One of the biggest mistakes one can make in reel and rod selection is to match two items based on their price points. One might fall into this trap because of shops that promote budget pairings to move volume, which leads to mismatched pairs that could perform abysmally in the water.

These matchups could either have shorter casting distances or come with a heaviness you don’t want to deal with while fishing.

Optimal pairing takes place when reels and rods are combined based on type. Thus, it’s important to understand the types of reels sold in today’s market and how they match your rod. Remember, a reel like this one in Sota Fishing’s review can be light and responsive yet still not go well with your rod.

Understanding Reels

First, we tackle fishing reels, which aren’t as complicated as one might think. They come in several varieties outside of the basic fly, spin casting, baitcasting, and spinning reels, but just the four main types usually determine initial selection.

Spincast and fly reels are often used in freshwater fishing, while spinning and baitcasting reels are typically for saltwater excursions.

Reel Selection

Here are a few things to keep in mind when picking a reel:

  • Fish Type

Before choosing a reel, or any other fishing gear, for that matter, you want to be sure of the kind of fish you want to catch.

How big and heavy are these fish? How fast do they swim? Where are the best spots to catch them?

Questions that revolve around target fish and their behavior during the time you fish should prove crucial to figuring out the ideal reel for your angling activities. There’s also the fact that you might not have much of a choice on what you fish. In this case, you’re better off structuring your selection around the species of fish found in your area.

  • Lure or Bait

Of course, you can’t ignore the items that actually make the fish bite. We’re talking about baits or lures, which should be suited to the type of reel you’re using. Some reels are more efficient when you use small and light lures, while others perform better with heavier lures. If a particular reel doesn’t specify this, it usually means you can choose based on preference.

Matching the Reel and Rod

Shopping for fishing gear can sometimes bombard you with different brands and sizes. Brands usually offer varieties of reels in various sizes, such as 100, 200, and 400. These measurements are based on spool capacity, which determines what size a reel should be.

That’s why fishing for larger, more powerful fish entails using a reel on the upper range of the size spectrum. These reels have the power in their drag mechanisms to make reeling in big game smooth and efficient.

The pound-test fishing line and length that the spool capacity is applied to determine the spool capacity. Stronger lines have larger diameters, meaning less of them fit in a spool. Say you have a 235/6 pound line; that means your line can hold up to 235 yards of a six-pound test fishing line.

You should choose reels based on how comfortably they handle fishing lines of similar strength. This detail is usually indicated on your fishing rod. Just have a look at the gauge.

How About When You’re Looking for a Rod?

If you’re looking for a rod to match with your reel, here’s what you do:

Determine What You’re Looking for Ahead of Time

Finding a rod to match your reel has less to do with aesthetics and more to do with performance, so plan ahead of time. Again, it goes back to considering the type of fish you want to catch, the line you’ll be using, and the length best for your application. You might also want to research the matter and educate yourself on jargon such as power, line, and action speed.

Bring Your Reel To the Shop

If learning all the terms confuses you, take your reel to the shop and ask for assistance from the experts. Having the reel with you while shopping allows for actual comparison accompanied by decent advice from those who know best. Seems as if the stars have aligned for getting that top-performing rod. 

Brands Are Important but “Fit” Should Be Your Priority

There’s nothing wrong with relying on established brands to meet your angling needs. After all, a brand becomes a favorite because of its unique features that lead to many years of useful service. Still, this doesn’t mean selection should be limited to what your favorite brand can offer.

Your being a purist when it comes to the brand could prevent you from a reel-rod combination that works seamlessly. Make sure to focus on fit, as it tends to result in optimal performance from a reel and rod pairing.