How to Choose a Spinning Reel – Expert Advice

Like virtually every other method of fishing, modern spinning is unthinkable without the use of a suitable fishing reel. For a long time classic inertial models, as well as their multiplier counterparts, have been popular, but all of them yielded the palm to winless spools – mainly because of their excellent functional characteristics, excellent functionality and extremely easy to use.


  1. Basic elements of a spool
  2. Fishing line laying mechanism – which one to choose
  3. What to Pay Attention to When Buying a Recoil?
  4. What to catch, with what and where?
  5. Let’s talk about brands
  6. Video on choosing a reel for spinning
How to choose a spinning reel - tips and recommendations

The essential elements of a reel

Currently, the production of wineless spinning reels is engaged in a great many companies. Despite the fact that each of them differently sees the design of the mechanism and prenevtes in it their proprietary engineering solutions and technological developments, the general structure of winchless reels necessarily includes the following elements:

  1. The body of a spool is made of durable, but at the same time light material. Graphite, aluminum, magnesium alloys, carbon – these are the basic materials that are widely used;
  2. The spool rotor is the rotating element on which the fishing line is mounted. The rotor should be perfectly balanced, not to bother with parasitic vibrations and all kinds of backlashes;
  3. Main gear train and other related parts – are used to transmit the rotation force of the handle to the rotor. Depending on the number of teeth on the driving and driven gears, the reeling speed and traction characteristics change;
  4. Ball and roller bearings – a logical solution in order to level out mechanical loads and reduce the overall wear and tear of the coil assemblies.
  5. Spool is a special reel designed for line storage. It is made of different materials – both polymeric and various metal alloys and can have different depths;
  6. Friction brake system – separate mechanism designed to bleed line after bitten fish. Features a wide range of adjustments and can be adjusted to a wide variety of trigger forces;

The above described units and assemblies are characteristic for all non-reel coils without exception and are a kind of base from which developers, bringing their own developments and trying to improve the design in one way or another.

Which line laying mechanism to choose?

Today the question has lost its relevance, but 20 years ago you could hear it quite often. The thing is that then there were two conventional types of bobbin reels – the familiar to us all open bobbin reels and their closed counterparts, the bobbin of which is clothed in a special metal or plastic casing. In fact, all mechanical and rotating elements of the latter are hidden under the casing and are ostensibly designed to protect the mechanism from adverse external influences, but in fact, except for deterioration of operational characteristics, they are not able to bring anything. It is for this reason closed inertia-free spools gave up their lives, and nowadays one can hardly find such models in the manufacturer’s catalogs.

What to Pay Attention to When Buying?

Criteria for Selecting a Spinning Reel

Choosing a free winding spool, don’t be lazy to study reviews of fishermen, who use these or those models on specific tackle and managed to identify specific advantages and disadvantages that prevent operation. In addition, do not blindly believe the words of the seller and try to find a universal model for all fishing conditions – such reels banally do not exist. When considering several different options for purchase, pay attention to the following characteristics:

  1. reel size. The balance of the tackle is primary in any method of fishing – mounted tackle has to be balanced in the area of the handle and not to overbalance to the spearhead or stub. It can be achieved only by appropriate selection of reel size. So, models of size 500-1500 are good for tackle ultra-light and light, size 2000-3000 universal and well suited for a wide range of applications in spinning fishing, the same reel size 4000 – very specific models, designed for high-power and long-range fishing tackle;
  2. Gearing ratio of main gear pair. The pattern here is as follows – the higher the gear ratio is, the faster and the less tractive a particular reel is. In order to winch up a fast reel without loosing traction, you should choose a spinning reel with gear ratio less than 5 kN (5+0), which is the best reel for spinnin fishing.2-5.4:1;
  3. Number of bearings. Theoretically speaking, the more “balls” the reel has, the smoother and easier it goes. In practice, an excessive number not only helps, but even prevents, as they do not improve stroke, they add extra grams of weight to a reel. 6-8 quality sealed bearings are more than enough for ultralight model as well as for a powerful jig reel;
  4. Friction Brake Type. A quality multi-disc friction is important in any situation, no matter what size fish you’re going to catch. One should pay attention only to the location of the adjusting screw – some fishermen prefer the front regulation of the brake, others – the rear. Both options are good and provide decent functionality, and which one to choose – depends entirely on the preferences of the individual angler;
  5. Flywheel and its design. At first glance, this small detail can cause a fisherman a lot of trouble with the wrong choice. It is the design and material of the roller that determines its ability to work with braided cords, as well as its resistance to mechanical damage. A low-quality reel will be pierced by the braid already after 2-3 active fishing trips;

Attention should be paid to the winding of the line, especially thin cords. Smooth, high-quality laying without dips and bumps, without a pronounced direct or inverse cone and distortion – such reeling should have a properly selected spinning reel.

Who we are going to catch, what and where?

who we will catch

Undoubtedly, to pick up an inertia-free reel should be based on the specifics of a particular tackle, its technical characteristics and purpose. And it, in turn, is selected for work in certain conditions and catching specific types of fish. The dependence in this situation is as follows:

  1. Catching small predator with compact spinning bobbers and mikrokolyalkovok – bass, trout, chub – requires the use of a delicate free-floating coils size 1000-1500, equipped with a front friction brake, gear ratio about 5.0:1 and 6-8 ball bearings;
  2. Hunting for medium-sized fish using both trollers and silicone baits – pike, pike, asp – makes it necessary to use a more powerful reel. Model 2000-3000 size, 6-8 ball bearings, the main pair of gears from cold forged aluminum, the presence of “infinity” and a sensitive friction brake – these are the main characteristics that this or that model should have;
  3. Catching a large pike, catfish, trophy pikeperch and other strong competitors in wobblers, poppers, jerkbaits and other big baits is possible only with a sufficiently powerful spool. Power main pair of gears and gear ratio 4.5-4.8:1, 8-10 ball bearings, a powerful friction brake with front adjustment, the presence of all sorts of mechanisms to ensure high-quality stacking line and many other characteristics should be present here in full.

Let’s talk about brands

Nowadays one can find free spinning reels of different manufacturers, starting with “unnamed” Chinese models and finishing with top devices of generally accepted market leaders, who are trendsetters. You should not think that all reels are the same and differ only in what is written on the body – due to scrupulous approach to production and total quality control, even budget models from well-known European and Japanese manufacturers will serve much longer than the anonymous Chinese reels, positioned a few classes higher. If we talk about specific firms that have won not only an excellent reputation, but also popular love among anglers, it is necessary to note the following names:

  1. Daiwa;
  2. Shimano;
  3. Abu Garcia;
  4. Mitchell;
  5. Spro;
  6. Drennan;
  7. reston;

In the following articles our experts tell you how to choose thermal underwear for outdoor activities, and secrets of the choice of echo sounder for fishing.

Video on choosing a reel for spinning

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