Fishing Reels

Best Musky Reels: 11 Newest Superstars Revealed! [July 2021]

Here we’ve thoroughly reviewed the best musky reels so you can easily make the right buying decision.

Getting ready to catch some hard-fighting toothy predators like musky with the best musky reel? You can be a newbie, regular or a seasonal musky angler, but that doesn’t matter because even the most experienced anglers often admit that they are still continuously learning about muskie fishing.

Due to the size and power of the muskellunge, and the strain of the lures, muskie fishing is unlike any other type of freshwater fishing. You need specialized tackle, starting from the rod to the lures and everything in between. In fact, your reels could make a huge difference here.

True anglers know that reels are at the heart of the freshwater fishing game. However, not all fishing reels are created equal. To help you up your game, we reviewed a number of musky fishing reels and prepared a top 11 list based on our findings.

Top Musky Reels : Comparison Chart

Pick NameThumbnailProduct NamePrice
1stSHIMANO Calcutta Fishing ReelSHIMANO Calcutta Fishing ReelCheck Price
2ndDaiwa Lexa LEXA300HS-PDaiwa Lexa LEXA300HS-PCheck Price
3rdSHIMANO TRANXSHIMANO TRANXCheck Price
4thAbu Garcia Revo Toro Beast Low ProfileAbu Garcia Revo Toro Beast Low ProfileCheck Price
5thKastKing Kapstan Elite Size 300 Baitcasting Fishing ReelKastKing Kapstan Elite Size 300 Baitcasting Fishing ReelCheck Price
6thOkuma Coldwater 350 Low Profile Linecounter ReelOkuma Coldwater 350 Low Profile Linecounter ReelCheck Price
7thKastKing Rover Round Baitcasting ReelKastKing Rover Round Baitcasting ReelCheck Price
8thPENN Slammer III SpinningPENN Slammer III SpinningCheck Price
9thDaiwa BG Spinning ReelDaiwa BG Spinning ReelCheck Price
10thAbu Garcia Revo Toro Beast T2 Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing ReelAbu Garcia Revo Toro Beast T2 Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing ReelCheck Price
11thAbu Garcia Ambassadeur SX Baitcast Fishing ReelAbu Garcia Ambassadeur SX Baitcast Fishing ReelCheck Price

Our Top 11 Best Musky Reels Review

SHIMANO Calcutta Fishing Reel (Editor Choice)

SHIMANO Calcutta Fishing Reel

The SHIMANO Calcutta is one of the most celebrated baitcasting reels in the fishing community for catching large muskies. Featuring A-grade materials and finely tuned mechanics, it has everything you could ask for on your fishing expeditions!

The first thing you will notice is SHIMANO’s classic round shape for its Calcutta fishing reel. The frame and the side plate are made of super-strong, ultralight forged aluminum that gives you a premium and sleek feel. Just by the look you can tell that it will offer you lifelong rigidity.

Another exciting aspect is the variable braking system – it helped us control our cast effectively since the VBS uses centrifugal force instead of a magnetic force. As you know, magnetic brakes don’t offer the minute adjustments and casting freedom as their centrifugal counterparts.

The instant hook setting power is another amazing feature because this eliminates back-play of the reel. Also, you can adjust the drag as per your needs when pulling the fish.

Make no mistake about it, these baitcasting reels are larger than other reels fit to catch this freshwater game fish. But we were quite comfortable with that size and not to mention that it worked great both in freshwater and saltwater.

We would also like to talk about how easy it was to disassemble the reel. We just unscrewed the three screws at the top and the side plate came off instantly. Who would want to spend hours disassembling their reels after a long day fishing?

On top of that, this model uses a centrifugal force that’s more effective for hard casting than the magnetic force used by our second choice –  LEXA 300HS. The designers of this reel really thought about the convenience of both right-and left-handed people while LEXA 300HS is more comfortable for right-handers.

SHIMANO Calcutta is one of the top musky reels on our list – a  proof that other users also loved its liquid-smooth performance and classic appearance just like us.

