Float Reels (Pin Reels)
Float or Pin reels are a mainstay for most river float fishermen as they afford the angler the luxury of achieving long drifts and also involve the challenge of fighting fish with no drag, one on one as everything is controlled by your hand. There are no gear ratios, no bails and really only two working parts.. a clicker and the bearings that are set into the spool on both sides which rests on the backing plates stem or spool post. Balance and weight are the key factors for most guys when purchasing and performance of the reel will fall into the quality of the machining and the tolerances but most importantly the bearings… higher quality bearings will mean a smoother spin and better drifts.
Casting a float reel is very basic and with a bit of practice easily learned but the premise of it involves using your free hand as a stripper guide, holding it out from the reel’s face anywhere from 1 – 3 feet away from the handle side. The free hand gathers the line from the rod and with a backwards facing cup (knuckles towards the reel) you let the line freely flow in the “V” formed by your thumb and index finger. The line will flow off the reel face, through your hand and through the rod guides essentially creating a 90 degree turn off the reel.