5 Best Baitcaster Combos Of 2018 – The Top Rod-and-Reel Combination!
Anglers should have the best baitcaster combo on their arsenal. It is a tool that is perfectly usable on applications where large lures are needed. They can also be utilized in situations where spinning reels can no longer handle.
Right from the get-go, it is already a common knowledge that baitcasting combos give you better control over your rig. It simply enhances the capability of the fisher to get the proper placement of the line. Furthermore, this rig has the power to unveil those fish that are undercover.
I have made this guide as a way of introducing baitcasting combos--and baitcasting technique as general. But before we explore the details later, I will highlight first some of the ideal options for this particular equipment.
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- Best Baitcaster Combo On The 2018 Market
- #1. Under $200: Lews Fishing Laser MG Baitcast Combo - Editor's Pick
- #2. Under $50: Berkley Big Game Baitcast Combo - Runner-Up
- #3. Under $100: Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Baitcast Combo - Budget-Friendly Pick
- #4. Under $300: Lews Mach Crush Speed Baitcast Combo - Premium Option
- #5. Under $150: Lews American Hero Baitcasting Rod Reel Combo - Best Lightweight Baitcaster Combo
- Best Baitcaster Combo Buying Guide
Best Baitcaster Combo On The 2018 Market
1. Lews Fishing Laser MG Baitcast Combo - Editor's Pick
2. Berkley Big Game Baitcast Combo - Runner-Up
3. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Baitcast Combo - Budget-Friendly Pick
4. Lews Mach Crush Speed Baitcast Combo - Premium Option
5. Lews American Hero Baitcasting Rod Reel Combo - Best Lightweight Baitcaster Combo
#1. Under $200: Lews Fishing Laser MG Baitcast Combo - Editor's Pick
The Lews Fishing Laser is a fine composition of speed and power. It features a lightweight graphite for enhanced flexibility and strength. The side plates are constructed from the same material as well. If you are going to check the crankshaft and main gear of this combo, you will immediately know that this one has been engineered with quality.
The combo features the proprietary Rulon drag system. As per test, the drag system has a rating of 10-pound dragging force. Adjustments on the rig can be done easily, thanks to the graphite star that is placed within the proximity of the angle. The reel seat has a patented design as well to ensure that the reel will stay in place without sacrificing its sensitivity.
- The handle of the rod features EVA grip for a slip-free performance
- The hook stays out of the way of the rig during retrieval and cast
- Keeps the reel secured all the time
- Lightweight but rugged one-piece graphite frame
- The reel features eight pieces of high-grade ball bearings.
- No noticeable drawbacks.
#2. Under $50: Berkley Big Game Baitcast Combo - Runner-Up
The Berkley Big Game Baitcast Combo is a rig that you can take out on extended fishing expeditions. This one has a rugged design that can withstand the pull of aggressive game fish. But at the same time, it remains lightweight and comfortable to the hands. It features an aluminum handle with ergonomic grip so that it won't get out of your touch. Meanwhile, the body is still made from graphite, which ensures a perfect balance between flexibility and strength.
The drag system of this baitcast combo is extremely powerful. It has a dragging power of 18-pounds, which make it great for large fish and heavy covered targets. Such capability is further matched by its slow gear ratio reel. It will certainly help you catch those underwater giants without causing any damage to the line.
- Impressive rod construction
- Ergonomic handle works best for extended usage
- Outstanding dragging power
- Can catch large fish species
- Remains in the entry-level value.
- The reel requires an upgrade; it doesn't have a magnetic brake.
#3. Under $100: Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Baitcast Combo - Budget-Friendly Pick
There's always a beginner baitcaster combo. There's no doubt about that. However, the biggest dilemma for this is their quality. It is a common impression for anglers that cheap rigs have bad qualities. Well, you should already know some exemptions for that.
When it comes to the best baitcaster combo for the money, the Ugly Stik GX2 Baitcast Combo of Shakespeare is an excellent candidate. This one boasts the ruggedness and strength of the rod, which is quite to be expected already. After all, most Ugly Stik rods have been constructed with durability on the mind. It features excellent balance and flexibility, which are all needed for pulling out a fish that are under the cover.
- The graphite rod has fantastic durability
- Aluminum double-paddle handle for better control
- Comes with the strength to work with strong fish
- Lightweight construction
- Aesthetically appealing.
- The reel that comes with this combo is quite "average".
#4. Under $300: Lews Mach Crush Speed Baitcast Combo - Premium Option
The Lews Mach Crush Speed Baitcast Combo is undeniably one of the premier baitcasting rigs today. It has a supreme performance that is capable of elevating your success rate in fishing. The rod of this combo has a lightweight and strong construction. It is also profile to reduce the load that you feel when using it. Both the side plates and frame are constructed from graphite for improved tensile strength and flexibility.
Meanwhile, the reel of this combo is truly tailored for baitcasting. It comes with a 10-bearing system for ultra smoothness in casting and retrieval. Each of the bearings are made from stainless steel and was double-shielded for better water durability. One anti-reverse bearing is also present on the reel for a foolproof performance.S
- Features multi-setting brake system for external and internal adjustments to the brake
- Spool is crafted from double anodized aluminum for corrosion resistance
- Reel features a 10+1 bearing system
- Sideplate locks comes with a quick release capability
- Powerful drag system that offers up to 20 pounds of dragging power.
- No noticeable drawbacks.
