Picking The Right Cod Reel

by Dean Norbiato

Picking The Right Cod Reel

The author is a big fan of the 13 Fishing TX line of baitcasters.

When casting lures for Murray cod, one of the most important decisions you need to make is what reel best suits your needs. It's equally as important as what rod you select to do battle with this formidable freshwater foe.

So if you are in the market for a new baitcaster, then here are a few things that will help you get the reel that best suits your needs.

Reel All About It

There are two main types of baitcaster and overhead style reels suitable for Murray cod: barrel and low profile.

Shimano Calcutta Overhead Reel

Low profile vs barrel

The A3 from 13 Fishing is a cracking, yet affordable multi purpose cod reel.

As the name suggests a barrel reel looks like a barrel and can fit more line than its lower profile brethren. Traditionally, they are also a more robust style of reel, however with the advancements in low profile technology this is becoming less and less the case.

The poster boy of the barrel brigade is the pioneering Shimano Calcutta. If you also do a lot of trolling, they are a worthy option as they also fit more line, but when it comes to purely casting, a low-profile baitcaster is a few strides ahead.

As the name suggests, a low-profile reel is like an ergonomically squished barrel reel to better fit in an angler's palm for a fatigue-free day on the water.

Low Profile Baitcaster Reel

Low profile cod

Barrel reels are great for casting large lures and stopping big fish.

Buying a low profile baitcaster can be as daunting as hovering in front of a wall of Murray cod lures. There is just so much choice and, to the naked eye, they all kind of look the same. Mostly slick, black models with a dual handle that fit snugly in the palm of your hand.

But like most things, there are a number of factors that set these reels apart.

Now, while this may sound awkward, I will always take my intended rod that I'll pair with my new reel in when I'm assessing options.

It's the best way to see if the new reel will balance nicely on the rod. By balance, I mean how it feels in your hand when you've strapped it into the reel seat on your rod and you wave it around like you're having a cast.

The Lure Of A New Baitcaster

Like your rod selection, a big factor in choosing a new reel is the lures you intend to throw. The internal gears of most medium 150-sized baitcasters were created for casting lures under 40gm. But with the big bait boom in Australia, a 150g swimbait is now par for the course.

As a result, if you intend to fling a few 200g Jackall Gigantarels and you use a medium size reel like a Shimano Curado DC 150HG it will be fine for a few months. However, you will wear down the internal gearings at a rapid rate and turn it into an expensive paperweight in under a year - believe me.

However, if you are flinging medium-sized lures a Curado DC is a brilliant choice. But for those looking to throw bigger baits regularly, you should opt for the beefed-up option, like the unbreakable 13Fishing Concept A3.

Baitcaster Drag Queen

Drag is another reel consideration, but from experience, most low profile baitcasters will offer roughly 5kg of drag. While this may not sound like a lot when targeting fish that can grow to 50kg+, it will be sufficient for most applications.

If you do want to up the ante, check out the 13Fishing range as even their smaller models offer 10kg of bulldog drag.

The final reel consideration to factor in is the retrieve or gear ratio. It's measured by the amount of times your spool will rotate with each full turn of the handle.

If you are fishing fast water and need to keep up with your lure, a ratio of 6.4:1 or above is great. If you are slow rolling spinnerbaits along the bottom, a ratio of 6.4:1 or under is a better choice.

As you guessed, a safe bet if you do a bit of everything is a ratio around 6.4:1.

Had some success while fishing lately? Make sure you tag @anacondastores in your post so we can feature your catch on our Facebook and Instagram pages!

Find your local Anaconda store or browse online to check out our extensive range of fishing gear for your next cod fishing session.

Whether you're into surf fishing, estuary fishing or any other style, make sure you check out our range of fishing guides for all the helpful information you need.




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