Best Baitcasting Reels Under $200

Your presence here says you must be looking for a baitcasting reel that is both sturdy yet smooth, solid yet comfortable, robust yet easy to use but most of all durable yet affordable. Though, we have, for this reason, put together some of the best baitcasting reels under 200$. Speaking realistically, it is not a less amount that you can spend on a reel alone and call it cheap. Focusing on that, the reviewed reels are tested to complement you whether you fish in saltwater or freshwater, big species or small ones, and use lighter lures or live baits.

Best Baitcasting Reels Under $200

Even though we are of a belief that spending a handful amount on a reel means your expectation are as high as a sky and they should be though, presuming you don’t want to risk a single penny on that as well. The amount calls for a versatile reel that functions exceptionally, it should be from a high-profile brand and of a low-profile variant. So, let’s get you one in your preferred range.

Top Picks of Baitcasting Reels Under 200 Dollars

EDITOR’S CHOICE
Lews Fishing Tournament Pro Speed
Tournament Pro Speed
  • Zirconia Line Guide
  • P2 Super Pinion Bearing
  • Solid Brass Speed Gears
  • One-way Clutch Bearing
  • Carbon Fiber Drag System
  • Adjustable Centrifugal Brakes
PREMIUM PICK
Shimano Citica
Shimano Citica
  • SVS Infinity Brake System
  • S3d Spool Technology
  • Cut Clicking Star Drag
  • Aluminum Hagane Body
  • Saltwater Compatible
  • Various Gear Ratios
BUDGET PICK
Abu Garcia Max Toro DLC
Abu Garcia Max Toro DLC
  • Carbon Matrix Drag System
  • Dura Brass Gears
  • Digital Line Counter
  • Instant Anti-reverse Technology
  • Comfortable Bent Handles
  • Powerful Drag System

Top Baitcasting Reels Under $200

1. Lews Fishing Tournament Pro Speed | Best Baitcaster for the Money

Lews-Fishing-Tournament-Pro-Speed-
Fish with Lews best Pro Speed.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 6.4 oz 
  • Gear ratio: 6.8:1 , 7.5:1 , 8.3:1 
  • Brake system: centrifugal brake system 
  • Handle grips: combat style grip knobs 
  • Material type: aluminum 
  • Ball bearings: 10 + 1 
  • Spool size: 34 mm 
  • Drag max: 20 lb 
  • Line capacity: 120/12 

Lews Fishing Tournament Pro Speed is one of the elite reels that legitimately fall into the best baitcasting reel under the 200 category for the right reason. Lew’s bait casters are known to be one of the technologically advanced and updated reels with loaded benefits and features that will multiply the quality of performance 10 times than other reels. 

First of all, the reel is very easy to set up with few to no adjustment requirements plus there is no backlash, thanks to the double anodized aluminum spool that manages the line perfectly without getting it tangled. Plus, the brakes are totally exceptional. There is a 6-pin adjustable centrifugal system that you can regulate from the outside in accord with the weight of the lures and depth. 

Unlike many budget baitcasting reels, it does not sound much due to the quiet castability and the P2 super pinion gear system that allows for smoother cast control with no effort required yet above all offers a balance control over the reel and the cast. On the top, the reel never goes backward no matter how heavy a line you use due to the zero reverse one-way clutch bearing that even accelerates the process with the mighty bearing system composed of 11 bearings. 

Pros
  • Adjustable brakes
  • High-tech drags
  • Zero reverse technology
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Ultra-lightweight
Cons
  • None

Disclaimer: don’t buy this reel because chances are you’re going to get super addicted to it that there’s no going back to any other. Not to over-elaborate but tournament Pro Speed is honestly the best lews baitcaster for the money.

2. Shimano Citica – Technologically Best Baitcast Reel Under $200

Shimano Citica
Classy Reel and Shiny fish, flow together.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 7.4 oz 
  • Gear ratio: 7.2:1 , 6.3:1 
  • Spool: S3D Spool 
  • Brake system: SVS Infinity brake system 
  • Material type: aluminum 
  • Drag max: 12 lbs 
  • Ball bearings: 5 + 1
  • Mono capacity: 8/180, 10/155, 14/110
  • Braid capacity: 30/190, 50/120, 65/80

At top of the line, we have Shimano Citica because trust me, no one can beat the class of Shimano in terms of reel performance and built.

No one can beat the class of Shimano, see it yourself.

That being said, there are various technologies that Shimano has used for the construction of Citica and the best among them is the braking system of the reel. It is what they call the SVS Infinity brake system and let me ensure you there is no backlashing in the reel. The spool is another lovely feature of the reel, though the reel is small, the S3D spool is mighty and holds a lot many greater capacities and above all, the brakings and spool are so decently constructed that it does not go backward when using heavy lines. 

