How To Choose Baitcasting Reel For Redfish

A baitcasting reel for redfish outperforms a spinning revolution in terms of performance. If you’re a Redfish specialist, it’s time to move from spinning to baitcasting reels. Fish will come to you instead of going to them if you have a decent baitcasting reel. Many anglers claim that despite the enormous choices on the market, they can’t locate the proper baitcasting reel for redfish. To make things easier for you, I’ve created a buying guide that will go over all of the essential criteria to consider when buying the finest of the best.

This article will explain how to choose a baitcasting reel for redfish. So, let’s discuss what constitutes a good redfish baitcasting reel.

Why Use A Baitcaster In The First Place For Redfish?

In summary, you gain experience as a fisherman and gain a new tool to add to your fishing armory.

Baitcasters Open New Horizons

Inshore fishing is about more than just seeing a cork sink. Baitcasters provide access to a wide range of soft and hard baits that fish find irresistible. Yes, these lures can be used with spinning tackle like dragging tires on a minivan.

Baitcasters, by their very nature, have features that spinning reels just don’t have. Some of them are higher gear ratios for taking up the slack, the capacity to make precise casts for sight fishing, and increased sensitivity for deep-water jigging. Spinning reels are an excellent tool to have in your toolkit, but you must understand their purpose. They won’t be able to take the place of a baitcaster.

Cast Fast And Accurately

Modern baitcasters have a free-spool design that allows them to cast, retrieve, and cast back out with the touch of a button.

This is significantly faster than setting up a spinning reel. Before a spinning reel can be thrown, it must have the bail on one side, the bail opened, and the line fingered. The performance difference between a baitcaster and a spinning reel is hidden by chumming bait around the beach. You’ll need to cast correctly, retrieve, and cast swiftly when it comes to more technical uses, such as sight fishing for redfish.

Redfish may emerge from nowhere and swim away from the boat before the bail on a spinning reel can be opened. You may perform a rapid, reflex-like cast with a baitcaster to show the lure and entice him to bite. Thumbing the spool may readily correct an interest flying too far and too rapidly. One significant distinction between a spinning reel and a baitcaster is this.

Work Lures Like A Pro

Line sensitivity and manipulation are heightened since a baitcaster is held in the palm of your hand rather than dangling from it. After your line, it’s simpler to understand what’s going on. Is your lure traversing a muddy bottom or an oyster bed? Was it a snag on aquatic grass or a weak winter nibble by a chilled speckled trout? With casting tackle, it’s simpler to tell the difference.

The distinction between a baitcaster and a spinning reel is similar to the difference between a manual and automated transmission. The automatic transmission works well, gets you where you need to go, and is simple. A manual transmission, on the other hand, necessitates more expertise and allows access to higher-end performance automobiles.

Baitcasters Are Used By The Best

If you’re still not convinced, look at Louisiana speckled trout record-holders like Dudley Vandenborre and Kenny Kreeger. In case you didn’t know, they captured Louisiana’s state-record speckled trout, in case you didn’t know. These gentlemen are expert fishermen, and a Google Image Search will reveal that they are almost always seen with a baitcaster in their hands.

In the hands of a skilled angler, a baitcaster is a lethal weapon against speckled trout and redfish, trophy or not. Everyone loves to rant and scream about their favorite lure, spouting shoddy marketing concocted by tackle makers desperate to make a sale. Yet, Kenny Kreeger caught his 11.99-pound speckled trout with a queen sparkle beetle.

Since 1959, the queen sparkle beetle has been the most essential soft plastic lure. This lure lacks a unique rattling, swim body, paddle tail, or anything else that would make it stand out in a tackle store. It did, however, stand out to an 11.99-pound speckled trout, and that’s because the angler who worked that bait discovered that he could do it best with a baitcaster. If it doesn’t inspire you to try something new, I’m not sure what will.

What To Look For In A Baitcasting Reel For Redfish?

Reel Drag

Your thumb used to be your “drag.” During a battle, you would put your thumb on the spool and pull firmly, not allowing any line to turn a fish’s head.

Things have changed since then. Today’s baitcasters have a drag feature that adjusts the amount of fishing line paid out dependent on how hard the fish pulls. If the drag is excessively heavy, no line will pay out, and the cable may break. If it’s too weak, hooksets won’t work, and a large fish might spool the reel.

Different Drags For Different Fish

Because redfish are heavier and more rigid than trout, I want to use a firm drag while sight fishing for them. I can’t let them wrap themselves around the cap or pull the entire spool of line off the spool. I used to keep most of the redfish I caught, but that is no longer the case. Instead, I work for TAG Louisiana, where I tag redfish. Because I’ll be organizing and releasing the redfish, they need to be in good shape and have enough fight left to make it through the event.

Yes, you can kill a redfish by battling it alone; I have firsthand experience with this. I can reel the fish straight to the boat with a powerful drag before they have a chance to tire themselves out. For this type of fishing, I like to use two reels:

  • 13 Concepts of Fishing Revo Inshore by Abu Garcia
  • Both reels have excellent drag systems.

