Henry Gilbey
Cape Cod - 1010.jpg


Henry Gilbey blog

How small can you go ?

Wasn't that long ago that I was happily using a 5000 size Shimano spinning reel on my rod. Fished with that for a while and then dropped down a size as I began to better understand things (or at least I hope so !!). Even better on these more modern lure rods we are seeing all over the place now. It drives me mad that the reel companies can not "standardise" on reel sizes, but let's take a 5000 size Shimano as being roughly the same size as a 4000 Daiwa and so on up or down.

So how small a spinning reel can you get away with for lure fishing in the UK and Ireland ? Well I do reckon that most reels out there these days are going to deal perfectly happily with fish that let's be honest rarely jump on our lures or baits at over the 10lb mark. So the actual size and power of fish is not really an issue if you ask me. OK, some reels are going to last the course a lot better than others, but that I believe is more a case of the type of fishing we are doing and the environment we are doing it in. Bass, wrasse and pollack are all huge fun to fish for, but as much as I want them to be, they don't exactly reach a destructive size like say a GT or amberjack.

I still reckon that a 4000 Shimano/3000 Daiwa is a very good all round size of spinning reel to strap on many of the lure rods we can get our hands on, and especially the really lightweight reels like the Daiwa Luvias and the Shimano Rarenium. I also think that this size does help with faster retrieve rates when you want to or need to crank stuff. But how about dropping another size again, down to a 3000 Shimano/2500 or 2000 Daiwa (yes, more sizing confusion !!) Check out the 3000 Rarenium in the photo above, balances really nicely on that Tenryu Injection. The better and more balanced the gear feels in the hands for long periods has to be beneficial in the long run.

One problem we don't tend to have when dropping reel sizes is the line capacities, and especially if you are fishing with 8-strand braids or lighter breaking strains of the more regular 4-strand stuff. I never put more than 150yds of braid on any of my spinning reels for UK or Irish fishing as I just don't think we need it for our fishing. Cool fish, but emptiers of reels they are not. I have been fishing for a while now with what one of these Team Daiwa TDX2508 spinning reels and I am finding it increasingly "normal" to fish with this size of reel. I like the shallow match-style spools it comes with as I only need to put a tiny bit of mono backing on before winding the braid over the top of it, and the reel itself seems to be one of those modern marvels. A few years ago and I might well have scoffed at the idea of "real fishing" with a reel as small and light as this, but now I have been using one for a while it is just beginning to feel very normal indeed. The reel has had plenty of soakings, dunkings and general abuse, but so far I can't find any kind of fault with it.

I have it on good authority that this particular family of Team Daiwa TDX spinning reels is essentially about as much good stuff as they can put into a reel for this price. I do note that the reel is essentially targeted at a coarse or match fishing market, but my research led me to find out that this TDX2508 and also its bigger brother the TDX3012 might just be very good lure fishing reels that kind of slipped under the radar. Will this little thing stand up to me and my fishing ? Well I am well along the road to thinking that it will, and now it's got me looking at all manner of different priced spinning reels around the same sort of size. Would there be much merit to dropping down ever smaller in due course ? Never say never if you ask me, but for the moment these smaller spinning reels are working really well on the rods I am messing around with.

And following on from my photo based post on Monday, take a few minutes out to watch this short video here on how a National Geographic photographer goes about photographing some serious climbing. Holy cow !! That is some serious stuff.......