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High Ratio vs Low Ratio reels for bottom fishing

th19999th19999 Junior MemberPosts: 258 Deckhand
I am putting together a new setup strictly for bottom fishing with bait while drifting on Yankee Capts on Pulley Ridge.

I will be using a 7 1/2' to 8' rod (Phenix Black Diamond or United Composites) with either Daiwa Saltiga, Shimano Trinidad, or maybe Accurate Tern.

What are your preferences regarding reel ratio. Many reels have high ratios over 6:1 with offerings in a low ratio range around 5:1.

For my use for bottom fishing with bait what ratio reel should I be looking at? High or low ratio?

FYI I also fish off south Florida in the gulfstream where the current can rip.

Thanks in advance


  • Salty Dawg44Salty Dawg44 Senior Member Homosassa, FLPosts: 1,386 Officer
    edited October 2021 #2
    A 2 speed might be a good choice. Low speed with a fish on, and hi for checking bait or just bringing up a jig,


    I may not always agree with what you say,
    but I will always respect your right to be wrong!
  • Jack HexterJack Hexter Moderator New Port RicheyPosts: 5,556 Moderator
    edited October 2021 #3
    ^^^^  What he said.  Saltiga or Talica 2 speeds or even a Penn Torque
  • poncedoradoponcedorado Member Orlando, FLPosts: 873 Officer
    What they said- 2 speed is great if you're willing to spend a little more (which based on the reels you listed, 2 speed is probably within your budget)

    one note on the original post- I wouldn't consider 5:1 "low" for bottom fishing when you want to winch up a big fish. The Penn Senator H series - for a long time the bottom fishing standard before penn moved their manufacturing to China - has a 3.3:1 ratio
  • brianbbrianb Senior Member Lantana, FLPosts: 2,506 Captain
    You want a power reel, typically 4.6 to 4.8. A very well accepted example being a torium pga.  We don't use 2speed, but lots do.  Too many sharks if you ask me, depends where you fish I guess. 
  • Amelia_BelliAmelia_Belli United StatesPosts: 11 Deckhand
    Artificial lures are the predominant baits used for bass fishing. For this reason,  for bottom fishing with bait I recommend using a medium gear ratio around 6:1 like our bass reel to cover the large variety of bass lures. I would also consider the size or species of the fish when it comes to ratio's. A low ratio does have better cranking power.
    A lower gear ratio and a star drag is a better option for large grouper - gags and blacks primarily. Warsaws and snowies aren't bad about breaking you off in the bottom. You simply have more cranking power with the lower gear ratio. Snapper fishing it doesn't really matter. The higher gear ratio is nice if fishing in deeper water. Also, if you fish the swiss cheese bottom off the west coast of florida it doesn't really matter. The guys who fish over there are the worst about getting broken off over on the east coast becuse they typically aren't fishing structure with the kind of relief we have over here.
    The gear ratio is more important to me when it comes to reeling in the lure or bait.  the higher the gear ratio, the faster you get the bait in. i used to bring squidders to bait fish from the surf but they take FOREVER to bring the bait in if you break off a good cast.  now i only use them from the yak.  and even if i use them from the yak its only when im not expecting to be in deep water lol.  so i rarely use them anymore. 
    If you are bait/dropper fishing for strong fish by structure, I'd opt for heavier outfit to be able to pull big grouper or AJ like fish from rocking you and busting off. Avet pro ex30/2, okuma makaira 20ii or 30ii, or Tiagra 30/2 kinda tackle with drag set to a min of 20# strike or better.

    Fishing is Love
  • mdiaczykmdiaczyk Senior Member Posts: 151 Deckhand
    I like low gear ratios or a two speed in low gear.  Look at the drag the length of the rod.  A rod with just enough action to lift.  
  • conchydongconchydong Senior Member Trachinotus carolinusPosts: 13,503 AG
    I think many of us would like to fish with you Amelia_Belli. 

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • bigfinn35bigfinn35 Senior Member Sarasota/VenicePosts: 1,151 Officer
    why bring up bass fishing? Comments about the structure on the east coast are accurate though, first time I bottom fished over there I was surprised to see how much heavier the tackle was than what I used for grouper.
    Paddle faster, I hear banjo music.
  • brianbbrianb Senior Member Lantana, FLPosts: 2,506 Captain
    I think many of us would like to fish with you Amelia_Belli. 
    Absolutely disgusting. 
  • bottom feederbottom feeder Senior Member WellingtonPosts: 1,745 Captain
    Sound pretty callous from someone who exploits his girlfriend.

    Leaving Florida... take a developer with you!

  • tankeredtankered Gainesvill, FlPosts: 1,531 Captain
    You guys do realize you are being trolled by a bot, right?
  • brianbbrianb Senior Member Lantana, FLPosts: 2,506 Captain
    Sound pretty callous from someone who exploits his girlfriend.
    Keep watching BottomFeeder and feel free to bring it up to our face when you see us. 

  • bottom feederbottom feeder Senior Member WellingtonPosts: 1,745 Captain
    edited December 2021 #14
    Oh.  I see.  You think Conchy is disgusting because he wants to fish with Amelia, but you think folks watch your videos to learn about fishing?

    Leaving Florida... take a developer with you!

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