Choosing Your Catfishing Reels
When you are choosing your catfishing reels, you have three choices for the type of reel you want. You can purchase a spinning reel, a baitcasting reel or a spincasting reel. I will tell you about the type of reels out there and then you need to stop by one or two tackle stores to see which reel feels best for you.
Deciding on what catfishing reel is right for you has to do with how often you are going fishing, how serious you want to get about your casting, how large the catfish are that you are going after and what type of water you will be fishing.
The Spincasting Reel
Let’s start with the spincasting reel. This reel is the simplest to use. It is a great choice if you are only going catfishing once in a while and you want to be able to find your spot, stick your bait in the water and catch a few small fish. These are also great for kids because they are easy to use.
The Baitcasting Reel
The baitcasting reel is what I use when I go catfishing. With my reel, I can catch small and big catfish with the same reel. There is a learning curve at first, so be prepared to become skilled at casting with this type of reel. It is pretty easy to set up the drag and spool tension and then you are on your way to catching your catfish with a baitcasting reel. I will also note that you do get some backlash, but that is just part of catfishing.
The Spinning Reel
If you are an experienced angler or very serious about the art of catfishing, then you may like the spinning reel. However, most people use the baitcasting reel. With the spinning reel, your advantage is the ability to cast in a tight space. Also, when you spool your spinning reel correctly, you don’t get backlash. This reel takes more practice and experience to find your groove.
Here are a couple of things you will run across when you go to the shop to choose your reel.
First how big are the catfish you are trying to catch? This will determine your line capacity. The fishline you choose will have a test strength. The bigger the test strength, the larger the fish you can catch but also the larger the spool will need to be on your reel. If you are using a twenty or thirty pound tested line, you will need to buy a large line capacity reel.
Another consideration will be the depth of the water. The deeper you fish the more line you will want in case your line breaks or gets hung up on something.
You will want to think about your drag as well. Drag is basically when you spool is travelling away from you and can affect your line as you reel it in. Sometimes you use drag to help tire out your caught fish before you bring ‘em to the boat.
A bait clicker, sometimes referred to as a line alarm, allows you to free spool and then makes a clicking sound when a fish begins to swim away from your boat with your bait.
Many reels have a counter balance which lets you change the rotation of the spool depending on how much weight you have on your line.
Your retrieve ratio determine how much line you reel in per turn of your reel and how fast. Typically, you want to reel in fast, especially when you are fishing in deep water.
The higher the quality of bearings in your reel the easier it will be for you to cast and it will also help you cast further. You will sometimes find reels with bushings instead of bearings. If you purchase a reel with bushings, your reel will not cast as well as with bearings.
Because of backlashes, which are basically when your spool spins faster than the speed of your line, a braking system can be incorporated to slow down or even stop the speed of your spool. This is set up with the use of magnets.
Now go out and test a few catfishing reels to find which one works best for you.
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