Baitcasting Reels


If you are thinking about getting a baitcaster, your passion for fishing has probably grown beyond spinning reels and you want to find out what baitcasting is all about.

The first question most people think of when they decide they want to go down the baitcasting route is what baitcaster do I want to buy. The second question is what kind of ratio am I looking for.

Well, choosing a great baitcaster isn’t an easy job. There are so many great baitcasters on the market, it is going to be fun. Let’s admit it right here, shopping online for fishing tackle is enjoyable. When it comes to shopping (including just window shopping) online, there is nothing that beats checking out the latest fishing tackle, reels, rods, you name it, which outfits will work, what’s on special, it’s pre-fishing entertainment in itself… I digress, you will have fun checking out the latest baitcasters on the market, and there is a whole lot to choose from under a hundred dollars to a few hundred dollars more. I’ll leave it at that but my favourite is a compact low profile type, I think it is just the bomb for casting sideways.


Now, let’s take a little look at the issue of gear ratios. Understanding the importance of gear ratios is important for any angler getting serious about the game. Don’t forget about your crank power rating or IPT (Inches Per Turn) also known as LTR (Line Retrieval Rate). Gear ratio is nothing if you’re not considering your IPT/LTR at the same time.


The mid 6 range is a good start for anyone getting into baitcasting for the first time because the middle range gives you the most amount of flexibility and middle range to find out which way you want to go, even if both. Mid 6 range baitcaster gear ratios are good for shallow running spinnerbaits, a wide range of crankbaits and medium depth crankbaits.


Lower gear ratios are good for when you want to work your baits on the slow or working lures that take a bit of extra work to bring home. I normally go with a low ratio baitcaster when I am working with deep diving crankbaits, deep diving squid jigs, deep spinnerbaits and larger swimbaits. If it’s deep, heavy and slow going, which can be loads of fun, then go with the low and slow 5s.


High ratio baitcasting is a blast too. By now you are probably thinking you already need 3 baitcasters, at least, well, I would say you are right. There is a time and a place for high-speed baitcast reels too. It’s great to have a high-speed reel when you are casting large from a boat and bombing casts with heavy lures into heavy structure. You’ll need that speed to get out of there quickly and attract the attention of those aggressive types. This is my strategy with Bass and seems to work for the most part. High-speed baitcasters are increasingly popular with a lot of fishos.

I love going with something as high as an 8:1 so that I can let rip with a lot of casts while covering a larger area of water to trigger Bass. I go with jerkbaits, topwaters and a variety of jigs. Yep, I love them gear ratios on my baitcasters because each ratio has a purpose even on the same day.


Is there anything you would like to add? Share your experience or questions with everyone through the comments section below.

Robert M Davies
Robert M Davies

Robert passed the "Obsessed With Fishing Test" with flying colours. Instead of talking, Robert has turned his hand to writing about his experience in fishing all around Australia.