Pro Angler Steve Chiasson answers the question: “What is the best size for a spinning reel when it is used for finesse fishing techniques?”
Great question as I was just about to do a post of my own on this exact topic. I have been emphasizing the need for high speed retrieve ratios on baitcasting gear. This emphasis is based on the ability of high speed retrieve ratios to improve the hook set and landing ratio by driving the hook home quicker and harder while preventing kickers from burying their heads in the cover.
With the improved technology of today’s super lines like Spiderwire Stealth, Fireline, and NanoFil, today’s “finesse” spinning tackle can now horse bass out of the thickest stuff as well. It amazes me how you can take 20 lb. test Spiderwire Stealth and haul a 5 lb. largie out of nasty stuff on a spinning rod.
When I am looking for a spinning reel these days, I take into account several factors when determining the size of spinning reel. Personal preferences are always up to the individual buyer. You have to choose what is most important to you! For my money, here’s what drives my selection process.
The general trend amongst touring pros is bigger is better. That may surprise some of you. Let me explain further. There are several advantages to larger spool reels. The three main benefits of larger spools are that you can make longer casts, less line issues especially with fluorocarbon, and the larger the spool – the faster the retrieve ratio. The smallest spinning reel Kevin Van Dam uses is a size 40 spinning reel. Most anglers use a size 20 spinning reel for finesse fishing because it’s light and balances well. Many of the reels today are lighter so it’s easier to get away with a larger reel. Fluorocarbon handles much better and casts farther on a larger spool.
For me, the higher speed ratio is critical. Most spinning reels are in the 5.2:1 retrieve ratio. Personally, I have shifted to size 30 reels such as the Revo Premier 30, SX30, S30 since they all have a 5.8:1 ratio. If you still like the size 2 reels, the only Abu Series in size 20 spools that has the higher retrieve ratio of 5.8:1 is the Orra S30 or Orra SX30. This reel is very well priced and is definitely worth checking out. I am also a big fan of the Pflueger Supreme XT9230 or MGX8230 which comes in a 6.2:1 ratio!!! For years, I’ve used size 20 reels because they are smaller, comfortable in my hands, and very light. When I buy a reel now, I am sold on a larger spooled reel.
About Steve Chiasson
Being a versatile angler with the ability to win tournaments catching smallies and largies on different bodies of water has always been a fun challenge for Steve. With wins on Rice, Simcoe, Scugog, Stoney, Georgian Bay, Sturgeon, Trilakes, and St. Clair, he has gained some valuable insights on how to catch bass all over the province of Ontario. A GM Pro Bass Classic title and Angler of the Year titles on Canada’s top circuit are proud accomplishments for Steve. “I’m proud to represent and be associated with Pure Fishing products. Teaching anglers through National Pro Staff tips, EZ Angler posts, and doing seminars are things that I enjoy doing.”
When Steve is not doing tournaments, he spends time chasing panfish like perch/crappies, jigging walleyes, and chunking muskie baits. “And in the winter, ice fishing on Simcoe and smaller bodies of water, helps eliminate cabin fever and pass the winter.”