The 6 Best Anti Backlash Baitcast Reels For 2021

Kenneth ReavesEdited by: Kenneth Reaves
Michael DarmontReviewed by: Michael Darmont

Last Update:

The Rundown

Best Overall: Abu Garcia Black Max
“With a compact handle, recessed spool design, Power Disk Drag System, and MagTrax brake system, the Abu Garcia Black Max Low Profile is an excellent all-around baitcaster for all anglers.”

Best On A Budget: KastKing Royale Legend II
“Offering a significant number of features typically reserved for higher-priced fishing reels, the KastKing Royale Legend II is a great choice for anglers on a budget.”

Most Versatile: Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel
“Featuring a 5.3:1 gear ratio, 18 lb. carbon fiber drag and a low profile reel design, the Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel is the ideal option for anglers who employ the use of precision based techniques, but need necessary power to winch even the biggest fish.”

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While baitcasting reels are beloved by many, they are also prone to the occurrence of aggravating and time consuming backlash which is why many manufacturers have begun producing and marketing anti-backlash baitcasters.

Quality anti-backlash baitcasters utilize premium braking setups, robust drag systems, and ultra-smooth shielded ball bearing assemblies which present a reel with immense value, when in the hands of any baitcast fishing angler.

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Best Anti Backlash Baitcast Reels For 2021

Abu Garcia Black Max

Best Overall: A reel that fits the needs and budgets of nearly every angler

KEY FEATURES

  • MagTrax brake system makes greater control when casting possible
  • Single piece graphite frame minimizes operating weight
  • Power Disk Drag System allows you to fine tune drag adjustments at a moment’s notice

The Abu Garcia Black Max Low Profile baitcasting reel should be perfect for anglers that are seeking an excellent all-around baitcaster, especially when new to this particular genre of reel. The Black Max utilizes Abu Garcia’s MagTrax brake system in a bid to provide anglers with greater line control, and to minimize the occurrence of time consumptive backlash.

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The Black Max also features a compact handle and recessed spool design, which should be appealing to those that are tired of wrestling with older, more cumbersome baitcasters. In an attempt to further aid in ease of use, this reel also includes a Power Disk Drag System that allows the drag to be set in an instant, without ever removing your hand from its handle.

Anglers are also likely to be fond of the Abu Garcia Black Max’s lightweight construction. This reel utilizes a single piece graphite frame, as well as graphite side plate, to keep operational weight to a bare minimum, and to optimize angler comfort. This is of significant value, as most serious anglers will quickly discontinue the use of a particular reel, if it proves to be an uncomfortable fishing experience.

KastKing Royale Legend II

Best On A Budget: Expansive in features, but not in price

KEY FEATURES

  • Cross-Fire magnetic brake system offers 8 levels of adjustment
  • Quadruple disc carbon drag provides 17.6 pounds of easy to adjust resistance
  • Weighs only 7.2-pounds, and is compact in design

The KastKing Royale Legend II is engineered to include a significant number of features that are typically reserved for fishing reels found at a much higher price point. This reel uses a Cross-Fire braking system, which places 8 different levels of adjustment at an angler’s fingertips. This could be of substantial worth to those that use a wide variety of lures, and need to tailor their reel’s braking to the situation at hand.

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Also of note, the Royale Legend II’s compact and lightweight design. Weighing in at only 7.2 ounces, using this reel will likely be comfortable, even during long outings. The Royale Legend II also offers 17.6 pounds of total drag adjustment to assist anglers when the time comes to fight a sizable striped bass or musky to the boat’s edge.

The KastKing Royale Legend II is offered in two different gear ratios, 5.4:1 and 7.2:1. This affords anglers the opportunity to select a reel that best suits their preferred style of fishing, and meets the needs of those who utilize specialty tactics in order to find success.

Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel

Most Versatile: Equal parts precision and power

KEY FEATURES

  • 18 lb. carbon fiber drag to handle the big game you are after
  • Low profile reel design for enhanced comfort
  • 5.3:1 gear ratio for ultimate versatility

The Piscifun Torrent should be the ideal option for anglers who employ the use of precision based techniques, yet demand the necessary power to winch even the biggest of fish from the depths below. This range of versatility is made possible through the reel’s use of a 5.3:1 gear ratio, which provides a subtle enough retrieval speed for tactics such as slow rolling, while also providing a substantial amount of torque.

