Types of Fishing Reels

Sergio Smirnoff

Hello, my name is Sergio Smirnof, and my goal with FishReeler is to provide a valuable resource for anglers of all levels, from beginners to experienced veterans. I hope that my passion for fishing and dedication to the sport shines through in the content I create and inspires others to get out on the water and catch some fish!

Fishing Reel YUMOSHI XF4000 Spinning

Most Popular Types of Fishing Reels

Having reviewed all the types of fishing reels, we’d like to represent the list of top-rated fishing reels for every situation. We all know what a reel is and how it’s used. But there are different types of fishing reels serving different cases and purposes. You may ask: “Is it so important?” We will answer: it is because each type of fishing reel is created according to your taste, experience, and types of fishing.

In this article, you’ll find basic details, which help you choose the reel according to your activity and will make you an informed user in the process of buying a suitable reel. You’ll see what is of primary importance and what is recommended to pay attention to when choosing a fishing reel. We’ll list the best fishing reels with all their advantages and disadvantages. So, you’ll be able to choose the reel that is suitable right for you. Are you an advanced angler or a first-timer? We’ll give you useful information on every style of fishing and any level of experience.

Top 10 Types of Fishing Reels – Full Guide

Fishing, a timeless pastime, and beloved sport has captured the hearts and minds of countless enthusiasts worldwide.

But with so many different types of reels available on the market, the task of choosing the right one can feel as challenging as reeling in that elusive trophy catch. Fear not, fellow anglers, as we embark on a deep dive into the world of fishing reels, unraveling their intricacies and showcasing their unique attributes.

In this blog post, we will explore the fascinating universe of fishing reels, from the time-tested spinning and baitcasting reels to the specialized fly and trolling reels, and even venture into the realm of high-tech electric fishing reels.

As we journey through these various reel types, we’ll discuss their specific applications, advantages, and drawbacks, ultimately providing you with the knowledge to make an informed decision for your fishing adventures.

Now it’s time to explore the features of the best reels, which are available on the market. The three main types are spin-casting, spinning, and baitcasting reels. Let’s have a look at more detailed information about each type of fishing reel.

#1 Type – Spincast Reels

Spincast Fishing Reels

Remember your first fishing experience? Being excited about your results? As a child or a first-time angler, you may have used a spin-cast reel. That’s a great choice for beginners. It has an inexpensive price and it’s easy to use, so anyone can buy it and start their fishing experience. So, spin-cast reels are mainly used by kids and beginners.

Pflueger Trion Spincast Reel

This reel has a simple structure. Start using it by releasing a push button. The reel ensures casting accuracy and it has a great advantage: if there happen some tangles in your line, just turn the bail and straighten the line. This advantage will provide you with a pleasant evening that you can spend relaxing and enjoying your time in the open air.

Nevertheless, any reel has some disadvantages, and so does the spin-cast reel. One of the main disadvantages is that the spin-cast reel doesn’t allow you to cast as far as you want, because there’s not much space for line capacity. If you’d like to cast for more or less long-distance, you’ll be uncomfortable with this reel.

Another disadvantage is that it’s made for small fish. So, if the fish isn’t big, it’d be perfect, and if you expect something big, tuna, for example, this reel won’t fit because it has a limited amount of a line. For a child, this reel will be suitable, but a grown-up person who goes fishing regularly or at least had some attempts at fishing will be more comfortable with spinning or baitcasting reels.

A spin-cast reel might be the best pick for people of all ages because it’s easier to operate in comparison with most other reels, for example, spinning or baitcasting ones. The spin cast provides simple usage and it doesn’t take much effort to set it up. Probably, this reel was the first one you used to set up when you were a child.

Basically, it’s a spinning reel that has a lid that protects the line. It’s very useful when there are any twisting problems, although they don’t happen regularly. One more advantage of spin-cast reels over baitcasting or spinning ones is that you don’t need to fix the line when you’re casting because the reel has a special button on the side. When you press it, the line retrieves smoothly. It helps to escape problems with tangles and it allows you to enjoy your stress-free fishing experience.

We’d like to recommend reels if you’re a first-timer in fishing and these reels are also the best choice for children who want to be anglers. These reels are not very good for advanced anglers because their functions are limited. But we’re sure the spin-cast reels are still very popular among beginners thanks to their simplicity in use.

The Zebco 33 is the best spin-cast reel for any age. They appeared not long ago, and they’re a great choice. The Zebco 33 has a system that helps to avoid tangles in your line, so you’ll have an amazing opportunity of spending a great time on the shore. Successful fishing requires a lot of knowledge and skills, click on the page about spin-cast reels for more detailed information.

#2 Type – Baitcasting Reels

Baitcasting Reels

Baitcasting reels are very popular among many people thanks to their numerous advantages. Let’s take a look at its wonderful features. First, using this reel you’ll avoid twists or tangles in your line, and it’s a great advantage when you cast. You’ll be happy with it as there are no bird nests in this case.

Baitcasting Reels

These reels give you more opportunities while casting as their distance may vary. There are two versions of baitcasting reels: light and heavy. So, your cast may be farther than on previous reels. This type of reel requires more experience and it’ll provide you with more accuracy and power.

A baitcasting reel is an amazing one because it’s suitable for bigger and heavier fish. But there’s one point that can be considered a negative one: you’ll need more time to get used to it. You just need a bit more practice and you’ll become a skilled angler using this wonderful reel.

Having learned how to use this reel, you’ll enjoy your time near the water. In a couple of days, your casting will become accurate. And you’ll use this reel very often thanks to its high accuracy. We’re sure you’ll master your baitcasting reel as it’s easy to use and you’ll like your fishing experience because it has a high accuracy of the casting.

Baitcasting reels are divided into two categories:

  • Round Baitcasting Reel: This reel has a large spool, which gives you an opportunity to have a lot of lines. It’s the best choice when you’d like to make a more distant cast. That’s so splendid if you can make a cast as far as you want, so you’ll be satisfied with this type of reel. And it’s frustrating if something interferes with your fishing process.
  • Low-Profile Baitcasting Reel: This type of reel is very popular with anglers because it’s easy to use and lightweight. You’ll be happy with the low-profile reel as it provides you a great variety of fish, and one more very important feature is that this reel reduces the possibility of twists and tangles.

