Fishing Reel Gear Ratios Explained

If you’ve ever shopped online for a fishing reel, you’ve likely come across a product description for a specific model you’re interested in. That description contained a reference to the model’s gear ratio. A specification expressed using three numbers. For instance, 7.0:1, and 6.3:1, are examples of fishing reel gear ratios. One of our goals at Live to Fish, is helping you understand anything and everything about fishing, the gear, tactics, etc. After reading what follows, you’ll never wonder what those figures mean again. When you turn the handle on a fishing reel, you’re engaging gears inside the reel. Those internal gears are what turn the spool. As you know, the spool of a fishing reel refers to the part of the reel that holds your fishing line. Understanding what those numbers mean is easy.  The number before the colon denotes the rotations the spool makes per one complete turn of the reel’s handle. So, a 6.3:1 ratio means the spool revolves 6.3 times with each (1) handle turn. Larger numbers in the first section means that more line is retrieved each time you turn the reel handle because the spool is turning that much faster. See how easy that was?  That’s another thing you’ll come to know about us – we’ll always give you the advice and information you need straight up. As you know, there are spinning reels and casting reels.  Other terms for casting reels are conventional reels and bait casting reels.   Whether you’re shopping for a spinning reel or a casting / conventional reel, the gear ratio explained above will always be expressed in the same manner and have the same meaning.

Technically Speaking
For those who would like more technical specificity in understanding fishing reel gear ratios, this next paragraph is for you. Turning the handle on a fishing reel engages a flat, circular shaped spur gear. This spur gear is located on the internal shaft of the handle. Teeth on the spur gear are precisely machined to interact with a smaller gear that resides on the center shaft of the reel spool. In most reels this is called a helical gear.  This helical gear is shaped like a small barrel. Turning the handle engages these gears which rotate together and turn your spool. How smooth your reel feels when turning the handle is largely a result of how finely these gears match up inside your reel. Some other factors that contribute to the smooth feel and durability are how exact the specifications and tolerances are between these gears, and what type of metal the gears are made of. When you cast a bait casting reel, your spool is spinning freely. The spool’s ability to spin freely is the result of the disengagement of the gears. When casting a bait casting reel, you push down on the thumb bar; also, called the spool release button. With the thumb bar down, the gears are disengaged and you’re able to cast. When you turn the handle after making your cast, you hear the same click encountered when you first pushed the thumb bar down. That audible, “click,” is the sound of the gears re-engaging. For a spinning reel, casts are possible when you flip the bail wire over. That allows your line to flow freely off the spool. The spool itself doesn’t spin like it does on a bait casting reel when you cast.  For anyone who has used both kinds of reels, you know that without the spool spinning on a spinning reel during the cast, you don’t end up with the dreaded, “backlash,” “bird’s nest,” or, “professional overrun.” The foregoing are all terms used to describe the tangle of line that ends up on your spool when a cast goes awry with a bait casting reel.

Low Gear Ratio Reels vs. High Gear Ratio Reels
The lower the gear ration, the more torque the reel provides. However, the downside is less line is recovered with each turn of the handle. The higher the gear ratio, the more line you’ll recover with turn of the handle; but the disadvantage is often a loss in power necessary to subdue large fish. Determining the proper gear ratio is done by considering the species you’re after and the fight you expect to encounter. Just like a golfer doesn’t take to the golf course with just one club, most experienced fisherman don’t head out to go fishing with just one rod and reel combo. A selection of rod and reel combinations accompany fisherman serious about getting as many fish on the line as possible. The selection contains rods capable of handling different size lures or baits and reels with varying gear ratios and line capacities. Certain lures are better fished with a lower gear ratio. Big crank baits that swim deep benefit from the additional torque. More torque from a lower gear ratio means that reeling this lures in requires less effort; as does fighting the fish you hook up with. Another scenario that favors low gear ratios is when fishing in cold weather with low water temperatures. In Florida, when the water temperature is in the 70’s; and certainly below, baits and lures need to be fished more slowly. A slow retrieve matches the generally lethargic behavior exhibited by fish in colder conditions. Working your lure too fast in cold water yanks the lure out of the water column that would encompass the strike zone. The strike zone in colder water is smaller than in warmer temperatures. Moreover, fish are less willing to travel to feed. A slow retrieve and accompanying presentation will result in more strikes.

