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Things to consider when choosing Spinning Reels

Spinning reels have long been the number one choice for the beginning angler as well as experienced anglers. They are easy to use, perform well, and if you are fishing light lures and bait, they are essential. A spinning reel will cast light lure as well as heavier lures and baits as well. There is not the fear associated with a spinning reel as with the dreaded bird’s nest that are so common for the beginning bait caster. With the improvements to modern spinning reels and their drag systems, you will find that a spinning reel is capable of handling almost all of your freshwater and saltwater fishing needs.

From casting, a small 1/32-ounce jig for Bluegill to heaving a 1-ounce steelhead or salmon rig the spinning reel will complete the task repeatedly. A spinning reel today with a front spool adjustable drag system is as smooth and reliable as any other type of reel and they are easy to clean and maintain.

You do not need an expensive spinning reel to catch smaller species of fish; however, you should consider the following when making your purchase:

Size.

Your spinning reel should balance well with the rod you are using; otherwise, casting will be a lot more work. As a rule, you will need a reel weighing about 7 or 8 ounces to balance with an ultra-light rod. A 10- or 11- ounce reel is a better choice for a medium- power rod. A well-balanced rod should be balanced when held just in front of the reel seat.

Line capacity

Is not much of an issue while fishing for the smaller species of fish such as Bluegill, Crappy, Perch and such. However, you may need a high-capacity reel on large western streams and rivers where you are making longer casts for larger fish.

Drag.

When you are fishing for small to medium sized fish, the type of drag is not too important. However, when you hook a big steelhead or salmon, the last thing you want is a sticky drag. A good rule to keep in mind is that a front drag is much smoother and more reliable than a rear drag. The drag system works much like disk brakes, the washers on a front drag exert pressure on a large, flat spool surface and this causes friction. The more pressure applied the more friction against the spool and the harder a fish has to pull in order for the drag to let out line. It is important to note here that you should never over tighten your drag for the weight of line you fish. One thing to keep in mind with this drag system is that if you are not taking in line when turning the handle stop turning the handle until you are able to take in line. If you keep turning the handle while not taking in line all you are doing is twisting your line. The next time you go to cast your line will jump of the spool like a coiled spring.

Shape of Spool.

For best casting performance, choose a reel with a wide, long spool. If the spool is too short and narrow, the line will come off in tight coils; this creates friction on the line guides and shortens your casting distance. Another drawback to a short, narrow spool is you have to re-spool more often to keep the line level near the spool's lip. With a narrow spool, casting performance will suffer when you lose even a little line. To get the maximum casting distance with a spinning reel it is imperative that you keep the spool full. The line should be within an eighth of an inch or less of the spool's lip. Make sure that you do not over fill the spool, as this will cause problems also.

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