Best Swimbait Reels Of 2020: The Ultimate Angler’s Guide

When you are looking for the perfect swimbait reels for you, it’s a given that you should keep in mind a couple of factors before zeroing in on one product. We will list all those details after dishing out the best of the best swimbait reels available in the market for you right now.

Best Swimbait Reels in 2020: Product Reviews

Okuma Citrix 350

best swimbait reels

The Okuma Citrix 350 is budget-friendly and works magic due to its properties of smooth performance and a good line capacity. Also, the powerful drag system in this swimbait reel is worth the money.

The gear ratio of this reel from Citrix is 6.4:1. This ratio is perfectly balanced, making the reel suitable for a broad range of lures. The line retrieve is also great, with 31 inches of line retrieve per crank. This has a medium speed, neither high nor low, hence it’s more suitable for general use rather than for a specific focus area.

This is a good choice overall when you’re starting out with swimbait fishing and cover all the aspects of it. The Okuma Citrix 350 comes with 8 stainless steel ball bearings, out of which 7 are main ball bearings and 1 is reverse for smooth performance. 

This swimbait reel from Citrix is made of anodized A6061-T6 machined aluminum, making it extremely strong and light. It has a centrifugal braking system that can be easily tweaked by the spool access port for better and precise control. The reel is such that you can easily exchange the current spool with another spool with more line if needed.

Citrix has deployed a multi-disc carbonite drag system in this reel, which tends to remain cool even after long usage. The Okuma Citrix 350 has a line capacity of 230 yards of 14-pound monoline. It can also easily hold up to 230 yards of braided line.


  • 6.4:1 gear ratio for high speed
  • 25-pound drag system for more power
  • Corrosion resistant
  • 8 stainless steel ball bearings for smooth performance
  • Anodized spool that is rust resistant
  • Die-cast aluminum frame making it lightweight and strong


  • Heavyweight
  • Bait clicker is not smooth

Shimano Curado DC

The pinion gear is supported by bearings, backed by the X-Ship technology. It has a Hagane metal body that makes it strong and sturdy. The brake system of the spool is such that you can easily adjust it. You just have to tweak it once and you’re good to go. There’s no need of adjusting it every time you put a bait. 

This reel comes equipped with a digital braking system for efficient control and performance. Also, this system prevents backlashes and keeps them to the minimum. The microcomputer in this reel keeps the speed of the spool to a thousand times per second. The new Micro Module Gear System ensures a smooth retrieve every time. 

The added advantage is that this reel can be used both by novices and experts alike. The automatic technology installed in this reel from Shimano makes it easy and user-friendly to use with beginners, and it has the potential to give best performance possible when paired with the skills of expert anglers. Though this reel is made primarily for fishing bass, it can be of perfect use for fishing salmon as well. 

The thumb option in the reel helps eliminate backlashes. It also comes in handy to prevent vibrations in the body.


  • HAGANE body for strength
  • Equipped with Intelligent Digital Control braking system
  • The C14 technology makes it incredibly lightweight
  • The gear system becomes topnotch because of Micro Module Gear system
  • The X-ship technology renders spool shaft and gear smooth


  • Can be noisy
  • Minimum backlashes but not stopped altogether

Shimano Tranx Baitcasting Fishing Reel

The general consensus among the users is that this is so far the best fishing reel from Shimano. This reel is completely sealed making it fully water resistant. It can also catch fish of all sizes owing to its good gear ratio, bringing in the fish quickly after the catch.

When compared to the other reels in the category, the Shimano Tranx Baitcasting Fishing Reel gets the most points for its strength. It features CoreProtect technology that increases its durability irrespective of what weather condition it faces. The combination of HEG technology and X-ship boosts the crank power of the reel and makes the retrieve smooth.

This reel is ideal for larger fish such as largemouth bass and salmon. Also, this is waterproof so rest assured the reel will be safe even in the harshest of circumstances. Just because of the two properties of water resistance and the sturdy material housing, this reel will be in your deck for years and years to come. This reel is worth the money.


