Spinning reels are also known as fixed spool reels and are one of the most popular types of fishing reel. They were initially developed to cast very light lures and flies for trout. These light lures could not be easily cast with other types of reels.
This guide will explain the construction of spinning reels. It will also link to my other articles on how to use them. This includes how to spool and cast a spinning reel. These articles will go in depth and explain everything you need to know to get started.
The advantage for spinning reels is that the line comes off the spool freely. The line comes off the spool in coils. And there is no force required to rotate the spool.
This is what allows for much lighter lures to be cast a useful distance.
Baitcasting reels (also known as Revolving Spool Reels) by contrast require that the spool rotates.
When you cast, as the line leaves the spool it must create enough force to turn the spool. This rotation is what allows additional line to exit the spool and lengthen the cast.
As a result, heavier lures are required for baitcastes.
Spinning reels are also very flexible. You can find a spinning reel that will suit most fishing needs.
Spinning Reel Parts
Spinning reels are composed of many parts. The fixed spool nature means that they are slightly more complex that revolving spool reels.
Spinning Reel Body
The body of the spinning reel houses many moving parts. The main gearing is located inside the body. The reel handle passes through the body and engages with the main gear.
The oscillating dear is also part of this assembly inside the body.
The bodies of most spinning reels are made of either graphite, carbon fiber or aluminum.
The main reasons for the selection of these materials is weight and stiffness.
You want a spinning reel that is as lightweight as possible. This will help reduce fatigue over long fishing days.
The stiffness factor helps protect the reel against forces that will be placed on it.
Fighting large fish and cranking against them can place large amounts of force on your reel.
Soft materials could bend against such loads. A stiff reel body will help the reel stay properly aligned.
Spinning Reel Rotor
The rotor is the part that actually spins. It sits under the spool and usually has two arms that rise up around the spool. When you crank the spinning reel’s handle, the rotor rotates around the spool and wraps line around it.
Spinning reel rotors are usually made from graphite or metals such as aluminum. As with the body, it is desirable that the rotor be light and stiff. Light rotors are especially desirable as they will reduce the inertia and make it easier to get the rotor spinning.
The Spinning Reel Bail
You’ll often hear about the opening and closing of a spinning reel’s bail. The bail is a line roller with a wire that extends from one side of the rotor to the other.
When you open the bail, the line can freely uncoil itself from the spool. But when you close the bail and crank the handle, the line is picked up the the line roller. As the rotor continues to spin, the line is wrapped on the spool.
But how is the line evenly wrapped on the spool instead of all bunched up on one end of it?
That is where oscillation comes is. As you crank the reel handle, an oscillating gear inside the body of the reel will be engaged. This gear will cause the spool to move out away from the body and then back in towards the body.
As the spool moved in and out, the rotor spins around the spool and lays line on it.
This in and out motion causes the line to be placed on the spool evenly.
Spinning Reel Anti-Reverse
Anti-Reverse prevents you from turning the reel handle backwards. If the reel were to turn backwards, line would come off the reel. This is generally considered to be undesirable.
An anti reverse gear inside the body of the reel prevents this from happening.
With anti-reverse, when you try to turn the reel handle backwards, it is immediately stopped. This allows the drag to engage and dictate how much force will be needed to pull line off the reel.
Spinning reels sometimes have an anti-reverse lever. This lever would allow you to turn the anti-reverse on or off.
Until recently, most spinning reels came with this feature.
But fewer and fewer reels have them today.
Spinning Reel Handle
The spinning reel handle is usually made out of aluminum. It is removed from the reel by unscrewing it. The handle also has a knob at the end of it.
These come in many different materials. They can be made of plastic, metal, foam or hard rubber. Most anglers prefer the hard rubberized handles.
Left Or Right Handed Spinning Reel
When it comes to spinning reels, you really don’t have to worry about handedness. Just make sure you get a reel that has a handle that can be placed on either side.Most modern spinning reels come with this feature. If you’re not sure which side is right for you, you can try either side and them pick your favorite.
