If you ask any pro angler or an expert about the best crankbait reel, the person would suggest buying a spinning reel. But, as there are reels of different specs and types, it gets pretty overwhelming for a beginner to find the right one without spending much.
Ideal crankbait reels have to do with the gear ratio, IPT, and braking system apart from having a durable construction. Keeping these factors in mind, I’ve listed these top 5 reels that come in a wide price range that got excellent user ratings from verified customers.
Quick Overview Of Our Top 6 Crankbait Reels
- Abu Garcia REVO Winch Crankbait Reel – Best Overall
- Shimano SLX DC 150 Crankbait Reel – Best Runner-Up
- Daiwa Tatula SV TW Baitcast Fishing Reels – Best Torque
- Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel – Best Uses
- Lews Fishing Tournament MB Baitcast Reel – Best Lightweight
- KastKing Royale Legend GT Baitcasting Reels – Best Budget
Best Crankbait Reel Reviews of 2023
Whether you’re a beginner or pro angler, the following list will get you introduced with the right type of reel that your fishing requirements need the most.
1. Abu Garcia REVO Winch
- Gear Ratio: 5.4:1
- Weight: 7.6 ounces
- Retrieve Rate: 22″ | 56cm
- Line Capacity: 225/10, 180/12, 130/15 (yds/lb)
- Bearings: 9
Among pro anglers, Abu Garcia Revo stands out as pretty reliable for crankbaits. When compared to the first generation Revo reels, this one got a lot of improvements for a more convenient fishing experience.
The gear ratio of this reel is 5.4:1, which is considered as low, but for crankbaits, this ratio is one of the ideal ratios recommended by professional anglers. You will have a lot of cranking power for deep diving crankbait. The added torque will make you feel less resistance while bringing the fish towards you.
As you would expect from such a gear ratio, the retrieving rate or IPT (Inches Per Turn) is nothing overwhelming. With a retrieving rate of 22 inches, you can dive the crankbait to its maximum depth pretty fast, and keep it there without doing much hiccups. For beginners, this IPT is just perfect.
Abu Garcia manufactured this reel using Craftic alloy material to make it resistant against corrosion. Both the handle and bearing got durable stainless steel material to make the overall construction more durable, which makes it one of the best crankbait reels for saltwater on the list.
2. Shimano SLX DC 150
- Gear Ratio: 6.3:1
- Weight: 7.6 ounces
- Retrieve Rate: 26″ per turn
- Line Capacity: 120/10, 110/12, 90/14 (yds/lb)
- Bearings: 4+1
This one here from Shimano is a bit different from others for its braking system and casting control. With its DC4 braking system, you will be able to adjust the dial pretty much for all types of lures in any condition. So, precise casting is very possible even with lighter lures when you got this reel attached to the rod.
Its S3D spool makes it the best reel for crankbaits you can get in this price range. While casting and retrieving, it feels incredibly smooth. Also, you will feel a lot less spool vibration while fishing. This helps when you fish for hours and hours. If you are looking for a smooth and beginner-friendly reel, this would be the best crankbait reel in this range.
So, for the technical stuff, Shimano implemented a 6.3:1 gear ratio, which is considered a moderate fast ratio. Casting and retrieving will be a lot faster. Also, its 26-inch IPT also contributes to making it a fast-casting reel for crankbait.
While dragging, you will find its handle a lot comfortable. Both handle and bearing are made of durable aluminum to ensure longevity of this reel.
3. Daiwa Tatula SV TW Baitcast Fishing Reels
- Gear Ratio: 8.1:1
- Weight: 7.2 ounces
- Retrieve Rate: 26″ per turn
- Line Capacity: 100/14, 90/16 (yds/lb)
- Bearings: 7+1
For hours of fishing, you’ll need a lightweight reel similar to this one from Daiwa. It’s a T-wing low-profile system, which has an even lower-profile than most baitcasters out there. Even if you are to fish an entire day, you will find the spool extremely lightweight, and easier to control to call it the best baitcaster for crankbaits.
One of the areas that this fishing reel stands out from others is its backlash preventive design. You’re less likely to face the issue unless you do something really dumb.
The drag system on this reel is quite smooth, and it’s easy to adjust as well. Regardless of the fishing requirements, you can adjust its brake and tension knob to make fishing a convenient experience.
