Fishing Reel - Fly Reel
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Fishing Reel

Reel Basics

There are several different ways in which to classify reels, fixed spool versus multiplier, open faced versus closed faced. For simplicity, we will consider reels as fixed spool versus multiplers, with the knowledge that both fixed spools and multipliers can be closed faced or open faced.

Multiplier Reel - they get their names from the fact that they are geared, and one turn of the handle will wind in more than a spools worth of line. The multiplier is more commonly used when fishing for large fish, and a good multiplier has a smooth and powerful drag mechanism.

Fixed Spool Reel - has no gearing effect like a multiplier does, but it can be used for spinning for fish, but is more typically associated with bait casting. Good fixed spools have a bait runner mechanism that allows the spool to run free, such that bait can drift with the current etc...., and a turn of the handle usually engages the spool allowing the line to be rewound or the fish to be taken.

Both multipliers and fixed spools can come in a large variety of shapes and sizes, some intended for fresh water, others intended for salt water. Fully read manufacturers notes before deciding which one is best for your type of angling.

Open Faced Reel Closed Face Reel

Fly Reel

Fly Reel Basics

The three main points to keep in mind when looking for fly reels is, adequate capacity, smooth drag, and the balance it will give to a rod.

Adequate Capacity - You need to be able to accommodate your fly line plus your backing line. The line weight and the amount of backing line will determine what capacity you need to look for.

Smooth Drag - A good easily adjustable drag system for when you hook a big one is needed. A poor dragging system will give you problems when you need them least.

Balance - For the sake of comfort you want to have a rod nicely balanced somewhere within the grip section. The weight of fully loaded reels will be specified by the manufacturer (if you correctly match line to reels), and matched against the rod you are going to use.

Other considerations to take into account when looking at fishing in salt water are corrossion resistance, more backing line (larger capacity) and a more elaborate drag system.

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