November 6, 2013 by Jimmy Houston
You hear a lot about picking just the right gear ratio for fishing crankbaits, but to me it's not a big issue. I favor a reel with a gear ratio that's pretty much in the middle, about 6:1. I can use it for just about anything - top to bottom. I know some guys like a slower reel, especially when they're fishing the biggest, deepest-diving crankbaits all day. But as long as a crankbait is tracking true at any speed and not working me to death, it's not a big concern.
On the other hand, I don't want a reel that's too fast because you lose torque or power. One of the best crankbait fishermen the FLW has is Bryant Thrift and most of the time when you see him fishing a crankbait, he's really burning it. You can do that with most premium crankbaits now, because they're tuned right out of the box.
I fish more with a stop-and-go retrieve, usually with a Bomber Fat Free Shad. Even square-bill crankbaits can be fished a lot faster, down to the smaller sizes. Then, too, after a while you get a feel for how fast to fish a crankbait and you can either speed up or slow down accordingly. Choose a reel with average speed that feels right to you. It'll handle most of the fishing you're going to be doing.
---- Chevy pro Jimmy Houston, Cookson, Okla.