How to Use a Shakespeare Spinning Reel

Shakespeare manufactures a range of reels suitable for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.

The Shakespeare Sigma reels perform well for freshwater fishing while the Agility reels are designed for a sturdy and durable saltwater spinning reel.

Most of the models come in various sizes, including 20, 30, and 40.

Choosing the correct size for your target fish is very important and determines how successful your trip will be.

Generally, Shakespeare rods are designed to provide you with decent performance at an affordable price.

There are three main things you should understand about using a spinning reel, but first, you should understand what a spinning reel is.n

The Basics of a Spinning Reel

Spinning reels are also known as open-face reels, and they are mounted just beneath the rod.

They come with a fixed spool, so it doesn’t rotate, and this makes them resistant against the wind.

They’re called “spinning” because it’s the rotor that spins around the spool to lay the line evenly back on it.

Since the spool sits in line with the length of the rod, it comes off at an odd angle, consequently reducing the distance of casts in comparison to baitcasters.

The reel itself consists of a reel foot that holds the reel in place, the main body where the internal gear is, the spool, bail, rotor, drag adjustment dial, line roller, and grip knob.

Spinning reels are the ultimate best when it comes to enabling anglers to use lighter lures needed for high-precision fishing.

And although they’re easier to work with, they still have some complex working mechanisms that you should understand to optimize their performance.

The Cast

Casting with a spinning reel has a bit of a learning curve, and it will take you some time to reach the distance you want to cast with sufficient accuracy.

Although it may seem tempting to overpower the cast, this will only cause your line to get tangled up and messy on your spool.

To cast properly, you should use your index finger to pull the line a little above the bail and line roller and then bring it back to the rod

With the other hand, open the bail and give yourself a “free spool” where the line can leave with no resistance.

Afterward, it’s basically the same as casting any rod and reel. When it’s time to release the line, just move it from your index finger.

Once the lure hits the water, the line will stop leaving the spool as it’s a fixed one –unlike on a baitcaster.

The process is simple but requires practice. After a while and enough repetition, you’ll get the hang of it.

The Drag

Spinning reels have a stacked drag system that consists of washers made from various materials.

You can adjust the drag by a dial that you use to increase or decrease the amount of pressure released by the washers on the spool.

The dial is easily found on top of the spool facing out towards the end of the pole.

Turning it clockwise will tighten the pressure and make it harder to pull the line off the spool while counterclockwise will do the opposite.

Being aware of the pressure setting and knowing how to use it will increase the possibility of your success in reeling the fish in.

The fewer times your line breaks, the more efficient your fishing becomes.

Avoiding and Dealing with Line Twists

You can't completely eliminate line twists, but you can avoid them as much as possible.

If your line twists while it's slacking, it results in an entanglement that is quite tough to deal with. These wrap around the spool as well as various other parts of the reel.

The good news is, there are a couple of things you can do to reduce the amount of line twist with your spinning reel.

Firstly, you can spool the line onto the reel in the same direction that the manufacturer’s line was spun onto the spool.

The second thing you can do is to double-check that the line is tight when you manually close the bail after casting. Try giving a few quick reels with a tight line.

Thirdly, you should change your line after several outings or every other month if it’s been just sitting around in your garage.

Final Thoughts

While it’s true that they aren’t as light or sensitive as higher-end rods, but they’ll do the job.

If you’re looking for something durable, check out the “Ugly Stick” line as these can take some rough treatment but stay intact.

I’d recommend these for someone who’s looking for affordable fishing gear and is okay with average performance.

Justin Anderson

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