September 22, 2018

Best Musky Reel For The Money – 2018 Reviews & Guides

best musky reel for the money reviews

When you have a stressful job, three kids at home and you are not a sports guy, where should you relax? You can always hit the gym, but I like to spend time in nature. Running in a park, you say? A park inside of the city is not the real nature for me.

Struggling with these questions, it hit me - I should start fishing. I love the water and I can sit there quietly for a whole day. Still, I am a competitive person, and I would like to be engaged in something where I can achieve admiring results.

That’s how I decided to catch big and aggressive fish, like musky for example. When you plan such an adventure, you must learn as much as you can about the fish to equip yourself with the best muskie reel. I see that process as paying respect to nature, if you go with a week reel and rod, it is disrespectful, there is no way you will catch fish of such strength.

Don’t embarrass yourself, buy the right equipment. My experience made me to frame this article for you.




Product Name



best musky reels abu garcia

Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast – High-quality with high price



best musky reels shimano corvalus


best musky reels ming yang

Ming Yang  CL60 Baitcast Fishing Reel – Solid and wallet-friendly



best musky reels shimano curado I series

Shimano Curado I Reels – Smooth and comfortable



best musky reels daiwa lexa

*Below, you’ll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

What Is A Musky Reel?

What Is A Musky Reel?

If you are interested in fishing, you probably already know what a fishing reel is. It is a cylindrical device, attached to a fishing rod, that is used for winding and unwinding the fishing line. Now, the musky reel is a piece of standard musky fishing equipment along with different release tools, rods, line, and leaders.

Musky reels are typically one of the following categories – baitcasting and spinning reels. Baitcasting will serve you right if you are dealing with heavy lures or tackle. They are often preferred over spinning reels when it comes to catching a musky. However, inexperienced anglers might have some difficulties using them, because exerting the right amount of inertia to move the spool, but not to create tangles requires some practice.

So, if you are a beginner, you should consider going with the spinning ones. They work the best if you want to catch small or medium size muskie fish. Spinning reel works by the weight of the bait, lure or tackle bringing out the fishing line.

How To Choose The Right Musky Reel?

I already told you about the type of the reel you should choose depending on your experience. However, there are still numerous details which are important if you want to get the musky reel for yourself. So, let’s go over them, one by one:

Line Capacity

Any line weight of under 25 pounds might break or fray. Average Muskie weighs between 15-36 pounds, so your reel should be at least 150 yards with at least 80-pound test line, don’t go beneath that.

Right Or Left-Handed

The majority of baitcasting reels are produced with the handle on the right side. Which means, you will have to switch the rod to the left-side after a right handed cast, and then use the right hand to crank the reel. However, left-handed reels are also available, and they are used even by right-handed anglers.

This way, a right-handed person can cast with their right hand while reeling in line with their left. This way you would avoid switching hands, which is great.

On the other hand, spinning reels work better with the ability to turn the handle from side to side, but people typically use their left hand. They need less power for the lighter lures that are common on spinning reels, so the less dominant hand is enough.

Gear Ratio

Gear ratio answers following question: how fast do you want to move your bait?

If you are going for a Musky, remember they are large, heavy and more aggressive. So, ideal gear ratio for this purpose is in the mid to lower end of the spectrum. This depends on your preference, but the best musky reels usually have gear ratios between 5.1:1 and 5.7:1.

Bearing Materials

Musky reels come with ball bearings or bushings, to increase their smoothness and reliability. They have their role in reducing the friction between moving parts, so they are typically made of stainless steel or ceramic.

Stainless steel bearings are the most common ones. They are durable and sturdy but still, might suffer from corrosion. This is a common problem if you fish in salt water.

Ceramic is lighter than stainless steel which reduces the reel weight and enhances the comfort and life expectancy. However, this also increases the price of the reel.

Whichever reel you choose, make sure to keep it oiled and lubricated.

Housing, Frames, And Spools

The reel housing is often made of aluminum or graphite. Aluminum housings are stronger, yet graphite is more corrosion-resistant.

Frames are made of the same materials as housings. Graphite ones are less expensive, but not as durable. Muskies often cause a lot of abuse to reels, so aluminum frames are a better option in the long run.

Spools are almost always made of aluminum, but their quality varies. Top of the class spools are produced from forged aluminum, which makes them lightweight and fast. Die-cast spools are cheaper but not as good for Musky fishing.

Top 5 Best Musky Reels Reviews On The Market 2018

I’ve been fishing for more than ten years now, so I have a thing or two to say. I will be guiding you today through the top five best musky reels, which you should consider buying before you go into a fight. Keep reading, and you will certainly learn a lot.

1. Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast – High-quality with high price

best musky reels abu garcia

Check Latest Price @ Amazon

If you ask any experienced fisherman, he would tell you to invest a little more money and go with Abu Garcia for the best results. The name of this model is Beast, so what more should I say? With seven stainless steel bearings plus the roller one, excellent power stack carbon matrix drag system, extended bent handle and ergonomic design, it is no surprise that people say it is the top of the class.

You can use this reel on both left and right hand, which is great because you don’t have to pay attention to this detail while buying. It has a nice, firm grip. The action is smooth, and it can cover a large area of water. It is incredibly powerful and durable at the same time. It can be used in saltwater too, but only if you clean it properly every time.

As I mentioned, you will pay for this model as you would for all of the other four combined. The anti-backlash system is useful but super touchy, and you can find it a little difficult to hold a constant casting pressure without a backlash even while using the same lure.

Things We Liked

  • It has a nice grip.
  • It is interchangeable.
  • It casts a mile and covers a lot of water.
  • It comes with three handle options.

