Baitcaster Reel Sizes Explained (With Examples)

Are you considering getting a new baitcaster, but are unsure of which baitcasting reel size will work best for you? Or, you may be a beginner at bait casters and unsure of what size to get.

Perhaps you have many such questions and want to learn more. If so, we have the answers for you.

Choosing the right baitcaster can be challenging. Because. We often overlook the size factor when considering so many different factors. We often end up with baitcasters that are too large or too small for our needs.

And, when you are given a reel that is unsuitable, we understand how frustrating that can be. So, today we’ll explain how to choose the right baitcaster size for you by explaining the different baitcasting reel sizes.

baitcasting reel sizes explained


Baitcasting Reel Sizes – Explained

A baitcasting reel usually comes in a size between 100 and 400. However, there are those that range from 50 to 100. If you want to ensure that you make the right purchase for yourself, you should pay attention to the first digit when choosing your reel.

Baitcasters with low profiles start at size 50. Their largest size is 400. But, depending on the manufacturer, size increments can vary a bit. Overall, however, size increments follow the following progression: 50, 70, 100, 200, 300, and 400.

Nevertheless, not every brand uses the same numbering system. This difference is, however, minor and understandable. The 200 sizes may be labeled as a 20 while the 400 sizes may be labeled as a 40 in some reels.

A round baitcaster is essentially the same as a spinning reel. They range from 1,000 all the way up to 10,000. These numbers also have many variations depending upon the Brand.

However, progression is mostly logical and easy to understand. A smaller number indicates a smaller reel. As numbers increase, larger reels are indicated.

Baitcasting Reel Size chart

In most cases, baitcaster reels are available in sizes 100 and larger. Small baitcaster reel sizes are also available from some manufacturers, such as sizes 50 and 70.

On the market today, the 50 size is the smallest. It is mostly used for fishing small bass and trout in streams and ponds with ultralight casting equipment.

70 is also a small bait caster that still manages to handle fish of a decent size. The casting distance is also increased in it. This allows users to use it as a finesse baitcaster when fishing for bass with downsized baits.

Boat owners who fish for bass are known for keeping a lightweight casting rod with a size 70 reel on board. Whenever the fish don’t respond to the regular tactics, it is prepared to cast smaller lures.

And if you are looking to use lightweight techniques, spinning reels with the best sizes could be a good option. These reels typically perform very well with ultralight tactics.

50 – 70 Size Baitcasting Reel

Small baitcaster reels range in size from 50 to 70. 50 sizes are primarily used for lightweight casting applications. In contrast, the 70 sizes are more capable of casting farther and handling larger fishes. The current smallest size available is 50. And, it is unclear if manufacturers will release smaller sizes in the future.

It may surprise you how powerful 50-70 size baitcasting reels are. They can handle an impressive amount of fish power. But, with a very light line, you’ll have a tough time casting. Therefore, your angling skills will be put under even more pressure.

As a result, spool sizes are not as large as they could be. Drag systems are limited to 10 pounds in these reels. But, catching larger fish with smaller lures is what many anglers strive for. Fishing is all about having fun for many Anglers.

But, serious fishing with the light stuff can be challenging since you’re at the mercy of the weather. When it’s windy and rainy, you’re more likely to get frustrated.

Also, Baitcast reels are viewed as being silly by many anglers for ultralight fishing. Small spin reels are clearly more appropriate and used than small Baitcast reels. However, this should not stop you from taking advantage of small baitcasters.

So, if you are planning to cast ultralight rigs from tiny baitcasters, you should gain some casting experience in all conditions first.

100 Size Baitcaster

Regular baitcaster fans are very fond of the 100-size baitcaster. For many inshore applications, this is a standard size and is used widely.

Fishing afloat with lures of all kinds at close quarters has been made easier with this reel. It can be flipped, or trolled while being held or mounted in a rod holder.

With a 100 size, you’ll be able to hold it in your hand easily. The casting is fatigue-free, and you do not lose track of your casting during intense sessions.

