Ballin' On A Budget – The Best Baitcasting Reels For Under $100


If you’re looking for a baitcasting reel that won’t break the bank, this is the list for you. After product testing, research, customer reviews, and an internal discussion amongst fellow anglers, I have put together what I consider to be the best five baitcasting reels for under $100.

Having a quality reel will make everything about your day more enjoyable – you can cast further, reel smoother, and avoid more of the dreaded backlashes. Collectively, these things will minimize your frustration and maximize your chances of success. While having a good reel is critical, there is no reason to go overboard, especially if you’re a baller on a budget like myself.

Don’t be too cheap and end up with a hunk of junk but don’t spend your last penny just to impress other anglers. The fish won’t notice the number of ball bearings in your reel, and they don’t care how much it cost.

Here is my list of the best five casting reels for under $100 available today:

1) Shimano SLX Baitcasting Reel

Reel Cost: $99

Shop Shimano SLX

What is the best baitcasting reel under $100? Many would say it’s the Shimano SLX—and for a good reason. This reel provides anglers with tournament quality components, optimal performance, and all-day comfort—all for under $100. The SLX baitcasting reel feels and looks like a high caliber reel making it the perfect choice for anybody in need of a quality fishing reel.

Product Specifications:

Bearings: 3BB + 1RBLine Cap. (Test/Yd.): 12/110, 14/90Maximum Drag: 11lbsWeight: 6.9oz

2) Lews Speed Spool LFS Baitcasting Reel

Reel Cost: $99

Shop Lews Speed Spool

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Featuring the new frame platform called LFS, this reel weighs only 7 ounces. The LFS design also increases the distance between the zirconia line guide, which gives anglers extreme distance on the cast.

Key Features
  • One-piece aluminum frame
  • 10 double-shielded premium stainless steel bearing system with Zero-Reverse anti-reverse
  • Anodized aluminum U-style spool
  • High strength solid brass gearing
  • Externally adjustable magnetic brake system (MCS)
  • Easily removable palming graphite side plate
  • Rugged Rulon drag system with 10 lb max drag
Product Specifications:

Bearings: 9SS + 1RB bearingsMax drag: 10 lbWeight: 7.0 ozLine Capacity (lb test/yd): 12/120

3) Abu Garcia Revo X LP Baitcasting Reel

Reel Cost: $99

Shop Revo X LP

The Abu Garcia Revo X LP will have you bringing in the big ones. Fitted with 7 ball bearings, Mag Trax brakes, Carbon Matrix Drag system, and an alloy frame, the Abu Garcia Revo X LP reel will hold up for years to come. The Revo X LP is highly engineered and delivers on both performance and comfort. The sleek body design composed of lightweight components makes for a comfortable fit helping anglers stick fish all day long.

In addition, this Abu Garcia Revo X LP is built with corrosion prevention technology that helps mitigate the chance of burning up a reel while fishing in nasty waters. Available in multiple speed options to help you dial in specific techniques, the Abu Garcia Revo X LP is your next favorite reel.

Product Specifications:

Bearing Count: 8Weight: 7.94

4) Daiwa CG80 Baitcasting Reel

Reel Cost: $99

Shop CG80 Casting Reel

The CG80 casting reels deliver unbelievable performance in a very palm-able ergonomic lightweight design.Balance, longevity, and continued output are all things you’ll come to expect with this affordable casting reel from Daiwa.

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Product Specifications:

Bearings: 7BB, 1RBMax Drag: 15lbsLine Capacity: MONO: 12/110 – 14/100Spool: Double anodized aluminumFrame: Carbon resin frame/side plate

5) Quantum Throttle II Baitcasting Reel

Reel Cost: $79

Shop Quantum Throttle

The Quantum Throttle II Casting Reel is designed for tournament-level fishing. Its technology ensures you are prepared for the challenges of a day on the water and is complete with features such as DynaMag cast control, and Zero Friction Pinion. This reel is lightweight in your hand, easy to navigate, and has a variety of settings for each situation. Paired with the extended casting distance and comfort knobs, this is all-day dependability.

Product Specifications:

Maximum Drag: 15lbsBearings: 7BB + 1RBWeight: 7.6oz.Line Cap. (Test/Yd.): 12/135

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Sean Campbell’s love for hunting and outdoor life is credited to his dad who constantly thrilled him with exciting cowboy stories. His current chief commitment involves guiding aspiring gun handlers on firearm safety and shooting tactics at the NRA education and training department. When not with students, expect to find him either at his gunsmithing workshop, in the woods hunting, on the lake fishing, on nature photoshoots, or with his wife and kid in Maverick, Texas. Read more >>