5 Best Bass Lure Reels For The Money

by | Oct 20, 2019 | Fishing Gear | 0 comments

5 best bass lure reels

The reel deal:

5 best bass lure reels: Well, in the real world the majority of fishing websites would promote fishing reels from all ends of the spectrum. However, I have noticed that a majority of the reviews are of the low-end reels. Personally, that would be exactly the price range I would go for.

I have never spent more than £150 on a reel in my lifetime.

The reel I have been using for the last couple of years is the Shimano Exage 3000. I love this little reel and to be fair I have had some pretty good sessions with it. I have had some great fish with it too. But things have not always been so good and I have to modify things to make the reel perform slightly better.

In the wind knot article, I mentioned line lay and how it can affect whether you are getting them or not. I had to put a washer in so the line was straighter on the spool. I still wouldn’t say it’s perfect but haven’t had any wind knots since.

The other problem was the bail arm bearing (the bit where the line goes) was catching the line. I also had to straighten the bail arm but that was maybe me dropping the reel or falling over on the rocks. But Shimano makes amazing reels so I’m not being negative, I’m just going to explain that by examining the Bassmans reel the ‘Daiwa Exist’ I was absolutely blown away.


Yes weight, this was an alarming aspect to the Daiwa Exist. I just couldn’t get my head around its weight…or lack of it. Now you would think a £600 reel would have some guts to it but obviously, like high-end rods, they are extremely light and that is a major factor in the price.

Surface lure fishing.

The surface lure is the Bassmans favourite type of lure fishing for bass.

Disclaimer: First off, if you are reading this post for the first time and wondering who the ‘Bassman is I suggest you read our homepage. The Bassman fishes all the time (providing conditions) and catches close to 1500 to 2000 bass a year, I’m not joking. I am just the writer of this website and am fortunate enough to fish and share his tactics with you all on this website.

Great action

Whenever I have been surface lure fishing with the Bassman it amazes me how he gets that lure dancing across the surface. That snake-like action he gets from that ‘Walk the dog’ retrieve is awesome. Yes, you or anybody could perfect it. My point is that the combination of his rod and reel are microlight and must make this easier to stay consistent.

The Difference

I have a Major Craft Zalts that is quite heavy in comparison to his DFR which is a custom made rod. And my reel being the Shimano Exage which is smaller than his Daiwa Exist but the Exist is still unbelievably lighter. The point I’m making is I’m always changing the way I ‘Walk the dog’ because it aches after a while. Maybe I’m not as fit as the Bassman and we are not always surface lure fishing.

So what lure reel should I buy?

So let’s get down to business and guide you to the reel that hopefully is going to suit your needs. The serious more experienced bass fisherman who regularly goes fishing at any opportunity is probably going to favour the high-end reels which totally make sense in my opinion.

But if you are like me and are not willing to shed out that kind of cash then we shall cover 3 reels for us, fair weather fisherman, lol.

We are going to cover five-reel that range from around the £50 mark to around the £600 mark.

However, we only mention reels that we have/ or are using at this present time so hopefully, there is one in the for you. We wouldn’t promote a reel we do not use ourselves.

5 best bass lure reels for the money5 best bass lure reels

Daiwa LT Exist 4000:

As I mentioned earlier this the Daiwa Exist totally blew me away. When you Bassman told me he’d forked out £600 on another reel I was gobsmacked. He already has a Stella.


The Daiwa Exist is made for magnesium and is incredibly well designed. The lightness of the Daiwa makes fishing a very comfortable ride indeed. The previous Exist was made of some sort of carbon-infused plastic called

Drag System:

The drag system on the Daiwa Exist features some of the later reel technology called the ATD drag system. ATD stands for Automatic Tournament Drag. This effectively increases your hook up rate which is another awesome feature of this amazing reel. The Exist can kick out up to 5kg in drag which compared to the old Exist that had 2kg this is a massive improvement.


Whilst fishing with the Bassman his hook up rate is pretty good, to say the least. He insists the Daiwa Exist automatic drag system make an enormous difference from hooking to powering that 70cm bass with relative ease.


