best musky reels

6 Best Musky Reels In 2023

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Hello there, fellow angler! If you’re reading this, chances are you’re on the hunt for the best musky reels, just like I was not too long ago. You’re in luck, because I’ve spent countless hours researching, comparing, and testing various reels to bring you this comprehensive guide.

Musky fishing, often referred to as the sport of 10,000 casts, is a thrilling yet challenging pursuit. It’s not just about the thrill of the chase, but also about the satisfaction of landing that elusive trophy. And let me tell you, nothing can make or break your musky fishing experience quite like the quality of your reel.

In this article, we’ll dive deep into the world of musky reels. We’ll explore what makes a great musky reel, the features you should look for, and how to choose the best one for your needs. We’ll also take a close look at the top competitors in the market, analyzing their strengths and weaknesses to help you make an informed decision.

So, whether you’re a seasoned musky hunter or a beginner just dipping your toes into these waters, this guide is for you. Let’s reel in some knowledge, shall we?


What Makes a Great Musky Reel?

Before we delve into the nitty-gritty details of each reel, it’s crucial to comprehend the characteristics that define an excellent musky reel. Here are the key elements to keep in mind:

  • Resilience: Muskies are formidable, robust fish that necessitate equipment capable of withstanding the challenge of reeling them in. The reel endures the brunt of the struggle, so you need a sturdy, resilient reel that can endure the strain of a fight with a prize-winning musky.
  • Gear Ratio: The gear ratio signifies the number of times the spool rotates for each complete turn of the reel’s handle. A reel with a gear ratio in the vicinity of 5:1 – 5.7:1 is optimal for musky fishing.
  • Line Retrieval Per Crank: This figure, measured in inches, informs you precisely how much line you can reel in with a single rotation of the handle. Given the lower gear ratios of baitcasting reels used for musky fishing, the retrieval speed will generally be slower compared to other faster reels on the market.
  • Line Weight: Muskies exhibit a wide range in their weight, typically between 15-36 pounds. This necessitates a line weight that can endure the stress of such a large fish tugging and straining it. Ideally, we recommend using around 80 lb. line to ensure it’s robust enough to handle even the largest musky.
  • Line Capacity: Line weight is as vital to catching a musky as the volume of line you can load onto your reel. It’s essential to ensure you can spool at least 140 yards of 80 lb. test line for optimal fishing conditions.
  • Hand Orientation: The final criterion we deem significant is the reel’s hand orientation. If you’re left-handed, you’ll undoubtedly want to seek out a reel designed with your needs in mind!

With a firm grasp of what to look for in a musky reel, let’s plunge into the analysis of the top contenders in the market.


6 Best Musky Reels 

Our expert team researched the market pretty well and they came up with this result. All these reels are tested and they can give you a great performance on musky.

Starting from the building material to the line capacity and gear, these reels are great. So, if you want to go for musky fishing and you’re searching for the best reel to get started, you can grab any of these undoubtedly.

Let’s start from here!

6 Best Musky Reels Review With Pros & Cons

01. Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast Baitcast Low Profile Fishing Reel

Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast Low Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel,Black,60-HS

When toughness and power are a must for hooking up a big musky, the Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast Baitcast Low Profile Fishing Reel comes up with both of those and this claims to be one of the best musky reels! It has every feature you need for musky fishing. Musky fishes are bigger and they’re a bit tricky. They love to play with the fisherman. To perform the game, you need a great reel and the Abu Garcia Musky reel can get your job done easily.

It features 5 HPCR bearings made with stainless steel and 1 roller bearing for smooth operation. All these bearings have anti-corrosion features to fight against rust. If your bearings are durable, your reel will last longer. It has an X2 craftic alloy frame which makes the reel tough. Besides the side plate also has a corrosion resistance feature too!

The drag system of this reel is the power stack carbon matrix drag system. This drag system can provide a huge amount of pressure when you need it. This reel also has a duraclutch design. This design makes the reel great and durable. The building material is high-quality aluminum and the Abu Garcia musky reel is pretty light in weight. This can be a great deal if you consider the price and features.

What makes this reel stand out

  • It has 5 bearings and 1 roller bearing to make your fishing smooth
  • The alloy frame and the side plate are tough
  • Power stack carbon matrix drag system provides huge pressure
  • It features extended gear life and increased fighting power
  • Duraclutch design for better engagement and long lifespan
  • It is made with high-quality material
  • A lightweight reel in a short budget


02. Daiwa Lexa High Capacity Low-Profile 7.4:1 Baitcast Reel

Daiwa LX-HD300HS-P Lexa 300 Hd Baitcasting Reel, 6 Crbb + 1, 7.4 : 1

The Daiwa Lexa High Capacity Low profile musky reel is the second best product in this list. This one is made by the mighty brand Daiwa. They make all kinds of reels and their reels are popular all over the world. This one comes up with a great gear ratio that’ll help a lot for musky fishing. In a short budget, you can get enough out of it.

