Best Baitcasting Reel For Salmon Fishing

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If you plan on going fishing for salmon, then one of the best types of reels that you can use is a baitcaster. With that being said, there are hundreds if not thousands of baitcasters out there which makes coming to a choice pretty difficult.

Our Top Pick
OKUMA Coldwater 350 Low Profile Linecounter Reel
OKUMA Coldwater 350 Low Profile Linecounter Reel
Our Top Pick
OKUMA Coldwater 350 Low Profile Linecounter Reel
OKUMA Coldwater 350 Low Profile Linecounter Reel

Last update on 2024-04-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What we are here to do today is to help you find the best baitcasting reel for salmon fishing, and we have some really good choices for you to look at.


Best Baitcasting Reels For Salmon Fishing: Reviews

We have narrowed it down to 8 baitcasting reels that we feel are some of the best options for Salmon fishing, here is a detailed summary of each of our picks;

1. OKUMA Coldwater 350 Low Profile Reel

Last update on 2024-04-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Here we have a very fantastic low profile fishing reel that does not take up much space and only weighs 0.75 pounds.

That’s also making it extremely lightweight. What you may appreciate about this particular baitcasting reel is the fact that it is made out of diecast aluminum as well as machined anodized aluminum.

The various components on this particular reel are extremely durable and designed to resist corrosion.

What you may also appreciate are the oversized machine cut, XL drive and pinion gears.

This is combined with the 3 + 1 stainless steel ball bearing system that allows for extremely smooth operation.

Broadcasting and retrieval are made extremely smooth and easy thanks to this.

Do keep in mind that this baitcasting reel features secure ratio of 5.4 to 1, which is pretty good and allows for speedy retrieval.

Something else important to keep in mind here is that you get a multidisc carbonite drag system that can handle up to 25 pounds of drag.

You may also appreciate how this reel comes complete with a rubber ergonomic grip designed to keep you comfortable for as long as you are fishing. 

Perhaps one of the coolest features that you get here is the advanced line counter that actually tells you how much line you have out at any given time.

All in all, this might just be one of the best salmon baitcasting reels out there.


  • Lightweight
  • High quality materials
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Comfortable handle
  • Line counter included
  • Very smooth operation


  • Some may make a loud clicking noise
  • The line counter is not 100% accurate
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2. KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel

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If you are looking for what has to be one of the highest quality baitcasting reels out there and this is a fantastic one to keep in mind.

For one, this thing is advertised as being bulletproof. OK, so it might not actually be bulletproof, but it is extremely tough.

We aren’t going to start listing what each component is made out of about what you do. Need to know is that everything here is made out of high quality alloys, stainless steel, brass, and a CNC machined aluminum that has also been anodized.

What is surprising is that although this reel is made out of such high quality materials, it’s actually still not all that heavy.

One of the best features of this baitcasting reel is the carbon fiber start drag system that delivers up to 30 pounds of very reliable and adjustable drag.

The unit comes complete with a 3.6 to 1 gear ratio, which is not all that high, but still fast enough to reel in most fish with relative speed, not to mention the fact that this kind of gear ratio is ideal for tiring fish out.

There is also the fact that this particular baitcasting reel comes complete with premium stainless steel ball bearings that have been shielded.

In fact, you get a total of seven ball bearings here, which should help to keep things as smooth as humanly possible.

Let’s not forget the fact that this reel is also designed to be 100% corrosion and rust proof.


  • Superior durability
  • Rustproof
  • Good for fighting fish
  • Strong drag system
  • Durable yet lightweight
  • Oversized handle for an easy grip


  • Clicker doesn’t work all that well
  • Drag can be finnicky
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3. KastKing Kapstan Elite Baitcasting Fishing Reel

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If you are looking for what has to be one of the highest qualities baitcasting reels out there, then this is an absolutely fantastic option to go with.

One of the reasons for this is because it is a very high capacity fishing reel that can hold up to 230 yards of 14 pound monofilament fishing line while also being extremely low profile and not taking up very much space.

On that same note, although this unit is made out of extremely high quality materials such as stainless steel, brass, and machined aluminum, it doesn’t weigh very much coming in at only 0.68 pounds, thus making it one of the lightest baitcasting reels out on the market at this time.

What is also quite impressive about this particular baitcasting reel is that it comes complete with a Triple disc carbon drag system that can provide you with up to 35 pounds of drag.

Let’s keep in mind that this reel has a 5.4 to one gear ratio that allows you to put out an impressive amount of torque and power when fighting those big fish.

When it comes to how smooth this baitcasting reel is, let’s keep in mind that it features an 8 + 1 ball bearing system, thus meaning that it is about as smooth as humanly possible.

And yes, those ball bearings are shielded so they won’t rust and corrode. To help keep you comfortable while using this baitcasting reel, it comes complete with dual oversized handles.


