The Ultimate Guide to Buying the Best Musky Reel: Top 6 Picks

Best Musky Reel

Muskies are a succulent addition to your dinner table- and only the best musky reel can create this possibility. Many anglers regard them as freshwater trophies, and with good reason. Muskies are challenging to catch and target.

Despite it, you can still manage to develop the odds into being positively on your side- by using the right reel.

If you seek to enjoy the satisfaction of reeling in a musky, you need to select the correct equipment. Your choice of reels is a factor that you cannot overlook. It dictates the likelihood of you successfully fishing muskies. Your reel must be durable and prepared to bear the power of monster fish like muskies.

With the multitude of reels available, it may be challenging to pick a suitable one for your musky fishing endeavors. We understand this and are here to help smooth things out.

Read on for a comprehensive buying guide, complete with reviews for the best musky reel.

The Best Musky Reel: Top 6 Options with Reviews

You must already know that muskies are popularly known as “the fish of ten-thousand casts.” While it is remarkably rewarding to reel in your big catch, it is equally testing- just as the expression indicates. Below, we have carefully selected the reels that will make it far simpler for you to land some big catches.

Here are some reviews to help you select the best musky reel:

KastKing Rover Round Reel

KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel, Left Handed...
3,772 Reviews
KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel, Left Handed...
  • BULLET PROOF - The hot Rover reel just became hotter. The KastKing Rover round baitcasting reel has...
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  • SUPER SMOOTH - KastKing Rover reels have premium MaxiDur double shielded stainless steel ball...
  • VERSATILE - KastKing Rover is a perfect conventional reel for trolling, bottom fishing, and other...
  • FISH INTO THE FUTURE - KastKing Rover conventional reels are built with functionality, quality, and...

The KastKing Rover is an excellent reel for fishing muskies, and can find different sizes and models in this range. It is particularly apt for beginners.

While KastKing is not quite a household brand for reels, the Rover goes beyond this status. It has six ball bearings that use stainless steel for their construction, so it functions smoothly.

With a T handle that is oversized for a comfortable grip, you can assure yourself of reeling in a big catch with maximum control. The reel features thick, hard-anodized aluminum side plates that ensure durability and strength. The components of the device are industrial-grade stainless steel that is resistant to corrosion and easy weathering.

Power is an indispensable factor when looking for a reel to fish muskies. The KastKing Rover has it in abundance. It has a high-quality carbon fiber drag system, offering about 30 lbs. of drag and a 3.6:1 gear ratio.

In addition to this, this reel sports a line capacity that is large enough to accommodate longer lengths of monofilament or braided lines. It is especially handy when you are targeting a particular species of fish. The weight of the reels in this range is about 18-20 lbs. on average.

The reel has a centrifugal braking system that makes sure that the pressure is uniform and constant on each cast. It is ideal for more than freshwater fishing.

It is suitable even if you feel like switching things up with saltwater fishing when you are not out for muskies. The Rover assures anglers of practicality and functionality at an affordable price.

Top Features

  • 18-20 lbs. weight
  • 3.6:1 gear ratio
  • Maximum drag of 30 lbs
  • Oversized T handle


  • Features a clicker line out alarm
  • Brass precision gears and stainless-steel worm shaft
  • Superior carbon fiber drag system
  • Oversized T handle features EVA grips for no slipping
  • Easy-access spool release
  • Inexpensive and cost-effective


  • May not be valuable to a seasoned and professional angler
  • Some variants have a slow retrieval rate

Shimano Calcutta Round Reel- 400D

Shimano Fishing Calcutta 400D Round Reels [CT400D]
  • HAGANE Body
  • S-Compact Body
  • Super Free Spool
  • Viable Braking System
  • Cross Cbon Drag

The Shimano Calcutta D CT400D is an impressive reel with high functioning and superior quality. It is useful for freshwater as well as saltwater fishing, so you can use it just as well for when you are not seeking muskies. Many anglers hold Shimano in high regard when it comes to precision engineering and innovation.

