The Composition Structure Of Fishing Reels

The Composition Structure Of Fishing Reels

A fishing reel is a mechanical device that holds and spools out a fishing line. It comes with a brake to slow down running fish, a handle that can help in retrieving a line, and a bracket to fasten the fishing reel to the rod.

Choosing the right fishing line ultimately depends on the kind of fishing rod that you are using the reel with. Hence, it is essential to be aware of the kinds of fishing reels and their applications so that you use the one that is apt for your application.  

Parts of a fishing reel

If you are keen on becoming a professional angler, then it is important to be aware of the different parts of a fishing reel and the purpose that each part serves.  

Parts of a fishing reel

Reel body

The housing or the reel body refers to the main component of the fishing reel. The body comprises a support arm, a foot connecting to the rod, and the gearbox housing.  Most reel bodies are made either from aluminum or graphite. Aluminum is preferred as it is stronger but the drawback is that it is also heavier and is not apt for saltwater conditions. Graphite would make a good choice if you are considering a reel for saltwater fishing owing to its corrosion-resistant qualities.   

Fishing reel handle

The handle is one of the most important parts of a fishing reel. As the handle is rotated by hand for retrieving the line back to the rod after making a cast, it needs to be smooth and comfortable to hold. Most of the reel handles available today are either T-bar or round-shaped. They can be operated either by left or right hand depending on the socket you use for securing the handle to the body of the reel.

Fishing reel handle


The gear is the major component present in a fishing reel. The moment you turn the handle, the gears engage and assist with either fighting or luring a fish. The amount of pressure that gears can put depends on the quality and the design. All premium quality reels come with helically machined gears that create a more efficient and quality product in the end.

The gears in a fishing reel are usually set to a particular ratio or speed. This implies, if the gear ratio of a fishing reel is 5:2:1 then for every turn of the handle, the rotor will turn 5.2 times. The ratio can be as fast as 7 and as slow as 3. Gears are constructed from machined and cast metals of which brass is a favorite. Brass gears are super strong and lightweight.   


Fishing reel bearings are located through the baitcasting and spinning reel wherever there is a need for the components to rotate. They serve the rotation of spools, knobs, gears, and even wind devices. Without bearings, the operation wouldn’t be any smooth and an enjoyable experience as it is today. All high-grade reels rely on precision, stainless steel radial ball bearings. Their deep-groove construction helps in accommodating both axial and radial loads in fishing reels.   

Caster foot

The reel foot serves as the bridging point between the reel and the rod. It is a crucial part as it fits the reel body securely so that both components stay firm during the swift action of a cast and can withstand the tension of a fighting fish on the retrieve. The standard foot in a reel is rectangularly shaped and seems like an extension of the reel body itself as it is made from the same material.   


The spool is the part of the reel that holds the fishing line and also plays a crucial role in ensuring the smoothness of operation and in casting distance. Most spools are made from either graphite or anodized aluminum. Graphite is lighter while aluminum spools offer greater strength. The most striking feature of the spool is the drag adjustment knob that looks like a dial. You can use it to control the operations.  


Drag is an important feature and all anglers need to be aware of it. It refers to an added pressure that a fish has to overcome to pull out the line. It is constructed in such a way that friction plates are installed in the reel. The anglers can set it by turning the knob on the reel. Each reel comes with a maximum drag which is stated in pounds or kilograms.  

The working principle of fishing reels

The working principle of fishing reels

There are different kinds of fishing reels but their working principle is the same. Here is an example of how a spinning reel works as it is preferred by both beginners and experienced anglers. A spinning reel comes with several different parts – an open face and a fixed spool. A fixed spool stays in place while casting and the fishing line is unwrapped from it. These reels are easy to use and are suitable for smaller fish as they work well with smaller baits.   

Spinning reels come with a bail wire and a small line roller attached to them. This guides the line while reeling in. the bail is the crucial part as it keeps the line in place and lowers the possibility of a knot while using a fishing reel. For casting, you need to flip the bail up for releasing the line and allow it to unwrap. For retrieving, you need to close the bail and rotate the handle slowly. The difference in different kinds of fishing reels lies in the spools, the line release, and the retrieve mechanisms.  


Anglers need to be aware of what a fishing reel is, its parts, and how it works. Understanding the working principles and differences is important as it will help you choose the best reel type and size for your requirements. Though reels may seem like complex structures with several internal working parts, you need to be aware of the basics to gauge and compare their performance. This will keep you on top of the game and upgrade to the best fishing reel available for your fishing adventures.