Top 5 Best Baitcaster Combos for the Money – Guide & Reviews

There are hundreds of combos when it comes to baitcasting fishing gear out there. That’s why picking the best baitcaster combo can be a pretty tricky deed.

Whether it is the reel or the rod, the construction, the material, or just the design or looks, you can have thousands of things to consider.

But as we know you are a fisher who loves quality and excellent results, we’ve made a list with the best options out there tackling each one of these features.

When it comes to picking a baitcasting reel that won’t let you down, the following list will surely help you a lot. So keep reading and find out!

Our Top Picks of the Best Baitcaster Combos in 2020

Want the best baitcasting rod and reel combo out there? You’ll surely find it among the following reviews. They are easily the most recommended in the market, as well as the best-priced and more prestigious ones.

If you want quality for a baitcaster combo, then pick the right one among the next options.


1. Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite - Best Baitcasting Combo Under 100

Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite

The unique Shakespeare quality in the Ugly Stik series makes the best baitcasting combo under 100 out there. This excellent combo comes with a GX2 rod, one of the lightest in the market that still comes with superb strength and toughness for any fishing endeavor.

The cork handles on the rod promote exceptional grip and comfort while coming with an entirely durable & reliable Ugly Tuff guides.

Its rod is made mostly from graphite, which means it is exceptionally light. It will help you travel anywhere without issues, as well as having a more relaxed and strain-free experience.

Its stainless steel tuff guides are incredibly dependable. They will make your fishing a lot easier as well, but always promoting the most confident performance.

The Ugly Stik Clear Tip is another part of this fantastic rod. It will ensure a stronger performance overall while keeping strikes easy to sense. You won’t miss any fish as soon as it catches the bait.

It will make your fishing much better overall, especially with one of the smoothest reels in the market.

When it comes to drawbacks, the only we could find is that disarming the whole rod with reel can be a little troublesome. Not because it is tough, but because it obliges the user to cut the line to separate it into three different parts as it is designed.

But this is a slight problem which won’t really matter if you don’t have any problem with a slightly more lasting disarming process.

Overall, however, the Ugly Stik Elite series from Shakespeare is a perfect combo for anyone who wants exceptional quality for a very affordable price.

What We Liked

  • Very light and easy to use graphite construction
  • Resistant and robust build for a long-lasting product
  • Additional Clear Tip feature promotes a more dependable experience
  • Exceptional price for its above-average cost

What We Didn’t Like

  • The three-piece rod can be a little annoying to disarm


2. Lews Mach Crush Combo - Best Baitcasting Combo Under 200

Lews Mach Crush Combo

A baitcasting combo needs to be reliable, sturdy, easy to manage, light, and utterly sensible for an effective fishing performance. The Lew’s Mach Crush is precisely that. Featuring a Super Low Profile graphite frame rod with side plates for strength and lightness, the combo does not lack reliability.

Adding the U-shape 32mm spool with a solid brass main gear and a crankshaft, it is just outstanding.The 10-bearing system of the stainless steel reel promotes an exceptional performance. You will get a double-shielded bearing with Zero Reverse feature, excellent for never getting the catch to go away.

The double-anodized spool comes not only with a carbon drag system, but with superb tension adjustment feature, perfect for easier configuration.Then you can add the Multi-Setting Brake, which works really well with both the reel and the spool.

It makes the performance even more reliable than any other product out there, creating perfect results.

The IM8 graphite build of the rod with Nanotechnology will keep your performance at the right level. You also get American Tackle Airwave guides for excellent strength, creating a smoother yet reliable experience.

And when you add the SoftTouch skeletal body with Dri-Tac grips, you get the perfect sensation for increasingly better results. When it comes to reliability& worth, the Lew’s Mach Crush Speed won’t let you down as the best baitcaster combo under 200.

From the handle and ease of use, the profile, and overall stylish design, this is an option not to overlook, and it will probably impress you.

What We Liked

  • Really stylish design with lightweight and strong feel
  • Excellent set of features with Brake, Soft Touch, Dri-Tac Grip and more
  • Exceptionally smooth reel with superb anodized pool
  • Looks pretty well for a baitcasting rod with its orange and black design

What We Didn’t Like

  • Rod tends to break the line too often which can be a little frustrating


3. Abu Garcia Black Max Combo - Best Baitcaster Combo for the Money

Abu Garcia Black Max Combo

A smooth drag, exceptional sensitivity, and outstanding durability, that’s what Abu Garcia Black Max combo offers. For its price, this fishing baitcasting combo bids the most responsive and light design you can hope to get.

