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I have been using a MH/F with 6.4:1 reel for basically everything not finesse the past year or two and it has worked but there's been challenges.

So I'm thinking about broadening my rod and reel selection but on a budget. I'm gonna get a crankbait setup and jig set up for flipping and pitching.

instead of getting the usual reel setups of a slower like 5.4:1 and a mid range 6.4:1 and a fast 7.1:1 or faster would a 6.8:1 work as a reel that can take the place of the 6.4:1 and 7.1:1?

im just trying to find a way to cover all my bases as far as rod and reel setups go but for less money

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I use a 7.1:1 to cover all of my bases.  The speed is there when you need it, but of course you can slow it down.  In reality, filling the spool short is probably going to get a 7.1:1 close to a 6.8:1 anyway so you are in one of those almost splitting hairs situations.  

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The slower gear ratios like 5.4:1 are definitely worth looking into if you plan on cranking a lot.  Just makes the job easier and more productive IMO.  I use 7.1:1 for everything else for the most part.  

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21 minutes ago, BigGame0892 said:

The slower gear ratios like 5.4:1 are definitely worth looking into if you plan on cranking a lot.  Just makes the job easier and more productive IMO.  I use 7.1:1 for everything else for the most part.  

I can't wrap my mind around why a slower gear ratio reel is better for cranking.  My mind tells me a reel that reels more line per turn would make it easier.  

What about a slower gear ration makes it easier?  

 

*Long time reader, this is my first post.  Thanks!

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The difference in a 6.8:1 vs a 6.4:1 really isn't anything to get picky about, since the IPT between reels of the same gear ratio will also vary. One reels 6.8:1 might have the same IPT of another reels 6.4:1. Then it depends how much you fill up the reel too. If it was me I would just get a 7.1:1 for your jig setup, and a slower 5 or low 6 speed for your cranks.

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27 minutes ago, npl_texas said:

I can't wrap my mind around why a slower gear ratio reel is better for cranking.  My mind tells me a reel that reels more line per turn would make it easier.  

What about a slower gear ration makes it easier?  

 

*Long time reader, this is my first post.  Thanks!

Slower gear ratio means more power.  So, its easier to reel in a big crankbait with a lot of vibration.  It really helps when you have an 8 hour day of slinging mid to deep diving crankbaits.  Don't get me wrong - lots of guys use faster reels for shallow to mid cranks and do just fine.  But, I've done both and can definitely tell you its easier to reel with the added power of the slower gear.  Plus, personally I just seem to get more bites.  That's just my experience.

Compare the lower gear ratio reel to the lower gears on your car or truck for example.  More torque in those lower gears.

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2 minutes ago, BigGame0892 said:

Slower gear ratio means more power.  So, its easier to reel in a big crankbait with a lot of vibration.  It really helps when you have an 8 hour day of slinging mid to deep diving crankbaits.  Don't get me wrong - lots of guys use faster reels for shallow to mid cranks and do just fine.  But, I've done both and can definitely tell you its easier to reel with the added power of the slower gear.  Plus, personally I just seem to get more bites.  That's just my experience.

Thanks, for the response.  I've been using a 6.8:1 and the deep divers really wear out my forearm and hands.  I don't have anything in the 5:1 range so I'll look into picking something up and trying it out.  

Seems to me the common practice is to have a slower gear ratio for cranks.

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Yeah, to be honest I never really even enjoyed throwing cranks much until I got a lower gear ratio reel.  Now, it could very well be my favorite way to catch 'em!

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31 minutes ago, BigGame0892 said:

 

Compare the lower gear ratio reel to the lower gears on your car or truck for example.  More torque in those lower gears.

In a car a lower gear is actually a higher number. so, on my suburban, first gear is 2.97:1(12.206:1 final) second is 1.57:1(6.452:1 final) third is 1.00:1(4.11:1 final).

Gear ratios and work performed remain constant no matter what device is employing them. an 8.1:1 gives you more torque then a 6.4:1 This is physics, and it cant be changed. what I think a lot of people are saying is a power difference is really just a speed difference. It's a lot easier to reel in a 20ft diving crankbait on a 6.4:1 then an 8.1:1 because the constant speed on the 6.4:1 is far more comfortable then having to slow down with an 8.1:1 and the bait offers less resistance giving you a false feeling of "more power" even though you actually have less. 

