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Old 01-30-10, 08:40 PM   #1
nofearengineer
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Default Topwater Reel Gear Ratio?

I have one last reel I'm planning to buy. I'm going to put it on a 6'6" Medium, Fast Action rod, with 10lb mono. I want to use it for spooks, sammys, poppers, etc. I haven't done this a lot, but it would seem to me a 7.1:1 ratio (Revo STX HS) would be better than a 6.4:1 ratio (Revo STX). Not that you need a fast retrieve, but since all of your focus should be on your right hand, and the working of the bait, the less cranking you're doing the better.

Sound right? Anything I'm not considering?
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Old 01-30-10, 08:56 PM   #2
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It is easier to slow up a retrive for agressive fish short strking a topwater then to force a faster retrive for me. I do not throw buzz baits or spinner baits but i throw Jitterbugs and a lot of other topwaters, if that helps

What I also do is keep a worm hooked up on a second rod, if the fish are chasing and or missing the top water, but are still agressive a worm to that same area will frequesntly do the trick
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Old 01-30-10, 09:42 PM   #3
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Good topic Nofear, I don't use a baitcaster for topwater or jerkbaits, but I can't see where a 7.1:1 would that important because you don't have get out them out of cover in a hurry and usually the rod is doing the work on the retrieve. The hookups aren't great all the time either so you don't need to horse them to the boat. Buzzbaits I understand because the reel helps do the work.

I want to hear what some of the other guys think.
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Old 01-30-10, 09:45 PM   #4
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I actually use a 5.4:1 gear ratio reel for my topwater baits (spooks, poppers, prop baits) but for buzzbaits, I use a 7.1:1 gear ratio reel, both are BPS Rick Clunn reels.

On a side not, I recommend a higher pound test line for topwater baits, i use 12-14 lb. mono, it helps keep the bait floating a little better.

Ryan
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Old 01-30-10, 10:04 PM   #5
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I actually use a 7.1:1 on all off my topwater. My reason for this is because of the amount of slack that most top water techniques have. I like being able to take up the slack in a hurry.
My preferred reel is the JM elite. Since it is my only true topwater reel, I like the dual braking system.
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Old 01-30-10, 10:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cassidyta View Post
I actually use a 7.1:1 on all off my topwater. My reason for this is because of the amount of slack that most top water techniques have. I like being able to take up the slack in a hurry.
My preferred reel is the JM elite. Since it is my only true topwater reel, I like the dual braking system.
My thoughts exactly, Cass. I was also considering the difference in weight between a big ol' Spook and some of the lighter poppers. That dual braking could be important, allowing you to switch from centrifugal for the heavier ones to the magnetic on the lighter ones. That's one reason I like the STX so much.
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Old 01-30-10, 10:20 PM   #7
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If you use the rod, with short but sweeping back pulls instead of jerk, you can eliminate a lot of slack issues, once you get the movement, you never forget it and slack line can become a non issue
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Old 01-30-10, 11:00 PM   #8
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This is a question that I have never give a lot of consideration. I have used a 6.3:1 reel in the past probably because it is what I have the most of. I think that if you stayed with a 6.3 or 7.0 reel would would be ok. I would think that the rod and line might be more important than the reel in this case.
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Old 01-30-10, 11:18 PM   #9
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I have used my 7.x:1 curado for top water and I really like it for walking the dog. I tend to make super long casts too, I think far enough that my starting gear ratio might be less, perhaps closer to 6x:1 at the start of the retrieve.
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Old 01-30-10, 11:38 PM   #10
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I mainly use a 7:1 with a 30" retrieve per turn. When I am jerking a spook or jerkbait. It is pretty much perfect for half a turn and a good rhythm between twitches for me. I see what Muddy is saying, but it is hard to break old habits. I might have to slow down and give it a try.
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Old 01-31-10, 12:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddy View Post
If you use the rod, with short but sweeping back pulls instead of jerk, you can eliminate a lot of slack issues, once you get the movement, you never forget it and slack line can become a non issue

I agree that the slack can be alleviated in a walk the dog retrieve. But For me I also find myself doing a lot of dead sticking with my topwater. It may be after the inital cast or sometimes in the middle of the retrieve.