It will help you make the best catches without issues, boasting not only the performance-related features you need but also the most comfortable design.With this combo, you get a fantastic reel with Power Disk system. This system allows the smoothest performance for dragging, as well as the best range you can think of.

Also, you get a MagTrax brake. You won’t have to fear about a lack of pressure or accuracy. With both of these features, taking out the biggest fish is a total piece of cake, even more so when you add the fantastic sensibility it has.

One of the things that sets this rod apart is the 24-ton graphite build. You’ll be able to feel even the lightest of movements, creating a more responsive combo for superior results. Still, you get graphite side plates for excellent durability, as well as a one-piece frame for easy arming and disarming when needed.

To make this combo even better, you can enjoy an amazing reel construction with a 4-ball bearing design made of stainless steel. This ensures not only a reliable performance, especially with its Duragear brass gear and steel guides, perfect for years of use.

When it comes to reliability and excellent results, this rod is easily the best choice you’ll find. For its price, there’s just no competitor to name. However, the one-piece rod can be a trouble with time, especially for its lack of durability and convenience. But overall, this combo is more than worth it.

What We Liked

  • Better results with more sensitivity and strength with a 24-ton graphite rod
  • Excellent reel quality with stainless steel bearings, Power Disk system, and MagTrax break
  • Well-made stainless steel guides and Duragear Brass that promote a more durable experience
  • One of the lightest and most comfortable to use combos in the market

What We Didn’t Like

  • The one-piece rod can be a little problematic to travel & transport as well as a little unreliable


4. Lew's American Hero Combo - A Good Baitcaster Combo

Lew's American Hero Combo

A combo needs to be strong and reliable, especially when it comes to Lew’s. Here, you don’t get any short on that. With a 5-bearing reel, a graphite composite rod, excellent anodized aluminum spool, and a superb tension-adjustment add-on – this combo doesn’t disappoint.

The guides are made of stainless steel for resistance, while the handle is based on EVA split grips, perfect for comfort in long hours. The Hero baitcasting combo is a simple yet very reliable option entirely. The stainless steel bearings offer a Speed Spool reel that also boasts a Magnetic Control system.

This provides not only exceptional smoothness but also helps to get more control when casting. The reels are made of graphite composite and boast side plates for resistance. With the machined aluminum touch and anodized blue, the piece offers more strength without leaving looks behind.

Adding the gear and the crankshaft, you quickly get one of the strongest combos out there, especially for its solid brass. When it comes to the drag system, here you get a 10-pound Rulon option, perfect for more strength when needed.

The blanks come in IM6 graphite, keeping the inserts and guides reliable enough for sturdy operations. Yet still, the entire combo manages to be one of the most responsive and light in the market, with superb sensitivity despite its strength and overall smoothness.

What We Liked

  • Light, strong, and entirely comfortable with graphite rod build & EVA grips
  • Top-notch reel with graphite composite structure, Rulon drag system, and Magnetic Control
  • Really strong yet still sensitive for even the smallest of bites
  • One of the most resistant, durable, and dependable options out there for its price

What We Didn’t Like

  • One-piece design can be a little troublesome


5. Sougayilang 2-Piece - Best Beginner Baitcaster Combo

Sougayilang 2-Piece Baitcasting Combo

The Sougayilang 2-Piece is the best beginner baitcasting combo for anyone who wants a low-priced option that still manages to offer exceptional results. Not only you can pick two different colors, but you can also choose the right side for your needs.

The fishing rod, nonetheless, looks really good in either and provides one of the lightest & responsive performances at this price range.Hunting with it is a like peeling an orange, totally easy and very fast. Its medium-light feel and 12-pound capacity also make it one of the most reliable in the market.

Let’s not forget it also comes with a 10-bearing reel, perfect for a smooth yet quick operation. It will help you catch any fish easier and faster than most reels out there, especially when you add the amazing Magnetic Tuned brake.

The whole reel piece is made of CNC aluminum, perfect for durability with exceptional resistance. You will have a reel that lasts for years before it shows any sign of breakage.

And in every performance, this combo will help you get a strain-free experience, easier on your hands and arms while delivering a perfect sensitivity for better results.The rod is also incredibly well-made, boasting stainless steel guides and a 2-piece travel design with a strong carbon-fiber frame.

You also get a touch of graphite in the rod, perfect for more sensitivity and flexibility. The versatility of this device surpasses what others of higher prices offer, while still being one of the lightest and stress-free to use in the market.

If you want a well-priced combo that still offers an excellent experience overall, the Sougayilang won’t let you down. This is an exceptional combo to consider, especially if you’re on a low budget, so don’t dismiss it.

