Choosing the Best and Right Gear Ratio for Jigging Reel

Best Gear Ratio for Jigging Reel

Do you know that popular saying, good preparation is half of success? This is especially important for fishing. 

Jigging is an excellent technique but it is only as successful as you make it by choosing the right gear for the job. Especially the reel.

So, what is the best reel gear ratio for jigging? The answer to this question depends on the type of jigging. Although it may seem confusing, for slow-pitch jigging you need high-speed reel, and for vertical jigging you need low-speed reel. 

Of course, the type of jig fishing and the reel you will choose depends on our local fishing conditions and available species. 

When choosing a reel you need to make sure that it is also very strong, dependable, and comfortable to use. 

Continue reading to learn everything you need about jigging fishing reel!



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What Gear Ratio Reel is Best for Jigging?

To answer this question you need to know the difference between various jigging types. There is no one reel speed that fits all conditions!

If you are a complete beginner just discovering the world of fishing and jigging in particular, you can get a versatile reel that has multiple applications. 

The best reel gear ratio for jigging in such conditions would be a lower gear ratio to medium one, let's say between 5.0:1 to 5.8:1, or maybe up to 6.0:1

If you are searching for a specialized reel that is perfect for certain jigging types, you will need to choose either high speed reel or low speed

High Gear Ratio vs. Low Gear Ratio: What is the Difference in Jigging?

The gear ratio for jigging you will use is determined by the type of jigging, the lure you will use, and your personal preference as an angler. 

The main difference is in lure presentation. With slow reels, you will constantly work the lure up and down the water column. Strikes will happen both on the way up and down. These lower ratio reels provide a lot of power and control in those lure movements. 

A high ratio is more useful when using lures that are designed to fall naturally and flutter in attractive movement. With such a reel, the goal is to let it go down and then reel it up fast, to let it fall again. The majority of the strikes will happen on the way down. Usually, these reels will have less power. 

Vertical vs. Slow Pitch Jigging: What Gear Ratio to Choose?

As already mentioned, different techniques require different reel features. 

Gear ratio for vertical jigging:

For this type of fishing, you should opt for a lower speed, from 4.2:1 to medium speeds. Vertical speed jigging works well in deep water, especially saltwater, and for big fish like tuna or similar. In those conditions, you need a lot of power.

Also, it is important to mention reel type, and in such conditions, you should choose overhead reels. These reels work well with heavy tapered jigs. In smaller bodies of water and smaller fish, you could get away with spinning.

Gear ratio for slow pitch jigging:

A fast reel with a higher gear ratio is the way to go when practicing slow pitch. You need enough speed for lure retrieval, and you should choose in a range from 7.1:1 and up. I would personally recommend not going below 7.5:1 if you have that possibility.

A higher ratio is a must here, and of course a conventional reel due to the required speed.

Best Gear Ratio for Jigging Reel - Slow vs Vertical

Penn Torque? Shimano Ocea? Or any Other Reel for Jigging?

Choosing reels like Penn or Shimano guarantees that you are buying a quality product that won't let you down. It is good to invest slightly more to ensure excellent performance.

Penn Torque is available in various sizes and speeds up to 5.0:1 which makes it good for vertical jigging when targeting larger species, preferably offshore. It is not a reel type for your local lake. I can tell you that it is good, strong, precise, and can really help anglers to land a big fish like kingfish

Shimano Ocea is a high-end reel made especially for jigging. You can land anything with that, including dogtooth tuna and other big species! Higher speed is available than with Penn, and it goes from 5.1:1 to 6.4:1. This reel is also suitable for vertical jigging.

When it comes to smaller reels frequently used by bass anglers you can opt for smaller baitcasters like Shimano Curado 7.4:1 or similar. Those are excellent for freshwater. 

You will get good results with any high-quality reel on the market

Other Tips When Choosing the Right Jiiging Reel ...

Before you buy your next reel, here are some things to consider:

  • Reel handle - it must be strong, comfortable, and ergonomic. Jigging is a style in which you constantly work with it.

  • Spool - it is important to have high-quality spool that can hold enough line. You don't need much line length when fishing in smaller waters, but offshore, you need as much as possible, especially in the deep.

  • Materials - The reel has to be strong and powerful. Avoid those with plastic parts.

  • Casting distance - this is something you do not need to consider here unless you are looking for a medium-speed versatile reel you will use for another style of fishing.

  • IPT (Inches per turn) - this determines the amount of line you will retrieve with one turn of the reel handle. It is important when you need to reel in fast enough in slow pitch.

  • Reel size - going for tuna fishing is not the same as going bass fishing or crappie. Choose a suitable reel for your targeted species.

  • Weight and overall comfort - As you will be holding it non-stop, make sure that it is lightweight and easy to use with reduced impact on your wrists.

Best Gear Ratio for Jigging Reel - Choosing Tips


Choosing the best reel gear ratio for jigging depends on whether you want to practice vertical or slow pitch jigging. It all boils down to personal preference. 

The right gear can make a huge difference in your overall fishing success and your ability to catch fish easily.

For jigging anglers use mostly conventional reels, and when it comes to speed remember: for slow pitch, you need a fast reel and vice versa.

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