When you purchase a baitcaster reel, there’s a bit of assumed knowledge involved. It’s assumed that you’ve mastered the spin reel, and have specific techniques that require a baitcaster in mind. To many, baitcasters are unnecessarily complicated and make casting difficult, but there are many pros to using a baitcaster over a spin reel, and a few techniques for which the baitcaster is the preferred tool – in some cases the only tool you can use!
Baitcasters in general fulfil a much more specific application than spin reels, and some models are built for a single technique, such as the Okuma Cavalla Jigging Reeland Shimano Tranx 300HG Baitcast Reel, designed for jigging and swimbaiting respectively.
On the other side of things, there are many baitcasters out there to suit someone who might like to do a bit of trolling, casting hardbodies at snags and jigging spoons in deepwater for bass with the same reel. Reels such as the Shimano Curado Baitcaster Reel, 13 Fishing Concept A2-RH, Alvey Baitcasting Reel and Daiwa’s Zillion TW HD Baitcast Reel all excel across a range of applications and techniques, and all have their own unique feel.
Taking things such as wind ratio and drag capacity into account is important when deciding which reel is the best one for you. For techniques that require the angler to feel their way through the retrieve, such as crankbaiting through snags of tossing spinnerbaits into thick cover, a slower ratio of around 5-6:1 will maximise feel, and give you plenty of grunt to extract hard fighters. If fishing in deep water for schooled fish, tossing larger baits such as swimbaits, or fishing in a way that requires long casts and retrieves, a faster ration will come in handy. Some baitcasters have rations 9-10:1, which is incredibly fast for a baitcaster.
Whichever reel you choose, make sure you buy a reel that is comfortable for you to use. This is why it pays to shop around a bit, and decide which will feel best after hours of casting.
Just like spin reels, always make sure to spray them with freshwater after saltwater use, and if possible, get them serviced by a professional at least once a year. This little bit of extra care goes a long way, and can see the same reel putting in hard work for 10 years or more!
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