I agree on the Revo SX. Ive got one and its a pretty smooth reel. I also have a quantum EXO that i got from cabels...paid $99....regular $249. they both cast great. The gear ratio on both is middle of the road. I dont do enough specific fishing to warrant several ratio's. I search the sales, put my hands on them and buy what feels good to me.
Personally, in the past i have had bad luck with BPS branded baitcasting reels. Maybe things have changed in the past few years for them, im not sure.
I have an array of rod brands. Quantum KVD cranking rod, BPS crankin stick, Academy Sports H2O Ethos.
Im alot pickier on rod action than gear ratio. I do throw big cranks so i got the 7'+ KVD cranking rod which is a dream to launch baits all day. Then my Academy rod is my universal topwater, jig (1/4 oz is the biggest i use) worm, ect. Then a few more varying lengths and actions as spares in the boat.
Determine what you are going to throw and start your rod search from there. If you dont plan on chunking big baits a long ways, no need for a big cranking rod. A good 6'-6" to 7' medium action should work fine for bank stuff. Then tweek your reel brake to toss lighter or smaller stuff.
My academy baitcaster is my go-to jigging rod in the winter and im jigging 1oz blade baits and 1.25oz leadheads and it performs great.
When you have a universal setup, there isnt much you cant do! now i wouldnt target big cats or stripers on my academy rod just due to tackle requirements, BUT, should i stick one, it would make for a fun fight ya know.