And wait! There’s more to Citica. The reel is saltwater friendly due to its highly anti-corrosive and the gears there are perfectly greased so that it does not get rough any time soon even if you fish for several hours. 

Pros
  • Excellent brakings
  • Sturdy and lightweight
  • Saltwater compatible
  • Various gear ratios
  • Highly anti-corrosive
Cons
  • Fewer ball bearings

Not to exaggerate, but everything that an angler imagines, Shimano turns them into reality while Citica is among those reels that are designed to meet your desires at the best level possible having the best quality drag and brakes and easy adjustment systems.

3. Abu Garcia Max Toro DLC – Highly Robust Baitcasting Reel

Abu Garcia Max Toro DLC
Stunning Max Toro DLC won’t let you down.

Specifications:

  • Gear ratio: 5.3:1 
  • Material type: Aluminum 
  • Gear type: dura brass gears 
  • Handle: compact bent handle 
  • Drag max: 20 lb 
  • Drag type: star drag 
  • Mono Capacity: 240/12 210/14 170/17
  • Braid Capacity: 290/20 225/30 165/50

Abu Garcia Max Toro DLC is one of the best baitcasting reels for under 200$ in 2022 due to its unique construction and quality features. The best thing about Abu Garcia reels is that they invest much in the internal components that make the reel amazingly performance-oriented and highly durable. First of all, dura brass gears are incredibly sturdy and robust that allowing for a smoother cast.

Though, the reel is designed for farther cast with heavy lures with an efficient star drag system that can manage up to 20 pounds which means you can get a mighty fish of 9 kg be it tuna, salmon, dab, and more. Along with power, the reel is extremely comfortable too. With a compact bent handle, you can hold the and does the reeling farther and longer with no strain and irritation. 

On the downside, there is no braking system but there is no need for them too since the reel is kind of automatic and built in such a way with a compact bent handle and a quality spool that it already does not backlash already plus it is very easy to use. Plus you can check some of the best Abu Garcia Baitcaster Reels in case they happen to be your favorite reel brand.

Pros
  • Offers high accuracy
  • Heavy drag system
  • Highly durable
  • Allows farther cast
  • Easy to maneuverability
Cons
  • No brake system

If you are looking for a reliable and sturdy reel with a heavy drag system, then end your search here because technically you can’t get any better than Abu Garcia  Max Toro DLC for under 200$. Trust me, they are the best bet for big fish.

4. Paul Elias Legend Baitcasting Reel

Paul Elias Legend
For Paul Elias, It’s all about that Bass.

Specifications: 

  • Weight: 6.8 oz 
  • Gear ratio: 6.2:1 
  • Brake system: dual external brake system 
  • Material type: aluminum 
  • Handles: 85mm Foam EVA Handle
  • Ball bearings: 10 + 1 
  • Drag max: 22 lb 
  • Mono Capacity: 10/135, 12/120, 14/95
  • Braid Capacity: 10/545, 20/230, 30/155

Paul Elias Legend is another best casting reel under 200 that has some really unique features that you will love to know. Starting from the splendid drags of the reel that is the best yet most powerful component of the reel featuring a 22 lb that offers the maximum power and force when you’ve hooked the heavy bass and requires efforts without letting it go. 

Well, the best thing about the reel is its Rugged Corrosion Resistant Duralumin Gears that make the reel incredible for saltwater without corrosion. And also add, the reel is extremely durable and the gears along with the drags do not get rust any time soon. Another lovely feature about the reel is its dual braking system that not only works perfectly but manages the speed and control of the reel without any backlashes and the breaking of lines. Lastly, the reels have amazing bearing systems composed of 11 stainless steel ball bearings that accelerate the whole process and offer butter-like smooth cast and retrieve. And yes, there are EVA foam handles due to which the reel is incredibly comfortable to hold.

Pros
  • Heavy-duty drag system
  • Anti-corrosive
  • Incredible bearing and drags
  • Dual braking system
  • Lightweight and comfy
Cons
  • None

For 200 dollars, Paul Elias Legend is a solid investment with no risk at all. The quality is 10/10. The drags are powerful plus the brakings work exceptionally that won’t ditch you for any fish you want to catch. 

5. Piscifun Alloy M Best Affordable Baitcasting Reel

Yes, You heard right. Piscifun gives you ultimate drag.

Specifications: 

  • Weight: 7.4 Oz
  • Gear ratio: 6.3:1, 7.5:1, 8.4:1
  • Brake system: 0-10 magnetic brake dial 
  • Material type: aluminum 
  • Ball bearings: 8 + 1 
  • Drag max: 22 lb
  • Spool: CNC Hollow Spool 
  • Handles: EVA knobs 
  • Mono Capacity: 71/175 lb 
  • Braid Capacity: 20/165 lb 

With exceptional drag and maneuverability, Piscifun Alloy M is next to our list of best baitcasting reels under $200 for 2022. The remarkability of the reel lies in its mechanical structure based on a high-tech CNC Hollow Spool. It enables zero-backlash while holding heavier mono and braid lines that are worth experiencing because of their comfort level. 

