What Gear Ratio Is Best For Bass Fishing?

Embarking on the journey of bass fishing brings forth a crucial question What gear ratio is best for bass fishing? Understanding the intricacies of gear ratios is paramount for anglers seeking optimal performance. The nuances of selecting the perfect gear ratio to elevate your bass fishing experience.

Unlock the secrets to bass fishing success by unravelling the mystery behind the ideal gear ratio. In the pursuit of trophy bass, the right gear ratio becomes your ally, ensuring the perfect balance between power and speed. Join us as we explore the answer to the pivotal question What gear ratio is truly best for bass fishing?

Navigating the expansive world of fishing gear can be overwhelming, but fear not. Discovering the ideal gear ratio for bass fishing is a journey that transforms uncertainty into confidence. The complexities provide insights that empower anglers to make informed decisions and enhance their bass fishing prowess.

Understanding Gear Ratios 

Versatility in Mid-Range Gear Ratios 

Gear ratios demystified The gear ratio of a fishing reel denotes the number of times the spool rotates with one turn of the handle. In bass fishing, common gear ratios range from high-speed , providing quick retrieves, to lower ratios (5.41 and below), delivering increased torque. This section elucidates how different gear ratios impact your bass fishing strategy and success.

High-Speed Gear Ratios 

The need for speed High-speed gear ratios, typically 7.11 and above, are favoured for techniques like flipping, pitching, and topwater fishing. This segment explores how these ratios facilitate rapid line retrieval, crucial for certain bass fishing scenarios. Learn when and why a high-speed gear ratio might be your winning ticket on the water.

Low-Speed Gear Ratios 

Power in precision Lower gear ratios, around 5.41 and below, offer increased torque, making them ideal for techniques requiring more power, such as deep cranking or dragging baits. Delve into the advantages of these ratios, understanding how they enhance control and performance in specific bass fishing situations.

Versatility in Mid-Range Gear Ratios 

The sweet spot Mid-range gear ratios (between 6.11 and 6.41) strike a balance between speed and power, making them versatile for various bass fishing techniques. The advantages of these ratios and how they cater to a broad spectrum of angling scenarios, providing adaptability on the water.

Factors Influencing Gear Ratio Choice 

Choosing the right ratio for you Beyond the fishing technique, several factors influence the ideal gear ratio, including lure type, water conditions, and personal preference. Anglers make nuanced decisions based on their unique fishing style and the specific challenges presented by different bass habitats.

Common Gear Ratios and Line Recovery Per Turn

The gear ratio in a fishing reel refers to the number of times the spool revolves with each complete turn of the handle. It’s typically expressed as a ratio such as 6.21, where the first number represents the number of times the spool turns and the second number represents one complete turn of the handle.The line recovery per turn can be calculated by multiplying the gear ratio by the inches per turn (IPT). IPT is a measure of how much line is retrieved with one complete turn of the handle, and it is influenced by the spool size and the amount of line retrieved per revolution.

The line recovery per turn is calculated by multiplying the gear ratio by a standard inches per turn (IPT) value. For example

Gear RatioLine Recovery per Turn (in inches)

These are common gear ratios and their line recovery per turn.

Gear RatioInches of Recovery Per Turn

Best Bass Fishing Techniques for Low Gear Ratio Reels

Best Bass Fishing Techniques for Low Gear Ratio Reels

Low gear ratio reels, typically those with gear ratios below 6.01, are known for their high torque and slower retrieval speeds. These reels are particularly useful in scenarios where you need to exert more power and control, such as when fishing with heavy baits or in situations that require a slow and steady retrieve. Some effective bass fishing techniques that pair well with low gear ratio reels.

Deep Cranking

Use deep diving crankbaits and allow them to reach the desired depth before starting a slow, steady retrieve. The slow gear ratio allows you to maintain control over the bait’s depth and keep it in the strike zone for a longer period.

Dragging and Carolina Rigging

Dragging soft plastics or Carolina rigged baits along the bottom. The lower gear ratio provides the necessary power to move heavier weights and keep the bait in contact with the bottom, enticing bass in deeper water.

