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How to Choose the Right Gear Ratio of Fishing Reel For Different Fishing Applications

How to Choose the Right Gear Ratio of Fishing Reel For Different Fishing Applications

When you start to learn bass fishing, you would possibly have a number of questions about gear ratio for a baitcaster, especially for beginners. What does gear ratio mean? What gear ratio should I choose?

Take your baitcaster and look at it. What does it show? Gear ratio 6.5:1, or 7.3:1? Actually it is easy to understand. For example gear ratio 6.5:1, 6.5 means rotations the spool would make per turn of reel’s handle. Therefore, 6.5:1 gear ratio means spool rotates 6.5 times per handle turn. Line retrieve also depends on it, to no small degree. The large the number before the colon, the more line it retrieves for per turn.


Gear Ratio for Different Applications

Generally, gear ratios of baitcasters could be divided into 3 types, that is, SLOW ( 5’s ), MEDIUM (6’s), and FAST (7’s). Types vary in different fishing applications.


Slow Gear Ratio (5’s)

A low gear ratio baitcaster, for example 5:1, would work well with some deep diving crank baits or large swim baits. It is very helpful when you want your baits to get deep enough in the water. When you retrieve, you could feel clearly what’s going on with your baits. Besides, bait could stay in the strike zone longer with slow speed reduce possibility of spooking fish


Medium Gear Ratio (6’s)

Baitcasters with the mid gear ratio (6.1:1 or higher) are commonly used in fishing. Have good performance in many fishing applications. You have more choices to try different bait types. It would be easier to get the hang of slower and faster baitcasters if you master reels with medium gear ratio. Jerk baits, top-water lures, rigs and other baits, all work well with reels with medium gear ratio. A good choice for people who starts to use baitcaster.


Fast Gear Ratio (7’s)

Fast retrieve speed would help you when you fight a big bass---stand hard hook-sets. Reels with high gear ratio do a good job in the heavy cover condition or when you cast far from your boat. You can fast control the line and “avoid possible places where big fish like to run for cover after a hook set.”  Plastic worm baits, lipless crank baits, shaky heads perform well with this type of reels.


As regards choosing gear ratio, it would help if one understands what the numbers denote. Most important, reel could perform well in a fishing application if you choose the right gear ratio. If you have enough money in your pockets, buy products of each gear ration range.


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