A body featuring solid metal construction offers superior durability and rigidity to bear the brunt of reeling in a musky. It has an impressive cranking power and an X-Drag with a maximum drag of up to 15 lbs.

The line retrieval rate per crank is 27 inches, and the reel has a gear ratio of 5.1:1. These features make it highly suitable for fishing muskies.

The best part about the reel is that it is remarkably lightweight at just 11.8 lbs. This makes it convenient for handling and explains the maximum drag of 15 lbs if you think it is low.

What’s more, is that Shimano uses its one-of-a-kind X-Ship technology that makes free-spooling better. The Shimano Calcutta D CT400D guarantees its users longevity and quality when fishing muskies. It is undeniably worthy of being called the best musky reel.

Top Features

  • 11.8 lbs. weight
  • 5.1:1 gear ratio
  • Maximum drag of 15 lbs
  • Retrieval rate per crank is 27 inches
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  • Excellent cranking power
  • Suitable for powerful fish, therefore good for muskies
  • Compact and durable body
  • Appropriate gear ratio for fishing muskies
  • Excellent for professional anglers too


  • Maximum drag is relatively less

Daiwa Saltist Hi Speed

Daiwa Saltist Levelwind Conventional High Speed Reel, 4...
  • Four CRBB shielded, corrosion-resistant ball bearings and a roller bearing, Powerful, high-strength...
  • Max Drag: 15. 4lbs, Line per Handle Turn: 35", Gear Ratio: 6. 1: 1
  • Direct-drive line counter measures in feet, Rugged, aluminum frame and sideplate
  • 5 Bearing System (4CRBB + 1RB), Ultimate Tournament carbon drag (UTD)
  • Dual-system Infinite Anti-Reverse, Machined aluminum spool, Levelwind system lays line evenly on...

The Daiwa Saltist Hi Speed reel meets all the criteria for being a part of the best musky reel options. It has the adeptness of a level wind. This reel is admirable for its rigid and all-metal construction and build.

It has an aluminum frame in one piece that makes it compact and reinforced against wear and tear when fishing muskies. All metal components are resistant to corrosion as well.

This reel’s smoothness is highly appreciable since it uses four shielded ball bearings with an added roller bearing. The maximum drag of the Daiwa Salist is 15.4 lbs. with a line per turn of handle reaching out till 35 inches.

It is particularly suitable for muskies since they are known to put up a fight. You can flaunt your fishing skills with full confidence if you have this reel on your side!

The reel’s weight is manageable- it weighs 18.5 lbs, ensuring strong performance while being convenient. This reel’s gears are hefty and use high-strength alloy metal for their build, providing a winding power greater by 30%. You can discern how this is excellent for musky fishing based on this factor!

Top Features

  • 18.5 lbs. weight
  • Maximum drag of 15.4 lbs
  • All-metal construction


  • Fast retrieval rate
  • Smooth and seamless drag
  • Construction offers excellent durability and strength


  • May not be appropriate for beginners
  • While the weight is manageable, it may be heavy for some anglers
  • Low maximum drag

Goture Ares-Max Reel

Goture Ares-Max Baitcasting Fishing Reel 22LB Carbon...
  • SUPERCOLOSSAL LINE CAPACITY (lbs/yds): 10/210, 13/180, 16/130 - while most of the fishing industry...
  • TOP-NOTCH BRAKING SYSTEM: Goture performed a tremendous amount of engineering research to develop a...
  • SMOOTH: 11 best-in-the business bearings for super smoothness, and a brass drive gear to assure long...
  • SALTWATER APPROVED: Built to take on high-powered species such as striped bass, steelhead, musky,...
  • LIFETIME GUARANTEE: GOTURE Ares-Max Reels are built to the hightest standard of quality and...

The Goture Ares-Max Baitcasting reel consists of just the right characteristics that mark its position in the best musky reel list as valuable. It is an extremely heavy-duty reel featuring a 6-section and 20-disc magnetic brake system- which carbon fiber constitutes.

The maximum drag that this reel can deliver is a decent 22 lbs, making it apt for musky fishing.

