Do You Believe in Magic? Our $99 Low Profile Casting Reel Round Up
When it comes to rods and reels, there's something magical about that $99 price point. We hear it referenced countless times from multiple manufacturers each year at ICAST. Once considered the threshold for higher end tackle, now it's break-point for value driven rods and reels. At ICAST 2018, there were a couple of reel manufacturers refreshing or introducing a new low profile baitcaster in this category.
Once considered the threshold
for high end tackle, $99 is now the break-point for value driven rods and reels
We heard a lot of claims with words like "the only" or "one of the few" in reference to features of these price point reels as compared to what "the other guys" are doing. I left the show very intrigued by all those claims, and when that happens, you know what's next. Here's our roundup of the more prominent ~$99 low profile baitcasting reels on the market and what they do or do not have to offer.
In this roundup of 7 $99 reels, we're going to do a feature by
My original intent with this article was a full blown, 7 reel shootout, but after fishing all seven of the reels discussed in this article, what I felt would be more informative is a feature by feature comparison. This way, you can see for yourself what you're getting and which of these reels bares closer inspection. We do have individual reviews published for each already (click on the italicized product name for a link to their respective reviews), so if you want a closer look, that information is available. In the meantime, here are the players in alphabetical order.
13 Fishing's Origin C
13 Fishing - Origin C : It's only been 7 lucky years since 13 Fishing made their debut at ICAST 2012, yet only a couple of years since they introduced their Origin lineup of value priced casting reels. Origin C is their $100, value contender designed to deliver essential, core features in an attractive, fun package.
Abu Garcia's Revo X
Abu Garcia - Revo X : After a several years struggling with the presentation of a value oriented reel, Abu Garcia finally decided to bring it all into the same family and create the Revo X. Benefiting from the company's 4th generation refresh of the Revo family, X joins the lineup as the $99 upstart available in three different retrieve ratios and if you're into combos, Revo X will soon be available in three new colors.
Daiwa's Fuego CT
Daiwa - Fuego CT : Daiwa reignited the fire with the latest refresh of their popular Fuego platform engineering it into their new, compact, CT frame for a 2017 debut. Outfitted with many of Daiwa's original ideas and designs (like the swept handle), Fuego CT made Zander reminisce about the classic Daiwa Black Widow reels upon his review in May of 2017. It is the most expensive reel in our value group at $109.99.
Lew's Speed Spool LFS
Lew's - Speed Spool LFS : The Speed Spool LFS is Lew's best seller, and is a no frills reel packed with ten (10) bearings and a magnetic braking system. It's not a reel that will attract a lot of attention, but it is one that just screams "fish me." The reel served as our re-introduction to Lew's as a brand earlier this year, and we're anxious to see how its features compare to the rest.
Okuma - Cerros : Okuma quietly refreshed their Cerros low profile baitcaster recently refining the braking system and drag delivering everything an angler seeks in a value priced reel and packaging it in a sleek, gloss black frame. Like Daiwa's entry, Cerros actually crosses over that magical $99 threshold offered at $104.99, but close enough to be included in our roundup.
Quantum's Accurist S3
Accurist S3 (Quantum) : The Accurist S3 from Quantum made its debut at ICAST 2018. It benefits from Quantum's latest S3 initiative re-engineering their reels from the ground up. It is available in two retrieve ratios in both left and right hand configuration and is one of two reels in this round up offered in several different color schemes making things just a little more fun.
Shimano - SLX : Shimano has historically done very well in the +$150 market threshold, but for some reason has struggled in recent years to offer a compelling product at $99. That is, until this year. Shimano SLX enters our roundup as the youngest, brand new platform from any of our participating manufacturers and is already a top seller.
Next Section: Rounding up those specifications...