Specifications

  • Max. drag: 9.5-16.5 lbs
  • Ball Bearings: 3
  • Retrieve per crank range (in): 23-28
  • Family type: Round-profile
  • Material: Aluminum

Pros

  • Strong and durable
  • Works both in saltwater and freshwater
  • Good build quality
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Star drag could be improved

Our Take

SHIMANO Calcutta is packed with all of the remarkable features that the best musky reel should have – strength, durability, a good drag, loud clicker for trolling, and great pricing; making it the best in this category. You will surely enjoy its timeless appearance and fluid operation. Once you give it a try, it will become your best friend for musky hunting!

Daiwa Lexa LEXA300HS-P

Daiwa Lexa LEXA300HS-P

When you think of a heavy-weight reel to improve your fishing game, you can think of DAIWA LEXA300HS. It deserves to be on every musky fishermen’s shortlist.

No one can beat this ultimate tough baitcaster that can handle all the major fighter fish species because of its aluminum open access frame and ergonomic build. What’s more, it has an excellent drag system to assist you in any environment.

The brilliantly configured power handle gives you a rugged reel. The gear ratio is impressive since there are three diverse ratios – High Speed 7.1:1, Standard Speed 6.3:1, and High Power 5.1:1. You can modify the retrieve rate and strength according to your requirements.

When it comes to casting, it casts farther than many of its counterparts. As if that’s not enough, its low profile setting provided rest to our lower thumb compared to the other reels. Despite the fact that this one had more drag than our first choice, there was still room for improvement.

When testing, we found the handle pretty comfortable and the custom EVA handle knobs helped us in troublesome circumstances. Daiwa Lexa 300 actually had higher ratings on e-stores at the time of our research than our top choice. That means it’s so popular in the musky fishing community.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 5.9 x 3.2 x 5.9 inches
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Max. drag: 22 lbs
  • Gear ratio: 7:4:1
  • Line per handle turn: 33.7 inches
  • Weight: 12.3 Oz.

Pros

  • Incredibly smooth
  • Good cast control
  • Perfect for larger lures
  • Powerful

Cons

  • Less suitable for small baits

Our Take

LEXA 300HS is one of the top-rated reels for angling enthusiasts. It might be on the costly side, but it has the ultimate strength and extra line capacity to hunt such a top of the food chain fish. We can assure you of its premium quality based on our own experience. Try it out and thank us later!

SHIMANO TRANX

SHIMANO TRANX

Leading the versatile baitcasting category, this water resistant reel is a favorite of many musky lovers. If you prefer an ergonomically designed reel with ironclad performance then the SHIMANO Tranx is for you.

Let’s begin with the fact that you can tackle any category of fish in both saltwater and freshwater with this fishing tackle. You may wonder-  would it be good enough for your musky angling since it catches all types of fish?

Well, SHIMANO TRANX is manufactured with the X-ship and HEG technology that makes the Tranx ideal to capture hard-fighting game like muskies.

Here’s the interesting part, its core protection water-resistant technology makes your reel extremely durable in harsh environments. What’s more, the hagane build guarantees you a bulletproof performance.

It incorporates the cross carbon drag to tolerate the high amount of drag you face when fishing big game. There is also a precision aluminum S3D spool that helped us get liquid-smooth spooling even when the load was maximum. We noticed that it cast and retrieved effortlessly when catching heavier baits.

In contrast to other choices like LEXA 300HS and SHIMANO Calcutta that specialize in catching large fish only, the Shimano Tranx has proven itself to be more versatile.

Specifications

  • Bearing: 3 + 1
  • Type: Low profile
  • Models: 4
  • Max drag: 22 lbs
  • Gear ratio: 5:8:1
  • Weight: 11.06 oz

Pros

  • Excellent drag system
  • Works in both freshwater and saltwater
  • Captures any fish size
  • Water-resistant technology
  • Durable

Cons

  • Relatively expensive

Our Take

Based on our positive experience, we recommend SHIMANO Tranx as a multi-purpose reel packed with a goldmine of features. This could be a splendid option if you are planning to catch other fish along with the musky.

Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast Low Profile

Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast Low Profile

Toro Beast is an excellent companion of any serious musky hunter. This angling instrument offers you the perfect blend of a slow gear ratio, high line capacity, and robust build.

Made from the X2-craftic alloy, its frame and side plate are solid and corrosion-resistant. This build quality gave us a convenient feel and it balanced well on our baitcasting rod when we last put it into test.

Another thing  to notice is the reel’s 4:9:1 gear ratio that helped our anglers gradually maneuver the fish from the water more effectively. Adding to that, the main gear of the reel is developed from brass, which helps you get a smooth retrieve every single time.

Considering the online ratings, Toro Beast didn’t stand too tall as other other baitcasting reels. Though that doesn’t mean other users were not keen on this. As a matter of fact, it received high recognition from users who used it for a long time.

Unfortunately, this one requires a bit of your time and patience for disassembly. But this is overall a great value for money product.

Specifications

  • Retrieve ratio: 4:9:1
  • Weight: 13.4 oz
  • Spool Weight: 31 g
  • Max. Drag: 25 lbs
  • Handle length: 110 mm

Pros

  • Adjustable centrifugal & magnetic braking system
  • Slower gear ratio
  • Durable
  • High line capacity

Cons

  • Disassembly is time-consuming

Our Take

Toro Beast is the perfect reel for sale to catch the stealthy muskies. In terms of functionality, it exceeded all our expectations. Overall, this is a decent buy at a decent price.

KastKing Kapstan Elite Size 300 Baitcasting Fishing Reel

KastKing Kapstan Elite Size 300 Baitcasting Fishing Reel

With their motto “Affordable Innovation” KastKing guarantees all the needed traits in Kapstan Elite to let you catch giant muskies in tough fishing conditions.

This is the ideal go-to baitcasting reel for both novice and seasoned fishermen. Not only does it have a comfortable low-profile design, but it also features a high line capacity and an effortless drag system.

Engineered as tournament-ready, this tackle has a large frame that allows for longer casting. You will find it excellent for inshore saltwater angling.

KastKing Kapstan Elite reduces the noise during your angling time with its MaxiDur double-shielded, stainless-steel ball bearings (8+1). This is why our experience with the Kastking Kapstan was extremely fluid and its performance was reliable at all times.

The triple-disc carbon drag system offers you a splendid drag and is available for retrieve by both left-and right-handed users. We were impressed with its 5:4:1 gear ratio that gave us great power and torque when catching an enormous fish.

It’s one of the highest rated musky reels on top eStores that means other anglers were amazed by its price and blend of features just like us and considered it a great fishing companion for the money.

Specifications

  • Weight: 10.9 ounces
  • Gear ratio: 5:4:1
  • Frame: Graphite
  • Max. drag: 35 lbs
  • Mono-line capacity (lbs/ yds): 14/230

Pros

  • Effective gear system
  • Long-distance casting
  • Cost-effective
  • Low-noise
  • Ultra-smooth
  • Very reliable

Cons

  • Smaller reel size

Our Take

It is great to see more and more reel designers are introducing dual-handed bait caster reels like this one. Any avid angler will love this tool and we can assure you that you will not be disappointed with this purchase.

Okuma Coldwater 350 Low Profile Linecounter Reel

Okuma Coldwater 350 Low Profile Linecounter Reel

If you are looking for a lightweight reel that can be utilized as both a casting and a trolling reel then try the Coldwater 350 by Okuma.

Known for its high resilience and mild weight this angling gear is made of a die-cast aluminum frame. Besides that, its compact body can make your angling moments less stressful.

We want our fishing gear rust-and stain-resistant, and Okuma Coldwater 350  doesn’t disappoint us in this regard with its corrosion-resistant stainless steel ball-bearings. You won’t have to give much attention to its care and maintenance because of this wonderful feature.

This model features the multi-disc carbonite drag system that ensures trouble-free angling. The ball bearing system has four balls, more than any of its counterparts.

There’s more, it comes with a machined aluminum spool to prevent damage caused by frictions of the line and the spool.