The Daiwa Lexa low profile musky reel is made with high-quality aluminum material. This material is pretty popular in the market and every wise angler suggests this material. This package of Daiwa reel is basically imported and the features are genuine. With this reel you and get hyper-speed along with the power handle.

The frame and the side plate are made with aluminum too! They have corrosion resistance power and it makes the reel last longer. It comes up in the market with a great gear ratio. The gear ratio of this musky reel is 7.4: 1. This gear ratio is pretty perfect for musky fishing. By the by, this reel has a 7 bearing system. The bearing system contains 2 CRB bearings, 4 Ball bearings, and 1 Roller bearing. These bearings keep your fishing action smooth.

With the MagForce cast control it has, your fishing actions are more smooth and precise. Besides, you can get infinite anti-reverse with this fishing reel. Let’s check its feature highlights.

What makes this reel stand out

  • It’s made with top-class aluminum
  • Imported package and genuine features
  • Power handle provides hyper speed
  • Aluminum side plate and frame makes the reel tough and durable
  • 7.4: 1 gear ratio for smooth operation
  • Infinite anti-reverse and MagForce cast control for precise fishing


03. SHIMANO TRANX, LowProfile Baitcasting Fishing Reel

SHIMANO Tranx 400A HG Lowprofile Baitcasting Freshwater Reel

Shimano is one of the most popular reel brands and they’re making fishing reels for a long time now. If you’re not a newbie in the fishing sector, you know the brand pretty well because they’re not limited in making reels. They make other fishing gear too! This reel is one of the best reels made by Shimano. Let’s take a look at its features.

The Shimano low profile musky reel is built to tackle tough game fishes. This reel offers you core protect water-resistant technology. This technology makes the reel long-lasting and durable. It also has a hangage construction. This construction makes the reel tough and allows it to give you the fullest performance. This one is pretty light in weight. It weighs only 12 oz. It means you can easily fish with comfort.

The gear ratio is a great deal with this one too! It comes up with a 7.6: 1 gear ratio. With this, you can easily land on big giant musky fishes. The maximum drag force of this reel is 18 lbs. This is fairly enough for a musky fish. Besides, the bearing system is made with corrosion resistance power to make your fishing actions smooth. It has 5 stainless steel ball bearings and 1 roller bearing. The line retrieve is 40″.

What makes this reel stand out

  • Low profile powerful baitcasting reel suitable for musky fishing
  • Hagane construction for toughness and great durability
  • Water-resistant technology used for long-lasting performance
  • Maximum drag force of this reel is 18 lbs
  • A great gear ratio of 7.6: 1
  • Light in weight, weighs only 12 oz
  • 5+1 total 6 bearings in the reel for smooth operation


04. Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel

Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast Low Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel Black, 60

Here’s another Abu Garcia reel. This one is basically a Low profile reel and it’s specially designed for musky fishing. It’s at number 4 of this best musky reels 2020 list. This reel is being used all over the world by wise anglers and it has a huge positive user review on it. Let’s jump into the features section to learn more.

Just like the previous Abu Garcia musky reel, this one also has the power stack carbon matrix drag system. This drag system is a bit rare in the market and this feature is unique too! This drag system provides the extreme force you need for musky fishing. This feature made this reel one of the best musky reels. Besides, this can provide you with the best gear ratio you need for musky fishing.

The reel features 7 HPCR bearings with a roller bearing. These bearings are made with high-quality stainless steel. The corrosion-resistant feature is added too! It makes the reel powerful and strong enough. The drag mechanism allows drag adjustments too! The x crafty alloy frame has the corrosion resistance feature too! The side plate is pretty tough and it makes the reel powerful. The dura gear system is great and it can provide you with great gear life and increased fighting power you need for a giant musky.

What makes this reel stand out

  • A great deal of bearings with anti-corrosion feature 7+1
  • Power stack drag system gives you extreme power you need
  • Made with high quality and tough material on the market
  • Aluminum frame and side plate for increased durability and lifespan
  • Duragear to provide great fishing force and great gear life
  • Light in weight and very handy reel to fish


05. Daiwa Lexa Hyper Speed Baitcast Fishing Reel


The Daiwa Lexa Hyperspeed musky reel is one of the best reels made for musky fishing. It has a good gear ratio and it features right hand retrieve. It has almost every feature you need to hook up a giant musky. Here are its features.

This one has 6 CRB bearings and one roller bearing. All these bearings are made with stainless steel and they have corrosion resistance power. These bearings can perform your fishing action in a great way. The gear ratio of this reel is pretty high. It is 8.1: 1. You can hook up musky fishes with this gear ratio easily.

The one con of this reel is it’s a little heavier than others in this list. It weighs 17.2 oz. But there’s another fact that can blow your mind. That is the drag force. The drag force is huge. The maximum drag force of this reel is 25 lbs. It means you can easily hook up a giant musky. The reel has an EVA power handle to make your fishing actions smooth and to give you comfort while casting. The line comes 43″ per handle turn.

