Best Shimano Baitcasting Reel: Top 7 Baitcaster Review

When it comes to fishing, it is vital for tanglers to prepare the best baitcasting fishing reels. Among reputational brands, Shimano has gained a name for their reel series with excellent performance. 

However, not everyone is familiar with this face, especially tangler newcomers. So, we decided to release the best Shimano baitcasting reel list for anyone interested. 

If you want to leverage your fishing techniques with Shimano baitcasting reels model, examine our post thoroughly.

Is Shimano A Good Brand?

Yes, Shimano is a good brand and also an industry leader due to its wide variety of product models and high-quality models. Therefore, we recommend choosing Shimano among the top baitcasting reel manufacturers. 

Now, let’s discuss six premium players in detail. Each Shimano baitcasting reel reviewed today features different characteristics, but all provide superior performance for their price in 2021. 

Some reels are ideal for inshore saltwater fishing, some for freshwater fishing. Hence, it’s not difficult for you to find top models that can handle both bass fishing locations. For peace of mind, users can benefit from an included warranty on Shimano rods and reels that lasts two years. 

Top 6 Best Shimano Baitcasting Reels

Product imagesProduct namesEditor's ratingPrice
Amazon best-selling product B07GL9WNYFShimano Metanium DC Low Profile ReelsBest Overall

Amazon best-selling product B08DJ91XMKShimano Curado MGL 70 K Low Profile Baitcast ReelBest For Budget

Amazon best-selling product B07KGHNC71Shimano Calcutta Conquest 300-400 Round ReelsBest For Line Control

Amazon best-selling product B07FN55P8LShimano Curado DC Fishing ReelBest For All-Day Comfort

Amazon best-selling product B0714MJN3SShimano Chronarch G SW Baitcasting Fishing ReelBest For Durability

Amazon best-selling product B08DJ7ZGKBShimano SLX MGL 70 Low Profile Baitcast ReelBest For High-Speed Retrieves

Amazon best-selling product B06XCTHWLXShimano Chronarch MGL Low Profile Baitcasting Fishing ReelBest High-End Version

1. Shimano Metanium DC Low Profile Reels

This model is the apex of Shimano DC versions for its excellent baitcasting fishing reel performance. However, a few anglers consider it expensive, while others who aspire to the sport top-level think it is worth it. 

Featuring a Shimano Hagane body, the reel uses CI4+ for its side plates, making the model ultra-light and highly durable. This feature speaks of how comfortable it feels in your palm and how lightweight it is, around 6.7 to 6.9 ounces. 

Metanium DC gear ratio falls in the high-speed baitcasting category, going from 7.4:1 to 8.5:1. As a result, people often use the reel for freshwater and saltwater fishing. With its outstanding gear ratio, your casts will not be tiring during the course. 

Next, the reel possesses a significantly superior digital controlled system – I-DC Gearing. The gearing adjusts resistance while you cast by using a micro-computer. Selecting lure weights ranging from 5 to 30 grams and users’ favorite fishing line type on the inside of the reel helps minimize the backlash and keeps the cast longer and further. 

Besides, you can also expect this premium Shimano reel for the consistency in its drag system with a max drag of 11 pounds or the S3D spool design that creates a smooth and balanced retrieving and casting, or the powerful gearing featured by the 9+1 bearing system. 


  • Non-exhausting casts without backlash
  • Super smooth Bearings: 9BB + 1RB
  • The advanced I-DC5 braking system
  • Superior cast management system
  • Ultimate micro-computer auto mode


  • Pretty expensive
  • Not offer actual anti-reverse lever

2. Shimano Curado MGL 70 K Low Profile Baitcasting Fishing Reel

Launched in the fall of 2020, this Shimano Curado MGL 70K became one of the most superior reels to welcome the 2021 fish-for-bass season. If you are fans of the Curado K series, prefer pitching and flipping, then this new model is undoubtedly the apple of your eye. 

