Accessories for saltwater fishing reels can serve a number of practical purposes from protecting valuable gear from scratches and keeping line from unraveling while in storage to easing reel service and saving labor when winding on line.
Crafty inventors and enterprising entrepreneurs — many of them anglers themselves — are continuously developing new reel accessories. This componentry often develops out of real-life experiences while fishing. The inventors identify an angling need and design a fishing-reel accessory to fill the gap.
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Here, then, are some of today’s coolest accessories for fishing reels — some of which attach to the reel, some on the reel seat and some on the fishing rod.
GhostDrag Line Release
Designed for use when bait-fishing with spinning outfits, the GhostDrag line release lets you leave the bail on the spinning reel open. It holds the line, and then releases it when a fish takes the bait, allowing the fish to run. It snaps on and off of rods ranging from 0.37 to 0.59 inch in diameter. A thumb-screw adjusts the amount of tension on the line. Made of tough, molded nylon. $19.99; ghostdrag.com
Shimano Spinning-Reel Covers
When transporting fishing rods and reels, your gear can take a beating. Reels bang together or lay in the truck bed and can get scratched, gouged or worse. Shimano’s neoprene covers for spinning reels help keep your expensive look for as long as possible. Each folds neatly over the reel seat and reel, and is secured with hook-and-loop fasteners for easy-on, easy-off. Starting at around $8; fish.shimano.com
Power Handle for Daiwa Lexa
Today’s saltwater baitcasting reels such as the Daiwa Lexa are great for inshore fish such as stripers, redfish and cobia. If your Lexa has a paddle-style handle, you can add a counter-weighted power handle such as this one from Jigging World for extra leverage when fighting fish. Featuring a beefy EVA foam grip, it is available with a black or silver offset arm. It easily bolts up in place of the existing handle. $49.95; tackleworld.com
DFP Super Clamp
Some fishing reels such as the Okuma Komodo baitcasters don’t have rod clamps, but some anglers like clamps for extra security when hooked up to strong fish. The DFP Super Clamp fills that niche. It clamps the foot of the reel so securely that some West Coast anglers forego reel seats all together in deference to a plain, cork-wrap “deckhand” style handle. Available in small and large sizes to suit different rod diameters. $54.99; duransfishingproducts.com
AFTCO Spin Strap
Large spinning reels such as the Shimano Stella with powerful gears and drags are enabling anglers to catch immense tuna and marlin on spinning tackle. But there’s a drawback: You can’t hook up to a fighting harness like you can with a big-game conventional reel. That spurred AFTCO to invent the Spin Strap. It wraps around the foot of the reel and reel seat and provides a pair of D-rings for hooking up a harness. Now you can battle fish on spinning gear with greater ease. $12; aftco.com
Snowbee Spool Tenders
Here is a simple but very practical idea for keeping line from unraveling off of your reels while they’re in storage. The Snowbee spool tenders are made from soft neoprene and use Velcro closures to secure them on virtually any size spool. They also include a white labeling area for identifying the line type on the reel. $6.25 for a package of two; us.seriousfishing.com
The Reel Crankie attaches to the hub of a reel handle, such as that on a Shimano Talica 50II, and then uses a cordless drill motor to wind line onto the reel. Some anglers use it to fill the spool with line, but the Reel Crankie has become more popular for retrieving line when it’s time to move while daytime deep-dropping for swordfish. Made from aircraft-quality aluminum, it attaches and detaches in seconds, and it’s far more affordable than an electric reel. $169.95; innovativefishingtackle.com
BoilingTuna Trigger Clamps
The trigger-style reel clamps from BoilingTuna products help ensure a secure grip when casting with wet or slimy hands. They take the place of a standard reel clamp but feature a trigger for securing your index finger. Available for all major brands of conventional reels, the clamps are cast from a high-strength reinforced polymer and available in red, blue and black. Each clamp includes a hook keeper. $28; boilingtuna.net
Toma Repair Kit for Baitcasting Reels
The Toma Repair Kit has the tools you need to maintain and repair your baitcasting reels, which is critical with fishing gear used in salt water. The Toma kits include a bearing-pin remover, trust wrench and bearing check tool. It’s just the ticket for anglers who like to service their tackle themselves, instead of taking their fishing reels to a tackle shop for repairs and maintenance. $14.74; bluedozz.com