Pairing Gear Ratios with Lure Types
If using fishing reels with a high gear ratio, you can gobble up more line with each turn of the handle. High gear ratio reels are also called, “high-speed,” reels as a reference to how many revolutions the spool makes. For example, the Abu Garcia Revo Rocket has a gear ratio of 9.0:1. The result is a recovery of 36.5” inches of line per turn. Examples of a high gear ratio are those above 7.1:1. Types of fishing best done with a high gear ratio reel involve fishing with jigs, large jerk baits, large worms, Texas and Carolina rigs, top-water lures, and any lipless crankbaits. In summary, you’ll benefit from a high-speed reel any time you’re fishing a lure that requires you to use your rod to achieve the desired action.  Fishing the types of lures mentioned above creates slack in your line. Especially when working a top-water lure. Slack line can cause problems when a fish strikes. Without tension on the line, you either won’t notice the bite or you won’t be able to properly set the hook. Lastly, if fishing an area exhibiting numerous means through which the fish could break free, a high-speed retrieve is beneficial. Such areas would be docks, bridges, mangrove shorelines, and weeds or lily pads.  Getting the fish away from structure in a hurry increases your chances of landing the fish rather than losing both the fish and your lure in the process.

When you get into fishing offshore, on reefs or other deep-water structures, the definition of high-speed changes based on the different dimensions of the reels. Bigger, heavier, fish tend to live in deeper water. Bigger, heavier, fishing gear is used to bring these fish up from the depths, or otherwise counter their power. Fishing gear rated for offshore use will have the necessary combination of both speed and power. Some offshore gamefish reels have spools that when filled to capacity with line, boast a circumference measuring approximately 8” inches. The recovery rate when reeling in is a whopping of 4’ feet, or 1.33 yards of line with each turn of the handle. Blue Marlin, Sailfish, Bluefin Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna, and Dorado are some examples of popular off-shore gamefish species. Stories of a large Blue Marlin making a run towards the boat are not unheard of. The ability to quickly recover line and take up slack is critical.  One of the reasons large fish are lost is due to a suddenly slack line. The slack line means the tension on the hook is lost; causing loss of the fish.

We’ve Got What You’re Looking For
Our fishing tackle at Live to Fish contains conventional fishing combinations suitable for offshore fishing. In addition, you’ll find rods and reels suited for pursuing inshore gamefish and freshwater species. We want you to have the right gear for whatever you’re after, so we’re happy to answer any questions you may have. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions about the appropriate gear, or any of the items we sell.

By: Josh Stewart

 

 

Fishing First Aid

Here at Live to Fish, we know that it’s always a good idea to be prepared with a first aid kit and other items that could potentially save you from disasters. In this entry, we’ll be discussing a couple of tips and tricks to help you become better prepared when you’re fishing on a boat.

Hook Removal from Skin

Got a hook stuck in your skin? No worries, just stay calm and prepare to remove it. First, you’ll want to clean the area, then decide which method you want to use to remove the hook. There are three common methods for removing fishing hooks from skin. Although every hook is different, these are the methods that have been reported to work best for people:

  1. Push the fish hook through and cut the barb off or crush it with plier cutters. Then gently slide it out.
  2. Grab it and pull it out as quickly as possible (this method may not always work and could potentially hurt more).
  3. Use fishing line to loop through the bend of the stuck hook. Push down on the opposite hook end with a partner and yank the string back (works best for small circle hooks). You can also do this more easily with the emergency hook remover tool by South bend.

Tips for Overcoming Nausea & Sea-Sickness

Motion Sickness is caused by mixed signals in the brain from your inner ears and eyes. Your inner ear has a lot to do with your sense of motion and balance, so being on/in anything that is moving may cause you to feel ill or nauseous. Many people suffer from motion sickness, it’s quite common for people traveling by car, train, plane, and boat. Although you could always take Dramamine and other drugs to help fight motion-sickness, there’s a bundle of ways that you can stop nausea on your own.