  • Lightweight durability
  • Low profile
  • Plenty of line capacity
  • Comfortable handles
  • Extremely smooth operation
  • Rust resistant
  • Good gear ratio for most applications


  • May lock up at times
  • Not ideal for beginners
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4. Abu Garcia Pro Max Low Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel

Abu Garcia Max Pro Low Profile Baitcast Reel, Size LP (1539730), 7 Stainless Steel Ball Bearings + 1...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT CONSTRUCTION: The frame and sideplates of the Abu Garcia Max Pro Baitcast Reel are made from graphite...
  • RECOVERY RATE: Recover 28” | 71cm of line for every turn of the crank. Gear ratio of 7.1:1. Made with the...
  • BRAKE SYSTEM: The MagTrax brake system gives you consistent brake pressure throughout your cast. 8 total bearings:...
  • DRAG SPECS: Synthetic Star Drag: Max, 15lb | 6.8kg. The Power Disk drag system gives you smooth drag performance.
  • LINE CAPACITY: Mono Capacity yd/lb: 150/10 120/12 85/17. Braid Capacity 155/20 120/30 80/50. Left handle position....

Last update on 2024-04-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you are looking for a fishing reel that is all about speed and power, then this particular one is a great option to go with, and it’s all because of the 7.1 to 1 gear ratio that it has.

A gear ratio like that will allow you to haul in a whole lot of line with every single crank of the handle, thus allowing for great speed.

What also needs to be said about this Abu Garcia bait casting reel is the fact that it features a total of eight ball bearings.

It has seven stainless steel ball bearings that allow for an extremely smooth function as well as one anti reverse ball bearing. These ball bearings are sealed so they shouldn’t rust or corrode.

We do like how this fishing reel weighs only 209 grams, thus making it very lightweight.

Moreover, it also has a very compact design. It comes with a compact handle and are assessed reel foot.

What you may also appreciate about this reel is the fact that it was made mostly out of graphite, which is a fairly strong material.

Now this is not the strongest reel in the world, but it definitely gets the job done.

This particular Abu Garcia bait caster also comes complete with a MagTrax brake system and a power disk drag system.

This might not be the number one best baitcasting reel in the world, but it’s definitely good enough for salmon fishing, especially considering that it’s also fairly cost effective.


  • Fast retrieval
  • Quite smooth
  • Won’t rust
  • Comfortable handles
  • Very compact
  • Lightweight
  • Adjustable drag system


  • Could be a little more durable

5. KastKing MegaJaws Baitcasting Reel

KastKing MegaJaws Baitcasting Fishing Reel, New AutoMag Dual Braking System Baitcaster Fishing Reel,...
  • MegaJaws – Inspired by the most powerful sea predator, the KastKing MegaJaws baitcasting fishing reel conveys...
  • Super Long-Cast System & Slick Design – The MegaJaws unique KastKing LFTV (Low Friction Tapered Vortex), funnel...
  • Color-Coded System – KastKing knows how difficult it can be to quickly identify a specific gear ratio reel on the...
  • Powerful Components - MegaJaws bait casters are full featured, tournament ready reels in every way. 11+1 double...
  • Attention to Detail – Command your fishing situation with CNC Aluminum spools for amazing casts, a powerful...

Last update on 2024-04-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

One of the things that is really cool about this particular fishing reel is the fact that it comes in many different gear ratios, ranging from 5.4 to 1 all the way up to 9.1 to 1, with that huge gear ratio being able to haul in a whole lot of line at once.

What also stands out about this fishing reel is the fact that it comes with a total of 12 ball bearings, eleven of which are normal steel ball bearings and the other one of which is a anti-reverse ball bearing.

What it all comes down to is that this huge number of ball bearings allows for an extremely smooth operation.

Now, most of this reel is made out of stainless steel, carbon fiber and aluminum, but with that being said, it actually isn’t the most durable reel on the market today.

Now it should perform just fine as long as you aren’t too rough with it, but it’s definitely not designed for extreme fishing or for very large fish.

What can, however be said is that based on the handle and the overall design of this unit, as well as the lightweight nature of it, it is very easy and comfortable to use.

In terms of the drag system, what you get here is a carbon fiber disc drag system that can put out up to 17.6 pounds of drag. You also get a magnetic braking system.


  • Extremely smooth
  • Lightweight
  • Budget friendly
  • Decent drag system
  • Comfortable handle
  • Magnetic brake
  • Comes in various gear ratios


  • Durability is somewhat questionable

6. Abu Garcia Ambassadeur S Round Baitcast Fishing Reel

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur S Round Baitcast Fishing Reel
  • casting-reels, reelsale
  • Four pin centrifugal brake system allows for consistent brake pressure throughout the cast
  • Features include a smooth multi disk drag system and synchronized level wind for better line lay
  • Includes a bent handle and drag star, giving anglers a more ergonomic feel
  • Both sizes available in Left and Right handed models

Last update on 2024-04-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you are looking for a durable fishing reel that has great line capacity and this is a good option to consider.