If the Metanium DC evokes a modern, classy display, its brother – the 70 K low profile baitcasting reel has a metallic and matte black frame, featuring a robust and powerful appearance. While some comment that the 70 K model shares a similar appearance to the 200 K, they actually differ in size. 

Overall, the reel weighs 6.9 ounces. It exhibits a gear ratio of 7.4:1 or 8.1:1 and has a max drag of 12 pounds. Thus, anglers use it to catch bass in the freshwater or light saltwater areas, 

Compared to the Metanium DC, the model also uses innovative gearing that helps increase contact for buttery smooth retrievals. In addition, the “Supper Free” design of its spool plays a vital role in eliminating erosion on the spool shaft during your casts. 

Next, another feature worth your notice is SVS Infinity – an advanced brake system that offers a spool speed controllability for precision casting as thrown with lighter lures. 

There is no significant difference between the DC and the MGL 70 K regarding the reel frame construction. Both come with a Hagane body, CI4+ side plates, and dual handle paddles. Likewise, the Shimano Curado 70 K also provides precise fishing line management with the S3D technology. 


  • Incredible braking system: SVS Infinity
  • New MGL spool
  • Offer comfy grab in palm
  • “Super Free” design
  • Waterproof carbon drag washers


  • A bit costly

3. Shimano Calcutta Conquest 300-400 Round Reels

Shimano Calcutta Conquest 300-400 Round Reels have always been a staple of the Japanese market. When the model penetrated the US market in 2021, it became an industry leader in round bait caster reels. Therefore, newcomers to the brand may feel excited at the reel’s ability: high resistance to some baits such as crankbaits, chatter baits, and spinnerbaits. 

Shimano offers a new Calcutta Conquest line in four new models: 300 and 400 round reels. They have a max drag of 15 pounds, a gearing ratio at 6.2:1, and 12+1 bearings. Plus, these reel versions also come with a hefty 33” of retrieve per crank. 

The Shimano Calcutta Conquest 300 series shares the same object weight at 11.6 ounces and can spool 40 to 65 pounds of braid line. Hence, this version is the best size to go for if you are a freshwater angler. 

Yet, if you choose inshore saltwater areas to fish bass, we recommend you move to use the 400 round baitcasting reel, which weighs a little heavier, 12 ounces. Compared to the 300 series, this 400-size model holds a bigger spool capacity: 50 to 80 pounds of braid fishing and 12 to 20-pound test monofilament. 

Recently, the Conquest 300-400 reels have had a few excellent renovations, including a synchronized level wind for smoother casting, a variable braking system (VBS) that uses centrifugal force instead of magnets like the old reels. In addition, to optimize the rotation, the 300/400 models use shielded anti-rust ball bearings. 


  • New synchronized level wind
  • 12 + 1 unique shielded stainless steel bearings
  • Buttery smooth drag
  • The superior variable braking system


  • Bulkiest of the bunch
  • Regular maintenance needed
  • Renovation on star drag needed

4. Shimano Curado DC Fishing Reel

People always mention the Curado DC with “a superpower” that is creating excellent, effortless casts. It means that you don’t have to worry about fatigue during the fishing course. 

For anglers who have acquired some experience with this series, the Shimano Curado DC version is like a Curado K but comes with a DC brake system. Thus, if you are a fan of the “DC whine” signature, we believe you will love this reel. 

The Curado DC weighs 7.8 to 7.9 ounces, featuring the line recovery of 26 to 36 inches per turn, using 6 + 1 rust-resistant bearings and an 11-pound max drag. Also, the reel has a variety of gear ratios: 6.2:1, 7.4:1, and 8.5:1. 

However, the model holds a pretty small spool capacity: 20 to 40-pound braided and 10 to 14-pound monofilament lines. 

Overall, the Curado DC is not different from the Metanium DC regarding a Hagane body, CI4+ side plates, dual handle with paddles, or S3D technology. Some anglers prefer thumbing the reel as long as they set the brake modes right, while others don’t. Doing so helps feather the lure as it lands. 

To sum up, this Shimano Durado DC baitcasting reel is such a pleasure to accompany you since you can catch bass in any condition.  


