Best Baitcaster Combo For The Money

Best Baitcaster Combo For The Money: Top 10

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Yes, baitcasters are a little harder to use than spinning rods or spin casting rods, but their versatility, casting distance, and overall ability to reel in those big fish is superior to your spinning combo.

There are so many choices out there, so we figured we would lend a hand with a detailed buying guide. Let’s first take a look at what you should look for in a baitcaster combo then onto our 10 picks that we feel are strong contenders for the title of best baitcaster combo for the money (Lew’s Mach Combo is our top pick).

What To Look For In A Baitcaster Combo: The Essentials

Before you go out and buy any baitcaster combo, there are a few things that you should keep an eye out for.

1. Rod Material

One of the most important things to look out for here is the rod material. Generally speaking, some will be made of graphite and others of fiberglass.

Personally we would recommend going with a graphite rod, as they are lightweight, strong, and versatile, not to mention that they have a high level of sensitivity. Now, fiberglass rods are a bit stronger than graphite rods, but also much less sensitive to nibbles.

2. Rod Length

Another important factor to keep an eye on is rod length. Most baitcaster combos are going to be between 6 and 8 feet in length.

If possible, we would recommend going for a rod that is 7 feet long. 7 feet will provide you a good mix of casting accuracy, maneuverability, and casting distance.

3. Rod Action & Power


When it comes to rod power, we would recommend a medium or medium-heavy baitcasting rod. This will ensure that it can handle a decently heavy line and lure, and of course a fairly heavy fish too.

When it comes to action, medium-fast or a fast action rod is best, as this is what is needed for most fishing applications, especially for finesse fishing techniques.

4. Reel Gear Ratio & Bearings

Yet another factor to keep your eye on is the gear ratio of the reel. The higher the gear ratio, the faster you will be able to retrieve your line.
A high gear ratio is best for smaller fish, and a lower gear ratio works better for larger fish.

Also, you want to ensure that your reel comes with high quality bearings for smooth action, and a good number of bearings too.

5. Line & Line Capacity

You do want the reel in question to have fairly good line capacity, at least if you want to engage in long distance fishing.
On that same note, if you want to go for larger fish, make sure that the reel can handle fairly heavy line.

6. Drag, Brake, & Tension

You do also want to pay attention to the drag system. For a basic baitcaster combo, a 12 or 14 pound drag system will probably do for most fishing applications.

It will stop fish from pulling out the line, and will stop the line from snapping. Moreover, you should also be able to easily control the spool tension and the brake, as this will allow for accurate and easy casting.


Best Baitcaster Combo For The Money (Our Pick)

Below is what we think is the best baitcaster combo, the Lew’s Mach Crush Speed Bait Cast Combo, here is a complete run down of it.

Lew’s Mach Crush Speed Bait Cast Combo

The Reel

The reel on this thing is quite nice indeed. For one, it features a multi-setting brake casting system for great control over casting. This thing also comes with a really heavy duty carbon fiber drag system to take on some fairly big fish. It has a max drag of 20 pounds, which is quite a bit.

In terms of the gear ratio, it sits at 7.5:1, which means you can reel in nearly 50 inches of line with a single turn of the handle. In terms of ball bearings, it has 7 BB + 1 RB, which means that it does function quite smoothly. The bearings are double shielded, which means that they should be able to deal with saltwater no problem. The zero-reverse system is quite useful as well to stop the handle from spinning when line is coming off the spool.

The Rod

The rod itself comes in at 7 feet long, thus providing you with a good balance between casting distance and maneuverability, as well as leverage too. The graphite blank here is very sensitive and allows you to feel fish nibbles with ease. This is a single piece rod, which does help increase durability, although it does you no favors in terms of portability.

This rod is designed for medium heavy power, so it can handle some fairly thick line and heavy lures, or in other words, you can go after some fairly big fish with it. The rod itself is fairly lightweight, so quite easy to maneuver, but also durable at the same time. This is also a medium action rod, making it a good rod if you need something balanced.

Pros

  • Lightweight and well balanced.
  • Superior durability.
  • High level of sensitivity.
  • Fast retrieval rate.
  • Can handle heavy line and fairly big lures.
  • Great drag system.

Cons

You can check the current price on Amazon here


9 Other Combos We Like: Reviews

In case you did not like our own top pick, here we have 9 others that we also felt deserved a mention;

1. Ugly Stik Elite Baitcast Combo

The Ugly Stik Elite Baitcast Combo is another one of our personal favorites to go with. It might be simple, but it is also very effective at what it is designed to do.

