The one mechanical item responsible for eliminating the distance from fish to net. You can bet a spinning reel will be as dependable as your outboard motor. A smooth drag means you’ll get no stuttering, skipping, or hooks tearing free. A dependable bail system means you don’t set the hook on a fish only to have the line flip the bail open at the worst moment. It also means you don’t have to look after every cast to make sure the darn thing went down all the way!
Most people associate the rod with feel. But, have you ever had a handle that would hang up or get stiff areas in it as you cranked your lure in. Feels like something has a hold of your lure doesn’t it? Super smooth effortless cranking is a prerequisite for aiding in feel. High numbers of ball bearings make this possible. Another feature to look for in a good spinning real is there should be no backwards movement of the handle after you flip or engage the bail closed. Things should feel locked and ready to crank forward. This is the instant anti-reverse feature every salty angler speaks of.
Good spinning reels will also perform well in rain and cold temperatures. Granted, all reels will have limits when you get to the freezing mark and it’s raining. Finally a good spinning reel will be ergonomically comfortable and balanced for the task at hand. Long hours in a boat performing repetitive muscle movements means we need all the comfort we can get. Speaking of tasks. Lets go through each specialty task we use spinning reels for and look for ideal features and list the most widely used models.
Vertical Jigging reels as a rule are small, lightweight pieces of equipment. Since vertical jigging rods are short and lightweight we simply balance the outfit with the correct reel. There’s no need to have high line capacities on a jigging reel. Drags must be very good and again the instant anti-reverse feature is another key element to look for in a spinning reel.
Also, stay away from reels with the quick cast lever on them for jigging-Fishermen report on many Shimano reels the drag will not engage until you’ve turned the handle 360 degrees. This could be a problem for dropping to the bottom and closing the bail types of presentations. Check this out in the stores the next time you’re messing around.
America’s most popular brand of spinning reel used for jigging is the Shimano mid-priced reels like the Sahara and Stradic. However, Pflueger’s President has also found it’s way into many a jigging vessel with very good reviews. You’ll find the same reel works well for pitching and live bait rigging. For a casting reel we need to look for different qualities.
These spinning reels will be beefier. So you’ll be jumping up a size from your jigging reel. The spool diameter and capacity will be larger. This allows line to easily feed off giving you long accurate casts. A large diameter spool will also help alleviate wind knots and tangles. The Shimano Stradic 2500 has gotten some press for being a good casting reel. However, for casting small extremely lightweight stickbaits or crankbaits you’ll find your jigging reel handles the task well. Walleye anglers report the lighter line you spooled up with for jigging really helps to alleviate resistance on the bait as it flies through the air.