Think of the problem more like this. you instinctively turn your hand at 100rpm. On an 8.1:1 reel, at 100rpm you bring in 3200 inches of line per minute. on a 6.4:1 reel at 100rpm you retrieve 2600 inches of line per minute. obviously, the 8.1:1 is a more powerful reel and performs more work in the same amount of time. this isn't what you want when fishing a crank as increased speed becomes decreased depth, and and at higher retrieve rates we lose the sensitivity of a wobbling crankbait that is crucial to crankbait hookups. this is why we use slower reels for crankbaits: deeper dives, more sensitivity, and more comfortable retrieve rates.

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Welcome aboard, @npl_texas!

As for the OP, and while I rarely throw cranks,
I like fast ratios. When I did a lot of baitcasting,
all I'd use was 7:1.1. Like @Onvacation, I just 
slow down when using a spinnerbait or crank.

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With both 100 and 200 size baitcasting reels the IPT /gear ratio drops at least 50% at the end of a 35-40 yd cast. You are better off cranking with a 300 series reel with somewhere near 5.1:1 -5.8:1 and maintain the IPT with 20% at long casting distances. I use 8:1 ratio size 100 reels for my jigs and worms retreive them very slowly most of the time.

Tom

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9 hours ago, DrMarlboro92 said:

In a car a lower gear is actually a higher number. so, on my suburban, first gear is 2.97:1(12.206:1 final) second is 1.57:1(6.452:1 final) third is 1.00:1(4.11:1 final).

Gear ratios and work performed remain constant no matter what device is employing them. an 8.1:1 gives you more torque then a 6.4:1 This is physics, and it cant be changed. what I think a lot of people are saying is a power difference is really just a speed difference. It's a lot easier to reel in a 20ft diving crankbait on a 6.4:1 then an 8.1:1 because the constant speed on the 6.4:1 is far more comfortable then having to slow down with an 8.1:1 and the bait offers less resistance giving you a false feeling of "more power" even though you actually have less. 

Think of the problem more like this. you instinctively turn your hand at 100rpm. On an 8.1:1 reel, at 100rpm you bring in 3200 inches of line per minute. on a 6.4:1 reel at 100rpm you retrieve 2600 inches of line per minute. obviously, the 8.1:1 is a more powerful reel and performs more work in the same amount of time. this isn't what you want when fishing a crank as increased speed becomes decreased depth, and and at higher retrieve rates we lose the sensitivity of a wobbling crankbait that is crucial to crankbait hookups. this is why we use slower reels for crankbaits: deeper dives, more sensitivity, and more comfortable retrieve rates.

:headscratch: :headscratch: :headscratch:

Using a lower gear ratio (or actually even an "effectively lower" gear ratio) will make it much easier to reel in things like deep cranks regardless of what speed you turn the handle. It's not just a perceived effect. Easy to test and prove to yourself out of the water where there is no drag or resistance offered by water. Just attach your left shoe to a high IPT reel and your right one to a low IPT reel, then pitch them out on the driveway and reel them in :) The bigger the IPT difference, the more noticeable the difference in effort to reel them in. Much less effort required with the lower geared reel.

-T9

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12 hours ago, MassYak85 said:

Lol now I'm curious about the physics behind all of this

Yeah, I hear ya!  Bottom line and back to the OP - do yourself a favor and get a lower gear ratio reel with a wide spool.  Super long casts and a much more pleasant day chucking and winding with big body, deep diving cranks.

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12 hours ago, MassYak85 said:

Lol now I'm curious about the physics behind all of this

Gears are like levers, a smaller diameter gear turning a larger diameter gear is the same as a longer lever arm pivoting on a shorter arm. Torque is the force turning the gears or pulling down a lever arm, the longer the arm or smaller the gear the torque increases using equal force. Baitcasting reels use longer cranking handles with lower (smaller)  gear rations to achieve moving deep diving crankbaits with less force applied to turn the handle by the angler.

Hope this helps you.

Tom

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21 minutes ago, WRB said:

Gears are like levers, a smaller diameter gear turning a larger diameter gear is the same as a longer lever arm pivoting on a shorter arm. Torque is the force turning the gears or pulling down a lever arm, the longer the arm or smaller the gear the torque increases using equal force. Baitcasting reels use longer cranking handles with lower (smaller)  gear rations to achieve moving deep diving crankbaits with less force applied to turn the handle by the angler.

Hope this helps you.