Advanced anglers choose baitcasting reels because they’re more convenient to use. There are several reasons. One of the most amazing features is that you can hold it not only parallel, but also perpendicularly. You can use a heavier lure while fishing and it gives you the opportunity to catch a bigger fish. And it makes this type of reel unique.

If you use a baitcasting reel correctly, it’ll give you a high casting accuracy. This type of reel is the choice of advanced anglers. The reason is that they need more manual control of an experienced person, and they don’t stop the process of pushing the line forward. The user should practice for some time to become delicate when the lure touches the water. If not, it may cause a splash or a tangle and you’ll spend time dealing with it.

A baitcasting reel is more suitable for those areas where your cast should be accurate or for small areas. This type of reel also has more time to retrieve in comparison with the previous types of reels.

The KastKing Royale Legend is the best choice among baitcasting reels due to its quality, inexpensive price, and power. It was made of stainless steel and anodized aluminum. It has ten-level brakes and features accurate casting. This fishing reel will ensure stress-free fishing.

#3 Type – Spinning Reels

Spinning Reels

Spinning reels are the most commonly used nowadays. If to choose between baitcasting and spinning reels, the decision will be difficult to make as it depends on the taste, and how you feel when you get the diversity. Spinning reels are the best pick for many people whether they’re fishing on the beach or lake. Just flip the metal wire up and the line will be released for your cast. Then flip it down and the line will stop

Spinning Reels

This type of reel is easy to use and if you’re a novice, it’s not difficult for you to learn how to use it. You’ll get used to it very soon. The spinning reel has its name because it spins when you retrieve the line. This reel will allow for stress-free fishing in an area where nothing will disturb you, promising you an amazing experience.

The spinning reel is the best pick for first-timers. Both of them, spinning and spin-cast reels are suitable for the people who are novices in fishing, and both reels have reasonable prices so it depends on you, which type of these reels you’ll buy.

If you look for versatility, the spinning reel will be a great pick for you. For a seasoned angler, it’ll also give a number of opportunities.

Spinning reels are the most popular on the market due to their simplicity and versatility. They offer a variety of settings. The feature we’d like to highlight is that they’re created to be parallel to your rod.

This feature distinguishes spinning reels making them different from other types of fishing reels. Just open the bail arm and the line will unwind smoothly. When you’re getting ready for your cast, you should put your finger on the line. You can regulate the moving of the line at the front part of the reel due to special adjustments.

If you consider yourself a skilled angler, then a spinning reel is just for you as they’re more convenient than baitcasting reels and they allow for more accurate casting than spin-cast reels. Although spinning reels are less powerful than baitcasting reels, they possess a larger line capacity and don’t cause any backlash.

This type of reel is more suitable if you use baits, which are not heavy. When you turned the bail into the open position, the line will retrieve without any limits. This allows you to make casts farther than you can do using a baitcasting reel.

Battle II from Penn is an amazing choice; this type of reel is very popular among many people. It is a very effective and long-lasting reel, created with high-quality materials; its drag system is made of carbon fiber, which makes it unique and capable of enduring stress.

#4 Type – Fly Fishing Reels

Fly Fishing Reels

Fly fishing reels were meant to provide the most accurate casting in comparison with many other reels. This great advantage will make you a skilled angler, so if you need a cast with high accuracy to the required place, choose a fly fishing reel.

Best Top Fly reels

These reels are divided into different categories, it depends on your specific purpose, whether you’re going to catch trout or salmon, for example. We can offer certain reels for the whole variety of the fishing process. Fly fishing reels are designed to allow for larger retrieval speed as there are larger arbors on this type of reel.

This type of reel ensures high quality and durability. These reels are effective, long-lasting, and easy to use. There are cases when fly fishing reels have been used for 40 or 50 years and remained as reliable as several years ago.

We’re sure that the fly fishing reel is a one-time purchase, and this advantage makes it special among the other products on the market.

Fly fishing reels are one of the most important gears that balance your rod. As you know, balancing the rod is a thing of primary importance. Fly fishing reels are being designed in two ways; they can be pre-cast and machined.

We ensure that both are equally effective, but there’s a slight difference between them. Pre-cast reels are heavier and not so long-lasting as machined reels.

Machined reels are made of metal, and they’re designed to be lighter. One more advantage of this type of reel is that they’re capable of enduring stress and they serve even more years than pre-cast ones, although both are durable. The material of machined reels is mostly anodized aluminum, which remains strong also in saltwater.

Fly fishing reels are also very effective in drag capabilities, and this point is necessary to pay attention to, while fishing. One of the most convenient and contemporary is a disc drag system; and less reliable but at the same time, less expensive is a click and pawl system.

The Behemoth reel of Redington is the best choice from the point of view of its quality, effectiveness, and modern drag system, which is made with carbon fiber. This reel is sleek, reliable, and strong which allows for catching a larger fish.

#5 Type – Surf Fishing Reels

Surf Fishing Reels Allround-Rollen

We recommend you to use surf fishing reels if the conditions are severe, but it’s up to you to decide which type of reel to choose. For this purpose, both spinning and baitcasting reels will suit you, but most anglers prefer surf reels as they ensure work in harsh conditions: sun, and saltwater. One more advantage of these reels is that they’re light and versatile. Surf fishing reels feature higher rates of retrieval.

Best Star Surf Series Reel

This type of fishing reels is corrosion-resistant as they’re made of stainless steel and anodized aluminum or graphite, so talking about the high quality we’d put surf reels at the top of the list.

They’re not only long-lasting but also able to keep a lot of lines and feature casting accuracy when working together with a good surf rod.

Surf fishing reels have numerous advantages. One of them is that they can be used for various fishing techniques and for chasing different species. Advanced anglers can use various types of lures, live and cut baits for catching a wide range of fish species, including strong bass, and even in harsh conditions.

