For coarse fishing there are three types of reel to choose from. Two of these, the fixed-spool reel and the closed-face fixed-spool reel, are very similar. The fixed-spool reel is the most versatile reel used by anglers and they can be bought for a very modest price. The spools on the front of these reels can be changed very quickly, enabling the angler to change over to heavier or lighter lines without changing reels. It is important when using fixed-spool reels to fill the spools with line correctly. Two types of spool are available with most reels. One is a shallow spool for use with lines up to 3 lb (1 -4 kg) breaking strain and the other is a much deeper spool for heavier lines. Line can be wound on to the shallow spool directly and no problems will occur when casting. With the deeper spools even the heavier breaking strain lines need backing underneath to fill the spool correctly. An easy way of doing this is to simply build up the well of the spool with insulating tape. When correctly filled the line should be about 1.5 millimetres below the front rim of the spool. This en-sures that when casting the line flows off the spool easily. If the spool is underfilled the line will drag across the rim of the spool, seriously interfering with the casting of light tackle. Underfilled spools are one of the commonest reasons for anglers being unable to cast satisfactorily.
Fixed-spool reels need very little attention provided they are kept clean and free from grit or mud. The two parts which are most likely to wear are the bale arm roller and the bale arm spring. Spares are readily available from the manufacturers and these parts are easy to change. The closed-face fixed-spool reel is very similar to the standard fixed-spool reel except that the spool is enclosed in a metal housing. The line is fed out from the reel through a hole or a circular groove at the front of this housing. The press button release mechanism enables one-handed control of the casting.
For the beginner there is not a lot to choose between these two reels although the closed-face type is not really suited for fishing for big fish since they cannot take heavy line, nor do they allow back-winding.
Centre pin reels
Centre pin reels are not widely used, and the beginner is better off using a fixed-spool reel. For the expert float angler the centre pin reel is a joy to use as it gives much better control under certain fishing conditions. There is also more direct control and contact with a hooked fish using this type of reel. Casting is severely restricted with a centre pin reel and for this reason I advise any beginner to purchase a fixed-spool reel.