02: Reel Bits

Between The Lines - Ch 02: The Gear

0202 long

0202 gearchangeThe Gear Selector

The Gear Selector is usually found on the reel handle. There are many types, the easiest is the simple push button as seen here.The high-speed gears are used most of the time with low gear being engaged when recovering line under greater strain, or getting the stretch or belly out of the line becomes difficult.

0202 housingReel Housing

As with the rest of the reel construction, the housing must be as strong as possible. Most if not all of the better reel housings are machined out of solid billets of aluminium.All edges of the reel should be smooth to avoid damage to both line and angler.

0202 sidemarkingSide Markings

Though the drag of reels is set at 1/3 the breaking strain of the line class used, anglers will often mark other settings as a guide that may be used either in setting lines or fighting fish.

0202 spoolThe Spool

The Spool is where the line is stored, often 1,000 yards of the specific line class used.Spools on Game Reels must be very strong to resist the crushing forces of the line as it is stretched on under significant load.This strength often means added weight which increases inertia, i.e. the force it takes to turn the spool. Therefore there is a maximum size/weight spool for each line class.

0202 clampReel Seat and Clamp

By nature, the reel seats are not very large and though they are built as strongly as possible there is often a need for a reel clamp that aids in supporting the weight of the reel as well as pressure from the fighting harness.Larger reels may also have bracing at the front and rear of the reel to the fore-grip and butt.

0202 ratchetThe Ratchet

The Ratchet plays the "Call to Arms" alerting the fishing team to the fact that if they were not already aware, there is a fish on!It's the sound all game fishermen dream of!

0202 presetknobPreset Knob

The Preset Knob or Dial is used to make fine adjustments to the drag so that the drag lever gives the preferred setting in preferred positions, usually at strike. The other positions are then marked relative to this setting.The Drag Lever should be pushed back to free-spool before adjusting the Preset.

0202 handleThe Reel

HandleThe handle is used for turning the reel. Though this sounds simple enough most anglers use it for squeezing exercises.Most game reel handles are weighted to make it easier to grab when the adrenaline is flowing.

0202 leverThe Drag Lever

This is where the main difference between game reels and other types of reels lie. By moving the drag lever up through its arc the drag is increased in predetermined increments.

There are three main positions:

  1. 1: Free spool: no drag on the reel at all and the spool is free to spin.
  2. 2: Strike Drag: usually set at 1/3 the breaking strain of the line. This spot is often marked by push buttons or engravings.
  3. 3: Full or Sunset: All the way to the top of the arc. Depending on the cam that the lever works on this can be anywhere from 45% and up. The arc between strike and full is the fighting drag.The full arc of the drag lever is usable. Often the reel is marked with the settings. Certainly, they should be checked before each outing..

0202 lugssHarness Lugs

The Reel lugs are designed to allow you to connect to a fighting harness.They are also a good spot to connect safety lines connecting the outfit to a solid point on the boat, i.e. cleat or game chair base.

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