Many people don’t understand that much of sea-sickness is mental. The more you focus on your nausea, the more power you’re giving it to take over. Don’t do that! Stop. Breathe. And follow these helpful tips to take control. But just remember, if you get sick –don’t sweat it! Many people deal with sea-sickness on a regular basis. Sometimes it just happens and you have to let it run its course. Plus, in many cases you’ll feel a bit better after you toss your cookies. Here’s a few tips to help you fight sea-sickness:

  • Look up and out towards the horizon. This will help you be able to mentally focus on something that isn’t moving –which in many cases, the horizon may be the only point you can focus on that isn’t moving.
  • Change your direction. Try aiming your head in the same direction that your vessel is moving.
  • Chew gum. Sometimes this chewing motion can help keep away nausea.
  • Avoid alcohol. We know that drinking and fishing can go hand in hand, but if you’re prone to getting sea-sick, this may be something you’ll want to avoid.
  • Avoid harsh smells. Try to seek out fresh air to help you open your lungs and calm your gag reflexes. If you can, lightly spray aromatherapy smells in your surrounding area such as lavender and mint to help calm you down.
  • Pinch your wrist. Your wrists contain pressure points that help relieve nausea symptoms. If you find that this works great for you, pick up a Queaz-Away Wristband. This simple wristband contains a piece that gently pushes into your wrist’s pressure point when wearing it correctly. This option is also great because there’s no drugs involved.
  • Avoid concentrating on screens & reading. The more stress you put on your eyes to focus when you’re moving, the dizzier you’ll become.
  • Avoid direct sunlight and stay hydrated. The less hydrated you are, the more likely you’ll feel light-headed and more prone to nausea. If you’ve already gotten ill, get out of the sun and try to sip on water.
  • Sip on a soda. Many people report that sipping on some type of carbonated beverage helps settle their stomach. Everyone is different, so try for yourself and see if this works!
  • Stay towards the middle of the boat. By avoiding the ends of the boat (which have the most pronounced rocking motions) you’ll be able to keep better balance.
  • Be the captain. If you can, get behind the wheel and steer the boat. This will help keep your mind busy and your eyes on the horizon.
  • Keep your ears clean. If you don’t, the build-up of wax can make you more prone to sea-sickness. This is because your inner ears control your center of gravity.
  • Be rested. Make sure that you’re well-rested and get a good night’s sleep the night before you’re on the water. Good sleep helps your sense of balance and overall state of well-being.
  • Try using MotionEaze. This drug-free, doctor recommended motion sickness relief is safe for children and contains natural oils that fight dizziness & nausea. Simply place a drop behind each ear and feel relief within minutes.

Avoiding Bug Bites

Bug bites are at the top of the list of annoyances for many people trying to fish. Bug spray is a popular method to keep away bugs, but what if you have a skin allergy or just don’t like the idea of putting chemicals on your skin? Lucky for you, there’s a few alternatives to classic bug sprays. Now you can avoid itchy, annoying bug bites with an insect repellent wristband by Bugband or a Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Appliance. Bugbands repel mosquitoes, flies, & gnats, and they’re safe for children to wear. Each Bugband works for up to 120 hours. The Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Appliance repels mosquitoes, black flies, & other biting insects in a 15’ x 15’ area with the help of flame-less, odorless butane cartridges. This appliance is easy & safe to carry, and the best part is —it fits in your pocket! Any of the above methods will help keep you free of bites & bug-carrying diseases.

Emergency Water Filtration

In the case of an extreme emergency, it’s always good to have an emergency water filter. A single Emergency Water Filter by LifePack can make up to 3 liters of water a day for 3 days. Keeping a water filter handy on your boat is a great idea because you never know what could happen.

Once again, we at Live to Fish want to remind you to always be prepared when you’re heading out on a fishing trip —big or small. Some of these tools & tips might just come in handy someday!

Have questions about the information or products we discussed? We’re ready to answer any product questions that you may have. Just give us a call at 1-844-9FISHIN or drop us a line on our contact page.

 

5 Tips for Fishing with Kids & Newbies

Unfortunately, getting out on the water for a fishing trip happens less likely than most of us would want. A fishing trip involving a newcomer or young children can be even less likely. Having a newcomer to the sport of fishing, child or adult, is a valuable opportunity to pass on your passion for fishing. Additionally, it’s an ideal occasion to teach the less experienced fisherman about ethical fishing and boating practices. This article will help ensure trips with people not accustomed to fishing proceed as smoothly as possible. If you think back to where your passion for fishing first developed, you’re likely to recall going out with a fishing enthusiast. That ambassador to the sport of fishing likely contributed to your experience in ensuring it was favorable and unforgettable. Meaningful positive memories are ensured when helping someone with less experience end up with a fish on the line. The newcomer doesn’t necessarily have to be related to you, nor do they have to be a child. Witnessing the pure excitement exhibited by someone who hasn’t fought a fish before results in a rewarding experience for everyone involved. Follow the tips below to ensure that any fishing experience is one in which the chances of everyone enjoying the opportunity are increased.