Having said that, it is better to use the Coldwater 350 only in freshwater to make the most of it.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 7x 6 x 3 inches
  • Max. drag: 25 pounds
  • Gear ratio: 5: 4: 1
  • Ball bearings: 3BB + 1 RB stainless steel

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Durable
  • Perfect fit in hand

Cons

  • Less suitable for saltwater

Our Take

Well-built and intuitive- nothing can go wrong with this reel, especially for angling in freshwater. We can say this is one of the best line counter reels with a user-friendly body and an impressive drag system.

KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel

KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel

You can consider the Kastking Rover if you’re looking for the perfect versatile weapon offering all the essential baitcasting properties under $100.

When you hear the word “bulletproof” you can imagine how solid its reinforced anodized aluminum structure is. It is so well-structured that its non-slip handles keep the reel fit in your hand for all-day fishing.

That’s not all, it has an incredible carbon fiber drag system that doesn’t break when you’re catching big fish and offers up to 30 lbs drag, which is more than other reels in this price range. It comes with premium quality stainless steel bearings with ball bearings in diverse sizes.

This reel can be used for techniques like trolling and bottom angling that gives it versatility. There are also added features, such as the line out clicker arm, accessible thumb bar spool, and many more. Nevertheless, this is not preferred for novice anglers.

Specifications

  • Ball bearings: 4+1 on size (70-90)
  • Gear ratio: 4:2:1
  • Weight: 19.0 oz
  • Max. drag: 15-30 lbs
  • Line cap (lb/yds): 16/430, 25/260

Pros

  • Low-cost
  • Versatile
  • Suitable for both freshwater & saltwater
  • Bulletproof structure
  • Powerful
  • Non-slip handles

Cons

  • Not suitable for amateurs

Our Take

Being of the low-cost range, this angling tool offers a myriad of features so you don’t have to give up when the bit gets too tough. This is simply one of the best deals out there.

PENN Slammer III Spinning

PENN Slammer III Spinning

Here comes a full metal spinning reel that bears the splashes of saltwater fishing like a hero. The CNC gear technology used in its manufacturing gives it a superb cranking power.

The convenient drag system – also known as Sealed Slammer – is particularly useful when your reel gets dropped into the sand. You won’t have to disassemble the whole thing when the Sealed Slammer system backs up your reel. Additionally, the IPX6 waterproof rating protects the reel from the inevitable sprays and splashes. The gearbox is sealed to keep saltwater and sand from damaging it.

PENN Slammer lll also features a special Dura-Drag system based on the same material used in the transmission of racing cars. We noticed that this helped the reel endure the monster musky’s pull quite easily. Combining the CNC gear technology with the Dura-Drag system, we achieved a superb control to catch the massive fish. Unfortunately, this reel was heavier than other spinning reels on the market.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 6 x 4 x 4 inches
  • Max. drag: 30-60 lbs
  • Line retrieve: 40 in.
  • Weight: 14.7 oz.
  • Bearings: 6+1
  • Gear ratio: 6:2:1

Pros

  • Water-resistant
  • Heavy duty
  • Extreme durability
  • Heavy drag
  • Perfect for saltwater

Cons

  • Relatively heavy

Our Take

Overall, the Slammer lll is a feature-rich choice that gives you a pleasing angling opportunity. It’s manufactured with precision to give you essential design elements for superior performance. If your reel often gets dunked into water or drops in the sand then we definitely recommend this PENN product.

Daiwa BG Spinning Reel

Daiwa BG Spinning Reel

An industry-leading spinning reel packed with endless features, Daiwa BG ensures increased torque with an extended gear life.

Durable and convenient, this reel has a black anodized machined aluminum housing and a screw-in handle setting. This arrangement helps prevent unnecessary movement between the handle and the main gear.

Daiwa BG features a Digigear system that uses oversized gears to provide you with trouble-free retrieving. What happens here is that large gears have more contact points for gear-tooth, giving your reel increased torque and power as a result. Also, this does not put much stress on the gear that makes it long-lasting.

