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A Guide to Fishing Reels













What is a Fishing Reel?

A fishing reel is a device mounted on the butt (handle) of a fishing rod that holds the fishing line. It is used for casting and retrieving the fishing line.  It has been noted that the earliest fishing reel is depicted in Chinese paintings around 1195 AD and the first fishing reels appeared in England around 1650 AD.

Types of Fishing Reels
There are many different types of fishing reels and each reel is designed to be used for a specific type of fishing.  For the beginner,  choosing the correct fishing reel can be a bit confusing. Hopefully this page will help.


Buying a Fishing Reel.

If you are a beginner or new to fishing I suggest when buying a fishing reel, as with buying any fishing tackle, take a fishing friend with you. You will already know what style of fishing you will be doing so will know the type of reel you need. The hard part is choosing the right one. This is where your friend and of course the tackle shop owner will help. Sort out a budget that you can afford and check out the reels within this range. When looking at reels compare them closely. Just because its made by a well known manufacturer does not mean it is the best. Turn the handle and check for smoothness. Generally speaking the more bearings a reel has the smoother the action.

Fixed Spool Reel (spinning reel)

Fixed spool reels are also known as Spinning reels. These are probably the most used fishing reel of all and the easiest and simplest to use. This makes them a good choice for beginners just starting angling and are suitable on almost waters.

Casting can be a bit tricky and takes time to learn but with practice you will get it right.
You will no doubt have a few mishaps but stick at it. We all mess up sometimes even after years of fishing !
 link arrow  read how to cast using a fixed Spool reel

Fixed Spool Reel spinning reel1: Pick up or bail arm
2: Reel seat
3: Reel foot
4: Handle
5: Support arm
6: Anti-reverse lever
7: Skirted spool
8: Fishing line
9: Drag adjustment knob


Centrepin Reel
The Centrepin reel is ideal for trotting on rivers and is the main reel used for fly fishing.


image fishing reel Centrepin reel Casting with a Centrepin reel is done by stripping line off the reel before casting. When coarse fishing / trotting, strip off line equal to the distance you want to cast and fish, bearing in mind that centrepins are not long casting reels. Try to cast your rig only as far as the line stripped off the reel. Then let the current pull line off the reel as it takes your float downstream.

In fly fishing there is a special technique involved when casting with a Centrepin reel. I'm not a fly fisherman and for me to try and describe this casting technique would be almost impossible. To learn how to cast when fly fishing I suggest you have a lesson with an instructor. . . see here for an instructor in your area


For information on fly casting see video's on the various types of fly casting.

link arrow have a look at videos here



Multiplier reels
Multiplier reels are used for bait casting, sea angling and in casting competitions.

fishing reel Multiplier reelIn the right hands, this reel is brilliant and well known for its ability to cast a baited rig well over 100 yards and in casting competitions longer distances of 200 yards or more.
This is NOT an easy reel to learn to cast with but worth the trouble learning how to.
When casting with a multiplier reel the spool rotates as line is pulled off by the baited rig. If the spool turns too fast, faster than the line is being pulled off of the spool, the dreaded birds nest tangle occurs. Some multiplier reels are fitted with a braking system which slows down the spool during casting which prevents the spool over turning. These are well worth a look at.


Article by Jim Boswell





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