Spinning reels offer fisherman versatility

Published 10:39 am Thursday, May 30, 2013

We looked at spincasting reels last time, now let’s look at spinning reels.
Spinning reels, many times referred to as open face reels, are probably the most versatile reels made. They are commonly used for everything from ultralight fishing, all the way up to offshore deep sea fishing.
Spinning reels have several advantages to other reels. One advantage is you actually have contact with the line with your finger, making for more “feel” when casting. After the cast is released, it is possible to “feather” the cast by placing your hand on the line, near the end of the spool and causing friction to slow the cast. This takes a little practice.
Spinning reels also do not have a revolving spool, so they can’t be overrun like a baitcasting reel. The bail that collects the line on the retrieve has a round or even rolling pickup, which greatly reduces stress at the line pick up, opposed to the small line pick up of a spincasting reel.
A decent quality reel also will have a very smooth drag. This is a must when fishing light line, or when fighting a big fish. Any money you save buying a cheaper reel will grieve you all the more when losing the fish of a lifetime.
Spinning reels are not flawless, and have some disadvantages. Spinning reels are known for tangles. When line is not loaded properly, or is old, or when the reel is not used properly, some severe tangles can develop springing off the spool. The “open face” of the reel allows for tangles to grow and become bigger than when covered, as the spool of a spincasting reel is.
Spinning reels that are weight overloaded are a little tough to control when casting. A lot of this has to do with the rod too.
Even though spinning reels can have their quirks, most of them can be avoided when used properly. Here are a few tips to make your trips better.
Avoid small reels. The spool is so small on some of the ultralight versions, the line has a hard time coiling that small, and tends to spring off the spool. Going one size bigger is better than too small.
After a cast, close the bail with your hand while raising the rod. When you turn the handle to close the bail, or leave slack in the line when closing the bail, it actually throws a loop or twist in the line. After a few dozen casts, your line will have a lot of twist in it. You can see this when filmed in slow motion.
Don’t put too heavy a line on a spool not big enough to handle the line; large diameter line has more memory and will cast poorly when put on a reel that’s too small.
Use a line that has low memory. I am a big fan of low memory line. Suffix is my brand of choice. It is precision wound on the spool, and has very low memory.
All in all, when used correctly, a spinning reel is hard to beat. It just may be my favorite reel type, and is definitely the best all around reel.

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