November 16, 2017

Do You Need 200 Yards of Line on Your Reel?

You should fish with what you prefer, but I'll show you that bigger is not always better...or necessary!

One day I couldn't help but become part of a conversation regarding fishing reel size.

A couple anglers were explaining why they wouldn't purchase a particular reel because it only held 100 yards of line.

They felt that, for inshore fishing, 100 yards was not enough.

This blew my mind, because I had been fishing with 50 size reels for awhile and had been very happy with them.

I mean, do you really need a 200 - or even 300 - size reel for speckled trout and redfish?

Maybe there's something I'm missing here and, if I am, please use the comments section below to fill me in.

For what it's worth, the reel in question was a 13 Fishing Concept A, a 50-size reel.

50 size reels are light, comfy and east to palm. A similar reel would be a Shimano Curado 70XG.

What size reel do you really need?

At the end of the day, you should use what works best for you.

One really can't go wrong there.

However, I never needed 200 yards of line handling any inshore species in Louisiana.

Let me share my experience.

Big Fish + Tiny Reel = No Problem

Slot reds and speckled trout are not big enough to truly test a fishing reel's line capacity.

The fish I'd turn to are big bull reds and jack crevalle, of which I've caught plenty.

Abu Garcia Revo Inshore

Okay, this isn't a 50 size reel, it's bigger, holding 180 yards of 12lb mono, but I would spool ~75 yards of fishing line on it, with the rest being monofilament backer.

On this reel I used 65lb braided line, for the express purpose of horsing redfish out of thick cover.

Despite having only 75 yards of line to fight with, I had no problem landing jack crevalle in open water.

Not once did I get down to the backing. 

I have had similar experiences with other large and powerful fish.

First Florida Redfish

13 Fishing Concept C

Being the same size as a Concept A, the C is a smaller reel, maybe too small if you have big hands.

It also holds 100 yards of 12lb mono, which is plenty for me.

Again, I use about 75  yards of line and the rest is monofilament backer.

In this case, 15lb fluorocarbon running down a 6' 2" medium power, fast action jigging rod.


I never had any intention of using this setup to catch anything other than speckled trout.

But there wasn't much I could do when a jack nailed my lure at Central Rig in Breton Sound.

I wanted to land him, so I had to play him very carefully as he made his drag-peeling runs.

We eventually got him into the boat to take pics before releasing him.

Matrix Shad Golden Eye Lands Jack Crevalle


Maybe a 50 size reel is too small for your hands, and something bigger like a 200 feels better.

If that's the case, then you should use that reel!

Spinning reels tend to be heavier, and a 30 (or 3000) size is all you really need for inshore fishing in Louisiana.

Something bigger may be so heavy it wears on the hands and wrists holding it all day. No good!

Get what works best for you, just know you aren't stuck with big reels if they don't suit you as well as smaller ones.

Tight lines, y'all.

Captain Devin

About the Author

Devin is a former fishing guide and lifelong inshore angler. He founded Louisiana Fishing Blog in 2012 to share his ideas as a charter captain and still writes in it today. Since then he's created a fishing university — LAFB Elite — where he teaches inshore anglers how to safely navigate Louisiana's coast and catch more fish.

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