Surf fishing reels have a distinctive feature if compared with other reels on the market. Surf reels are meant to use around salt water. Other reels may function as multi-use, so they can be suitable not only for saltwater but also for freshwater, although they were designed for use only around saltwater.

Due to the corrosion-resistant material, surf fishing reels are durable and they save their characteristics even having been affected by salt, moisture, and oxygen. Their anti-corrosion coating keeps them in good form for a long and prevents them from becoming weak if they’re used frequently.

Inside surf reels, there are sealed components. For example, to protect the reel from salt and sand that can get into the inner parts of it, it contains sealed ball bearings. So, if you’re looking for a corrosion-resistant reel, this type of reel is just for you.

When fishing in the conditions of tumultuous water, ocean, or seas, you can use a wide range of reels, but a spinning reel will serve you best. The reason is that you can cast farther and it’ll take minimum effort; this advantage seems even more important if cast from the shore. They can withstand not only harsh conditions but also have a more powerful drag system.

Surf Reels SHIMANO Ultegra Ci4+

The Rapid line KastKing Summer and Centron Spinning Reels is amazing for casting and features a strong drag system. As long as the material it’s made of, we ensure it’s high quality because it’s corrosion-resistant and contains ball bearings from stainless steel. Its rotating part and the aluminum spool are also on the list of numerous advantages.

#6 Type – Centerpin / Float Fishing Reels

Centerpin Fishing Reels

The centrepin reel is the type of reel, which rotates on its axle or center pin as you can see from its name. The spool is perpendicular to your rod and gives you the opportunity to make a cast for longer distances. This type of reel was invented in the 19th century.

Best Centerpin Reels

This reel has an indisputable advantage that distinguishes it from the other types of reels on the list. This feature is very interesting. The spool and drag are free.

This point allows the line with a bobber or afloat for free moving along the stream. Moreover, when using a compatible rod with this type of reel, you will create conditions for successful fishing.

The drag system of this type of reel is a bit different; there are center pins or axles that feature a drag system. Well, we’re sure that center pins are wonderful when you catch a big fish, for example, carp, because it allows you to cope with the situation faster and easier. So, with this reel, you’ll be able to control the fish on the line.

The centrepin reel was at the top of its popularity in the 1960s in Great Britain. Since that time it was a great element of the “float fisherman” and you could see people using this type of reel while fishing.

Nowadays this type of reel is popular among anglers in the USA and Canada whom you can see on the rivers around Great Lakes on the sides of both countries, and also in Europe and Australia, fishing in saltwater and in freshwater. Although this type of reel isn’t commonly used in comparison with many others, these days they’re used more for coarse fishing.

Anyway, it’s up to you to decide when choosing the most suitable reel because your choice will depend on the type of fishing you plan to do. Every occupation requires the right equipment, and so does the fishing. We’re sure now you’ll be an informed customer when making a purchase. Happy fishing!

Centerpin reels were probably the first reels, which served for fishing. They’re commonly used by anglers due to their simplicity in work, simple design, and spinning system that can be described as free and at the same time having no drag.

This type of reel is expensive and it takes more time to master at first. They may seem difficult for making a cast, as they require some effort to make your cast accurate. The same can be said about baitcasting reels, so they both aren’t for beginners in fishing. Centerpin reels serve best for long distances, approximately 10-12 feet. They also have an outstanding design, unlike many other fishing reels.

Today center pins are less common than they were in the past. Its free-spinning system helps avoid loops or twists on the line. These drag-free reels make your fishing process exciting and challenging. We’re sure that this type of reel will create a wonderful experience, no matter if you’re a beginner or an advanced angler.

The reel from Sougayilang is an amazing element of fishing. It is made of rust-resistant material and it has a good click drag system and a fast retrieve system.

#7 Type – Conventional / Trolling Reels

Trolling Reels

Conventional reels are very useful when fishing in deep water or offshore. These reels are also called trolling reels or casting reels. If you’re planning to catch a big fish in a deep sea, the most suitable type of reels is conventional ones.

Top Trolling Reels

Extra-strong graphite or machined aluminum structure makes conventional reels unique. Another advantage of this type of reel is great line capacity, which, together with its drag system that can be characterized as multi-disc and easy to use, helps you catch a bigger fish.

So, conventional reels are the best choice for you, if you need a powerful drag system and you’re planning to catch a big fish.

Trolling or casting reels are characterized by dual speed, there’s the opportunity to switch between two types of fishing, from fighting big fish, for example, tuna or marlin, to a more difficult type when fighting big fish from the bottom, with the help of the lever. So, conventional or trolling reels feature a lever drag system or star drag system.

We’d like to pay attention to the difference between trolling reels and other types of reels, for example, baitcasting or spinning ones. Trolling reels are made for trolling as we can see from its name. And also as the name sounds, casting reels are designed for making a cast behind your boat.

The material of this type of reel is graphite; these reels are characterized by a powerful drag system, and the bait clicker mechanism is among their advantages. They can keep more lines as they’re larger than many other types of fishing reels.

To make your fishing process effective you should use a special trolling rod with this trolling reel as this type of reel is larger and matches better with a special rod, not a traditional one. So, if you’d like successful fishing, the best idea is to use a trolling rod with this trolling reel.

The Penn Squall Levelwind reel is the best pick if you are an advanced angler and like trolling. This reel may seem a bit more expensive but it is worth buying. Its high quality, effectiveness, and reliability make the trolling reel a wonderful choice for a professional in fishing.

#8 Type – Offshore Reels

Offshore Reels

Offshore reels are incredible; they’re powerful and durable. Although they may seem a bit expensive, they’re worth buying. They’re more suitable for offshore conditions where other reels would not work. Offshore reels are designed for fighting very big fish. These types of reels can be baitcasting and spinning reels.

Top Best Offshore Reels

Offshore reels were primarily baitcasting ones, but nowadays there are many offshore spinning reels on the market. They feature a higher level of protection from corrosion. A high-quality offshore reel may cost $1,000.

