Fishing Reels – Choosing the appropriate fishing reels can be very crucial to your success as a fisherman. There are basically two types of fishing reels to choose from – the open-face spinning reel and the bait casting reel. There is also the closed face spinning reels that are made for beginners, kids, and for fishing smaller game fish like crappie, and bluegill. Knowing the different components on a reel will help you make a better selection from the different types of fishing reels.
Bearings: The bearings on fishing reels allow the reel to run smoother and give it more power when handling big fish. However, bearings are more important on spinning reels than baitcast reels because of the design. Spinning reel gears are aligned at 90-degree angles, baitcast gears are side-by-side, so this means it takes more bearings to drive the gears on spinning reels. It would be preferable to have 5 or more bearings. More bearings will also add longevity to fishing reels.
Spinning Reels: These fishing reels are better equipped for smaller test lines, 14 pounds or less. A good gear ratio for these reels is around 5.1:1, which means that every time you make a complete revolution with your handle, your spool will turn 5.1 times. If you go too fast with the gear ratio, you sacrifice power. The argument against these fishing reels is that they get to many tangles on the reel. To prevent these problems, you can spray your line with silicone. You can also manually close your bell after you cast. This is when most snarls occur, after you’ve cast and engage your reel by turning the handle before the bell is closed. Don’t fill your spool completely, this will also lead to snarls. Another knock on these fishing reels is that they don’t handle heavier lines well or lines with a lot of memory.
Baitcast Reels: These fishing reels are great for heavier lines, 20-pounds or more. These fishing reels also work better with heavier bait. They get less tangles because of their design. The spool runs with the pole as opposed to sideways like spinning reels. So these fishing reels are great for bigger game fish, like northern pike or tiger muskie and sometimes bass. If you’re fishing in a lot of cover, and you need to muscle the fish out of the weeds, then a baitcast reel would be good for the job. The problem with baitcast reels is mastering the cast and the dreaded “backlash.” The nob next to the star drag is your main control on these fishing reels for battling this problem. This nob is your line tension control, and when you have it correctly set, everything should run smoothly. When the line tension is too low on these fishing reels, it will cause a backlash and when it’s too high, you can’t cast as far.
When selecting the appropriate fishing reels for your needs, make sure to match your reel to your rod. Most rods come with the recommendation as to what size line you should use. If it says 6-14 pound test, then a spinning reel would be more appropriate. If it says 14-20 pound test, then get a baitcasting reel. In other words, do your research when selecting your fishing reels.