Choosing the Right Gear Ratio for Your Reel

Choosing The Right Gear Ratio For Your Reel

Bass fishing is one of the more challenging types of fishing. Between all of the different lures that you will have to learn to use and the differences between it and most other forms of fishing, it can seem like something which is quite intimidating to get into. Thankfully, we are here to help smooth your transition into it.


The topic that we will be addressing today is fishing reel gear ratios. This may seem like one of the more intricate parts of bass fishing, but by the end of this article, it will be simple enough for you to understand easily. Before we look at the different types of gear ratios, let's get the basics out of the way.

Gear Ratio Explained

You may be wondering, "What is gear ratio?" Gear ratios are quite easy to understand, as they are nothing too complicated. For example, if a reel has a gear ratio of 5:1, it means that it makes five rotations of the spool for every single rotation of the crank.

The first number will always represent the rotations of your spool and the second will always represent the crank’s rotations. Keep in mind that gear ratio is always defined in terms of the number of spool rotations for a single crank, so you will never see the second number go higher than one.


Low Gear Ratio

Low gear ratios are those from 5:1 to 5.9:1. These gear ratios are the slowest that you will find, but this does not make them any worse than the other ones. Types of fishing reels with low gear ratios are ideal for use when you are crankbaiting, as the lower depth will require more strength behind the line.

Reels with higher gear ratios will quickly get you tired while you are crankbaiting, so you will want to keep your ratio below 6:1 when you do so.

Mid Gear Ratio

Gear ratios in the mid range go from 6:1 to 6.9:1. These ratios are ideal for use in most situations. If you are buying your first reel, for example, you can’t go wrong with a gear ration in the middle of the range. Since these reels tend to be more versatile, they will not be as specialized as low or high gear ratio models.

Mid Gear Ratio

High Gear Ratio

A reel which features a high gear ratio will be ideal for use when you have to fight bigger fish. These reels tend to feature a ratio which is 7:1 and higher. They are far faster than other reel types, but they take a good degree of control to use.


We hope that we have been able to adequately describe the different kinds of reels that you will end up using while you are bass fishing. If you have any questions or anything else to say about this article, feel free to leave them down in the comments below, and we’ll try to get back to you.

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