What You Need to Know About Gear Ratio

What You Need to Know About Gear Ratio
The new Abu Garcia Revo Rocket has a 10.1:1 gear ratio. (Photo by Scott Bernarde)

gear ratio
The new Abu Garcia Revo Rocket has a 10.1:1 gear ratio. (Photo by Scott Bernarde)

Abu Garcia raised eyebrows at ICAST 2018 with the release of the new Revo Rocket baitcaster with a 10.1:1 gear ratio. So, how important is gear ratio for your fishing?

With new cutting-edge, high gear ratio reels like Abu Garcia's ultra-fast Revo Rocket hitting the market, it's a good time to review how to choose the best ratio for your style of fishing.

Technological advances in baitcasting reels are opening up some newly fine-tuned options for serious anglers to present and retrieve baits with maximum efficiency.

Case in point: Revo Rocket, a baitcaster that has an astonishing 10.1:1 gear ratio. It's not that no one figured out how to build gears with a 10:1 ratio before this century. But to make those gears tough enough and to build a reel around them that handles the strain and keeps working is new.

Revo Rocket is Fast, Tough

Fast gear ratio reels are the most efficient choice for anglers who are presenting baits at relatively defined target areas, or are fishing a bait primarily worked by moving the rod tip, or fishing baits that are being "ripped" quickly, or using baits that are fished in heavy cover where getting the fish into open water immediately upon hookset is helpful.

Some examples of baits that match well to a fast gear ratio are jigs, big worms, Texas rigs, Carolina rigs, jerkbaits, lipless crankbaits, and topwaters.

The extremely fast line uptake of fast reels does three things for anglers.

In the case of worm anglers who may be fishing cover or structure at some distance from the boat, once the bait has been fished through the area that a strike is likely to occur, the bait can be reeled in very quickly, and hence the next cast can be made quickly. Over the course of the day, that can greatly increase the amount of time your bait spends effectively fishing.

In the case of baits that are jerked or otherwise fished in short movements with a twitch of the rod, the fast reel allows instant slack uptake, not only allowing for better contact with the bait, but a better chance to get a firm hookset.

Finally, for flipping, pitching and other heavy-cover applications, extremely fast reels are very helpful in horsing bass out of the brush. The Revo Rocket, for example, brings in 41 inches of line in one turn of the reel. Between rod movement on the hookset and the first turn of the reel handle, that bass has got to move and move right now.

Leverage Your Strengths

For anglers who take their recreational fishing seriously, it can pay to use the best reel type for your style of fishing. You might not need every reel ever made, but you will catch more fish with less effort if you make an effort to match reel ratio to the kind of fishing you love to do.

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