Spinning outfits are essential equipment for freshwater fishing. When choosing a rod and reel, there are a variety of factors to be considered.
Several factors are important when choosing a reel. Line size and capacity, drags, spools, bearing construction, gear ratio, overall weight and other specifications are all factors when choosing a spinning reel.
The smallest of spinning reels are the ultralight models. These featherweights are engineered for use with 2-4 lb line. The next class of equipment is engineered for mostly freshwater fishing with 6-12 lb lines. For basic fishing needs in both fresh and saltwater, the next reel class is medium, which is suitable for 10-20 lb line. Beyond this range, there are increasingly larger reels that offer more line capacity and rugged components.
While most anglers still use traditional monofilament fishing line, the range of choices now is staggering. While the sheer numbers of lines are staggering, they basically fall into two classes; traditional monofilament line and space age braided lines. Each line type has its list of advantages and disadvantages that should be considered.
Once the angler has a rough idea of line size and type, the field of reels can be narrowed. At this stage, desired features must be weighed against factors such as price, availability and reliability.
After the anglers has a good idea of line class, features, and price range, they can consider one or more rods to match. Rods and reels can be purchased separately, or as combination packages. Rod and reel outfits are usually spooled with line and are ready to fish, while separate components require some setup.
As with reels, rod types are matched to line size. Practically every rod will be clearly marked with its line class and usually has information about its action and length. Ultralight outfits may be as short as 4 feet while saltwater surf rods can reach 12 feet or more. Most general purpose rods are 5-6 feet in length and are made with common materials.
Specialty rods come in thousands of variations, with factors including length, thickness, composition, grips, eye and tip style, reel seats, curve characteristics, artwork and other options. In either case, the rod, reel, line and tackle should be matched for best performance.