Tom

 

Sorry.  I couldn't resist.9b56eb7a01fcf67336f444ddb276ccf0b71b6438b269bd7ffa1bf3c844b8211c.jpg

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3 hours ago, The Bassman said:

 

Sorry.  I couldn't resist.

Hey, I resemble that remark :P


I read Tom's comment with interest and had some time to kill last night, so I grabbed a reel and started measuring. I had a Shimano Castaic CA200 sitting around that I won't be using any more before things freeze up over here. Capacity is listed at 125 yds of 14# test. I had a nearly full spool of16# fluorocarbon on it. It has a 6.2:1 gear ratio, and the tested IPT was around 24.5"


The initial starting diameter of the line filled spool was 1.233" (radius = 0.616"). After stripping off about 40 yds of line, the effective gear ratio only dropped to just above 5:1. That would be about as long a cast as I'd normally ever make with that outfit. I kept stripping line off, passing the 82 yd mark that is factory placed on the line and continuing until I had nearly 100 yds stripped off. At this point the filled diameter was just 3/4 of an inch, with a spool radius of 0.385". I was well into my backing and likely only had another 20 or so yds of line left as I could see my arbor knot starting to appear. The calculated "effective gear ratio" at that point was 3.9:1 which was an IPT of 15", a 37% decrease from initial starting capacity.


Your mileage will certainly vary, as every reel is different, and a lot of variables affect the overall outcome. In general though, I'd say a typical long cast will likely decrease your overall effective gear ratio by at least 1+ spool revolutions per handle turn (a 7.x:1 becomes a 6:1, etc.). This would only happen during the initial part of your retrieve. As the line gets built back on the spool, the effective gear ratio continues to climb back to "normal." Wider spool reels would probably show less of an effect because they hold more of the line on the "outside" of the spool, while heavier lines, because they are thicker diameter, would likely exaggerate this effect.


I also carried out the "shoe test" at all stages (as suggested in one of my other posts). At full spool and attached to a 6' musky rod, it was a big struggle to lift and wind a 10.4 oz. shoe off the ground using only the reel handle and the drag clamped down. After stripping off the 100 yds of line and retesting, even though the gear ratio is still technically 6.2:1, since your IPT has decreased so much, the effective gear ratio of 3.9:1 made the task a pretty simple affair. A very noticeable difference and considerably easier to accomplish with much less effort in winding.


-T9

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5 hours ago, WRB said:

Gears are like levers, a smaller diameter gear turning a larger diameter gear is the same as a longer lever arm pivoting on a shorter arm. Torque is the force turning the gears or pulling down a lever arm, the longer the arm or smaller the gear the torque increases using equal force. Baitcasting reels use longer cranking handles with lower (smaller)  gear rations to achieve moving deep diving crankbaits with less force applied to turn the handle by the angler.

Hope this helps you.

Tom

Yea that makes sense, thanks. 

 

@Team9nine Those kind of technical analysis always interest me. Stuff like what you did, knot strength testing, etc. 

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On 01/12/2016 at 0:36 PM, DrMarlboro92 said:

In a car a lower gear is actually a higher number. so, on my suburban, first gear is 2.97:1(12.206:1 final) second is 1.57:1(6.452:1 final) third is 1.00:1(4.11:1 final).

The difference is that your car’s gear ratios are expressed as input/output, and a fishing reel is the reverse.  A 7:1 reel is turning the spool 7 times for each turn of the handle.  If your Suburban is in first gear and the tach says 2500 RPM, you better hope the wheels aren’t turning at 12.2*2500 = 30500 RPM!

================================================================

“Power” is term thrown around in discussions of reel gear ratios.  What does it actually mean for one reel to be more “powerful” than another?  Would a more powerful reel require less power input from the angler to achieve the same retrieve speed with a bait such as a crankbait?

From Wikipedia:

In physics, power (P) is the rate of doing work (W). It is the amount of energy consumed per unit time (t).

P = W/t    ;    W = force * displacement

Reeling a crankbait a certain distance in a certain amount of time, requires a certain amount of power.  Combining the equations above, this power would be calculated as:

Pcrankbait = (force on the line) x (retrieve distance) ÷ (elapsed time)

This power requirement is entirely independent of the reel.  It’s the power that the reel needs to supply to drag the crankbait along at the chosen speed.  Working backward toward the angler, we can calculate the “spool power” based on the torque about the spool (gearheads will be familiar with this formula):

Pspool   = [torque] x [angular velocity]

= [(force on the line) x (spool radius)] x [(total rotations)*2*π ÷ (elapsed time)]

= (force on the line) x [(total rotations)*2*π*(spool radius)] ÷ (elapsed time)

= (force on the line) x [retrieve distance] ÷ (elapsed time)

Pspool      = Pcrankbait

Note that because these two methods of calculation give the same result, we confirm that spool size does not affect the “spool power” required to reel your crankbait at the chosen speed.