The weight of the air rotor feels more balanced throughout the reel as it is 15% less than ordinary rotors. This provides a dynamic cut aluminum ABS spool, which lays line pretty well to give you fewer loops and wind knots.

In addition, it eliminates back play with the infinite Anti-Reverse system. Not to mention its carbon ATD drag system that helps you get effortless drag. However, it’s not so waterproof as the Slammer III, so you should be cautious.

Specifications

  • Gear ratio: 5 : 6 : 1
  • Max. drag: 15.4 lbs
  • Bearings: 6BB+ 1RB
  • Line per handle: 37.4 inches
  • Weight: 10.8 oz.

Pros

  • Sleek performance
  • Efficient drag system
  • Long-lasting
  • Larger gears
  • Robust construction

Cons

  • Less water-resistance
  • Heavier

Our Take

During our testing session, we noticed that its quality was way better than many other similar reels. Plus, thanks to the combination of the carbon ATD drag system, oversized gears, and solid structure – you will definitely feel like you’ve got more than what you’ve paid for once you give it a try.

Best Musky Reels Under 100 USD

Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast T2 Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel

Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast T2 Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel

If the price tag isn’t a major factor to you and you are inclined towards incredible quality then take a look at this beast from Abu Gracia.

Engineered to tackle any monster fish species, this is a low-profile baitcasting reel that gives you power during your musky fishing trips. It has the Infinimax braking system that offers you limitless adjustability features.

The rock-solid bearing system is what sets it apart from its competitors. Made of stainless steel, the bearing system has seven HPCR bearings and one roller bearing for ultra-smooth operation.

Other than that, we liked its carbon matrix drag system that made it convenient to use. The Revo Toro T2 series has the X-Craftic alloy frame that many Abu Gracia reels have.

This is a top-rated product but the price range is too high compared to its competitors. But we all know quality comes at a price, isn’t it?

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 7.9x 5.9 x 7.9 inches
  • Gear ratio: 6: 2: 1
  • Retrieve rate: 34
  • Bearings: 8
  • Max. drag: 25 lbs
  • Weight: 13.83 oz.

Pros

  • Extreme durability
  • High-end quality
  • Smooth reeling
  • Heavy-duty drag

Cons

  • Relatively costly

Our Take

Abu Garcia Revo Toro makes no compromise on quality and is worth all the extra penny. You should not be economical in buying fishing tackle if you really want to ensure that your musky fishing experience is memorable. Give it a try and see how the magic happens!

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur SX Baitcast Fishing Reel

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur SX Baitcast Fishing Reel

If you want to get a well-configured and durable baitcasting tool without spending a fortune then this is your best bet.

Ambassadeur SX has a multi-disc drag system that gives you an unbeatable performance when angling the elusive musky.

We liked its ergonomically designed bent handle that gave us better control during the whole fishing session. Another wonderful thing was the 6-pin centrifugal brake system that gave us a thorough brake pressure when we were casting.

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur SX comes with a synchronized level wind system to boost the line and casting for your reel. But the bait clicker was hard to engage as well as disengage because it was stiff.

In terms of pricing, it is affordable for all. The overall performance was satisfactory, hence the reason to place it on our shortlist.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 8 x 6 x 3 inches
  • Weight: 12 oz.
  • Ball bearings: 3 stainless steel BB + 1 RB
  • Max. drag: 12.5 lbs
  • Gear ratio: 5:3:1

Pros

  • Ergonomic framework
  • Quality components
  • Suitable for freshwater
  • Affordable
  • Durable

Cons

  • Relatively heavy
  • Less efficient bait alarm/clicker

Our Take

Cost-effective and suitable for tough circumstances, the Ambassadeur SX is a quality anglers equipment. Though lacking in a few perks that its competitors already have, this is a great choice for those looking for a standard upgrade to their stock equipment.