Another amazing thing about this stunning piece of engineering is the fact that it’s only got the one screw holding it all together. Also, the magnetic oil that keeps them gear running like a dream for years to come.


Well, it wouldn’t be worth the money if it didn’t cast amazingly. The LT Exist is ultra-smooth when firing your lure out to the horizon. The line lay is perfection which must be the reason for that silky execution of that line. The bail arm hardly makes a sound when engaged, so depending on your personal preferences you may like a click. Personally I want to know I clicked the bail arm over, we don’t want to snap off that £20 lure do we now.

5 best bass lure reels


Freakin awesome, maybe the best reel out there at the mo but the Shimano Stella is up next.

Shimano Stella 4000

5 best bass lure reels

Well, there is definitely something to be said about the Shimano reel: The next 4 reels we are going to review all Shimano.But this Shimano Stella has to be the best out of the bunch. Or is it just plainly the best lure reel out there?


Again, you would expect to pay at least around the £600 mark like the Exist it costs a bomb.  But it’s only expensive if you can’t afford it I was once told.

The looks amazing compared to the Exist but this isn’t a comparison review so let’s get into the performance of the Stella.


This is a powerhouse of a reel with a 6.2to1 retrieve. We need this to fight that fish away from all the structure they will try to dive behind.


The latest Stella’s have all been upgraded for ultimate performance with a drag that is sublime. The Bassmans other favourite reels that have landed him more bass than I could dream about. The Shimano Stella pushes out an 11 kg of drag. That is a serious amount of drag to wrestle the fattest of bass.


The weight is another trademark for the Stella weighing about the same sort of weight. Nowadays, you’d expect from the highest of the high-end reels out there. The actual weight for this 4000 is 380g.

Engineering: The Shimano Stella has had major technological advancements so it’s optimum in performance. With its AL Aircraft grade aluminium and a one-piece bail arm. The reel also has a super light power handle who could resist this beauty.


Take out a second mortgage and put all your

Lovely Sea Bass5 best bass lure reels

Shimano Rariun

Another classic reel from Shimano. Although nowhere near the same sort of spec as the Stella but if you’re just fishing a couple of times a week this is a great choice.


Shimano seems to have the weight department in check. The Rarariun is by far no exception. The lightweight spool with its engineered holes makes the reel a comfortable ride. This is a favourite reel at Bass Masters Elite and is the Bassman spare just in case something goes wrong elsewhere. Not that it does but a great backup nevertheless.


For the price, engineering in the Rarariun is pretty faultless. This has powered thousands of bass over the years with no hiccup ups. This is down to the Shimano engineering technology that makes Shimano the go-to reel for most lure anglers out there.


With the high-end reels especially the Daiwa Exist you can pretty much power the fish in with no problem. For me personally, I want to hear that spool screaming as you hook that unstoppable bass.

The majority of the fishing for the Bassman this year has been off our local point (sorry guys I can’t tell you where he’d kill me) to be honest that venue is not for the faint-hearted anyway. He has caught a fare number of fish around the 65cm stamp. That particular area you would need a powerful reel of the Exist class otherwise you would lose your fish and your lure around the structure. Believe it or not, the fish seem to know where to run for cover. To be honest I loved hearing that reel screaming it’s little heart out and that Rarariun made a sweet noise…..fish on!


I would definitely get another one.

Shimano Exage 3000

Now if you’re broke and haven’t got a lot of time to go fishing put this on your Christmas wish list lol.

I’ve had this little beauty since I first seriously started lure fishing. To be 100% honest there has been some issue the more and more I used it that you probably wouldn’t get with a high-end reel. But with that being said all the issues were easily fixed.

One of the problems was wind knots. After experiencing those annoying braid knitting nightmares I realised it was down to the spool. (click here to read about solving wind knots) basically I had to raise the spool by removing it and placing a washer, the piston rod that moves the spool up and down.

The other problem was the bail arm but that could be down to falling over on the slippery seaweed.

Great Tip: These reels do not like being submerged in saltwater. Mine actually sounded like a bag of gravel spinning round rather than a fishing reel.

5 best bass lure reels


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