High Speed Reel versus Low-Speed Reel: What’s the Difference?

high-speed reel, low-speed reel, Sarasota Quality Products

Pro Angler Gary Klein recently used a high-speed reel at a tournament on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, and he loved it. “My whole key that week at Heavy Hitters was to fish as far away from the boat as I could, so I made long casts and speed reeled as fast as I could,” said Klein.

He did two casts per minute, physically working as hard as he could.

The results? He put 22 fish for almost 68 pounds on SCORETRACKER to advance to the Championship Round.

“Speed reeling is something I’ve always really loved to do. You have to have relatively clear water – you can’t pull the fish to you in dirty water,” Klein noted.

With his success, doesn’t it make sense that every bass fisher should go to a faster reel?

The answer is it depends on the fisherman’s goals and the conditions they are fishing in. The speed of the reel is all about gear ratio; in other words, how many times a spool will spin per crank of the handle.

Here’s a good comparison of high- versus low-speed reels.

High-Speed Reel

Anything above 5-to-1 is considered high speed for spinning reels. There are reels on the market that offer faster gears, up to 8-to-1, but most of those high-gear reels have a smaller spool.

This is an excellent reel when the water is clear, and you want to:

  • Cast quickly and far away from your boat
  • Retrieve your lure fast
  • Hook into a fish close to a structure; you can get them away from it quicker

Low-Speed Reel

Low-speed reels lend themselves towards heavy jigging, surface casting, or where pulling power comes as a priority to line retrieval.

If you want to retrieve your lure slowly and the water conditions are not excellent, slow reeling is a better option, especially if you are not in a tournament or are teaching your family members to fish.


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