Power versus speed — it’s the main factor conceded when fishing high-speed reels. An angler loses the extra cranking power of lower-gear reels, but gains the ability to keep up with fast-moving fish that cause slack in line, species like bonefish, redfish, kingfish and blackfin tuna.
“Fighting heavy fish, such as big tuna and grouper, is easier at lower speeds,” says Brandon Cotton, Okuma’s marketing manager.“ With big fish, it takes more effort to turn that handle on a higher-speed reel. Think of pedaling a 10-speed bike; lower gears are much easier to pedal than higher gears.”
High-speed reels excel in many on-the-water scenarios. Speed and yo-yo jigging demand quickness to trigger a reaction bite. Kite fishing for sailfish, a method that allows slack in the line when a billfish strikes, necessitates a fast reel to come tight quickly. Even keeping up with a bonefish screaming and zigzagging across the flats requires quick line pickup.
The trade-off between speed and cranking power is directly related to specific gear ratios and inches per turn.