'Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime'

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Have you ever been fishing and had your reel break. Until I realized that cheap reels do not hold up Quality fishing reels are an important complement to quality fishing rods. Spend the money for quality.

Gear Ratio:

Manufacturers make fishing reels with retrieval speeds from slow to fast. Retrieval speed is determined by the gear ratio of the fishing reel. A 5:1 ratio reel means the spool of the reel will make five complete revolutions for each revolution of the reel handle. Reels with low ratios are ideal for lures that require a slow retrieve. Most crankbaits work well with a reel with a 5: 1 ratio, while other lures such as a lipless crankbait are best fished with a 6.2:1 ratio reel. Occasionally individuals that fish only with reels having a 6.2:1 ratio, feel that they can slow their retrieve by turning the handle slower when they are fishing a lure that requires a slower retrieve. Purest feel that they lose the sensitivity that a fast retrieve offers when they try this method.

Gear ratio also determines the amount of line that is brought in with each turn of the handle. A reel that has a full spool, and a gear ration of 4:1 retrieves about 18 inches of line with each turn of the handle. A reel with a 5:1 ratio will retrieve 22 inches of line. A reel with 6.2:1 will retrieve 28 inches of line with each turn of the reel handle. A reel needs to recover at least 21 inches of line per revolution. Otherwise a fish will outrun the retrieval and the angler cannot catch up to the fish to set the hook or keep the fish out of cover.

Remember, retrieval speed is determined by how fast an individual turns the reel handle. Assuming each individual is consistent with the speed in which they turn the handle, the higher the ratio, the faster the retrieve of a lure is. The lower the ratio, the slower the retrieve is. Each person should adjust the speed he turns the handle to match the gear ratio of the reel to obtain the appropriate lure retrieval speed.


Baitcasting Reels:

Round Bait Casting Reels
Current reels have a remarkable number of options including one that automatically reels in your fish. Deciding which options you need relates primarily to how much you want to spend. Regardless of the features on a reel, spend time to learn how to use them correctly. Some of the more important features that I consider important are the number of bearings, gear ratio, the breaking system, line capacity and weight.

The number of bearings is an indication of how smooth a reel is. In general, more bearings provides a smoother turning of the spool. I would recommend a minimum of four or five bearings. Low gear ratios (less than 5:1) are not recommended.

A reel with a gear ratio of 5:1 is good for heavy lures, or lures with a lot of resistance whereas a 6.3:1 gear ratio is a good choice for most lures.

Braking systems vary considerably but all are intended to stop the spool from turning on its own. Make sure that any reel you have does this adequately unless you like backlashes.

Low Profile Bait Casting Reels
Line capacity on a reel is a factor that needs to be considered. A reel needs to have adequate capacity for the type of line to be used. Line capacity is typically shown by test weight of the line. However, more and more manufacturers are showing capacity by line diameter. Capacity by line diameter is better due to frequent improvements in line strength while maintaining or reducing line diameter.

The weight of a reel is important since hand fatigue will play an important roll in a full day of fishing. Select the lightest reel suitable for the intended use.

Finally, casting reels are either right or left-handed (not changeable like spinning reels). It is suggested you find out which way you prefer prior to purchasing your reel. If you are right handed, it is best to reel with your left hand. However, most anglers cannot do this, so check it out first.

Spinning Reels:

Spinning Reels

Spinning reels use a different method of casting and fishing from that of baitcasting. In spinning the spool is fixed and offers no initial resistance thereby eliminating the chief cause of backlash. Since there is no inertia to overcome at the start of the cast, extremely light lures can be easily cast. The advantages to a beginner are that they can learn to cast in a fraction of the time it takes to learn how to baitcast.

There are two types of spinning reels: closed-face and open-faced. While closed-faced reels are great to teach children how to fish, most anglers prefer open-faced reels.. Spinning reels come in a variety of weights. Selection of the reel should be based upon the rod the line it is to be matched with. Again, it is best to use the lightest reel possible in order to reduce fatigue.

As in casting reels, gear ratio controls the speed at which you retrieve a lure. A spinning reel should have at least a 4:1 gear ratio. The gear ratio combined with the spool diameter controls how much line can be retrieved with one revolution of the handle. A minimum of 15 inches per reel revolution is a must, 20 inches or more is better.

Line capacity is also important in choosing a spinning reel. Different line capacities are shown on the spool. Again, capacity is generally shown by test weight of the line but some brands show the better indicator of diameter.

Many of the same parameters that applied to casting reels such as pick-up points, anti-reversal, etc. also apply to spinning reels. The drag on spinning reels is more efficient than the drag on casting reels. Typically spinning involves using lighter lines (6- to 10-pound test) than baitcasting, the drag is very important. Most spinning reels come with a front or rear drag. Spinning reels have changeable handles so you can reel with either hand.


As with most fishing equipment, proper maintenance can make all of the difference in acceptable performance. Reels should be wiped down after each use and stored in a dry place. It is recommended that reels be disassembled and cleaned at least once a year.

Fishing Tip: The new, lighter and stronger line can present problems for the average angler. Often it is appropriate to only fill a spinning reel with some flurocarbon lines no more than three-quarters full. Otherwise the line "comes off" after the lure has hit the water and snarls things up. In addition, Roger has suggested with some merit that the spinning reels with a high number of bearings do not stop as quickly as reels with fewer bearings. I have switched to 5 ball bearing reels from reels with 9 to 11 bearings and have seen the number of snarls decrease.

Ref: http://www.getreadytofish.com

-see you when i see you-

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