And if you’re good at monitoring prices, your purchase may be less. Anyway, this type of reel is worth buying due to its suitability in harsh conditions.

Usually, offshore reels are on the list together with surf reels. The reason is their saltwater resistance. Even if there’s not much sand in the area where you’re fishing, your reel may be affected by rust.

As we know, there are two types of fishing according to the point of how deep the water is. They’re offshore and inshore fishing. When you’re far from the shore, as the name of offshore fishing suggests, the distance between your area and the beach may reach 10-100 miles.

You may catch a bigger fish, so your reel should be stronger, more reliable, and more durable than the others. In this case, the best choice is an offshore reel.

Offshore reels are more powerful than many other types of reels; their power capacity varies from 20-to 50 pounds allowing for catching a big fish, for example, tuna or marlin. They’re designed with a heavy-duty drag system, and this distinguishes them from other types of reels. A union of accuracy in baitcasting and skill in offshore, makes baitcasting-style reels more frequently used than spinning-style reels.

#9 Type – Ice Fishing Reels

Ice Fishing Reel

Are you looking for a special reel for ice fishing? Let’s review all its advantages. Preparing a special setup for ice fishing is the most important stage when you are going fishing.Best Top Ice Reels

An ice fishing setup is usually small, easy to use, and inexpensive and provides an amazing experience in a cold season.

Ice fishing reels are smaller than other types of reels and they are also changeable. Advanced anglers generally use this type of reels as they were specially designed just for this kind of activity.

Their distinctive features are simplicity, small size, and smooth surface. We recommend this type of reel thanks to its suitability for ice fishing and vertical jigging applications.

A special reel for ice fishing can be compared to a sport, and like with any sport you need special equipment that’s right for every type of fishing. Being among anglers preparing for ice fishing, you can see poles of different heights, and a wide range of other necessary things, including the right reel. Probably, any reel will manage to do its job, but anyway, there are special reels, which are more suitable for a certain type of fishing and give better results.

Ice fishing is very popular nowadays, so ice fishing reels with all their advantages over traditional reels, for example, spinning ones, are becoming more and more frequently used by anglers. Ice fishing reels are used with lighter lines and they prevent twists in the line.

Modern reels are usually versatile; they provide accurate casting or they’re meant to catch panfish or bigger species, and they may be used for vertical jig fishing. Generally, reels are made from stainless steel and anodized aluminum, which ensure their heavy-duty and durability. There are reels that are more suitable for beginners and there are reels that are more suitable for experienced anglers.

#10 Type – Electric Fishing Reels

Electric Fishing Reels

Electric fishing reels are a type of fishing reel that use motorized systems to automate the retrieval process. These reels are designed to make fishing more efficient and less physically demanding, particularly when targeting deep-sea or large fish species. Electric reels are popular among recreational anglers, commercial fishermen, and individuals with physical limitations who may find manual reeling difficult.

🚩Key Components and Features:

Feature/Aspect Explanation
Motor and Power Source Electric reels have motors with varying power outputs (measured in watts). They run on built-in rechargeable batteries or external power sources (12V/24V marine batteries). Battery life depends on the reel’s power consumption and motor strength.
Line Retrieval Speed Electric reels offer variable line retrieval speeds, allowing anglers to customize speed based on the fishing situation. Higher speeds are ideal for heavy weights or lures, while lower speeds are suitable for controlled retrieves.
Programmable Depth Settings Many electric reels include programmable depth settings or line counters, allowing anglers to accurately set bait or lure at specific depths. Useful for targeting fish in specific water depths or replicating successful fishing patterns.
Drag System Electric reels have smooth and adjustable drag systems to manage tension during a fish fight, ensuring consistent pressure and preventing line breakage.
Manual Override Allows anglers to switch to manual retrieval in case of power failure or personal preference, giving them full control during critical moments.
Reduced Physical Strain Electric reels minimize effort by automating line retrieval, making it easier for those with physical limitations or fishing for extended periods, targeting deep-sea species, or using heavy tackle.
Improved Efficiency Electric reels enable quicker and more precise line retrieval, increasing efficiency when retrieving heavy deep-drop rigs or fishing in deep water.
Greater Control The ability to program specific depths and adjust retrieval speeds allows anglers to fine-tune their fishing approach for better targeting of specific species or conditions.
Cost Electric fishing reels are more expensive than manual counterparts due to motorized systems and advanced features.
Weight and Size Electric reels are generally heavier and larger than manual reels, affecting the overall balance of the fishing setup.
Battery Life and Maintenance Electric reels rely on batteries or external power sources, requiring proper charging and maintenance for optimal performance. Battery life may be a limiting factor during extended fishing trips.

Electric reels for sea fishing – this is a unique opportunity to fish at considerable depths quickly and comfortably! Electric reels are inherently a kind of multiplier device. They’re additionally equipped with an electric drive for fishing at extremely deep depths. The main positive difference between electric models is a quick rise from any depth and maximum power. Fishing at great depths is an opportunity to catch giant fish and use heavy bait.

All-electric reels for sea fishing differ in such indicators as power, capacity, overall dimensions, and speed of retrieval of fishing line. It’s recommended to buy high-quality and reliable electric reels from trusted manufacturers with worldwide renown, such as Daiwa, Shimano, Banax, and Miya. High-quality electric reels for sea fishing are made of especially durable, wear-resistant materials: the engine is made of brass or steel, ball bearings are made of stainless steel, the body is made of non-deforming aluminum, etc.

Using an electric reel, you will never damage the tulip with bait, due to the presence of auto-jigging mode and automatic storage of the reset mark of the bait. In the memory of the reel, you can record the moment the cord stops during the final winding so that you don’t later retrieve it yourself. Many models are equipped with a convenient display on which the most necessary information is displayed: the depth of lowering the bait, the winding speed, and others. It’s very important that all electro-reels support the manual retrieval mode, which will be needed if the battery is discharged.