Concept A has a Bulldog Drag System with 22 pounds of drag, while the Revo Inshore has an Abu Garcia Carbon Matrix drag system with 20 pounds. Both of these reels have caught and released redfish, and I am pretty pleased with them.

Reel Braking Systems

Anglers frequently neglect this while choosing a baitcasting reel. Let me give you a quick rundown of what has worked best for me. Anglers use brakes on baitcasters to avoid the dreaded backlash. Backlash occurs when the spool spins faster than the line can exit it. Braking devices are meant to level out the spool’s RPM and slow it down in areas where it may be spinning too quickly during the throw.

Braking systems are classified into three categories:

  • Magnetic
  • Centrifugal
  • Combination of the two

The magnetic brake system comprises a network of magnets that continually act on the spool, smoothing out the RPM as it rotates and slowing it down as the cast nears completion. Magnets aren’t my favorite since they don’t appear to work well, but some fishermen I respect enjoy them. 

Centrifugal braking systems are made up of a sequence of weights that rotate and lock outwardly against a brake drum, causing friction and slowing the spool down. The “tunability” of centrifugal braking systems is one of my favorite features. The Revo Inshore by Abu Garcia has two types of centrifugal brakes, one spring-loaded and the other not. They’re made this way to provide consistent braking at the start of the cast (when the spool is pushed from a halt to its maximum RPM) and at the end (when the lure is about to hit the water and the spool needs to slow down significantly).

Baitcaster Reel Gear Ratio

This ratio describes the number of reel handle revolutions divided by the number of spool rotations. A spool with an 8:1 gear ratio, for example, will revolve 8 times every time the handle is cranked once.

For topwater lures, where you need to swiftly retrieve slack, a high gear ratio of 8:1 is typically best (since the interest will drift towards you with each twitch). Slow retrieves, such as spinnerbait or deep-diving crankbait, benefit from a 5:1 gear ratio. A good “all-purpose” gear ratio would be around 6.5:1.

Why is it vital to choose a gear ratio? Isn’t it possible to reel faster or slower without considering gear ratio? Yes, you can compensate for a lousy gear ratio by spinning more quickly, but it’s the equivalent of running a marathon in a pair of hiking boots: you can do it, but it’s inefficient.

Higher gear ratios have a tendency to bind under stress, as they have in the past. Anglers don’t have to worry about this trade-off since today’s reel technology is so advanced. In fact, many bass fishermen are switching to gear ratios of 7:1 or higher. According to the theory, you can always reel slower, but you can’t spin faster without disturbing your presentation. IPT is far more critical than gear ratio. The number of inches of line a reel can bring in with a complete turn of the handle is measured in inches per turn.

What Factors Should You Consider When Buying The Best Baitcasting Reel For Redfish?

Finding the finest baitcasting reel for redfish might be complex, with so much diversity. There’s a lot to think about, from the ball bearings to the reel’s weight and line capacity. This is a positive thing, but many individuals become overwhelmed by the many considerations they must consider. Fortunately for you, we’ve condensed the list into the following. These factors will not make or break your decision when choosing a superb inshore baitcaster, but they are helpful to be aware of.

Line Capacity

Line capacity is one of the most crucial features of the finest redfish baitcasting reel. The power of the line is expressed in yards and pounds. There is no such thing as the ideal line capacity. When targeting more giant redfish, it’s a good rule of thumb to remember that a higher line capacity is better. As a result, the higher your reel’s line capacity, the more adaptable it will be.

Ball Bearings

When it comes to choosing the best baitcasting reel for redfish, ball bearings are crucial. Smooth retrieval and casting are ensured by ball bearings. Many believe they should obtain the most significant number of ball bearings. This, however, is not required. When pursuing redfish, a lower gear ratio is recommended. This is because redfish are pretty strong. As a result, you’ll need a spool that spins slowly to give you greater strength against the fish.

Gear Ratio

The gear ratio is commonly expressed as 6.4:1 in most cases. With each turn of the handle, the spool revolves 6.4 times. Every time you spin the handle, it will tell you how many times the spool rotates. You might be asking why this feature is so important to look for in the finest Redfish baitcasting reel. Remember that the greater the gear ratio, the faster the line will be retrieved.

A high gear ratio is required for fishing lures that demand you to respond rapidly to fish strikes to reel the line in faster. Jigs, jerkbaits, and live bait are examples of these lures. For lures like crankbaits, swimbaits, and spinnerbaits, a lower gear ratio will allow you to manipulate the appeal more efficiently in the water. Reduced torque is the way to go if you require a high-speed retrieve. On the other side, if you want greater torque, you’ll have to settle with a slower retrieve speed. To summarize, choosing a medium gear ratio will allow you to reap the benefits of both sides.

Gear Material

For the spool and handle, you’ll need metal gears. Everything else is acceptable to be made of plastic, but those pieces must be made of metal, preferably brass. Metal gears are used on almost every reel, thus, this is a widespread occurrence, but it is still worth noting.

