What size reel for braid ?
If you’re thinking of making the change to braid, the good news is you can get rid of your old, heavy gear and invest in something light and tasty because braid has redefined the size of rods and reels, and types of tackle we use.
Back in the day, sport-fishing kingfish tackle was usually a 6/0 reel with 30lb line with about 15lb of drag. Now, with braid, the same fish can be caught on a 2/0 reel which has nearly twice the drag (stopping power) and can hold twice the amount of line as the old version.
Because braid is so thin, reels are often back-filled with mono, with 150-300m of braid on the business end. Even the smallest braid-friendly reels hold 300-600m of braid, which is heaps for most fishing situations. Plus they usually have the same drag range as their larger counterparts.
For braid, small, narrow reels are the best choice. That way you don’t have to push braid across the spool too far – this can cut your thumb like a cheese cutter if there’s a big fish loading your line.
So you might want to rethink that big reel. Do you really need such a bulky reel if you are just going to fill much of it with mono backing anyway?
Rods that suit braid have, in some ways, gone back to the parabolic rods of the 70s and 80s. But now they’re thin, light and have incredible lift.
Rods for bait fishing with braid should look back to earlier times too. A good old-school light fibreglass rod is ideal because it provides a bit of give.
In the 90s, a dalliance with snapper jigging was short-lived but, if braid had been around then, it may have become the norm for snapper sport fishing. The 7’ fast taper rods and small, round, bait-cast reels that were used then would be your soft bait set today.
Braid means you can get a 14g softbait on a jighead easily down to 15/20m. You can fish comfortably all day with a small ergonomic sport fishing rod. For jigging, the sets are light and strong, give you more feel for the bite and allow faster drops for jigs, plus the advantages of braid strength-to-diameter ratio.