  1. Don’t Focus on Targeting a Specific Species
    At first, the goal is simply to catch fish in general. This tip is especially true when fishing with children. When kids are along, remember that those under 10 years of age have a very short attention span. If they aren’t catching fish, boredom will soon follow.  If boredom sets in and isn’t relieved with a fish on the line, it will be all that much harder to convince them to go along with you in the future. For the first few trips, focus on going after whatever species is easiest to catch during that time of year. For the inexperienced fisherman, it’s not about the size of the fish, or the species. Gamefish or not, the newcomer will be happy that a fish goes from swimming freely to being caught. Go through the necessary preparations that you would normally follow before heading out. Such preparations include checking the tidal conditions for your area, among other things. If you don’t know what’s biting, ask a local bait shop employee or contact us.
  2. Don’t Try to Fish in Rough or Extreme Conditions
    Though you may cast concerns over wind and waves aside when heading out, someone new to the sport has not yet come to understand the fun and enjoyment that fishing brings. Your motivation to fish through uncomfortable conditions comes about as a result of the fond fishing memories you already have. Regardless of whether fishing from shore or from a boat, keep in mind that the experience is entirely new for your guest. They don’t yet share the same level of commitment and enthusiasm that you share for the sport. Exposing them to rough wind and waves may result in the person being skeptical to try the next time.  After a few successful trips, you can better gauge their endurance and willingness to deal with adverse conditions.
  3. Shorten the Duration of Your Trips
    Long trips require a similar type of endurance and enthusiasm as is required for fishing through adverse conditions.  Save the full day adventure for another time. Preferably after the novice shares your interest in the sport. How long should you plan the fishing trip duration?  Three to four hours is plenty of time to take someone out, put them on fish, and bring them back. Before you head out to catch whatever swims, make a note to pack plenty of snacks and drinks as well. You want to focus on maximizing comfort during the first trips. We sell a number of accessories to help make your trip as fun and enjoyable as possible.
  4. Cater Your Tackle to Beginners
    If you have children along, work to avoid use of treble hooks. Getting a hook in your hand or elsewhere has probably occurred to you at some point (no pun intended). Safe removal of the hook is difficult and even harder to do in a completely pain free manner. You want the hooks you remove with newcomers to be those stuck in the mouths of fish, not your guest. Fortunately, we offer a wide variety of single barb hooks.  You can easily exchange treble hooks with single barb hooks  without fear of losing the opportunity to hook up. Also remember that some manufacturers also make their lures with single barb hooks, so these types of lures are a good addition to any tackle box. Since we’re on the topic of lures, here’s another important point to consider – unless you’re simply trolling, lures require specialized knowledge involving how to work the rod and the rate at which to reel in. Each artificial bait is fished differently in order to attract strikes. When fishing with someone new to the sport, their concerns are likely to exist on a much lower level on the totem pole of fishing expertise. More likely than not, they’ll just want to make sure they nail learning how to cast. In this case, use of lures is not advisable and you should try live bait instead.
  5. Focus on Your Guests
    If you’ve ever hired a guide to take you out for a day of fishing, recall how much attention that guide provided to you. No, you don’t have to suddenly become as attentive as a professional fishing guide. The idea behind recommending that you keep your focus on your guests is to help them feel more comfortable doing something new. If you happen to hook one, hand the rod off and let them fight the fish. Valuable lessons are learned in how to properly handle a fighting fish, so it’s worth taking the time to pass on any knowledge you might have. Allow your guests the opportunity to take a close look before releasing the fish. An exception to giving you guests the chance to take a closer look would be if you happen to catch a large shark or saltwater catfish. In such instances, the risks likely outweigh the rewards. If you are going to release the fish, follow proper catch and release methods to ensure a safe release of the fish.

Be Patient & Encouraging
If they do something wrong or the fish shakes the hook, be sure to offer quick positive words of support and encouragement.  If you follow these tips, the chances of passing on your love of the sport increase.  Comment below or contact us if you have any other questions or for any further tips or suggestions.

Top Worms From Zoom Baits

When you’re on the lookout for soft plastic worms for bass fishing, you may notice that one brand consistently comes to the top of the list. The name is Zoom Baits, and this legendary brand has been a driving force in the soft plastics industry since the late 1970’s. One of the main advantages of using products from Zoom is that all of their baits feature a proprietary salt impregnated plastic formula. This special plastic provides a tasty burst of salt when the fish strikes, encouraging them to hold on longer and give you more time to reel in your catch.