While retrieving, the reel feels smooth too. Thanks to its fast 8.1:1 gear ratio that makes casting this reel a pleasant experience.
However, this reel isn’t for beginners. Advanced anglers will find it great for its price. You can cast really far. But, you will have to be precise on this. Otherwise, it would be a disappointment.
4. Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel
- Gear Ratio: 5.3:1 & 7.1:1
- Weight: 8 ounces
- Retrieve Rate: 22.8″ per turn
- Line Capacity: 195/10 (yds/lb) & 120/10
- Bearings: 5+1
If you’re looking for a fishing reel that can withstand years of use while not losing performance, you should consider the Piscifun Torrent baitcasting reel. One of the most sophisticated reels on this list, the Torrent comes equipped with all bells and whistles that you’d normally find on high-end fishing reels.
In terms of durability, this fishing reel excels with climate-resistant Japanese Hamai cut brass gearings along with a reinforced main gear that is stronger than regular bait casters.
Moreover, with stainless steel screws and springs, the Torrent has no risk of rusting, even in salty waters.
The most lucrative feature of this fishing reel is its advanced braking system. With 5 magnets that are strategically placed to offer precise backlash control, the Torrent’s aluminum spool offers great performance and stability.
This fishing reel is available in 2 gear ratios; 7.1:1 and 5.3:1, which makes it ideal for beginners, as well as for experts, as all fishing techniques such as flipping, pitching, and cranking can be used on this high-quality baitcasting reel.
One thing that hinders the overall performance of this reel is the lack of ball bearings. Although it isn’t a deal breaker, the ‘5+1’ system of the Torrent may seem inferior in comparison to other reels in its price segment that come with ‘11+1’ bearings systems.
5. Lews Fishing Tournament MB Baitcast Reel
- Gear Ratio: 5.6:1
- Weight: 6.7 ounces
- Retrieve Rate: 23″ per turn
- Line Capacity: 150/12, (yds/lb)
- Bearings: 9+1
When compared to the earlier LFS model, the MB baitcast reel feels a lot smoother. If you are confused about these two models, this is the first thing to keep in mind. However, this model here isn’t the best at everything, but it got a well-balanced manner to dictate pretty much everything you would need for casting.
One of the areas that this reel doesn’t disappoint is its ability to cast a mile! Dialing is much easier, so is the casting. For its dual braking system, you can adjust it according to your casting needs. So, yeah, it checks for the versatility too.
If you have used other bait casters, you will be able to notice its smoothness. It feels smoother than most bait casters out there.
With a great ratio of 5.6:1, it feels as fast as it should be. However, you have to be careful about the backlash. If you haven’t mastered how to prevent it yet, you might have to face the issue. As the braking system is pretty much average, backlash is something obvious.
Talking about its construction, Lews used quality steel to manufacture this reel. For fishing bass or walleye, you will find the body to be extremely stable. This will also serve the purpose of using a good crankbait reel without a doubt.
6. KastKing Royale Legend GT Baitcasting Reels
- Gear Ratio:7.2:1
- Weight: 7.2 ounces
- Retrieve Rate: 29.8″ per turn
- Line Capacity: 130/10, 110/12, 90/14, (yds/lb)
- Bearings: 5+1
Last but not the least, this one from KastKing will work the best for practicing baitcast. Mastering baitcast seems to be a real pain for beginners. But not with the right gear similar to this reel. That being said, if you are to learn it quickly, your best bet would be this GT fishing reel.
Design-wise, it’s a low profile and lightweight reel that doesn’t make long hours of fishing a terrible experience. You will love how nicely it fits on the palm and how lightweight it is. This gives you great control while casting and retrieving.
Casting with this 7.2:1 gear ratio reel is quite a pleasure. It casts pretty fast, and the retrieving power won’t make you feel tired even if it’s with a big fish. With 29.8-inch IPT it’s one of the fastest reels on the list. When casting a bit far, you will find this IPT to be exceedingly useful and effective.
There will be some backlashes once in a while. But after the initial phrase, you can cast more accurately without much backlash. The reel makes a bit of noise while casting. So, before you finalize the purchase, consider these two limitations.
The overall build quality of this reel is quite good for the price tag it comes with.
