Best Musky Reel in 2018: Top Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

All seasoned musky anglers understand that for you to thrive in this sport exponentially, you have to be armed with the best musky reel. So, just why is this type of reel much-needed?

To start off, this endeavor demands a reel than can handle that typical abuse you’d experience when you’re trying to throw and retrieve heftier lures all throughout the day! Now there’s a reason as to why muskies are called the fish of 10,000 casts! In today’s post, you’ll find that that there are about more than three musky reels that are now getting some rave reviews on the market.

Each of which will be detailed for your own perusal and right before the traditional verdict, you’ll also be acquainted with the only buying guide you ever need to have when choosing the best musky reel for your arsenal. Let’s get on to them:


Product Name

Line Retrieve




Shimano Tranx TRX500HG Reel

43 inches per crank 20 ounces 95/100 View Reviews

Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel

34 inches per crank 13.83 ounces 98/100 View Reviews

Okuma Convector Line Counter Levelwind Trolling Reel

20 inches per crank 21.5 ounces 96/100 View Reviews

Daiwa Lexa High Capacity Low Profile 7.1:1 Baitcast Reel

? 11.4 ounces 97/100 View Reviews

Shimano Corvalus 300 Round Baitcasting Reel

? 10.9 ounces 96/100 View Reviews


Best Musky Reel on the Market


#1 – Shimano Tranx TRX500HG Reel

Image result for Shimano Tranx TRX500HG Reel

Your best bet on the market in terms of faster retrieval speeds for lures like muskies is now heavily featured in Shimano Tranx TRX500HG Reel. Put an end on a stalking muskie with the product’s heightened gear and power gear which can both serve some mean extra speed.

Another formidable take out from this entry is its centrifugal braking system which gives out indefatigable resistance in the entire duration of the cast while providing you that much-needed flexibility on lure sizes that you intend to throw. Durability is also exponentially reliable. Armed with robust aluminum construction, it utilizes the brand’s X-ship and HEG technology which significantly alleviates the number of flex and torque that come from the body of both gears and the reel.

As it goes, anglers can bring forth immense lifting power sans that discard on functionality.

  • Ball Bearings: 7 +1
  • Gear Ratio: 6.6:1
  • Line Retrieve: 43 inches per crank
  • Line Capacity: Mono 30lb/160 yards, 40 lb/120 yards
  • Weight: 20 ounces
  • Maximum Drag: 25 lbs



  • Does high gear model come with an incredible retrieval rate of 43?
  • The smooth and quality drag system
  • Easy to make adjustments
  • Aluminum construction
  • Power handle can crank down on heavy loads



  • A bit on the pricey side



#2 – Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel

Image result for Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel

If you’re all willing to shell out an extra for a top-of-the-line reel, the Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast should give every cent that you spend with compensation that will leave you wanting for more.

The Beast comes with seven stainless steel bearings and a roller that are nothing short of excellent. Both accompanying variants can serve upwards of approximately 25 pounds of maximum drag.

The drag can also be adjusted and comes with a distinctively low starting inertia which should aid in reducing line breaks.

And as these reels are crafted from an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy along with the proprietary X-crafting system, you can all be assured that getting it abused all day long won’t be an issue.

With 7 HPCR bearings in tow, a smooth-running operation can be expected as well. Meanwhile, the products patented InfiniMax Braking System is equipped with a design that includes centrifugal and magnetic properties, both enabling a flawless resistance from the angler’s initial cast on both heavy and light lures.


  • On 60HS variant
  • Maximum Drag: 25 lbs
  • Weight: 13.83 ounces
  • Ball Bearings: 7 + 1 Ball bearings
  • Gear Ratio: 6.2:1
  • Line Capacity: Mono 14 lb/250 yards Braid 30 lb/285 yards
  • Line Retrieve: 34 inches per crank



  • Excellent grip
  • Extremely well-built
  • Ideal for both light and heavy baits
  • Smooth and strong retrieve and drag
  • Equipped with three handle options



  • Pricier than its most of its competition
  • Doesn’t come with free spool level wind feature
  • Drag star won’t tighten completely



#3 – Okuma Convector Line Counter Levelwind Trolling Reel

Image result for Okuma Convector Line Counter Levelwind Trolling Reel

One of the more popular choices when it comes to baits that use a line counter, this Okuma Convector Series variant uses a superbly exact line counter and a lever line release that is also user-friendly.