Next we dive into the reel itself, and determine the required torque about the crankshaft (handle shaft) to achieve this power delivery at the spool.  This is where the gear ratio comes into play.  The spool torque (Tspool) is related to the crankshaft torque (Tcrankshaft) by the reel’s gear ratio (G):

Tcrankshaft = Tspool * G

This means that for higher gear ratios, you need higher crankshaft torque to achieve the same power delivery.  That’s half of the story – the power requirement at the crankshaft also depends on the angular velocity (RPM).  Angular velocity of the spool (ωspool) and crankshaft (ωcrankshaft) are also related by the reel’s gear ratio.

ωcrankshaft = ωspool ÷ G

This means that for higher gear ratios, you don’t have to turn the crankshaft as fast to achieve the same spool speed – this makes sense.  

Combining all these equations, we have:

Pcrankshaft = Tcrankshaft * ωcrankshaft

Pcrankshaft = (Tspool*G)*( ωspool÷G)

Pcrankshaft = (Tspool)*( ωspool)

Pcrankshaft = Pspool = Pcrankbait

The power requirement is the same!  And it does not depend at all on the reels gear ratio.  That is to say, for a chosen crankbait retrieve speed, the required power input from the angler does not depend on the gear ratio of his/her reel.

So how does this jive with the general consensus that fishing high resistance baits is “easier” with a lower gear ratio reel?

The key element to consider is that, while the power requirement may be the same for different reels, the delivery of that power is very different.  Delivering the required power to a low gear ratio will need high crankshaft RPM with low torque.  The opposite is true for a high gear ratio – high torque, low RPM.  Handle length also comes into play - a longer handle will take less force to turn, but your hand will be moving faster and with a larger range of motion for the same RPM.

If we consider the extreme cases it is clear that there must be limits to “comfortable” gear ratios.  An extremely low gear ratio would have you flailing wildly while your lure hardly moves, and an overly high ratio might take all your strength to budge the handle.  Finding the sweet spot in between is definitely a matter of personal preference, but if one was to attempt to ‘optimize’ their gear ratios for different baits, how would they do it?

...to be continued...

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Determining the IPT or inch of line recovered for 1 turn of the reel handle is easy; just mark the line with a sharpie, turn the handle 1full tull make a second mark and measure the inches between the 2 marks equals IPT. 

Every reel manufactures reels are different regarding spool size; diameter and width. Each angler fills thier reel a little differently so the IPT can vary greatly. My recommendation is make measurements with a full spool and agian at your long casting distance, about 40 yards, the IPT will change dramatically with 100 size bait casting reel, moderately with 200 size and less with 300 and minimally with 400 size reels.

Anyone who has ever ridden a bicycle uphill knows about gear ratios and the power needed to turn the peddle crank. Same applies to baitcasting reels, lower gears you travel slower using the same power, faster using high gear ratios require more power to rotate the peddle crank going uphill. What complicates using formulas is friction and changing spool diameter as the line is recovered, the spool is moving at a constant but the IPT is changing increasing the power required to move the deep diving crankbait as it gets closer to you.

Tom

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Look at the Abu Garcia Orra 2 Winch for cranks. 5.4:1 powerhouse,only 99 bucks and anyone who has one will attest that it takes an absolute beating and performs day after day.

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On ‎12‎/‎3‎/‎2016 at 4:29 PM, WRB said:

...

Anyone who has ever ridden a bicycle uphill knows about gear ratios and the power needed to turn the peddle crank. Same applies to baitcasting reels, lower gears you travel slower using the same power, faster using high gear ratios require more power to rotate the peddle crank going uphill. What complicates using formulas is friction and changing spool diameter as the line is recovered, the spool is moving at a constant but the IPT is changing increasing the power required to move the deep diving crankbait as it gets closer to you.