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This reel also features one of the heaviest-duty drag systems of any reel on this list. The Piscifun Torrent utilizes an 18-pound carbon fiber drag system to provide substantial line control, even when tasked with fighting the most sizable of fish. This attribute should be well received by those who regularly pursue striped bass, catfish, carp, and musky.

The Piscifun Torrent is also built to last, and utilizes numerous high-quality components that are typically reserved for use in some of the industry’s most expensive baitcasters. This reel features shielded stainless steel ball bearings, CNC machines brass gears, and an ultra-durable carbon fiber frame.

KastKing Spartacus

Smoothest Retrieve: Old school looks, meet new age innovation

KEY FEATURES

  • Shielded 11 + 1 corrosion resistant ball bearings for ultra-smooth operation
  • Micro-cast dual magnetic and centrifugal brake for well regulated line dispersal
  • Stylish cork handles for retro look and enhanced grip

The KastKing Spartacus should make the perfect baitcasting reel for those who prefer a reel that operates in a seamless fashion, and looks stunning in the process. This reel features next level functionality, thanks to a state of the art drag system and well-designed bearing arrangement, while also looking aesthetically pleasing thanks to the use of retro-style cork grips.

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High atop the KastKing Spartacus’ list of notable features is its superior, shielded 11 + 1 corrosion resistant ball bearing system. This system should provide the Spartacus with ultra smooth operation, during both casting and retrieval. Bass anglers who spend the bulk of their time covering water at a rapid pace, should find significant favor in this level of precise operation.

The KastKing Spartacus also features a highly versatile 6.3: 1 gear ratio, which is ideal for a wide variety of techniques, tactics and presentations. This “middle ground” ratio should be fast enough for crankbait and buzzbait use, while still moderate enough in speed for use when employing any number of finesse style tactics.

Shimano CURADO

Best High End Reel: A high-tech solution to all of your backlash woes

KEY FEATURES

  • Digital Control brake system for fully automated brake system adjustment
  • XShip gear train system for maximum durability
  • Cross Carbon Drag System for enhanced fighting power

The Shimano Curado should be the perfect reel for any angler who has all but given up on baitcaster use, because of continual problems with backlash. This reel relegates backlash to the past, and takes all guesswork out of brake system operation. The Shimano Curado features a Digital Control brake system, which utilizes a microprocessor to monitor spool speed, and self-adjust all brake settings without angler input.

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Many anglers are also likely to appreciate the Curado’s XShip gear train format. This system features additional pinion gear bearings to remove excess play from the reel’s gear train, avoiding component shift, even under the heaviest of loads. This substantially reduces wear and should provide an unparalleled degree of durability.

The Shimano Curado also features a Cross Carbon drag system, which is known for its extreme power and excellent performance attributes. This drag system operates smoothly throughout its functional range, even under the heaviest of possible loads. This feature should find favor among anglers who routinely seek out the largest fish on any given body of water.

KastKing Kapstan Elite

Best Casting: The range you need to reach the spots other cannot

KEY FEATURES

  • Class-leading line capacity for improved casting range
  • Triple disc carbon drag for unparralled fighting power
  • 8+1 ball bearing construction for ultra-smooth operation

If you have grown tired of baitcasters with relatively reserved line capacities, and wish to hit your mark from a distance, then the KastKing Kapstan Elite should be exactly what you have been looking for. This reel features a first in class line capacity of 230 yards, when spooled with 14 pound test monofilament. This is a substantial improvement over many baitcasters currently available.

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The KastKing Kapstan Elite also features one of the most robust drag systems currently available in any baitcaster on the market. This triple disc carbon drag system delivers over 35-pounds of stopping power, which should make it ideal for taking on trophy caliber fish, no matter how persistent the fight. This drag system is also built to dissipate heat, as a means of maximizing durability.

Many anglers will also likely find favor in the KastKing Kapstan Elite’s 8+1 ball bearing system. These stainless steel ball bearings are designed with uniformity in mind, and should provide ultra-smooth operation, even when under a significant load.


What To Look For When Buying Anti-Backlash Baitcast Reels

Brand

Take a Company’s past history into consideration when considering which reel is right for you.

A baitcasting reel of any type is a precision piece of equipment. Therefore quality is a must. This places extreme importance on locating a reel from a reputable company. In an attempt to do so, it is always advisable to only purchase reels from a company with an extensive history of quality.

Braking system

A baitcaster’s brake system is its single most significant line of defense against backlash.

A baitcaster’s braking system meters spool speed in order to keep backlash at bay. Reels that are lacking in this department can quickly become a headache to deal with, and can detract from your enjoyment when on the water,

Speed

A baitcaster’s speed plays a key role in determining its value in a particular situation.