The Reel

The reel itself features a 6.2:1 gear ratio, which does allow for fairly fast line retrieval. This reel comes with 2 ball bearings, which is not the best, but it does help keep things fairly smooth for accurate and long distance casting, as well as for fast retrieval. Once again, keep in mind that the reel handle on this thing is on the right, so it is not ideal for left handed people.

We do like the double paddle aluminum handle, because it is quite easy to use. The spool itself is made of machined aluminum, plus the whole reel is designed to be used for saltwater fishing, so the parts won’t corrode. The reel can hold up to 160 yards of 10 pound mono line, or 110 yards of 4 pound mono line.

The reel itself is not designed for very heavy fishing applications. We do however like the one way clutch instant anti-reverse bearing. It’s quite useful.

The Rod

The rod here is 6 foot 6 inches in length, and you can select between a 1 and 2 piece rod. The two piece rod is more portable, but less durable than the one piece model. Being 6 feet 6 inches long is Ok in terms of casting distance, but not the best. You won’t be able to cast too far with it, but the short length does make it easy to handle.

The rod is made mostly with graphite, which is nice because it helps keep things lightweight. It has good sensitivity and is rated for medium-heavy power, so it can handle some fairly large fish and medium action fishing techniques. The ugly Stik clear tip is great in terms of sensitivity, plus the stainless steel guides are nice too.

Pros

  • Fast retrieval rate.
  • Fairly smooth.
  • Can be used for saltwater fishing.
  • Fairly lightweight and portable.
  • High level of durability.
  • Sensitive and quite powerful.

Cons

  • A little too short for long distance casting.
  • Does not seem to include a drag system.

You can check the current price on Amazon here


2. Lews Fishing Laser MG Baitcast Combo

If you need a good all-around baitcasting combo, this is a fine way to go. It has a decent drag system, an alright retrieval rate, and a fairly sensitive rod with a medium heavy power rating.

The Reel

The reel on this thing is quite nice, especially because it is made with a solid brass main gear, a composite graphite frame, and an anodized aluminum spool. You should be able to use it for saltwater fishing without issue.

It comes with 8 premium stainless steel ball bearings for very smooth functionality, plus a zero-reverse one way clutch bearing to stop the handle from spinning in the wrong direction. The Rulon drag system can handle up to 10 pounds of drag, which is alright for smaller and medium fish.

The gear ratio on this thing is 6.4:1, so it can reel in line fairly quickly. In terms of line capacity, it can handle 120 yards of 20 pound mono line, which is not great, but not bad either. This reel also comes with an anodized aluminum spool tension adjustment knob.

The Rod

The rod here is made of IM6 graphite, one single piece of it, making it quite durable. At the same time, this graphite is also quite sensitive, so you will be able to feel nibbles no problem. It comes with stainless steel guides and inserts and a skeletal graphite reel seat. This is a very lightweight rod, making it easy to maneuver, plus it has really durable split grip EVA handles for great control.

The rod is rated as being medium-heavy in terms of action and power. It’s good for all kinds of medium size fish. The rod itself is 6 feet 6 inches in length, which is good in terms of portability, as well as for casting accuracy and maneuverability, but you won’t get that much casting distance out of it.

Pros

  • High level of durability.
  • Fast retrieval.
  • High quality BB system.
  • Adjustable drag.
  • High quality materials.
  • Good handle.
  • Sensitive graphite build.

Cons

  • Not the best casting distance.
  • Could hold some more line.

You can check the current price on Amazon here


3. Abu Garcia Pro Max Combo

This is another nice lightweight baitcasting combo to go with. It has a decent amount of power, and is a well-balanced all round choice to keep in mind.

The Reel

This reel comes with a 7 ball bearing system, made of stainless steel. They keep things really smooth and allow for easy casting and retrieval. It also features a roller bearing in the handle for smoothness. One of the best aspects here is the MagTrax brake system that is adjustable for precise and long range casting.

We also like the Power Disk system for a really nice drag. This reel has a gear ratio of 7.1:1, which is super high, and thus allows for very fast retrieval. The maximum drag on this thing is 15 pounds, which is not bad at all if you are going for small and medium size fish.

It can hold up to 240 yards of 30 pound braided line, which is alright, but not fantastic.

The Rod

The rod here is a 24-ton graphite rod, which means that it features a good mix of sensitivity and durability. You should be able to haul in some big catches with this thing, and feel the little nibbles too. This rod is a one piece rod, which is nice for durability’s sake, but not the best for portability. It is 6 feet 6 inches long, which once again is not the best for casting distance, but does allow for control and maneuverability.

