How To:

Spinners Or Conventional?

Author: Jaren Luke

Spinners Or Conventional Reels For Kayak Fishing?

For trolling setups both the conventional and the spinner reel are capable of landing pelagic fish on the kayak. One of the reasons that the conventional reel works well for me is when I get tired fighting bigger fish or sharks, I can lay the pole down on my leg and rest my back. Also while fighting fish, the reel is on top of the pole so the reels and my cranking hand do not hit my legs. The way that I troll my live baits is that I set the reel in free spool with the ratchet on and I rubber band the line to the reel handle. This allows the fish to run and swallow the bait with the least resistance until I set the hook. The same technique also works for the spinner reel but the line free spooling off the spinner doesn’t make any noise signaling how fast the fish is swimming away. 

I use spinner reels specifically for my bait jigging setups but I know many fishermen that use it for trolling with awesome results. Some of them are not used to using conventional reels so they don’t want the extra task of guiding the line in while they crank the reel. This is especially valuable to them when fighing onos or wahoo. Onos tend to make a lightning fast and hard first run then run straight back to the kayak. If one doesn’t crank line in fast enough, they risk the hook falling out of the onos bony mouth. The reason I use the spinner for my bait jigging setup is there is no chance of backlash. When I find a bait pile, I flip the bail and let the line sink down to the desired depth while I am slowing my kayak and stowing my paddle. Once all that is complete I can grab my rod and stop the line. I hope this gives some newer anglers more insight to the pros and cons of each style of reel to choose. Aloha. 

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