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Explaining Retrieve Ratios For Baitcasting Reels

Ever heard anglers discussing the retrieve ratios for baitcasting reels? It’s like listening to physicists explaining the measurement of solution compositions. You will probably hear snatches of “geared lines with 2:1,” or “super high speed gear ratio of 7.1:1,” or hyper speed retrieve ratio of 7.3:1.” And you are left wondering why these matter at all. After all, reels are reels are reels; and the main purpose of these is to catch the fish. Well, the former is not quite true. There are just some reels that are better than the others. The latter, however, is the most basic truth that every angler - professional or otherwise - always hopes for. This is essentially why it is important to know the retrieve ratios, particularly for baitcasting fishing reels.

To understand all this hoopla about numbers, we need to define what retrieve or gear ratios are. Simply put: the two components of the ratio stand for the amount of spool line versus the times when the reel handle is turned. So when you hear someone says that their fishing reel is on a 2:1 ratio, it means that every time the angler turns the handle (an action that is also referred to as making a handle revolution or simply revolution,) the spool wraps around the line twice. So if you are reeling in a lure or a catch, you are exerting one part muscle power to propel the line to reel in twice as fast.


As a rule, the higher the revolutions per turn, the better the reel is. An angler could be casting a line out a lure in the water several times in a span of a few minutes. A higher ratio means that he or she does not exert a lot of effort bringing in the line for the next cast. And the faster you reel in the line, the faster you can throw the next cast. At the same time, you can reel in a fish faster when your fishing implement has a higher retrieve ratio too. A few quick turns means that the game has no opportunity to give the line any slack, and can be out of the water and into your net in no time.

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