stainless-steel
  • Double-ball bearings made from stainless-steel
  • Features 4-pin centrifugal brake system
  • Comes with a synchronized level-wind method
  • Compact bent stainless-steel handle


  • Heavy-duty construction allows rough use
  • Comfortable and ergonomic bar handle
  • Multi-drag disk system allows 13 pounds of drag ability
  • Both left and right-handed users can use it
  • Manual centrifugal drag gives more control over the casting


  • With only 2 ball bearings, this is not a perfect suit for professional fishers

4. KastKing Crixus ArmorX – Best Baitcaster Under $100

KastKing Crixus ArmorX

When it comes to powerful baitcasting reels in the market, the very first name that comes into fishers’ minds is KasKing. And there are some quite obvious reasons for that. Kastking’s special concentration on powerful drag, optimum gear ratio, and heavy-duty build quality are some of the unmatched features that hardly any other brand brings to the table.

The Armor X reel is a living example of such professional excellence. It is constructed from a superior aluminum frame with a low-profile build-up. The reasons for using aluminum in the construction are two. One, to ensure that the build quality is strong and sturdy.Two, to keep the overall weight of the reel significantly lower. And with robust construction and only 6.8-ounce weight, they have done it pretty well.

Another excellent job done in the reel is the inclusion of 10 shielded, stainless-steel ball bearings. The bearings have 9 balls, including another bearing for an instant anti-reverse system. This means you are going to get the most superior feeling when you are going to cast and reel back the line throughout the fishing session.

And the magnetic brake system is going to simply nail it. With 8 active magnets inside, the brake will take care of your braking control on autopilot mode. This reduces the need for your own intervention in controlling the line and also mitigates the backlash on the spool, as well.

Thanks to its powerful carbon disc drag system, the reel can handle quite a heavy dragging in a smooth manner. With the 4-disc fiber drag option, you can pull around 18 pounds of fish from the water without any hassle. The giant aluminum start knob plays a big role here, as well.

Highlighted Features

  • Reel frame is made from pure aluminum
  • The entire reel weighs 6.8 pounds
  • Features a powerful carbon disc drag system
  • 9+1 superior shielded, stainless-steel ball bearings
  • Uses a powerful magnetic brake system with 8 magnets


  • Strong and sturdy low profile build-up with a lightweight feeling
  • Drag up to 18 pounds with the carbon disc drag system
  • Magnetic brake reduces backlash and bird’s nest
  • The aluminum handle is lightweight and has super polymer grips for comfort
  • Ensures smooth drag and cast with the 7.2:1 retrieve gear ratio


  • It’s not suitable for any monoline below 15 pounds

5. Lew’s American Hero Camo Speed Spool – Best Value Baitcasting Reel

And lastly, we have Lew’s American Hero CamoBaitcasting reel on our list. Although Lew’s produces fewer reels compared to some of the top names in the market, the quality they deliver is unparalleled and quite up to the mark.

The Hero Camo Speed reel from their production house comes with a complete graphite frame. Now, those who are familiar with a stainless-steel frame may wonder if this offers better durability than steel. The good news is, yes. This one does provide excellent durability, ensuring a repair-less long-term use.

But being made from graphite doesn’t mean it is quite heavy to handle. It surprisingly weighs only 6.4 ounces. You can easily handle it and carry it around without any fatigue or pressure felt on your hands whether you are fishing or not.

Talking about easy handling, the reel comes with 5 premium bearing systems. These double-shielded stainless-steel ball bearings are there to support the smooth movement of the spool to let the line reel out as smoothly as possible. And not to forget, it includes a one-way clutch bearing, as well.

For the best control, this low-profile reel comes with a magnetic braking system. Using a magnetic brake, you get to control the reel in a more precise fashion, and you definitely feel better in control. Plus, it prevents backlash and bird’s nest in a better way than other regular types of braking methods.

As for the spool of the device, this one is a classic 35mm spool that is made from fully anodized aluminum material. With a slight help of the bearings, the spool allows you to drag fish up to 15 pounds of weight pretty easily and effortlessly.

Highlighted Features

  • The entire frame of the reel is made from graphite
  • The 35mm spool is made from anodized aluminum
  • Features a magnetic brake system
  • Reel includes a zirconia line guide
  • Bowed graphite star drag system


  • Lightweight but durable construction
  • Five bearing system allows smooth operation of the spool
  • Magnetic brake system mitigates backlash
  • Able to drag up to 15 pounds of fish
  • Graphite star drag allows effortless dragging


  • The reel makes a lot of noise while casting

Baitcaster Gear Ratio Guide – Which One Should You Get?

