Best Musky Reels For The Money : [Top 9 Cheap Picks in 2020]

Musky fishing is a trend now. People love it. So today’s article is about finding the best reels to catch muskies.

Every musky angler want to get a good quality reel that have full of variety. There are quite a few kinds of reel that you may want to get for musky fishing. But not every type would go with your skill and style.

Today I going to be write about some of the budget-friendly reel options for musky that may fit your requirement.

Stay tuned because I’ll be discussing some interesting things as well. There’s a brief guiding section also. So please keep on reading.

Best Musky Reels

It’s you who can best tell what you need. Please have a look at these five models that I am about to review. If you are in hurry see this best cheap musky reels under 100 dollars

  1. KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel
  2. Okuma Convector Levelwind Trolling Reel
  3. The Shimano Corvalus Round Casting Reels
  4. Zebco/Quantum BCXT30C Baitcast Reel

Here are top 5 best musky reels:

  1. OKUMA 350 Low Profile Linecounter Reel – The Finest Coldwater Musky Reel!
  2. Daiwa LEXA-WN300HSL-P Reel – Best Musky Reel in Budget!
  3. Okuma Komodo SS Baitcaster Reel
  4. Daiwa LEXA-WN400PWR-P Casting Reel
  5. Shimano Corvalus Baitcasting Reel

Each of them is quite good at reeling but of course, there will be some minor compromises.

Don’t get yourself into frustration and heartbreak because of choosing something wrong. Have a thorough look and pick the most suitable one

4 Best Cheap Musky Reels Under $100

There are a bunch of options to talk about when we consider choosing a cheap musky reels under $100.

However, the perfect fit for you will specifically fulfill some certain requirements. Obviously, the one you have and those should conveniently suit your fishing style.

Make sure to read out well the highlights of each product. Make the final decision by going for the one that matches the best with your fishing aura.

1. KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel – The Number One Traditional Reel for Muskies with Supreme Drag!

This reel from KastKing is one of the most premium choices that you may get in such reasonable pricing.

It’s one of a kind reel that gives you flexibility and robustness while hunting for powerful muskies.

This is a great pick with a reinforced strong anodized aluminum spool and side plates’ construction quality.

It comes with an accurate brass gear configuration and perfect level wind set up.

The whole manufacturing quality is superior in this price range that even fights rust.

The carbon fiber drag gives you extraordinary power to fight muskies easily and pull them above the water before they vanish. It gives you a pain-free fishing capability with a grippy and comfortable hold.

With super smooth ball bearings and versatile performance, it’s one of the premium choices for fly fishing. That too in a very inexpensive price range. Impressive!

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  • Comes for lefty and righty.
  • Strong metal body.
  • High-quality drag system.
  • Bulletproof protection.
  • Smooth ball bearings.

2. Okuma Convector Levelwind Trolling Reel – Two Effective Silver & Black Line Counter!

>The Okuma reel is one fine choice under hundred dollars range that you may get for your musky fishing needs.

It’s a decent choice for occasional fishing and if you promise to maintain properly, it’s going to stay with you for a pretty long time.

There are two stainless steel ball bearings inside that makes it a good fit for easy musky fishing. Also, there is a multi-disc drag system that comes with carbonite construction.

It is super easy and effective to use the drag even if you can’t go for really big muskies. But for mediums sizes, it’s a great reel to fish with.

The ball bearings are strong and give you better flexibility while fishing for a long time. It helps to grab fishes quickly with little effort. The gearing system comes with strong and robust manufacturing quality.

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  • The effective double reverse formula.
  • Multi-disk drag system.
  • Strong ball bearings.
  • Strong gearing system.

3. The Shimano Corvalus Round Casting Reels – Freshwater & Saltwater Friendly Musky Fishing!

Shimano Corvalus is a casting reel that goes well with any water conditions. It is the pro-choice in a cheap price range that will help you out both in saltwater and freshwater musky hunting.

The whole body construction includes a single frame made of aluminum die-cast that partners well with other features.

It includes a nice line set up variable brake system. So there’s no way you are going to miss the best performance at less price.

Also, the fishing reel comes with a nice instant stopper. This helps to make your experience even more enjoyable.

The rubber grip in the handle is very comfortable to hold. It does not allow any slippage or painful hours of fishing. The strong drag system gives you a productive fishing experience.

However, sometimes there is a problem with overspinning. So you need to be a bit careful while targeting fishes. Other than that it’s a brilliant choice for fly fishing.

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  • One single aluminum frame.
  • Variable brake system.
  • Instant super stopper.
  • Firm rubber hold.
  • Strong drag.