Zoom’s extensive catalogue of soft worms are available in multiple kinds and feature over 370 color variations. With this much of a selection, it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed. That’s why we’re here to help! In this post, we’ll go over the special features of Zoom’s most popular worms and give details on how each one is best used to catch fish. Read on for some helpful information that might come in handy next time you’re on the market for soft plastic worms.


Zoom Centipede

Zoom Baits Centipede
Zoom’s Centipede Worm

The Centipede is the soft bait of choice for sluggish bass in cold weather conditions. It’s also great for times when bass are finicky and less inclined to bite. At just 4″ long and armed with multiple rows of water moving ridges, the Centipede is a cold water bait that darts and glides with the slightest movement of your rod. While the Centipede is ideal for Carolina rigs, its short length and sturdy plastic construction means it can be dropshot, splitshot, or even used on a shakey head. Check out our selection of Zoom Centipedes for color options and more information.


Zoom Dead Ringer

Zoom Dead Ringer
Zoom’s Dead Ringer Worm

The Zoom Dead Ringer is a mainstay in any serious bass angler’s soft bait arsenal, and for good reason. The Dead Ringer’s specially designed body-rings move more water than a traditional smooth worm, which helps it create predatory-response acoustics that hungry bass just can’t resist. The oversized curly tail flutters on the fall or with the slightest twitch of your rod, providing a lifelike action that can bring in bass from near or far. Our selection of Dead Ringer Worms includes multiple sizes and colors.


Zoom Trick Worm

Zoom Trick Worm
Zoom Trick Worm

The Trick Worm is a perfect straight-tailed option when fishing weightless for shallow-water bass. It’s also super effective on a Shaky, Carolina, or Wacky rigs for deeper dwelling fish. The tapered body and natural-looking segments give it a slithering motion that allows it to navigate through difficult environments like grass beds and log jams. Try the Trick Worm in a variety of colors to see which one works best for you.


Zoom Finesse Worm

Zoom Finesse Worm
Zoom’s Legendary Finesse Worm

At 4.5″ in length, Zoom’s Original Finesse Worm is a smaller version of the popular trick worm. This little worm is responsible for catching more bass in the U.S. than any other finesse bait. The Finesse Worm’s lifelike body segments and gradually tapered shape make it extremely capable for a variety of fishing techniques. It can be rigged wacky style, on a darter head, or splitshot, but as the name would suggest, it’s perfect on a finesse jig head. We offer Finesse Worms in a plethora of colors, so make sure you check ’em out.


Zoom Fluke Stick

Zoom Fluke Stick
Zoom’s Fluke Stick

The Zoom Fluke Stick combines the lifelike worm shape and rigging versatility of the Finesse Worm with the gliding and darting action of a Super Fluke tail. The result is a unique, fluked soft-plastic stickbait that is useful for a variety of techniques. The fluked tail provides a smooth gliding motion on the fall, allowing access to previously unreachable areas like the underside of docks or beneath heavy weed cover. You can fish the Fluke Stick weightless, on a dropshot, or Texas rigged, and it will exhibit an erratic darting motion on the retrieve that bass can’t resist. Check out our selection of Fluke Sticks at LivetoFish.com.


Zoom G-Tail Worm

Zoom G-Tail Worm
Zoom’s G-Tail Worm

The Zoom G-Tail is the perfect weapon when going after big bass. The thick, square-shaped body and wide, fluttering G-shaped tail create a larger presentation that will naturally gain the attention of bigger bass. Use it with a Texas or Carolina rig, or fish it weightless for some topwater, tail-buzzing action that’ll drive big bass into a frenzy. If you’re on the market for a big bass-catching, soft plastic worm, then check out our selection of G-Tail Worms.


Zoom Magnum II Worm

Zoom Magnum II Worm
Zoom’s Magnum II Worm

The Magnum II (Mag II for short) is a soft plastic worm that is ideal for going after big bass when the water heats up. At a total length of 9″, this worm features an extremely long, curled tail. The sheer size and weight of the Mag II means it can be easily flipped or pitched into heavy cover areas. You can even add a weight to your line and crawl it along the bottom —its long tail will sway with the current and entice curious bass from all directions. Our selection of Mag II Worms includes multiple colors so you can tailor your presentation to a variety of weather conditions.


