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What to Look For in a Spinning Reel

by Alissa Crankshaw April 16, 2015

So you’ve decided to purchase a spinning reel. Maybe you are buying your first fishing rod, or maybe you want to upgrade from your old push-button reel system. Whatever your reasons, you need to do a little research before making your purchase. With these easy tips, you’ll have the right fishing reel for catching any species you want.

Instant Anti-Reverse Handles

Start your search by finding spinning reels that have no backwards motion on the handle. If you can more the handle backwards even a little, it can prevent a powerful and accurate hook set, greatly reducing your fishing success.

There should be no play whatsoever when you want to stop the reel. Test this by moving the handle forward, then gently trying to reverse it. If the handle backs up, move  on to a different fishing reel.

Smooth, Easily-Adjustable Drag

The drag system puts pressure on fish and allows you to give out line when needed. A smooth, high-quality drag system is essential for a good spinning reel. The drag system should let out line in a smooth, seamless manner, without pulls and jerks as the line goes. If it jerks and stutters like a car with a bad transmission, it may not be the right choice of reel.

Most anglers recommend a front-drag system on a spinning lure, as it is closer to the spool and easier to access and adjust during the excitement of a catch.

Amount of Ball Bearings

We won’t dive too deep into the mechanics, but just know that the greater the amount of ball bearings, the smoother the retrieve in your spinning reel.

Many experts recommend getting the reel with the most ball bearing that you can afford, but a good number to keep in mind is five. This is an ideal number because you’ll get plenty of smoothness with an affordable price, and you may not be able to tell the difference between five bearings, eight bearings, or even ten bearings.

Gear Ratio

Selecting the best gear ratio will depend on the type of fishing you want to do. Gear ratio is the amount of times the bail rotates around the spool during one rotation of the handle. So a 4:1 gear ratio means the bail goes around four times during one rotation of the handle.

If you are using lures that need fast retrieves, a higher gear ration is recommended. A 4:1 gear ratio is considered slow, while a 6:1 is considered fast. For a good all-around reel, go with something in the 5:1 region.

Keep these tips in mind and you’ll find the perfect spinning reel for your specific fishing needs.

Get High-Quality Performance Fishing Apparel 

After you get the right spinning reel, don’t forget the right fishing apparel. With Huk, you can choose from a wide-variety of long-sleeve fishing shirts to keep you comfortable all day. Visit our website and check out our huge selection of fishing shirts for men and women.


Alissa Crankshaw
Alissa Crankshaw

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