Fishing Reels, Gears, and GrabCAD

You’re probably wondering what fishing has to do with GrabCAD?

Well, a lot actually.

As the Manager of the GrabCAD Community, I come across some pretty amazing models all the time in our Library of more than 2 million CAD files. Some of which are the perfect parts for a custom reel, specifically gears.

A model of a fishing reel posted to the GrabCAD Community Library by member hon jerry.

Since I’m a big fishing enthusiast, I’m gonna talk a little about how gear ratio on your casting reel can help you catch more fish as well as how it works. When I first started fishing, the hardest part of fishing for bass wasn’t finding the fish but picking the perfect reel from my arsenal!

The gear ratio is measured by the amount of times the spool turns for one rotation of the handle. Picking the right gear ratio depends solely on technique and baits you’re throwing. Whether you need to slow it down after a cold front, or speed it up during pre-spawn depends on what you're fishing for and how you want to present your bait to the fish.

To explain what the numbers mean you’ll need to do some math. That ratio is the number of teeth on the driven gear divided by the number of teeth on the pinion gear.

Low Gear Ratio

Anything around 5.1:1 is a good place to start. A lower gear ratio allows you to pull in lures that have a lot of drag like crankbaits with little effort. This allows you to slow your bait down while having the ability to feel what you’re bait is doing and keep it in the strike zone.

Happy Medium

A gear ratio that starts with 6.1:1 is going to be your all around reel. You can fish it fast or fish it slow depending on how fast you want to reel. Usually used when fishing during pre-spawn and waiting for those reaction bites. A squarebill or shallow spinnerbait are great baits to throw with this reel.

High Gear Ratio

This reel is going to be the one you use to fish most of your plastics with a gear ratio of 7.1:1 or higher. The lures you fish with your rod instead of your reel. You’ll need a fast gear ratio to pick up the slack line in between retrieving to feel the bite. A fast reel also helps pick up line quickly if a bass decides to run toward you.

With digital chips, gear ratio, and drag systems things can get pretty complicated and expensive if you don’t know what you’re doing, but hopefully this explanation will help. I’ve once heard that the fishing industry isn’t about catching fish, but rather catching you.

As always, tight lines!

If you’re a fishing enthusiast like me and would like to create a tutorial about fishing gear or some other technical aspect about the hobby, please let me know. I’m always looking to talk shop with other fishers! I can be reached at: olivia@grabcad.com.

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