What are Conventional Reels?
Conventional reels also known as trolling reels are designed for trolling, specifically in catching big fish.
Conventional reels look exactly like baitcasting reels but they differ from each other because of their gear ratio (1:5). It means five turns of the crank generates one turn of the reel’s drum (the spool). Furthermore; we can also say that small diameter line is used with this type of reel. The angler can normally adjust the drag, which provides a simple brake system that stops line from being pulled from the reel if a large or heavy fish runs.
Conventional reels are mostly found in medium sizes for light and heavy lines. They also vary in terms of price but due to their features, they cost more than baitcasting reels. These reels are usually preferred by trollers fishers who need wide-spooled reels capable of holding a lot of fishing lines and good, strong braking systems.
In addition; conventional reels allow free spooling as well as little resistance when reeling thus allowing longer casts. Some conventional fishing reels offer mechanized anti-reverse systems.
The major drawback of this type of reel is that it has no drag mechanism therefore it cannot be used at low speeds when you’re not using a brake system. In addition; the braking system may get stuck sometimes which will cause serious problems when you’re trolling or trying to stop large fish from swimming away with your bait.
Two Types of Conventional (Trolling) Reels
Star Drag Reels
Star Drag reels are used for trolling purposes. As the name implies, these reels have a star shaped drag knob that is used to adjust the tension of the drag. It allows anglers to fine-tune line tension during battle and provides great performance even when fishing heavy lures and baits.
With this type of reel, you can use braided super lines because they provide good strength and durability as well as allow smooth retrieve which is preferred while trolling or pitching. These reels also perform well under both fresh and saltwater conditions therefore they are mostly preferred by professionals or experienced fishers who are looking for great quality gear.
Lever Drag Reels
Lever drag reels are similar to star drag reels. The major difference is that they have a lever drag knob instead of a dial. The operation process is pretty much the same as that of star drag reels, you just need to lift the side-plate before you turn it.
This will help change the resistance level quickly without any interruption in your bait presentation.
While these kinds of reels are very durable, they cannot be used with super lines or braided lines which are preferred by many fishers due to their better strength and smoothness during fishing sessions.
Advantages of Using a Conventional Fishing Reel
The advantages of using a conventional reel for fishing are:
1. Conventional reels allow you to fish very fast with a simple and quick retrieve. However; it is important for fishers to use the proper technique in order to maximize their performance and avoid any problems while fishing or baiting.
2. Compared with most modern fishing reels, conventional reels are more durable and strong enough for repeated usage. These kinds of reels can be used under various weather conditions without facing any issues which is why they are preferred by experienced fishers who have been using this kind of gear throughout their lives.
3. They offer good hook setting power so you won’t miss many strikes while your bait is on its way back home from being trolled. This will increase your chances of catching larger fish which is why these kinds of reels are preferred by many fishers especially in saltwater.
4. Another advantage of using this type of reel is that they are not very expensive which means you can buy them for your kids or start fishing with them without any hesitation. If you don’t have much money to spend on an expensive piece of gear, then a good conventional fishing reel will be the best option for you.
Disadvantages of Using a Conventional Fishing Reel
The disadvantages of using a conventional reel for fishing are:
1. It requires a strong (trolling) rod which means you need to know exactly what strength of rod matches your reel. This is very important while fishing because if you use the wrong combination, then it will be hard for you to take the best out of your conventional reel. Some experienced anglers are not familiar with this kind of system which is why they prefer using other types of reels without caring about their gear’s performance.
2. While using these kinds of reels, fishers have to be careful about their technique in order to avoid any problem during a fishing session. Since there is no brake system or drag knob attached to them, then they cannot stop large fish from swimming away with your bait even if you’re fishing at low speeds.
3. Another disadvantage of using a conventional reel is that it does not perform well under windy conditions which means if you plan to fish in such areas, then this kind of gear will not be the best choice for you.
4. While using these reels, you cannot stop your bait from swimming at high speeds because there is only one knob attached to them that controls speed and other functions. You can never adjust its speed or take it back very quickly.
Prevent Backlash When Using a Conventional Fishing Reel
Backlash can be a major issue while using conventional reels. It happens when the line wraps around the spool due to wind or improper handling of your fishing gear. Since there is no drag system in this reel therefore you cannot control the tension of your line which will lead to losing your hook, lure, or bait.
In addition; you might get into trouble if you’re trolling since it will wreak havoc with your trolling pattern and it could eventually end up scaring all fish from that area for quite some time.
In order to prevent the problem of backlash in conventional reels, one must always pay attention during their fishing session in order to avoid winding an extra line on their reel. This can be done by lifting the bail arm before cranking and paying attention to the length of line that is left on your reel before you restart cranking.
If you notice any extra line after releasing your bail arm, remove the excess by pinching it between two fingers and then re-bait your hook or lure.
Prevention is always better than cure; therefore make sure not to let any extra line accumulate around your spool if possible because this can cause serious problems during your fishing session especially if there are strong winds present in the area which will only make things even worse.
In addition; always use a drag system when trolling since it will help reduce downtime and extend the life of both the lines and reels.
Types of Fish When Using a Conventional Reel
The best fishes to catch when using a conventional reel are:
2. Dorado [mahi mahi]
3. Marlin [blue/black/spearfish]
4. Wahoo [ono]
5. Bigeye tuna [ahi]
Using a conventional reel is also great for freshwater fish such as northern pike and lake trout.
What's The Main Difference Between a Spinning Reel and a Conventional Reel?
The main difference between a spinning reel and a conventional reel is the length and the number of bearings.
A spinning reel has a shorter body compared to conventional reels which means it requires less space so you can use these kinds of reels for fishing in tight spots. The main advantage of using spinning reels is that they are able to perform better under windy conditions than conventional reels which mean you can use them to fish in open water as well as shallow areas.
On the other hand; since they don’t perform as well as conventional gear under low speeds, there is a possibility that you might lose some big fish during your fishing session if your target species/area requires a lot of patience and time.
What's The Difference Between a Baitcaster and a Conventional Reel?
The difference between a baitcaster and a conventional reel is all about the spool.
A baitcaster has a rounder shape compared to conventional reels which means it provides better control when using baits that are not round in shape or lures/hooks that require more tension when using them.
Another thing is that baitcasters provide constant pressure on your line which does not allow it to lock or tangle. This results in the bait/lure moving more naturally compared to conventional reels which have a stop-and-go movement when using lures that are heavy or large.