Best Musky Reels – A Comprehensive Buying Guide

Best Musky Reels - A Comprehensive Buying Guide

When it comes to choosing a fishing reel for catching muskies, so many things need to be considered. You should focus on the size of the spool, gear ratio, line volume, line capacity, frame material, drag, weight and a number of other related features. In the following section, let’s elaborate some key points:

1. Durability

For angling massive lures like muskies, you will need your reel strong enough to withstand heavyweights. Otherwise, there is a chance that your reel will break down when you tussle with the fish. Stainless steel and aluminum reels can handle large baits and help shield your fishing equipment from rust and corrosion.

A reel has several elements like housing, frame, and spool. The material and the size of these elements determine the quality of your reel. For the housing, high-quality reels use aluminum or graphite because aluminum frames can help you deal with muskies.

2. Left-or Right-Handed?

The side of the crank you will want to fish with will depend on whether you are left-handed or right-handed. Typically, lefties like the crank of the reel on the left side and vice versa. Nonetheless, the sides vary from person to person.

If you are not certain which side is dominant in your case, select a model that has both options like SHIMANO Calcutta or one built for ambidextrous people.

3. Musky Reel Types

 In general, there are two types of musky reel – baitcasting and spinning. Both have their applications depending on various mechanisms.

a) Baitcasting Reels

When tackling muskies or such type of huge fish, baitcasting reels are recommended since they can tolerate heavyweights. If you are a newbie, avoid these because they require some technical know-hows of controlling the inertia to move the spool. If the spool moves more than it should then this will result in tangles. Anglers usually prefer baitcasting reels over the spinning reels.

b) Spinning Reels

Spinning reels are also known as open-face reel among anglers. If you are a newbie then you will love this reel because they are easy to maneuver and don’t have the learning curve like the baitcasting reel.

When the weight of a bait pulls, the reel brings out the angling line. This type of reel has a smaller spool than that of the baitcasting reel and it isn’t suitable for dealing with a large diameter line.

Versatile in nature, you can use them for all types of angling whether you like casting, trolling, drifting, bobber or jigging. They are a good combination of quality, cost, and user-friendliness.

4. Gear & Bearing Material

Gear & Bearing Material

Bearings help reduce frictions between moving parts for a fluid performance. Both spinning and baitcasting reels have ball bearings or bushings. So, the bearing material determines the speed of your reel.

Bearings are made of stainless steel or ceramic. Stainless steel bearings are generally used in reels for their solidity and durability. Ceramic bearings are lighter than stainless steel bearings so they are used to develop lighter reels. They are less exposed to corrosion or wear as well. However, ceramic bearings make the reel expensive because their manufacturing costs are high.

Most gears are formed from brass materials though brass isn’t as durable as stainless steel. You can buy reels with lesser durable gears because gears are not utilized as much as the bearings.

Needless to say, the bearing material of your reel makes a huge difference in the outcomes.

5. Line Capacity

Imagine your reel line running out just when you were about to land a gigantic musky. The whole trip will be ruined that day. That’s why it is important for your reel to have a decent line capacity. For optimal fishing, your reel should have at least 140 yards of 80 lb test line.

6. Gear Ratio

Do you want more speed from your reel or do you want a slow retrieve? Gear ratio shows the number of times the reel rotates with the handle rotation. Select the gear ratio according to your angling situation.

If you are a newbie, get a reel with a slow-to mid-range gear ratio since you will have more control. Higher gear ratios are too fast to catch huge pikes as they need more precision than speed. The ideal gear ratio for musky fishing is 5:1- 5.7:1.

7. Frame

Frames are essential for this type of fishing because muskies really tend to put pressure on the reels. You will find aluminum or graphite framed reels on the market. Though the aluminum ones are costly, they are longer-lasting and stronger than graphite frames.

You will also find graphite frames in cheaper models under 100 USD. They are good for rookie fishermen and those not looking for a long-term option.

8. Drag

The maximum resistance felt by the fish when hooked is known as the drag power. The drag system acts as a brake on the spool by allowing different pressure levels to be applied to it. When your spinning rod is pulling the fish, the drag helps you land your catch without breaking the rod.

