With all the different reels and options in today’s market, it can seem needless and overwhelming to have so many features, speeds, and designs. There are so many options for good reason. As with any tool, it takes the right one to get the job done most efficiently. Can I drive a nail with the handle-end of a screwdriver? In some cases, sure. But it’s the hammer that does the job better and quicker. And, even more so, the correct size and shape of a hammer can make a world of difference. The same is true in fishing. When choosing a reel, there are certain features I look for depending on the application. Here is what’s at the top of the list when I’m choosing a reel for flipping.
There’s a debate that currently surrounds reel speed when flipping and dragging fish out of heavy cover. Some say you lose torque when your gear speed gets too high, but from my experience I’ve never had an issue with a lack of “torque”. More so, having a high-speed reel allows me to turn that fish and get him out of the cover quicker, and I still have plenty of power. With the Bruin ELS 8.1:1 reel; most times when you set the hook, it only takes a couple turns of the handle to have that fish out of cover and into the boat. Having a high-speed reel also allows me to make more flips throughout the day with a lot less fatigue. Flip, bounce, reel a couple turns, and repeat. This could make a huge difference in how many fish get to see your bait throughout the day, allowing opportunities for more bites and landed fish.
Like having a 135-pound track star as a linebacker on your favorite football team; the high speed is useless in getting the fish out unless you have the drag to back it up. The drag is the muscle when it comes to reels. When flipping, 10 times out of 10, you’re going to have heavy line and the drag cinched down tight. I mean, that’s what we all love about flipping right!? The Bruin ELS reels come equipped with 22 pounds of drag. When you set the hook on your personal best in a field of hydrilla, you want to know that your drag isn’t going to slip and cause a world of heartache.
To stick with the linebacker analogy; the fastest, strongest linebacker in the world isn’t worth a penny if he’s prone to injury! Again, flipping is a game of muscle. If you’re going to put a 1 ½ ounce bait into the jungle, at the end of 65 – 80-pound braid and tighten the drag knob as far as you can get it; you’d better have a reel that can handle the pressure without shattering. This is another reason I use the Bruin ELS reel! It has a 1-piece solid metal frame, offering strength without weak points. Along with the frame, the aluminum side plates hold everything together as it should be.
These key features are at the top of my priority list when I choose a reel for exploring jungle like settings on the water. Each feature is important as one doesn’t do much good without the other, but together they make for the perfect hammer to get the job done in the best way possible.