All About Gear Ration in Fishing Reels

Gear Ration in Fishing Reels

The gear ratio is an aspect that comes to play when choosing a gear ration in fishing reels. It is one of the most confusing factors for many anglers when learning a new bait, technique, or bass fishing. Some years ago, the choices were not confusing because there were only a few options.

The quest for faster or higher gear ratios might make you think that faster is the best, but only when the fishing application calls for it. Remember that fishing reels continue to advance today in all aspects, including gear ratios and retrieve speeds.

Typically, anglers divide gear ratios into slow, medium, and fast. Selecting the right gear ratio is all about your fishing technique and baits. Whether you want a slow or fast reel depends on how you are fishing and target fish species. Generally, slow reels have a gear ratio of 5.1 or lower. The medium is 6.1 while the fast is 7.1 or above. When choosing a reel at, ensure you match it correctly to the kind of bait you intend to fish for it to work correctly.

Slow gear ratio

A slow reel is mostly effective for crankbaits, big swimbaits, and slow-rolled spinnerbaits. The slower gear ratio makes sense in these fishing applications because they enable the bait to get down the water column. The lower gear ratio lets you turn the reel comfortably and give you a superior feel, so you get to know what is going on with your lure. 

When you are done with the fishing part of the cast, the bait is usually close to the boat. Therefore the slow ratio doesn’t delay the next casting as much. It also maintains your offering in the strike zone during most of the retrieve. A reel with a gear ratio of 5.1 can get your bait to its maximum depth.

Medium gear ratio

Fishing reels with a gear ratio of around 6.1 are workhorses for bass anglers. Gear ratios from about 6.1-6.4 present a wide range of baits often used with square billed crankbaits, shallow spinnerbait presentations, and medium-depth crankbaits in general. 

Turning this kind of a reel at a comfortable rate presents these baits at the most effective depths. Many fishing reels within this gear ratio are also capable of delivering baits listed in the medium and slow, and fast categories. They get the bulk of the work, with most fishing applications getting the job done efficiently.

Fast gear ratio

Fast gear ratio reels are the most efficient for anglers who bait at defined target areas. They are also suitable for fishing baits being moved quickly, fishing a bait that is worked by moving the rod tip, or baits moved in heavy cover whereby getting fish into the open water immediately after hookset is essential.

Baits that match efficiently to a fast gear ratio reel include big worms, jerk baits, top waters, jigs, and lipless crankbaits. It is the choice for many anglers for fishing techniques like worming, pitching, and flipping.

The takeaway

It is very rewarding to match your fishing reel to your type of fishing for successful fishing trips.