4. Zebco/Quantum BCXT30C Baitcast Reel – A Comfortable Reel for Right Handed Anglers!

The BCXT30C is a reasonable choice to get for musky fishing. The decent construction with a nice line holding capability makes it one thoughtful right handed reel to use for any time angling.

The outlook might make you question about the performance but surprisingly it really outstands its competitors.

This fly fishing reel is a jackpot item that will give you the superpower to gran huge fishes easily.

The drag is super strong and compatible to give you easy pulling ability. The two bearings make the configuration even more worth it.

However, there are no brakes on it. It isn’t a huge deal for the price and most reels in this budget will avoid the brake system. So fair enough!

There are loud clicks available on the drag system that helps you to get a versatile fishing performance on any water condition.

With strong and robust gearing and a convenient line hold, it’s a true friend for fly fishing.

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  • Right-handed angling.
  • Two bearings.
  • Loud clicks for drag.
  • Strong gears.
  • Pro quality line holding.

5 Best Musky Reels – High Quality

1. OKUMA 350 Low Profile Linecounter Reel – The Finest Coldwater Musky Reel!

OKUMA 350 is a great choice for musky anglers who want to have a decent quality reel in the budget.

The reel comes with two hand options so both righties and lefties can enjoy the features.

It comes with a 150 yards line that can handle up to twenty pounds. For the price, I think it’s pretty good.

The frame is strong but lightweight. So you won’t feel any pressure while fishing and it would be a smooth experience.

There’s a good grip knob included aluminum handle also. The handle side plates along with the frame are built with high-quality aluminum.

Also, it includes a very popular drag, Carbonite. These are really pro to handle the musky weight. The overall design and functionality are great for cold-water musky fishing.

So if I had to choose one budget-friendly reel that comes with durability and value, then this is going to be the one.

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  • A comfortable knob to provide full grip.
  • The handle is built with an ergonomic design.
  • Construction quality is good enough.
  • Flawless for cold water fishing.
  • Very affordable.
  • It makes a weird noise sometimes.
  • Corrosion problems.

2. Daiwa LEXA-WN300HSL-P Reel – An On-The-Go Musky Reel in Budget!

LEXA-WN300HSL is another Daiwa model in the list that comes with smooth musky fishing functions to appraise about.

In budget pricing, Daiwa is really coming forward and offering some really cool features.

The 7:1 gear ratio is an excellent rate to get a flawless catch on muskies. With the maximum 25 pounds drag, the overall performance shines. It’s comfortable also to manage the weight by hands.

The reel is meant for left-handed fishermen. It comes with a huge 32.40 inches retrieve rate that is going to ensure you never miss a musk.

Just get a suitable rod and line. The whole set up is going to work wonders for beginners especially.

Also, the carbon drag is capable to pull weight without casing stress on hands. The winn handle also aids here.

Overall it is an ergonomically designed reel that comes with a swept handle and other basic reel function for a very valuable price.

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  • A perfect reel for saltwater fishing.
  • The casting is pretty far reachable.
  • Easy to handle due to a nice lightweight.
  • Drag handles good pressure.
  • Winn handle avoids any hand stress.
  • Right-handed folks won’t be able to use it.

3. Okuma Komodo SS Baitcaster Reel – The Low Profile But Large Capacity Musky Reel!

The Okuma Komodo SS is basically a baitcaster. But as a musky reel, it works awesome and gives you a bunch of features to effortlessly do fishing.

This low profile baitcaster is affordable and also covers the maximum durability you can have from a less budget reel. It comes with a great design that goes with a range of rods and lines.

Once you get the perfect combination of rod and lines for this reel, the combo is going to give you a pleasing musky fishing experience.

The multi-disc Carbonite drag is effortless and pulls good weight. The stainless steel gear comes with CRC protection.

This ensures that the reel won’t suffer from rust and so you would be able to easily store it for seasonal usage.

The aluminum frame, dual anti-reverse, and other functions are on point and give you a good musky catching feel in a budget.

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  • The main gear is solid stainless steel.
  • It comes with an excellent drag system.
  • There are on and off buttons included for convenience.
  • Lightweight and easy to handle.
  • The pricing is very budget friendly for beginners.
  • The absence of power cranking handle.

4. Daiwa LEXA-WN400PWR-P Casting Reel – A Perfect Gear Ratio Tool for Musky Fishing!

The LEXA-WN400PWR from Daiwa, a really approachable brand of reels has gained immense love for the effortless fishing mechanism.