Zoom Meathead

Zoom Meathead Worm
Zoom’s Meathead Worm

The Meathead’s thick, fleshy head takes up over 1/4 of its total body length, which makes it an ideal bait for split shotting. The body quickly tapers off into a flat paddle tail, which provides an extra bit of motion on the fall that can get bass biting on a slow day. Try out this 4″ worm when the fish aren’t biting and experience the difference it can make. The Meathead can also work really well when dropshot or placed on a Carolina rig.


Zoom Ol’ Monster

Zoom Ol' Monster Worm
Zoom’s Ol’ Monster Worm

At up to 12″ in length, the Ol’ Monster is the largest worm in Zoom’s lineup. The shear size and profile of the Ol’ Monster make it best suited for going after really big bass. The slender body and long fluttering tail work great on both Texas & Carolina rigs, but are also adaptable to magnum shakey head rigs and much more. Live to Fish offers the Ol’ Monster in two sizes and multiple colors.
See the Ol’ Monster in Action:


Zoom Shakey Head

Zoom Shakey Head Worm
Zoom’s Shakey Head Worm

As the name would imply, Zoom’s Shakey Head Worm was designed to work perfectly with a shakey head jig. The Shakey head is perfectly balanced for finesse presentations, and the flat head transitions into a segmented, tapered body that allows you to manipulate this worm with the slightest twitch of the rod. What’s more, if you pair up the Shakey Head Worm with a jig that shares its namesake, the tail will stand up straight in water columns and twitch enticingly. Use this technique when fishing in high-pressured waters when bass aren’t biting.

See the Shakey Head in Action:


Zoom Original Speed Worm

Zoom Speed Worm
Zoom Speed Worm

Zoom’s Original Speed Worm features a soft segmented body and a thick paddle tail. The body segments help move more water and attract bigger fish, while the paddle tail adds a gliding motion on the fall. This shape helps allow access to small openings under thick matting and brush piles. Fish it as a weightless swimbait or attach a bullet weight to simulate the pulsing movement of a spinnerbait. No matter how you use it, the Original Speed Worm is a versatile, durable, and capable bait that provides results.


Zoom UV Speed Worm

Zoom UV Speed Worm
Zoom UV Speed Worm

The UV Speed Worm takes the segmented body design of the Original Speed Worm and replaces the flat paddle tail with Zoom’s patented Ultra Vibe Tail. The Ultra Vibe Tail is designed to maximize water disturbance and vibration as you retrieve the bait. This creates a sound that hungry bass just can’t resist. Fish the UV Speed Worm as a Texas or Carolina rig to go after deep dwellers, or try it weightless and watch the Ultra Vibe Tail buzz across the water’s surface.

See the UV Speed Worm in Action:


Zoom Swamp Crawler

Zoom Swamp Crawler
Zoom Swamp Crawler

The Swamp Crawler is a finesse style worm with a thin, straight-tailed design and natural worm-like body segments. This worm is ideal for Texas and Carolina rigs, but also works great on a jig head or as a weightless lure. The straight tail and segmented body give this worm a natural, wavelike action that helps attract even the most finicky of bass.


Zoom U-Tale Worm

Zoom U-Tale Worm
Zoom U-Tale Worm

The Zoom U-Tale is a medium-sized worm that is arguably well suited to any fishing situation that you may encounter. For this reason, the U-Tale is a must-have for any angler’s soft plastic arsenal. Its medium size makes it adaptable for both large and small bass, and the U-shaped tail flutters naturally on both the fall and the retrieve. The U-Tale Worm is available in a plethora of colors, which means you can experiment and find the best option for every situation.


Zoom Z-Drop Worm

Zoom Z-Drop Worm
Zoom Z-Drop Worm

If there ever was a worm designed to be perfect for dropshotting, then Zoom has come as close as possible with the Z-Drop Worm. This worm features a big, segmented head  and a flat underbelly with a crosstail design. The head adds extra weight and resistance on the fall, while the belly helps create a gentle gliding presentation and swaying motion as it descends into the depths.


We’re Here to Help

Do you have any particular preference of worms from Zoom Baits? Have you had success with a Zoom worm or a fishing technique not mentioned here? Let us know in the comments section or get in touch. If you’re on the market for some new soft plastic baits from Zoom, be sure to visit us at livetofish.com and check out the Zoom Baits selection for a huge variety of colors and sizes on all the worms mentioned in this article.

