Fishing Reels come in all different shapes and sizes. Before fishing, you’ll need to know what type of fishing reel is best for the type of fishing that you’re doing. In this article, we’ll be explaining the different types of fishing reels available on the market and what you might want to use. The main types of fishing reels include spinning, baitcasting, spincast and overhead reels. We’re also putting together subsequent guides for reel cleaning, maintenance and explaining the different components.

Fly fishing also has it’s own type of fishing reel know as a flycasting reel. Flycasting reels and set ups won’t be covered in this article but we’ll have one in the future.

Spinning Reels

spinner reel guide
Source: Wikipedia

Spinning reels are the most popular and probably the most well known. When most people are asked to picture a fishing rod and reel, chances are that a spinning reel will come to mind. A spinning reel sits underneath a fishing rod and has an open design. From the outside, you’ll be able to see all the features such as the spool, bail arm, handle and the drag adjustment. Spinning reels feature an anti-reverse function that prevents the handle from rotating backwards when fighting a fish. When fighting fish, the drag adjustment is used to control the amount of line that is taken by the fish. The tighter the drag, the harder a fish has to fight to take

Spinning reels feature an anti-reverse function that prevents the handle from rotating backwards when fighting a fish. When fighting fish, the drag adjustment is used to control the amount of line that is taken by the fish. The tighter the drag, the harder a fish has to fight to take line from you. The looser it is, the faster the fish can run away with it. Finding the right balance when fighting is important and is the difference between getting spooled, breaking your fishing line or successfully reeling a fish in.

Spinning reels are very practical as they tend to hold a lot of fishing line. Some reels also allow you to quickly swap spools meaning you can keep different lines set up or simply have a backup when things go wrong.

Baitcasting Reels

baitcaster reel guide
Source: Wikipedia

Baitcasting reels are another popular reel. These reels sit on top of a fishing rod, rather than below it. The fishing line sits on a spool that runs parallel with the rod and the line will run out through the front and over the rod. Baitcasting reels come in a lot of different forms and offer different sorts of features.

Despite its name, baitcasting reels are typically harder to use than spinning reels and require more practice to master casting. As the line runs parallel, a poor cast and leave your fishing line in a mass tangle that can end your fishing trip early. To successfully cast, you’ll need to control the rate that the line leaves the reel. This can be done by placing your thumb gently over the line to prevent it from running too quickly. Alternatively, some reels feature a casting brake. The casting brake will need to be adjusted before use and may take some practice before it’s right. It may be easier to start with a slightly tighter set up and loosen it as you go. Although this might limit your casting, starting too loose may lead to a tangle.

Baitcasting reels are great for use with heavier lines and fishing with lures.

Spincasting Reels

spincaster reel guide
Source: Wikipedia

Spincasting reels are great for beginners and children. The reels are incredibly easy to use but do come at a slight performance cost. Although they look similar to a spinning reel, spincasting reels sit above the rod and are completely enclosed. These types of reels feature drag settings, a handle and a button to release line for casting. To cast, simply press the button at the back of the reel to release the line. When the handle is turned, the reel the line will stop running and start retrieving.

Overhead Reels (Trolling Reels)

overhead fishing reel guide
Source: Wikipedia

Trolling refers to a fishing method and also type of equipment. To troll, a lure with hooks is dragged behind a boat to entice a bite. The reels themselves are quite similar to baitcasting reels. They sit above the rod and line runs parallel. Due to the type of fishing done with these reels, versatile set ups are available. Different types of lines can be set up including monofilament, braid or wire for big game fishing. The spools are usually large and can hold a singificant amount of heavy line.

Overhead reels typically feature drag, a handle and release button or lever. They’re easy to use and set up as line is typically dropped out the back of the boat and allowed to run. These reels also feature some sort of clicker as an audio clue to let you know that line is being taken out and that you’re on a fish. The sound of the clicker is probably the most exciting sound to hear while fishing.

Conclusion

This article should give you a good introduction to the types of fishing reels available. Depending on the type of fishing you’re doing and what experience you have, you should have a better idea of what kind of reel you want to use. Next up will be pairing a reel with an appropriate rod.

Have we missed anything or still have some questions about reels? Let us know in the comments below!

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