The line’s capacity is colossal, with a massive spool size that can accommodate a 35.5 mm spool. The compact frame of the spool ensures that it is not bulky and delivers excellence to musky fishers.

The cast control is impeccable as well. It is relatively lightweight as opposed to other reels in the same range.

The energy you need to exert to start spinning the spool on a cast is low due to this, making it convenient for you. It also has bonus brakes to maximize the distance.

The gear ratio of the Goture Baitcasting reel is 6.3:1, and it sports a quick retrieval rate. In addition to this, the device’s smoothness is on par with all others in its range. It has 11 ball bearings and a brass drive gear, bringing longevity and sleekness onto the table.

The reel is saltwater approved as well, built to handle fish with the highest of powers. Goture offers a lifetime warranty for this reel, and the company will send you free replacement parts if you require it.

Your fishing adventure is going to be memorable and comfortable with this reel!

Top Features

  • 6.3:1 gear ratio
  • Maximum drag of 22 lbs.
  • 20-disc magnetic brake system
  • Colossal capacity with massive spool size: 35.5 mm
  • 11 ball bearings


  • Comes with two Goture rod belts for free
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Large spool size
  • Top-notch system for braking
  • Suitable variants available for the left as well as right-handed anglers
  • Affordable


  • May not add much value to an advanced or expert angler
  • Handle tends to feel uncomfortable at times
  • Some users experience increased backlash

The Okuma Komodo SS Large Capacity Reel

Get 7% OFF
Okuma Komodo SS Large Capacity Low Profile Baitcaster,...
  • Heavy duty stainless steel drive and spool shafts
  • CRC: Corrosion-Resistant Coating process
  • Sport type: fishing

The Okuma Komodo is a competitor for the title of the best musky reel in an ultra-low-profile sector. Usually, brands and anglers reserve such types for smaller capacity sizes, but the Komodo SS brings undeniable competence and value. The construction’s main internal component is stainless steel that will not rust even in the harshest of conditions.

The main gear offers superior strength and power, perfect for musky fishing endeavors. This reel features a stainless-steel drive and spool shaft, both of which are heavy-duty. For high performance, premium machined aluminum constitutes the spool, side plates, and frame.

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The Komodo SS is available in different sizes. Depending upon the size you decide to select, you will find either six or seven ball bearings and different gear ratios. The bearings are made using HPB high-performance stainless-steel, adding smooth functioning to the reel.

The reel has a maximum drag of a whopping 30 lbs. that is catalyzed by the multi-disc, high output carbonite constituting the drag. For a low-profile baitcaster, this is perhaps the highest drag you will ever come across.

During casting, the level-wind system does not disengage and is synchronized. The level-wind ensures proper alignment due to this. Prepare for a productive session with the Komodo SS!

Top Features

  • Maximum drag of 30 lbs.
  • 6-pin Velocity Cast System
  • High-output carbonite drag system
  • Roller bearing


  • High performing
  • Cost-effective provides great value
  • Warranty period of 3 years
  • Durable and powerful construction


  • Low-profile reel

The Shimano Corvalus

Shimano Corvalus 301 Round Freshwater Fishing Reel Left...
  • The corvalus round baitcasting reel is built with a one-piece die-cast aluminum frame that will...
  • Offers a cast aluminum frame and aluminum side plates for longer smoother life and increased casting...
  • Employs super stopper and assist stopper to eliminate back play providing the angler with instant...
  • The variable brake system offers easier to manage and much more consistent spool speeds and takes...
  • Max drag: 11 lbs. / gear ratio: 5.2:1. / weight: 10.9 oz. / line retrieve: 22" / bearings: 3bb + 1rb...

Shimano is undoubtedly a brand that you can rely upon for providing the best musky reel. Its products offer great value and performance. The Corvalus Round Casting Reel is one such reel.

It has a single-piece frame of die-cast aluminum that can battle even the strongest of all muskies. The side plates also sport an aluminum construction of a durable nature that ensures longevity.