The physics of it might not be as important as I am making it out to be, but in my mind the higher ratio helps...
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Old 01-31-10, 12:54 AM   #12
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For top water, i truly don't think the ratio really matter. i mean it is on TOP right? You can actually see the bait out ther on the water. BUT...... i use a 7:1 speed reel, used to use a 5:2.1. I can't tell the difference since i use the rod more on my retrieve than the reel.
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Old 01-31-10, 01:15 AM   #13
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This is a great topic, you don't hear people talk too often about what speed of reel should be used topwater. As far as I know there is no hard and fast rule for this, I think it's more of a try and decide deal because there is really no reason why you shouldn't use any speed reel. However I use 7.1:1 almost always and if I am using a lot of topwater baits and all my 7.1:1 reels are full and I still need more I will go to a slower reel for topwater as well. I will say this, the fast 7.1:1 reel is handy at getting a buzzbait to the surface quick or if I am trying to fish a specific target like a stickup or something I can work the bait past the target and then burn it in and re-cast faster with the high speed reel. As for baits like Sammy's, Spooks, Chug-bugs, ect. I don't see where it would make much difference because you can slow down plenty with that style of retrieve, but a faster reel will take up line much faster if a fish hits the bait and takes off swimming at you.
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Old 01-31-10, 02:02 AM   #14
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Well, like I said, I'm not really worried about the gear ratio affecting the retrieve as much as the cadence, like Cassidy mentioned. I think it would be helpful if your cranking hand could be in somewhat of a consistent position on each back/forward of the rod. Like obviously, if each jerk of the spook caused 15" of slack, and your reel took in 30" per turn, then you would be in a repeatable sequence as far as where the crank handle was.

I'm probably over-thinking this, but thinking is free, while the wrong reel can cost you re-stocking fees.
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Old 01-31-10, 03:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nofearengineer View Post
I'm probably over-thinking this, but thinking is free, while the wrong reel can cost you re-stocking fees.
Thinking can also be dangerous.
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Old 01-31-10, 04:20 AM   #16
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Nofear with all the good deals you get on ebay you could always buy 2 different and sell the one you don't want here.
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Old 01-31-10, 10:23 AM   #17
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I like a 7.1 for the simple fact you can slow it down a lot more easy than you can speed up a 5.3.
That's just my opinion.
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Old 01-31-10, 10:24 AM   #18
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I've been using a 6.3:1 just fine, but I think a 7:1 would work better.

Like you said, less reeling. Also, if you're fishing frogs, you can get the fish out of the weeds faster before it has a good chance to bury it self.

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Old 01-31-10, 11:07 AM   #19
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For topwater, the only advantage I can see with the 7:1 ratio over the 6.3:1 would be the ability to reel up the slack line quicker while working the lure. However, a 6.3:1 reel is going to be a fairly fast retrieve. There is an increase of 4 inches of line recovery per turn of the handle with the 7:1 in the STX reels, so if taking up the slack while working the bait is important to you then the 7:1 ratio would be the way to go. But, as far as taking up slack quickly when setting the hook, that could be problematic for some. The reason for this is that most people who have trouble with catching bass on top water try to set the hook to fast. Any good topwater fisherman will give that bass a bit of hesitation before setting the hook or risk yanking it away from the bass before he's really got it.
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Old 01-31-10, 11:22 AM   #20
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Keiths dog said:Any good topwater fisherman will give that bass a bit of hesitation before setting the hook or risk yanking it away from the bass before he's really got it.

Agreed!!!!!!
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Old 01-31-10, 11:43 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cassidyta View Post
I actually use a 7.1:1 on all off my topwater. My reason for this is because of the amount of slack that most top water techniques have. I like being able to take up the slack in a hurry.
My preferred reel is the JM elite. Since it is my only true topwater reel, I like the dual braking system.
Exactly, and also a lot of times on topwater baits they hit them coming at the boat, and it is good to have that speed to "catch" up with the fish JMHO
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Old 01-31-10, 12:19 PM   #22
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I agree with kory on using a 7:1.1 for buzzbaits, it is easier to bring the buzz to the top with a faster speed reel. This is a good topic that i haven't seen here for a long time.
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Old 02-01-10, 01:08 PM   #23
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A Spook is a big heavy bait. If you are jerking the bait or walking the dog the reel's gear ratio isn't going to make much real difference. However if you are cranking a bait like a deep diver that blocks a lot of water, those high gear reels can wear your wrist out.

Having said that, in my opinion, a lot of this talk of reel gearing is just Madison Avenue hoopla. We need to look at how much line is actually retrieved per turn of the crank. In the past round body reels like the venerable Abu C3, with about 5.3 : 1 gears were considered crankbait reels. Perhaps the new low profile designs have smaller spools that need a boost in gear ratio to pick-up a decent length of line per turn. Higher gears could mean more resistance, and harder cranking...
Now it is a fact that Advertisers and salesmen always brag about problems. If your reel is slower, it's a winch that will drag in the big ones! If it's faster, it's a burner that will pick up line quickly! If it's in the middle, it's an all-around-man, who won't wear you out, but still moves your bait quickly. See what I mean? Every problem becomes an advantage...
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Old 02-01-10, 04:24 PM   #24
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I use 6:3:1 for EVERTHING. I don't like switching ratios and trying to "relearn" on the go.
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Old 02-01-10, 05:42 PM   #25
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Quote:
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I use 6:3:1 for EVERTHING. I don't like switching ratios and trying to "relearn" on the go.
There is something to be said for that. I saw where Rick Clunn said he used the same type of rod for every thing he fishes with. I think it was a 7' medium heavy rod.

I don't think there is a right or a wrong answer. I believe it is what you are comfortable with.
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