Smaller Spinning Reels

When production rods are not enough, it's time to go custom. Come share your experiences building and/or ordering a custom rod and tell us if you'll ever go back to off the shelf.
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jim spooner
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Smaller Spinning Reels

Post by jim spooner » Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:12 am

Since reel specifications are normally considered when configuring and building spinning rods, it seems reasonable to rethink, or perhaps question the choice of reel if braided line will be used. It’s kind of a “chicken/egg” issue. With the trend toward the use of braided lines (with or without leaders), smaller reels are often a better choice. The larger reels incorporating bigger spool diameters (necessitated by stiffer monofilament/fluorocarbon line), may be an over-kill with the limber braided lines.

It doesn’t make sense to take pains to set up better performing rods with the most efficient guide systems, while keeping weight to a minimum in order to enhance feel/sensitivity only to strap on an over-sized reel. Kinda like a hippo on a race horse. Smaller reels, for obvious reasons, really lend themselves well to the “rapid choke” guide system.

One could argue that bigger reels have better drag systems, but I think most quality spinning reels are more than adequate for the job. I’ve been using 1000 sized reels with up to 20 lb braid for several years and have had no issues whatsoever.

toddmc
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Re: Smaller Spinning Reels

Post by toddmc » Mon Dec 19, 2016 1:24 am

I posted on your other thread on the reel forum also. I always have my spinning rods built with a reel height in mind. It sounds like you know that your guide train should have the optimum angle.
The biggest worry that I have is the balance of the combo if you go more than one size down on your reel. You will have to put a lot of weight on the butt, negating some of the benefits of a lighter combo. It just won't feel right on a longer rod, even with the lightest seat and other parts on your build. What blank do you have in mind and what reel?
The carbon framed 2500 size reels are under 7 oz. This is plenty light for the 822 Mudhole High-mod dropshot builds that I have. There is no fatigue issues with a combo this light.
The 20lb. braid is a little much for the lighter action rods also. You will risk breaking your rod if you pull too hard when breaking off a stuck bait. You will have to wrap your line around your hand.

jim spooner
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Re: Smaller Spinning Reels

Post by jim spooner » Mon Dec 19, 2016 3:41 am

If you feel that you need the weight of a reel to balance a rod, weight added to the butt would give you far better results using considerably less weight.
You shouldn’t be using the rod to apply pressure to a snagged lure, so the rod shouldn’t be at risk. Just grip the spool, point rod at lure and pull.

LymanX
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Re: Smaller Spinning Reels

Post by LymanX » Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:32 am

I wouldn't advise wrapping braid around your hand to free snags.

toddmc
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Re: Smaller Spinning Reels

Post by toddmc » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:06 am

jim spooner wrote:If you feel that you need the weight of a reel to balance a rod, weight added to the butt would give you far better results using considerably less weight.
You shouldn’t be using the rod to apply pressure to a snagged lure, so the rod shouldn’t be at risk. Just grip the spool, point rod at lure and pull.
I use Matagi butt balancers, but any more than a few brass discs starts to feel like too much.
Pulling on a light setup with braid is not good on a reel or the seat either. The lighter seats (SKT) don't have much holding them in place. I wouldn't advise doing this regularly with straight 20lb. braid and the light reels. The spool shafts aren't made to take that much abuse. It's not such an issue with a light leader.
Last edited by toddmc on Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:12 am, edited 3 times in total.

toddmc
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Re: Smaller Spinning Reels

Post by toddmc » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:06 am

LymanX wrote:I wouldn't advise wrapping braid around your hand to free snags.
I wear sun gloves.

mark poulson
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Re: Smaller Spinning Reels

Post by mark poulson » Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:03 pm

toddmc wrote:
LymanX wrote:I wouldn't advise wrapping braid around your hand to free snags.
I wear sun gloves.
So do I, but that doesn't stop it from hurting! :lol:

bigbaitfishing
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Re: Smaller Spinning Reels

Post by bigbaitfishing » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:49 am

jim spooner wrote:Since reel specifications are normally considered when configuring and building spinning rods, it seems reasonable to rethink, or perhaps question the choice of reel if braided line will be used. It’s kind of a “chicken/egg” issue. With the trend toward the use of braided lines (with or without leaders), smaller reels are often a better choice. The larger reels incorporating bigger spool diameters (necessitated by stiffer monofilament/fluorocarbon line), may be an over-kill with the limber braided lines.

It doesn’t make sense to take pains to set up better performing rods with the most efficient guide systems, while keeping weight to a minimum in order to enhance feel/sensitivity only to strap on an over-sized reel. Kinda like a hippo on a race horse. Smaller reels, for obvious reasons, really lend themselves well to the “rapid choke” guide system.

One could argue that bigger reels have better drag systems, but I think most quality spinning reels are more than adequate for the job. I’ve been using 1000 sized reels with up to 20 lb braid for several years and have had no issues whatsoever.
i also use a 1000 size reel (Pflueger 9525) i don't feel the need to ever buy a bigger reel ...

