One of the main reasons I started this blog was to help educate women, and even men, on some of the basics of outdoor activities. Basic vocabulary is sometimes the most important information to know. Because everybody else knows it and uses it and if you don't know it, you can be very confused. I decided to start with most popular types of reels since the Bass Pro Fishing classic starts this week with the reel trade in this weekend (see your local Bass Pro Shop for details). There are several different types of reels and everybody has their own preference.
This first type of reel is a closed face spinning reel. There is a fixed reel inside the nose cone with a button at the bottom of the reel body which releases the line to spool out during the cast. The nose cone lets the line come off straight through the hole at the top of the nose cone. This type of reel is mounted to the top of a rod. This type of reel is very popular as a kids' reel because the nose cone protects all of the spinning parts from little fingers and the button makes casting easier for small hands and short arms. This reel doesn't cast as far as other reels, but is the least prone to tangles and backlashing. Almost all of these reels are right hand retrieve and cannot be changed to left hand retrieve. This is the type of reel I started with as a kid, as did most people.
I prefer an open face spinning reel. This reel has the spool exposed, and no button or nose cone. You have to flip up the bail (the half circular arm) to let the line release on cast. You can see the line spooling off in loops as it leaves the spool. This reel is mounted underneath the rod. In this picture the handle is mounted on the right hand side, only so it would hang on my wall the way I wanted it to. These reels usually have the reel on the left hand side, and most can be changed for right or left hand retrieval. This is probably the most popular reel used today.
The next type of reel is a bait caster. It is a revolving spool reel mounted to the top of the rod. This type of reel is very popular for lure fishing because you can reel in the line at a higher speed. They are available in left hand or right hand retrieve, but cannot be changed like a spinning reel. They are strongest by design. They can be frustrating to use as they get backlashes very easily.
This last type of reel is a type of fly fishing reel. This is a very old and small fly fishing reel in my picture. Fly fishing reels works very differently than any of the other reels. You don't reel in all of the line after every fly fishing cast. We'll get more detailed about how fly fishing works in a later post.
There are other types of reels that we make describe in later posts, but these are some of the most popular and most are ones I have used.