Bill Siemantel is a veteran pro angler with an impressive tournament record, and his affinity for swimbaits dates back to the ’80s. When choosing a reel to properly match a swimbait rod, Siemantel considers several factors. He says that gear ratio has a direct impact on lure retrieval. Baits without resistance, such as paddle tails or glide baits, create less drag in the water and can be fished with a faster reel. Swimbaits with bills and more pull are better suited for a lower 5-to-1 gear ratio. Siemantel says if you’re looking for one reel to complement almost any swimbait rod, make sure it has a 6-to-1 gear ratio and a good drag you can lock down tight.
Budget $$$ Shimano Guide Tranx 500 $500; shimano.com $$ Daiwa Lexa 400HD $250; daiwa.com $ Abu Garcia Ambassadeur S $70; abugarcia.com