Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Kyle Whitley
When it comes to trout fishing, choosing the right gear ratio is crucial to your success on the water. Let’s look at finding the best gear ratio for trout fishing.
A gear ratio refers to the number of times the spool rotates for each turn of the handle. Different gear ratios are better suited for different types of fishing, and finding the best gear ratio for trout fishing can make a big difference in your catch rate.
Several sources suggest a gear ratio between 5.0:1 and 5.2:1 is ideal for trout fishing. This slower gear ratio allows for a more steady retrieve, often necessary when fishing for trout. You could use a high-speed reel with a 6.0.1 ratio that could still be good for trout fishing.
Choosing the proper gear ratio for your trout fishing setup depends on various factors, including the type of lures you’re using, the depth of the water, and the size of the fish you’re targeting. Trout anglers are like bass anglers and all other types of fishermen. We are always searching for a way to get an advantage to catch more fish.
In this article, we’ll look at the best gear ratios for trout fishing and explore the factors you should consider when choosing the correct gear ratio for your setup.
Understanding Gear Ratio
Gear ratio is an essential factor to consider when choosing a fishing reel. It refers to the number of times the spool rotates for each turn of the handle.
A higher gear ratio means the spool will rotate more times per handle turn, resulting in a faster retrieve. On the other hand, a lower gear ratio indicates that the spool will rotate fewer times per handle turn, resulting in a slower retrieve but more power when reeling in larger fish.
Regarding trout fishing, a gear ratio of 5.0:1 is considered the best. This provides more control during the retrieve and allows for a smoother and more efficient fishing experience when fishing artificial lures.
Factors to Consider
Several factors must be considered when choosing the best gear ratio for trout fishing. These include:
- The type of fishing you plan on doing
- The size of the trout you are targeting
- The variety of lures you will be using
- Your personal preferences
The type of fishing you plan on doing will play a significant role in determining the best gear ratio for your reel. If you plan on using topwater lures and need to retrieve them quickly, a high gear ratio may be more appropriate. However, a low gear ratio may be more suitable for fishing with live or dead bait.
The size of the trout you are targeting is another essential factor to consider. If you target larger trout, a higher gear ratio may be necessary to reel them in quickly. However, a lower gear ratio may be more appropriate for targeting smaller trout.
The type of lures you will use can also impact the best gear ratio for your reel. If you plan on using heavier lures, a higher gear ratio may be necessary to retrieve them quickly. However, a lower gear ratio may be more suitable if you plan on using lighter lures.
Finally, your preferences should also be considered when choosing the best gear ratio for your reel. Some anglers prefer a higher gear ratio for faster retrieves, while others prefer a lower one for more control.
For certain types of lures, like a topwater, lipless crankbait, jerk style bait, I like to have a reel that is a little faster ratio trout reel to keep up with the lure, especially if you are working the lure fast.
I like slower ratios when using baits that might be down in the water column, like a deep-diving crankbait. Or you are slowing down the presentation for sluggish fish.
Ideal Gear Ratio for Trout Fishing
When it comes to trout fishing, selecting the right gear ratio is crucial for a successful catch. The gear ratio determines how many times the spool rotates for each full turn of the handle.
According to our research, a gear ratio of between 5.0:1 to 5.2:1 is well suited for trout fishing. This gear ratio allows for a slow retrieve, which is usually the most effective technique for targeting trout.
While higher gear ratios can provide faster retrieves, they may not be as effective for catching trout. It’s essential to remember that the ideal gear ratio can vary depending on the fishing conditions and the type of bait or lure being used.
You Don’t Need a Super Fast Cranking Reel
When it comes to trout fishing, a powerful cranking reel is unnecessary. Most modern spinning reels have the essential power and torque to bring in smaller trout without extra cranking power.
The slow gear ratio of this type of reel can be beneficial, as it provides more power when fighting a trout, but there is usually no need for this gearing with trout fishing. With 4lb line typically used for trout fishing matches, winching them in is simply overkill and can increase the risk of breaking or gear failure due to the amount of strain put on the reel and rod.
There are always exceptions to any general rule regarding fishing, and this is especially true with trout fishermen. In some cases, such as catching larger fish or streamer fishing on thicker lines, a low-ratio, high-power crank might be handy – primarily due to personal preference rather than actual necessity.
However, suppose you plan to use your gear primarily for targeting smaller trout. In that case, the extra power provided by these reels is likely unwarranted and may even cause issues down the road with frequently exposed higher amounts of wear and tear.
Conclusion: Best Gear Ratio for Trout Fishing
Choosing the correct gear ratio for trout fishing can significantly improve your chances of success. Based on our research, a gear ratio of between 5.0:1 to 5.2:1 is well suited for trout fishing.
It’s essential to keep in mind that gear ratio is not the only factor to consider when choosing a fishing reel. Other factors, such as drag system, line capacity, and reel size, should also be considered.
Ultimately, the best gear ratio for trout fishing depends on your preference and fishing style. Experiment with different gear ratios and find the best one for you.