8 Types of Fishing Reels Explained – Which one is right for you?

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Fishing is the act of catching fish for economic as well as general purposes. It involves various techniques and strategies. Being one of the most famous occupations, fishing has excelled greatly in the economic field.

Almost a huge mass of the Indian civilization earns their livelihood by hunting fish and selling them on markets. However, some people also do it out of their passion. It is their hobby.

Types of Fishing Reels

In fishing, one has to go through several stages of failure to attain the ultimate success. Yes, I said what I said. It requires hard work and dedication. It requires general understanding as well.

In ancient times, due to the lack of technological outgrowth, fishing was not considered to be something worth practicing. But now, since the whole world has shown major technological advancement, it is possible to fish with modern techniques. This makes the practice of fishing easier and faster.

Invented in the Song dynasty, China, fishing reels gifted a new dimension to fishing. It is basically a cylinder-shaped device that is attached to the fishing rods with the purpose of using it in winding and stowing. It basically ensures the accuracy of casting without initial divergence.

It also ensures your angling procedures and enhances your fish-catching ability. Using fishing reels, you are free to cast from a distance as well. It also makes you aware of the casting techniques, by comforting you with an easy method of catching fish.

Types of Fishing Reels – Which one is right for you?

When we talk about fishing and fishing reels, there are a variety of aspects that cross our minds. Today there will be certain specifications involved in the discussion. Given below are the types of fishing reels used for fishing purposes.

What are the Types of Fishing Reels?

Here are the eight most common types of fishing reels:-

  1. Spincast Reel
  2. Spinning Reel
  3. Baitcasting Reel
  4. Surf Fishing Reels
  5. Offshore Reels
  6. Conventional Reels or Trolling Reels
  7. Fly Fishing Reels
  8. Centerpin Reels

Now let’s look at each of these in more detail:

1. Spincast Reel

Spincast Reel

In 1949, the Zero Hour Bomb Company (ZEBCO) and The Dennison- Johnson Reel Company introduced the first commercial spin cast reel. Attempting to solve the problem of backlash found in baitcast designs, the spin cast reel aimed at reduction of twist and the snare complaints lodged with traditional spinning reel designs.

When it is about a fixed spool, spin cast reels will preferably cast lighter lures in comparison with bait cast reels. It has been made very obvious that friction of the nose cone guide and spool cup with the uncoiling line leads to a rapid reduction of casting distance in comparison with spinning reels.

This particular type of reel design demands the usage of narrow spools with comparatively low line capacity than that of baitcasting or spinning reels of equal size. It actually cannot be made with the provision of a large diameter without making the reel enough tall.

These drawbacks need to be noted. It basically does not allow the utility of spin-cast reels in terms of situations like fishing at depth, casting at long distances, and expectations of fish making long runs.

Spin cast reels are very effective when it comes to fitting in with both friction drags and anti-reverse mechanisms. Also, some of it contains level wind mechanisms like other variations of reels. The operation of most spin-cast reels is best with limp monofilament ques.

Spin cast reels came widely into existence during the 1950s and mid-1960s. It turned out to be really popular. It was also marked by the widespread growth in its usage.

2. Spinning Reel

Spinning Reel

In the early 1870s, the spinning reel marked its existence in North America. It was also termed fixed spool reels or egg beaters. One factor that is notable about the spinning reel is that its mounting is below the rod resulting in a conformation to gravity. For keeping the reel in a particular place, wrist strength is not compulsory.

A textile magnate namely Holden Illingworth was the first one who came into association with the modern version of the fixed spool spinning reel. During the time of casting the Illingworth reel, the leading edge of the spool had a line drawn off and a line pickup prevented and rewound it. It is a machine or device that revolves around the main pool.

Mostly, the operation of spinning reels takes place best with fairy limp and flexible fishing lines. Modern spinning reels have the potential to cast lures ⅛ pounds and even lighter with the utility of light lines ranging from two to six lines. Spinning reels generally do not have the tendency of suffering from backlash.

Well, if we talk about the advantages of the spinning reels, one factor cannot be left unsaid, that is, spinning reels have evidently replaced baitcasting reels. Still, now, it acts as an amazing replacement for baitcasting reels.