TOP-Rated Electric Reels (Editor’s Choice):

  • Shimano Beast Master 9000 Electric Reel – most powerful Shimano Beast Master 9000 GIGA MAX Motor reel is a premium baitcasting reel – a new generation of reels for sea fishing from Shimano. To simplify familiarization with the most interesting and effective models, we offer an overview of the most popular options for such reels.
  • DAIWA TANACOM 1000 Electrically Operated – the price of this mechanism DAIWA TANACOM 1000 is quite high, but it’s worth it. The model is of the highest quality.
  • Banax Kaigen 7000CP Electric Reel Big Game Jigging – high-tech Banax Kaigen 500 XP electric marine fishing reel with a touch depth indicator is designed specifically for catching truly large fish. Fishing with it turns into a real pleasure! It’ll perfectly prove itself not only at sea but also during trolling fishing in large freshwater bodies of water.
  • Miya Epoch Command AT-3s – extra-class Japanese electric reel. It’s equipped with a high-speed engine with a very high power rating, this model is ideal for deep-sea fishing in virtually any condition. The fishing force control function detects the tension in the line caused by fish pulling, or boat shaking. Control retrieval under the best conditions. You can set your own pull interval and pause time. The body is small, and it’s equipped with a large motor, so it achieves high power with a maximum lifting force of 55kg. Since the control lever is located on the left side of the main unit, drag adjustment is possible even when winding with a handle. Choose electric reels, and your fishing will become easier and more effective!

How to Clean Fishing Reels

clearance fishing reels

📌Cleaning your fishing reel is a significant part of making its operating life longer. Regular service is important. It’s highly recommended to do the following operations after every use, no matter if it was saltwater or freshwater, to protect your reel from saltwater and possible corrosion:

  • Clean your reel with water, a sponge, and soap. Be prudent while cleaning it, as water may get into the parts of your reel and it’ll operate not very well.
  • Clean every element of your reel to be sure that you have washed all its parts from saltwater. And it’ll be also important to clean your line.
  • Rinse your reel with fresh water. It’s better not to get it inside because water can get into the elements of the reel, causing its malfunction.
  • Put it in a dry place to let it dry at room temperature.
  • Spread a lubricant substance along all the elements of your reel to enhance its long service.

Tips on How to Choose Fishing Reels

Tip Number Tip Explanation
1 Determine your experience level Choose a reel that matches your skill level. Beginners should opt for spinning or spincast reels, while experienced anglers may prefer baitcasting reels.
2 Consider the type of fishing Select a reel based on the fishing environment (freshwater/saltwater) and specific techniques you’ll be using.
3 Identify your target species Choose a reel that can handle the size and strength of the fish species you’ll be targeting.
4 Match the reel with your rod Ensure the reel size and weight are compatible with your fishing rod for a well-balanced setup.
5 Check the gear ratio Select a reel with a gear ratio that suits your fishing techniques. High gear ratios for fast-moving lures and quick presentations; lower gear ratios for heavy lures and larger fish.
6 Assess the drag system Look for a reel with a smooth, reliable, and adjustable drag system to effectively fight fish and prevent line breakage.
7 Evaluate the bearing system Choose a reel with a higher number of quality bearings for better smoothness and performance. Opt for sealed or shielded bearings for better durability and longevity.
8 Consider the line capacity Make sure the reel can accommodate the type and size of the fishing line you plan to use, with sufficient line capacity for your fishing needs.
9 Assess the build quality Look for a reel made of high-quality materials, such as aluminum or graphite, for durability and corrosion resistance. Saltwater reels should have additional corrosion-resistant features.
10 Establish a budget Set a budget for your fishing reel purchase. Invest in a quality reel for better performance and longevity, but also consider affordable options that offer good value for your money.

By considering these tips, you’ll be able to choose a fishing reel that best matches your needs, preferences, and fishing style, ultimately enhancing your overall angling experience.

FAQ

What are the main types of fishing reels?
There are four main types of fishing reels: spinning reels, baitcasting reels, fly reels, and spincast reels. Each type serves a specific purpose and is suited for different angling techniques and species of fish.
What are the key features to look for in a fishing reel?
When selecting a fishing reel, consider factors like size, gear ratio, materials, bearing system, and drag system. Choose a reel that’s well-suited for the line capacity, weight, and strength you’ll be using. A smooth bearing system and a quality drag system will provide better performance and increase the lifespan of your reel.
Can I use one type of reel for all my fishing needs?
While some reels, like spinning reels, are versatile and can be used in various situations, it’s generally better to use the appropriate reel for each fishing technique. Different types of reels are designed for specific techniques and species, so using the right reel will improve your angling experience and success rate.
What is the difference between front drag and rear drag on spinning reels?
The main difference between front drag and rear drag systems on spinning reels is their location and accessibility. Front drag systems are located at the front of the spool and typically offer more durability and smoother drag performance. Rear drag systems are situated at the back of the reel and can be adjusted more easily during a fight with a fish. However, they generally provide less power and smoothness compared to front drag systems.
How do I clean and maintain my fishing reel?

📌Regular cleaning and maintenance will prolong the life of your fishing reel and ensure its optimal performance. Here are some basic steps for reel maintenance:

