What Is The Meaning Of Gear Ratio In Fishing Reel?

One moment of headache aching is when buying a new fishing reel. There are so many options you need to know to buy a suitable reel. To become a professional angler, you must own a setup best suited for you. And to do that, you must know the operation mechanisms of the reel to avoid mistakes when choosing.

One of the critical options for fishing reels is the gear ratio. This article mainly focuses on explaining it and giving you a suitable number for your fishing style.

What is the meaning of gear ratio in fishing reel? The gear ratio is the spool’s rotation speed, also known as line recovery rate. It is measured by the number of rounds that spool turns for each single turn of the handle. For example, a reel has 6.1: 1 ratio, which means The spool turns 6.1 times with each single handle turn.

Next, I will tell me more about what you need to know about it on a fishing reel; if you want to master your reel to improve the performance of the trip, refer to the article below.

How does a gear ratio work on a fishing reel?

The higher ratio, the faster line was retrieved. However, two reels have the same ratio, but the amount of line retrieved on the spool may differ. Why? The size of the spool and the number of lines on each reel are different.

This is when we need to mention an index that is IPT. This index means that the inch of line is retrieved into the spool each time turn a handle. The bigger the spool diameter, the higher the IPT index and vice versa.

Gear Ratio divided into three main categories:

  • Low: from 5.1:1 to 5.4:1
  • Medium: from 6.1:1 to 6.4:1
  • High: from 7.1:1 to 8.1:1

What Is The Meaning Of Gear Ratio In Fishing Reel?

The reels have a gear ratio over 8.1: 1 is very little, and if you want to own it, you will have to spend a huge amount of money. A few years ago, a reel with a quick ratio of 10.1: 1 was released by Abu Garcia at ICAST.

It is one of the highest of reels in the fishing world. It created a mesmerizing wave for speed enthusiasts; they had more opportunities to fight with flexible fish.

Is gear ratio important?

It depends on your fishing style. A ratio that matches will make the performance of trips significantly improve and give you the ability to fight for a long time.

If you use a reel with a low to retrieve the bait very fast, you will need more muscles and effort to complete that job. And in case this situation lasts a few hours, you will be exhausted, I’m sure that. Durability is one of the essential factors that affect the number of fish you catch.

Choose a suitable gear ratio

Finding a suitable one for your fishing style is not an easy thing. Not always as fast as possible, it’s just good if you know how to use it.

A high ratio is synonymous with more experience you need to control it. Moreover, besides being tired and requiring a lot of experience when controlling a reel with a high one, it also puts pressure on the line and leads to a break.

Below I will list the fishing styles and the ratio that suits them. Note, these just reference numbers. Remember that anglers who did not care much about it still completed their work.

  • Ice Fishing Reel: 5.2:1
  • Bass Baitcasting Reel: 5.3:1
  • Saltwater Surf Fishing Reel: 4.9:1
  • Freshwater or Saltwater Inshore Spinning Reel: 5.3:1
  • Soft Plastics (non-constant retrieve): 7.0:1
  • Jigs: 7.0:1
  • Topwater: 7.0:1
  • Soft Plastics (retrieve): 6.3:1
  • Jerkbaits: 6.3:1
  • Spinnerbaits: 6.3:1
  • Shallow Crankbaits: 0:1
  • Deep Crankbaits: from 5.0:1 to 6.0:1

Overall, the average (from 6.1: 1 to 6.4: 1) best suits most fishing styles. Therefore, if you cannot define, these will be the most optimal choice for you.

Choose a suitable gear ratio


I have shared the information about the “what is the meaning of gear ratio in fishing reel?” and gives numbers that fit some fishing styles. You can refer to it to decide the most suitable one on your reel.

I hope this article is helpful to you. Do you have another idea?

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