This is because baitcasting reels are not really good at casting light lures. Also, spinning reels live up to the comfort zone of fishermen and it is very much convenient for them to use. Lastly, as I have previously mentioned as well, spinning reels do not have the tendency to suffer from the backlash.

There have been situations where people ended up debating as to which one is better, baitcasting reel or spinning. However, the difference in opinion proves nothing. Each one of them contains its features and is unique in its own way.

3. Baitcasting Reel

Baitcasting Reel

The baitcasting reel is also commonly known as the Revolving – Spool reel. These types of reels are often made up of brass or iron gears, associated with casings and spools made of German silver, brass, or hard rubber.

A baitcasting reel is actually a multiplying reel, that is, several movements of the revolving spool are handled by a single revolution of the crank.

But one factor is to be taken note of, this type of reel lacked the drag mechanisms. Therefore, it was their thumbs that the anglers used on the spools to prevent the fish from running. It is also necessary to note that baitcasters are highly customizable.

Its multiplying gear ranges from 2:1 to 4:1. In New Zealand and Australia, it is often called overhead reel because it is marked with its mounting over the rod. It was a matter of discussion among people around the mid-17th century, but gained popularity among amateur anglers during the 1870s.

Professional fishermen prefer baitcasting reels to the other varieties because it lets the anglers have a  stern hold over the casts which consequently increases fish hunting capacity.

Even with heavier baits, baitcasting reels can help the anglers in finding fish in a more rapid format. This kind of reel is divided into two subcategories. They are the following:-

  1. Round baitcasting reels.
  2. Low profile baitcasting reels.

Round baitcasting reels are characterized by huge efficiency in holding more lines with the provision of a larger spool. The anglers have the freedom to cast the line anywhere they want, it is not considered an issue. It is an ideal long-distance fishing cast.

It does not involve any shortage of lines. Again, when we talk about low-profile baitcasting reels, certain factors are automatically known to us. It has very lightweight and is very much hand-friendly.

Therefore, it has gained larger popularity than the former one. Game fish can be hunted with much ease using low-profile baitcasting reels.

For further information, it is necessary to state that modern baitcasting reels are made up of aluminum, stainless steel, or synthetic composite materials. In general, a baitcasting reel requires lures weighing ¼ oz. The reason behind this is the fact that the use of weight and momentum of the lure to pull the line from the rotational spool is done by baitcasting reels.

See also: How To Spool A Baitcaster

4. Surf Fishing Reels

surf fishing reel

Surf fishing reels are a mild mixture of spinning reels and baitcasting reels. Okay, I will definitely justify my statement. It genuinely depends on the angler and the type he or she desires. These types of fishing reels are very versatile in nature and in every aspect. It is also preferable to many because of its lightweight.

Mainly, surf fishing reels are constructed so that the reels can put up with the rough or harsh conditions of the surf. The harsh or rough conditions mentioned above include salt, water, sun, and sand. Many more are there.

Surf fishing reels are constructed with the use of anodized aluminum, graphite, or at times both materials. They are typically marked with the presence of sealed stainless steel ball bearings for resistance to maximum corrosion.

They also carry a great range of durability or longevity, whatever you call it. They are very much ideal when it comes to the provision of accurate and long casts during the pairing with a quality surf rod.

As I have mentioned before, I would like to again mention the very fact that surf fishing reels are really versatile. This is because their usage is marked by the provision of a broad range of fishing procedures and fish diversities. The surf angler would always wish for a reel that is capable of handling diverse categories of artificial lures.

5. Offshore Reels

Offshore Reels

Offshore reels are made in a very complicated manner. It has a lot of complexities involved. These types of reels are made very strong and durable. Also, they have a very high demand in the market than that of the other reels and are often the most expensive ones.

They are designed this way to withstand the offshore calamities, or to be more precise, they have been constructed in such a tough manner to put up with the harsh conditions offshore. To be honest, other reels will fail to do so. Offshore reels are really specialized with this unique quality.

If we look into this whole aspect practically, offshore reels are one kind of baitcasters. In the modern day, we have access to a lot of offshore spinning reels that are too of high quality. It is available hugely in the market.

In fact, individuals who perform offshore fishing are offered high stipends in this regard. However, this type of reel is unique and hugely on demand.

