How A Spinning Reel Works: Things You Should Know!

| Last Updated On: August 25, 2020
Cover Image of How a Spinning Reel Works

Are you feeling in a mood for some fishing today but are confused about the components that you would need? Don’t worry. We got you here! Apart from any other fishing component, the thing you really need is a fishing reel!

Fishing reels can be a little hectic to choose if you are on a beginner level, but you can’t skip the part because they are essential, they help you bring back your fishing line with safety no matter what is at the other end of it, irrespective of the weight and we do need a helping pull for a big catch right?

Let’s get into some dynamics, the device is a cylinder in shape and gets attached to the fishing rod itself, fishing reels in the earlier times used to be really bland and straightforward but now that times have changed, so have our reels.

Now they are more modern, there is more technique to it, and they work in a better way due to the extra fittings and features that they have now. It’s said that these reels we’re invented in China but are modified according to different people keeping in mind the different needs, that’s why there are many types of reels.

They were mostly used in games and sports, but now they are a prominent part of any other fishing spree. Let’s talk about the different types of fishing reels available.


Different Types of Fishing Reels


As we earlier mentioned that different types of fishing require a different kind of method to fish, with that other kind of process comes a specific set of ingredients and instructions needed for the purpose, and that is why we have eight types of reels that give us a variety to choose from depending on the situation.

Before even start to fish, you need to know what kind of reels you need keeping in mind the scenario that you might find yourself in. So let’s know about the type of reels, their famous uses and, where can you use them.

different reels

A Spincast Reel


Now, this is something that you would want if you are a first-timer, a beginner, wanting something casual, or maybe just looking for parent-kid bonding time. We are saying this because a spin cast reel is as we can say an amateur reel.

It is inexpensive, doesn’t need any investment, easy to use, and non-complicated; also, it’s easy to untangle with this reel. So yes, it’s best for you if you are looking for something easy, but if you are a professional angler, then a big NO.

A man using a spincast reel while fishing

This is because the casting of this reel is quite short, which means you can’t catch from a long distance. Also, you can’t catch something substantial on it because it can’t bear that much pull, so don’t assume you are going to catch big, instead, you are going to lose your big catch.

In conclusion, we would suggest beginners or young and inexperienced ones buy it, and it sure is a great kick start for something big.


A Baitcasting Reel


How to explain a baitcasting reel to someone who was to start fishing, well, a baitcasting reel is like a tier higher than a spin cast. It has more advantages to it, it’s more prevalent in professional anglers, and it’s generally better.

The advantages of using a baitcasting reel are numerous. First off, you will have 0 problems with any tangles that appear along the line because taking care of them will be very easy. It’s a heavy-duty reel, so you get a more significant push while casting, which means you can cover a longer distance.

Baitcasting reel

Also, this reel is perfect for all you people who are lucky enough to catch big in every single round of fishing. This reel will be able to pull out a good number of pounds without any problem.

Professional fishers say that baitcasting reel helped them in making their cast accurate and to the point, but it does have a downside to it, and that is, you need to take control of the reel yourself because it’s complicated.

But like we always say, there is nothing you can’t do without the right amount of practice, so yeah, you would need a reasonable amount of time to get to know the reel.


A Spinning Reel


Most of the anglers just absolutely love spinning reels because they are very versatile to use, the fishermen have full command over what happens under the blue sheets of water. These reels are perfect for people who like to fish everywhere and anywhere; they will work in any water body, especially the vast ocean.

This kind of reel is straightforward to learn and get ahold of; that is why many beginners choose to use a spinning reel rather than some other reel because of its status and vulnerability.

Spinning reels are very affordable most of the time, depending on what kind of company you are choosing.

A spinning reel

Surf Fishing Reels


Who said you couldn’t fish through the harsh surfing waves of water and the scorching sun? That’s what reels are for, to make sure that you never miss a fishing spree because of the weather or situation.

The best surf reels are made to withstand the high and harsh surf waves, the rush from the waves; they are made to keep everything steady and in shape. People mostly prefer these reels rather than spinning in surfing conditions because they are quite light and weight and easy to handle according to the situation.

Surf Fishing Reels

These reels are composed of the most durable materials, for example, aluminum or graphite or somethings both, covered with a hard steel cover and loaded with ball bearings to ensure that it stays intact and can retrieve through a heavy flow.

Through these surfs, you only find the best and the most substantial fishing looking at how tricky the fishing technique is, the prize has to be big and bulky. But don’t worry, this reel especially is designed to withstand the right amount of weight.


Off Shore Reels


A vast body of water, the sun, the smell of fresh fish, and the breeze of pure and fresh air, offshore fishing, does sound tempting, right? Well, it is, but if you are offshore for a fishing spree them, your happy perspective is soon going to change because fishing offshore is a real problem around.

This is not just because of the deep-sea levels or the salty water that damages the reel because it’s made up of steel; it jams and rusts it. But it is also because of the kind of fish that are found in the deep ocean.

