4 Myths and A Truth About Reel Selection

4 Myths and A Truth About Reel Selection I promise you will be much happier with your purchase if you first discern what your individual needs are, and buy a reel to match.


Fishing reel

Selecting tackle is a very personal thing.  I can't emphasize that enough.  So when a bass fisherman is in the market for a new reel, it is essential to keep that fact in mind. 

   Reel selection would be much easier if the purchase could be based on some universal rules that apply to all fishermen.  But anglers tend to prefer different techniques and methods of fishing for bass.  We vary widely in expertise; from occasional weekend warriors to professional anglers.  Fact is; no two bass anglers are alike. 

   Our diversity means that universal rules won't work for reel selection.  What works for one bass angler may not work for another. 

   Keeping this in mind, let's explore a few of the myths have been perpetuated over time that have led many anglers into making some unsatisfactory purchases when buying a reel.

Myth: Buy the most expensive reel you can buy!

All myths are based onsometruth, for instance; it is always wise to seek the best "quality" reel you can find.  But quality can be found relative to your financial resources and your specific needs.

   If you were buying a car, it might be poor stewardship for some folks to buy a Porsche when an economy car best suits their needs.  Likewise, buying the most expensive reel may, or may not, be a wise decision - it depends on your individual needs.

   For example; Abu Garcia's Revo MGXtreme reel is one of the finest baitcast reels on the market.  And for the serious fisherman that spends many long days on the lake throwing light fluorocarbon line and casting tiny suspending jerkbaits into the wind - this is the perfect reel.  If you need the extra casting distance it provides, the MGXtreme is well worth the money.

   But there are a large number of recreational anglers who might never benefit from the Revo MGXtreme; the techniques they prefer and the baits they throw don't justify the extra cost.  Most weekend anglers generally prefer to throw the heavier 1/4 ounce plastic worms, jigs, topwater baits, and so forth.  And a more modest priced Revo, or other brand of reel would serve them well.

   The most expensive reel may, or may not be the wisest choice.  Always seek quality reels, but make your purchase based on your individual needs. 

Myth:  Buy the Reel the Pros Use!

I've always enjoyed sharing my boat with amateur and professional fishermen alike.   But there was a time when both would eventually backlash every reel I handed them.  Why?  Because back then I was using the round Ambassador reels that I had modified to meet my personal casting style. 

   I'd taken all the weighed ballasts off the spool so I could throw them 20% further.  The price I paid for the extra casting distance was the huge over-ride that occurred if a loop ever formed on the spool.  But I quickly learned to avoid the loops and backlashes, and it worked for me.  

   Perhaps it was a result of my wrist control, or my ability to generate the proper speed right from the beginning of the cast, but for whatever reason I was able to produce a long cast, without getting a backlash.

   Back then, I sought a reel that met "my" personal needs; which differed greatly from most of the other anglers in my boat.  The majority didn't have my burning compulsion to throw a heavy crankbait a country mile.  Naturally, my personal needs dictated what reel I used.  It still does today.

   It is a gamble to purchase a reel just because a popular angler uses it.  The odds are high that your preferred bass techniques, expertise, and individual needs are different from the pros. 

   The fact is, if you purchase the wrong reel, you won't get the job done right.  Buy the model YOU need, and in the long run you'll be far more successful and satisfied with your reel purchase.

Myth:  Spinning Reels are for Beginners, and Baitcast Reels are for the Serious Fishermen.

Please hear me when I say again that bass anglers should select the reel that is going to do the job for their specific needs. 

   Some folks love spinning reels and won't fish with baitcasters because they get too many backlashes.  Other anglers won't touch a spinning rod; their comfort zone lies within the realm of baitcast reels.  Some people are surprised that I have no problem with those decisions at all; whatever reel works for an angler, that is the reel they should be using.

   I personally use spinning gear about 50% of the time; especially when the technique I am using requires the use of 10 pound test line or less.  Naturally the other 50% of my fishing utilizes baitcasting reels for throwing heavier lines and baits.  My  personal arsenal of fishing tackle utilizes both spinning and baitcasting reels  because, together, they serve me well. 

   Regardless of a person's level of expertise, every angler should ask "Will spinning or baitcasting reels serve me best?"  That individual answer must take into consideration the specific kinds of lakes and cover fished, the angler's degree of expertise, and their comfort level with spinning and/or baitcast reels. 

   I know what works for me, and every angler must select the reel type that works for them.

Myth:  Buy the Fastest Reel You Can Get!

There is a reason most automobile commercials discuss "speed" when selling sports cars, and "torque" when discussing tow vehicles.  Their transmissions are built for different purposes.

   Reels are like cars.  Their gears are designed for either speed or torque, but not both at the same time. 

   The myth, (that a fisherman should get the fastest reel they can),  mightbe true IF speed is the primary requirement. 

   Take for instance, Abu Garcia's new Revo Rocket with a 9:1 ratio that pulls in a blistering 37 inches per turn of the handle.  If burning a bait back to the boat is the goal, then definitely select the reels with higher gear ratios.

   But remember, the higher the gear ratio - the less power available.  And if an angler likes flipping or pitching into heavy cover, speed is not required, but torque is.  Only a reel with a low gear ratio can provide the needed power.

   Now, many anglers know that the Abu Garcia Revo Winch is an awesome crankbait reel, but I also love it for flipping and pitching.  The Winch's lower gear ratio has plenty of power.

   After punching through matted grass with a big, 2-ounce tungsten weight, and hooking a 9-pound fish - an angler needs power, not speed.  And a lower geared Revo Winch will definitely power that trophy out of the heavy cover.

   Remember, the speed or power of your reel is based on its gear ratio.  The higher ratios produce speed, the lower ratios produce power.  And your purchase should always be based on your personal preferences.

Truth:  Buy a reel that meets YOUR individual needs!

Selecting a reel is a personal thing.  No two fishermen are exactly the same, therefore, there are no universal rules that apply to all anglers.  Don't worry about what the other guy is buying; make your choice of reel based on the techniques you prefer, your level of expertise, and your personal angling preferences. 

   I promise you will be much happier with your purchase if you first discern what your individual needs are, and buy a reel to match.


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