By Ron Johnson, Professional Angler
Deciding on what fishing reel to use is just as important as selecting your fishing rod. In a recent blog, Ron discussed fishing rod types, length, and action to help you choose the right type for your style of fishing. Fishing Reels are also a critical component when pairing with your fishing rod, so we will discuss how to choose the best one for you.
Fishing reels exist in both left- or right-hand retrieve styles and are basic to advanced depending on your skill level. All fishing reels will vary in price, and much of that has to do with the components and style of reel you ultimately choose. Each reel style will have lower to higher grade components such as brakes, drag systems, gear ratio, bearings, and smoother casting. You will notice that the higher grade will usually lead to a higher cost.
You need to ask yourself which is best for your current level of fishing and how often you plan to fish. Investing in a more expensive reel in most cases is worth it in the long run if you fish more than a few times per year. I found that investing in a reel with better components results in less equipment failure and can hold up for years versus a less expensive model that becomes a “throw away” after a few fishing trips.
Gear ratio is also something to look for when picking a reel. Inside every reel is a main drive and series of gears. There are certain fishing techniques or presentations that require a higher or slower gear ratio to maximize the action of lures and speed of retrieve. In simpler terms, this means the higher the gear ratio, the more line is recovered for each full turn of the reel handle.
Example: 5:0:1 gear ratio versus 6:2:1 or 7:1 gear ratio. One full rotation of the reel will retrieve one full rotation of the spool. The higher the number means that for every one revolution or full turn of the reel, the more line is recovered.
Although you will find various brands and individual styles of reels in each category, below I will share the benefits of the three most common reels used today.
We hope this information will provide you a better understanding of fishing reels and helps makes your next buying experience much easier.