Tip # 2: Reel Size Is Dependent On Fishing Line Size
Now that you know where you intend to do your spinning fishing it’s time to consider my second tip. The reel size you want is dependent on the size of fishing line you will most often use. In general, the lighter weight the fishing line, the smaller the reel size.
The easiest way to determine which reel is the most usable is to think about your average line strength. For example:
You want to use 8 pound-test line? Your best choice is a reel size that’s rated for 6, 8, and a 10-pound line. This way you can size up or down your line when needed.
There are 4 categories of reel sizes: small, medium, large and very large. To further explain, below is a sample chart of typical spinning fishing reel sizes:
Small Spinning Reels
Range from 1000 (or 10) to 3500 (or 35). Handles 2 to 10 pounds of monofilament and 4 to 14 pounds of braid fishing line. Used for slow moving water, lakes, ponds, rivers, bays and harbors. Best for targeting smaller fish like bream, smallmouth bass, trout and pan fish.
Medium Spinning Reels
Range from 4000 (or 40) to 5500 (or 55). For use with 8 to 14 pounds of monofilament and 5 to 50 pounds of braid fishing line. Used in lakes, ponds, rivers, bays, harbors and light offshore boat fishing. Best for targeting medium sized fish like walleye, largemouth bass, cod and bone fish.
Large Spinning Reels
Range from 6000 (or 60) to 8500 (or 85). Handles 12 to 45 pounds of monofilament and 30 to 80 pounds of braid fishing line. Used for fishing off a boat, beach/surf, inshore off docks or rocks. Best for hooking medium/large sized fish like musky, steel head, snapper and carp.
Extra Large Spinning Reels
Range from 10,000 (or 100) to 30,000 (or 300). For use with 12 to 60 pounds of monofilament and 50 to 100 pounds of braid fishing line. Used in fast moving water, offshore boat fishing, surf and inshore. Best for targeting massive sized fish like shark, tuna, sturgeon and halibut.
Pick A Spinning Fishing Reel – Line Capacity
Line capacity of a fishing reel is the largest length of line the spool can hold without overloading. This means a bigger reel equals bigger spool. In general, if all else is equal, you should get big distance casts with bigger sized spools.
To find the line capacity of s spinning reel, most print them on the side of the reel. The number on the reel denotes the middle range of line capacity. It states capacity as a pound-test weight/length of line. For example:
A reel with a “8 pound-test line/at 140 yards,” rating means you can use it with 6-pound and 10-pound lines too.