Casting vs. Spinning Reels

LivetoFish.com carries a large variety of fishing reels, including the top-performing Penn Reels. If you don’t already have a specific model in mind, it can be hard to choose the best reel for your needs. In most instances, before you make any other decisions about things like reel size or gear ratio, you’re going to be deciding whether you want a casting reel or a spinning reel. As such, it’s important to explore the characteristics of casting reels and spinning reels to determine which is best for you. Let’s get started.

Spool Rotation

Spool rotation is an important factor in choosing whether you want a spinning reel or a casting (also called “baitcasing”) reel. On a casting reel, the spool revolves and meshes with the gears as it moves. The spool stays in place on a spinning reel.

Line and Tackle Weight

If you are using light line and light tackle, you’ll want to choose a spinning reel. The spinning reel is perfect for 6-10 lb. line and lures up to 1/4  oz. in weight.  With a casting reel, you can use heavier line and tackle. Casting reels are better set up for baits that are larger than 3/4 oz. in size and line that is 14-20 lb. test.

Bait Type

If you prefer to use a certain type of bait when you head out on the water, you might want to tailor your reel choice to your favorite baits. Spinning reels are generally used for finesse like jigging or drop-shotting. Casting reels are better for baits that move, like crankbaits and spinnerbaits.

Precision Casting

This comes down to a matter of opinion, but the choice of reel is often dependent upon precision.  When you use a spinning reel, you are offered a wider range of motion than you are with a casting reel. This lets you get into a place where a casting reel can’t normally reach, like under structures or heavy cover. Casting reels are better for open water.

Skill Level

If you’re not interested in any of the above factors and it’s your first time on the water, choose the reel that matches your skill level. If you are a beginner, you’re going to have an easier time learning how to cast with a spinning reel than you are learning how to cast with a casting reel.

No matter what reel you choose, try to choose the reel that’s at the top of your pricing bracket. You want to have a quality reel that’s sure to last a lifetime.


Do you have any particular preference of casting vs. spinning reels? Let us know in the comments or get in touch. If you’re on the market for a new fishing reel, be sure to visit us at livetofish.com and check out the Fishing Reels section for a huge variety of freshwater and saltwater casting and spinning reels.

How to fish the tides.

How to Fish the Tides

Whether you know it or not, your fishing experience is dictated by the tide. That’s why it’s in your best interest to work with the tide when you fish as opposed to against it. There are plenty of options that you can take to get familiar with the tides of your favorite fishing spot and plenty of techniques that you can try once you’re there.

Get to Know the Tide

Tide Table Lookup
Live to Fish Tide Table Lookup Program

Before you head out, decide where you’re going to be fishing, what time of day (or night) you’re going to be fishing, and how long you’re going to be fishing. Once you’ve made these decisions, you’ll want to check the local tide tables. You can use a physical chart, like ones printed in a magazine or your local newspaper, or you can check our handy onsite tide table lookup program. Looking at these predictions will help you to know what times the low and high tides will hit. Our tide table lookup page also has helpful information about why tides are important, different types of tides, the best time to fish, and other useful information.

Understanding the tide is essential for a good fishing experience. The tide controls the current and the current controls the movement of the water. A low tide reveals structures that you may or may not have been aware of, and a high tide will flood a fish aggregator, or an object designed to attract fish to a specific area.

Even after perusing the tide table, it’s important to take adjustments to the tides into consideration. This can often depend on location and timing. The tide reading will often be given for a base point. If you aren’t fishing exactly at the base point, you are going to have to make adjustments to the tide reading. These adjustments can range anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.  Making adjustments can mean the difference between heading out to the water earlier or later than you initially intended.  Be sure to also take the movement of the current into consideration as well.

It’s important to remember that in most cases, fish want to swim along with the current rather than against it. They do this to conserve energy. As such, when you are fishing in shallow water (whether you’re in freshwater or saltwater), be sure to cast your bait up current. This will help to give it a more natural presentation as it moves through the water.

Inshore & Sight Fishing

If you do any sort of sight fishing from the shore, it’s good to be aware of the tide. In high tide,  fish will become more visible as the pursue prey that may be moving closer to shore when the water level is higher. You can also use the position of the tide to determine when a large amount of fish are going to be in an area. Not only to they become more visible to the eye as they pursue prey, but they will often crowd into a spot where they know that prey species will congregate as they are forced to move with the tide. The fish will do this to ambush their prey.  If you know where these spots are,  you can, in turn, ambush the fish.