What you get here is a reel that comes in both left and right handed models, and it comes complete with an extremely comfortable double handle.

Now what you might appreciate here is the four pen centrifugal breaking system that allows for consistent pressure throughout your cast.

Now what we do need to say is that this reel is designed for smaller fish which you might not realize due to the fact that it can hold up to 255 yards of 17 pound line.

But the simple reality is that the drag system here can put out only 12.5 pounds, which is not all that much.

With that being said, this particular baitcasting reel does come with a dual ball bearing system, or in other words it has two very high quality stainless steel ball bearings that allow for fairly smooth operation.

Now, this isn’t the smoothest reel in the world, but it gets the job done. Moreover, we do know for a fact that this reel is made out of extremely durable materials and it’s never going to rust either.

What you may however really like about this model is the fact that it comes with a compact design, a bent handle, and it’s very lightweight too.

In terms of the gear ratio, although the exact ratio is unknown at this time, we do know that this is a very fast operating reel, or in other words, it does have the ability to haul in a lot of line with the crank of the handle.


  • Very durable
  • Rust resistant
  • High quality components and features
  • Comfortable to use
  • Right and left handed
  • Budget friendly


  • Not for large fish
  • Unknown gear ratio

7. SHIMANO Curado K Baitcast Reel

Shimano Curado 200K Lowprofile Freshwater Fishing Reel, Multi
  • Built tournament tough, this low-profile baitcasting reel is the benchmark for durability and reliability which is...
  • Featuring Shimano’s latest technology such as the super smooth, efficient, and durable MicroModule Gearing
  • Employs SVS Infinity braking system providing easy-to-manage and consistent spool control and brake force for...
  • Utilizes X-Ship technology to improve durability and long-lasting performance, as well as a smoother, more powerful...
  • Max Drag: 11 lbs. / Gear Ratio: 6.2:1. / Weight: 7.6 oz. / Line Retrieve: 26" / Bearings: 6BB + 1RB – PowerPro...

Last update on 2024-04-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you are looking for the best of the best, and you aren’t particularly constrained by a small budget, then this is a fantastic reel to consider no doubt.

One of the coolest things about this reel is that it comes in various sizes to choose from.

Now what does need to be said is that this is a very small and compact fishing reel as it is designed to be low profile.

Moreover, it also doesn’t weigh very much at all. In fact, it’s one of the lightest fishing reels on the list today.

What can also be said is that this thing is made out of some of the best, highest quality and most durable materials around.

On that same note, this item was made with a very high quality manufacturing process that appears to stringent quality control.

At the end of the day, this might actually be one of the most durable and long lasting fishing reels on the list. It’s not going to snap, and it certainly won’t rust either.

What does need to be said, however, is that this is a fairly small fishing reel in the sense that it only has 11 pounds of drag.

Although the line capacity is pretty high, it’s still not designed for very big fish.

In terms of overall line capacity, keep in mind that you can fit up to 110 yards of 14 pound monofilament line, which as you might recognize is not all that much.

What you might like, however, is that this unit comes complete with a 7 ball bearing system, Six of which are standard stainless steel ball bearings and the other of which is a reverse bearing (anti-reverse).


  • Extremely durable
  • High gear ratio
  • Reliable drag
  • Lightweight and compact
  • User friendly
  • Very high quality features across the board


  • Not meant for beginners
  • Limited line capacity


Best Low Profile Baitcasting Reel For Salmon

When it comes down to it, the best low profile baitcasting reel for salmon is the OKUMA Coldwater 350 Low Profile Reel.

This is a reel that features a 5.4:1 gear ratio for fast retrievals, a multi-disc carbonite drag system with a maximum 25 pounds of drag, and a 3 + 1 BB system for very smooth operation.

It comes complete with a die cast aluminum frame, a durable and ergonomically friendly aluminum handle, ergo-grip knobs, and good line capacity too.

Can I Use A Baitcaster For Salmon?

Although Baitcasting reels may be a bit difficult for beginners to use, they are ideal for salmon fishing, especially if you are looking for very long distance and accurate casting.

What Size Reel Do I Need For Salmon Fishing?

For salmon, anything between 3500 and 6500 is recommended. However, do keep in mind that if you are using a spinning reel, you won’t want to top out at size 4000.

Related: Our favorite salmon rods for the money. 


The bottom line here is that if you want to catch some salmon, then any of the baitcasting reels we reviewed today would do just fine.

Jason Downs

I created Fishtackly to share my 30 years of fishing experience and knowledge with others with the aim to help, and hopefully get more people involved and educated in this fantastic hobby that I love.