Choose a Reel That Is Suitable for the Fish You Intend to Catch
Fishing is an incredibly entertaining hobby that offers a great way to relax and get away from life’s daily stress. Fishing presents opportunities to get outdoors, enjoy nature, and pursue a sport that is satisfying and rewarding. Every angler knows that the success of a fishing trip depends heavily on being properly prepared, and that includes having the right gear. One item of critical importance is choosing the right reel for the kind of fish being sought.
Know Your Reel Types
Reels come in several different sizes, styles, and levels of performance. For most casual anglers, a good spinning reel is well suited for the type of fishing that’s being done. Spin casting reels are an easy to use option, but many anglers feel that these are best left to kids and inexperienced anglers. Spincast reels have an enclosed spool to which an open bail arm is attached. A force from the thumb causes an internal mechanism to release the line, which then travels to the bait and lure. Spinning reels, on the other hand, feature an open bail arm and feature a line that is released by a thumb push or a flick forward.
Match Your Reel to the Fish You Intend to Catch
The reel’s size plays an important role in its performance. A reel that is too large or too small will not go the job correctly and result in frustratingly poor results. In general, most freshwater fishes like bass, perch, and sunfish can be taken with medium-sized spinning reels in the 1000 to 2000 class size range. Musky, Northern Pike, and other larger species require larger reels that range in size from 3,000 to 5,000 class. To catch smaller species of fish like trout, panfish, and the like, the smaller-sized 500 to 1000 class reels are your best bet.
Choose a Reel With the Appropriate Line Capacity
The line capacity for a reel is typically listed on the reel itself. When fishing for large species of fish, it’s important to use a reel with a higher line capacity for a number of reasons. A minor reason is that you’ll have more line on the spool and can extend your casts further. A major reason is that a large spool of line is necessary for fighting larger fish. If your line is too light, it won’t have the capacity to handle the pressure of a large fish’s fight and will likely snap. Pay attention to the type of line you’re using when choosing your reel; many small reels are fine for light lines, but are not large enough to spool up the thicker lines used for larger fish.
Choose the Right Gear Ratio for Your Reel
Choosing the right gear ratio for the reel is important and will have an overall impact on your fishing performance. Gear ratios are the number of turns the spool makes for each crank of the handle. A slow gear ratio like 4:1 is great for slow fishing techniques – often used with live bait. Low-ratio reels are awesome at cranking in larger fish, but require more effort when cranking. High gear ratio reels like 8:2 or 10:1 are great for speedy retrieves and work well when lures need to be cranked quickly.
Choose a Reel With Quality Construction
When considering which reel to buy, be sure to consider the quality of construction. Reels come in different price points, and the more you pay, the higher the quality you should expect. In general, the more expensive a reel is, the better quality it should be. Look for reels that feature good-quality bearings, a strong bail, and tight tolerances. In terms of materials, most reels are constructed from aluminum, graphite, and a combination of both. Aluminum is known for its strong construction; graphite is known for being lightweight. Each of these materials has its own pros and cons.
Choose a Reel Based on the Manufacturer’s Reputation
When choosing a reel, always consider the manufacturer’s reputation and read reviews from those who’ve used the reel on the type of fish you want to catch. Some brands are well known for quality and performance, while others aren’t as well known. Brands that tend to be highly regarded include Pflueger, Penn, Shimano, Daiwa, and Abu Garcia.