Baitcasting Reel Sizes – Easy Guide To Choose The Right

For anglers who don’t have a lot of experience, choosing the best baitcasting reel can be daunting because there are various baitcaster reel sizes on the market today. Don’t worry. Read to the end of this complete baitcasting reel sizes guide to find an appropriate bass fishing reel size to have a fun and successful day out on the water.

What Do You Need To Know About Baitcasting Reel Sizes?

The baitcasting reel size can vary on the market because of the shortage of a standardized system. However, manufacturers like Shimano, Daiwa, and KastKing share the same sizing convention from 100 to 400. 

When choosing the baitcasting reel size, you should focus on the first digit – the numeric gear ratio. The higher the first number, the more lines are retrieved on each crank. 

Baitcasting Reel Size Chart

Baitcaster reel size Weight Line capacity (pound/yard) Retrieve rate (inches per turn) Max drag Suggested use
50 5 ounces 12/65 23 inches to 29 inches 10 pounds Ultralight bass fishing
70 6 ounces 12/85 23 inches to 32 inches 10  pounds Finesse bass fishing
100 7 ounces 12/120 26 inches to 34 inches 11  pounds Almost bass fishing technique
200 8 ounces 12/200 26 inches to 36 inches 12  pounds Heavy bass casting applications
300 11 ounces 12/260 26 inches to 36 inches 22 pounds Inshore saltwater fishing
400 12 ounces 12/330 26 inches to 38 inches 25 pounds Inshore saltwater fishing

Line Capacity

The line capacity of a baitcaster is the most extended length that the reel’s spool can handle. The fishing line diameter grows as its strength grows, which implies that the higher the pound test line is, the larger it takes up on the spool. 

The test of the line is a metric that measures the strength of the fishing line in pounds. For instance, a reel that says 12/120 means at the 12-pound test, you can get 120 yds of line, and you should utilize either 10, 12, or 14 lbs of test line to get excellent performance out of that reel. 

Compared to nylon, the braided line made from components like Spectra and Dacron fiber can reach higher tests in a smaller diameter.

Moreover, the line capacity should match the fish size. Specifically, line capacity isn’t an issue for most freshwater species, except for large fish like salmon and muskie.

Gear Ratio

A reel’s gear ratio determines the number the spool revolves for each handle revolution. The most popular reel on the market has a gear ratio of 6.4:1. To be specific, a reel shows a 6.4:1 gear ratio means the spool rotates 6.4 times every time the handle rotates. 

When fishing regions with limited strike zones, higher gear ratios are frequently preferable since they allow your bait to return to the boat quickly and easily in preparation for another cast.


The drag system handles your lines, stretch and breaking point, and spool pressure while controlling fish on the end of your line. To decrease friction, a fishing reel’s drag comprises an adjustable shock and metal washers divided by carbonate drag washers.

Probably around 10-12 lbs of drag are good enough to whip any bass quickly. High-drag reels often employ stacked drag systems with several drag washers and disks and higher-quality material for the disks.

Low-profile Vs Round Baitcaster Sizes: Which One Is Larger?

Low-Profile Baitcasting Reel Size


Smallest Baitcaster Sizes

The small baitcaster reel sizes range from 50-70. The 50 sizes are mainly utilized for lightweight casting applications in streams and ponds for trout and smallmouth bass. On the other hand, the 70 sizes can handle larger fish and cast farther when fishing. 

Shimano low-profile baitcasting reel

Some standard small baitcaster reels are Shimano Aldebaran MGL (size 50), Shimano Curado 70 (size 70), and Daiwa Steez CT SV (size 70).

100 Size Baitcaster

The 100 sizes are the most common for low-profile baitcasting reels used by bass anglers because they are suitable for most bass fishing techniques. Some notable 100-size baitcasting reels are  Daiwa Tatula 100, Lew’s Speed Spool, and KastKing Speed Demon. 