The speed at which a baitcaster operates is a product of its gear ratio. A baitcaster’s gear ratio describes the amount of line which is retrieved with every subsequent revolution of its handle. The higher a reel’s gear ratio, the faster its rate of line retrieval.

Bearings

A reel is no better than its bearing system’s ability to provide smooth, seamless operation.

All baitcasting reels rely upon a series of ball bearings to facilitate their rotational movement. In order to operate at an optimum level, a reel should feature a respectable number of ball bearings, all of which should be uniform in their design and configuration.

Frame

Without a rigid frame, a reel is of little to no use, and will be forced out of service far sooner than an angler might have hoped.

A reel’s frame serves as its base, with all other unit components building upon it. If a reel’s frame were to fail, your day on the water would be over. Therefore, it is highly advisable to only purchase those reels which feature a rigid, corrosion resistant frame, that is capable of withstanding years of rigorous use.


Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Anti Backlash Baitcast Reels

Advantages: 

  • Suitable for Heavier Lines: The use of an anti-backlash baitcaster allows you to use heavier line than what might have otherwise been possible. When using standard baitcasters, difficulty with backlash tends to increase exponentially with the use of heavier line.
  • Less Line Twist: Anti-backlash baitcasters have a natural tendency to display less line twist, than that of a standard baitcaster. This promotes a higher degree of line control, and greatly improved casting distances.
  • Offer Better Control: Anti-backlash baitcasters offer a significantly increased degree of line control, than that showcased by standard baitcasters. This comes as a byproduct of highly advanced braking systems, which more accurately meter a reel’s spool speed, to its line speed.

Disadvantages:

  • Require Practice: Although an anti-backlash baitcaster tends to be simpler to master than a standard baitcaster, ample practice is still highly advised, There is a significant learning curve that must be overcome, when first venturing into the world of baitcaster use, no matter the particular type of baitcaster that is chosen.
  • Heavy and Bulky: Anti-backlash baitcasters tend to be heavier than their standard duty counterparts. This stems from the additional brake hardware that is affixed to these reels, in a bid to keep backlash at bay. Because of this, hand and arm fatigue can become an issue during long days on the water.

Questions & Answers

What’s an Anti Backlash Baitcast Reel and What is it Usually Used For?

Anti-backlash baitcasters are a type of baitcaster that is less prone to line entanglement than the vast majority of other reels within this category. These reels typically feature premium braking systems, which are highly adjustable, and provide a much higher degree of line control. Anti-backlash baitcasters are an excellent option for any angler who has limited experience with a standard baitcaster.

An anti-backlash baitcaster is used to provide an angler with far better control over his or her casts, then would otherwise be possible with the use of a standard baitcaster. This is of immense value, as an angler is better able to put power behind their casts, without fear of spending an hour picking apart a birds nest. In many instances, this can actually increase an angler’s effective casting range, thereby adding to such a reel’s versatility and list of practical uses.

How Do You Stop Backlash On A Baitcaster?

When using a baitcaster, you can prevent backlash by controlling line distribution with light thumb pressure. When casting, simply keep a slight amount of pressure against the reel’s fishing line, as it departs from the spool. This provides an enhanced degree of line control, and allows you to stop the spool’s rotation at a moment’s notice, if line speed slows and backlash appears imminent. This method of line control serves as a failsafe of sorts, keeping backlash at bay even in less than ideal circumstances.

Additionally, it is paramount to have your reel’s braking system set properly, as this prevents the reel’s spool from revolving at a faster rate than line can be expelled. As a result, lines and spool speed are harmonized, drastically reducing the chance of backlash. When first purchasing a new reel, it can take a period of time to familiarize yourself with its braking system. Therefore, ample practice is advised.

What Causes a Reel to Backlash?

Backlash typically occurs when a baitcaster’s spool begins to spin at a faster rate than that of the line which is being cast. When this occurs, an extensive amount of slack line is produced in a matter of seconds. Because this line is slack in nature, it has nowhere to, and begins to tangle upon itself. In many instances, backlash can be severe enough that line replacement is warranted. This can be immensely aggraving, and extremely time consuming to deal with.

Certain conditions can increase the likelihood of backlash. One of the most common of these conditions is that which presents itself when a cast is stopped abruptly, such as when a cast strikes a tree or any other solid object. A severely misadjusted braking system can also increase the likelihood of backlash, as a reel’s spool tension is not in harmony with the line which is being dispersed.