Whether you’re a professional or an amateur, the perfect reel for you is out there. How do you find it? The answer varies based on the type of fisherman(woman) you are and the type and quality of fishing gear to buy.

There are five different types of fishing reels to choose from. 

  1. Spincast: Spincast reels are fixed spool reels that hold the line securely in the side spool, fixed to the center bearing column. Spincast reels can be found in either an antimagnetic (also referred to as mechanical) or magnetic (also known as pulled magnetics or a magnetically pulled reel.)
  2. Casting: Casting reels are like a spin cast reel in that they have a side spool attached to a center-bearing column. However, casting reels have a removable cork, allowing smooth casting after retrieving the fishing line back into the reel from out of your rod tip. These lines can also be purchased as a fixed-line reel.
  3. Fly Reels: The main difference between an open and closed face reel is cork instead of silicon as the seal. A fly reel uses a spool with an inflatable cork seal, allowing smooth line movement without chaffing on the line and reels. These can either be drag reels or spin reels.
  4. Casting Reel: Casting reels are the closest relatives to the spinning reel in that they are like a fly reel. However, traditional casting reels are designed with rectangular-shaped spools, while fly reels utilize round spools.
  5. Saltwater Reel: Saltwater reels are also known as Flies because of their look. These reels have an internal spool that is weighted to hold the line when casting. Saltwater reels run on a different line than the other reels mentioned above. These reels have a gear ratio of 5:1 or greater and allow for fast retrieval of lines.

It would help if you considered whether you would be using your reel for Saltwater or Freshwater fishing. A fishing reel used for either salt or freshwaters will work fine with a little bit of adjustment. But if you are looking for a perfect reel for both salt and freshwaters, you must consider adjusting your reel according to it. For saltwater angling, you will need to change the spool with a larger one that can hold more lines. For freshwater fishing, you will have to select a smaller spool that can hold less line.

Doing the same thing as with “Saltwater” or “Freshwater” is needed here as well. You will have to adjust your fishing reel with the different choices of bearings and bushings. If you want a reel for saltwater with oversized bearings, you will have to change your fishing reel with bushings. While if you want a reel for freshwater that has less friction, you will have to get the one with bearings.

It is not necessary that if your fishing reel has multiple gears, it will be expensive than the single gear reels. But if your budget is limited and you can afford only one high-quality gear fishing reel, then you should go for the single gear reel because of its simplicity and reliability. You can quickly repair it on your own or at any shop.

The reels with adjustable drag mechanisms require some level of understanding and maintenance. The main advantage of having the adjustment system is that you can adjust the actual weight of your fish so that it can be landed and caught quickly. Adjustable drag systems are usually made specifically for freshwater fishing. Still, if you want a reel suitable for both salt and freshwaters, you should go with the one with an adjustable drag system. Although there are plenty of benefits of having a fishing reel with an adjustable drag mechanism, it also requires some level of understanding and maintenance. It is not necessary that if your fishing reel has multiple gears, it will be expensive than the single gear reels.

Levelwind mechanisms help maintain correct tension on your line when retrieving or setting up a fishing reel equipped with multiple gears.

Before buying any reel, you should think of the line you will be using most. It would be better for you to buy a high-quality and straightforward fishing reel with a large spool capacity. The spool will give your fishing line more flexibility and longer life, and thus, it will help enhance your catch frequency and catch quantity. You can also select fishing reels with a larger spool capacity by adding some weight to your fishing rod and adjusting the reel’s drag as needed. Always compare the reel’s capacity among different companies before purchasing. 

When you are buying the fishing reel, you must consider the size of your hand. If you have average-sized hands, then you can choose a more extended handle with a comfortable grip. If you have tiny hands, you should go with a shorter handle with a comfortable grip because of its lighter weight.

It is another essential factor, which determines the weight of the line on the spool. Unfortunately, some companies don’t clearly explain this on their product information website or brochures. You can compare the line capacities among different companies before purchasing. While purchasing a reel, you should also check the line capacity if it is larger or smaller than what you are looking for in your reels. For beginners, it is recommended to buy a reel with a ten lb. capacity of the line. If you want to use more than ten pounds of fishing lines, then you should consider adding some weight to your fishing rod.

The best reels for beginners come with clear and detailed parts and features specifications so that you won’t experience any difficulty while setting up and adjusting your reel after buying it.

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You can get the best fishing reel by considering all these factors carefully. However, you can also consider the price of the reel. But make sure that you are getting the best value for your money.