The rod itself is very lightweight, which is another bonus no doubt. This is a medium power rod, which works well for many fishing types, plus it features moderate-fast action, which is pretty good for finesse fishing. The rod handle is made of EVA, which is both durable and comfortable.

Pros

  • Super fast retrieval rate.
  • High quality drag.
  • Sensitive and durable rod.
  • Medium power and action for a good balance.
  • Adjustable brake system.
  • Very lightweight.

Cons

  • The eyes and guides are not too durable.

You can check the current price on Amazon here


4. Sougayilang 2-piece Baitcasting Combo

This is another durable yet lightweight, high performance baitcasting combo that you should keep in mind.

The Reel

The reel on this baitcaster combo features a whopping 10 + 1 BB system, which defintiely allows for really smooth casting and retrieval. The high quality ball bearings are stainless steel. The gear ratio on this thing is a whopping 7:1, which means that it can retrieve your line super fast.

The spool is made of CNC machined aluminum, with the rest of the components being made of high quality metal. This thing also comes with a magnetic tuned break that can deliver up to 12 pounds of drag, which is good for smaller and medium size fishing applications. The line capacity on this reel is a bit limited though.

The Rod

We do like the rod here quite a bit. It is a 2 piece travel design, which is nice in terms of portability’s sake, although it does no favors in terms of durability. The rod itself is 7 feet long, which helps provide a good mix of casting distance, accuracy, and leverage.

The carbon fiber blanks do have a lot of toughness to them, although sensitivity is fairly limited here. It does come with some graphite for sensitivity, but it is not nearly as sensitive as some other options out there. This is a med-light power rod, so it cannot handle very heavy line or lure.

It’s good for smaller fishing applications, which is also shown thanks to the fast action tip of it. It is a lightweight rod, which is indeed nice.

Pros

  • Smooth.
  • High level of durability.
  • Good casting distance and accuracy.
  • Fast retrieval rate.
  • Nice brake system.
  • Good for smaller fishing applications.

Cons

  • Line capacity is limited.
  • Limited sensitivity.

You can check the current price on Amazon here


5. Lews Fishing American Heroes Combo

Another lightweight and fairly durable baitcasting combo, the Lews Fishing American Heroes Combo delivers quite a bit of power to haul in some good sized fish.

The Reel

The reel here can hold up to 120 yards of 12 pound line, which is not great, but not terrible either. The gear ratio on this reel is 7.1:1, which means that it does have a really fast retrieval rate. Here you get a Rulon drag system that provides up to 10 pounds of drag. The 5 high quality stainless steel ball bearings help keep things fairly smooth, plus it also comes with a zero-reverse one way clutch.

The whole thing is made of high quality metals, and it is shielded, plus specially treated to resist the corrosive effects of saltwater. The anodized aluminum spool tension knob comes in handy as well.

The Rod

The rod here is a total of 6 feet 6 inches long, which is good in terms of casting accuracy and maneuverability, although not the best for casting distance. We do like that it is a one piece rod because it is fairly durable. The rod power here is medium heavy, which is fine for most applications.

It has medium fast action, which is also fine for most fishing applications. The composite frame features a decent mix of durability and sensitivity. The spit grip high density EVA handles are nice too. It comes with rugged smoke stainless steel guide frames and insets. The whole thing is quite lightweight too. All in all, it is a well-balanced rod.

Pros

  • High quality components.
  • Can be used for saltwater.
  • Fast retrieval rate.
  • High quality graphite blank.
  • Good mix of power, sensitivity, action, and durability.

Cons

  • The tip is not super durable.
  • Could be able to hold some more line.

You can check the current price on Amazon here


6. Shakespeare Low Profile Baitcast Rod and Reel Combo

Yet another great lightweight baitcasting combo, this thing is fairly smooth, but also somewhat powerful. It’s just another good balanced option to keep in mind.

The Reel

The reel here features 2 + 1 BB and RB, which means that it is somewhat smooth. It’s not the smoothest around, but it gets the job done. Moreover, this thing comes with a multi-disc drag system with around 12 pounds of drag. When it comes to mono line, this thing can hold 160 yards of 10 pound line or 110 yards of 14 pound line.

It’s pretty good in terms of line capacity, not great, but good. Here you also get an adjustable magnetic cast control system, brass drive and pinion gears, and a good anti-reverse system as well. Once again, this reel comes with a good amount of balance.

The Rod

The rod here is 6 foot 6 inches long, making it alright for casting distance, but not too good. It does have great casting accuracy, plus it is lightweight, so it is quite maneuverable. This is a one piece graphite rod, so it does have a high level of sensitivity, and it is quite durable to boot.

