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bass fishing resource tackle tips

bass fishing resource tackle tips

 

Fishing Reels - Gear Ratios

By Nic DiGravio

fishing reels - gear ratios - bass fishing tackle tipsBait casting reels not only come in different variations and sizes, they also come in different gear ratios.  This has become more apparent in recent years.

For me, a fast gear ratio of 7.1:1 is quite handy.  As a tournament angler I know that time is definitely money.  So with that said, when I pitch and flip I like the high 7 ratios because after the initial working of the bait I want that bait in as quick as possible in time for the next pocket.  Seconds on the water can mean many minutes, not to mention the dreaded ‘tired wrist syndrome’.  I know a few anglers that don’t like the faster ratios and stick with the 6 and under speeds.  It really is a matter of personal preference.

All ratios have their place in a days fishing.  I like to use 7 ratios for pitching and flipping exclusively.  6 ratios, for me, work best when finessing.  The old, and hopefully not extinct, 5 ratios are my favourite when working crank baits.  I would rather crank faster with the reel handle to quicken its pace then work the handle slower with the higher ratios.  It is easier to judge what the crank bait is doing this way.  But to each their own!

By putting ratios in perspective helps make sense of it all.  So as a rule of thumb and what works for me is:

Fast Baits:  5.0:1 and up to 6.4:1 depending on the bait used
Slow Baits:  6.2:1
Finessed Baits:  6:2:1 or 6.4:1
Pitching and flipping Baits: 7.0:1 and up

Every rig has an exception, which for me, is apparent working crank baits and top water baits.  With spinner baits I like to use the 6.2:1, but for slow rolling them 5 ratios are far better suited, in my opinion.  Slow baits require the 6.2:1 because when you need it, and you will, you have it.

Finessed baits warrant 6.2:1 or even 6.4:1 because once the Bass takes the bait and turns with it you will thank your 6 ratio for getting that fish out of cover fast.  If the hooked Bass bee lines for the boat or shore you have plenty of reeling power to take up slack fast.  This tends to happen quite a bit when finessing, so being prepared with 6 ratios is a smart choice.

Pitching and flipping baits is a versatile technique.  Baits can be fished slow or fast and any speed in between, but once we have exhausted its time in a particular weed pocket the next one is just a few feet away.  Being ready for it and countless others is faster and more pleasurable when the 7 ratios are used. 

Time on the water will help us anglers decide on what gear ratio is best suited for our special needs.  Different gear ratios also could mean having different reel manufacturers as well, because not all companies make the same ratios.  Therefore, mixing and matching reel brands might be what we need.  But the science of gear ratios becomes known when we discover the different fishing scenarios and which ratio best suits them.  Precise tools of the trade are priceless, even for Bass anglers! 

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