  • Disassemble your reel according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Clean all parts with a soft brush, warm soapy water, or reel cleaning solution.
  • Dry all components thoroughly with a soft cloth.
  • Lubricate moving parts with reel oil or grease, as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Reassemble your reel, ensuring that all parts are properly aligned and functioning smoothly.
What is the gear ratio, and why is it important?
The gear ratio of a fishing reel indicates how many times the spool rotates for each turn of the handle. A higher gear ratio provides faster line retrieval, while a lower gear ratio offers more power and torque for reeling in larger fish. Choosing the appropriate gear ratio depends on the type of fishing you’ll be doing and the species you’re targeting. Fast gear ratios are better for quick lure presentations, while slower gear ratios work well for larger baits and fighting stronger fish.
Can I use both monofilament and braided lines on my reel?
Yes, most fishing reels can accommodate both monofilament and braided lines. However, it’s essential to ensure your reel has the proper line capacity for the type and size of the line you’ll be using. Some reels are designed specifically for use with braided lines and feature a braid-ready spool. When using the braided line on a reel not specifically designed for it, consider using a monofilament backing to prevent line slippage on the spool.
How often should I replace the line on my reel?
The frequency of replacing the line on your reel depends on factors like usage, exposure to sunlight, and the type of line being used. As a general guideline, monofilament lines should be replaced at least once a year, while braided lines can last longer, typically up to two or three years. However, if you notice signs of wear or damage on your line, such as fraying, discoloration, or brittleness, it’s best to replace them immediately.
What is the importance of the bearing system in a fishing reel?
The bearing system in a fishing reel plays a crucial role in its overall performance. Bearings reduce friction, allowing the reel to operate smoothly and quietly. A higher number of bearings generally results in a smoother reel, which can be particularly beneficial during casting and retrieving. Quality bearings are also essential for maintaining reel longevity and ensuring consistent performance over time.
How can I avoid line twists on my spinning reel?

📌Line twists on a spinning reel can cause tangles, reduced casting distance, and impaired reel performance. To avoid line twists:

  • Ensure that your line is correctly spooled onto the reel, with the line coming off the spool in the same direction it goes onto the reel.
  • Close the bail manually after casting, instead of using the reel handle. This can help prevent additional twists.
  • Use a swivel or a high-quality, low-memory line that is less prone to twisting.
  • Regularly check for line twists and remove them before they cause problems.
Are there left-handed and right-handed fishing reels?
Yes, many fishing reels are available in both left-handed and right-handed versions. Spinning reels and spincast reels often have an ambidextrous design, allowing the user to easily switch handles between the left and right sides. Baitcasting reels and fly reels, on the other hand, usually come in specific left-handed or right-handed models. When selecting a reel, choose the one that best matches your dominant hand or personal preference.
What is the role of the drag system in a fishing reel?
The drag system in a fishing reel is a crucial mechanism that allows you to apply consistent pressure on a fish during the fight while also preventing line breakage. A good drag system helps to tire the fish, making it easier to land. When a fish pulls on the line, the drag system releases the line smoothly, preventing sudden jerks or tension that could cause the line to snap. A quality drag system will operate smoothly and provide precise adjustments to match the conditions and size of the fish you’re targeting.
What is an anti-reverse feature on a fishing reel?
The anti-reverse feature on a fishing reel prevents the handle from spinning backward, ensuring a solid hookset and a more controlled retrieve. When the anti-reverse is engaged, the reel’s handle will only turn in the forward direction, allowing you to apply steady pressure on the fish. Most modern reels come with an anti-reverse switch or lever, enabling you to disengage the feature if desired. This can be useful for certain fishing techniques or in situations where back reeling is preferred over using the drag system.
What is the difference between a high-speed and low-speed fishing reel?

The difference between a high-speed and low-speed fishing reel lies in their gear ratios. High-speed reels have higher gear ratios (e.g., 7:1 or 8:1), which allow for faster line retrieval with each turn of the handle. They are ideal for techniques that require quick lure presentations, such as burning spinnerbaits or working fast-moving topwater lures.

Low-speed reels have lower gear ratios (e.g., 4:1 or 5:1), which provide more power and torque for reeling in larger fish or using larger baits. They are better suited for deep crankbaits, big swimbaits, or other heavy lures that require a slower, more deliberate presentation.

Can I use saltwater reels for freshwater fishing and vice versa?

While it is possible to use saltwater reels for freshwater fishing and vice versa, there are some important factors to consider. Saltwater reels are typically designed to withstand the harsh marine environment and are made of corrosion-resistant materials. These reels tend to be larger and heavier, making them suitable for targeting bigger and stronger fish species found in saltwater.

Freshwater reels, on the other hand, are generally lighter and smaller, as they are designed for smaller fish species and freshwater conditions. Using a saltwater reel in freshwater might be overkill for most situations, but it can still be done. If you decide to use a freshwater reel in saltwater, make sure to rinse it thoroughly with fresh water after each use to prevent corrosion and damage.

What is the line capacity of a fishing reel, and how do I determine the right line capacity for my needs?

The line capacity of a fishing reel refers to the amount of fishing line the reel can hold, usually measured in yards and pounds. Each reel has a specific line capacity that depends on the size and design of the spool. The line capacity is often listed on the reel itself or in the product specifications.

To determine the right line capacity for your needs, consider the fishing techniques you’ll be using, the size of the fish you’re targeting, and the fishing conditions. For example, if you plan to fish for larger species or in situations where long casts are required, you will need a reel with a larger line capacity.

How do I choose the right reel size for my fishing rod?
To choose the right reel size for your fishing rod, consider factors such as the power and action of your rod, the line weight, and the type of fishing you’ll be doing. As a general rule, smaller reel sizes (e.g., 1000-2500) are suitable for light or ultralight rods, while medium-sized reels (e.g., 3000-5000) are suitable for medium-power rods. Larger reel sizes (e.g., 6000-8000) are better matched with heavy-power rods for the big game or saltwater fishing. Always consult the manufacturer’s recommendations for the best reel size to match your specific fishing rod.
What is the braking system in a baitcasting reel?

The braking system in a baitcasting reel is designed to control the spool’s rotation speed during a cast. This helps to prevent backlash or “bird’s nest” tangles that can occur when the spool spins faster than the line can be released. There are two main types of braking systems in baitcasting reels: centrifugal brakes and magnetic brakes.

Centrifugal brakes rely on small brake shoes that engage the brake ring inside the reel when the spool’s rotation reaches a certain speed. Magnetic brakes use magnets that create resistance as the spool rotates, slowing it down in a controlled manner.

Both braking systems help to provide smoother casts, reduce backlash, and improve overall casting performance. Most modern baitcasting reels allow the user to adjust the braking system’s strength to suit their casting preferences and conditions.

