Choosing The Right Bass Fishing Reel
When you are first getting into fishing choosing the right rod and reel set up can be a little difficult. A lot of companies use big “Hi-Tech” words to describe theirs products components and when a person who hasn’t been fishing long begins to shop it can all seem like a foreign language. We are going to break down the differences between “Baitcasters” and “Spinning Reels” to help make sure you are choosing the right bass fishing reel.
If you have little experience fishing and are looking to get into the game almost everyone will tell you to start off with a spinning reel. A spinning reel is the obvious choice because of how easy it is for someone that has zero experience to get familiar with. You can cast a spinning reel easily without having to worry about your line becoming tangled and knotted. This is because the line is coiled on the reel and when cast there are no moving parts but the line is being let out by the weight of the lure. The only moving parts and the reason it is a great beginner reel is to make a cast you simply open the face of the reel so line can be let out with no resistance and to retrieve you close the face and turn the handle. One other big advantage is that the spool is much larger which lets you reel in more line quicker. Spinning set ups are usually associated with finesse fishing such as using worms, drop shots, tubes, and any light bait. If you get a medium rod or heavier you can throw lipless and light crankbaits as well. These are good strategies to use as a amateur fisherman to learn the basics such as feeling a bite versus the bottom. It allows you to put in the time to work on your presentation with these various baits. Since these reels are typically used for finesse fishing you will want to use fluorocarbon fishing line in the 6 to 12 pound range or braided line in the 10 to 20 pound range. We truly believe in using one rod and reel set up to start. This is so you can learn what your rod and reel’s capabilities are. That will give you a better idea of what rod and reel set up you will want next which will often be a baitcaster, but trust me you will never want to leave that spinning set up at home. Having a few good spinning reel set ups is crucial out on the water. Now days depending on the body of water you will see professionals with a couple spinning reels on their deck in case the bite slows down and they are forced to use more finesse baits.
Once you are ready to move up from using a spinning reel you may or may not have a friend that let you borrow a baitcaster to try out so that you can see the difference. One of the first things you probably noticed was that unlike the spinning reel is that the learning curve is much steeper. This is because a baitcaster’s spool will rotate until it is stopped by your thumb. If you do not do this you will quickly realize you have a rat’s nest in your spool because even though your bait is in the water the spool kept rotating causing the line to lose its tightness but also having nowhere to go. Sometimes you can get a rats nest out easy and sometimes you have to cut the line. After some practice you will get more comfortable with this reel and soon love throwing it.
Baitcaster’s offer improved accuracy and casting distance not only for making long casts but short as well. From pitching and flipping lily pads and under docks to bombing ledges with a deep diving crankbait the baitcaster can do it all. The reason for this is not only because of accuracy but because when you think your lure is in a good spot you can stop your reel and let the bait drop right where you want it. Where as with a spinning reel if you were to stop the line you will get a big tug on the line stopping your momentum and forcing your bait to fall short and possibly get tangled up in its own line.
These reels come in various gear ratios for different types of fishing. When first getting into a baitcasting reel we recommend a reel with a 8:1:1 or 7:1:1 ratio. These ratios will be able to fish any lure you need from spinnerbaits, jigs, deep diving cranks, topwater, and many other techniques. These reels also can use lighter and heavy line from 10 pound line to 80 pound braid giving your rod and reel plenty of backbone to rip those fish into the boat confidently.
What do gear ratios mean?
Many companies will offer the same reel in many different gear ratios such as 7:4:1, 6:4:1, or 5:5:1 for examples. A 7:4:1 ratio’s spool will turn 7.4 times per every rotate of the handle. Where this comes into play is that if you have too high of a gear ratio on a deep diving crank the less amount of time the crankbait will be in its desired depth because your reel is bringing in too much line too quickly. Over time as your commitment to fishing grows you will find yourself with an arsenal of rods and reels to cover every aspect of fishing when you are on the water.
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