How to Bass Fish

6 Rod and Reel Bass Fishing System: Reels

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(Photo: wired2fish.com)

Continuing with the 6 rod bass fishing system by addressing reels.

In the article 6 Rod Bass Fishing System|Rods, we addressed the thought that 6 rod and reel combos could serve the purpose of covering all your bases in bass fishing and keep you from retying the whole trip next time you go bass fishing. Then we addressed the actions of the rods and what techniques they could cover.

Now we want to address 6 reels for bass fishing for our 6 rod/reel combo system. These reels will match up with the 6 rods we addressed to cover a wide base of techniques. One thing to remember on reel speed, the more the bait moves the less gear ratio you really need. The less it moves the more gear ratio you need because you'll often have more slack to take up in your line.

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So we'll match reels 1 through 6 to our rods one through 6 from our 6 Rod/Reel Bass Fishing System blog.

1.    7:1 gear ratio baitcaster reel

Main purpose: heavy lifting for flipping, pitching, punching and frogging

2.    6.4:1 gear ratio small profile baitcasting reel

Main purpose: palmable reel for short wrist snaps with topwaters and jerkbaits

3.    5.4:1 gear ratio baitcaster reel

Main purpose: low torque cranking reel for keeping crankbait in strike zone

4.    7:1 gear ratio baitcaster reel

Main purpose: fast reel for taking up slack on worms and jigs that are fished with rod

5.    6.4:1 gear ratio baitcasting reel

Main purpose: the faster speed will keep your spinnerbaits and swim jigs up but not too fast

6.    5:1 gear ratio spinning reel in 1000 to 2000 spool size

Main purpose: light line bass fishing with shaky heads, drop shots; back-reeling is a bonus

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With these reels matched with our 6 bass fishing rods, you can cover a lot of bases on every trip and spend less time retying and more time covering water. Day in and day out 6 combos really get fished more than most. Obviously having more will give you more options without having to re-tie, but these 6 combos will give you plenty to start with.

The 7:1 gear ratios can take up a lot of slack quickly which is a bonus for baits you fish with your rod. When fishing for bass with bottom contact baits like jigs, Texas rigged plastics, Carolina rigged plastics and punch baits, you often have slack, created by lifting and dropping your rod tip. These high speed reels can take up the line quickly when you feel the slightest "tick." It makes you more efficient at hooking bass with contact baits.

Same can be said for the 5.4:1 or lower gear ratio reels. The more a bait pulls because of its action, like a spinnerbait or a crankbait, the more torque is created on the reel. If you reel these type lures with a high speed reel, it's actually harder on the reel and on you to reel against that torque. But if you take the gear ratio down several notches, reeling these baits is breeze.

You'll notice we selected a mid-range reel for things like topwaters, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, chatterbaits, etc. The reason is because you often need speed to take up slack when a fish strikes but for the most part with these baits you have tension on the bait most of the time because you're constantly moving it. If you drop down to 5:1 gear ratios it can be hard to pull a bait up out of the grass or weeds on a long cast. If you go to high with a 7:1 ratio you can have a tendency to move the bait too fast and not slow yourself down. So a midrange seems to serve dual purposes with those baits.

We're interested to hear more about what reels you like for what techniques and see how they fit into this matrix in both part one and part two of our 6 Rod/Reel Bass Fishing System.