The line rating here is up to 18 pounds, which is not bad, plus this is a medium power rod with medium-fast action. As you can see, it is very well balanced and should work well for most fishing applications.

Pros

  • Good gear system.
  • Durable build.
  • Nice drag system decent line capacity.
  • Rod is durable and sensitive.
  • Good control and accuracy.

Cons

  • Not the best for casting distance.
  • Handle is not the most comfortable.

You can check the current price on Amazon here


7. Abu Garcia Black Max Combo

This is a one piece graphite frame rod that is very durable, but also fairly lightweight. The reel is pretty nice too.

The Reel

In terms of the reel, here you get a reel that can hold up to 145 yards of 12 pound mono line, which seems to be pretty standard. It can also hold up to 140 yards of 30 pound braided line. This reel comes with 5 high quality stainless steel ball bearings for smooth function.

It also features a Power Disk drag system that provides up to 15 pounds of drag. In terms of the gear ratio, it has a 6.4:1 gear ratio, so it can retrieve line at a decent speed. It also features a nice magnetic brake system, with an recessed aluminum handle.

The Rod

The rod here is a 1 piece graphite rod that is 7 feet long. Coming in one piece is not great in terms of portability, but it does well for durability. The graphite is quite durable, and it does excel in terms of sensitivity. Coming in at 7 feet long, it’s long enough to get good casting distance, but also short enough to remain accurate and easy to maneuver, not to mention that it is also super lightweight.

The rod action here is moderate fast, making it good for finesse fishing, plus it has medium power, which should work fine for most applications. The high density EVA handles are both durable and comfortable, plus the reel seat and guides are pretty high quality too.

Pros

  • Well balanced.
  • Good casting distance and accuracy.
  • Very durable.
  • Fast action for finesse fishing.
  • Well balanced with medium power.
  • Nice EVA handle.
  • High quality construction.

Cons

  • Suffers from backlash.
  • Tip of the pole is susceptible to damage when drag is set high.

You can check the current price on Amazon here


8. Ugly Stik GX2 Baitcast Combo

This is a very simple, lightweight, medium power, and overall effective baitcaster combo to keep in mind.

The Reel

Here you get a 1 ball bearing reel, which is admittedly not great in terms of ball bearings. Yes, it is smooth enough, but it could definitely be smoother. It already comes pre-spooled with 12 pound line, although it cannot fit very much of it.

It can hold 150 yards of 10 pound mono line, which is alright, but once again, not great. It comes with an adjustable magnetic cast control system, which is pretty cool. It features a medium level gear ratio, which means that you can reel in your prey at a decent pace. It does not appear to have much in terms of a drag system, but it is built with high quality materials.

The Rod

The rod here is 6 feet 6 inches long, making it great for control and maneuverability, plus it is pretty lightweight too, although casting distance is a bit limited here. The rod is a one piece rod made of graphite, so it does manage to be quite durable, while also retaining a lot of sensitivity.

It has a 20 pound line rating, making it good for smaller and medium size fishing applications.

Pros

  • Lightweight.
  • Easy to maneuver.
  • Fairly durable.
  • All around well balance.
  • Good sensitivity.

Cons

  • Not much of a drag system.
  • Not the best line capacity.
  • Not ideal for large prey.

You can check the current price on Amazon here


9. Zebco Baitcast Combo

This might be the final option here on our list today, but still one we felt deserved a mention.

The Reel

The gear ratio on this reel is reel is 6.1:1, which means that it does ok in terms of line retrieval. It features a 3 stainless steel bearing system. We would like to see a couple more bearings, but it is smooth enough. This reel comes with a DynaMag magnetic cast control system for accuracy.

It also features a continuous anti-reverse system, and a decent drag system too. It’s not the most functional reel around, but it does fine for general fishing purposes.

The Rod

The rod here is 6 feet 6 inches long. It’s good for casting control and maneuverability, but not the best for casting distance. This rod comes in a 1 and 2 piece option, both of which have their benefits and drawbacks.

This is a graphite rod, so it delivers a good mix of durability and sensitivity. It is a medium power rod, making it a well-balanced baitcaster which is ideal for most fishing purposes.

Pros

  • Fast retrieval.
  • Durable.
  • Good control.
  • High quality components.
  • Good drag system.

Cons

  • Not the best casting distance.
  • Not the best line capacity.

You can check the current price on Amazon here

Conclusion

There you have it folks, what we think are the 10 best baitcaster combos at the moment. Just remember to pay attention to all of the factors which we discussed near the beginning of the article and you should be fine when coming to your final purchasing decision.