What makes this reel stand out

  • Made with high-quality building material
  • Gives comfort while fishing with its EVA handle
  • Line per handle turn is 43″
  • The maximum drag force is 25 lbs. (tested)
  • Great bearing system and contains 6+1 bearings
  • The best gear ratio for a musky reel of 8.1: 1


06. KastKing Kapstan Elite Size 300 Baitcasting Fishing Reel- Best Musky Reels for the Money


KastKing Kapstan Elite Baitcasting Fishing Reel,Size 300,Left Handed Reel

If you have come through all those musky reels described above and you didn’t find any of those interesting, here we’ve got one more reel only designed for you. Rely on us and give this one a try undoubtedly. This one is the last product of the best musky reel list and hopefully, you won’t get disappointed. I think this is the Best Musky Reels for Beginners.

It’s made by the mighty brand Kastking and this one is a low profile baitcasting reel too! It has a huge drag force and it’s pretty light in weight. The maximum drag force of this reel is 35 lbs. Which is massive in amount. Hooking up a 35 lb musky is a tough task. So, this drag force will help you a lot in getting the water monsters. This reel also has a great gear ratio too! The gear ratio of this reel is 5.4: 1.

It has 8+1 stainless steel bearings to make your fishing actions smoother. This reel has a corrosion resistance feature too! The kastking musky reel gives you convenience because it has a centrifugal braking system. If you have controls over the brake, you can use it properly. The kastking reel also has brass main and pinion gears. The shaft is made of stainless steel and it can provide the toughness you need easily.

What makes this reel stand out

  • Large capacity musky reel with the huge drag force
  • The maximum drag force of this is 35lbs
  • Made with high-quality building material
  • Tough reel for musky fishing
  • 5.4: 1 gear ratio for fishing
  • A great number of bearings 8+1
  • Pinion gear and main gear made with brass
  • Stainless steel shaft for increased durability


Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Musky Reel:


High-Profile vs Low-Profile Reels

There are two basic types of reels you’ll encounter in musky fishing: high-profile and low-profile. High-profile reels, often referred to as round reels, have a larger line capacity and are typically more durable. On the other hand, low-profile reels are more compact and ergonomic, offering a smoother casting experience. The choice between high-profile and low-profile largely depends on personal preference, but it’s essential to consider the gear ratio in this decision as well.

Line Inches Per Turn

Another critical factor to consider is the line inches per turn (IPT). IPT refers to the amount of line that the reel brings in for each turn of the handle. A higher IPT means you’ll be able to retrieve your line faster, which can be crucial when dealing with hard-pulling muskies. When choosing a reel, consider both the gear ratio and the IPT to ensure you can handle your chosen lures and fishing situations.

Durability: Built to Last

Muskies are known for their size and strength. They can put up quite a fight, which means your reel needs to be able to withstand the pressure. Look for reels that are built with high-quality materials and have a reputation for durability. A rugged, tough reel can make the difference between landing a trophy musky and telling a story about the one that got away.

Gear Ratio: Speed vs Power

The gear ratio of a reel determines how quickly you can retrieve your line. A higher gear ratio retrieves the line faster, but with less power. On the other hand, a lower gear ratio retrieves the line slower, but with more power. For musky fishing, a reel with a gear ratio in the range of 5:1 to 5.7:1 is typically ideal. In my experience, a gear ratio of around 5.1:1 to 6.4:1 works well for most musky fishing situations. 

Line Capacity: Room for the Run

Muskies are known for their long, powerful runs. This means you need a reel with a large line capacity. Look for a reel that can hold at least 140 yards of 80 lb. test line. This will ensure you have enough line to handle even the biggest musky.

Drag System: Control and Consistency

The drag system is what allows you to control the fish during the fight. A good drag system will provide smooth, consistent pressure that helps tire the fish without breaking the line. Look for a reel with a high-quality, reliable drag system.

Hand Orientation: Right or Left

Finally, consider the hand orientation of the reel. Most reels are available in both right-hand and left-hand models. Choose the one that feels most comfortable and natural to you.


Wrapping Up the Reel Deal

As we reel in the end of this comprehensive guide, I hope you’ve found the information enlightening and useful in your quest for the best musky reel. Remember, musky fishing is not just about the gear, but also about the thrill of the chase and the satisfaction of landing that elusive trophy.

Choosing the right musky reel can significantly enhance your fishing experience. Whether it’s the rugged durability of the Shimano Tranx TRX500PG, the versatile performance of the Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast T2 BST50, the balanced power of the Shimano Calcutta D CT400D, or the adaptability of the Daiwa LEXA-WN400PWR-P, each reel has its unique strengths to suit different fishing styles and needs.

But at the end of the day, the best musky reel is the one that feels right in your hands, matches your fishing style, and meets your specific needs. So, take your time, do your research, and don’t be afraid to get your hands wet (literally and figuratively) in the process.

Remember, fishing is as much about the journey as it is about the catch. So, gear up, get out there, and enjoy the thrill of musky fishing. Here’s to tight lines and trophy catches! Happy fishing, my fellow anglers!

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