Parts of The Spinning Reel Explained | Ultimate Guide for Beginners

Choosing a spinning reel may be challenging if you do not understand how all the reel’s components function for different fishing styles.

To buy the perfect fishing reel. whether it is a spinning reel, baitcasting reel,spincast reel, or a fly reel. You need to understand the main parts of it.

This won’t only help you get the fishing reel that suits you best, but will also take your fishing experience, to the next level. as a result, you will be capturing greater fish. and that’s what you are looking for, right?

In this ultimate guide for beginners, you will find everything you need to know before purchasing a new cutie spinning reel.

Parts of The Spinning Reel Explained  Ultimate Guide for Beginners

To make it easy for you to understand the fishing reel parts, we made two sections. internal parts section and external parts one.

The Internal Parts of a Spinning Reel

1-Drag System

All kinds of fishing reels have a drag system. Its function is the pressure setting, that controls the roll of the reels. you can picture it as a grab or braking system.

It employs hard and fast multitask disc washers. At the same time, it helps the pressure get elevated or released while decreased.

Its purpose is to let the fishing cord unwind in a controllable way off the reel spool. Simultaneously, the fish pulls the bait that the rod is at risk of breaking.

It must be set tight enough for a hook set. Yet, it must be loose enough to retrieve the fishing cord without any more tension.

Baitcaster reel, Trolling, and Spincast reel uses a star-shaped wheel. Placed on the reel handle referred to as a star drag. Settings change through turning the wheel to the correct tension.

Spinning reels have many styles of drag. The front and the rear drag. The front usually pulls smoother than the rear. The front features more prominent, multiple disc drag washers. providing better efficiency and durability degree.

The rear makes use of the employed pressure at the power shaft. Rear systems can also additionally provide convenience and straightforwardness of use.

However, they do not withstand pulling huge fish. And challenging situations like the front reels models.

Lever function on excessive-end (expensive) trolling and baitcasting. Lever pulls the tension to be adjusted in extra unique smaller increases of speed.

Which supplies a smoother fish pulling line back, challenging overall performance.

As a rule, look at your drag before your first cast. Retrieve the line together along with your hand when you have a first-rate quantity of challenges.

In situations where you hook an excellent-sized fish, they need to be adjusted. And elevated as you sense the fish’s size.

When storing your spinning reel, you better go into reversing the drag setting. as leaving the settings tight will propel the washers to be flat. which might decrease the tension ability.

2-Gear Box

Gears are one of the most neglected parts of a spinning reel. However, they are important in supporting the motion of spins and preventing nasty cord breaks.

Circular steel parts that sit in the reel frame, gears are made out of zinc, brass, or aluminum. Stainless steel additionally sits at the premium end materials.

In fact, Gears play an essential function in figuring out the key feature of gear ratio. This is something that anglers pay much interest to.

Because it determines what number of rotations of the cord roll, and a single switch on the spin handle goes to deliver.

Sturdier gear mechanisms feature a thicker gearbox. It is permitting the weight to be distributed over a more significant surface area. For instance, when challenging a heavyweight of your catch like a brass.

However, thin and slim gears may not have enough power to retrieve the brass. Most anglers prefer that.

In contrast to the bait casting reel, which has a rotating spool after you turn the handle. A spinning reel has a hard and fast onto the spool. And the bail rotates around the cord roll while you turn the handle.

In a spinning reel, the gear ratio shows the number of times the lure rotates around the cord roll. By turning the reel’s handle once.

This means that a 6:1 gear ratio indicates that every time you rotate the handle for one time. The lure turns for 6 times around the line spool.

What are the different popular gear ratios?

  • The 4:1  gear ratio is classified as a slow swift. As its rotation around the spool is short on length when you turn the handle once. It provides a premium advantage for challenging large species of fish. As it supplies more pulling ability.
  • 7:1  gear ratio offers a higher shifting speed, which enables a faster bait retrieval.
  • 5:1  gear ratio is classified as a medium speed.

