A Guide to Multiplier Reels

Multiplier reels are most commonly used for Sea fishing. One of the most noticeable differences between a multiplier reel and a fixed spool is that multiplier reels are free spools. Also, The multiplier styled reel most commonly sits on the top of the reel allowing greater casting distances, whereas the fixed spool hangs below the rod instead. 

Multiplier reels usually have large spools which allows for a wider diameter line and a greater length of line for bigger fish. However, casting a multiplier reel can be harder than a regular fixed spool and some anglers can experience many tangles.


The multiplier reel has a free running spool built into a cage like structure. They also have two types of handles, double and single. Unlike fixed spool reels, the angler is unable to swap the handle to the otherside. Most commonly, the multiplier reel should be paired with a rod designed specifically for the type of reel. Rods meant for multipliers will have more and smaller rod rings which can help with casting.


Similar to fixed spool reels, multiplier reels have different sizes for different situations. Generally, the bigger reels are used for either long casting or fishing over sharp and snaggy bottoms as a thicker line can be used. Alternatively, the smaller reels are better for shorter distance fishing or over flat bottoms and less snaggy areas. 

The average ratio for reels is around 4:1 and 6:1. These numbers indicate the rate of retrieval. For a reel with 4:1 means one full rotation of the handle will turn the spool four times. Typically, reels created for fishing over rocky and snaggy bottoms will have a higher ratio so the rig will sit higher in the water during retrieval and will be less likely to snag.



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Some multiplier reels have a built in level wind system which will evenly lay the line onto the spool. However, reels featuring the level wind system will have a slight decrease in the casting distance. This is due to the line having to be moved quickly from one side of the spool to the other. Some experienced anglers believe that reels with the level wind system should only be used by beginners while others believe that the automatic even line lay is worth the loss in distance.  


The star drag is similar to the fixed spool drag systems. It allows the line to be released at a set tension, preventing snaps when playing a larger fish. When storing the reel it's best to lower the tension as it can help the overall lifespan of the reel.

Many multiplier reels have a ratchet feature which is similar to a bite alarm. It will indicate a bite to the angler by making a noise. This feature is typically only used when fishing for larger species. 


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