Offshore reels

The fish that are mostly available in the ocean are all huge; you can’t control them with a standard reel, you would surely need an offshore reel because they are sturdy and robust, they are made to receive lines with much weight than any other standard reel.

Always remember that conditions, the weather conditions can get really harsh when you are in the middle of the ocean, but if you have strong support from the offshore reels then you don’t have to worry at all, they are made to withstand all those conditions.


Conventional Or Trolling Reels


The typical scenario of fishing is somewhere in still waters, a deep lake, or maybe offshore in the midst of the blue and beautiful ocean. But little do you know that there are risks that lurk beneath these cute blue sheets, and that is massive monster-sized fishes.

Now, catching these fishes and bringing them home is for sure something to boast about, but you can’t get these fishes unless you have a perfect reel.

The reel that goes perfect for places like these is conventional or trolling reels, because of their heavy-duty graphite or machined aluminum formation accompanied with a smooth disc system and a vast space to hold your big catch.

Trolling reels

Conventional reels come in two forms, which are either star or level systems. This reel is best for the situations we earlier mentioned because it comes in a dual speed mode. The lines are much more durable, and they can cast up too much higher and further spaces, so fishing in the ocean will never be easier for you.

Don’t underestimate deep lakes because they hold much dark matter than any ocean, river fishes or sweet water fishes surely know how to get their way, and this is where the trolling reel will make its a statement.


Fly Fishing Reels


As we earlier told you that different types of fishes require different kinds of baits, and they all have their own unique way of hunting, and if you want to catch those fishes, then you have to replicate their bait.

Many kinds of fishes like to consume flying objects as baits, and if you are after one of those kids, then you have to make sure that you are doing is right by using fly fishing reels.

Fly fishing reel

Fly fishing reels are accurate because you need to throw your bait at a specific spot; they are made to catch different fishes such as trout or salmon; for both of these fishes, the reels would be different.

More reading: What Is Fly Fishing? (Everything You Need To Know)

This kind of reels and the best part about them is they are very easy to use; they are not complicated; they are very, very strong and durable. So if you see someone using old fishing reel them, don’t be surprised or skeptical about their performance because they will work perfectly fine.


A Center Pin Reel


Who said we couldn’t go a little vintage when it comes to fishing? Well, a center pin reel marks it wrong, this reel has been around from the 1960s, and it is just as perfect as any other reel out there or maybe better.

The name has it’s own definition, this reel works on the center pin of the reel itself and is operated manually, this reel was also very famous among anglers and fishers In the late ’70s.

Talking about the dynamics, you probably can see the large spool on the reel, and that makes sure that you have a large diameter to fish on. It’s a free-spooling and drag-free reel, and that means it acts as a natural bait for the fishes and looking at it that way, the fishes will be more attracted to food that seems naturally appealing.

A center pin reel

It does not have a mechanical drag, and that is perfect for fishermen who like to have full control over the situation, even without any mechanical help, this is by far the most durable reel because you can easily catch some big fish, e.g., carp because even the reel knows you are the boss here.

Now that you are aware of the basic kinds of fishing reels, let get more into detail and know more about what are the parts of a fishing reel and how to do they work?


Parts Of A Spinning Reel


Spinning reel comes in all sizes and shapes, with different features and specified uses, they are all different from each other in some of the other ways but still remains a prominent part of a fishing spree they are essential. Anglers or who so ever who desire to fish choose these spinning reels according to their needs.

different parts of a spinning reel in detail

But before going into the complicated dynamics, it’s crucial to know all about the parts of the spinning reel, and we are going to tell you all about it.


1- Handle


The handle is one of the prominent parts of your spinning reel, and this is because it helps the angler to rotate sides, right or left, when controlling the fishes on the line. The handles are threaded into the opening, the sockets, the handles are rotated to bring back the line and the fish.


2- The Body


The body or, in easier words, the casing of the reel is the component that holds the reel together; this may be made by several kinds of material such as plastic, steel, or any type of metal. So far, plastic is said to be the most reliable and efficient one, and this is because plastic holds no rust so that saltwater won’t affect it. On the other hand, keeping in mind, the weight graphite is the lightest one.

But if we notice the durability and which material is the strongest one, then aluminum it is, choosing the reel and its body also depends on what kind of fishing spree you are planning on taking.


3- Gear Box


The gearbox is also situated inside the body, and it is responsible for marking the rotations, the number of spindles in each rotation, that is what the gearbox works on. The stronger the gearbox, the faster you retrieve your line because the more are the spindles per rotation.

If you are wondering about the standard ratio, then it is three ratios one. That means three spindles per rotation. You may increase the number of rotations depending on what’s on your line, the weight of the fishes on your line.


4- Spool


The spool is a medium that connects the fishing line to the reel, and the spool has to be strong because you don’t want a loose line that is why keeping in mind the strength needed, the spool is mostly made up of aluminum or graphite. The line is wrapped around the spool in a mannerly way, and it rotates with every spindle.