What is the purpose of a line roller on a spinning reel?
The line roller on a spinning reel serves as a guide for the line, helping to distribute it evenly across the spool during the retrieval process. It is an essential component of the bail mechanism and plays a critical role in maintaining a smooth, tangle-free line when reeling in. Some line rollers are equipped with ball bearings to reduce friction, further enhancing the reel’s overall performance.
How do I set the drag on my fishing reel?

📌To set the drag on your fishing reel, follow these steps:

  • Attach your fishing line to the reel and thread it through the rod’s guides.
  • Tie a knot or attach a lure to the end of the line.
  • Hold the rod at a 45-degree angle and pull the line with your hand to test the drag’s tension.
  • Locate the drag adjustment knob or dial on your reel. On spinning reels, it’s usually found on the front of the spool (front drag) or at the back of the reel (rear drag). On baitcasting reels, the drag star is typically located near the handle.
  • Adjust the drag by turning the knob or dial clockwise to increase tension or counterclockwise to decrease tension. The drag should be set to a level that allows the line to be pulled out smoothly without breaking but still provides enough resistance to tire the fish during the fight.
  • Remember that the ideal drag setting may vary depending on the line’s strength, the size of the fish you’re targeting, and the fishing conditions. It’s crucial to regularly check and adjust your drag during your fishing trip, as the tension can change over time.
How do I store my fishing reels when not in use?

📌Proper storage of your fishing reels when not in use is essential to maintain their longevity and performance. Follow these steps to store your fishing reels:

  • Clean and dry your reels thoroughly after each use, especially if you’ve been fishing in saltwater or muddy conditions.
  • Lubricate the reel’s moving parts with reel oil or grease, as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Loosen the drag system to relieve tension on the internal components.
  • If possible, remove the reel from the rod and store it in a reel cover or a soft, breathable bag to protect it from dust, moisture, and scratches.
  • Store your reels in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or extreme temperatures. Avoid storing them in damp or humid environments, as this can lead to corrosion and damage.
  • By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your fishing reels remain in optimal condition and are ready for your next angling adventure.

Conclusions

As an avid angler with extensive experience in various fishing environments, I possess a strong understanding of the different types of fishing reels and their specific applications. My knowledge spans across the use of spinning, baitcasting, spincast, fly, trolling, and electric fishing reels, with expertise in selecting the right reel based on factors such as skill level, fishing environment, target species, and individual preferences.

🚩Skills and Expertise:

  • In-depth understanding of different fishing reel types and their functions
  • Ability to match reel types with appropriate fishing rods for optimal balance and performance
  • Proficient in selecting reels based on factors such as skill level, target species, and environment
  • Experienced in maintaining and troubleshooting various types of fishing reels
  • Knowledgeable about advanced reel features, such as programmable depth settings and variable retrieval speeds

Understanding the types of fishing reels and their specific applications is crucial for both novice and experienced anglers. By selecting the right reel based on skill level, target species, and fishing environment, anglers can significantly enhance their fishing experience and success rate. This includes making informed decisions about spinning, baitcasting, spincast, fly, trolling, and electric fishing reels, as well as being familiar with their advantages, drawbacks, and appropriate maintenance practices. By staying up-to-date with advancements in fishing reel technology, anglers can continue to adapt and refine their fishing techniques for a more enjoyable and successful fishing experience.

We are confident that the information in this article will make you an informed consumer. We stock quality reels and offer them at very reasonable prices. We guarantee that you will be satisfied with all of our products. Starting from our base models to our deluxe products, we encourage you to use this article as a reference guide when considering the purchase of a new reel.

Sergio Smirnoff
Sergio Smirnoff
Professional fisherman with 40+ years of experience.
Fishing and the ocean is a passion of my life. I am passionate about all kinds of sea fishing: fishing from the shore (spinning, float, baitcasting), from a boat, and spearfishing day and night.

I live in Tenerife (Canary Islands) for the last 10+ years and share my daily fishing experiences on my website. Many years of personal experience as a fisherman and the vast experience of my friends allow me to write professionally on any fishing topics (from choosing a flashlight and equipment to deep-sea fishing).

All of my advice is based on practical real-world experience and will be useful to both novice anglers and professionals. Read more about the author.

Affiliate Disclosure: FishReeler.com sometimes gets paid for listings, through sponsors or affiliate programs like Amazon, Ebay, Cabelas, Bass Pro Shop, Shimano, Daiwa, Rapala, Renn, Okuma, KastKing, etс. Clicking a link helps keep FishReeler.com free, at no extra cost to you!

About the author: Each article is verified by the fishing expert Sergio Smirnoff. The articles are written by professional and amateur fishermen with 20+ years of fishing experience.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency. The articles are for informational purposes only, share your opinions in the comments and join the fishing discussions, let's share our fishing experiences together!

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Jessie P Benfield
Jessie P Benfield
1 year ago

Additionally, you also need to pay attention to the course of the coil. In the store, take the reel in your hands, and make two – three quick turns of the handle and release its handle))). The coil should rotate without extraneous noise, gradually slowing down. Another important element is the presence of an instant stopper. To check: do a small movement of the coil handle forward, then immediately back. For a good reel, the handle should stop in place, for a bad one, it will hand back a little. With regards to the friction clutch, the main thing here is its smooth adjustment, it should hand over the line smoothly, without jerking. The front or rear location of the clutch is a matter of taste, it does not play a special role. As for me, coils with a back are more convenient, but with a front – easier.

Robert
Robert
1 year ago

I fully agree with the approach to the mechanism of the above brands. That is why Shimano is more smooth. Well, at prices, there are quite budget options and tricked out with a super price tag. For example, when I started, I caught 4 years of Shimano NEXAVE FC 2500 with such a cheap price. In the end, the line-stacker roller frayed, and the rest is normal. The roller itself was replaced by an old one from a Chinese reel and now this reel serves on a float rod, for long casting. And which reel do you think meets the requirements of a budget device for spinning?