  • Strong HAGANE metal body
  • This model has two variants: left and right reel
  • HEG technology ensures smooth retrieve
  • Durable
  • Water resistant


  • Narrow spool
  • Expensive
  • Internal braking system

Shimano Calcutta Freshwater Fishing Reel

This reel from Shimano comes with a strong aluminum body, which makes it durable and good to look at too. Also, it runs smoothly, without making any noise. It can be used both in freshwater and saltwater. The round structure of the reel let’s it keep more line and shoot bigger baits. One of the several features of the Shimano Calcutta Freshwater Fishing Reel is the Super Stopper that prevents backlash through the use of a steel roller bearing. The metal plates are aligned well with each other.

This fishing reel from Shimano is perfect for beginners and experts alike. Club it with good wrist use, and you’ve got yourself the ultimate reel. This reel is affordable as well. The aluminum and steel body add to its strength and durability. 


  • Backlash prevention through Super stopper technology
  • Pocket friendly 
  • Centrifugal force from VBS balances the cast
  • Strong and durable aluminum spool
  • Aluminum frame keeps all parts together


  • Oil bottle is not attached
  • There’s no drag clicker
  • Not easily maintainable

Lew’s Fishing Wide Speed Spool

This reel from Lew’s gives one of the best and smoothest performances in the market and can easily handle heavyweight lines. Also, it can easily tackle all kinds of baits and lures. The Lew’s Fishing Wide Speed Spool gives the most for its price category. This reel features Magnetic Control technology that can easily control the adjustments. 

The bearing system is premium quality, consisting of 10 double-shielded stainless steel ball bearings for smooth casting and line retrieve. The Lew’s Soft-Touch provides comfort and smooth experience while holding the reel for long hours of usage. This is a good budget friendly option if you want to go easy on your pocket and also want smooth performance. The width of this reel is big enough to hold wide baits and fishes. 

Backed by Lew’s, this product is trustworthy and will easily last you years in your journey of fishing. It is highly portable as well because of its compact and lightweight design. This durable swimbait reel is of premium quality, made keeping in mind your ultimate comfort.


  • Good line capacity
  • Ergonomic design
  • Comfortable in use
  • Good crank power 
  • Made from strong and durable brass
  • MCS keeps adjustments balanced
  • Can easily handle large baits


  • There may be some backlash
  • Adjustments have to be tweaked with every lure
  • No digital braking system deployed

Now, let’s take a look at what the benefits are of buying a good reel.

What Are the Advantages of Buying a Good-Quality Reel?

Heavyweight line

The line directly spools off from the line guides making everything easier. The reels like this can easily handle heavy lines weighing from 10 to 20 pounds on an average.

Extended cast

If the cast is combined with a good bar, the smoothness it gives is unparalleled. This line shoots directly through the line guides and the spool, hence its cast is amazing. 

More power

You can easily handle spinnerbaits and crankbaits through more crank power by applying greater force, thanks to the spool design. Also, there is less instability and fewer jerks because the handles are mounted on the reel frame. 

Greater control

The thumb management option on the spool lets you control the speed and how far your bait could go while casting. With just a little more practice, your focus and precision will improve, and you’ll put your lure exactly where the fish is. 

Bait control

With a good reel, you can easily let your lure or bait land softly in the water body without alerting any fishes in the surroundings.

Let’s head on to answer some of the questions that pop up in people’s mind frequently when it comes to fishing and swimbaits in specific:

Frequently Asked Questions: Swimbait Reels

Swimbait reels are worth adding to the collection of any self-respecting angler, and they are even better than the spinning reels in many aspects.

What material are swimbaits made of?

Most swimbait reels are made of plastic. The plastic is even infused with certain scents and flavours to attract the baits.

Are swimbaits good for bass fishing?

Swimbaits are the favourite among bass fish anglers as they make even heavy bass fishing smooth and easy.

Which line is suitable for swimbaits?

If you’re fishing in shallow water bodies, then the monoline is the most suitable. For deeper waters, the fluorocarbon fishing line is the best to use. For reeling in heavier fish, or for fishing through gravel or dense underwater flora, it’s best to use the braided line.


Apart from selecting the swimbait reel you think would be the most suitable for you according to your requirements and budget, in our opinion you should also keep in mind what kind of fish you’re going for. Is it freshwater or saltwater, or both? Do they tend to be lightweight or heavyweight? Are they the fighting or the escaping kind? Considering these factors matters a lot since these affect the type of reel you should go for and also the type of fishing rod and fishing line most suitable to pair with that reel. Keeping in mind all these components crucial to assemble into fishing gear, you’ll already be halfway through in your fishing journey. All the best!

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