How to Pick a Reel for a Fishing Rod

How to Pick a Reel for a Fishing Rod
The rods and reels anglers choose can have a strong bearing on their overall fishing experience. Selecting the proper reel for a fishing rod is important because an unbalanced rod and reel can be uncomfortable to fish with, or at worst, will function poorly enough that the combination is impossible to fish with. The most likely result of a poor rod and reel combination: fewer fish caught. To learn how to pick a reel, read on.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fishing rod
  • Fishing reel
Step 1
Figure out the kind of fishing rod you have. If a trigger-shaped handle hangs below the reel seat, the rod should be paired with a baitcast or spincast reel. Rods without the trigger-shaped handle should be paired with a spinning reel.
Step 2
Select a baitcast or spincast reel, assuming your rod is not for spinning reels. Baitcast reels are more difficult to use than spincast reels, but they afford anglers more precision in casting and give them the ability to use heavier lines and lures. Spincast reels are best suited to novice anglers because they are cheaper and operate with the push of a button.
Step 3
Determine the size of fishing line your rod will hold. The information is written on the side of the rod, just above the handle. Both the rod and the reel should have similar line capacities. To determine the line capacity, check on the box in which it is sold.
Step 4
Determine a budget. The price of fishing reels varies widely -- from $10 to thousands of dollars. High-priced reels may last longer and have a wider range of features, but for most anglers -- especially beginners or those who fish only a few times a year -- it's not necessary to spend more than about $100.
Step 5
Decide which reels you prefer, then attach each to the fishing rod you plan to use. Make sure the reel is comfortable to operate, that it feels good in your hand, and that it is in balance with the fishing rod.
Step 6
Select a reel. Consider price, its features and whether they are necessary for the type of fishing you do, and how easy the reel is to operate.

Article Written By Larry Anderson

Larry Anderson has been a freelance writer since 2000. He has covered a wide variety of topics, from golf and baseball to hunting and fishing. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, including "Fargo Forum" newspaper. Anderson holds a Bachelor of Arts in print journalism from Concordia College.

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