When it comes to fishing, you can go as simple as a string, stick, hook and a worm, or you can spend thousands of dollars on gear. Most people's fishing equipment is somewhere between the two extremes. There's a confusing array of rods and other gear, and reels come in all sizes for different conditions. Unless you are fly fishing, you are probably using a spinning reel. The choice for these reels comes down to two basic designs: open or closed.
Open Reel Definition
The open reel is open on the side so the line is partially exposed. A wire bail partially surrounds the line and is used for distance casting. There is a locking mechanism that keeps the handle from reversing while the fish is pulling on the line, and you use your finger to guide the line while casting. The reel is mounted below the actual rod.
Closed Reel Definition
The line in this reel is enclosed in a metal cup with a hole at one end for the line. It has a button release for the line and is mounted above the handle. Unlike the open reel, it doesn't have a bail that controls the line, and most of the casting technique is in snapping the rod and timing the release of the line.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Most inexpensive rod and reel combinations include a closed reel because of its ease of use. Although it protects the line, it is also easier to tangle the line within the enclosure. Although the open design is more difficult to control for beginners, many people prefer it because the line can be manually controlled for greater flexibility.
Article Written By Catherine Rayburn-Trobaug
Catherine Rayburn-Trobaugh has been a writer and college writing professor since 1992. She has written for international companies, published numerous feature articles in the "Wilmington News-Journal," and won writing contests for her poetry and fiction. Rayburn-Trobaugh earned a Master of Arts in English from Wright State University.