Baitcaster Gear Ratio | Best All-Around Gear Ratio For Baitcaster

3.2:1, 5.7:1, 6.8:1, 10.1:1… and the numbers kept increasing which intrigued various baitcasting manufacturers as to how the new reels are being made with such breathtaking baitcaster gear ratios? And there’s you who don’t even know what these numbers even mean. Well, don’t worry, we are all here to help you with that by taking you on a tour to explore what exactly is a baitcasting gear ratio, what do numbers mean, and how to choose the right gear ratio for your reel.

Baitcaster Gear Ratio

Technological advancements have brought about various changes into the baitcasting gear ratios as we see them from the 90z era, it was just a few options for the ratios and you have to go with that without even a second thought. Thanks to the blessings of technology, we now have to consider all ins and outs to consider this littlest component because the slightest mistake can make negative changes to your reel. So let’s just begin.

What is a baitcaster gear Ratio? Baitcaster Gear Ratio Explained

Basically, a reel gear ratio is the “speed” of the baitcaster at which it works. In detail, it a certain speed value expressed in numbers which denote the spool turns for every handle turn. It involves the retrieving as well which will allow you to determine how fast or how slow you will be able to crank. 

What does the number mean?

Gear ratios are always expressed in numbers with a separating colon between them. Let us give you an example; if we take a reel that says “gear ratio: 5.1:1” in which the first expression before the colon as 5.1 denotes that the spool will rotate 5.1 times and while the 1 calls for the one per handle turn. 

Usually, the range is 5.1:1 to 9.1:1 before the arrival of Abu Garcia Revo baitcast reels that go beyond 10.1:1 which is currently the highest gear ratio in the baitcasting reels up till now. 

How to choose the right gear ratio for the reel?

Choosing the right Gear Ratio

Here we have divided the casting reel gear ratios into three categories which will help you decide which one you wanna go with based on your fishing technique. In addition, these categories will help you decide the fishing technique, lures and baits, and the game fish you can target with the reel.

Baitcaster Gear Ratio Chart

CategoryLow-speed gear ratioMedium-speed gear ratioHigh-speed gear ratio
Baitcaster Gear Ratio5.1 – 6.17.5 – 9.17.5 – 9.1

Slow: (5.1 – 6.1)

A low gear ratio baitcasting reels between 5.1 – 6.1 are by far the best choice for beginner to start their fishing career. These are more persistent and give you more edge to smoothly retrieve whatever fish you target. The most common types of lures and baits to be used with these reels are;

  • Swimbaits
  • Spinnerbaits
  • Crankbaits

Besides, they are the best reels for crank baiting and they are actually quite famous for that. They are also used by professional anglers for their classic interface and power as they help with retrieving the bigger fish smoothly and easily.

Medium: (6.2 – 7.4) Best All-Around Gear Ratio For Baitcaster

Medium baitcaster is bass fishing reels and that is all the introduction you’ll need to know about this specific range. Well, they also give an edge for medium-fast fishing techniques where a complete slow reel is ineffective and a total fast will make the fish runway (such that in spinner baiting). Besides, they are the best all-around gear ratio for baitcaster they allow you with the number of lures to be used with them which includes;

  • Spinnerbaits
  • Crankbaits
  • Umbrella rigs
  • Jerkbaits topwater

Fast: (7.5 – 9.1) High-Speed Baitcast Reels

The gear ratio starts from 7.5 to onwards is the fast range gear ratio. In fact, many anglers also count the fast reels from 7.1 under high-speed baitcaster because of the high-medium speed. Though, these are the best reels for flipping and pitching. Other than that, the fast baitcasting reel ratio also speeds up the casting and retrieving process giving you more time to have more fish on your bucket. These reels are also effective in fishing under heavy covers where speed is the most essential factor. Likewise, these provide the best gear ratio for plastic worms.

Well, here are the lures and bait techniques you can enjoy with faster gear ratios.

  • Texas rigs
  • Worms
  • Carolina rigs
  • Topwater baits
  • Jerk baits

Previously, they were understood as ineffective for the heavy fishing games because of the less resistance. However, with the help of technology, faster reels can also retrieve bigger fish by giving the required pressure so you can opt for them for fast and heavier techniques.

Wrapping up:

What makes the reel perfect is 90% the gear ratio and that being said, it becomes mandatory for you to pay extra attention to the gear part because it is where the efficiency of the reel lies, it is the factor that decides the fishing technique and it is on which your whole fishing game is dependant on. Make sure, you are counting every ins and ods while considering the baitcaster gear ratio, and don’t forget, “faster is not always better unless matched with your fishing technique”. Good luck!

Clinton Shannon

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