Are Fixed Spools The Best For Boat Fishing?

When you are choosing a reel for fishing, you have two primary choices. You can either go with a multiplier reel or a fixed spool reel. On a boat, you are more likely to find the former. But what if you are going on a boat fishing trip and find that you don’t have a multiplier reel? I know how this goes, Sometimes I grab the wrong rod or don’t know exactly what I need when I walk out of the door.

So can you use a fixed spool reel when you go boat fishing? That is the question I want to explore here.

Are fixed spool reels good for boat fishing?

To understand if you can effectively use fixed spool reels while boat fishing you will need to understand the two kinds, and their advantages and disadvantages.


The differences

Multiplier reels are called multiplier because the drum rotates multiple times for every turn of the reel handle. This multiplies the action of turning the wheel and increases the work done by each rotation.

There are multiplier reels that are specifically made for boat fishing. These boat type multiplier reels are specially designed to hold up to the abuse that comes with boat fishing. Multiplier reels are advantageous because they have a lighter feel and are more compact. They are also adept at long-distance casting, can use heavy lines.

These make the multiplier a robust reel that is useful on a boat and good at fighting big fish. Though there are drawbacks to the multiplier. The multiplier requires a bit of technique, and this can make them more difficult to use in low light conditions. The more complicated nature of this kind or real can also make it more involved on the maintenance end. If you are anything like me, you love fishing, but you would rather avoid the maintenance.

A fixed spool reel has a reel that is fixed in a single position, and the barrel turns around one time for every time that the handle is turned around. Because the barrel turns at the same time as the handle, the action from handle to reel is simultaneous.


The fixed spool reel is easier to maintain, which I like quite a bit. This style of the reel can also handle lighter lines and is simpler, so there is less to worry about going wrong in the dark.

The fixed spool reel also reacts more quickly which I think is a great benefit to this particular style. Though this kind of reel is not great with heavier lines and can be problematic in very deeper water.

Fixed reel usefulness

So when it comes down to it, is the fixed spool reel good for boat fishing? The answer is not clear cut. I more shallow waters, you will have no problems using a fixed spool reel over a multiplier reel. The fixed reel spool begins to get a bit trickier to use when the water gets deeper, and the fish get bigger.

Because of its trouble that the fixed spool has with thicker lines and the deeper water you may have some hard times with this style of the reel in these conditions. The bigger your fish and the deeper your water, the more I advise you make the switch over to a multiplier reel.


Is it impossible to fish in deep water off of a boat with a fixed spool? Absolutely! Although you may be in for some struggles. The multiplier rod becomes more and more advantageous in these conditions.

Because of the technique required to properly use multiplier reels, novice fishermen tend to start at fixed reel. As you fish in more and more places, the fisherman may just want to continue to use the fixed reel rather than making the switch to the multiplier. I think this is a valid way to fish. It may be a bit more difficult, but if it is the way that the fisherman feels comfortable, I say all the more power to them.

Do what makes you feel the most comfortable, but be away from the challenges and difficulties you may have because of those choices.

Possible, but difficult.

Both of these kinds of spools have advantages and disadvantages in different conditions. If you are looking to do some boat fishing in shallow waters, a fixed spool reel may be perfectly fine and suit your needs perfectly. If you are boat fishing in the deep waters, the fixed reel becomes more and more difficult to manage. In these situations, I would recommend switching to a multiplier reel for the sake of ease.

That being said, it is still up to you. It is possible to take a fixed reel into the deep waters, and many try because the fixed reel is easier to learn in the first place, although the multiplier is better suited for deep water fishing.

What kind of spool reel do you use? Let us know what your thoughts on this topic are. Feel free to ask any questions you may have.

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