Baitcaster reel for a rookie on a budget of $150?

Inshore Fishing Question & AnswerCategory: QuestionsBaitcaster reel for a rookie on a budget of $150?
Jeffery Best asked 1 month ago

I’m an old dog still trying to learn new tricks. Have always fished with spinning gear but would like to give baitcasters another serious try. Considering me as a rookie, what would be a good reel with a budget of $150? I already have several rods so just looking for a new reel at this point.

I was given several old baitcasters last year that were left over from an estate sale. Looked up models & they were all at least 20-years old. Cleaned up what looked to be the best. Loaded new line. Adjusted as shown on Youtube. Was happy with trying it in my backyard then took it out on water for a try. Couldn’t get much distance & after about a dozens casts turned it into a birdsnest. I understand that the new reels have brakes that make them less prone to this.

Appreciate your suggestions.

5 Answers
Captain Devin Staff answered 1 month ago

Good question, Jeffery. Learning is what makes everything fun! Creativity begets happiness, and with casting tackle you can get pretty creative with fishing.

So, let’s address this, because for $150 you have a lot of great options!

I’d have to say that for general purpose use and longevity you need to be looking hard at a Daiwa Tatula SV.

I say this because it uses a specialized spool that’s really good at minimizing backlash.

In fact, you can read my review of it here:

The catch is that it MSRPs at $199 and holds less line than a "normal" spool. (115 yards of 30lb J-Braid)

But, have no fear! For you have access to this buying guide showing you how to find the SV for less than $199:

In short, you can find them on eBay for $165, like you’ll see here at this link.

However, you should know that the Tatula 150 is just as smooth, holds more line (140 yards of 30lb J-braid) and MSRPs at $159, and can be found on eBay for as low as $102.

So, I’d go for the 150 if I were

You’ll see they come in different gear ratios, and I recommend a 7.3:1 for all around use.

Hope that answers your question!

Jeffery Best answered 1 month ago

Thank you for the recommendations. I’ll be adding one of these to my arsenal very soon!

Jeffery Best answered 1 month ago

Follow up question: After reviewing the links you provided there was one comment that caught my eye. You mentioned that you would not recommend using the SV for the Ponchartrain pop. Any similar shortcomings for the 150 or should I not get hung up on this considering my experience level?

Thanks again. You rock! Really learning alot from the Elite membership.

SeanHales answered 1 month ago

I use the Tatula 100 for the "Ponch Pop" and trout jigging in general because its barely 6 ounces and don’t typically have to worry about a trout running out an entire spool of line. Also, it fits perfectly for palming the reel. It sits on a Tatula 6’6" medium fast rod and the pair is super light wieght and very sensative. My hands and arms dont get fatigued as much. Just another option but it works excellent for me.

imanalien answered 1 month ago

If you are looking for a reel and rod. I would suggest the Daiwa Fuego CT. Same as Tatula CT but without t-wing and bearing in the handle paddles. Less than $75 on Amazon and then pair it with a new rod of your choice. I got the H2O Express Ethos HD for $70 from Academy. Got 2 of them like this and love it!