Baitcaster reels are coming into fashion with difficulty at the moment. The often mentioned advantages are the durability, stability, more precise casts and also that the line comes directly from the spool and does not have to be redirected like with stationary reels, which can completely prevent the so unloved line twist. But here in this country most anglers fish mainly with stationary reels and those who want to change often look for a cheap beginner reel to get a taste of the “Baitcaster air”. Many of them don’t want to spend much money. In fishing forums it is quickly recommended to buy a ~100€ reel, but not everyone wants to spend that much money.
Maybe the Kastking Royale legend, a 2016 released and revised version of the old Kastking Royale is a suitable reel? If the reel is suitable as a beginner baitcaster, or if you can get a high quality reel in China for about 27-50€, which would cost more than 100€ here, I would like to test here.
The Royale legend is a low profile Baitcaster reel and looks good on its own. In any case it is beautiful to look at. Impressive on paper are the 12+1 ball bearings and indeed the reel cranks out of the box very easily. Another outstanding feature of the reel are the two throwing brakes, which are also only used in extremely expensive high end baitcasters, namely a centrifugal brake and a magnetic brake. Both together should give a very fine adjustable brake. The magnetic brake has 12 levels, which can be adjusted quickly from the outside by a knob. To get to the centrifugal brake you have to open the housing as usual. The centrifugal force pins do not scratch and do not hinder the running of this model.
The very high gear ratio is also remarkable otherwise many baitcasters are not for faster lure presentations as they often come along with very low gear ratios. Here we have a gear ratio of 7.0:1! And speaking of cranks… the double cranks with the knobs fit very well between your fingers and are, what is important, also wet non-slip! The infinite backstop does its job, with minimal play in two crank positions. If you ever want to take the reel apart, you can get to the inside very quickly thanks to a simple lever.
Your weight is indicated as 213g. I measured 217 grams, which is still within the frame. The Baitcaster remains a lightweight. According to the manufacturer the maximum brake force is about 6 kg and can be adjusted very fine on the star brake. With a pull test I could confirm 5.5 kg! For this I had to wind up a thicker line first. The brake also starts without jerking, as it should. The line capacity is more than sufficient from a 0,26 mm line fit 180 meters on the spool and from a 0,30`er still 110 meters. The spool of a baitcaster doesn’t have to be full like a stationary reel, because the casting distance doesn’t suffer much. An American team angler of the brand uses the reel for sea kayak fishing. According to the manufacturer it is also saltwater resistant.
With a little practice you can cast great with this reel. However, a beginner should adjust the roll well. The reel casts quite strong, so you usually have to make the casting brakes quite tight. I recommend to use a somewhat tougher roll oil, this makes it much easier. My reel was also properly oiled, no savings were made here. If you get used to the reel and adjust it correctly, you can even pull it through and you don’t even have to brake with your thumb. A little practice makes the master here.
The weight I determined for the roll is about 10-40 grams. A little more and less is also possible, but it is not optimal.
My recommendation for good throwing results and adjusting the baitcaster:
- Step 1: Push out at least 2 of the pins
- Step 2:
- Step 3: Adjust the bobbin brake so that the lure slides down slowly and constantly
- Step 4: Set the magnetic brake to at least 7
- Step 5: Casting!
In any case, the reel is very solid and your money is certainly more than worth it. Comparable things cost 20-50% more. So you get a lot of Baitcaster for little money. I recommend beginners to go to a meadow or open area first and practice carefully throwing a Baitcaster. If you are halfway master of the roll, you can then go to the water without any problems. For anglers who have mastered the Baitcaster reel, I can recommend the reel relatively unconditionally, but they will probably want better. The Haibo Steed MS is supposed to be a much better Baitcaster, but it costs twice as much. The reel has my trust and I will go fishing with it a lot more. The reel has what it takes to be an insider’s tip for small money, but certainly can’t compete with 80€+ Abu reels.
The reel is available here mostly for less than 30€. Note: whoever has operated the crank of his stationary reel with his left hand so far, usually buys a “left-handed reel”. A roll with the crank on the right side is therefore something for left-handed people.
The technical data of the Kastking Royale legend once again
Important here: there are special rod grips for Baitcaster reels with a so-called trigger on which the index finger can rest. This is not necessary for the beginner, because you can continue fishing with your usual rods, it is recommended to choose only one rod with as many rod rings as possible, otherwise the line will go under the blank. If you have caught fire for baitcaster fishing you can equip yourself with an appropriate rod later on. A test of Baitcaster rods will follow here.
Small update: In the meantime I cast with the reel for hours without any wigs and I brake with my thumb for lures from 20g on. One of my mistakes was to spool up a cheaper mono line, which was much more annoying. Now I have the Kastking braid eyed and can’t complain. When the thumb has learned what to do then you don’t have to adjust the reel with every lure. At the moment I have the Baitcaster without pins, the magnetic brake set to 6 and spool brake actually much too loose and only adjust the spool brake sometimes a bit.