Not everybody wants to use the same gear for fishing, and there are many options available to you whether you are looking at rods, lines, lures, or reels.
We are going to be taking a look at a specific type of reel today, and that is the open-faced fishing reel.
Before we get to the benefits of using an open-faced fishing reel, let us take a look at what one actually is.
Open Reel V Closed Reel: What is the Difference?
An open reel is, as the name suggests, one that has an opening. This is on the side, and when you have an open reel in your hand you will see that the spool and line are partially exposed. The open reel has a wire bail surrounding the line and is used for casting over a distance.
To prevent the reel from spinning backwards, and to stop you losing your line while fighting a fish, there is normally a handle on an open reel, and this has a locking mechanism.
With the open reel, you will find it mounted below the rod, and this requires the use of a finger for guiding the line during a cast.
As an example of a closed reel, we can look at a spin caster.
This closed reel has an enclosed metal cup with a single hole. This is where the line passes through. In contrast to the open reel, the spool and line are unexposed, and the reel is mounted above the handle rather than below the rod.
There is no bail for controlling the line, and for line release, a button will need to be pressed when casting.
Casting needs a bit of technique, with a quick rod snap and perfectly timed button release.
Benefits of An Open Reel
1. Distance and Accuracy
Experienced fishermen can control their lines the same way Nascar divers control their vehicles. They are experts and could drop on the same spot over and over again.
One of the benefits of an open-reel is that you can get a much greater distance, and better accuracy when casting. This is an advantage no matter what level of experience you have.
2. Cast Lighter Lures
Lighter lures go further with an open reel. Almost weightless bait and lures of one quarter of an ounce or less will go much further than with a closed reel. Thus, if using lighter lures or bait to go for specific types of fish, or to get your light lure into a difficult spot from a distance, an open reel cannot be matched.
3. Casting into Wind
You are likely to get backlash when casting into the wind using a closed reel. While there is no guarantee of a backlash free cast even with an open reel in similar conditions, there is a much-reduced chance of backlash occurring.
Perhaps it would be wise to consider the type of weather you get in your locality when choosing a reel. If you know that the wind is regularly going to pick up on your fishing expeditions, an open reel could be the best choice for you.
4. Skipping Lures
If needing to skip a lure, and you are not particularly experienced at doing so, open reels will be of greater benefit to you. The reason being that you are less likely to face backlash. With a closed reel, it takes an awful lot of practice to perfect this technique.
5. You Can See the Spool
One problem with a closed reel is knotting and tangling in the spool housing. As you cannot see into it, you do not know what is happening and therefore cannot take action in advance.
With an open reel, you can see if the spool is going to cause you a problem and work to remedy the situation before the situation gets to a worst-case scenario stage.
Open reels have a greater versatility than a closed reel. They can handle a wider range of line types and have the capacity to hold much more line in them.
Heavier lines are also dealt with much better with an open reel than they are with a closed one.
If you don’t have the financial clout to find a different reel for all the different types of fishing out there, then it makes sense to get the reel that will give you the most options in the long run.
7. Adjusting Drag
When fighting with a fish, the open reel allows you to adjust the drag easily. The drag is much more accessible and gives you a great range of adjustment while trying to land your prize. Closed reels can also adjust drag, but it is more complicated when in a tussle with a fish, due to location.
You do not want your line to snap because you are having trouble adjusting the drag due to the type of reel you purchased. So, with an open reel being easier, it makes more sense to get one.
8. Suitable for Left-Handed or Right-Handed Fishermen
Open reels have an interchangeable handle which means they can be set up for a fisherman no matter which hand they use.
This can be most effective if going fishing with someone else and both of you do not use the same hand.
An open reel is an excellent piece of equipment for those who have some fishing experience. Though you are likely to spend a bit more money to purchase one, it is money that is going to be well spent. The advantages of using an open reel in terms of versatility, accuracy and distance make an open reel worth having. But, as with all fishing equipment, it is best to do your research first and make sure this type of reel is suitable for the type of fishing you want to do.