What to Look for in a Fishing Reel

fishing reel buying guide infographic

You don’t have to be an experienced fisherman to appreciate a properly functioning fishing reel. A proper fishing reel allows for easy casting and reeling in of the line after a catch.

More experienced fishermen will be more particular on the type and quality of their fishing reels.

Whether you’re new to fishing and have no idea on what to look for in a replacement reel for your pole or you’re an experienced fisherman who bought a new pole and aren’t satisfied with the reel, here are some things to look for in a great fishing reel:

Reel Type. There are spinning vs. conventional reels out there. Spinning reels are the better option for beginners. Conventional reels are better for experienced fishermen who want more control and farther distance on their casts.

Reel Body. The housing that contains the reel is either made of graphite or aluminum. Graphite reel bodies are lighter allowing for more control while aluminum, though is heavier, it is more durable and longer-lasting.

Reel Size. The size of the reel will largely depend on the type of fishing you’re planning to do. Deep sea fishing, for instance will require a thicker, longer line than casual fishing on the lake. The thicker and longer the line you use, the larger the reel you’ll need and vice versa.

Reel Gear Ratio. The reel gear ratio is the number of times the line goes around the gear spool per each turn of the handle. The most common reel gear ratio is a 4:1 ratio. This ratio (where each spin of the handle makes the line go four times around the spool) is considered a slow speed. A 5:1 reel gear ratio is average speed and a 6:1 ratio is a fast speed. If you’re not sure what type of fishing you’ll be doing, it is recommended to get a reel with a reel gear ratio of 5:1.

Drag System. Each time you cast and reel in the line, there is drag. The type of drag will depend on the type of reel. Spinning reels have options of front or rear drag and conventional reels have either a star or lever drag system.  Front drag systems have less components, which mean there is less chance for something to go wrong, but the rear drag system allows you to adjust the line with a fish (or load) on it. Star drags are better for less experienced fishermen because it is harder to accidentally move the line out of position and a star drag system has pre-set features that allow for a set-it-and-forget-it experience. Lever drag systems are more expensive, but can be adjusted at a moment’s notice, increasing the chances of keeping the fish hooked.

Number of Bearings. While this may seem nit-picky, but the number of ball bearings a reel has plays a big part in the fishing experience. Not all reels have ball bearings. Some have bushings instead. For the smoothest cast and reeling, you’ll need a reel with as many ball-bearings as possible.

Whether you’re looking to get your first fishing pole or you’re looking to replace the reel on your favorite, go-to pole, there are many things to consider when looking at fishing reels. Selecting the right reel will give you a better fishing experience and the best results.

Find your perfect fishing reel today at Kiehberg.in