While choosing a baitcasting reel, a crucial fact to consider is the gear ratio. If you fail to select the right gear ratio for your baitcaster, you will fall short of achieving the optimum support you want from the reel. So, here is a definitive guide to gear ratios in baitcasting reel and which one you should get.

What is Gear Ratio For Baitcasting Reels?

To keep it simple and precise, gear ratios indicate the speed of the spool of your baitcasting reel. This is a 3 digit number that shows how many times the spool will rotate in a single rotation of the handle.

For example, the gear ratio of 7.2:1 means once you turn the handle, the spool will rotate 7.2 times. That means it’s pretty fast. On the other hand, if the gear ratio is 5.1:1, it means that once you turn the handle, the spool will rotate 5.1 times. This indicates the spool is quite slow compared to the previously mentioned gear ratio.

So the basic idea is, the higher the gear ratio, the faster the speed of the reel will be. Spinning reels are comparatively slower than baitcasting reels. The baitcasting reels gear ratios start from 5.5:1 to the highest 9.3:1.

But that’s not all. Depending on the gear ratio number, there are categories that indicate the speed of the reel and the application is, as well. Here’s what you should know.

Gear RatioSpeedApplication
5.5:1 – 6.6:1SlowFor heavy lures
6.7:1 – 7.9:1MediumFor standard fishing
8.1:1 – 9.3:1HightLong casting and open water fishing

So, a slow speed is going to be ideal for some of the common crank baitings. This will allow your baits to reach the maximum depth and provide you with better control. Plus, it will put less pressure on your hand as it is quite comfortable to drag at this speed.

As for the medium speed, this is for most bass fishing works. This is perfect for those who want to go for a variety of fishing. This is the category where most of the modern baitcasting reels fall.

Hight speed baitcasting reels are used for fishing in open water, targeting schooling fish. Plus, you can use it for longer cast and quick retrieval.

So, depending on your target fishing type, you should choose your reel’s gear ratio.

Frequently Asked Questions- FAQs

Q1. What should I look for when buying a baitcaster?

Ans. There are a lot of things to look for when you are going for a baitcaster. To be precise, the build quality should be strong, and the ball bearings should be quite smooth and robust to support spool rotation. Plus, the brake system should be well-functional and up to the mark for the best service.

Q2. What are the advantages of baitcasting reels?

Ans. While spinning reel is quite easier to use, baitcasting reel has some advantages, as well. For example, a baitcasting reel can cast at a longer distance than a spinning reel. That, too, with more accuracy. With extended line capacity, baitcasting reels are much more durable, as well. These lightweight reels are also suitable for big games.

Q4. How to cast a baitcaster reel accurately?

Ans. To cast accurately, you need to remove the thumb from the spool. The bait will take the line from this moment. The spool will be spinning right now, and you should be paying attention to the knob setting of the spool. Now through the bait and line, and don’t look at the bait. Focus on the specific point. Hold on to the brake system. As soon as the bait touches water, slow it down with the thumb on the spool.

Q5. How much does a baitcaster reel cost?

Ans. Baitcasting reels come in a variety of prices. But generally, if your budget is around $100, you can easily get some of the best baitcasting reels.

Q6. Why do pro fishermen use Baitcasters?

Ans. There are multiple reasons why pro fishermen choose baitcasting reels over the spinning reel. First of all, a baitcasting reel ensures an accurate and longer cast. Secondly, these are suitable for big game fishing and multiple types of other fishing. These are lightweight, brake-enabled devices that allow superior control. That’s why fishermen love these reels.

Q7. Can you change the reel side on a baitcaster?

Ans. Yes, you can. But it will involve a few mechanical chores. Remove the dust cap on the left. Now unscrew the handle from the left side. Then place the handle on the left where the dust cap was removed. Screw it, and you are done. As it needs some technical expertise, you should consult an expert if you are not sure what you are going to do.

Q8. Why do bass fishermen use baitcaster?

Ans. This is because a bait caster reel is lightweight, accurate, and quite suitable for bass fishing. That’s why bass fishermen tend to use a baitcasting reel for their job.

Final Words

It was a bit of a difficult challenge for us to list down the top 5 baitcasting reels under $100. Finding that fine point between superior quality and an affordable price tag is not an easy task. But we dig out best to unearth some of the most promising baitcasting reels for you that don’t exceed the 100-buck barrier.

Check out the FAQ section to find more about the baitcasting reel and its advantages. And if you happen to find the one that suits you from our list, do let us know in the comments below!

Happy fishing!

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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