A fishing reel is a cylindrical device attached to a fishing rod used in winding and stowing line. They are typically attached to a fishing rod, though some specialized reels are mounted directly to boat gunwales or transoms.
The earliest known illustration of a fishing reel is from Chinese paintings and records beginning about 1195 AD. Fishing reels first appeared in England around 1650 AD, and by the 1760s, London tackle shops were advertising multiplying or gear-retrieved reels. The first popular American fishing reel appeared in the U.S. around 1820.
Lets have a look at some type of reels :
Spinning: Spinning rods and reels are very popular because they’re easy to use, allow long casts with light lures, and can be quite inexpensive. The first two or three line guides on a spinning rod are large, because the line “billows” off the end of the reel spool during the cast. To cast with a spinning reel, you open the wire “bail” that wraps line around the spool, holding the line with your index finger. Release the line as you move the rod forward and with a little practice you’re casting like a champ. Nylon monofilament line of 6- to 12-pound test works best on most spinning reels.
Spin-casting: Like a spinning reel, the spin-casting reel has a stationary spool, with line leaving and returning at one end of that spool. But the spool on the spin-casting reel is enclosed, so you can’t see it. The line is released by use of a thumb-button at the back of the reel.
Bait-casting: These reels differ greatly from both spinning and spin-cast reels because the spool sits perpendicular (cross-ways) to the rod rather than parallel to it. Because the spool moves during casting and retrieving, these reels are often called revolving-spool reels. Bait-casting tackle requires more practice, patience and skill than both spinning and spin-casting tackle, but once mastered, allows for pin-point casting accuracy and excellent line control when fishing and playing fish.
Fly-casting: As mentioned earlier, artificial flies are very light, making them virtually impossible to cast with most rods and reels. So fly casters use a special kind of line and a certain kind of rod that allow even the smallest of flies to be cast long distances. The line itself provides the casting weight, and the rod’s size and flexibility are matched to the line’s weight for best casting results. Fly-fishing line is thicker and more visible than other types of fishing line, so fly anglers use several feet of monofilament or other low-visibility material as a “leader” between the fly and the fly line.
- Direct-drive reel
Direct-drive reels have the spool and handle directly coupled. When the handle moves forwards, the spool moves forwards, and vice-versa. With a fast-running fish, this may have consequences for the angler’s knuckles. Traditional fly reels are direct-drive.
- Anti-reverse reel
In anti-reverse reels, a mechanism allows line to pay out while the handle remains stationary. Depending on the drag setting, line may also pay out, as with a running fish, while the angler reels in. Bait casting reels and many modern saltwater fly reels are examples of this design. The mechanism works either with a ‘dog’ or ‘pawl’ design that engages into a cog wheel attached to the handle shaft. The latest design is Instant Anti-Reverse, or IAR. This system incorporates a one-way clutch bearing on the handle shaft to restrict handle movement to forward motion only.
Drag is a mechanical means of applying variable pressure to the turning spool in order to act as a friction brake against it. It can be as simple as a flat spring pressing against the edge of the spool, or as sophisticated as a complicated arrangement of leather and Teflon discs. Spinning reels have two types of drag: front or rear. Front drags are generally seen on higher end reels and are considered superior to rear drags because the larger washers in front systems allow for more control over the fish. Drag knobs on front systems are generally found atop the reel, rear drag knobs are below.
Properly set drag allows larger and more powerful fish to be safely landed, with the drag slipping below the breaking point of the line. In combination with rod flex, drag will tire a fish by converting energy it expends into heat in the drag system. Drag is set as high as possible without risking tearing the fish’s mouth. When the specified gauge for a given reel is used most will not be able to apply enough drag to break the line.
The drag mechanism is a very important component on modern reels as it allows for a wide range of fish sizes to be caught on one set-up. It is not uncommon for 10–20 kg fish to be caught on 6–8 kg or smaller tackle. Usually the main purpose for purchasing a higher end reel will be to have a more powerful drag from the same sized reel.
Either of two drag systems are used on an overhead reel, lever, and more commonly, star. Both employ rotating discs sliding against each other to provide friction. A lever uses a cam to increase or decrease pressure. Pulled back far enough it will allow line out with just the weight of a sinker or jig. This type of drag system is usually reserved for larger, more powerful reels for saltwater fish. A star drag employs a star-shaped wheel fitted to the threaded winding shaft. When rotated clockwise the wheel pushes a collar against a series of friction washers bearing on the main driving gear. A lever or button disengages it completely in contrast to a lever drag, which simply reduces pressure until the spool can move.
The advantage of the lever drag is that the whole surface of the spool can apply drag, not just the drive gear.
thanks to Wikipedia