200 Size Baitcaster

If you wish to spool 65 or up to 85 lb braided fishing line, the 200 size is ideal for heavy bass fishing. Another benefit of this size is that it includes a substantially higher line capacity than smaller ones, allowing you to throw further distances. 

The most common 200-size baitcasters are KastKing Royale Legend II 200, Shimano Curado 200, and Daiwa Tatula 200. 

300 Size Baitcaster

The 300 sizes are preferred to cast saltwater fishing because it has a substantially bigger length of line and max drag power than the more minor variants. That means you’ll be able to use heavier pound test lines, throw larger lures far, and catch larger fish. 

Shimano Tranx 300, Daiwa Lexa 300, and Shimano Curado 300 are the standard 300-size baitcasters. 

400 Size Baitcaster

The 400-size category is entirely dedicated to saltwater fishing because it is made from metal material, which can protect the reel from the corrosion of saltwater casting. You can buy 400-size baitcasting reels from Daiwa or Shimano.

Round Baitcasting Reel Size

4000 and Lower

The 4000 round reel has a popular weight from 8 to 12 oz and a general line capacity within 150 – 175 yds of 12 lbs.


5000 reel size is the most popular, in 10-15-oz weights, line capacity is around 200 – 230 yds of 14 lbs. This type is suitable for the large bass tackle and light trolling when using a Baitcasting Reel


With a weight from 11 to 17 oz and a line capacity of 250 yds for 14 lb, this size reel is an ideal option for large predatory species. 

7000 and Larger

Ranging from 19 – 23 oz with 250 yds of 20 lbs line capacity, these are excellent reels for anglers who want to catch heavy, hard-fighting fish.

What Is The Rod Type And Rod Size For Bass Fishing?

Rod Material

The fishing rods are mainly made from graphite and fiberglass. Fiberglass gives the essential parabolic bend when employing baits that demand a rod with a medium or lighter action. 

However, a graphite rod is the best option in most circumstances, thanks to its reduced weight and increased sensitivity.

Rod Length

The long rod allows bass anglers to control well with long baitcaster distance casting. If a 40-yard cast with a vast, deep-diving crankbait like the Berkley Dredger is crucial to your catch, your rod should be at least 7 feet long, with a smooth reel and a thin diameter line.

Related post:

Fishing Rod Length Explained for Beginners 

Baitcasting Rod For Beginners (Buyer’s Guide)

What Lures To Throw On A Baitcaster? (Beginner’s Guide)

Rod Power

The rod power is the energy required to bend the rod. The lightweight rods are better for smaller fish like trout and panfish because they bend more accessible and allow you to detect a bite quickly. 

On the other hand, moderate action rods are great for using response jerk baits, crankbaits, spinnerbaits and finesse fishing presentations that don’t need to break the line. Finally, topwater, jigs, frogs, and fishes requiring less rod bending are best suited for heavier rod power.

Related Post: Best Baitcasting Reels Under 150$

How To Choose The Right Baitcaster Size

Now, based on the location and fish types, let’s find the answer to the right baitcasting reel size. 

A 100-size reel is appropriate for most applications while fishing for large and small bass in small water areas. It is lightweight and comfortable to fish the whole day, yet large enough to spool many lines for typical casting distances.

In contrast, if you’re fishing for largemouth bass in deep cover, you’ll prefer thick fishing lines to avoid line breakage, so a 150 or 200 reel will be a great selection. 

Lastly, a 300 or 400-size reel would suffice for those searching for a baitcasting reel to cast saltwater fish. Compared to the above, these variants have a substantially larger line capacity, allowing you to spool plenty of solid braids. It also comes with more significant drag pressure, essential if you catch robust fish like trevally or bluefish.


The baitcasting reel sizes are multiple, but we hope this guide will help you find the most suitable reel for your fighting. Remember that a quality baitcasting reel fitted to a fishing rod will enable you to get the best out of them. Let’s pick up the right baitcaster size and have a good day fishing.