Spinning Rods and Reels

Available in various lengths, weights and actions, spinning rods are designed to accept a spinning or underspin reel on the bottom side of the rod.

Spinner Rod

Spinning Rods

Unlike casting rod with line guides mounted on the top, line guides on spinning rods are mounted on the bottom of the rod in order to line up with the reel.

Commonly made of graphite or fiberglass, spinning rods come in single and multi-piece versions.They are made in weights (or powers) ranging from extra light to heavy, and actions ranging from slow to fast.

  • When to use: Known for their versatility, spinning rods can be used to target a wide assortment of fish species of varying sizes and can adequately handle lures and bait rigs of all types and sizes.Spinning rods are used regularly by anglers targeting everything from panfish and trout to bass, walleye, northern pike and catfish.

Key Terms

Rod Weight / Power: The “power” or “weight” of a fishing rod refers to how much force or weight it takes to bend the rod. Different rod powers or weights are designed handle specific ranges of lure weights and line sizes.

To determine which rod power or weight will be best for you, consider what lure weights and line sizes you will be using with the rod most often, as well as the general size of the fish species you’ll be targeting.

Rod Action: The “action” of a fishing rod is determined by where the flex occurs along the rod. For example, faster action rods tend to flex more near the tip while moderate or slower action rods tend to flex more into the middle and lower sections of the fishing rod.

Spinner Reel

Spinning Reels

Typically made of aluminum, stainless steel or composite materials, spinning reels are designed to sit on the bottom of a spinning rod.Spinning reels come in various sizes to fit the needs of different anglers and to hold varying amounts of line.

They are available in several gear ratios, which impact the amount of line retrieved with a turn of the reel handle. Spinning reels also feature other components such as anti-reverse levers, ball bearings, line drag adjustment knobs, spools and bail mechanisms of diverse types and qualities. Made in both left and right-hand models to fit different anglers, spinning reels are generally known for their ability to cast lighter lures and rigs.

Underspin Reels

Underspin Reels

Typically made of aluminum, stainless steel or composite materials, underspin reels are traditionally mounted underneath a spinning rod and mirror the simplicity of spin-cast or “push button” reels that accommodate lures of lighter weights and help to prevent “backlashes” in fishing line. Underspin reels typically feature a lever or trigger mechanism that releases the fishing line during a cast, and are available in both left and right-hand models to fit different anglers.

  • When to use: Underspin reels are known for their ease of use, versatility and popularity among beginning anglers.

Key Terms

Gear Ratio: Reel gear ratios – such as 6.3:1 or 5.2:1 – describe the number of rotations a reel spool will make with one complete turn of the fishing reel handle. For example, a 6.3:1 ratio means that the reel’s spool will rotate 6.3 times with each turn of the reel handle. Some fishing applications may require a high-speed reel that picks up more fishing line with each turn of the handle, while other applications may be better accommodated by a slower-speed reel that allows for a slow, methodical retrieve, or greater cranking power.

Drag: Fishing reel drag systems are braking mechanisms designed to apply resistance to the reel’s line spool or drive components. These adjustable, mechanical systems help anglers to keep adequate pressure on a fish after it is hooked, without breaking the fishing line. Quality drag systems on various types of reels will allow the fishing line to slowly discharge from the reel at a smooth, steady rate. Combined with fishing rod length, action, and power, properly adjusted reel drag systems enable anglers to successfully tackle and land fish species of varying types and sizes.

Line Capacity: A fishing reel’s line capacity simply refers to the amount of fishing line, of a given size or diameter, that a reel can adequately hold. Fishing reels generally come with a chart or table that explains the expected capacity of fishing lines of different “pound tests”, or sizes. Therefore, line capacity is a key factor for anglers when considering which reel they should purchase or use dependent on the type of fishing they will be doing and the species of fish they will be pursuing.

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