Bassmaster's 2006 Tackle Guide:
Reels: Spincast, baitcast and spinning

Updated: November 30, 2005, 10:21 AM ET
By Steve Price | BASSMASTER Magazine, December 2005
It's been 20 years since the fishing industry last saw a superfast-retrieve baitcast reel with 7:1 gearing, but this year two such reels, one from Shimano and the other from Quantum, were introduced at the ICAST show in Las Vegas. The early problem with such fast retrieves was a corresponding loss of power; you really could "burn" a lure through the water like never before, but if something could catch it, you just didn't have much left to play it.

Now, the rules have changed. Technology has solved the power problem with brand new gear designs that provide both speed and power. Bass fishermen have been asking for more speed in their reels for years, and now they have it. If there was an outstanding feature in reel design for 2006, this was it, and the number of reel makers who offer 7:1 gearing next year will almost certainly increase.

That said, there's a fine crop of new products out there for bass anglers of all skill levels, and even if you don't need a new reel, you're probably going to get one anyway because technology has made them that much better. Here's what you'll be seeing on store shelves in the weeks ahead: