Best Reel for Skipping: Our Top 5 Picks

September 20, 2021

Our editors at Finn’s Fishing Tips independently research, test, and recommend the best products to help you make purchase decisions. You can learn more about our review process here. We sometimes get a commission through purchases made via our links.

Skipping can be one of the most rewarding fishing techniques. It takes some practice to get right, but once you master the technique, you will notice the difference in how you attract potential catches.

But having the right kind of reel also makes a huge difference to how well you can skip your bait. If you are looking for the best reel for skipping, the following are some great options that you can consider.

The reviews of the reels are followed by a brief buying guide for choosing the best reel for skipping: 

In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks…

Lew’s Tournament MP Speed Spool LFS Baitcast Reel

The Lew’s Tournament MP Speed Spool is a one-piece baitcasting reel that provides great grip and release for skipping. The spool boasts of double anodized aluminum  construction, as well as hard anodized aluminum speed gears.

The efficient construction of the spool ensures you get precise alignment while reeling. The supported pinion gear also ensures that you get a smooth operation while skipping.

The following are some of the things we like about the reel and some things that we don’t:

What We Like

  • This is a convenient reel to use as it has a one-piece aluminum frame. It also boasts graphite side plates for better durability and strength.
  • It has an externally adjustable multi-setting brake (MSB) that facilitates an easy dual-cast control system. 
  • The magnetic brake can be operated by an external click dial, but there are also four disk-mounted internal brake shoes that can be disengaged individually.
  • This is a bowed and lightweight reel and the handle provides incredible grip thanks to the paddle knobs.
  • It has a premium 10-bearing system and a zero reverse one-way clutch.

What We Don’t Like

  • It can be a little hard to get adjusted to the reel at first.

Kastking Megajaws Baitcasting Reel

The Kastking Megajaws Baitcasting Reel is so named because it is inspired by the apex predators of the seas, sharks. The baitcasting reel boasts of having the strength and agility akin to a shark.

It has a shark tooth front hood as well as shark fin side covers. The reel is reinforced with rigid metal components that allow you to get great control in the waters.

These are tournament-ready reels that can even be used by professionals. The powerful aluminum handle offers great grip and control.

The following are some of the things that work for this baitcasting reel and what does not:

What We Like

  • This is a long-cast system and it offers a slick and smooth design. 
  • The Low Friction Tapered Vortex allows for a smooth operation. It also has a funnel-shaped line guide that is able to reduce line friction with ease so you can cast the reel long.
  • It has a low-profile frame that allows you to grip the handle with ease.
  • The reel fits in your palm easily because of its compact size.
  • It has a convenient color-coded system that makes it easy to quickly identify which gear is required for what application. 
  • There are 12 double-shielded stainless steel bearings placed throughout the reel.

What We Don’t Like

  • The reel can be a bit noisy which can risk driving the fish away.
  • There can be a few instances of backlash when you first use the reel.

Piscifun Alloy M Baitcasting Reels

The Piscifun Alloy M Baitcasting Reel provides incredible durability owing to the ADC12-grade aluminum frame. The reel is corrosion and impact resistant, which allows you to fish in fresh as well as saltwater.

It also offers extremely accurate magnetic braking so you can act quickly when a catch comes by. The baitcaster can be adjusted quickly without any snags. This also means that one can expect fewer backlashes.

The following are some of the things we like about this baitcasting reel, and some others that could do with some improvements:

What We Like

  • This is an extremely powerful baitcaster with four carbon drag washers and one Hamai CNC brass gear. This means you can easily pull out even large trophy fish!
  • There are eight double-shielded high-quality ball bearings for an extremely smooth and snag-free operation.
  • The reel is corrosion resistant so you can use it in various kinds of water bodies with ease.
  • The magnetic braking system has 12 powerful magnets that will allow you to make quick adjustments on the fly.
  • There are high-speed NMB bearings that are able to facilitate casting over a long distance.

