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Choosing The Right Fishing Reel For Your Needs

Unless you are an experienced fisherman, choosing the right fishing reels can be very difficult. Even if you are an experienced fisherman, choosing the right reel can be hard if you are trying to buy a new type of reel for something new.

Unfortunately, buying a good fishing reel can set you back hundreds of dollars. This means that it is very important to make sure that you choose the perfect reel for your needs. Failing to do so will mean that you either have to buy a new reel – spending money that you perhaps don’t have – or put up with using one which isn’t quite right. Trust me, this can be very annoying and can result in decreased fishing performance!

What sort of things do you need to think about when buying a fishing reel?

Reel size:

The size of the reel that you need will depend on a number of things, including the type of fish you are targeting, where you will be fishing from, and how experienced you are. Fishing in places like rivers, lakes, or off jetties usually calls for lighter gear and smaller reels, but heavier gear may be necessary if you are targeting big fish. On the other hand, things like surf fishing and offshore game fishing usually call for big fishing reels with heavyline, but some anglers may choose to use smaller gear to enhance the sport.

Reel quality:

If you aren’t planning on using your fishing reel more than a couple of times per year, then there is probably no point buying an expensive, top of the range model. However, if you are an experienced angler who enjoys fishing a lot, then you may choose to spend more. Keep in mind that saltwater fishing reels generally need to be higher quality because of the tough conditions they are used in – namely the exposure to salt, and sometimes to sand.

Line capacity:

This goes hand in hand with reel size. If you are targeting large game species in the open ocean, then you will probably need a reel which can hold at least a few hundred meters of line. On the other hand, fishing in small lakes and streams probably won’t require more than a small reel which doesn’t necessarily have to have a huge line capacity.

Do you already have a rod:

If you already have a fishing rod, then you need to think about matching your reel to it. Make sure that you buy an appropriate size and the right type of reel. If you have to buy a rod as well, make sure that you buy one which matches the reel you have in mind.

The type of reel you need:

The type of fishing reel you want is possibly the most important thing to think about when it comes to buying a new reel. There are a range of different types of fishing reels on the market, and each one is suited to use in different locations, targeting different species, and using different fishing methods.

The types of fishing reels:

Fly fishing reels:

Fly fishing reels are very specific, and should only be used for fly fishing. They are designed to make casting and working your fly simple and straightforward, and they should be paired with an appropriate fly rod.

Spinning reels:

Spinning reels – also known as eggbeater reels – are probably the most common type of fishing reel. They are the reel of choice for beginners, but are also popular among experienced anglers. They are simple, easy to use, and can hold a reasonable amount of line. They are easy to cast with, and are very well suited to surf or river fishing.

Baitcasting reels:

Baitcasting reels generally aren’t a good choice unless you are a seasoned angler, as they are notorious for being difficult to use. However, they are extremely accurate and controllable when mastered, which makes them very good for fishing in small spaces like streams or rivers.  

Overhead Reels:

Overhead reels are popular among boat fishermen, and are usually designed for trolling or bait fishing which doesn’t involve casting. Overheads generally hold a lot of line, and are usually the favoured reel for big game fishermen.

Electric fishing reels:

Electric fishing reels are a relatively new innovation when it comes to recreational fishing. Although they have been used for years by commercial fishermen across the world, their price was a major downside in the past. Recently, more affordable models have been released which are designed for use on overhead rods in deep water – taking the work out of deep dropping.

Alvey Reels:

Alvey reels are extremely popular in Australia. They are designed to be extremely hard wearing, and have few small parts. They are similar in look to a fly reel, but much much larger, which means that they have a huge line capacity and are useful for targeting big fish from the shore.

Popular fishing reel manufacturers:

There are literally hundreds of fishing reel manufacturers across the world. Some of the more popular and reputable brands include Penn reels, Shimano reels, and Daiwa reels, but smaller brands like Eau Claire Fishing also offer very high quality products.

Basically, the most important thing when it comes to buying a fishing reel is doing your research before purchasing. Don’t buy on impulse, don’t buy outside your budget range, and most importantly, don’t buy an extremely cheap reel which is likely to break as soon as you hook a good fish. Good luck!

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