Tom

( long post coming up, but hey, it's winter and bass season just closed up here.  If I'm the only one who reads through all this, I understand :D )

I agree that most people intuitively understand how the different gears on a bicycle help them on varying terrain, but the explanation above is technically incorrect.  The power required to bike uphill at a certain speed is the same (neglecting friction loss), regardless of which gear ratio the cyclist is using.  The difference is in the torque and RPM required to deliver that power.  Higher torque with lower RPM for higher gear ratios, lower torque and higher RPM for lower gear ratios. 

Friction doesn’t complicate things very much.  Since my last post was talking about a chosen bait at a chosen speed, the drag from the lure is not a differentiating factor.  For constant retrieve speed, lure drag and especially line drag will change depending on how much line you have out, but again, this is independent of your reel choice.  Friction within the reel will sap a bit of power, but I think the difference between the same reel in high/low gear would be negligible.  With faster moving parts in the low gear ratio reel (to achieve the same spool speed), the power loss would actually be higher.

The difference in IPT at the start/end of a cast is absolutely valid (demonstrated with actual measurements by @Team9nine).  It’s a good point for the discussion, and it doesn’t conflict with any of the posted formulas/explanation (the effect is the same for reels of any gear ratio).  Carrying on with the idea of “optimizing” gear ratio – if one was going down that unnecessary road, they would do well to use an average operating spool radius (and IPT) in their calculations, rather than the nominal radius/IPT at full spool capacity.  Reel size would come into play as you said – an optimized, larger-spooled reel wouldn’t stray as far from to the “sweet spot” of comfortable RPM/torque at the start/end of the cast, but one would need to consider the disadvantages of large reels as well.  

======================================================

What’s missing from my last post (…to be continued…) is an explanation of how to incorporate “required effort” into the calculations, and ultimately into the choice of gear ratio.  This is related to the “required power,” but it’s not the same.  The formulas in the last post show that for a chosen lure and chosen constant retrieve speed, the required power is independent of gear ratio, IPT, spool size, etc.  On the other hand, required effort to achieve the same presentation DOES depend on these reel parameters.

To explain this, think of the angler as the engine in a car (the reel is the drivetrain).  People who race cars (or play video games) might be familiar with visualizing engine performance by plotting the torque generated at full throttle against the engine RPM.  Multiplying Torque x RPM on the same plot would give you a power delivery curve (power vs RPM).  You could make the same plots for an angler operating a reel, except instead of the torque/power generated at full throttle, you’d be interested in the torque/power generated at a given “effort” or “comfort” level.

Like engines, no two anglers are the same, and these curves would be unique to each person (they’d also depend on reel ergonomics, crucially the handle length).  Even for different anglers though, the curves would share similar traits.  I’ve drawn a conceptual version of what these curves might look like (below, left), showing torque/power output for “low effort/high comfort” (black), “medium effort/medium comfort” (green), and “high effort/low comfort” (red). 

You can imagine similar curves for any effort level between or above/below these ones.  For fishing a crank-n-wind type of lure all day, the idea is that you want to expend the least possible effort by operating on curve that is as low as possible on the chart.  The second image (below, right) shows the same power curves, with a horizontal line added which represents the power required to reel your chosen lure at chosen speed (Pcrankbait = [lure drag force] x (retrieve distance) ÷ [elapsed time]).

All of the power curves intersect the Pcrankbait line, which in practical terms means that you could achieve the same presentation at any effort level by changing the handle RPM (ie: changing the gear ratio of your reel).  I’ve indicated hypothetical cases on the chart, where too high or too low a gear ratio would leave you operating on the med or high effort curves, rather than the low curve.

Conveniently, the Pcrankbait line intersects the “low effort” curve near its peak.  If it didn’t intersect at a peak, remember that these are just three curves drawn for example, you could infill the chart with curves for any effort level.

The RPM at the intersection with the peak of the lowest effort curve (call it ωopt, in angular velocity units) is the optimal cranking rate that would let the angler fish this crankbait at the desired speed with least effort.  From here it’s simple to calculate the OPTIMAL GEAR RATIO (Gopt) the angler should select:

Gopt = (ωspool)  / (ωopt)

Where ωspool is the angular velocity of the spool at the chosen lure speed, calculated as:

ωspool = 2*π*(lure speed) / (spool circumference)

:dance10:

power.png

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On 12/1/2016 at 11:36 AM, DrMarlboro92 said:

Gear ratios and work performed remain constant no matter what device is employing them. an 8.1:1 gives you more torque then a 6.4:1 This is physics, and it cant be changed.

Quick note: The 8.1:1 is more speed, less torque.  The 6.4:1 is less speed, more torque.

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