Bass fishing, for either largemouth or smallmouth, is popular across the entire country, and many manufacturers make tackle specifically designed for the sport. Bass fishing reels are generally divided into three broad categories, comprising spin casting, spinning and bait casting. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but these reels are usually designed with high-speed retrieve gears, a smooth drag system and spools with a moderate line capacity; bass are not known for making long runs once hooked.
Spin Casting Reels
Spin casting reels sit atop the rod and feature a push-button release to cast the line from the enclosed spool. Generally considered "beginners reels," spin casters are the easiest to use but afford the least amount of control in terms of accuracy and finesse. Zebco makes a variety of models, the Number 33 being the most popular and a good choice for a lower priced bass fishing reel. The Abu Garcia Abumatic SuperLine Spincast is an excellent reel, more on the expensive side but with a five-bearing drive system, a super-smooth drag and titanium line guide.
Spinning reels sit below the rod and feature a bail that must be opened before the line is cast from the exposed spool. They afford great control of the line, anti-reverse systems and the added advantage of quickly replaceable spools, so the angler can change line weights, or types, to match conditions. The Browning Medallion and Abu Garcia Cardinal are great choices and good values. At the high end, the Shimano Stella and Diawa Steez feature titanium and magnesium components and a host of enhancements for smoothness and control. The Penn Spinfisher, though, may well be best in terms of value, performance and ergonomics.
The overwhelming choice of professional bass fishermen, the baitcaster allows the best accuracy for casting and control of the line. Mounted atop the rod and with an open spool controlled by the caster's thumb, the baitcaster takes some practice to master and is prone to backlashing until that mastery is achieved. The better reels have a form of backlash control, usually magnetic, to help tame spool overruns. Abu Garcia makes baitcasters in a variety of sizes and prices, the Revo model being a particularly good choice. Shimano (Calcutta and Curado) and Diawa (Zillion and Steez) as well as Quantum (Energy) are upscale reels with jewel-like precision and masterful construction. For serious bass fishing, a baitcasting reel is the obvious choice. The next decision is how much to spend. There really are no bad selections.
Article Written By Garrison Pence
Garrison Pence has been a midwest-based (ghost)writer for three decades, taught university-level literature, and has written articles and white papers in trade publications of the Material Handling Institute, Engineering Today, Pharmaceutical, Food and Beverage Science, and Semiconductor. Pence holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in Literature.