Action

A moderate or fast-action rod is an excellent choice if you’re going after redfish. You’ll be able to capture the far casts as well. In addition, it will ensure the rod’s sensitivity compared to a slow-action rod.

Size Of Spool

The size of the spool is important because it determines how many lines you will put on it. To be honest, I don’t see the use of 200 yards of line, whether within or outside the marsh. We’re looking for specks and reds rather than yellowfin tuna. The spool size isn’t a deal-breaker; it’s just something to keep in mind.

Ergonomics

In the field of inshore fishing, ergonomics has a direct influence on fishing endurance. Louisiana offers some of the most excellent inshore fishing in the world, but that doesn’t mean the days are always accessible. No, some fishing expeditions need a long day spent standing on the bow with a rod and reel. When I say something is “ergonomic,” I’m talking about how easy it is to grip and utilize. When looking for an excellent inshore baitcaster, this is crucial. You don’t want to spend all day fishing with a big reel since it will tire out your hands and make the experience less pleasurable. A good weight for a revolution, in my opinion, is approximately 7-8 ounces.

Some are lighter, while others are heavier; eventually, you must decide whether the reel’s weight is appropriate. Another aspect of baitcaster design is the length of the throw. When rotating a handle, it is simpler to apply force if the handle is longer. These are the fundamentals of mechanical engineering. Shorter handles provide less leverage, whereas longer handles provide more. Regarding fishing reels and ergonomics, holding the revolution in your hand is the best method to decide. This is something that most tackle shops will let you accomplish.

Reel Cleaning

Some reels feature lubrication ports, making greasing a breeze. Other reels don’t have this feature and must be disassembled to be lubricated. I am comfortable performing this, but if you are not, it is recommended that you get this job done by a reel technician.

Drag

Another significant consideration is the reel’s maximum drag. When I was younger, I learned this the hard way when a 20-pound carp snatched my lightweight trout fishing gear. To cut a long tale short, the fish not only yanked all of the lines off my spool but also snapped my line.

When picking a reel, it’s critical to know the size of the fish you’re going after because specific drag ratings are higher or lower than others, which can make the difference between landing a giant fish or not. Drag can permanently be lowered, and I seldom use the maximum level on my breath.

Braking

The spool on newer baitcasters has braking devices to restrict how fast the line comes off. This prevents the dreaded bird’s nest from forming when the line is thrown and the spool rotates too quickly. Most bird nests may be repaired by simply releasing and reversing the spool. Bird nests should be rare once you’ve gotten used to your reel and dialed in the settings.

Centrifugal, magnetic, and spool-tension adjustment brakes are among the several types of brakes utilized on reels today. Because it is not part of the reel, the brake that most novices will use is not included above. To keep the spool from over-rotating, every newbie will start baitcasting using their thumb as a brake. You’ll eventually figure out the parameters to the point that you won’t need to use your thumb on every cast.

Centrifugal braking is the brakes on your baitcaster that must be adjusted by opening it up. They’re utilized at the beginning of a cast to prevent quick over-rotation. They engage when the first few inches of line pull away from the spool. This is because when you make a short throw, the line’s initial speed is relatively high and must be decreased to avoid a bird’s nest. Magnetic braking is usually set via a numbered dial to enhance or lessen the drag. The dial corresponds to the distance between the magnets and the spool, allowing the spool to slow down while the lure is in flight.

Spool-tension adjustment is a sort of brake that helps bring your spool to a halt, preferably at the exact moment that your lure strikes the water. This form of braking is not a replacement for other methods of braking. Therefore it’s crucial to understand your reel’s braking systems and how to modify them. While removing the cover from your rotation to adjust the centrifugal braking mechanism is inconvenient, it is necessary because overusing the spool tension adjustment may result in irreparable damage to your reel.

Handedness

When ordering a reel, handedness is an essential but significant consideration. Do you feel with your left or right hand? When I first switched to a baitcaster, I ordered a right-hand retrieve reel because I started fishing with a spinning reel (which I spun with my left hand). This was because someone I spoke with suggested alternating hands when using a baitcaster. As a result, it appeared as if I had never seen a fishing rod before. I quickly retracted the reel and retrieved the fish with my left hand. When folks buy their first baitcaster, I always tell them to use the same hand they would for spinning. This is because when you use the same hand to cast and place the hook, you only have to modify your rod hand slightly.

Style

When choosing a baitcaster for redfish, style matters in some cases. Many anglers, like myself, prefer to use a round-style baitcaster while fishing for species like carp, musky, and catfish. These reels have a more extensive profile and can retain more lines, which is ideal for casting or battling fish that require more lines. I have one of these reels and found it helpful when pursuing larger fish.

Conclusion

This article provides information on choosing a baitcasting reel for redfish. To make an informed selection when choosing a baitcasting reel, you’ll need a lot of expertise and mechanical, material, and brand knowledge. This is where the expertise of Curated professionals can assist. Your expert has access to our excellent network of fishing specialists from around the country, even if they haven’t tested every reel on the market. When someone in our group inquires about a brand or a specific product, it’s usually because someone in our group has used it previously.

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