A Review and Comparison of The Top Baitcasting Reels Under $100 on The Market

by John Wren

The best baitcasting reel under $100

What is the Best Baitcasting Reel Under $100 you ask? There are many options when it comes to baitcasting reels when we talk about “the best” often that brings us reels in the hundreds of dollars range, the sky is the limit.

First, What Is A Baitcasting Reel?

A baitcasting reel is a type of fishing reel used for casting heavier lures or bait and for making longer casts. It is typically mounted on the top of a fishing rod and is operated by a handle that rotates the spool to release line. Baitcasting reels are favored by experienced anglers for their accuracy, control, and ability to handle heavy lines and lures. They are often used for fishing species such as bass, pike, and musky, but can also be used for other types of fishing such as saltwater fishing. Baitcasting reels are more complex to use than spinning reels and require more skill to master, but they provide greater accuracy and power when casting.

However, when we’ve got a set budget in mind, in this case, $100, we want to know what is the very best reel you can get for casting bait that falls in the sub $100 range.

Today we will answer that question.

Single Piece Frame

One of the key features of the more expensive reels is that they are cast from a single piece of metal, typically aluminum, which makes them robust and much, much stronger.

With the Lew’s Speed Spool, this is no different. This sub $100 reel gives you a single piece aluminum frame with graphite side plates which are both durable and easy to remove.


Having a good gear ratio on your speed spool is as important as gears on a bicycle. They can literally make all the difference when casting and reeling in.

This reel has a 7.5:1 ratio, meaning for every rotation you make on the handle, the spool will turn 7-times. For the price, this is an excellent gear ratio and you will struggle to find many that can match both.

Spool Weight

The weight of the reel plays an important part in baitcasting, in my view it needs to be light enough not to hinder the action but strong enough to take some punishment.

The Lew’s comes in at just 7 ounces making it tick both of the aforementioned “must have” features.


Lew's MACH 1 Baitcast SLP Fishing Reel, 7.5:1 Gear Ratio, Left-Hand Retrieve, Graphite Frame, Premium 8 Stainless Steel Ball Bearings
  • LEW'S MACH 1 LEFT-HAND RETRIEVE SPEED SPOOL: Baitcast reel features a one-piece lightweight SLP graphite frame and side plates with 3 drain ports
  • ZERO REVERSE: Reel features premium 8 bearing system with stainless steel double shielded bearings and Zero Reverse one-way clutch
  • SPEED GEARS: Baitcasting reel features high strength solid brass Speed Gears, cut on precision Hamai CNC gear hobbing machines
  • MULTI-SETTING BRAKE (MSB): Externally-adjustable dual cast control system utilizing both an external click-dial for setting the magnetic brake, plus 4 individually disengage-able disk-mounted internal...
  • BAITCASTING REEL: Reel features a machined, double anodized aluminum, 32mm deep spool, a double anodized, aluminum drag star with audible click and a durable Rulon drag system which provides up to 15...
Let’s take a look at what makes the Lew’s Speed Spool Baitcasting Reel top of its class.

Features and Specifications

  • Gear Ratio: 7.5:1
  • Line Capacity: 12/150
  • Bearings: 9SS+1RB
  • Weight: 7.0oz

What Customers Are Saying

While this isn’t a problem for most people as both look great, you should bare that in mind if you are at all concerned about looks rather than performance, and since practically all fishermen I know put gear performance first, this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for you.

If I could I would buy 100 of these reels as they are so damn good. I literally couldn’t believe the price when I first bought it and I half-expected it to be sub-par – buy boy was I wrong!

Who Should Buy This Product?

Those looking for a smooth-casting bait speed spool that will cast a great distance with minimal effort. If you have a $100 budget, this reel is top of its class.

Who Shouldn’t Buy This Product?

Those who care about looks or the color of their reel. If you don’t care if it’s a shade of purple, red or orange this will not matter to you!

Commonly Asked Questions

Is this a left or right hand retrieve?

This is a right-handed model, there are left-handed ones available.

What color is the reel?

The color is black, although it does look gray in the images

Is this a fast action spool?

Yes, with a gear ratio of 7 .5:1 this is a fast action reel

What is the ball bearing count?

The reel has 9 ball bearings in total


If you are looking for a speed reel under $100, that can compete with some of the higher end models and can cast your bait out FAR then this is the reel for you.

We score this reel a whopping 4.6 out of 5 stars and for good reason. It is lightweight and durable with an excellent retrieving gear ratio which will enable you to reel in your catch pronto.

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