Things We Didn't Like

  • The most expensive reel in this group.
  • The anti-backlash system is a bit touchy.
  • It lacks the free spool level wind feature.

2. Shimano Corvalus 300 Round Baitcasting Reel – Affordable and powerful

best musky reels shimano corvalus

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If you don’t want to pay too much, but you also don’t trust cheap reels, Shimano Corvalus 300 is the best choice for you. For the right amount of money, you will get a product with the die-cast aluminum frame, variable brake system for better spool control and cast distance and smooth three-bearing drive. Before the purchase, you should be aware that this reel is also made for right handed people.

This reel is not only affordable but smooth and fast at the same time. It will handle any big fish without a problem, and you won’t have to fight it too much. If you find clicker annoying, this one doesn’t click, and it has a rubber handle for a safer grip. Also, it’s approved for the use in salt water.

However, if you use it continuously, one-way roller bearing might loosen up a bit, which causes the handle to slip back and can create difficulties. It doesn’t cast as well as I expected it, so I would do some upgrades on it. The gap in the side plate might suck in your fishing line if you don’t pay much attention, so be careful.

Things We Liked

  • It is affordable.
  • It handles big fish without any problem.
  • It is made out of high-quality materials.
  • Its power is outstanding.

Things We Didn't Like

  • It doesn’t cast very well, probably needs upgrades.
  • One way roller bearing loosens up after continued use.
  • The gap in side plate might suck in your fishing line.

3. Ming Yang CL60 Baitcast Fishing Reel – Solid and wallet-friendly

best musky reels ming yang

Check Latest Price @ Amazon

At last, Ming Yang is the option that your bank account will appreciate. It is much cheaper than all of the others, but it doesn’t lack quality. If you buy this reel, you will be provided with anodized aluminum side plates, selective bait clicker and a one-way clutch for the anti-reverse bearing. This is the right handed version of this product, but the left handed one can be found for the same price.

Once you open the box, you will see that this reel is more than you expected. It is made out of high-quality materials which make it stable and durable. It is smooth and quiet while you are using it and it comes with a great power handle. It is not too heavy, so it won’t tire your hands if you decide to use it for a whole day.

Still, it is a bit smaller than you would expect and it offers less distance than others, which can be handled by a few simple improvements, but I like to have distance in a first place. The clicker might give you some troubles.

Things We Liked

  • The most affordable reel here.
  • It seems solid and well made.• Ideal for catfishing.
  • It is smooth and quiet.
  • It comes with an excellent power handle.

Things We Didn't Like

  • It might be a little smaller than you expect.
  • It offers a little less distance than others.
  • The clicker might give you some troubles.

4. Shimano Curado I Reels – Smooth and comfortable

best musky reels shimano curado I series

Check Latest Price @ Amazon

The first reel on my list is Shimano Curado I. You’ll have to spend few months saving your money to buy this product, made in Malaysia, but it will certainly pay off. If you want to catch both small and large fish, this reel will offer you high speed, power, line capacity and low profile. Spool and handle are corrosion-resistant and double-anodized.

What I liked about this model is his Mangumlite spool with a titanium line guide, which effortlessly provides unparalleled line control and long-distance casting. You don’t have to worry about it slipping out of your hands because it is made of non-slip materials for optimal grip in both wet and dry conditions. At last, it is comfortable enough to use it for several hours or a whole day.

On the other hand, like I said it is a bit expensive, so if you want to save some bucks better consider other options. Also, the thumb bar might be too tight for your hands, but this depends on personal preference. In my opinion, star drag is a little weaker than expected, so I recommend you to replace it with stronger parts.

Things We Liked

  • It gives a smooth cast and strong retrieve.
  • The Power Grip functions flawlessly.
  • Ideal for small and large fish.
  • It is comfortable enough for all day reeling.

Things We Didn't Like

  • It is a bit expensive.
  • The thumb bar might be too tight.

best musky reels daiwa lexa

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Dawai Lexa reel is affordable in comparison to others from this group. If you decide to purchase it, you will get a product made of aluminum, with seven bearing system built for smoothness while dealing with strong lines and big fish. This model also comes with an oversized Swept Handle with weight-reducing cutouts. This is a right-hand reel, but Daiwa also offers the left-hand ones.

This model might be a little larger than the ones you are used to, but it is not too heavy so you shouldn’t have any problem with it. The power hand is comfortable, while the whole reel is fast, and casting goes without any backlash which is nice for a change. Even if you decide to go with the Double 10 Cowgirl, it won’t get overwhelmed.

After continuous use, this reel starts to make unpleasant noise and aluminum starts to wear off. Also, some of my friends had various problems with the drag breaking, so you should be ready to replace it with something more sturdy after some time.

Things We Liked

  • It is sturdy but not too heavy.
  • It is a bit larger than the reels you are used to.
  • It doesn’t get overwhelmed quickly.
  • The power handle is comfortable.
  • It is fast, and it casts without a backlash.

Things We Didn't Like

  • The aluminum might wear off.
  • You might have some problems with the drag.
  • It is made in Korea.
  • It might make some uncomfortable noise.


Call me traditional, but I agree with the majority of experienced anglers - Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast is still the best. It has all of the right materials; you can switch it from hand to hand, it is comfortable and suitable for salt water. What more could one fisherman wish for?

Whichever you choose from the above of list of 5 best musky reels, you won’t regret it, but it might not be as durable as Abu Garcia. However, it will serve you right and help you fight some of the most magnificent muskies ever.

I wish you tons of fish and tight lines! Enjoy!

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Best Muskie Reel
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I'm Brenda. I have a great love with fishing and the wonderful fish species. I created the website - Fall For Fishing - as an outlet for my love of Fishing and I hope that you may find some enjoyment learning from my Fishing articles.

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