It is recommended to get a slow and high gear ratio speed to serve all your fishing types. If you can get many spinning reels.

3-Bail Bearings

A ball bearing is a fundamental part of a spinning reel. That facilitates easing up the casting mechanism. It is constructed to enable moving the fishing cord on and off the spool.

The bail bearings decrease the counter-backs problems seen on other rods. Such as baitcasting by ensuring that the fishing cord does not get out of control off the spool. As the bail arm is adjusted downwards.

The ball bearings are placed on the fishing reel body in front of the spool and could be both switched by hands up and down.

Today’s bail arm is a thin metal part fixed to the main spinning reel body. The best-crafted rods have to include a component that is simple to open.

And shut, that is sturdy enough to hold up with frequent use and features little resistance.

All standard fishing reels include whichever ball bearings. Or a bushing built inside the reel to deploy the spool.

It is a common thought that the more amount bearings in a fishing rod. The softer the deployment of it and the more expensive it.

However, you need to understand that the extra amount of bearings. This does not mean that the operation will be softer.

Spinning reel manufacturers register the total number of bail bearings. They are included in the rod. Not the kind or the quality of the bail.

For instance, 2 balls bearing reel equipped with high endurance. And fine quality construction sealed with steel bearings.

It may not perform as softer and durable. Then fishing reels including 6 ball bearings constructed from brass.

The selecting element when it comes to buying the proper new spinning reel. It must not be limited to the number of bearings it includes. But to the overall performance of a softer operation compared to other rods.

The External Parts of a Spinning Reel

1-Drag Adjustment Knob

The drag knob is a fundamental feature in every spinning reel. It functions to make an increase or decrease the pressure or pulling amount.

With the fisher pressing a button or a set of controls. This is vital for bass fishing when the catch tries to fight and pull the cord further into the water.

The drag system is a set of metal linings. That may differ in the number relying on the company or the mechanism installed.

A spinning rod features an exposed mechanism. You can see when it rotates and is referred to as an open face spool.

This requires feeling the combination of the reel and the rod. Before adjusting the pulling strength.

Beginners should select a drag adjustment knob that is straightforward to use and find. The adjustment drag knob in a spinning rod is placed near the handles. To ease up making fast altering on the winding in the middle of winding and back retrieval.

The breaking capacity of the fishing line is responsible for the proper setting of the knob. That will be represented on the packaging of the line to assist in adjusting the drag knob. Generally, drag adjustment should be approximately a quarter of the line’s breaking energy.

For an experienced angler, you are familiar with the frustration felt. When you lose a huge catch because of a broken cord, that happens when the dragging knob adjustments are not set. To cope with that much resistance and the pulling intensity.

 You can get over that dilemma by learning about your rod adjuster. to make the needed corrections and check the resistance power. you also need to:

  • Understand which type of reel you are using is fundamental. The adjustment knob is placed in each of the three basic fishing rod types that contain the line.
  • Check the breaking capacity of your fishing line. Check on the package how much breaking intensity it can resist. And divide it over four to get the exact strength it can hold and set on.

2- Handle

The handle is the foremost essential part of a spinning reel. It is responsible for retrieving the line back by the hand rotation around the roll after throwing.

It must be crafted to be smooth and comfortable to hold by hand. Most of the reels feature adjustable handles according to your dominant hand.

Either on the left or the right side of the reel. It depends on which socket it fits on the bodies.

Experienced anglers who target giant species such as bass. Always look for a dependable handle. That can withstand all challenging weather conditions. and the rotation of the handle with minimal effort.

Many of the rods have rubber handles offering firmer grip to avoid any slippage. However, they are designed from aluminum, graphite, or some other kind of metal. To keep up with pressure and force.

Most spinning reels permit the addition of an anti-reverse switch. To avoid the handles rolling off with a fish pulling it into further waters.

Handles are always sold separately. And can be easily replaced if you faced any problems with your cord.

The final aspects that should be considered about the handles are weight and length. Light handles offer a quick responding period.