Gary
Gary
1 year ago

Since I didn’t find anything about the Shimano 18 STELLA 3000MHG coil in the gear reviews, I decided to write about it and why I bought it. To begin with, the task was to get the best, and what could be better, STELLA, fast MHG, powerful (the main gear is now called Micro Module Gear II. The manufacturer claims that he was able to improve the engagement geometry of the previous Micro Module Gear, and the main pair is gears covered with a completely new material that increases their power as much as TWO times, now it has become stronger, smoother and quieter), with the main pair and body from 4000, and a lightweight of only 225g., EverGreen Poseidon Squidlaw Imperial NIMS-86M spinning reel. I hung 14 STELLA 4000 on this spinning rod. Her weight is 260 g. Everything is fine, but I really wanted to try the reel faster than MHG and easier. The weight of the stick is 120g., Paired with a fast coil of 225g., That’s it! This kit perfectly covers all wobblers, including twitching 130, light and medium jig from about 8-35 gr. Honestly, for a long time I searched and picked up such a kit, this is a real station wagon. Now for more I want to talk about MHG – where “M” is “Middle body spool” – the middle spool. The depth of the middle spool, somewhere 2500-3000, and HG “High gear” – increased gear ratio. That is, this reel quickly undermines the bait from the bottom, which gives additional convenience when fishing for a jig. In general, in practice, as I expected, the coil justified all my Wishlist, threw jig and jig rig just a song. We went on a wobbler night all too well, but for night fishing a wobbler needs a reel more calmly, I think the Shimano 18 STELLA 4000 is perfect. The same, pike perch displays on the glider instantly, he does not even have time to come to his senses))). I think it’s time to summarize, the reel is cool, I definitely recommend it to everyone, now it is my favorite reel. If my review will be useful to someone, I will be very glad.

Ervin
Ervin
1 year ago

About the sizes of reels for spinning rods – this is what DAIWA representatives write: “… The main factor influencing the choice of dimensions of the reel for spinning is the type of bait. Let’s say you use spinners from 6 to 15 grams and wobblers of the same weight when fishing. The most suitable cross-sections of mono-wheels for these baits will be 0.23- 0.26 mm. Most often in this case, our anglers prefer DAIWA reels of size 2500 and rods with a dough of up to 40 grams. In fact, the tackle could be much lighter. A rod with an upper limit of 21 grams equipped with a 2000 reel. By the way, its main gear is the same as that of 2500 size models. braking is 4 kg, and the spool has a forest capacity of 100 meters 0.28. You can rest assured that this kit has a very solid margin of safety. Some lovers recommend large reel models equipped with large spools that guarantee, in their opinion, the maximum casting distance of the bait. But almost all DAIWA inertialess ones, including the smallest ones, are equipped with larger diameter ABS spools.

In addition, there is a relationship between the diameter of the side, the thickness of the fishing line, the size of the passage rings of the rod and the distance from the first of them to the reel. To achieve a long casting range, all of the listed parameters should be as consistent as possible.

At the same time, according to American athletes, the size of 2500 is ideal for speed fishing in competitions. In intense professional tournaments with the same class of rivals, those who win less than others spend time on parasitic sections of wiring and keep the bait in the area of ​​the alleged fish stand as long as possible win.

When using lightweight lures, it is large, more elegant 1500 and 2000 are more convenient. At the same time, fishing on heavy load heads will be more comfortable, but the resource of the mechanism due to constant overloads will be significantly reduced. Model 3000 is more suitable for such fishing. All of the above does not at all aim to belittle the advantages of the popular size 2500. It is absolutely indispensable when used for its intended purpose, i.e. not as super universal, but as a medium-sized with an increased winding speed.

Similar errors occur when choosing the “three thousandths.” They have a powerful transmission, sensitivity and velvet softness. These are the best reels for fishing on baits weighing from 10 to 50 grams, while they are quite on the shoulder long cast even a small five-gram spinner. This is precisely where they are truly universal.

But often their power provokes inexperienced anglers to use three-thousandths in situations where larger models of size 4000 or even marine animators are needed.

Moreover, according to the service, lovers of absolute versatility, not being able to destroy gear in normal fishing conditions, resort to well-proven methods. Having tightened the brake tightly, some of them prefer uprooting of bottom driftwood on a thick braid, while others, with dead hooks, use a reel as a winch, towing a boat against strong wind or current.

Xisthyri
Xisthyri
1 year ago

I enjoyed using the spin-cast reel during my first fishing experience. I found it very easy to use and it was great having the option to straighten out any line tangles with a simple turn of the bail. The price was also very reasonable. I would definitely recommend this reel to anyone just starting out in fishing. The only downsides I found were that it didn’t allow for much line capacity and it wasn’t suitable for larger fish. However, overall I had a great time using this reel and would recommend it to anyone looking for an easy-to-use option.

Product Name
spin-cast reel
BloodSoul
BloodSoul
7 months ago

As a beginner angler, I found the section on spinning reels particularly helpful. I appreciate the explanation of their easy-to-use design and versatility. It’s great to know that this type of reel is suitable for someone like me who’s just starting out in the world of fishing.

Incandescent_Fish
Incandescent_Fish
7 months ago

I’ve always been a bit intimidated by baitcasting reels, but this article breaks down their advantages and uses in an easy-to-understand way. It’s given me the confidence to finally try using a baitcasting reel on my next fishing trip!

NeoToad_9
NeoToad_9
7 months ago

The explanation of fly fishing reels is quite fascinating, especially since I’ve been considering giving fly fishing a try. It’s interesting to learn how these reels are specifically designed for that purpose and how the drag system works.

Pietor Pranzita
Pietor Pranzita
7 months ago

As someone who enjoys deep-sea fishing, I’m intrigued by the electric fishing reels section. I had no idea that this type of reel could make such a difference when fishing in deeper waters. I might have to invest in one for my next offshore adventure!

Gonojo Quna
Gonojo Quna
7 months ago

I love how the article covers the different types of fishing reels and their applications. It has definitely broadened my knowledge and understanding of the various reels available, helping me make more informed decisions when selecting the right reel for my fishing expeditions.