Swimbait Fishing

Slow-rolling large swimbaits through the water, imitating a wounded or lethargic prey. The slow retrieve of a low gear ratio reel complements the natural, unhurried movement of swimbaits, enticing big bass.

Jig Fishing

Flipping and pitching jigs into heavy cover and slowly working them back to the boat. The high torque of low gear ratios helps in pulling bass out of thick cover, and the slow retrieval allows for precise bait placement.

Spinnerbait Fishing in Cold Water

Slow-rolling spinnerbaits at a moderate depth during colder months. Slower retrieves are often more effective in colder water, and the torque of low gear ratios helps maintain control over the bait.

Power Fishing with Big Worms

Using larger, bulkier plastic worms and working them along the bottom. The slower retrieve allows bass more time to react to the larger profile of the bait, and the torque aids in setting the hook effectively.

Best Bass Fishing Techniques for High Gear Ratio Reels

some effective bass fishing tips and techniques that work well with high gear ratio reels 

Topwater Walking Baits

Use lures like Zara Spooks or Sammy-style baits to create a side-to-side walking action on the water’s surface. High gear ratios enable you to work these lures quickly, producing the erratic movements that trigger topwater strikes.

Spinnerbait Fishing

Retrieve spinnerbaits at a fast pace through the water. High gear ratios excel in covering water quickly, making them ideal for searching out active fish with spinnerbaits.

Buzzbait Fishing

Buzzbaits are retrieved rapidly across the water’s surface to create a buzzing noise and attract bass. The high speed of the retrieve keeps the buzzbait on the surface, drawing aggressive strikes.

Ripping Lipless Crankbaits

Rip lipless crankbaits through grass or cover with a fast and erratic retrieve. High gear ratios allow you to burn these baits quickly, triggering reaction bites.

Swim Jig Fishing

Swim jigs rapidly through the water column, imitating a swimming baitfish. The fast retrieve enhances the lifelike action of the swim jig, enticing bass to strike.

Power Cranking

Use deep diving crankbaits and crank them quickly through the desired depth. High gear ratios enable a swift retrieval, making it easier to cover a variety of depths and locate actively feeding bass.

Drop Shotting in Shallow Water

Rapidly work a drop shot rig in shallow water, especially around cover. Quick presentations with a drop shot can trigger reaction strikes, and the high gear ratio aids in efficient target-to-target movements.

Pitching and Flipping Texas Rigs

Pitch or flip Texas-rigged soft plastics into specific targets. The fast retrieve speed allows for efficient and accurate presentations, making it easier to target specific structures or cover.

Jerkbait Fishing

Jerkbaits are retrieved with sharp, erratic movements to mimic wounded baitfish. High gear ratios help achieve the quick and aggressive action needed to entice bass during jerkbait presentations.


Is a high-speed gear ratio always better for bass fishing?

High-speed ratios excel in certain techniques, but the choice depends on your fishing style and the conditions you encounter.

Can I use the same gear ratio for all bass fishing techniques?

While a versatile mid-range ratio suits many techniques, adjusting based on the specific technique can enhance your success on the water.

Do gear ratios affect the type of line I should use?

Yes, gear ratios can influence the type of line you choose. Higher ratios are often paired with lighter lines for efficient retrieval.

Are gear ratios the only factor to consider when choosing a reel?

No, other factors like reel type, drag system, and build quality also play crucial roles in selecting the right reel for bass fishing.

Can I switch gear ratios on the same reel?

Typically, gear ratios are fixed on a reel and cannot be changed. Anglers often own multiple reels with different ratios for versatility.


Choosing the best gear ratio for bass fishing boils down to understanding your style. So, what gear ratio is best for bass fishing? It depends. High ratios offer speed, low ratios provide power, and mid-range balances both. Tailor your choice to your techniques and the bass’s home, ensuring your gear becomes your strategic ally.

In the bass-filled waters, the perfect gear ratio is your personalized key to success. High, low, or mid-range, the best ratio aligns with your strategy, turning each cast into a step towards angling excellence. So, fish confidently, armed with the knowledge to pick the gear ratio that fits your bass fishing style like a glove.

Leave a Comment