In terms of maneuverability, here is a treat. There are ultra-lightweight EVA knobs that make it possible to have a comfortable grip on the reel by reducing all the strain and fatigue even for elongated sessions. Yet, the reel itself is super lightweight at 7.4, thanks to the high-tech aluminum construction. 

And guess what? The reel has different gear ratios for different fishing conditions but all of them are for medium to large lures for speedy operations. With a faster gear, there is a 0-10 magnetic brake dial that allows you to have a controlled speed and rotations for as smooth as you desire a reel to be. Besides that, the reel has a minor sound issue that you’ll need to fix to use it effortlessly.

Pros
  • Superior cast control
  • Excellent brakes
  • Various gear ratios
  • Ultra-lightweight
Cons
  • Might sound after a while

At a mid-range price, Piscifun Allloy M is the budget baitcaster on the list having top-quality features including some heavy drags and bearings with a phenomenal cast control so don’t waste another second and get yours ASAP.

6. Ardent Apex Elite Quality Baitcast Reel for the Built

Ardent Apex Elite
Hand cramps? Not now, with Ardent Elite.

Specifications: 

  • Weight: 5.9 oz 
  • Gear ratio: 7.3:1 
  • Brake system: externally adjustable magnetic brake system 
  • Material type: aluminum 
  • Handles: EVA handle knobs 
  • Ball bearings: 12+1 
  • Drag max: 11 lb 
  • Line capacity: 12/ 120 lb 

With a weight of 5.9 oz, Ardent Apex Elite is the most lightweight yet comfortable reel in the whole lineup of best baitcast reels under 200. Apart from the weight, there are several different features in the Apex Elite that caught our attention to test the reel that compelled me to add it here. 

The deadly duo of bearings and breaking system amazes me every time.

The bearings are the top feature here having a count of 13 that is BIG in quantity but also has greater is quality. I would say the bearings alone are enough to smooth the process to the max but there is also an exceptional braking system that contributes to the finest fishing experience possible. The brakes, on the other hand, work admirably and guarantee consistent pressure at each moment you require. Additionally, it does not backlash or even backward due to the both braking and bearing system. 

Pros
  • Durable
  • Comfy handles
  • Amazing brakes
  • Incredibly lightweight
  • Greater number of ball bearings
Cons
  • Drag is limited to 11lb

If lightweight is where your concerns get stuck in a baitcasting reel, then luckily you have found your best match. Not only the Ardent Apex Elite is lightweight but also sturdy and durable that will keep up its quality for as long as you desire.

7. Shimano SLX 150 Best Budget Reel for Saltwater

Shimano SLX 150
A drop in the ocean with SLX 150.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 6.9 oz 
  • Gear ratio: 6.3:1, 7.2:1, 8.2:1 
  • Brake system: 6 pin VBS braking system 
  • Material type: aluminum 
  • Drag max: 12 lb 
  • Mono Capacity: 10/120, 12/110, 14/90
  • Braid Capacity: 20/150, 30/135, 40/105

A few years back, Shimano launched its all-new top-quality best affordable baitcasting reel series as SLX. though I love the whole series and to be honest, it was hard to choose one but I have managed somehow to choose model 150 for the mentioned reasons. At the top, the reel is very beautifully built with some loaded features that include 6 pins VBS braking system, unlike many Shimano reels featuring SVS infinity brakes, and the unique brakes are easily adjustable and maintain a stable balance for the line.  

The reel is designed for larger lures and larger fishes to catch with minimum to no effort required, thanks to the powerful drag of the reel that applies enough power and force to fight with the smart fishes without breaking the line due to its Powerpro line capacity. Not to mention, the reel is saltwater capable due to its heavy powerful drag and solid impact, and corrosion-resistant material for what they call the Hangman body technology that is extremely sturdy yet durable. 

The gears are yet another wonderful component of the reel. Though they are perfectly lubricated along with braking and various internal parts of the reel. Additionally, it does not require much maintenance even in the long run.

Pros
  • Impact-resistant
  • Saltwater capable
  • Excellent brakings
  • Powerpro line capacity
Cons
  • Only available in left-hand orientation

If you want a reel with excellent brakings, moderate drag plus saltwater compatibility then look no further, this is it. Besides, having a budget baitcaster from Shimano is a real flex so make sure you don’t miss your chance at it.