The 45D version is best recommended in this regard. It comes with a 4.0:1 gear ratio and can readily serve up to 20 pounds of drag pressure. Despite a lowered gear ratio, this gets compensated with a generous large spool which provides a retrieval speed of 20. The Convector is structured with a graphite frame while its side plates are armed with steel rings that are reinforced. That said, this item can potentially capture big muskies at a stride.

On the other hand, the massive brass main along with the pinion gears guarantee that it should perform relatively well under stressed conditions.

  • Maximum Drag: 20 lbs
  • Weight: 21.5 ounces
  • Gear Ratio: 4.0:1
  • Ball Bearings: 2 + 1
  • Line Retrieve: 20 inches per crank
  • Line Capacity: 20/580 yards, 25 lb/430 yards



  • Bang for the buck
  • Comes with a large spool with a retrieval speed of 20
  • Excellent anti-reverse system
  • Extended knob and power handle
  • Highly accurate line counter



  • Spool is not ideal for downrigging
  • The space between the spoon and the reel body is a bit large


Okuma Reels Convector Linecounter 2Bb+1Rb 4.0:1
61 Reviews


#4 – Daiwa Lexa High Capacity Low Profile 7.1:1 Baitcast Reel

Image result for Daiwa Lexa High Capacity Low Profile 7.1:1 Baitcast Reel

Highly suitable for muskies and stripers, the exceedingly flexible Daiwa Lexa Baitcast Reel is equipped with a smooth UT carbon drag and a dual paddle handle.

Does its distinctive advanced design enable a massive line-capacity reel along with a generous drag all of which come from an unbelievably smaller reel. The reasonably affordable entry from Daiwa is made of aluminum and comes with a convenient power hand. The entirety of the reel is decidedly fast while its casting runs without any backlash.

Other perks include an infinite anti-reverse, an aluminum side plate, a free-floating, precision-balanced aluminum spool, and a five-point drive train system.

  • Ball Bearings: 6 Ball Bearing + Roller Bearing
  • Gear Ratio: 7.1:1
  • Line Capacity: 12/240



  • Excellent drag system
  • Smoother and higher gear ratio
  • Inexpensive
  • Comfy power handle
  • Casts without any backlash



  • Produces unpleasant noise after continued use
  • Aluminum is prone to wearing off
  • Problematic drag breaking



#5 – Shimano Corvalus 300 Round Baitcasting Reel

Image result for Shimano Corvalus 300 Round Baitcasting Reel

Conveniently placed between those anglers who don’t want to spend that much and those who have an aversion on cheapened reels, the affordable yet powerful Shimano Corvalus 300 Round Baitcasting Reel is everything that you need in this bracket.

It comes with a die-cast aluminum frame and a variable brake system which enhances cast distance and spool control. The right-handed reel should handle any big fish without any known hurdle? and you won’t have to quarrel with the muskies that much! Other inclusions are the patented Variable Brake System for easier castings, super stopper, assist stopper, a rubber handle grip, and a clicker ( for variants 400 and 401 only).

  • On Corvalus CVL-300 variant
  • Gear Ratios: 5.2:1
  • Line Speed: 22 inches
  • Drag: 11 pounds
  • Ball Bearings: 3
  • Weight: 10.9 ounces



  • Excellent build quality
  • Silky smooth casting
  • Outstanding power
  • Price is retailed as entry-level
  • Ideal for inshore and freshwater fishing



  • Spool release doesn’t function consistently
  • Centrifugal brakes are a bit difficult to get to tune the casting



A Quick Buyer’s Guide to Choosing The Best Musky Reel

Details. Details. Details! If you want to up your game in choosing the best musky reel on the market now, you have to be very keen in looking into the details such as line capacity, bearing materials, spools, and frames, among others. I’ve outlined these crucial components:

1. Line capacity

It’s understood that if you go with a line weight that goes under 25 pounds, there is a high probability that your line might fray or worse, break. Your average musky typically weighs around 15-36 pounds.

