How to Pick Bass Fishing Reels

If you want to be a great bass fisherman, you need a great fishing reel. However, there are many different reels to choose from and it takes some time to choose the best one for the job. It’s not as simple as picking out something that you think looks good because looks has nothing to do with the performance of the reel.

If you’ve been fishing for awhile then you probably already know that reels have went through many changes throughout the years. They have become a little more complicated and there are many more options available than a lot of the experienced anglers ever dreamed possible.

One of the first things that you need to realize when picking out your bass fishing reel is that you’ll need more than one if you want to become a successful angler. If you’re like most anglers you’ll want to try different techniques from time to time so you need different types of reels to match the technique that you want to use.

So how do you pick bass fishing reels that will fit your different needs? The following tips can help:

*        The first thing that you’ll need to do is set your budget. Fishing reels run in a wide variety of prices from the affordable to the very expensive. It would make your search a lot easier if you set the price range first and only look at the ones within your budget.
*        The features that you want the reel to have are the next thing that you need to take into consideration. This will have a lot to do with the type of bass fishing that you plan to do.
*        Look for a well-designed durable reel that will hold up to reeling in this species and the fight they will put up. Even if you don’t go fishing often, it’s good to have a quality reel with a guarantee, just in case.
*        Will you be fishing in saltwater, freshwater or both? This does make a difference because you can’t use freshwater reels in saltwater. If you’re fishing in both then you’ll need to buy one of each kind.
*        Your experience plays a big role in which type of bass reels you should buy. The spinning reel is one of the easiest to use and recommended for beginners. The baitcasting reels are the hardest to use and recommended for the experienced angler. The spincast reel is a good choice for most any type of angler.
*        You’ll need to match the reel to the type of fishing rod that you use. If you’re using a heavy duty fishing rod, you need a heavy duty reel. If you plan to go fly fishing then you need to use a fly reel and so forth.
*        A good bass reel should hold at least 100 yards of test line ranging in the 10 to 17 pound range. Check on this before you make a purchase.
*        The gear ratio measures the “retrieval speed” of the reel and it’s the number of times the spool revolves with each complete turn of the handle. The high gear ratio reels work great when the bass are very active and want faster moving baits. The lower gear ratio reels work great when fishing in deep water with crankbaits.
*        If you’re not sure what reel to use you can always buy a rod and reel combo set. These are the rod and reels that are matched up by the manufacture so you know the two go together very well.
*        Last but not least, you need a reel that suits you personally and the type of fishing that you plan to do.

You should now have enough information to pick the bass fishing reels for all of your needs. The reels that you use will make a difference in the amount of success that you have. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles making it difficult to decide which ones to use.

One of the main things to consider when purchasing a fishing reel is that a higher gear ratio means faster retrieval. In some cases, this could mean the difference between reeling in a lot of bass and just one every once in awhile. Another important feature of a good quality reel is that it will have six or more ball bearings.
The more ball bearings the reel has the smoother it will cast and you can cast it further provided the ball bearings are of good quality. Some companies have been known to use cheap ball bearing and put more in the reels and these are not as durable as they should be. For this reason, it’s a good idea to buy reputable brands that are known for using good quality parts for their reels.

A good drag system is also important when bass fishing because this is one of the things that helps you fight the bass and reel them in. The adjustment for the drag should be conveniently located where it can be adjusted easily when you’re in the middle of reeling in a fish. When you find these qualities you’ll be able to pick the best bass fishing reels that will help to make all of your fishing trips more successful.


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow bass fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on bass fishing since 2004.

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