The 100 baitcaster is not only ideal for afloat use, but also allows the land-based angler to access the water from the bank or dock. Casters can cover the sufficient distances to reach strike zones some distance from the shore if they feel confident. The lighter you rig, the greater the range and accuracy you will have.

A size of 100 is perfect for a wide range of applications. Around 14 pounds of drag power is generated by them. So, you have enough fighting power to handle a bass or black drum of a reasonable size with a reasonable line capacity.

This compact nature also makes it an excellent choice for pursuing a much smaller species of fish. A 100 size will never overwhelm you even when you’re targeting small fish. Therefore, it’s a very versatile reel.

It’s for this reason that you’ll see so many anglers using reels of this size. Also, casting skills are easy to develop on this baitcaster because of its easy-to-hold size.

It is easy to use with small hands while maintaining a balance between strength and forgiveness. And an expert can use a 100 size to devastating effect. In many regards, the 100 is an all-rounder. An important feature of a 100 is also its spool capacity.

Also, using Braids will enhance fighting capability. Especially since you’ll fit more into the heavy line class. By increasing the size of the spool, you are able to deploy more applications.

The 100 size is still large enough despite its compactness. The ergonomic design of reels will ensure that all hands can use them comfortably.

A size under 100 is not suitable for all hands. The action on small reels is often difficult for anglers. That makes it difficult to flip and pitch quickly.

So, a wide range of users should be able to use the 100 sizes. You can hold it comfortably in your hand. Most low-profile baitcaster reels have this feature, which is very popular among Anglers.

200 And 300 Size Baitcaster

A 200 or 300 that doesn’t have a size marked on it would be hard to identify for many anglers because they are very similar. The spool capacity is usually what separates the 200 from the 300. In addition, there are also subtle differences in gear ratios and drag capacity.

The 300 is the choice if you need a bit more backup with spools and lines. The 200 is probably the better choice if you want to emphasize presentation with a little more sport.

However you choose to look at it, it’s pretty impressive in terms of fighting power and casting power. It is ideal for catching some inshore trophy fish. Anglers chasing big bass in challenging conditions will find the 200 and 300 an ideal choice.

And, despite being palpable and light, they are still very strong. Using them, you have the capacity to handle fish well beyond the 10-pound mark.

Fish such as reds or blacks which are present inshore are well within the capacity of 200 or 300. Having the 200 and 300 on hand means you have plenty of backups in case you hook into a much larger fish.

You may not have as much drag capacity as you may need. However, your reel will be able to hold more braid, fish heavier braid, and wear a motivated fish out.

Anglers can confidently cast larger lures for bigger fish with the 300, as it frequently delivers over 18 pounds of drag. And even If the fish employ dirty tactics, you can wrestle them with these heavy structures.

But, with low-profile baitcasters, you will not get a lot of maximum drag like the spin reels. So, you can use your line capacity as a backup weapon if you lack drag.

The 400 Size Baitcaster (large baitcasting reel)

Last but not least, we have the largest reel, the 400. You can only use these reels when fishing in saltwater. They are usually all-metal constructions. Shielded ball bearings are usually present with 400 reels. They prevent corrosion, which often occurs when fishing in saltwater.

In stronger currents, these larger reels handle the additional stress of casting. However, shielded ball bearings are important for that. This helps to ensure that they are safe when they are in salt water and sand.

Which Size is Needed For You

You can decide this in as little time. It’s actually very simple, for small fish, use a small bait caster. For big fish, use a larger baitcaster. The rule does have some exceptions, however. But, when choosing a reel for a particular application, this is the fundamental consideration.

There are a variety of applications that span reel sizes. In addition to water conditions, the size of your baitcasting reel is influenced by the water you fish in. Casting heavier/larger reels is better for fishing in heavy weather and with heavy structures.

