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Reels Buying Guide: Everything You Need To Know

Reels are an important piece of fishing equipment that can make a huge difference in your success on the water. Whether you’re an experienced angler or just getting started, having the right reel is vital to help you catch more fish. There are many factors to consider when purchasing a new reel and it can be difficult to know where to start. This guide will provide all the information you need on reels and reel selection so that you can make an informed decision about which one is best for you.


What types of reels are available?

There are several different kinds of reels to choose from depending on what type of fishing you plan on doing and what kind of fish you’re looking to catch. Generally, reels are divided into four main categories: spinning reels, baitcasting reels, fly reels and trolling reels.


Spinning Reels – these are the most common type of reel used by anglers who prefer lighter lines and lures. They are lightweight and easy to use and can be used for a variety of different fishing techniques.


Baitcasting Reels – these reels are designed for heavier lines and larger lures or baits. They typically feature adjustable drag systems which allow you to increase or decrease the amount of line being pulled off the reel while casting or retrieving your lure.


Fly Reels – these are specialized reels designed specifically for fly fishing. They are usually made of lightweight materials and feature a large arbor to help with line management while casting.


Trolling Reels – these reels are designed for trolling, which is the process of dragging bait or lures behind a moving boat. Trolling reels are typically larger than other types of reels and feature heavy-duty drag systems that can handle the repeated pressure from trolling.


What size reel should I get?

The size of reel you purchase will depend on the type of fish you’re targeting as well as your own personal preference. For lighter lines and smaller lures, spinning reels are usually best since they provide more control over your casts. If you plan on using heavier lines and lures, then a baitcasting reel may be the better option. Fly reels come in a variety of sizes but are typically smaller in size than baitcasting or spinning reels. And for trolling, you’ll need a large, heavy-duty reel that can handle the repeated pressure from pulling your bait behind the boat.


What features should I look for in a reel?

When purchasing a new reel, there are several features to consider: gear ratio, line capacity, drag system and frame material. A reel with a higher gear ratio will allow you to retrieve line faster as well as cast further distances. Line capacity is important since it determines how much line you can hold on your spool. Drag systems can be adjusted to the type of fishing you’re doing, with heavier drag systems better for larger and tougher fish. And frame material is important since it affects the overall weight of your reel as well as its durability.


What is a bearing system?

A bearing system is an important part of any reel that helps ensure smooth operation and casting performance. Bearings are small metal balls or disks that fit into recesses within the spool and line guides on the reel and provide support for the line when being cast or retrieved from the water. Reels with more bearings will typically have smoother operation than reels with fewer bearings, so they are often recommended for those who plan on using their reels frequently.


What is a reel drag system?

The drag system on a reel helps to control the amount of pressure placed on your line when casting or retrieving. It can be adjusted manually to increase or decrease the tension on the line depending on how hard you want to fight the fish. Heavier drag systems are typically better for larger and tougher species of fish, since they can handle more pressure without breaking your line.


How do I care for my reel?

Taking proper care of your reel is important in ensuring its longevity and performance over time. After each outing, it’s important to clean your reel with fresh water and remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated during use. If necessary, lubricate the moving parts with a light oil to prevent wear and tear. It’s also important to store your reel in a dry place away from extreme temperatures that could cause it to rust or corrode.


How much should I expect to pay for a good fishing reel?

The price of a good fishing reel will depend on several factors including brand, size, quality, and features included. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50-$300 for an entry-level spinning or baitcasting reel that is suitable for most types of fishing. Fly reels tend to be more expensive and usually range from $100-$700 depending on the type and brand you choose. Trolling reels are typically the most expensive and can range from $150-$1000 depending on their size and features.


Are there any special types of reels for trolling?

Yes, there are several types of reels specifically designed for trolling. Most feature heavy-duty drag systems that can handle the repeated pressure from trolling as well as high gear ratios to retrieve line quickly and cast long distances. For larger game fish such as marlin or tuna, you may want to consider a two-speed reel since they offer the ability to switch between high speed (for casting) and low speed (for fighting) with just one click.


What type of fishing line should I use with my reel?

The type of fishing line you use is largely determined by the type of reel and fishing application. For spinning reels, monofilament or braid lines are typically used depending on the strength and abrasion resistance desired. Baitcasting reels can accommodate a variety of line types including fluorocarbon, monofilament, braid and even braided superlines for increased casting distance or heavier lures. Fly reels require an extra-heavy weight forward floating fly line designed specifically for this purpose. And trolling reels should be matched with specialized wire lines that have higher tensile strengths than standard monofilament lines.


How do I choose between a spinning and baitcasting reel?

Choosing between a spinning or baitcasting reel is largely based on preference and the type of fishing you plan on doing. Spinning reels are generally lighter, easier to use and more versatile, which makes them great for beginners as well as experienced anglers alike. Baitcasting reels offer increased accuracy and control when casting heavier lures or larger fish, but require more skill to use successfully due to their higher gear ratio and more complex drag system. Ultimately, it’s best to try out a few different types of reels before making your final decision.


What type of drag system do I need?

The type of drag system you need depends on the type of fishing and size of fish you’ll be targeting. Baitcasting reels usually feature more powerful drag systems that can help with larger game fish, while spinning reels typically come with lighter drags designed for smaller species such as trout or panfish. Generally speaking, look for a reel that has an adjustable drag so you can customize it to match the conditions and size of fish at hand.


When it comes to buying a new fishing reel, there’s a lot to consider in order to make sure you’re getting the best possible value for your money. It’s important to research the different types of reels available, determine which one is best suited for your fishing application and budget, and familiarize yourself with its features so that you can properly care for it over time. By following these tips, you’ll be able to select a reel that will help ensure many successful days on the water.

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