8. Kastking Crixus Ultra Smooth Baitcasting Reel Under 200$

Crixus will take care of the spool, just be cool.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 7.7 oz 
  • Gear ratio: 6.5:1, 7.2:1  
  • Brake system: 8-pc magnetic braking system 
  • Ball bearings: 7 + 1 
  • Material type: infused nylon 
  • Drag max:  17.6 lb 
  • Mono Capacity: 10/130, 12/110, 14/90
  • Braid Capacity: 40/125, 50/110, 65/80

Any list of quality reels that comes at a budget would definitely be incomplete without Kastking and thus here we go with the best of the best Kastking as Crixus. Some of the mention-worthy features of the reels include its accurate adjustment spool tension, which allows for exact accuracy and consistent results without getting the line tangled and messy. Star drag system is here that allows for 17.6 pounds maximum drag so you can unhesitantly hook larger fishes without worrying about the pressure and force even if you have to fight a bit with it since the super drags get it all done for you. 

Overall, the reel is easy to adjust and set up, though it has an 8-pc magnetic braking system that allows total control with managed speed and accuracy. Also, the reel is lightweight and extremely comfortable to use. 

Pros
  • Powerful drags
  • Lubricated gears
  • Different colorways
  • Incredible braking system
Cons
  • Not as durable as other reels on this list

Besides many quality features, the reel is available in many unique colors which is rare so all you have to do is to choose your color and you are all set to fish in the deepest waters, at an amazing distance, and at an incredible price tag. 

Factors & features to look into for Buying a Baitcaster under $200:

Big fish comes with big responsibility.

Spool and the line:

Spool size could be the most critical part of the reel on which the functionality of the line capacity depends. Smaller spool size is obsolete if you require a longer line capacity for targeting the larger fish with larger lures. Traditionally, a round reel has more line capacity if you want to fish in the deepest parts of the sea. However, there are many low-profile reels that have a bigger spool, some you will find above. Though, a medium spool size with medium-large line capacity is recommended even if you fish in shallow water. 

Material:

Considering the fact that you’re spending an attractive amount of 200$ which means there is no compromise on the quality of the material. Although, there are commonly two types of material available that make up any best baitcasting reel under 200$ actually best. One is anti-corrosive aluminum, is sturdy, and lightweight plus makes the reel real solid.

The other is graphite, which is lightweight and durable too but a bit more expensive as compared to the latter. The material does not involve the outer part of the reel but also concerns the internal gears and bearings in the same way. However, stainless steel is the best quality material that makes the balls super smooth plus durable. 

Comfortability:

A good baitcasting reel should be comfortable and easy to adjust, above all. For this purpose, it should have an adjustable drag system, a functional braking system, and a non-backlashing and backward spool. It involves the weighting mechanism too that we have discussed below. 

Drag and brakes:

Drag and brakings are the most important supporting components in a reel on which the whole performance and efficiency of the reel depend. Therefore, the brakings should be composed of magnets and have adjustable settings since that allows compatibility for various skill levels. 

For the drags, consider heavy on with adjustable settings so that when you go out for shallow or lighter fishing, you can minimize the drag so that power will be balanced. Consider reading how to set up a baitcasting reel for a full baitcaster setup. However, heavy drags are needy for heavy fishing, when you need to encounter them in a fight. That’s where it comes useful since the work of applying pressure will be done by drag without you doing any effort. 

Weight:

Finally, a baitcasting reel should be lightweight and easy to hold because, at the pivotal movements of fishing, the weight could be the most sensitive feature no matter how easy you find it is to hold it before the cast. A reel to be lightweight should have a weight range of 6 to 8 oz that delivers ultimate comfort and zero hand strain and aches. Any low-profile reel should not weigh more than 8 ounces. 

FAQs:

That depends on the hand orientation of the reel. If you are using a right-handed reel, you have to switch the rod in the left hand to crank with the right hand just after your cast. A similar procedure will be followed for a left-handed reel. 

If you’re fishing with heavy gears, most likely you will go backward because, for heavy fishing, the drag sometimes gets loose, or the anti-reverse system does not work properly in your reel. Also, it happens due to the use of braid lines without anti-reverse technology and tightens drag systems. 

If you’re right-handed, you should choose the reel having handles on its left so you can hold the reel and the rod with your right hand and have better control over it, while you can reel it with your left hand. 

Conclusion: 

Last but not the least, I’m happy that you made it this far and I’m sure you agave pretty much made up your mind for a wise purchase. To conclude, I must say baitcasting reels are a go-to option whether you are a beginner or a professional with a thick fishing career. However, the best baitcasting reel under $200 that performs beyond your imagination is hard to find but considering the above reviews and guide, I’m sure you would have got yours. 

If not, get one of these top recommended reels if you want zero percent for your 200 dollars investment. 

  • Shimano Citica
  • Abu Garcia Max Toro DLC
  • Lews Fishing Tournament Pro Speed

Have a nice fishing adventure ahead!

Clinton Shannon

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