And permit the anglers to adjust their back retrieval easily. This is considered a vital factor for bass fishing, where various techniques are required to face different situations.

And conditions. For longer handles, it adds up to more overall weight. Yet, it is important to keep maintaining a stable handle grip or if you have big hands.

3-Anti reverse Switch

The anti reverse switch is designed to engage the drag mechanism. And stop it from turning backward.

This is important for bass fishing in a spinning rod. Where the fights and try getting off the hook by pulling the cord out off the reel spool.

That pulling by force backward can result in numerous kinds of complications. Such as tangling, breakage, and hitches.

Most spinning reels include a switch that permits the angler to turn on and off this function. Relying on their preference.

When the rod is set to function backward with disabling the ant-reverse, it can act as a drag system and permit the cord to move with the catch’s pulling to lessen the friction tension.

That offers extra flexibility to the angler. To make changes to the adjustments of their techniques based on their experience.

Although, spinning reels include lots of working parts. They are still simple in their fundamental meaning.

They are usually the best choice recommended for beginners or newbies in this sport because of their simplicity in holding the line, winding, and retrieval of the line with ease.

They are easier to manage for their limited practicing curve than the baitcasting reels. However, spinning reel’s easiness of use substitutes for their lack of precision. or winding accuracy.

Making them more reliable and durable. That most professionals choose them over another popular alternative fishing reel.

The number of bail bearings is followed by a single number. It is indicating that the anti reverse switch functions with a more challenging mechanism tolerance.

It is permitting complete angler control during the winding. And retrieval of heavy lures and solid hooks. For instance, a 7+1 refers to high-quality reels with the number of bearings provided in the model.

For experienced anglers who target huge species of fish. It was selected trolling and baitcasting reels. That allows the use of an additional anti-reverse system with a ball bearing. To add some more security so that the initial approach can handle the challenge of an aggressive catch.


Spools are the main component of the spinning reel, as it is responsible for holding the line. and the success of your fishing experience in pulling your fish back.

It is placed next to the handles and impacts the overall performance, especially if the reel spool is too stiff and creates intense friction, which will undoubtedly result in the line’s breakage.

When considering the correct type. It would be best if you looked at the length, style, and weight of the fishing line you plan to fish with.

Spools typically have specific dimensions for the line capacity, indicating the lines’ length and weight that may not work to fit on small spools. So, always relate to these specifications on the reel before buying your line.

Spinning reel spools are typically constructed from graphite or aluminum, like the body and handles. The reel spool secures the line by being braided around the centrepin.

However, this process may be a little complicated to be performed. So some tackle shops offer a service of doing that step for you properly.

Yet, if you plan to change your gear more frequently, it is better to learn how to do it on your own.

Large baitcasting and trolling fishing reel aimed for heavy-duty fishing. They are constructed from bronze or stainless steel metal.

They provide more capacity and strength for specialized lines like heavy Darcon or wire used in trolling reels.

These days, spinning reels are made with a skirted spool. That covers the reel frame to prevent the line from tangling inside the reel engine.

Alternative skirted spinning reel spools. Offer the option of a shallower, long cast, or a standard spool design.

In conclusion, the recent extended cast spool model. Permits the decreasing of line friction, resulting in extra throwing distance.

5-Body and Frame

The reel body or Frame is the predominant part of all reels. And the central spot that holds all the components together and spinning reel parts intact.

The body of almost every spinning reel is constructed from a foot, support arm, and gearbox housing. In some models, there may be additional parts. It depends on the manufacturer or the reel’s model and design.

Most reels are made of plastic, graphite, and aluminum. Experienced anglers who tend to target bass fish.

I always prefer the purchase of a sturdy metal body. For offering more durability, resistance, and longevity. Although, they are more exposed to the issues of rust and are most expensive.

But, they are worth every extra cent spent on them. As they have fewer chances to bend, twist or fall apart with frequent use.