108642
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Re: Smaller Spinning Reels

Post by 108642 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:12 am

I use a small piece of wood (10" piece of broom handle) to wrap line around to pull snags loose. You still need to be careful that the line or lure does not nail you when it comes loose,

Angler JO
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Re: Smaller Spinning Reels

Post by Angler JO » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:07 am

Pairing a reel with a rod layout is often the difference between good and GREAT performance. According to the experts (the Fuji engineers I have had the pleasure of working with for many years now), there are three primary factors to consider in determining the "rough" layout of any rod - and they all have to do with the REEL. Many other factors come into play but the first three things to consider are 1) spool diameter 2) reel height and 3) line choice. These factors will determine first whether a KR Concept or New Guide Concept is appropriate. Once a concept is determined the reel and line will have the most impact on stripper size. (This all assumes you have a basic understanding of choke point positioning based on NGC or KR, which in turn will tell you stripper position. which in turn will result in a finished reduction train where the best performance is obtained)

Stripper size can be elusive because all of the three key considerations above occur along a continuum and combine in an infinite number of variables that can get all the way down to line brand or ambient temperature (splitting hairs, remember). Or like casting 20# braid off of a much smaller spool diameter. It's a balancing act that, in this case, is working very well.

The best real world example might be the KL16H stripper. It has become very popular for 7ft spinners casting braid, mono or fluoro with 2500 series reels. It's small, light and looks good. It falls in a good place on an KR Concept build and it's "cutting edge". The problem with a 16 is that it is always pushing the envelope. A simple line change or a cold day with light mono can degrade the performance of this set-up in a very noticeable way. Because of this limitation we suggest a 16 only for small reels casting braid to 15# and mono or fluoro no larger than 8#. Personally I don't go above 6# mono/fluoro.

So the original question concerning smaller reels with braid is a good one but must be considered in light of height, spool size and line choice. Since the smaller reel will be lower the 16 might be the logical choice but with 20# braid the top choice becomes the size 20. The 20 will handle the braid much better AND offer a wider range of reel and line choices under a wider range of conditions.

Balance is another question and one not considered since every lure change moves the balance point up and down the rod. Obviously, reel choice and line choice have the same effect.
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timinmo
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Re: Smaller Spinning Reels

Post by timinmo » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:37 pm

Two things come to mind pertaining to this discussion. Balance as had been mentioned by others. If you have to add weight to the butt to attain balance are you really gaining by using a smaller reel. I am aware that you would not have to add "much" weight to the butt. The other is retrieve rate. Normally with everything else being equal a larger size reel retrieves more line per handle turn. Many of the pro anglers use 3000 and 4000 reels for this reason. I do use 1000 size reels where appropriate on light rods, I have completely gotten away from 500 size. On rods that I expect to use 6 to 8lb mono on or similar diameter braid I use a 2500 or larger. Just my thoughts.

Susitnasalmonguide
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Re: Smaller Spinning Reels

Post by Susitnasalmonguide » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:53 pm

I agree that better sensitivity and a lighter overall feel can often be attained by using a smaller reel, but as this thread has demonstrated up to this point there are additional considerations as well. Small reels for me generally means down to 2500 size but not smaller. Most of the time I am fishing 30 lb. braid and I want enough line capacity on the spool so that guests can still cast reasonably well -- especially in the event that guests snag up and break off several times during a few trips. I prefer to break off snags rather than spending too much time attempting to free the lure and consequently spooking fish to where they will not bite for extended periods of time.

Fish size and fighting characteristics should also be considered -- for example I have had guests catch large king salmon on size 2500 or 3000 size spinning reels spooled with 30 lb. braid ----- but I've also had multiple experiences where a king salmon made a long fast run, stripping all the line off the reel, and breaking it at the spool knot. It may make a good fish story and a bigger challenge-- but most of my guests would prefer to catch that big hog. Therefore, I usually choose to use at least a 4000 size spinning reel when primarily fishing for king salmon-- or when fishing particularly snaggy water -- or when fishing rivers with strong currents.

Finding the ideal reel size for a particular fishing situation, is always a balance of considerations, and one that should also consider personal preferences. For this reason, the ideal spinning reel size for a particular species, technique, and water body often varies for different folks. Sometimes on my guided trips I am able to cater to individual guests' preferences -- especially if they mention those preferences at least a day before the trip.

I do agree that a lighter built rod -- and the use of modern braided lines that increase reel capacity per line strength -- make it easier to gain a weight / sensitivity advantage with smaller reels.

My personal preference to making a more balanced rod is to build the rod with a longer handle (up to a point) rather than adding balancing weight to the build.

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Re: Smaller Spinning Reels

Post by Snyder Rods » Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:46 am

Smaller and lighter is almost always better. It tends to improve sensitivity, and less weight equals less fatigue which equals more fun.

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Re: Smaller Spinning Reels

Post by fshn4lmt » Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:30 pm

I used to use 2000 size spinning reels,and then all 2500 size-but I only use 3000 size now.I fish tubes a lot for smallmouth,and when you snap them off the bottom violently on slack line often times they grab your bait and swim directly at you,and if you cannot take up a lot of slack quickly you will lose a ton of them.I also carry extra spools,and changing braid to flouro or lb test is quick and efficient.i only own 1 2500 spinning reel now,but it is an r type that has a 3000 size frame.Its sole purpose is 6lb test dragging 2 inch keitech little spiders.I still love the feel of light spinning reels on finesse rods,but I will never go back to the slower ratio again.

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