While this post is actually about saltwater fishing reels lets just go back in time a little first.
Can you remember when you first began fishing? Did you begin with a hand line? Perhaps one of those you can buy at some little shop at the sea side? It might have been on a plastic bait caster spool or perhaps you had one that you made with the piece of wood and notched cut in each end.
And I bet you caught fish with it. Probably some poor unsuspecting fish suicided on your hook but you caught it and proudly took it how to be cooked up. Mine wouldn’t have even been a mouthful but it was the best tasting fish ever.
After a while though you wanted to catch bigger fish and needed to cast further from the shore line or even use one of those fancy sea fishing lures you had been eying off in the shop. That really flashy red one with the feathers out the back surely would catch the biggest salmon in the ocean wouldn’t it? You saved up your pocket money for weeks and finally bought a saltwater fishing rod and reel combination and that lure.
You almost ran down to the beach and, having watched the other fishermen casting from the shore, you just knew how to do it. You wind back and cast. The lure tangles around the end of the rod. Hmmm. OK, you know what went wrong, you just forgot to release that bail thingy. You do that and the lure hits the sand. Right, you need to old onto the line by pinching it against the handle of the rod with one finger and then release the bail. Ah ha, got that working, now wind back and cast. You’re lucky, the lure misses your ear on the way past and actually lands in 1/2″ of water.
This casting stuff is a bit harder than it looked. In the interests of shortening this story a little you do begin to become proficient at casting and get the flash lure out into the breakers. After several hours, you’re no quitter, you have aching arms and no fish. Is this a dodgy lure you have bought? Not at all but it might not be suitable for the conditions or location in which you are using it. You may not be able to get it far enough out and your retrieval action might not make the lure look very much like food to the fish out there.
As your fishing skills improve you will most likely be looking to add to your saltwater fishing tackle. One of the most important elements of this is the choice of fishing reel. A quality fishing reel is important to your success in many ways and most people abuse them. A fishing reel is not designed to act as a winch, it is designed to keep the pressure on a hooked fish when he wants to go for a little run, it is designed to allow the line to flow off freely for casting and it is designed to allow the line to be taken up and layed down smoothly when winding it in.
Unless you choose a saltwater fishing reel which matches and balances your saltwater fishing rod, holds enough of the type of line you need to use and does all those other things then it will be a pig of a thing to use. It will seemingly fight you at every turn and create more line tangles then you could possibly imagine.
Most of those rod and reel combination sets are actually reasonably well balanced and can work well for catching bait fish but don’t ever think that you are going to be able to catch decent fish with it. Sure there will be some one out there who has caught good fish with one of these cheap sets but for every one who has there will be thousands who haven’t.
The vast difference in size of the fishing reels reflect the many different ways you can go fishing and the different fish you can hunt, only you can identify what you like to do and therefore what size reel you need. All you need to consider at the moment is wht type of reel will work best with your rod.
There are 3 main types of reel, the closed face spinning reel, the open faced spinning reel and the bait casting reel. In saltwater fishing the bait caster reel is usually used for trolling on a boat and are excellent for this purpose. I find that when I cast with these I can usually guarantee an hours fun untangling line. The closed face spinning reel is the absolute easiest to learn how to cast with. They work well with bait or sea fishing lures but you should concentrate on working the estuaries, the beaches and around the rocks. The third type of saltwater fishing reel is the open faced spinning reel. These are an excellent multi purpose reel which can provide good casting distance and a very fast retrieve if required. You can really crank these babies. I have had a lure skipping over the water with one of these.
In general a medium sized open faced spinning reel with several hundred feet of 12 pound breaking strain line makes a good saltwater fishing reel add a saltwater fishing rod of about 6 feet with a nice whippy action will make a good multi-purpose saltwater fishing rig. I like a two piece rod so I can easily pack the rod and other gear away for traveling but that is just personal preference.
For more help grab a good book, pick up a magazine, ask at the local tackle shop or keep coming back here.