Meanwhile, Fishing in monsoonal conditions, with snag-infested cover, as a hurricane-force wind blows, requires big reels. It is also likely that you will need heavier weights, as well as heavier mainline.

Mostly, it is a good idea if we fish as lightly as possible when conditions are good. But, it’s always essential to present in the right light to ensure successful sessions.

And also, It is the rod that determines the reel size you choose, regardless of the conditions or target. In most cases, you’ll have to match the reel to the rod you choose, unless you’re purchasing a rod and reel outfit, in which case you can balance it when you purchase it.

However, size selection has nothing to do with a reel alone, it has to do with the entire outfit and lure selection. And, even though it is possible for reels to be matched to rods that do not match the specs listed on the blanks.

You shouldn’t do it, however. Because the casting process is much more difficult using unbalanced outfits. Having a balanced rig and outfit will make casting baitcasters easier for many anglers, although it can be challenging for some.

So basically, the reel size selection is not only based on the size of the target, but you will need to consider a long list of factors when choosing your reel size. This includes factors such as the weather and geography.

Choosing The Right Baitcaster Size

Now, that you know the sizes which are available, let’s move on to how to choose the best baitcasting reel size.

In most cases, a 100-size reel is an ideal choice when fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass in lakes. It’s lightweight and ergonomic, so you can fish all day.

And, it can also spool enough lines to cover normal casting distances. So, when you fish for bass they do not pull a lot of line off your reel, so you will not worry about running out of line.

But, you will need to spool extra-heavy lines for big fish if you are fishing near heavy cover to avoid losing them due to line breakage. In that case, you would be better off with a 150 or 200-size reel. Furthermore, if you wish to cast farther, this is also a good option.

Meanwhile, if you intend to fish inshore saltwater, a baitcaster of either 300 or 400 sizes is ideal. Larger baitcasters have larger line capacities than smaller ones.

This allows you to spool a lot of strong braids. Additionally, they have more drag power. When you hook a fish that has a strong fight, you must have one of these.

Baitcaster Line Capacity

The line capacity of a baitcaster reel plays an important role in your choice. It is important to purchase a reel that has enough capacity if you intend to use it for long-distance fishing.

It is also important to take into account the size of the fish that you plan to catch. You should make sure that you have plenty of line on your reel if you intend to fish for larger fish where the line can potentially take a lot of it off of your reel. You’re better off going a little bigger rather than a little smaller if you’re unsure.

A low-profile baitcaster reel with a 15lb mono capacity will have 150 yards. As opposed to round baitcasting reels, which have more spooling space, up to 240 yards of 12 lb mono. These are just common averages that vary by reel size and type.

Round Baitcaster Vs Low Profile Reel Sizes

Our discussion today applies to low-profile baitcasters. Anglers often use these models. However, round baitcasters also exist and they have different ways of numbering sizes.

The large round spool of round baitcasters enables them to hold more lines than their low-profile counterparts. So, trolling tends to be a better method of using these baitcasters. The heavy-pound test line is easy to stretch over hundreds of yards.

But, there is no doubt that these reels are heavier and less ergonomic than low-profile reels. They can also be harder to hold over the long run. So, we don’t recommend them for those who enjoy casting a lot.

A round baitcaster is much larger than a low-profile baitcaster. The size can range from 1,000 to 10,000. However, there are manufacturers who list 1000 as 10. So, keep this in mind when choosing your round baitcaster. Buy the right baitcaster by considering all the factors listed above.


What size baitcaster reel for bass?

Most Anglers find the 100 sizes to be the best option all around. This size works for most bass fishing applications as it is lightweight so it is easy to control. Whereas, it is also powerful enough for a fish like Bass.

Final Words

Many people are unfamiliar with the baitcasting reel sizes. But, after doing a little research and observing, you will realize it isn’t that difficult to understand. And, this article should have surely helped you in that,

Keep in mind that you should always use small reels for small fish and large reels for large fish. It is also crucial that the reel you choose matches the rod you plan to mount it on.

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