6. Conventional Reels or Trolling Reels

Conventional Reels or Trolling Reels

Conventional reels are also termed trolling reels. They practically do not differ much from the baitcasting reel. Trolling reels are categorized into two basic types. They are the following.

  1. Star drag reels.
  2. Lever drag reels.

Star drag reels are very much similar to baitcasting reels. They contain a star-shaped drag control knob present in them that is used in the application of drag.

It even contains a very minute amount of levers to put them into a free spool. Again, it is evident that a drag lever is used by the lever drag reel to do multitasking.

But, it is important to keep in mind one particular factor, that is, utmost care needs to be taken of both the star drag reels and lever drag reels with the intention of restricting backlash while they are in free spool.

You can practice this in a particular way. In order to prevent backlash while they are in the free spool, you can keep your thumb on the spool.

This is a very effective method in this aspect. The large conventional reels are not meant to be cast. If it is done that way, the whole procedure becomes really difficult and lengthy. One can use small conventional reels because they are beneficial in this regard.

Conventional reels are basically made for offshore purposes. For on-shore fishing, there are other reels such as centrepin reels and many more. For fishing really huge fishes, conventional reels or trolling reels are the ideal options one can choose.

Trolling also enhances the process of deep-sea fishing. Also, it can be effective in drift fishing, butterfly jigging, and “deep drop” fishing. These reels are usually mounted on short as well as stiff rods commonly termed boat rods.

7. Fly Fishing Reels

fly fishing reel

The main aim of the fly fishing reel is to ensure smooth hunting of fish while it is showing signs of the long run by balancing the weight of the rod while casting. Fly fishing reels are mechanically very much at ease.

There was a time when fly fishing reels were highly on-demand and their availability made it superior. Their gear line is 2:3 or 3:1 which ensures faster retrieval of the fly line.

However, many anglers seem to have criticized their structure. Their additional weight, complexity, and expense did not turn out to be advantageous for faster line retrieval for the anglers.

Ancient fly reels differ from modern ones. Modern fly reels are associated with more and smarter characteristic features. They are featured with more sophisticated disc-type drag systems that are made up of composite materials.

This characteristic is a great agent in the increased adjustment range as well as consistency and resistance to high temperatures from drag friction. The modern kind of fly reels provides the facility for the anglers to place the crank handle of the reel on either the right or the left side as per their preference.

Fly reels are categorized into a part, which is saltwater fly reels. This saltwater reel is basically made for ocean purposes and the environment. They are made in such a way that they had to end up by providing more lines and backing up capacity.

8. Centerpin Reels

Centerpin reel

Through the learning of the past history, it has been made clear that the centrepin reel has basically come to notice for the usage of coarse fishing. It is usually not active in mechanical dragging.

It is effective in making the angler’s thumb control the fish from running away. The fishing of coarse fishes or other heavy fish is supported by centrepin reels.

Centerpin reel became popular during the 1950s and 1960s. During this period, many anglers started the practice of fishing by using centrepin reels. These types of reels are widely used by coarse anglers and not by general anglers because it is not advantageous for them.

Centerpin reels do not serve well or benefit normal fishermen. This kind of reel is used by coarse anglers who are comparatively less in number than general anglers.

It is somehow very disadvantageous to the general anglers because they literally do not hunt fish in the margin. Also, centrepin reels are not in trend in modern days.

Wrapping It Up

Fishing is a worldwide practice. People from the entire world share this platform by adopting several techniques. They also get accustomed to a variety of tactics. It is the most popular occupation and a large amount of economic growth took place as a result.

However, fishing reels have been on trend since ancient times, but it marked their advancement in recent days. Previously people used to practice fishing by the use of handmade devices.

But now it is easier to hunt fish by means of different categories of fishing reels. They are of various types and are used for various purposes.

However, a lot of debate has taken place based on fishing and topics related to fishing which somehow were not given much importance. The debate is not prevalent now. Restoration of peace has been maintained.

Fishing Reel Reviews

Below are all our buyer guides surrounding reels. To make your experience a bit smoother, we have organized them in one place. Feel free to browse through a few and find exactly what you’re looking for.
Thanks for reading.

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