As mentioned earlier, a low tide can reveal structures or  tidal paths that you might otherwise not have noticed. It can also draw fish into an area because they know that they have a better chance of finding food.  Eddies and jetties can move baitfish into a current that they might otherwise not have been in. Larger fish will take advantage of this. Fishing eddies works in saltwater as well, especially where the water is deeper.

What to do if there is no Water Movement

If you’re fishing in low tide areas with no water movement, try to go for spots that are different than where you would normally fish if the water was moving. Go for underwater weed beds, potholes, or areas where the water will cut through land. There are fish there that wait for baitfish and other prey species to appear. They’ll be hungry and more likely to go after your bait.

When the Tide isn’t Working in Your Favor

There will inevitably be times when fishing with the current isn’t giving you the results that you want. This can happen when the current and the tides are working against each other or in particularly windy conditions when there is a lot of water movement. In this instance, it’s important to remember not to fight the movement of the water. Change gear and change directions if you have to.

Regardless of how you fish the tide, it’s important to be familiar with your water conditions before you head out for the day.   Do you have any tips or techniques for fishing the tides? Share them in the comments or get in touch.

References: http://www.sportfishingmag.com/how-to-fish-tides#page-12

http://www.gulffishing.com/ce961.html

Top Shoreline Marine Accessories

Top Shoreline Marine Accessories

Choosing the best marine accessories for your needs can be hard work. That’s why we’ve made a list of some of the best items available from Shoreline Marine for extending the life of your watercraft.

Check out our selections in the list below:

Marine Electrical Kit:
Shoreline Marine Electrical KitLet’s face it, an electrical system failure on the water can be catastrophic. Make sure you’re prepared with a well-stocked electrical kit so you can perform repairs on the fly. We recommend the Shoreline Marine Deluxe Electrical Kit.  This 338-piece kit includes butt connectors, cable clamps, male disconnects, flanged spade connectors, ring connectors, shrink tubing,  and wire ties.


Marine Epoxy:
Shoreline Marine EpoxySometimes epoxy can come in handy for last-minute repairs, whether you need to fasten something together or plug up a small leak, a good epoxy paste really can be a lifesaver on the water. We recommend Shoreline Marine 4 oz. Marine Epoxy Paste. This marine epoxy paste is for wet environment repairs and forms a weatherproof bond to fiberglass, wood, steel, aluminum, and most plastics.


Boat Fenders:
Shoreline Marine Boat Fender - BlackNo one wants to scuff up the finish on their boat when docking on a choppy day. To avoid unnecessary damage to your boat, we recommend the Shoreline Marine Inflatable Fender. This inflatable fender is made of vinyl, is black in color, and measures 4.5″x16″. It is flexible, durable and can act as an effective buffer between your boat and potential scratches and scuff marks when docked.


Boat Seat:
shoreline-boat-seat
Whether you need add a new seat to your boat, or replace one that has seen better days, we recommend the Shoreline Marine Low Back Folding Seat. This low back folding seat is UV protected, has powder coated aluminum hinges, and is sand in color.


Marine Ladder:

Shoreline Marine LadderGetting in and out of the boat can be tricky when the water is deeper than standing depth. To help the boat re-entry process go a little more smoothly, we recommend the Shoreline Marine 3-Step Folding Aluminum Ladder. This folding aluminum ladder is coated with protective rubber, is easy to grasp, and can easily store away when not in use.


Fuel Tank:
shoreline-fuel-tank
Planning for a longer day on the water? Make sure you ration your fuel properly so you can avoid a tow back to the dock. If you think you need more space for fuel, we recommend the Shoreline Marine Portable Marine Fuel Tank. This portable marine fuel tank is EPA compliant, features a comfort grip handle, and safely holds three gallons of fuel. It can act as a main fuel tank or even as an emergency reserve tank for smaller-sized boats.


Security Padlock:

Shoreline Marine Brass PadlockIf you’re docking your boat up in an insecure location for long periods of time, you might want to consider securing your valuable equipment and hatches with a sturdy lock. We recommend the Shoreline Marine 1-½” Brass Padlock. This padlock is made of solid brass for superior corrosion resistance, and includes a hardened steel shackle for extra protection from tampering.


Check out these and an assortment of other great accessories in our boating supplies category of our online store. Did we miss a must-have marine accessory? Let us know in the comments or get in touch.