It comes with all the necessary functions and figures that you need to enjoy delightful musky fishing.

The drag system is carbon, one of the best for muskies. It comes with a 5.1:1 gear ratio that is the ideal numbers for catching muskies.

It also comes with a great 27.10 inches retrieve rate. The maximum drag is about 25 pounds which is quite good for the price.

The handle is made from winn material and is very comfortable to reel with. The design also includes cutouts that instantly gives you the feel of holding less weight. So it would be a good choice for long time fishing.

With a flawless gear ratio and a moderate drag, I find the model a smart pick under 200 dollars.

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  • The retrieval is fantastic.
  • It provides nice dragging.
  • The pricing is very affordable for any level fishermen.
  • It goes well with any water condition.
  • The winn handle reduces weight feel for having painless hands.
  • You need to grease it quite often for better durability.

5. Shimano Corvalus Baitcasting Reel – Affordable Freshwater Musky Reel Under $150!

The Shimano Corvalus comes with solid construction and a nice drag that supports musky fishing to the fullest.

It comes with a one-piece die-cast aluminum built-in frame that goes a long way to survive the huge fish’s fight.

It’s going to withstand the stress gracefully without getting any pressure caught into your hand.

The aluminum side plates are also a great addition inn design to make sure the casting is convenient.

It casts for a good distance which gives better opportunities for musky fishing. Also, it gives the reel a long life.

The super and assist stopper is also available within the system. These help the angler to get an instant hook set up and reduces the back plays effortlessly.

With the variable brake system, it’s super simple to handle. So the spool speed can be utilized with better consistency.

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  • Superior quality construction.
  • A durable and pressure handling reel.
  • Comes with a consistent braking system.
  • It helps to deal with huge musky weights.
  • Gives maximum casting distance while fishing.
  • Spool sometimes gets wobbly when not seated properly.

Choosing The Best Musky Reels For Money

So now you have got to know five of the best musky reel under 200 dollars. But how do you know which one is going to be the most suitable for you? Don’t worry, we got your back.

When you want the best musky reel for burning bucktails you tend to look for reels that are specifically meant for the intention. Same is the case for musky reels.

You would need to have a good idea about the requirements that a good quality musky reel most follow. Here are some of the major criteria that should help you pick the best choice.

Good Built-In Quality

You can catch muskies with baitcast and other reels. No doubt! But that’s the case when it has a good built in that can support musky fishing.

Remember, you’ll be catching monster shape fishes. These are huge! So any reel that sounds or seems not properly build-up is going to waste your money.

Even when you want to go for budget-friendly options the built-in should be capable to survive the fighting of these huge fishes.

Also by picking a reel that comes with strong materials the chances to win the fight will increase. There’s a lot of examples where the anglers would not be able to drag such heavyweight just because of the poor quality reel.

So don’t make such a decision where prices seem attractive but also you can notice compromise in quality. Go for a reel that is durable and will stand strong to angling situations.

A Good Drag

The reel needs to have a decent drag. Otherwise dealing with such huge weight of muskies would be a terrible experience.

Go for reels that offers special drags. Most of the good quality musky reels will have a carbon drag system.

Easy to Handle

A musky reel that feels uncomfortable on hand is a big no. Simply because fishing is all about relaxing.

Most fish enthusiasts would give the game a try only to release some stress. If the activity itself becomes a headache the whole purpose gets misplaced.

So be sure the reel is comfortable and do check some of the comments from customers.

They tell you a lot about the quality. However, since you are short on a budget, be ready to have some minor compromises.

Check the Gear Ratio

You would have to look at the first number when inspecting particular musky reel model. The low the number the slow to retrieve it would be.

Most of the time these model come with additional torque power. So you can apply less effort and still manage to retrieve the bait easily.

Go for the reels that offer 5:1 to 5:7:1 gear ratio. These are most of the time perfect for musky fishing. The Best Musky Reel under $200 that comes with such ratio.

So that you can get better precision and strength. Since these two are the most important things to deal with such large, full of punch fish species.


You would find some figures in inches. These are basically the line retrieve per cranks. You would be able to tell how far the retrieving line is going to reach per turn. The numbers decide how much work you need to put for one retrieve.

Check the Line Weight

Muskies weight from fifteen to thirty-six pounds. They are pretty strong. The pulling and stressing these fishes come with is going to make it quite difficult to catch them.

So go for reels that come with good line weight. The perfect reels should offer something around eighty pounds line weight. These are super capable to handle even the dinosaur muskies.

