How to Choose a Fishing Reel

A fishing reel is a mechanical device that holds and spools out fishing line. It has a brake to slow running fish, a handle to retrieve line and a bracket to fasten the fishing reel to the rod.

  • Picking a reel starts with knowing what type of fish you’d like to catch.
  • Think about what sort of lures or bait you’ll be casting. In general, spinning reels work best for small lures and baits, while baitcasters favor heavier lures. After that, it’s mostly preference.

When you are shopping for a reel, you’ll notice that many brands have several reels with the same name that come in different sizes (for example a 100, 200, 400). This is usually based on the capacity of the spool, which dictates the overall size of the reel. Larger reels can also apply more drag force. If you plan on fishing for larger, stronger fish, you’ll need a bigger reel that can produce more drag force.

Spool capacity is given by length and the pound-test fishing line that it applies to. Stronger line has a greater diameter, so less line fits on a spool. For example, you might see a reel listed as 230/ 6lb., which means it can hold 230 yards of 6 pound test monofilament. 

You want to pick your reel so that it comfortably handles a fishing line of the same strength as recommended for your fishing rod. 

Tips for Beginners When Buying A Spinning Reel

1.  Understanding the spinning reel role

A spinning reel is an essential part of the fishing rod. It is the spinning part that will be reeling in your line. When you cast the line, it is extended out by the reel. It is provided with a handle, so you can retract back the line.

2.  Reel types

A spincast reel is suitable to beginners; cheap and less durable than other options.

The baitcasting reel is made for advanced fishermen and has a high gear ratio, but a bigger casting difficulty.

The spinning reel rarely backlashes, unlike the others; it may twist the line, but performs well overall and has greater precision.

3.  Manufacturer specifications

Check and compare the gear ratio for each model you're considering. Also compare the line capacity and ball bearings. Distinguish between lightweight and heavy reels. Each make can have a different maximum drag.


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