What are the best baitcaster lures? Baitcasters are a must-have for most bass anglers. They can be used in the majority of applications, but not all. Using the incorrect reel for a specific tactic can ruin your fishing day and your chances of success.
Use lures with a baitcaster if the total weight of the lure PLUS the added sinker exceeds 18 ounces. Topwater lures, crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, swim jigs, punch baits, swimbaits, flipping baits, and soft plastics are the most common lures used with a baitcaster.
On baitcaster reels, certain techniques, strategies, and tactics work best. Baitcaster rod and reel setups are ideal for power fishing and some types of finesse fishing. I’ll go over 9 of the best baits and lures to use with a baitcaster in the section below.
Best Baitcaster Lures
Baitcasters for Topwater Lures
Baitcaster reels are better for most topwater lures because they allow for longer casts, allowing you to cover more water more efficiently. Furthermore, when fishing topwater near cover, controlling the spool with your thumb allows you to cast more accurately. Here’s one of my favorites (found on Amazon) for covering water with a baitcaster setup early in the morning.
Baitcasters Are Excellent for Soft Plastics Fishing
When bass fishing with soft plastics such as plastic worms or flukes, you’re frequently making casts at specific targets, so accuracy is a plus. Baitcasters allow for more precise casting.
Because of their weedless nature, soft plastics like speedworms (grab ’em on Bass Pro‘s site here) or senkos are frequently fished in and around dense vegetation. In these situations, heavier line, such as braid, is often preferable. Baitcasters are better equipped to cast braid and withstand the rigors of fishing with heavier braided line.
Finally, when fishing in dense vegetation, a higher gear ratio may be necessary to get fish out of the thick stuff quickly. Baitcasters are built with higher gear ratios to handle situations like this.
Instead of relying on the feel of the rod, I rest my thumb or a finger on my line when fishing with soft plastics. I can easily do this with a baitcasting reel because of its “symmetrical” retrieve, which allows the line to slip through my fingers or over my thumb as I work the bait in. A spinning reel does not allow for this extra feel because the line “flutters” through the fingers as it is reeled in.
Baitcasters are an excellent choice for spinnerbait fishing.
Spinnerbaits are typically heavier than standard lures. Because of their size and weight, you’ll need a reel that can handle longer lengths of line.
When fishing with spinnerbaits, baitcasters provide better “castability” with longer resulting casts.
If you want to burn or wake a spinnerbait, you can also use a higher gear ratio reel.
Check out Bass Fishing Insider’s article on What is a Spinnerbait.
When fishing with crankbaits for bass, use baitcasters.
Crankbait fishing entails reeling in a variety of lures in a somewhat repetitive manner.
A larger, stronger baitcasting reel is practically required when fishing with large crankbaits. Larger lures necessitate stronger, more powerful reels, such as baitcasters.
For smaller crankbaits, I still recommend baitcasters because the lighter, lower profile reels handle better and cause less fatigue over the course of a fishing day for this repetitive, tiring fishing method. The KVD Hard Knock Squarebill from Bass Pro is one of my favorite crankbaits for bass.
I recommend looking into some ultralight options for bass fishing as a unique alternative to fishing with tiny crankbaits. Also check out our article on Best Casting Rods for Bass.
Baitcasters are excellent for jerkbait fishing.
Jerkbait fishing is another method that requires a significant amount of effort from the angler. Jerkbait fishing is all about reeling, twitching, pausing, and repeating.
Again, baitcasters are ideal for this application because their reels are lighter and lower profile than spinning reels.
This lure category is a bit of a toss-up in my opinion. I occasionally use jerkbaits on a spinning reel for an unusual play. Because it’s my stronger arm, I find it easier to work the lure repeatedly with my dominant hand on the rod doing the majority of the twitching and jerking.
When casting a buzzbait, use a baitcaster.
Buzzbaits are frequently fished quickly and on top of the water. They are typically caught in and around cover. Because buzzbaits are fished quickly, a higher gear ratio is recommended. A higher gear ratio is also recommended for buzzbait fishing because you’ll want to get the bass out of cover as soon as possible after hooking up.
Furthermore, buzzbait fishing works best when precise casts are made to specific targets. Baitcasters allow for more accurate casts, making them ideal for this tactic.
Baitcasters and Swim Jigs Work Well Together
Swim jigs are designed to be weedless and snagless, making them ideal for fishing in heavy cover and grass. They are typically a little heavier, allowing them to cast well with a larger capacity baitcaster.
When used in thicker vegetation such as reeds, eelgrass, or Kissimmee grass, swim jigs are frequently fished with heavier (braid).
They’re also commonly fished by waking them near the surface, which necessitates a higher gear ratio to keep the lure moving quickly enough.
When all of these factors are considered, a baitcasting reel is the ideal match for swim jig fishing.
Use a Baitcaster when fishing with a large swimbait.
Large swimbaits are larger and heavier than most other presentations. Choose a baitcaster reel when fishing with larger swimbaits for a variety of reasons.
First baitcasters can handle more line, which you’ll need for longer casts with larger swimbaits. Second, because reeling a large swimbait can be exhausting, using a reel with a higher gear ratio that allows you to exert less effort per crank of the reel handle makes a lot of sense. Furthermore, lower profile and lighter baitcasting setups can help reduce fatigue when fishing with large swimbaits.
Baitcasters are essential for bass punching, pitching, and flipping.
Finally, there’s no doubt that punching, flipping, or pitching for bass is an excellent way to consistently catch large bass. To make these techniques work, you will undoubtedly require the proper rod and reel setup. With these strategies, power is the name of the game, and baitcasters are the way to go.
Heavy line is almost always appropriate for these tactics. Braid or a higher pound test fluorocarbon line are common line options. Baitcaseters are the best choice for these more demanding applications.
Furthermore, in order to maximize your chances of catching a bite, you should make as many presentations as possible. To accomplish this, the speed with which you retrieve your bait after each presentation (flip, pitch, or punch) is critical.
A higher gear ratio will allow you to pick up the line quickly after your cast, allowing you to move on to the next target faster. As a result, you’ll have more chances to catch more fish throughout the day!
It’s also important to realize that punching and flipping require more precision and accuracy than any other bass fishing technique. To target bass holding areas, you must be able to stop your bait on a dime (and quietly). Without a doubt, the best way to fish these styles accurately is with a baitcaster. You simply cannot do it effectively with a spinning reel.
This Ardent reel was created specifically for flipping. Check out the unique features in the product description on Amazon.