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6 Important Factors to Consider for Getting Your Hands on the Best Spinning Reel

6 Important Factors to Consider for Getting Your Hands on the Best Spinning Reel

Spinning reels have by now beaten baitcasters, maybe because of their ease of use and not having the learning curve like casting reels. Also they work the best for finesse techniques and light-line applications, again showing ease of usage and better performance. Still there are differences in the construction and performance of spinning reels and choosing the best spinning reel for you may not be very easy if you are new to the operation of spinning reel and measuring its performance. Here are useful tips to help you pick just the right spinning reel.

1. Housing – Body of Reel

Housing or body of the reel is made either of aluminum or graphite or even sometimes of both. That made of aluminum is stronger than that of graphite and offers less flex; however, the benefit of graphite body is that it’s lighter. Whether you want strength or light weight is your personal choice. Typically, if you are going for freshwater fishing, aluminum body of reel is your best bet, while for saltwater fishing, graphite reels are the best because graphite is resistant to corrosion.

Also, you should check if the body is strong in terms of solidity. There should not be any flimsiness in the moving parts of the body and they should move smoothly and not shakily. Spinning reels have more number of parts than casting reels. Reel with fewer parts can be less prone to mechanical collapse.

Though it’s your personal choice whether you want a lightweight reel or not, you may want to choose a light reel for a simple reason – to eliminate exhaustion. Weighty reels obviously put more strain on your wrist and forearm and if you are to spend a longer time on the water, it becomes important because this strain can bring joint stress and exhaustion. Most reels display weight in ounces. So, consider weight while choosing a spinning reel and ensure that you are comparing reels of the same size.

2. Size of Reel

It’s quite easy to choose a correct size of spinning reel because it depends on the size of a fishing line you will use most of the times. The lighter the line you choose, the smaller should be the reel.

To ensure that the reel you have chosen is rated for the pound-test line you want to use, see the information of line capacity given on the reel’s spool; or if you are shopping online, you will find it on the product chart. Typically the middle line capacity is displayed on the chart; so, if it is displaying “6 LB/90 YDS”, it means that the reel is suitable to 4 and 8 pounds line.

3. Brushings or Ball Bearings

Brushings or ball bearings are featured in the spinning reel inside the body and they provide support, smoothness and stability. Majority of spinning reels also consist of a roller bearing inside the line roller. By far, the larger number of bearings in a reel, the smoother will be its performance. In ball bearings too, you should prefer sealed stainless steel ball bearings to brushings because the former add control and durability.

You want to choose the number of ball bearings in a reel that you can afford; but there should be at least four bearings in the reel.

4. Spools

Spool is obviously an important part of the spinning reel, not just for holding line, but even for smoothness and casting distance. Most spools are either graphite or anodized aluminum. Graphite is lighter, whereas aluminum offers higher strength.

Regarding spool styles, they are basically two:

  1. Skirted
  2. Internal

While internal spools are quite out-of-the-fashion today, you can still get them in some models that are manufactured for the die-hard anglers. There is a major disadvantage of the internal spool – the line is entangled easily inside the housing. This irritating problem has been overcome by skirted spools and therefore they are more preferred.

“Long cast” is a variant of the skirted spool and sports an interesting design that provides some self-styled benefits. This type of spool is shallower as compared to the standard style, though it’s pretty longer. This lengthened spool apparently lessens the line friction, allowing an increased casting distance. This is definitely a benefit for sight-fishing or clear-water applications.

5. Reel Gear Ratio

The spinning reel spool is fixed, unlike that of casting reels where it is rotating. In case of a spinning reel, a bail surrounds the line on the spool when you turn the handle. Gear ratio means how frequently the bail wraps the spool upon one turn of the handle. E.g. if the gear ratio is 4:1, it means that the bail will rotate four times around the spool upon one turn of the handle. This ratio (4:1) denotes a slow speed because you can pick up only a small amount of line while cranking (the line rounding the spool four times with each crank). Its advantage is it provides more amount of torque while reeling in a bigger fish. A high-speed reel has 6:1 ratio. Whether you want a low, high or medium speed should be decided upon the style of fishing you are going to do.

In case of choosing only one spinning reel, you better choose a medium speed reel with ratio 5:1. If you can afford buying multiple reels, adding low- as well as high-speed reels to your arsenal will enable you to cover multiple situations.

You will also see something called “line recovery” displayed in inches on the spinning reels. This just denotes the length of the line wound around the spool with every turn of the handle.

6. Anti-reverse Handles

These are actually a prerequisite while seeking a perfect spinning reel. It prevents the backward spinning of the handle so that hook sets are accurate and powerful.

Also ensure that the reel has a sizeable knob and arm so that you can ‘find’ the handle easily and also get a firmer grip and it’s less likely that your hands will slip from the handle if they are sweaty or in wet weather.

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