The reel sports three ball bearings of stainless steel that is resistant to corrosion and wearing. With a gear ratio of 5.1:1, the Corvalus is fit for when you crave musky for your next meal!

These polish the reel with an impressive smoothness in functioning. It weighs only 10.9 oz, so it is easy to handle. However, this also has its drawbacks- the maximum drag is only 11 lbs.

The reel features a unique super stopper and an assistant stopper that aids it while eliminating backlash. This characteristic also allows you to have an instant hook setting power.

The reel has a variable braking system that boosts the overall ease of management, an aspect that is extremely crucial when fishing muskies.

You will not find any troubles while casting and completing your cycle, with the reel ‘s consistency in spool speeds. The latter also reaps the best benefits of the maximum casting distance.

Top Features

  • 10.9 oz weight
  • 22 inches line retrieve
  • 5.2:1 gear ratio
  • Maximum drag of 11 lbs.


  • Cost-effective
  • Sturdy build with die-cast aluminum frame


  • Very low drag
  • Will not be suitable for more powerful muskies

Your Ultimate Guide to The Best musky reel

There are plenty of reels out there that can be your best friend while fishing muskies. You just read about the top six options, all of which are high performing. Despite this, if you set out to buy a reel for your musky fishing adventures, there are certain things you must take into account.

This comprehensive buying guide will take you through the essential details of buying the best musky reel.

What sets muskies apart from other fish?

Muskies are incredibly rare and difficult to intercept. Perhaps this is what makes them so precious to all anglers!

Muskies are undoubtedly a fine addition to your meals, but there are other reasons for their significance. These fish are thrilling to catch, and people usually go after them for sport. Muskies are the largest of all pikes, being apex predators in their realm.

They can grow to be as big as six feet and 70 pounds! The females are larger than the males, and it earns them their reputation as the giant monsters of fishing. They grow very slowly, though, taking about 17 years to reach a size of 50 inches.

What features should the best musky reel include?

Whether you’re out to catch a musky for a delicious dish or you seek a sporting experience, the reel you use must be of the highest grade. When looking for a musky reel, you need to watch out for some specific characteristics from a broader view. In this manner, you can rest assured with the knowledge that your investment will be worth it.

Here are the features you should take into account when buying a reel for muskies:

Grip orientation

Are you left-handed or right-handed? It will dictate which side of the reel will sport the crank. If you are familiar with fishing, you will already be aware of this.

It is a factor that beginners must keep in mind. Reels come in models with right and left orientations, so make sure you pick the correct one for yourself.

Gear ratio

All spinning reels have a gear ratio. Muskies are big fish, so the reel you choose should have a gear ratio that can handle the fish. A gear ratio of 4:1 to 6:1 should be perfect. As you can see, all the reels that we have reviewed in the section above fall within this range.

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The speed of a reel dictates the line’s length that you can retrieve with a single crank of the handle. A high speed is suitable for smaller fish, but muskies are huge- so speed matters less than the power.

The best musky reel will have a slower speed and a relatively lower gear ratio. It will boost the torque, and you will find it easier to reel in a big musky.


Muskies are powerful fish that are known to put up a fight. You will want your reel to be durable to be able to withstand the weight of a musky.

The best musky reel will have a stainless-steel construction of the highest grade. The equipment you buy should also be resistant to corrosion and compact in its build.


The best musky reel always needs a competent and robust line. The line you use with your reel should have a good casting distance as well. Distance plays a major role when fishing muskies.

The weight of your line should ideally be between 65-80 lbs. Besides this, a braided line will serve you better than a mono one due to its stretchable nature.


Price is not always an indicator of the quality of the reel. However, typically, expensive reels are the best musky reel. Despite this, many budget reels will still perform incredibly well.

We have included such inexpensive yet high performing reels in our guide, as you can see above. You may want to shell out a little extra money if you want a top-notch musky reel.


There are different types of reels available for fishing. These include Spincast reels, Spinning reels, and Baitcasting reels.

Spincast reels are not suitable for musky fishing. You can use a spinning reel, but it will not be the best course of action. Baitcasting reels form the category for the best musky reel. Even conventional reels will perform far better than others.

