Author Topic: Understanding Fishing Reel Gear Ratios  (Read 317 times)

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Offline Curt - RI

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Understanding Fishing Reel Gear Ratios
« on: December 10, 2019, 09:33:22 AM »
Just finished a new article last night at TackleTest.com!

Hope you enjoy it.

http://www.tackletest.com/understanding-fishing-reel-gear-ratios/

Offline Brazzy

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Re: Understanding Fishing Reel Gear Ratios
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2019, 11:21:02 AM »
I liked the article. I appreciate how it explains the gears and how they work and how its applied in other applications. I also like how it does not talk too much about inches per turn when it comes to line retrieval because there are so many other factors that feed into the inches per turn than the gear ratio, and people tend to make the 1 to 1 comparison of gear ratio and thinking its the only thing that matters in picking up line. I like how you mention the spinnerbait not running correctly at too high of a speed. It seems so simple to slow down, but some people need to make adjustments to their equipment because they cant maintain that slow speed.

The terminology and the comparison to cars in the article seems to be confusing. In cars the highest gear ratio correlates to the highest torque. So granny gear is the lowest and slowest gear, but numerically has a high gear ratio but is referred to as "low", while faster speeds are achieved in the higher gear, but those have lower gear ratios. In fishing reels its not measured the same way. The ratio is the number or revolutions the spool takes per 1 turn of the handle. So the higher the numerical ratio the more turns the spool takes per turn of the handle. So in this case a high ratio equates to high speed and a low ratio equates to low speed/high torque.

The article kind of dismisses torque being a factor in fishing reels, which I get because so much emphasis in the market is put on speed, but I dont know if I would completely dismiss it. The downside to the Revo Rocket and the other 9.0:1 super high speed reels is that for applications like punching you are at the point where you really are sacrificing torque so you are going to lean more on your rod. The super high speed reels I think are great for flipping docks and brush, but there is a group of pros who dont recommend using one to haul a fish out of the slop. On the flip side, baits with a lot of pull (like deep diving crankbaits) you absolutely feel the difference in a low speed/high torque reel like a Revo Winch. Granted you are winding faster, but there is no resistance when using one of those reels which also also can deceive you with bringing in a fish. You are effortlessly reeling in a fish. The fish doesnt feel like its pulling, and on a glass rod those things fold in half on a dink. It isn't until you see him that you realize its a tank. Right now you hear a lot of people over emphasize speed, and the article kind of does too, but the low speed reels have a place. Also durability could be added as a factor as well. Using high speed gears in a high torque application will wear on the gears very quickly. I have a couple of friends who swear by the Revo Rocket and think its meant for everything. Im curious how long that will last before they start stripping gears. Time will tell.

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Offline Curt - RI

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Re: Understanding Fishing Reel Gear Ratios
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2019, 12:21:46 PM »
@Brazzy Thanks for your feedback. My main goal was to help people understand that what most manufacturers refer to as a high gear ratio is actually a "high speed gear ratio", not a high gear ratio in the true sense of the word.

I wanted them to know that higher numbers equate to line retrieved more quickly for each turn of the handle.

I purposely didn't get into the inches per turn, etc. because, as you said, there is more that goes into that.

And, as for torque in a reel, that would have been way too deep and confusing to try to explain in writing. But it does have a big impact, especially when getting into 9.3:1 reels, where trying to use the reel to winch a fish out of cover is going to be tough. And, in my opinion, bass fishing reels were never really meant to winch fish out of cover, although we do hear that being referred to sometimes. But that 9.3:1 reel is going to be awfully tough to winch a fish out of cover because if it being geared so low.

As for gear ratios, they are derived based on the number of teeth on the ring gear vs. the number of teeth on the pinion gear in cars. So, in reels, it is my assumption that this would also be true, using the number of teeth on the main gear vs. the number of teeth on the pinion gear. That's a true gear ratio.

Quote
In fishing reels its not measured the same way. The ratio is the number or revolutions the spool takes per 1 turn of the handle.

If this is true, then whatever ratio is listed is not a true gear ratio, because once you introduce factors other than the actual gears, it is no longer the gear ratio that is being listed on a reel, but a conglomerate of several factors (gears, spool diameter, handle length, etc.) being calculated and posted on a package.

Offline Curt - RI

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Re: Understanding Fishing Reel Gear Ratios
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2019, 02:23:39 PM »
Quote
So in this case a high ratio equates to high speed and a low ratio equates to low speed/high torque.

Regarding this, a "high ratio" is still really a low gear ratio that creates more speed on the retrieve, thus the "high" label.

And you're 100% right, that a lower speed reel makes it easier to "crank a fish in", in the sense that it doesn't generate as much torque.

So many different things to look at and take into consideration with this topic.  :facepalm:

Offline Curt - RI

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Re: Understanding Fishing Reel Gear Ratios
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2019, 02:08:49 PM »
@Brazzy I took what you said and modified the post a bit, to add the info about the revolutions of the spool vs. the turns of the handle. It doesn't really change the outcome any, but it does clarify the principles a bit, so people can understand it a bit better.

As always, thanks for your honest feedback  ;)