Choosing the right reel can be very crucial to your success as a fisherman. Your reel should match your rod and the type of line you are using. There are basically two types of reels to choose from; the open-face spinning reel and the baitcasting reel. There is also the closed face spinning reel that is made for beginners, kids, and for fishing smaller game fish like crappie, and bluegill. Knowing the different components on a reel and their job, will help you make a better selection.

Bearings: I like my reel to have five bearings are more. The bearings will cause your reel to run smoother and give it more power when you are reeling in a big fish. Bearings are more important on spinning reels than baitcasting reels because of the design. Spinning gears are aligned at 90-degree angles, baitcaster's are side-by-side, so this means it takes more bearings to drive the gears on spinning reels. More bearings will also add to your reels longevity.

Spinning Reels: Spinning reels are better equipped for smaller test line--I like to use 14-pound test or lower. I always get the reels with bigger spools, this is so I can make longer casts. I like my gear ratio to be around 5.1:1. This means every time you make a complete revolution with your handle, your spool will turn 5.1 times. If you go to fast with the gear ratio, you sacrifice power. The argument against spinning reels is, they get to many tangles on the reel. Some people call them snarls, whatever you call them, they are a pain in the you know what. To prevent these, you can spray your line with silicone and you will be surprised of what a difference it makes. You can also manually close your bell after you cast. This is when most snarls occur, after you've cast and engage your reel by turning the handle before the bell is closed. Don't fill your spool completely, this will also lead to snarls. Another knock on these reels is, they don't handle heavier line well or line with a lot of memory.

Baitcasting Reels: I like to have my gear ration about 5.1:1 as well and for the same reasons. These reels are great for heavier line, 20-pound are more. They also work better with heavier bait. They get less tangles because of their design. The spool runs with the pole as opposed to sideways like spinning reels. So these reels are great for bigger game fish, like northern pike or tiger muskie and sometimes bass. If your fishing in a lot of cover, and you need to muscle the fish out of the weeds, then a baitcasting reel would be good for the job. The problem with baitcasting reels is mastering the cast. This is when you get the dreaded "backlash." The nob next to the star drag is your main control for battling this problem. This nob is your tension, and when you have it set right, everything should run smooth. When you don't, is when you get the backlash. When the tension is to low, this causes a backlash and when its too high, you can't cast as far.

Match your reel to your rod. Most rods come with the recommendation as to what size line you should use. If it says 6-14 pound test, then a spinning cast reel would be more appropriate. If it says 14-20 pound test, then get a baitcasting reel.

Author: Jamie L Roberts
I have been fishing for a number of years and I have acquired some proven techniques that I believe will help most fisherman. You can read my blogs at http://fishermansbox.com.

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