All these reels differ in their purposes, and baitcasting reels combine all features you would desire in a reel. They have an admirable drag as well- a necessity for reeling in muskies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the questions that people ask most frequently. You will be able to find the answers you seek in this section.

Read on to finalize your pick and acquire the best musky reel!

What is the best time for musky fishing?

Muskies move from deep waters to shallow waters as the water warms up to reach 50 to 60 degrees. They particularly move towards shallow waters that face southward.

You will find muskies in shallow waters during the early summer season. They will return to the cooler depths once the heat begins to rise.

The best seasons to fish muskies are spring and fall, as they are easily accessible. They move away during peak summers. These monster fish feed during dusk and dawn, so 90 minutes before sunrise and sunset are productive.

What equipment will I require for musky fishing?

Just as you need a rod, line, and bait for general fishing, you will need these for musky fishing too. You will also need to keep a release tool on hand for catching and releasing. A jaw spreader, bolt or hook-cutters, and needle nose pliers will be suitable.

You must take all safety precautions to protect yourself from wounds, bites, and injuries. Therefore, make sure you wear sturdy gloves. You will find a catch net as well as a small knife to be quite useful when catching muskies too.

If you seek optimal convenience, you should buy yourself a fishing vest. It is excellent and with enhanced practicality and utility.

Which type of braid is the best for musky fishing?

Musky anglers swear by braided lines. It is because braided lines have a lesser diameter and display incredible strength. They make for excellent, strong lines for muskies. Braids are suitable to go with the best musky reel.

Braided lines also have a stretchable nature, and this is indispensable while fishing muskies. These fish tend to pull, and you would not want your lines to snap. Braided lines have great abrasion resistance, and their knot strength is impressive.

Which is the most reliable brand for acquiring the best musky reel?

Shimano is perhaps the most reliable brand if you are looking for the best musky reel. It has a wide range of reels for all kinds of fishing and has a spectacular assortment of musky reels.

These reels have some of the most impressive features for catching muskies. They come with splendid gear ratios and control, as well as drag.

What kind of leader is best when out fishing muskies?

No matter which type of line you opt for, none of them will be any good if the musky attacks with its razor-sharp teeth. Hence, you must use a comparatively long leader. Simply a few inches of the length of the leader will not suffice or be the most practical.

You should be able to keep your mainline out of the risk of the bite of the musky you catch. Two feet is an ideal length.

The best option is to run extremely heavy leaders of fluorocarbon. It is stiff as well as sensitive in its construction. Even heavy mono is a suitable option.

Both of these are invisible too. The weight of the leader you pick for musky fishing should be no less than 80 pounds.

The most reassuring method of protecting your mainline is to use a metal leader.

Can I use other types of reels for musky fishing?

Yes, but it depends upon the type of reel you use. If you already possess a surf fishing reel, you can use it during your musky fishing adventures.

Though, some reels are not suitable for this purpose since they weigh 20-30 lbs. on average. Make sure your reel can handle this type of weight and power.

Pike and musky are very similar, so how can I differentiate between the two?

While they may look very similar in size and appearance, you can easily distinguish between a pike and a musky. Muskies have a noticeable pattern of stripes in an undulating sequence which bend into spots near the end.

The tails of muskies are usually speckled and more angular as opposed to pikes. Muskies also have between six and nine pores on their lower jaws, whereas pikes only have four to five pores. Muskies tend to spawn a couple of weeks after pikes.

To Sum Up

Muskies are marvellously plucky fish that are a delight to catch, either for sport or for meals. They are powerful and unusual to mark, so you must have only the best equipment to increase your chances. The reel you use undoubtedly plays a crucial role.

You must not settle for merely any reel! You need only the best musky reel for the best experience. This guide provided you with the top picks for the best musky reels. In addition to that, you also read about the characteristics that define a musky reel’s quality.

In this manner, you will be able to add the highest value to your decision.

Tight Lines!

This page was last updated on 2022-08-29. Affiliate links and Product Images are from Amazon PAAPI

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