If you ever walk through a large outdoor store like Bass Pro Shops, you’ll be awe-struck by all of the fishing reels you will come across. These reels are made for a variety of circumstances – freshwater or saltwater, small fish or large fish, and on and on.
Reels are also available at a variety of price points. While more expensive doesn’t always mean better, the old saying “you get what you pay for” is just as true when it comes to fishing reels as it is for an array of other items. What may seem like a deal today may turn out to be a nightmare when you’re out fishing.
Novice anglers and patrons aboard charters have a very limited understanding of the different types of reels commonly used for inshore fishing.
We invite you to continue reading for a brief description of the 3 most commonly used reels aboard inshore fishing charters in Homosassa and throughout the Gulf coast.
Spinning reel – These are by far the most commonly found reels aboard inshore fishing charters for a variety of reasons. Before diving into these reasons though, a spinning reel is mounted on the bottom side of the rod with the handle sitting on the left or right depending on the angler’s preference. It has a spool inside where the line is coiled up. The line will unwind when the angler flips the lever and casts. Most spinning reels today have an anti-reverse locking mechanism that helps the angler better control his casts and if a fish takes the bait and runs.
They are preferred on fishing charters because they are pretty easy for novice anglers to use. Spinning reels are also a popular choice for inshore species like Redfish, Trout and others. While it is possible to land a bigger fish using a spinning reel, anything too large will put a lot of stress on the reel’s components.
Baitcasting reel – These reels are very popular among experienced anglers, but are also more suitable for deeper water and larger gamefish. Baitcasting reels will more likely be found aboard deep sea rather than inshore fishing charters since they are built to withstand heavier weight line and long fights with large gamefish. These reels are attached to the rod’s top side – the crank handle is usually attached to the right side.
The internal components of a baitcasting reel are pretty complex. Better quality reels will include a drag system and multiple gears that can be adjusted based on circumstances.
Baitcasting reels aren’t the best for beginners – they can be tough to master, not only for accuracy, but for the dreaded backlash that happens to even the most experienced anglers. However, modern baitcasting reels include features (i.e. magnetic spool stops, star drags, etc.) that help improve accuracy and minimize backlash, or the twisting of your line around the spool.
Spincasting reel – These reels are similar to spinning reels except they are mounted on the top side of the rod rather than the bottom. They are especially popular for beginning anglers due to their simplicity and reliability.
Besides a beginner, spincasting reels are better for small baits and lures because they provide a more accurate cast with these sized baits. However, the line capacity on a spincasting reel is much smaller, so they’re not used for fishing in deep water.
These reels are not limited to saltwater. If you continue browsing through the store or online, you will easily find reels that look similar to the saltwater ones mentioned above. While it’s tempting to use a freshwater reel out in the saltwater, they are not meant to handle the saltwater environment. It doesn’t take very long for the components in a freshwater reel to corrode, rendering it useless.
Good saltwater reels are more expensive because they require materials like anodized aluminum and stainless steel that will withstand the corrosive nature of saltwater.
Most inshore fishing charters around Homosassa prefer using spinning reels since they are so easy to use for novice anglers. While a beginner can get his line twisted up on a spinning reel, it’s much easier for him or her to get the hang of it.
Southern Slam Outfitters in Homosassa and most inshore fishing charters provide all fishing-related gear (i.e. rods, reels, bait, hooks and more) to their patrons. If you’ve never fished or have very limited experience, Capt. Carey Gibson of Southern Slam will be able to show you how to make an accurate, clean cast. Click here for more information about inshore fishing charters around Homosassa.