  • Powerful and smooth drag
  • Awesome braking system
  • High gear options
  • Microcomputer for spool speed control


  • I-DC4 setup issues

5. Shimano Chronarch G SW Baitcasting Fishing Reel

You are looking for a top baitcasting reel that can handle fast species sheltering close to inshore saltwater? Your search is over; you found the right one, the Shimano Chronarch G SW series. Get this reel if you aspire to the MGL excellent performance but love to catch bass around inshore salt or brackish areas. 

Generally speaking, the reel weighs 6.5 to 6.7 ounces, reaching 10 to 11 pounds with a max drag. Besides, the line recovery falls in the range of 30 to 34 inches per turn. 

With the 8 + 1 high-efficiency gearing (HEG), you can get the high-speed retrieves without suffering any flex in the drive train. Specifically, the gear ratio at 7.1:1 or 8.1:1 also contributes to the leverage in casting speed and the retrieve speed per crank. 

Now, let’s discuss MicroModule gearing, a newly added feature of the Shimano Chronarch G models. This MicroModule helps fine-tune the gear reel teeth for better contact to enhance skipping and pitching and power for more delicate cuts to give the best user experience with a smoother feel.

Finally, you can also benefit from the brass gears that come with X-Ship. This adds further improvement in the durability and rigidity of the reel gear when working in harsh salt conditions. 


  • Lightweight reel
  • MicroModule for more power
  • Best Chronarch until now
  • 8+1 shielded anti-rust bearings
  • Smooth drag


  • Re-greasing needed for the gear
  • Hollow problems

6. Shimano SLX MGL 70 Low Profile Baitcast Reel

The last name of this list is the Shimano SLX MGL 70 baitcasting reel. Thanks to its compact 70-size form, the reel palms perfectly and comfortably in your hand. Also, Shimano made some surprise upgrades, including the SVS Infinity braking system and a Magnumlite (MGL) spool. 

To enhance skipping and pitching, we recommend taking full advantage of the MGL 70 size spool for light baits such as small top waters or jerk baits. 

Additionally, the reel weight range is around 7.1 ounces. Its gear ratio is various, some operating at 6.3:1, some casting at 7.2:1, and others reaching far distances at 8.2:1 baitcasting ratio. For flexible usage, you can choose between these gear ratios. 

Besides, the Shimano SLX MGL 70 series also uses a 12-pound max drag, loaded with 4+1 corrosion-resistant shielded stainless steel ball bearings. Remember that the 6.3:1 gear ratio is suitable solely for right-hand retrieval.


  • Affordable
  • Versatile brass gearing
  • Innovative SVS Infinity braking
  • Lightweight a Hagane body
  • MGL 70 size spool advantage


  • “DC whine” sound that is annoying to some users

7. Shimano Chronarch MGL Low Profile Baitcasting Fishing Reel

Impressive: The Chronarch MGL upgrades the previous Ci4+ with a new spool and their micro-module drip technology down this spinning shaft. It is constructed of carbon composite material, which is the higher-end version. The red metal pieces are very subtle and well dispersed.

Casting: Megabass’s Vision OneTen. This half-ounce rip/Jerkbait is in its own right a legend, so it’s just suitable for this bait task. The result is phenomenal with the SVS Infinity brake system combined with the new Magnumlite spool. Easy casting only with better low-speed performance in pitching and lighter lure transmission.

Strength: There are three retrieve ratios in this reel. Shimano’s use of oversized gears only reinforces this confidence. Larger gears give you more leverage when driving that 90mm big handle.


  • The smoothness on this reel is hard to match.
  • Quiet reel, long-distance cast.
  • Ci4+ housing is rigid but extremely light.
  • MGL spools are lighter and designed to cast lighter. The MGL spool has become a fan favorite. It allows anglers to make many presentations without backlash. Super Free Spool feature – reducing friction and increasing casting distance with less effort. SVS infinity brakes are always reliable and incredibly easy to tune.


