How To Choose A Fishing Reel

May 23, 2019

Let’s face it, getting started in fishing can be an intimidating process. You have so much equipment to purchase and sporting goods stores often have an incredibly large stock of equipment. This blog post is intended to help the beginner select their first reel. With that in mind, here are some points to ponder.

If you already own a fishing rod:

If you already own a fishing pole, you will want to match your reel to the pole. There are two general types of fishing poles (casting and spinning rods) and two general types of reels (baitcasting and spinner). If you own a casting rod, then you will want to purchase a baitcasting reel. However, if you own a spinning rod, then you will want to purchase a spinning reel.

You can identify your type of rod by looking at where the eye-rings are in relation to where you mount the reel. The eye-rings of a casting rod are on the top (the same side that the reel mounts to) and casting rods often have a trigger or special grip on the bottom. The eye-rings for a spinning rod are much larger and the reel will mount on the bottom.

You will also want to match the reel size to the size of the fishing rod.  Most rods have a label which indicates what size reel it will take. You wouldn’t want to buy a reel that was undersized or oversized for your fishing rod.

If you don’t already own a fishing rod:

If you are don’t already own a fishing rod, then you want to consider your needs, circumstances, and skill level. We recommend that before purchasing any equipment you establish a budget and shop for high-quality gear that is within your budget.


Spinning reels are generally easier to use and more affordable so we recommend that the beginner stick with spinning reels unless they have a need for one or more of the features that baitcasting reels offer.

Baitcasting reel features:

  • 30-50% lighter weight - this may be important if you plan to do a lot of fishing since repeated casting can cause fatigue
  • Increased fishing line capacity
  • Increased drag/power when reeling in
  • Distance control - this allows skilled fishermen to place the lure in the exact spot they desire
  • Often come standard with a line-clicker which allows the line to play out once a fish has taken the bait and gives a distinctive clicking sound to alert the fisherman.

Circumstances & Skill-Level:

Spinning reels are much easier to cast a learn to use. If you are new to the sport of fishing or will be fishing with beginners then you may prefer to have a fishing reel that is easier to use. Additionally, if you are beginner, you may not wish to sink a large amount of money into fishing equipment. A good-quality spinner rod and reel will be more than sufficient to get you started.

Still Need Help?

If you live in western Iowa, let the experts at Sommerfeld Outfitters help you choose the perfect fishing pole for your trip. We are located just outside of Carroll in Lidderdale and have a large selection of fishing gear and apparel suited for all ages and levels of experience. Stop by today!




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