#5. Under $150: Lews American Hero Baitcasting Rod Reel Combo - Best Lightweight Baitcaster Combo
One of the finest baitcasting combos that you can get today is the Lews American Hero. This one is specifically engineered to tackle large fish and heavy lures and lines. It features the highly coveted Lews baitcasting reel, which is combined with the high-grade one-piece graphite rod. You can expect that it can withstand punishments but with the guarantee that you will never be burdened by its weight.
There are other exceptional ergonomics that you can get from this reel. Both the main gear and crankshaft have sturdy construction. The anodized aluminum spool has been machine-forged as well. The magnetic control system ensures that the brakes of this rod are reliable and responsive. External adjustments to the brakes are truly possible.
- All of the parts have rugged construction
- Lightweight and sensitive combo
- Impressive braking system
- Ensures smooth and controlled retrievals
- Optimizes the strength of the fisher.
- The rod is susceptible to snagging issues.
Best Baitcaster Combo Buying Guide
A baitcasting combo is a great necessity for fishing with large lures and heavy lines. It is the very tool that can optimize the performance of the angler, especially when dealing with burly and aggressive species.
Technique and skill are essential for a person to fully handle a baitcaster combo masterfully. Despite this, there's still a couple of amateurs who thought that any rod and reel are already fine for this application. Sadly, that's not really the case.
Even those who have understood the nuances of rods and reels have still difficulties in selecting the right combination for baitcasting. It is a task that you have to accomplish to ensure that you can fish with finesse and success.
Here are some of the concepts that you have to understand first.
One should know that baitcasting was invented to deal with fighting and stubborn gamefish. They are not conceived for fishing with light lines and lures. You will need a good baitcasting combo for situations where catching a fish is indeed a challenge.
Unless these following criteria are met, you might not need the service of the best baitcasting combo:
- Fish that are under a heavy cover
- The use of heavy lines and heavy lures
- The fish is aggressive, stubborn, and loves to have a good fight
- The game fish is notably large.
Just always remember that the baitcast tackle is specifically designed to handle heavier fish. Make sure that you are going to use a baitcasting reel for such application. Otherwise, your performance will be affected.
If you are an expert fisher, a good baitcasting combo will enable you to hit the 50-feet distance with extreme accuracy. This would cause the lure to submerge in the water without causing splashes.
The mechanism of the spool of the reels is different. You cannot say that the spool of the best spinning reel can act the way as the spool of baitcaster reels. After all, the spools of spinning reels are fixed. Their bail is centered on the spool whenever you are retrieving the line. This enables the proper line management and guiding.
On the other hand, the spool of a baitcasting reel is not fixed. As a result, the lure will make the line turn the spool while you are casting.
These particular differences have a huge impact on the appropriate selection of combos. You have to ensure that the rod and reel have been paired properly so that it can do a specific style and technique in fishing.
Fortunately, many manufacturers today have this problem solved for you. They are already configured so that you can use them after you assembled them out from the box. However, this doesn't mean that you are not free anymore to customize your own baitcasting combo.
For those who are interested in doing some DIY assembly, you can refer to the guide that I have made below.
You can check out this video if you want to learn how to use a baitcaster:
The rod forms the first part of the combo. Selecting the proper rod can make separate the line between a successful catch and an empty haul.
Take into account that most of the rods that are used for baitcasting reel are made of graphite. But sometimes, a composition of fiberglass and graphite is also being considered. This particular construction is necessary so that the rod becomes sensitive and rigid.
Graphite rods are a good choice for those who want to do bass fishing. Their extensive modulus and impressive tensile strength made them a good arsenal for large game fish. Always be wary that some graphite rods offer high modulus but have no tensile strength. You should expect their brittleness along the way.
A high-quality graphite rod is expensive. However, it can ensure its strength and sensitivity in any situation.
You should always use fiberglass for soft fishing applications. It is also a great accompaniment for crankbait reels and other fishing techniques where slow-action is quite necessary. Of course, some variants of fiberglass rods have a certain level of sensitivity.
Never forget to look at the label of the rod. It is in there where you can see the markings for its weight. Furthermore, the rod labels can also give you information about the type and size of line that you can use with it.
I have already told that the reel used in baitcasting combos are different from the reels used on spinning reels. Of course, the design of baitcasting reels is for heavier game fish and lures. The difference should be understandable right now.
There are two frames that are suited for baitcasting reels. The first one is the round frame. The latter has a high line capacity. It can also handle heavier lines, which make them suitable for large lures and gamefish. Salmon, steelhead, and muskie are among its forte.
The second type of frame that is used for baitcasting reel is the low profile. Its biggest advantage over round frames is its ergonomics. You wouldn't really the repercussions of the wrist action to their light and small profile.
The brakes of the reel matter as well. After all, you need the total control over the line and the fish that you are tackling.
There are various types of brakes. We have the centrifugal brakes, which utilizes the pins that are within the adjustment plate. It uses friction as a method for stopping. There are four to six brakes that play a part on its action. You have the option to deactivate or activate them whenever you are casting.
Dual brakes are also available. Their configuration usually operates during the first and second part of your cast. You can modify them so that overruns would not happen.
These are the very things that you have to mind about when choosing the best baitcaster combo. I have to say that there are still some other aspects that you need to explore. However, the guide that I gave is already a good place to start.
Always take into account each combo has unique specifications. They have been designed for different applications, lures, and lines. You have to put that in your mind so that you can select the appropriate combo that would serve as your main utility.
That's it for now. If you have questions or suggestions, drop them in the comment section below.
Check out my other guides for these great fishing reels: