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Select Inshore Saltwater Spinning Reels: Gear Ratio Guide

by Shahraz 05 Jun 2023

Spinning reels are one of the best choices for saltwater fishing, as they offer great versatility and can be used in a variety of situations. However, using spinning reels might come with a bit of a learning curve. One of the things you really need to understand with them is the gear ratio!

Choosing the right gear ratio for your inshore saltwater spinning reel is important to ensure that you can make the most of its capabilities. You can't just throw in a random ratio and hope for the best. It’s important to get it right.  In this post, we're going to be going over everything you need to know, to select the best gear ratio for your spinning reel!

Best Gear Ratio Inshore Saltwater Spinning Reels

First up, what is gear ratio?

Most people that start using spinning reels for the first time don't even know what gear ratios for spinning reels are! While they might not be common knowledge for the newbies, they are extremely important to know about!

The gear ratio for spinning reels is the number of times the spool goes around for one complete handle turn. We know that this might sound a bit confusing, but it's actually simpler than you think.

For example, if you have a gear ratio of 5:1, this would mean that the spool goes around five times for every single handle turn. Easy, right?

Why do gear ratios matter?

Now that we know what gear ratios are, it's time to talk about what they actually do. Different gear ratios on spinning reels offer different benefits that can be extremely helpful, depending on your fishing situation!

A lower gear ratio for your inshore saltwater spinning reel will give you more power, while a higher gear ratio will give you more speed.

If you're fishing for larger fish or in rougher conditions, a lower gear ratio will be the better choice. The lower gear ratio will give you more torque, meaning that you'll be able to fight against stronger fish with ease!

On the other hand, if you're fishing in open water for smaller fish, then a higher gear ratio is going to be better. The higher speed offered by the reel will allow you to reel quickly in your catch before they have a chance to swim away!

How to choose the best gear ratio for your spinning reel

Now that we've covered the basics, let's move on to how you can select the best gear ratio for your spinning reel!

There are three main factors that you need to take into account when trying to determine which gear ratio is best suited for your inshore saltwater spinning reel.

The type of fish you're targeting

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a gear ratio is the type of fish you'll be targeting.

Different fish species swim at different speeds, meaning that some will be easier to catch than others. You need to ensure that your reel's gear ratio is well suited for the fish you're targeting; otherwise, you might have a hard time actually catching anything!

For example,  if you're targeting fast-swimming fish like tuna, then you'll need a reel with a high gear ratio. This will allow you to quickly reel in your catch before they have a chance to swim away!

On the other hand, if you're targeting slow-swimming fish like catfish, then you won't need as high of a gear ratio. A lower gear ratio will give you more power, which will be helpful when trying to fight against the fish's strong resistance!

The size of the fish you're targeting

In addition to the type of fish, you also need to take into account the size of the fish you're targeting.

The larger the fish, the more powerful they'll be. This means that you'll need a reel with a lower gear ratio in order to give you the extra power you need to fight against them!

However, if you're targeting smaller fish, then you won't need as much power. A higher gear ratio will be just fine in this case, as it will allow you to reel quickly in your catch.

The conditions you'll be fishing in

Lastly, another important factor to consider is the conditions you'll be fishing in.

If you're fishing in rougher conditions, then you'll need a reel with a lower gear ratio. This is because the extra power offered by the lower gear ratio will be helpful when trying to fight against strong winds and currents!

On the other hand, if you're fishing in calm conditions, then you won't need as much power. A higher gear ratio will suffice in this case, as it will allow you to reel quickly in your catch.

Common spinning reel gear ratios for inshore saltwater spinning reels

Now that we've gone over how to select the best gear ratio for your spinning reel, let's take a look at some of the most common gear ratios used by anglers!

The following are some of the most popular gear ratios used by spinning reel users:

5.2:1 - This is a relatively slow gear ratio that is often used for targeting larger fish.

6.2:1 - This gear ratio is a bit faster than the 5.2:1 and is often used for targeting smaller fish.

7.0:1 - This is one of the most popular gear ratios, as it balances speed and power well.

7.2:1 - This gear ratio is a bit faster than the 7.0:1 and is often used for targeting smaller fish.

8.0:1 - This is the fastest gear ratio used by spinning reel users and is often used for targeting fast-swimming fish.

As you can see, there is a wide range of gear ratios available to choose from. It's crucial that you select the right one for the type of fish you're targeting and the conditions you'll be fishing in!

The bottom line

Now that you know all about gear ratios and how to choose the best one for your inshore saltwater spinning reel, it's time to put this knowledge into practice!

The next time you go out fishing, make sure to take into account the type of fish you're targeting, the size of the fish, and the conditions you'll be fishing in. Doing so will help you choose the perfect gear ratio for your reel and increase your chances of reeling in a big catch!

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