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Fishing Skills

Why Is The Speed Of Fishing Reels Important?

by Jose Cinco 16 Mar 2022

You may ask why does a bass fishing reel come in so many different speeds? What speed reel do I get? Reel manufacturers make different speed baitcasting reels to apply to different styles of fishing and for different applications. When performing a certain technique, your reel selection could be the difference maker in catching that once in a lifetime fish.

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Most Popular Fishing Reel Speeds

There really are only four major speed configurations when shopping for baitcasting reels. They are 5.4:1, 6.6:1, 7:1.1 and 8.1:1. The higher the gear ratio, the faster the retrieval of the fishing reel. I will try to explain on what techniques I use each speed for and hopefully that will help you understand the different casting reel speeds and how to use them.

Low Cranking 5.4:1

Normally this is the slowest gear available. A reel of this low speed is used to slow down the retrieval of the bait being used. Sometimes I find myself reeling too fast especially when fishing with crankbaits and square bills. While I try and tell myself to slow down, I sometimes find myself still retrieving too fast. This could be a problem when using a much faster reel. A lot of fishermen will use a slower reel to help assist them with that problem. When a slow cranking speed is needed, a much slower gear ratio reel may be the key to success.

Middle Of The Pack 6.6:1

Every brand that offers a baitcasting reel will normally have a reel in this speed. It’s one of the best all around gear ratios that you could own. My favorite technique to use with this speed is a swim jig and swimbaits. I need that bait to move a little faster but not too fast. I have had great experience in utilizing this reel speed.

Faster 7.2:1

Don’t know what to pick? Go with this speed gear ratio for sure! While you may have to slow down on the retrieval of your favorite bait, a 7.2:1 will get that fish to the boat fast. This to me is the best all around gear ratio simply because I’m able to do everything with it. I could bring just one reel in this gear ratio and be able to get the job done.

Even Faster 8.1:1

Now I know I just said that the 7.2:1 is my favorite “All around” speed but, the 8.1:1 is what I use the most. A faster reel like this is used to get that fish to the boat, bank or kayak in a hurry. When frogging or flipping and pitching you need to get the fish out of that spot immediately. Otherwise the fish will run, get you wrapped around structure and break off quickly. I do a lot of jig fishing and when retrieving a jig it has nothing to do with the reel. The movement of the bait is dictated by moving the rod tip and the reel just reels in the slack line. The faster reel allows me to really get the fish in fast. I have been in situations where I know I need to turn that fishes head and land him before he breaks me off.

What Is The Fastest Baitcasting Reel In The World?

All the different speeds available can get very confusing when shopping for a new baitcast reel. Is there even a faster baitcaster? There sure is! KastKing offers the Speed Demon Elite baitcasting reel in a 10.5:1 gear ratio, which is faster than the Abu Garcia Revo Rocket. And, the KastKing Speed Demon Elite is the fastest reel in the world! It’s great to investigate for topwater action. I hope that I have laid out good information about baitcasting reel speed selection. I hope this helps you in your future fishing reel purchase.

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