Drag can be two types – front drag and rear drag.  You can adjust the front drag on the spool and in case of a rear drag you will find it on the back of the reel. You will be able to determine the optimal drag power through practice and learn to adjust the settings when angling.

9. Spool

Spool

Premium quality spools usually are manufactured with forged aluminum since they tend to be lightweight and move much more efficiently. Lower priced spools are made from die-cast where the molten aluminum is put into a casting mold. Get a greater quality spool because you’ll really need it for musky angling.

10. Line Retrieve Per Crank

In order to determine line retrieve per crank on your own, first cast your lure into a shorter distance and mark the exact spot. After that, turn the handle to one full turn and then mark that spot. Finally, measure the distance between those marks and you will get your line retrieve per crank. It is better to keep the level of line full and replace it when it is low on a spool.

11. Line Weight

The line weight shows the amount of force that can be applied on the line before it breaks. Muskies have greater strength and speed so you will need a line that can handle that. A line that can withhold at least 80 pounds will be decent to catch muskies. You need a tough line because the fish itself might not be heavy but when you are tackling it, it will exert force on the line of your reel.

12. Easy to Handle

Your musky reel should fit perfectly and comfortably on your hand because you have to spend hours with it. Any avid angler considers fishing as an enjoyable sport and as a stress buster. The best musky reel that’s light and easy to operate will give you a relaxing angling time. On the other hand, a complicated reel will be time-consuming to handle and a waste of your money.

13. Warranty

Many angling reel models come with warranties that can cover manufacturing damages for a year or more. For example, Shimano gives you a one-year warranty that covers any damage that occurred for the nonconformity of material or workmanship. In spite of the fact that most reels provide similar guarantees, they don’t cover normal wear or tear, harmed by accidents, misuse, modification or failure to care.

14. Budget

At the end of the day, your budget decides which model you can really afford. Fishing equipment are generally pricey and require a lot of research before your purchase. Reels can cost you between $150 to $400.

Remember that a low-cost reel; i.e., under 200 USD could cost you in the long run due to being fragile. On the other hand, an excellent reel made of strong materials like aluminum will give you years of service.

How to Target a Musky?

A musky is a large, stealthy fish with very sharp teeth and a length of almost five feet. Mostly found in the northern part of North America, it has similarities with the northern pike. They prey on anything that fits into their mouth, including ducklings, frogs, and snakes.

You can start your expedition  by discovering musky lakes nearby you. In contrast to other angling species, such as bass or catfish, only 50% of states in the US have this species in their water bodies.

You perhaps already know that muskies are oxygen-sensitive, which implies that they avoid warm water. That’s why lakes in Florida are least likely to have muskies because the state remains hot throughout the year.

Muskies locate food in the environment above their head, so you have to throw the bait in line with their view. They feel the vibration that  draws them towards the lure. Once you detect a bite, get ready to pull them up.

Care & Maintenance Tips

Today’s musky reels are more robust than the older models. Nevertheless, they need your care to serve you for long.

Deep clean your reel every year. Start by dismantling the reel piece by piece and organize the small parts on a mat by labeling according to their order. After that, clean the pieces thoroughly to remove all dirt and grime.

When done, apply grease to the lower gearing part. Use a lighter fluid to scrub the bearings and lubricate them with oil. Then comes the reassembling part. Since you have labeled them previously, it should be easy to put them back together.

Easy tricks to maintain your musky reel post-fishing :

  1. Remove the reel from your angling rod and loosen the drag completely. After that, take a wiping cloth and remove all the dirt from the reel. You can use running water to clean it but check to see the water doesn’t enter into the reel. Now wipe the reel with a dry fabric.
  2. Lightly spray WD-40 or any solvent on your reel occasionally and rub it with a soft cloth. You can do this to repel water and grit from your reel.

Maintenance and lubrication may be time-consuming and hard work but it makes your reel last longer and gives you an uninterrupted angling opportunity. As they say, a little care goes a long way.

Musky Fishing Tips

Fall is the season for musky anglers and they swear by this though we don’t mind burning in bucktails during the summer. This elusive fish species feeds during this time to store body fat and survive the cold winter. So, make your plan when the fall is knocking on the door.

