Casting Reels and Braided Line

By John Strenk of The Reel Tech

There is increasing popularity of the use of braided lines in all types of fishing. Braids can be fished effectively on spinning reels as well as casting reels, and I personally use braid on both.

You will need to consider the type of fishing you are going to do and what type of fish you are chasing when determining which casting reel to purchase for the use of braided lines.

The differences in the reels to consider are that of a disengaging or non-disengaging level wind (the part that your line goes through and that guides your line back and forth across the spool while retrieving).

Reels that have a disengaging level wind, such as most of the small low profile baitcasting reels, the level wind is driven only when you are turning the reel handle. “Reels that have a non-disengaging level wind, such as the Abu round reels, some Calcuttas, The Toro version of the Abu REVO, etc. the level wind is driven by the spools movement, whether the reel is in gear or in free spool.”

The Abu Round reels such as the 6500 C4 shown below have a non disengaging level wind. The level wind is driven by spool movement:

Abu Garcia 6500 Casting Reel

The Shimano Curado shown below has a disengaging level wind. The level wind is driven by turning the handle. The level wind is disengaged when in free spool or when just the spool is moving while a fish is taking line:

Shimano Curado

My recommendation to you all is that if you are chasing fish that will take long, hard runs, or repeated drag burning runs while you are fighting them, it is to your benefit and advantage to purchase a reel with a non-disengaging level wind (one that is driven by spool movement). This way, as the fish is peeling off line on a hard run under some drag pressure, the level wind is following/guiding the braided line off of the spool. I have repaired many reels that were broken because of using disengaging level winds for big hard running fish. Braid is a very tough, abrasive, no stretch, unforgiving line. The angles created by the line coming off of the reel through a stationary level wind can destroy the level wind system. On the other hand, fishing for bass or other fish that do not take drag burning runs, a disengaging level wind is fine and works wonderfully.

For spinning reels the above does not come into play. You can fish braided line on all good quality spinning reels without much concern.

Tight lines and screaming drags to all!!


The Reel Tech LogoJohn Strenk is the owner of The Reel Tech, a local company specializing in fishing reel repair and service. For more information visit his website www.thereeltech.com or follow him on Facebook /TheReelTech

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