A Good Line Capacity

Just like the line weight, this is also an important criterion you must check. It declares the portion of a line you would be able to put in the reel.

Go for something that provides at least 140 yards of 25 pounds test line. The absence of a good line capacity will turn the whole fishing into a disaster.

Cheap Musky Reels vs. Expensive One

You don’t need to choose one. The market owns even a fine number of models for best musky reel under 150 dollars that come with quality. So don’t worry about lacking quality because you are short on a budget.

Of course, there will be a need to use some common sense. Look for a musky reel that is surely budget friendly but it covers most of the features that you specifically want. Go for the simple models. Fancy won’t work if the quality lacks.

Understand this simple equation and you won’t be hanging between the quality or price confusion. There are so many options for the best musky reel under $200 that meet quality also.

Of course, you can get any of these options for the best cheap musky reels under $100. But some of you will always want to know what happens next.

Is the cheap reels a threat to your fishing fun? Let’s know about it in details!

Gear Ratio

In cheap musky reels, you would find that the gear ratio is average and not as high as the expensive models.

Muskies are huge and you need a good amount of gear ratio to successfully get them. So should you compromise your financial plan and spend extra? Well if you can then do so.

But if it’s totally not possible then there are some products that can give you a decent performance to hunt muskies in water.

The four I mentioned are the best out of the available models in the market. Of course, there will be a sort of lack of performance.

But I’m sure for the compromised price you can give a little bit of effort and do the fishing nicely.

It’s not totally worthless to get a reel under hundred dollars range.

Gear Materials

There are gear materials such as brass which is quite less durable than stainless steel material. However, if you plan to buy another reel after a few months then it’s a good option.

Not every brass material gear would be a flop. Some manufacturer’s come with nice construction quality to still provide fine workability.

Bearing Materials

Most of the reels will give you either ceramic or stainless steel bearings. In the inexpensive price range line up, you may get one stainless steel bearing. The weight will give you better stability and sturdiness.

Also, these material are better to resist corrosion. Which means you’ll be getting a good amount of durability coming your way.


Most high-end musky reels use high-grade aluminum as the main material. If you are getting a cheaper version then you are probably not getting that quality. Most of the time the layer is thin.

However, this does not mean the performance of a cheap musky reel will be totally disappointing. For beginners, these are better to handle and use because of the material most of the time.

So Should You Buy Cheap Reels?

Overall, there is no denial to the fact that high-end reels will give you a better possibility and opportunity to catch muskies. Also, they are better for ease of use and durability.

However, if you barely need a musky reel for seasonal fishing or similar purposes then buying a cheaper version isn’t a bad idea. In fact, it’s quite smart to save money if you are not totally going to use it frequently.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Figure Out the Gear Ratio?

It’s very simple. Most gear ratios would range from 4.6:1 to 8.1:1. The first number denotes to the spinning of the spool. It basically indicates the rotations of the spool for every single complete spin of the handle.

For example, if a reel comes with a 5.2:1 gear ratio then the spool rotation for every single full handle spin is going to be 5.2.

The spool is a part that basically holds the line. While the handle is where you hold and spin to catch a fish.

Can I Buy A Reel While I Am Lefty?

This is a very critical consideration for musky reels. The musky reel comes with the idea of different people’s usability.

So some manufacturers would provide two choices of reel options that go with different people. There are some left-handed reels as well as right-handed reels.

These are constructed keeping in mind the capability of a certain fisherman. So if you are a lefty then there’s nothing to worry about.

What Lure Should I Pick For Musky?

Once you choose your best cheap musky reels under $100, then comes the need for a suitable lure. You can do one thing, choose according to weather condition.

When the climate is bright go for dark colored ones. For cold and dark weather situations choose the lighter shades for a lure. This will make it easy to target muskies.

What Are Muskies?

These are the fish form pike family member. It’s one of the largest members of pike fishes. They usually stay in freshwater. Also, they are native in North America mostly. They usually go for smaller fishes in nature.

They can easily view the environment above their head. So for them, it’s quite easy to survive and run away when you target for them. Also, these are really witty with recognizing the enemy.

How Do I Target Muskies?

Muskies can easily view the environment above their head and that’s the main anatomy to understand them. The angler should creak a situation where muskies can easily locate their food in its visible environments.

So that the muskies can feel the vibrations and come towards the setup trap. Once they reach the spot, it’s time to give some force and pull them up.

Most of the time, this is quite hard and needs practices. However, with proper techniques, anyone can go for musky fishing.

See Also: 

Best Catfish Reels

Best Deep Sea Fishing Reels For Tuna