Best Crankbait Reel Buying Guide
Reels are more than how much weight it holds, how smoothly it casts and retrieves, and how durably made the unit is. There are a few specifications that you must consider to get your hands on the best crankbait reel.
Reels come with a wide range of gear ratios. Typically, it can be as low as 4, and all the way high up to 10. The larger the number, the faster you will be able to cast and retrieve. But, a faster reel doesn’t necessarily mean it will be suitable for all types of baits and fishing. For crankbait fishing, the ideal gear ratio range is between 5-6.5:1.
Gear ratio 5-6:1 is considered slow, and 6-7:1 is considered as moderate fast.
With crankbaits, the lure has to dive deep, and this is why a slow gear ratio is recommended.
If you don’t know what these numbers stand for, allow me to explain.
Take 6:1 gear ratio for example. 1 means each time you rotate the handle for 1 revolution, and 6 means the number of times the spool will rotate. So, here, when you finish rotating the handle, it will make the spool turn 6 times.
The thing with crankbaits is that these slow gear ratio ones slow the bait down to deliver you more cranking power.
For versatile fishing requirements, opt for a reel with a gear ratio between 6-6.5:1. If the ratio is higher, it will make it difficult for you to cast precisely.
The line recovery rate of a reel is another aspect that you should consider as well. IPT stands for Inches Per Turn; meaning, how much line the reel is able to retrieve with per revolution of handle. Similar to the gear ratio, the larger the number, the faster you can retrieve the line.
Usually, the best crankbait reel would have 20-25 IPT range.
The problem with higher IPT reels is that you will have to turn the handle slowly, otherwise, the lure will dive out. So, if you are a beginner, stick to the above mentioned IPT range. For advanced and skilled anglers, higher IPT is preferable.
When it comes to the bearings, less number of bearings is really efficient as it won’t add much weight to the reel itself. Remember, more bearings don’t has to do anything with the performance.
Bearings are found in many types. Stainless steel ones are more resistant to rust. However, if you will be fishing in saltwater, plastic bearings would be the right choice for this purpose.
Q: What type of reel is best for crankbaits?
A: For crankbaits, spinning reels are the best suitable as these can deal with lighter lures better. If you are a beginner, opt for a spinning reel for best fishing outcome.
Q: What gear ratio is best for chatterbait?
A: For chatterbait, reels with a gear ratio of 7:1 suits the best. These are pretty fast to cast, and can retrieve lines quicker as this is what chatterbait requires.
Q: What line should I use for crankbaits?
A: According to advanced and pro anglers, fluorocarbon is the ideal crankbait fishing line that helps bait diving deep down. Compared to monofilament, fluorocarbon line goes deeper underwater.
Q: What rod should I use for crankbaits?
A: For deep diving crankbaits, a 7-8 ft. cranking rod would be a much better option. Its length will help you to cast further without much effort. But, if you will be fishing with smaller crankbaits, you may opt for a 6.6 ft. rod.
Q: What action is best for crankbaits?
A: Professionals prefer going with a slow action for crankbaits for the best results. When you put a moderate pressure to the top section, the rod should bend about half its way to get you this preferable action for crankbaits.
Q: What rod Power is best for crankbaits?
A: Regarding rod power for crankbaits, it’s best to go for medium-light, medium-heavy, or medium power.
Q: How fast should you reel a crankbait?
A: The ideal speed for crankbait is 21 inches of recovery per turn or RPT. For this, the gear ratio would be 5.1:1.
Q: When should you throw crankbaits?
A: You will get the best fishing results with crankbaits in the spring, summer, and fall seasons. However, when fish usually spawn for a few weeks a year, that isn’t the best time to go for crankbaits.
Q: Can I use a Spinning Reel for crankbaits?
A: Spinning reels are the best option for crankbaits. These provide much better results than baitcasting reels.
Q: Where can you use chatterbaits?
A: When properly tie on a chatter bait its the best for fishing in lake water. However, you can still use this specific type of lure in most types of water.
If you have made this far, hope that you already got the best crankbait reel for your fishing needs. Again, don’t go for a faster reel just considering higher gear ratio. Consider IPT as well. The overall fishing outcome will further be decided by the type of fishing rod you use. So, make sure you got right equipment for the reel.