  • The high price.
  • Explicitly designed for freshwater – this is a reel specifically for bass fishing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of rod do you need for a baitcaster?

It is vital to select the right kind with features that match your current techniques when it comes to specialty reels and rods. 

There are two basic kinds of rods monopolizing the bass fish market – spinning and baitcasting. The selection depends on what type of reel you use, which technique you will fish with, and how large your targeted species are. If you aim at large fish, then we suggest going for the baitcasting rod option. 

Commonly, anglers use a medium-heavy rod with 6 feet, 6 inches, and 6 feet, 10 inches. If you are about to learn the basic techniques of baitcasting, get a heavy line. 

The recommended fishing line weight range is around 15 to 17 pounds. As a result, this option makes it easier for you to cast at first without suffering any backlashes. 

What lures to throw on a bait caster?

The lure and added sinker shouldn’t weigh less than ⅛ of an ounce – a recommended lure weight used for bait casters. Generally, you can use some typical fishing lures listed below:

  • Soft plastics
  • Flipping baits
  • Swimbaits
  • Punch baits
  • Swim jigs
  • Buzzbaits
  • Spinnerbaits
  • Jerkbaits
  • Crankbaits
  • Topwater lures

How do I choose a gear ratio for a baitcaster?

Baits and technique drive the selection of the proper gear ratio. Casting at slow, medium, or high speed depends on what species you are catching and how you are fishing them. Therefore, we break gear ratios into three small groups: slow (lower than 5:1), medium (around 6:1), and fast (higher than 7:1).

Specifically, it is an ideal choice to use slow reels for crank baiting. Meanwhile, medium gear ratio reels are the best for top waters, swimming jigs, jerk baits, and spinnerbaits. And, if your intended techniques are worming, pitching, or flipping, then get the high-speed reels for your fishing day. 

How do you cast a baitcaster without Birdnesting?

To cast a bait caster without Birdnesting, you need to prepare:

  • The perfect fishing line that helps to untangle the bird net
  • Heavy lures like big crankbaits or huge swimsuits
  • An adjustable braking system to avoid backlashes
  • A medium-sized fishing rod for easier controllability and casts with fewer backlashes
  • A correctly set spool tension for your fishing purposes
  • A lubricant line conditioner to increase the casts’ distance and to reduce backlash and friction
  • The right reel for smooth and fast casts

How do I know what reel is better to buy?

Determining the right reel size often goes with the selection of the fishing line size. If you tend to use a light line, you should purchase a smaller reel. 

For instance, the fishing line with a weight of 8 pounds will probably be the average line strength. So, you can make the right decision by selecting a medium-sized reel that should come with a 6, 8, or 10-pound line.

What is the best baitcasters reel brand?

Below are the best baitcast fishing reel brands, dominating the market in 2021, as the top 10 premium brands popular among experienced anglers:

  • ​​Penn Fishing Tackle Manufacturing Company
  • ​​Daiwa Seiko Corporation
  • ​​Pflueger
  • ​​Abu Garcia
  • ​​Shimano, Inc.
  • ​​KastKing
  • ​​Piscifun
  • ​​Okuma Fishing Products
  • ​​Cadence
  • ​​Zebco

What is the easiest fishing reel to use?

Most anglers consider a spin-cast to be the most easy-to-use modern fishing reel since its basic design allows beginners to practice. Moreover, it is also affordable to become an arsenal for every angler. You may find it challenging to see spin casts around at fishing stores, but these reels used to be the rage.

Follow three super-simple steps to use a spin-cast:

  • Press the button on spool control
  • Take the swing
  • Release

After releasing the button, you will see the line files out to the spot at which your rod is pointing. Next, press the button again once you are about to stop the line. Super easy!

Final Verdict

After scrolling through our post about the best Shimano baitcast reels, hopefully, you have managed to select your favorite product.

If you have acquired experience with at least one of six premium baitcasting reel brands, please feel free to share your experiences to know that the information provided is helpful for practice. Lastly, don’t forget to revisit us for more valuable tips and advice on fishing.