What We Don’t Like

  • The gears can feel a little rough at the beginning and take some time to settle.
  • The reel can be a bit noisy when you are casting.

Lew’s SuperDuty 300 Speed Spool Baitcast Reel

The Lew’s SuperDuty 300 Speed Spool Baitcast Reel is one of the most satisfying casting reels in the market. This is a great reel for heavy line fishing and can be used in waters of various kinds, around the world.

If you are out looking for big, trophy fish, this is a great reel for skipping. It has an even greater line capacity compared to its earlier versions and has immense brute strength as well. No matter how hard the fish fight, this baitcast reel will be able to handle it.

The following are some of the things that work for the product, while some that do not:

What We Like

  • It has an externally adjustable multi-setting brake (MSB) that allows you to use both the external click dial for using the magnetic brake, as well as four disc-mounted internal brakes that are individually disengaging.
  • The reel boasts of high-strength brass gearing that facilitates precision cut and makes the reel a lot more durable.
  • It has a premium 7-bearing system that has stainless steel double-shielded bearings. It also has a zero reverse one-way clutch which makes it very easy to use.
  • The reel has an incredible carbon fiber drag system that is able to generate 24 lb of max drag power with ease.

What We Don’t Like

  • The gears tend to make a loud grinding noise.
  • The line tends to get tangled at times.

Pflueger President XT Low Profile Reel

The Pflueger President XT Low-Profile Reel has an incredible nine-bearing system. The stainless steel ball bearings are corrosion resistant so you can fish in all kinds of waters, whether fresh or salt.

It has an efficient and quick-acting magnetic braking system, with externally adjustable controls. The aluminum handle ensures that you get the best grip. There is also a soft touch rubber knob that makes the grip comfortable.

The following are some of the things we like about the reel, and some things that we do not:

What We Like

  • This is a low-profile baitcasting reel that fits perfectly in your palm, allowing you to grip the handle easily.
  • This is an extremely lightweight and compact baitcaster that can fit into your gear very easily. It hardly takes any space nor does it add weight to your gear.
  • The aluminum and stainless steel construction of the reel makes it extremely durable and strong.
  • The nine-bearing system keeps the reel working smoothly and gives you a clean operation.

What We Don’t Like

  • This is a better reel for pond fishing than for larger lakes and rivers.
  • The reel is not able to cast as far as is advertised.

How to Choose the Best Reel for Skipping

The following are some useful factors to keep in mind while choosing a good reel for skipping:

Line Capacity

The line capacity of the reel is one of the most important aspects of skipping. A good reel for skipping should be able to cast long so you are not limited to a small radius while you are fishing.

The good thing about baitcasting reels is that you can cast your bait exactly where you want to without having to guess.

There is precision in baitcasting that is especially enhanced by good line capacity. So, when you are looking for a good reel for skipping, then you should look for one that has excellent line capacity.

Strength

The reel also has to be extremely strong so that you can be confident of getting big catches without the reel breaking under the weight.

A good ball-bearing construction is important as you will be able to operate the reel with ease and flexibility. The reel should be so constructed that it does not buckle under tension or if a fish is putting up an especially rigorous fight.

A strong reel for skipping should ideally have good aluminum and stainless steel construction for the best results.

Handle Grip

The handle grip, of course, needs to be convenient and comfortable. Paddle knobs on the handle are also preferred as that makes it easier to maintain a grip, especially if you have to wait very long hours to get a good catch.

Even if you happen to chance upon a fish that is putting up a strong fight, you need to work with a handle that you can grip and which will not slip away from your palms.

A low-profile baitcasting reel would also be compact and the handle would fit into your palms easily, so that is certainly something you should consider in a reel for skipping.

Durability

For any product that you buy, durability is one of the most important and crucial things to consider. But when it comes to reels for skipping, durability cannot be compromised by any means.

You want a reel that will last you a long time and will not buckle under pressure. You are also looking for a reel that will not corrode when it comes in contact with water.

The whole idea of a reel is that it will be close to water and moisture, often even saltwater depending on the conditions in which you are fishing. So, any good reel for skipping should be corrosion and impact resistant.

Besides, reels are not always the most inexpensive pieces of gear in your fishing kit. You want to invest in something that will give you a high-end fishing experience, so if you spend that kind of money, you certainly do not want to be straddled with a reel that breaks only after a couple of uses.

Braking System

The braking system is of the utmost importance in a reel for skipping. A magnetic braking system that you can control externally is the best option, but the system should also be backed up by disc-mounted internal brakes that can be individually disengaged.

A strong and responsive braking system will ensure that you can make decisions on the fly and can control how fast the reel is moving without any lags.

The magnetic braking system will ensure precision and immense control in the operation. This becomes especially important when you are skipping.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some frequently asked questions one may have about skipping and the right kind of reels:

Q. What Is Skipping in Fishing?

  • Skipping is a baiting technique that is not easy by any means, but it can be extremely rewarding when done right. As the name suggests, this technique of lowering the bait into the water looks quite similar to how rocks look while skipping on the surface of the water.

    This is a technique that lies predominantly in the wrist. The purpose of skipping in fishing is that you do not alarm the catch by throwing the line right next to them.

    When you make the lure skip over the surface of the water, it makes your target think it is an actual tiny prey that is skipping along the surface of the water. In other words, it makes even a plastic bait look more natural and is likely to attract a fish more easily.

Q. Why Do Bait Casters Get Tangled?

  • When bait casters get tangled it is referred to as “backlash” in fishing or angler’s parlance. Typically, a baitcaster may get tangled because the lure has slowed down after it has been cast or even during the cast, but the spool continues to spin anyway.

    When that happens, there is an inherent lack of coordination in the alignment and the baitcaster line gets tangled.

    While this is a problem in several old designs of bait casters, the new models in the market often have elaborate braking systems and anti-backlash configurations that make it a lot easier to set the bait without having to deal with a tangled baitcaster line.

Q. What Baits Can You Skip?

  • There are various kinds of baits that one can skip, but the ones that work best are typically small and lightweight. Essentially, baits that can bounce over the water with ease are the best ones for skipping. Jig is a good option for skipping.

    One can also consider buzzbaits and soft plastics for skipping. Trying your hand at a couple and seeing what works out the best for you is probably the ideal way to go. 

Q. How Do You Get Rid of a Bad Backlash?

  • The line getting tangled while you are trying to throw the cast out for fishing can be one of the most frustrating things, especially if you had an easy target in sight.

    But a bad backlash does not have to mean the end of your fishing trip. You can get rid of a bad backlash with some careful maneuvering. Reel back with your thumb tightly holding down the spool.

    This will allow you to pull the backlash out by pushing the tag ends on the running side of the line. It certainly takes patience and practice, but a bad backlash can be reversed.

Q. Why Does My Baitcaster Not Cast Far?

  • If you find that your baitcaster is not casting as far as it should, it could be that the spinning reel spool is already half full. This will cause increased friction as the line will keep uncoiling and going off the spool, preventing it from being cast too far.

    It could even be that the brake system of the reel is set too high, causing greater friction. If the line or the lure is too lightweight, that could also be a reason why the baitcaster is not casting far enough.

    The wind will prevent a lightweight line from going too far and it will likely simply fall at the halfway mark. 

Q. Does a Longer Rod Cast Further?

  • A longer rod will certainly give you the benefit of greater distance, but only provided the rod is compatible with the reel that you are using.

    You may have to tweak and increase the line capacity of the reels that you are working with. The more lines you can get on the spool, the more convenient it will be to cast far.

Final Thoughts

The reels that have been reviewed above are some of the best in the market for skipping. They provide immense control and also have a low profile so you can grip the handle comfortably.

The reels are also lightweight, which is an especially important factor to consider while skipping.

Most importantly, they have highly sophisticated braking systems that make it easy to maneuver the reels without getting a backlash. Any one of these reels would be a great fit for skipping.

Happy Hunting!

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