Shopping for a new spinning reel can lead you down a rabbit hole of sizes, gear ratios, and drags. That's part of what makes getting a new reel so fun, but it's important to understand what all those numbers mean. In this article and video we are going to break down the main numbers you will see when shopping for a new spinning reel.
The first number is the size of the reel. The size of the reel is typically referenced in the model number. You will see models like the Shimano Stradic 5000, Daiwa Saltist MQ 3000, or Van Staal VS150. The VS150 isn't too far off in size from the Saltist MQ 3000, but their naming convention is different. No matter the brand, the larger the number the larger the spool size. As the spool size increases the other components of the reel increase as well to accommodate for the larger spool.
The next number you may be looking at is the number of bearings. Manufacturers love to make this one complicated. Most spinning reels these days have an x+x number on them. To bring back the Stradic 5000, it has a 6+1 bearing setup. That is not a complicated way of saying 7. This means 6 ball bearings that the rotor spins on and 1 roller bearing. The roller bearing is what your line comes into contact with on your rotor. You can see the exact part in the image below. A roller bearing increases how smoothly your line will wind onto your spool. The more ball bearings turning your rotor the smoother it will spin.