- Gear ratios determine the speed at which a reel gathers up the line.
- A gear ratio of 6.3:1 means that for every 360-degree turn of the handle, the spool rotates 6.3 times.
- Baitcast reels offer more gear ratio options than spinning reels.
- Most spinning reels have a gear ratio of 5.2:1 to 6.2:1.
- Professionals usually use high-speed models (7.1:1 to 9.1:1) for most applications, as it’s easier to slow down a retrieve with a fast reel than to crank faster with a low-speed model.
Gear Ratios 101: Breaking Down And Explaining Fishing Reels
Choosing a fishing reel with the proper gear ratio will help you accomplish your aim, whether you require speed or want the ability to cast far.
The pace at which a reel gathers up line is determined by gear ratios. When a fishing reel’s gear ratio is 6.3:1, that means that for every 360-degree turn of the handle, the spool rotates 6.3 times. More gear ratio options are available with bait cast reels than with spinning ones for spinning rods. Although some manufacturers are now offering models with a 7.0:1 gear ratio for bass anglers who want to quickly retrieve drop shot rigs or tube baits when fishing in deep water, the majority of spinning reels have a gear ratio of 5.2:1 to 6.2:1.
The Wide Range Of Reel Options
Larger diameter lines can be stored on casting reels than on spinning reels.
The majority of brands of baitcasting reels have gear ratios between 5.0:1 and 9.1:1. Because it is simpler to slow down a retrieve with a fast reel than it is to crank faster with a low-speed model, professionals typically use high-speed models (7.1:1 to 9.1:1) for most applications.
There is currently a desire for a larger range of gear ratios for bait cast reels since bass fishing anglers gear their tackle so much to their lures. The power of a low-speed reel, such as a 5.0:1 type, is preferred by crankbait experts for winching deep-diving crankbaits to their greatest depths. Reels with 7.1:1 or higher gear ratios are preferred by anglers who like to tear lipless crankbaits through cover or keep buzz baits skittering across the surface.
The Beginner’s Guide To Baitcasters
The 13 Fishing Inception is the ideal first bait caster for beginning anglers because it is functional and cheap.
For presentations requiring a snail-like retrieve, such as slow-rolling spinnerbaits, novice anglers should use a bait caster with a lower gear ratio. The purchase of a middle-speed reel in the 5.4:1 to 6.2:1 range enables beginners to fish both slow- and fast-moving baits more easily because it requires experience to fish slowly with a high-speed reel. They are able to run a deep-diving crankbait or slow-roll a spinnerbait without overworking the lure by winding the reel slowly enough. They can crank their middle-speed reel quickly enough to get good results from buzz baits or lipless crankbaits.
End Things On A High Note
To achieve the best results for high-speed tactics like blazing buzz baits along the surface, ripping lipless crankbaits through vegetation, or crashing square-bill crankbaits into wood cover, you can graduate from the lower-speed reels once you have skill with them. Then you can practice using the pro’s particular technique for using a slower retrieve on a high-speed reel.
Choosing a spinning reel with the appropriate gear ratio for your preferred method of fishing is still vital, even if spinning reels have a smaller gear ratio range than baitcasting reels do. A larger gear ratio reel, like one with a 6.2:1 or 7.0:1 ratio, is your best choice if you wish to cast artificial lures on lighter spinning reels. When I fish for bass using finesse techniques like wacky worming or jig working, I prefer a higher-speed spinning reel because it allows me to reel in a slack line and set the hook more quickly.
The ideal choice for fishing with live or dead bait is a low-speed spinning reel with a 4.9:1 gear ratio. A powerful reel and thick line are necessary for this kind of fishing. The lower gear ratio offers the torque necessary for winching in large saltwater surf behemoths like striped bass, heavyweight catfish, and more.
Most ice fishing presentations call for spinning reels with 5.2:1 gear ratios. The power offered by the low-speed reel will enable you to fight and pull a heavyweight walleye or northern pike through the ice, even if the reel is loaded with a lighter line of 2- to 4-pound test.
Because spin cast reels are mostly used by beginners for live or dead bait fishing, the gear ratios available are quite constrained (3.1:1 to 5.1:1). While spin cast reels with a 5.1:1 gear ratio can handle the majority of bass fishing applications, they are too slow for high-speed techniques like buzzing a buzz bait, waking a spinnerbait, or burning square-bill crankbaits. Spincast reels in the 3.0:1 to 4.0:1 gear ratio range are great for bait fishing or slow-moving bass tactics like a worm or jig fishing.
updated @ 6:40 AM CT on April 19th, 2022
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