Another tip is to find the perfect timing throughout the whole day. Sunrise and sunset are the two most magical times to trap a musky. Similarly, muskies are susceptible when the moon is overhead or underfoot. You can use apps to check these timings.

Remember that big crankbaits means more muskies. As we said before that muskies are attracted to vibration in the water, bigger baits mean more noise and water displacement.

You can never be a successful angler if you don’t have patience. Particularly for muskies, you have to be really calm and persistent. Take your time and wait for the fish to bite your lure.

It’s Time to Wrap Up

Anglers find that musky fishing is unlike any other fishing adventure as it is extremely daunting yet addictive. It requires tactics and research as they are elite predators. Fishermen treat them as prized catch because of their size, power, and lure consideration. With the right gear such as the reels mentioned in our musky reel review, you can achieve a successful fishing expedition.

FAQ

Q. 1: What is Musky Fishing?

Ans: The Muskellunge or musky is well-known as the fish of 10 thousand casts. With an elongated large body frame and a flat head, they are one of the most elusive freshwater fish. They are one of the most exciting freshwater game fish out there.

They are usually found in shallow water with a rocky surface underneath. Male muskies weigh around 3 to 20 pounds, whereas females could be around 3-40 pounds.

Q. 2: How do I Look After My Musky Fishing Gear?

Ans: There is no alternative to well-maintenance in order to keep your musky fishing gear in tip-top condition that must be containing essentials like fish finders or even drones, underwater cameras, fishing sunglasses, headlamps, and many more. Remember to deep clean and lubricate your equipment at regular intervals. When done with your fishing trip, take the necessary steps to wipe your reel and apply oil before you store. You can also buy a rod/pole cover or case to avoid damage.

Q. 3: What Kind of Rod Should I Use During Musky Fishing?

Ans: Muskies are no joke when it comes to their size, so try to get a robust rod. Your rod should be long enough. Make sure that it can throw large baits and at the same time is soft enough for gliding baits. You can use a musky rod and reel combo that’s at least 9 inches or longer.

Q. 4: What Line Capacity Do I Need for Musky Reeling?

Ans: Though that depends on your fishing requirements, you will need a minimum line capacity of 150 yards of 20 lbs test line. You may find yourself cutting 40-50 yards unknowingly while fishing. Eventually, you will not have enough line capacity for your next trip.

Q. 5: Should I Buy A Cheap Musky Reel?

Ans:If you intend to fish on a regular basis then get a high-quality reel. As a beginner, you can start with a low-cost reel for training and then go for an expensive one when you’ll be catching musky on the fly.

Q. 6: What Gear Will I Need for Musky Fishing?

Ans: Musky fishing is a costly hobby. Prepare yourself to try a few expensive items to enjoy the whole experience. First, get a quality rod and a few musky hunting lures. Then shop for a reel, a line, and a release tool. Moreover, you can get a jaw spreader, long needle-nose plier, hook cutter, musky bumper, fish-handling gloves, and a large net.

Q. 7: Can I Use Other Reels for Catching Musky?

Ans:Yes! You can. You will find a great number of reels on the market effective for lunge fishing along with other types of fish. But now that you know what is the best musky reel, you don’t really need to do that.

About the author

Walter Ashley

I was brought up in Grove, Oklahoma alongside the Neosho river. It was not until my post-accident recovery period when I got hooked into fly fishing. The instructor had this unique teaching method and I started skipping my therapy sessions for kayak fishing out in the wild. It helped me be in places of nature that are extraordinarily beautiful and I would probably have never been there if fishing was not a part of my life. Experiences of those days taught me the shortcomings of fishing gear. So, I started investigating on a range of common equipment that people used and I started tweaking them for optimum results. It was not until my post-graduation on mechanical engineering when I seriously started thinking about fishing rod and reel designing. Extensive studies on materials that regular rods were made of eventually made way for new design ideas. Hopefully, my time on the waters and inner attachment to the nature will provide me sublimity for greater innovation.

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