That said, your reel should feature at least 150 yards along with an approximate 80-pound of the test line.

2. Left- or right-handed

Most of the baitcasting reels today come with a handle that is situated on your right side. Does that placement entail that you’re going to have to get the rod switched to your left side after you cast it using your right hand and utilizing the same hand for cranking the reel.

Meanwhile, reels with left-handed handles are retailed and can also be used by anglers who prefer using their right hands. In this manner, anglers with the right-hand priority should be able to cast using their right hands while bringing in their left hands for reeling.

Ultimately, the sometimes time-consuming switching of hands will be avoided.

3. Gear ratio

Just how swift do you intend to nudge your bait when you’re going for a muskie? To answer this query, one must understand that muskies are generally large and that they’re also heavier and a bit on the aggressive side.

As such, the most suitable gear ratio for this endeavor sits between the mid to the lower end. Seasoned musky anglers recommend that your gear ratios should be situated between 5.1:1 and 5.7:1.

4. The Bearing materials

To boost the musky reels reliability and smoothness, these reels are equipped with a bushing or ball bearings. These lessen the friction that comes between the moving parts and for that, they’re crafted from ceramic or stainless steel.

Between the two, the more common are the ones that are made of stainless steel. They are known to be sturdier and more durable. Despite that, stainless steel bearings are still bound to come in contact with corrosion, which is a common drawback if you’re fishing in saltwater. On the other hand, ceramic bearings are considerably lighter. This feature allows the reel to be much less hefty which ultimately makes the reel more comfortable to work with. If you don’t mind the added price in it, then this one should be added in your arsenal. Whichever reel-type you?ll end up with, make certain that you maintain it lubricated and oiled.

5. The housing, spools, and frames

The housing on musky reel comes in two materials: graphite and aluminum. The former is known to be more resistant to corrosion while the latter houses the stronger form. The same set of materials can be seen with the reels? frames. Graphite frames are deemed to be the less pricey and durable between the two. And as muskies are known to be quite of a challenge when it comes to reels, aluminum frames are the more popular choice. In terms of spools, you’ll find that these are almost always aluminum-made. The only difference can be ascertained depending on its quality. For top-of-the-line spools, these are mostly made of forged aluminum which also makes them be lighter yet fast at the same time.

Cheaper ones are made of die-cast but are not that efficient when it comes to huskies.


More Winning Tips

Here are more winning tips to getting the best reel out there:

  • check whichever you’d end up with baitcasting or spinning reel ensure that either of two comes with an excellent and robust drag system.
  • Meanwhile, if you wish to be successful in fishing a large species like muskies, you also have to pay attention to the reel?s braking system. As you’re going to be dealing with a large fish, ensure that your reel isn’t that heavy.
  • checks heavy-duty reel that is armed with an excellent gear system is also a must.
  • Prepare to shell out extra bucks if you plan to get one. This might make you hesitant at first but the end result should be that gratifying.
  • check next on your list is an accompanying sturdy handle.
  • This type of handle should be especially handy when you’re trolling speed.


The Verdict

The Standout: Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel There’s absolutely no shame on shelling out an extra especially if it entails efficiency and reliability. And that’s exactly what you’re in for if you’re going to end up with Abu Garcia Revo Toro Beast Low-Profile Baitcast Fishing Reel in your armory.

The topnotch entry from Abu Garcia is all synonymous to best results: ergonomic design, excellent drag system, ambidextrous offerings, smooth action, and superior power.

Did you like this post? Do you think Abu Garcia should be ranked lower? Do you have anything to add, share, or ask? If you do, please don’t hesitate to sound them off in the comment section below and I’ll get back to you soon!

John Morris

Hi, I?m John Morris. I?m an avid outdoorsman and fisherman, blessed with an awesome wife and 2 kids. Fishing is not my passion, it is my lifestyle. I fished before I knew how to walk! I?m obsessed with all things related to fishing, even the fishy smell. I?m always willing to extend a hand to novice anglers looking for fishing tips and tricks thus I created this blog. This blog is a collection of my experiences, knowledge, and also research from other blogs.

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