Why is Reel Speed Important?

Why is Reel Speed Important?

Why is Reel Speed Important?


Over the years, reel manufacturers have raced to create the newest, fastest reel on the market. And sure, there is good reason to want a faster reel, but that doesn’t mean we should set our slower reels on a shelf for good. Nowadays, with any reel you set out to purchase you will typically have to choose a gear ratio ranging from 5:1 up to 8:1, and in some cases even 10:1! Why are there so many options?

Just like with selecting the proper rod for any given technique, reels are tools that need to be paired and used correctly to give you the most efficiency while presenting the bait you’re throwing properly. As an example, crankbaits tend to still be used with lower gear ratio reels, like the Bruin ELS 5.3:1. One reason for this is that diving crankbaits generate a lot of torque and resistance. When retrieved TOO FAST, the presentation and action are killed, and the bait does not run properly. On the other end of the spectrum, when presenting something like a Jig or a Worm, even though it tends to be a slower presentation all of the action is generated by the rod itself, not by winding the reel handle. Therefore, the function of the reel isn’t to present the bait, but to take up slack in between rod movements and when preparing to set the hook. In this scenario a higher gear ratio like the Bruin ELS 8.1:1 is the ideal option.

And, of course, there are speeds in between! So, to cover all of your bases I made this handy cheat sheet on how I select reel speeds in regard to the baits and presentations that I am using! You can also get a better idea of the “why” by watching the YouTube video linked below.

I hope this helps bring some clarity to why there are so many reel options on the market and that it will help you be more efficient when you’re out on the water! Until then, be sure to find us on Facebook, Instagram, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and be sure to check back often for more quick tips that will help you put more fish in the boat!


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