How Do You Know What Size Reel to Buy?

How Do You Know What Size Reel to Buy?

Many of today’s anglers find the spinning reel more adept at addressing their fishing specifications than the baitcasting reel. This probably has a lot to do with the former’s ease of use and easier learning curve than casting reels.

What’s more, it also holds the edge performance-wise, helping fishers execute better finesse moves and light-line applications.

If the spinning reel is your reel-of-choice, it’s important to acquaint yourself with the factors that affect its inner workings. These are what we’ll discuss today, so you can select a reel that best meets your specific fishing requirements.

Spinning Reel Parts

Open-face reel is the term many anglers use to refer to the spinning reel. It can be found mounted uniquely at the bottom part of your rod. 

Those who are new to fishing will typically find the spinning reel’s design helpful in learning the craft. The reel is structured in such a manner that it reduces the likelihood of lines getting tangled during fishing.

The following are the spinning reel’s main parts:

  • Reel body
  • Reel handle
  • Reel foot
  • Line spool
  • Bail
  • Spool release
  • Anti-reverse switch
  • Line roller and drag adjustment

Weight and Body of the Spinning Reel

The body of the spinning reel is either made of aluminum, graphite, or a mix of both. With aluminum, you get a stronger housing, but a little less flex compared to graphite. Graphite, on the other hand, is a tad weaker but is lighter, which also has its advantages.

Deciding whether the weight or strength of a reel is more vital is a personal choice. Still, the best reel for freshwater fishing is one made of aluminum, while the choice reel for saltwater fishing is graphite. Graphite is known to resist corrosion, making it the ideal option for fishing in the sea or any body of water with considerable salinity.

Another important factor to check out is the body of the reel. Make sure there aren’t any sections that are loose or wobbly, and all parts are moving smoothly without any back play. You must also keep in mind that spinning reels outnumber casting reels when it comes to parts. Hence, you’ll want to select a spinning reel that doesn’t have too many parts, so the chances of a mechanical breakdown occurring are reduced significantly. 

Lastly, pay attention to the weight of your reel since this can impact fatigue. With a lighter reel, you put a lot less strain on your forearm and wrist. This is an extremely vital consideration to make if you tend to fish for long hours.

Choosing What Size Reel to Buy

Choosing a reel that’s the right size is up there with selecting the proper fishing line for your brand of fishing. The rule of thumb in reel size selection is this: the lighter your line, the smaller your reel.

It is also important not to go beyond the 10-pound test when testing for the spinning reel’s strength and diameter. You’ll want to stick to the eight-pound test as your average if you typically fish for walleye and smallmouth bass. In this case, the ideal option would be a reel that’s medium-sized and rated for 10-, eight-, and six-pound fishing lines. 

To be sure you’re selecting a reel of the correct rating, check out the line capacity information located on the spool. In case you’re shopping online, the same information can be spotted on the product chart.

Other Spinning Reel Considerations

Terms such as “drag system” and “reel gear ratio” are just as important as reel size, body, and weight. You’ll also want to keep them in mind during the reel selection process. Let’s break them down for you.

1. Reel Gear Ratio

The number of times the bail rotates in a single turn of the handle is what’s referred to as the gear ratio. So, a 4:1 gear ratio means the bail will spin around four times in one turn. This ratio also tells you that the model is slow-speed and won’t be picking up too much line during cranking.

This is a good ratio to have if you’re reeling in some of the bigger game because it has greater torque. Take note that when choosing between a low-, medium-, or high-speed reel model, always consider the style of fishing you typically engage in.

2. Drag System

The drag system should never be overlooked in the spinning reel selection process. When a fish is caught, the drag is what applies pressure to it. It also lets out line if a struggle ensues. If this mechanism doesn’t run smoothly, there’s a good likelihood that your line will get broken. 

That said, you must make sure the reel you purchase has a drag system that’s easy and non-limiting. This allows you to pull your catch out smoothly and steadily, regardless of the tension the drag is set.

Final Thoughts

As important as it is to choose a reel of the correct size, there are also other factors to look out for. According to My Fishing Tools, newbie anglers should also acquaint themselves with the reel body and weight, drag system, and reel gear ratio in order to land a reel that best fits their fishing specifications.

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