Spinning Reel Gear Ratios
The gear ratio on a spinning reel is the number of time the rotor goes around the spool for every handle turn.
For example, if a spinning reel has a 6:1 gear ratio, the rotor will turn 6 times around the spool for every time you complete a full turn of the handle.
This will affect the amount of line that you retrieve for every handle turn. Some spinning reels with a 6:1 gear ration will bring in about 30 inches of line per handle turn. However, the size of the spool and how loaded it is will have an impact on this.
I wider spool will have a larger circumference and so every turn more line will be added to the spool.
In the end it’s basically a matter of preference.
There will be factors like how fast you want to retrieve your lures and how much torque do you need when cranking.
How To Spool A Spinning Reel
Spooling a spinning reel is something you can do in just a few minutes. You just need to pick out a line type and size that’s right for your type of fishing. Then, you load it on.
To get a detailed step by step explanation, click on the link to check out my “How To Spool A Spinning Reel” guide.
How To Cast A Spinning Reel
Casting a spinning reel may seem daunting at first. But you will be able to get a hang of it pretty quickly with some practice.
Ease of casting is one of the main advantages of spinning reels.
To get all the details including a step by step guide on how to do it, check out my “How To Set Up A Spinning Reel Guide.”
Types of Spinning Reels
Spinning reels are petty standard. However, there are certain specific applications that make some spinning reels better than others.
For example, you may be looking for a spinning reel that’s perfect for Bass fishing. if that’s the case, then check out my “Best Spinning Reels For Bass Fishing Guide.“
Of course, there are other sizes and specialties for spinning reels.
They’re very popular with Saltwater anglers. This makes it necessary for reels to have significant protection from corrosion.
You’ll also find some pretty huge spinning reels in this category. And if you’re looking for strong deep water reef fish, you’re going to need them.
There are also Ice Fishing Reels. These reels are usually smaller. They also may come with special anti icing properties as well.
Advantages Of Spinning Reels
Spinning reels are popular mainly because of their flexibility. They can cast lightweight lures that would be very difficult to cast with a baitcaster.
This makes them ideal for unltralight presentations.
Additionally, larger spinning reels can handle large saltwater fish and tough corrosive environments.
Another advantage of spinning reels is the ease of casting them.
You can learn to cast a spinning reel in just a few minutes. One of the only concerns you’ll have is avoiding line twist.
You won’t have to worry about backlash. Backlash is a common problem that affects baitcasting reels.
Spinning reels are also easier to cast into the wind too. This is because the spool doesn’t revolve on a spinning reel. So, if a lure gets slowed down by wind, an over rotating spool cannot happen.
Disadvantages Of Spinning Reels
Spinning reels are easy to use, but they’re not the absolute best when it comes to certain traits.
For example, a spinning reel generally can’t cast farther than a baitcasting reel.
Additionally, you can get more cranking power and speed out of baitcasting reels.
This is mainly because there is a wider variety of gearing options for conventional reels.
Also, the largest reels you can buy are conventional reel. These are intended for dealing with extremely large saltwater fish.
Finally, you can have problems if you overload a spinning reel with line, or use line that is too stiff.
This could cause you to get line flying off the reel in coils and not stopping. It’s basically like a spring that’s been compressed and it unwinding itself. This could lead to large tangles that are very hard to undo.
Avoiding Line Twist On A Spinning Reel
The way you spool a spinning reel will play a big role on the chances of getting line twist. This works in conjunction with the types of lines and lures that you use.
All of these factors play a role.
Now that your rod and spinning reel are set up and you know the basics, there is nothing holding you back from trying it out for real. Head down to the water and spend a few hours. See what happens.
Just remember, if the fish yanks your line, yank back. When you are reeling in, keep your rod tip low and pull upwards when the fish takes the bait.
When you are reeling in a fish, keep your rod tip high to maximize the spring effect of your rod.
Hope he is a fighter!