Are You Choosing the Right Gear Ratio Spinning Reel?


Gear ratio is one of the most important things you should focus on when choosing your next spinning reel.

But should you be factoring in “inches per turn” as well?

And which one is more important?

So in this video, you’ll learn the difference between high gear ratio versus low gear ratio and which one is right for your style of fishing.

Check it out below!

What gear ratio is right for you? [VIDEO]

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What Is Gear Ratio?

Gear ratio simply means how many times the reel spool turns every time you turn the handle.

Here are some examples:

Daiwa Legalis LT 2500-XH

Gear Ratio – 6.2:1

This means that with every full turn of the handle, the rotor will rotate 6.2 times.

In general, that means more line will come back onto the reel in a shorter period of time because there are more revolutions of the rotor.

Inches Per Turn: 34.5

Daiwa BG 2500

Gear Ratio – 5.6:1

So technically this is a slower gear ratio than the Legalis with only 5.6 revolutions per turn of the handle.

But at the end of the day, a lot of anglers may forget about IPT (or inches per turn).

Inches Per Turn: 33.2

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Spinning Reel

Be sure to factor in both gear ratio and IPT when making your decision about what spinning reel is right for you.

If you want a lighter reel for throwing artificials, a higher gear ratio is probably your better choice.

And if you are using live or dead bait and need more power, the lower gear ratio would be my recommendation.


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What is important to you for your style of fishing?

When the inches per turn are relatively the same and you’re really only choosing between a higher versus a lower gear ratio, make sure you are choosing based on the type of fishing you’ll be using that reel for.

You can get these reels from our shop here:

➡ Click here to get the Daiwa BG Spinning Reel

➡ Click here to get the Daiwa Legalis LT Spinning Reel

Note: If the reel you want is sold out by the time you’re reading this, click the “Notify Me” button to get alerted when it’s back in stock!

And if you want 20% off of your paddletails and jig heads, as well as all of the other gear in our shop, click here to join us in the Insider Club.

Have any questions about gear ratio or inches per turn?

Let me know down in the comments!

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Dave Otte
2 years ago

Justin, this is a great analysis. I like my BG 3000 for trolling on my kayak. The rod seat doesn’t bend, and when you hook into a nice one, and you have the pull of the fish and the momentum of the kayak to contend with. The BG povides a smoother and seemingly stronger winch to deal with all the resistence. Everyone should troll and catch more fish! I do like my Fuego 2500-xh reels and I have caught bunches of fish trolling with them too. They are light and great for casting. Nice job brother!

Bob Hartwein
2 years ago

Thanks for a very good explanation on gear ratio. I never totally understood what & why it was important or not so important. Actually I looked for the actual weight of the reel & balance of rod/reel. Since Im throwing it 1000 times,I wanted something light enough, yet with a good drag, so I didn’t have wrist problems at the end of the day. Great Info!

Matt Pfeiffer
2 years ago

Justin, thank you! Going to be picking up a Ballistic (when they are back in stock) and was leaning toward the 3000, but then was thinking the 2500 after looking at the side by side, but that was solely based on the gear ratio difference. Your points are extremely valid and the extra cranking power (hopefully needed on occasion!) combined with the fact that 3 feet or so per turn and .2 ounces means nothing to me daily. I’m going back to my initial gut feeling of the 3000. Thanks again!

Tom Widman
2 years ago

Thanks for the explanation of gear ratio. Never really understood the difference but you did a great job. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal so I always bought by the brand and then by the size of the reel which I guess worked out OK. Thanks again

2 years ago

Hello from New Zealand, Justin another excellent video, do a video on why we have the silly anti-reverse switch i hate them.

BJ Paquin
2 years ago

Great video, super informative.

Michael Greene
2 years ago

Might be worth mentioning that the length of line per retrieved is also affected by the amount of line on the reel and the diameter of the spool. Most likely this is already understood.

Tyler Reinertsen
2 years ago

Just picked up a Certate LT 4000 D-C. Has a 5.2:1 would be nice to see you all carry it. I see you carry the other models. Would of saved me a significant amount of money had I been able to order through SaltStrong. Wanted the lower ratio for the style of jig fishing I do.

Tyler Reinertsen
2 years ago
Reply to  Justin Ritchey

Yeah I looked at the 5k but for the Point Blank rod I built the 2oz difference is noticeable. And the line capacity was only 30 yards more. The one Pro is that it comes with a factory power knob. I ordered a Daiwa RCS Japanese knob for my 4K. But when the 5k comes in stock my friend might order one for a 9′ snook rod we plan on building.

Malcolm Hayward
2 years ago

Some complications.
Higher gears means higher internal stresses. Not a problem with a Van Staal or Penn Torque. What is key, lifting your terminal tackle as you drift over wrecks or reefs. Three foot a turn is always good. Knowing is the key. Drifting through will catch most and loose most. Overgeared, try a bigger handle. Ball bearing handle upgrade possibly necessary. I treat spinning reels as disposable. Good luck finding spares.
Casting or not? Live line or not? Line choice? How hard do you want to pull? Some modern fixed spools can pull prodigiously hard. Working drag at maybe 30 to 40 lbs. Systems for harness are available. I am building full roller rods these days, “Neptune” roller guides. I grind awkward stuff up from the bottom. That means the same drag settings as a Penn 113 USA Special. 27 lbs. If you don’t need two / three speeds and 1,000 yards of 80lb, why not. A 6500 with 450yds of 60lb hollow suits me.
Best Rgds.
Malcolm Hayward.

Rob Bordelon
2 years ago

FINALLY! I understand the difference so I can select the proper real. Thank you so much for the explanation. The last part of the equation for quality are the bearings. What’s better? More or less bearings? Or does it even matter?


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