The rotation gives you the power to take as much line as you want from the spool and then wrap it back in when you retrieve the line.


5- Drag Adjustment Knob


You can’t just let the spool roam freely around and let it control the acceleration of the line when you want it, so that’s where a drag adjustment knob comes in, this knob makes sure that you have everything regarding the spool in control.

Its primary purpose is to increase or maybe decrease the friction or the grad acceleration of the line.


6- The Bail


The bail is a section that is semi-circular in shape and it is joint to the hinged joint.

The purpose of the bail is to release the line without any tangles or problems. When you bring the line back to the place, then the bail goes back in its position. The bail makes sure that the line is properly wrapped around the spool preventing any tangles or knots along the way.

Now that you are aware of the parts of a spinning reel let’s see how it actually operates.


How A Spinning Reel Works


Now that you are aware of every other basic thing and have decided on buying one for yourself, the next thing that you need to understand how does a spinning reel work?

First off, the spool that we talked about has a safeguard and a wheel situated around it, and it is responsible for discharging the fishing line when thrown in or above the water surface. This feature gives you a helping hand to cast the rod at different distances.

This is the overall mechanics of your spinning reel, and it’s vital to understand if you want to know and understand what’s going on.

A beautiful spinning reel

Make sure that whatever kind of reel you are buying, you know exactly how it works because then you will have no problem in making a connection with your reel.

Most of the time, the reel comes with instructions themselves, but if not, then don’t worry because we have the elementary instructions noted down for you.


How To Set Up A Spinning Reel


As we earlier said that the setting up of the reel depends on what kind of reel you are planning on using, but people mostly go for the spinning reel. That’s why we have all the instructions noted down for you in a way that will be easy for you to understand.

A image of a spinning reel

These are the very basic instructions on how to set up a spinning reel,

  1. You need to make sure that you have all the parts of your spinning reel, all the components that need to be attached, and all the possible tools that you might need for this process.
  2. You won’t have any problem with learning and knowing about the parts because we have described each and every one of them in the read above. But understanding all of them is very important, so you know where each of them goes.
  3. It would be best if you started spooling the reel first.
  4. Then you need to fix the fishing line on your fishing rod in a proper way, so it doesn’t losen in your fishing adventure.
  5. Before installing a drag knob, tie a knot initially.
  6. Now you are done, and the last part is to fix whatever bait you like and then cast the line.
  7. Before going to the actual fishing practice, always make sure that you double-check the instructions that come with the device.

How To Cast A Spinning Reel


Now that you have a fine idea about how everything works, the next thing you need to work on is understanding how you should cast a spinning reel.

This might look like a piece of cake or something that can be done by any other individual, but trust me it’s not, you need to have a proper lookout on how to cast a spinning reel to enjoy the experience to it’s fullest.

  1. First of all, make sure that you are holding the rod in your dominant hand, then hold it in a horizontal pattern, making sure that the reel is below the rod, facing the surface.
  2. Now, reel your line in, but slowly, make sure that you don’t rush into it. Make sure you leave about 6-12” line hanging on the rod.
  3. Now balance the line roller along yo with your rod.
  4. Use your index finger and take the line roller up in a way that it holds against the rod’s grip.
  5. Make sure that your grip is maintained. Now use your free hand to flip the reel bail of the reel up.
  6. Now bring the rod you are holding up till your head. Now throw the line in a forward throwing motion making sure that your hand is at a 45-degree angle.
Setting up a reel

If you are still confused, then you can check this illustration up here, and we are sure it will help.

People were still very much confused about this whole process, and we have two of the most frequently asked questions that might be revolving around your head, too, so without wasting any time, let’s move on to them.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1- What is the on and off switch on the spinning reel?

The on and off switch that you are confused about is actually called the ”anti-reverse switch.” This feature prevents the reel from going in a backward direction.

It engages the drag; this feature also helps the people to back reel to pull the fish quickly rather than fighting the animal to exhaustion.

But always remember this technique will only work for fish that are 3 pounds or less. Never try to back reel a monster-sized fish, or else you might end up hurting yourself.

2- How to buy the best spinning reel?

After going through this reed, we suppose that you do understand the parts and how the spinning reel works, now, when buying the spinning reel you need to look out for the following things,

1- The parts of the reel according to your needs.
2- The type of body and the amount of weight that it can handle.
3- The perfect size according to your rod and water body.
4- Make sure you are aware of the reel-gear ratio.
5- Consider the drag or anti-reverse system smart according to the fishes you are going to catch.

If you made sure that all these points are kept in consideration, then it will be a piece of cake for you to buy a spinning reel.


Final Verdict:

In conclusion, a spinning reel is the most prominent part of a fishing spree, no matter what scale you choose to do it on.

But after choosing the place and the water body for your adventure, you need to find the perfect reel for that purpose, and you have a variety of choices to choose from.

To choose a spinning reel you need to understand the mechanics of it and how it works. If you have understood that factor then voila everything will fall into place.


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