The Frame of the spinning reel is usually crafted of aluminum or graphite. And in many models, both materials are combined as aluminum is sturdier than graphite.

Which results in a heavier and more resistant reel in operation. At the same time, graphite is the much lighter one.

Many traditional bait caster reel types are crafted in the same way as the spinning reels. However, some companies started introducing a single-piece graphite frame.

Which increases the overall endurance and strength of the reel. Without compromise, it’s lightweight.

In some fishing situations, a light reel is more essential than being sturdy. For the spin fishing style, a lightweight reel indeed tends to prevail over strength. Due to that, weight is an important factor to consider when buying a reel.

Reel bodies come in different sizes, shapes, and components. Also, you will find numerous varieties in the spinning types.

As the part where the bait is placed can be customized. So there may be an elegant design with colors. And finesse on the body according to different manufacturers. 


A fishing reel foot is a joining point between the shaft and the body. It is important that it strongly suits the body.

Resulting in keeping the parts firmly intact during the winding process. and keeps up with the pressure of challenging firm fish when pulling them out of the water.

The traditional reel foot has a rectangular shape to fit, placing it on the shaft. It is commonly featured as an extension of the reel’s Frame.

And constructed from the same materials, graphite or aluminum. However, most reels make sure that the foot always fits perfectly on the rod and the Frame. There is a chance of a slight margin difference on how it includes the rod.

For beginners and newbies to make sure that the spinning reel matches the foot and it fits the body. It is better to shop for both together and testing the fitting before purchasing.


A fishing line roller is the reference point. That allows an additional sense of the spinning reel as the line is pulled off the roll while winding.

All anglers aim to prevent all the fiction that is due to uneven edges or rough surfaces. To lessen the chances of the line being compromised with weakening or breakage.

The primary function of the line roller allows the line to move swiftly without sticking. Some professional fishers promote using a toothpick.

For testing the roller with a suitable line. By putting one against the roller and assessing if it moves swiftly which is the central concept.

Another advantage of the line roller is that it helps in lessening the tangling. And twist of the line by pushing the twist toward the end of the line.

However, rollers that do not function properly can complicate that problem. And result in more frequent tangling and twisting.

Here are some more reel parts that you may or may not find in a spinning reel, according to its type.

Additional Spinning Reel Parts

Casting controls

High-grade baitcasting reels are constructed with a built-in casting control system. It enables clarifying the speed of the roll employed when throwing. 

These systems are spiral and magnetic. And they are either adjusted externally or internally. They depend on the model that may include single or multiple systems.

The magnetic casting control is placed on the handle side with a digital dial position to increase or decrease the spool’s amount of force.

On the other hand, the spiral casting system is placed on the other side of the handles. And adjusted by switching the knob forward or backward.

This fine function is provided in more expensive reels. That functions with internal adjusting braking system.

When starting a cast by rotating this mechanism towards the braking magnets. To decrease the speed to reduce any problems.

Trolling Line Counters

This part is initially exclusive in trolling fishing reels. It supplies the anglers with a constant reference. To return the bait at the same distance and depth from the fishing spot.

They are also efficient in recognizing how long is left after struggling with a fish when it tries to get off the bait.

There are two kinds of line counters. Digital counters supply programmed differences in the line thickness. In comparison, the analog counters are like car odometers. in clicking off the numbers while rotating.

Line Out Alarm

A line alarm is also referred to as bait or a clicker alarm. It is a clear alarm to warn the fisher if a heavy fish is caught.

It is employed with a simple on and off switch in the accessible spool mode. It is important to switch it off when winding or pulling the line.

They are commonly available on spinning. And baitcasting reels and mainly used for live baits in an open ocean and freshwater fishing.

Free Spool Lever

Trolling reels include a straightforward on and off switch lever. That is turned on when the spinning reel is retrieving the line.

And off when the fisher desires to permit the line to run off the cord roll using a lure or a bait. To avoid any tangling, always keep your thumb against the free spool lever controls. To adjust the amount of line released.

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