Salmon Spinning & Bait Reels - Tackle Tips

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Reels - Multiplier or Fixed Spool



There are two types of reel on offer - multipliers and fixed spool reel and each type has its devotees. If you are just starting to fish the best advice is to stick to the fixed spool type as it is easier to learn.


Which ever you chose it should be capable of holding around 200 yards of line from 15-20lb test. That means it has to be of a decent size. Correction - it needs to be BIG.




Fixed Spool Reels


Multiplier Reels

This type has an axle or post which points in the same direction as the rod around which the spool rotates. Line is gathered by a bail arm which moves in an out laying the line in nice clean loops. To make a cast you open the bail arm and hold the line with your finger tip and let go at the right moment. Line simply strips off the spool as the bait flies out.

They are very easy to use and inexpensive.

The key disadvantage of a fixed spool is that they are less strong than the multiplier variety. The post is unsupported at one end - often where most pressure is applied. Another other weak spot is the bail arm itself, especially the roller over which the line runs. Most breakages occur when the angler gets stuck on the bottom and gives a good heave to recover the lure. Its much better to lay the rod down and pull the line itself or use an otter board to release the snag.

Anther nice thing about fixed spool reels is that you can easily change spools. This makes it possible to carry spares and different line strengths. Spools need to be deep to carry the amount of line you will need.


Here the post lies perpendicular to the direction of the rod. Thus it is supported at both ends. If you look at a deep sea fishing boat all the rods will use multipliers - some of them huge. This is because of the added strength the design gives. Some multipliers have a guide to lay the line neatly other you have to rely on guiding the line back onto the spool when retrieving. There is no bail arm either. To make a cast you press the spool with your thumb and let go at the right moment.

Multipliers are about twice the cost of fixed spool reels and for the inexperienced they can be a nightmare.

The key disadvantage of the multiplier is that it can be difficult to use for the novice. When casting the spool rotates at very high speed. It actually throws the line off the reel. This can cause a problem at the end of the cast. You have to remember to stop the spool with your thumb. If you forget the spool keeps going and a huge tangle of line known as a "crows nest" results.

However once you have mastered the trick of stopping the spool just as or before the bait hits the water this disadvantage turns into an advantage. Because the spool is actively throwing off line you can cast a little further with a multiplier.

Not all multipliers are designed for casting - so be careful.







Fixed spool reels use disk clutches either mounted on the face of the reel or at the rear. Both work well, but you must remember to set the clutch before you start fishing.


Multipliers usually come with a star drag. These are more effective than other types, particularly at higher breaking strains. You must remember to set the clutch before you start fishing




Left or right hand


Left or right hand

Most can be switched easily


Chose before you buy, but remember that when casting and retrieving the reel is held on top of the rod - not underneath as with fixed spool.




Gear Speed


Gear Speed

Nice to have but not essential. The higher the ration the faster the line comes back.


Nice to have but not essential. The higher the ration the faster the line comes back.




Paul's Personal Choice


Paul's Personal Choice

I have tried the lot. They all work. Basically you pay for what you get.


The Abu Ambassasadeur 7000c. Have had this reel for many years and its a real diamond. A little more expensive than some, but well worth it for the extra strength and durability. I use it for all sorts of fishing salmon spinning, trolling and harling and its even been used on an uptide rod!


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