Fishing Reels

Fishing Reels

How To Pick The Best Baitcast Fishing Reels

There are a lot of old misconceptions when it comes to choosing fishing reels. In the past baitcast reels were shied away from because they ran a higher risk of backlash. When the spool overruns the fishing line after a cast, the line spins slower than the spool and can lead to a tangled up line when reeling in. A lot of people call it ‘bird nesting’, but with advances in reel technology, baitcast reels have come a long way. Nowadays a baitcast reel is just as user friendly as a spincast reel but you still get the power, performance, and reliability benefits that baitcasting is known for. Here are a few things you should consider when choosing a new baitcast reel:

The Gear Ratio

When looking through different reels, you will always see a gear ratio number. The most common ratios are 5.4:1, 6.4:1, or 7.1:1. What these numbers mean is simple: they represent the number of rotations the spool makes for every turn of the handle. A 5.4:1 ratio means that the spool rotates around 5.4 times for every 1 turn you make. That means the higher the gear ratio, the more line you pull up with each turn of the handle.

For the average fisherman, a 6.4:1 ratio is a great choice because you can use it in a variety of applications. There are times, though, that you may need a fishing reel with a different speed. If you like to use spinnerbait you may benefit from a higher ratio such as the Abu Garcia Revo Inshore that has a 7.1:1 ratio. For crankbaits, on the other hand, a slower reel will typically be more effective.

Cast Control

For a fishing reel, there are typically two choices for braking and cast control: magnetic and centrifugal breaks. These braking systems are used to slow down the speed that the spool rotates when you make a cast, preventing the dreaded bird nest from happening. While it is important to learn how to properly thumb the spool, having a quality braking system in place makes things much easier than in the past.
Many top of the line brands like Abu Garcia reels have a selection of both magnetic and friction based braking systems. For centrifugal braking systems, there are typically six pins that need to be adjusted (making sure pins are always adjusted opposite of each other) while magnetic braking systems are often easier to adjust and use a more complicated—but just as effective—system of braking.


A lot of baitcast reels have a lot of ball bearings, but when selecting fishing reels it is more about the quality of the bearings than the quantity. The quality of the bearings will ensure that your cast is as smooth as possible. When looking through different baitcast reels, look for ball bearings that are labeled as shielded or double-shielded. These bearings are designed to prevent corrosion and make sure your reel lasts as long as possible without losing quality over time.