What We Liked

  • Well-made rod with a carbon-fiber body and graphite build for superb strength & flexibility
  • Exceptional reel made of CNC aluminum for smoothness and unbeatable resistance
  • Handy 10-bearing reel for easy and quick operation at all times
  • Unmatched quality & looks for its low price

What We Didn’t Like

  • A little hard to set-up the or adjust the reel quick when needed

How to Cast a Baitcaster?

After picking between a left-hand baitcast rod and reel combo, you may not know what to do with it. Here we explain with short tips on how to cast a baitcaster efficiently & effectively.

Reel the Line: First off, make sure the line is in the reel and spool of the rod. The lure line should be at least 6 to 12 inches away from the rod tip for better results. Make sure it is tight enough to avoid any issue.

Hold the Reel: Before throwing or casting, it is critical to hold the reel tightly, especially over the spool. This way, you can avoid the line to go on and off from the rod and create a too large or too short bait line.

If you prefer to hold the rod from the grip, you may need to use the other hand to keep the reel. Don’t add too much pressure to it, just enough for it to rest tightly enough so you can have excellent flow control when casting.

Turn the Rod & Cast: Before casting, you’ll need to turn the rod up and then rapidly release the spool release button while sweeping the rod forwards. This way, you achieve a longer cast after releasing the reel button while having a more effective launch.

Keep the Rod at 30º: Your casting arm should be bent, but the rod shouldn’t go past the 30º horizontally when you launch. Make sure it reaches eye level and then let it fly until it reaches your target.

Press Line Brake: After reaching the target, you can now stop the bait line to keep traveling in the water by pressing the brake. Before pressing the brake, however, make sure to cover the excess amount of line on the surface so you can avoid making a mess before catching anything.

After following these steps, you will probably make a fantastic catch. Just remember fishing is not as easy as it seems, especially when it comes to using a baitcaster.

How to Choose a Baitcasting Rod and Reel Combo?

Picking the right baitcasting combo is not too easy, but knowing the factors and overall things to consider before choosing will make it notably easier to get the right product. Here are a few things you must take into account before buying.

Materials: Here, you shouldn't only consider the material of the rod but also of the reel. While rods come mostly in graphite frames that are highly reliable, strong, and flexible, they are also heavier and more sensitive than fiberglass or carbon fiber ones.

The fiberglass rods are often very tough and flexible too, but they work much more sensitively and offer a way lighter build than graphite.

For reels, always make sure it comes with a stainless steel or aluminum frame. This way, you can ensure a way more resistant, durable, and reliable build than other materials, which generally are not as good as these.

Weights: From medium to light, medium light, medium heavy, or else. This weight will tell you how easy and effective the rod works alongside the reel. You need to make sure that both match with each other, so you can get a great result.

Reel-Frame Type: Here you have only two types: round and low-profile. Both wok really well, but the low-profile is often the best choice for short and weak catches. In contrast, a round reel will work better for the strongest and largest fishes out there.

Reel Brake Type: For brakes, you need to pick between three types: the centrifugal, the magnetic and the dual brake. Each one has its perks, while the centrifugal works on friction, the magnetic uses magnets, and the dual-brake works as a mix of both in the first and second half of the cast.

The centrifugal offers better performance for cast beginnings, the magnetic scores an overall good experience, similarly to dual ones.

For us, the magnetic brake is the most responsive of the three. But a dual-brake can also work wonders. We’ll leave centrifugal brakes for the most experienced fishers, but it still works well enough when the angler knows how to use it. So, it is a matter of experience as well as desires.

Frequently Asked Questions

As you know, baitcasting combos are not the most common within our fishing community. So, it is relatively usual to see many people, especially beginners, asking many questions about it.

To save you the time searching on the internet, here are a few common doubts most people have with the right answer.

What kind of line should I use with a baitcasting combo?

What type of fishing is a baitcaster better for?

Does a baitcaster offer an excellent experience for a beginner?

Is there a difference between a one, two, or three piece rod?

If either the rod or reel breaks, can I replace it?


So, are you looking for the best baitcaster combo to start your fishing experience at full throttle? Then using our list of recommendations and reviews above will surely help you out.

Just remember that it all comes down to picking the product that goes better with your needs, budget, and overall desires. Whatever you choose, though, you’ll receive exceptional results as these choices are the best you’ll find.

Don’t hesitate and but the right baitcaster combo now!

Glen Jensen

This is Glen Jensen founder of Fisher Picks. I started this blog to provide guide and reviews of best fishing & outdoor products.

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