Don’t Be So Cranky!

My article for the March, 2020 edition of Coastal Angler Magazine – Charleston

Every year Ralph and I auction off an “educational” fishing trip to help teach people how to better fish artificial lures. One year I tried an experiment. We had two novice anglers that day. I offered to one of the anglers a rod with a 1000 size spinning reel. The other was using a 2500 sized reel, a common reel for inshore fishing. I then watched and waited. Sure enough, the angler with the 1000 reel caught more fish, almost 2 to 1, over the other angler. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
People want to crank their reel. Heck, I’m guilty of it sometimes too. As I discussed in last month’s article, fishing slower equates to more fish caught – not just in winter, but pretty much all year. How much line retrieved per crank comes from two main factors, the gear ratio (number of revolutions of the spool per crank), and the diameter of the spool.
To demonstrate, I laid two lures on my driveway, one connected to a 1000 spinning reel (5.0:1 gear ratio), and one with a 2500 spinning reel (5.6:1 gear ratio). I then made one full crank of each. You can see that the 1000 retrieved about one third less line than the 2500. That’s a significant difference! Incidentally, the shorter of the two retrieves was still 27 inches; the longer, almost 40 inches.

More than you would have guessed? Probably.

Next time you purchase a reel, many times you have a choice of gear ratios. I always purchase the least ratio I can. Because I, too, like to crank – but I will be 30% slower with the same amount of crank – and therefore fishing slower.

In summary, I hope your takeaway from all this is that we are human, and we like to crank our reels – and we all will have better results fishing artificial lures by simply cranking slower.

Give these methods a try this month and let us know how it works.

David Fladd
Partner, Eye Strike Fishing


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