With all of the different kinds of fishing reels out there, it may seem like choosing the one for you is impossible. Below is some helpful information on types and uses of fishing reels:
Types of fishing reels:
There are two main types of fishing reals. The spin real, also known as a threadline, eggbeater or coffee-grinder reel. An ‘overhead reel’ refers to a collective including several types of reels that might otherwise be known as a conventional, game, trolling, barrel, baitcaster and low-profile reels.
Strength, maximum drag capacity and line capacity were once the determining factors that made overhead reels the choice of ‘serious’ anglers, simply because early spin reel designs couldn’t match the overhead designs. Modern spin reels can now equal—and in some cases exceed—the capabilities of overhead reels. This makes the choice of which reel is better for you less clear, so we’ll take a look at the options relative to the intended purpose:
Either a spin or overhead reel is fine for everyday bait fishing, where you’re casting your baits from shore or a boat, so let your personal preference decide. It is recommended for beginners start with a spin reel because they are simple to use and will do everything you need. As you develop more specific fishing styles that might benefit from an overhead reel, then you can add to your tackle then.
Overhead reels are the best choice for trolling, whether you’re targeting marlin offshore with game reels or seeking barra or cod in rivers using baitcaster reels. This is simply because the shapes and designs better suit being left in rod holders.
There are good casting reel options in both spin and overhead reels. Spin reels are easier to cast with. However, casting with an overhead reel can be mastered, it just takes a bit more practice at the start. Spin reels are better at casting lighter weights. An overhead reel generally requires more momentum so heavier weights make in easier to cast. The spin reel’s ‘freer line’ advantage diminishes as the lure or sinker weights increase because with more weight comes more momentum, regardless of which reel type is used.
Bottom fishing and jigging:
Overhead reels are a better option for boat fishing scenarios such as when you’re dropping baits or heavy lures to the bottom and fishing vertically. The immediate line contact and spool control are advantageous when your lure or bait hooks a fish on the drop. Line capacities are usually ample for fishing deep water. More robust parts and fewer small parts are better for longevity in a harsh saltwater environment and bigger gears designed for more torque tend to last longer as well. The line running over the top of the rod is also useful during fights with big fish because it reduces the chance of the line accidentally coming in to contact with the gunwales when a fish has you bending over the side in a rough sea, which could cost you a fish in a moment of distraction.
All that said, strong modern spin reels now hold their own offshore. Some offshore anglers prefer this style because of the extra lure speed they can make when needed, and because a big spin reel offers more versatility should the angler encounter a scenario where a long cast could secure a bonus fish spotted feeding on the surface.
If you intend fishing saltwater, check that the reel is suitable for this purpose. Some reels imported into Australia are specialist reels developed for freshwater-centric markets in other countries.If you intend fishing with a heavy drag setting, check the body, reel seat, handle and bail arm assembly for flex by gently squeezing and moving the parts with your hands. Too much flex might cost you a fish and might be an indication the reel is not up to the torture you have planned for it.It’s worth checking that the reel you’re planning to purchase will actually fit into the reel seat fitting on the rod you plan to match it with. It’s only rare that they won’t fit together, but check, just in case. Whichever reel you choose, remember it has a lot of interconnecting moving parts that operate in harsh conditions and at times under extreme pressure. The more you look after it, the better its chance of having a long and reliable life.
Fin-atics carries a wide assortment of fishing reels and any other fishing accessory both in store and online.