There are multiple varieties of reels used in both salt and freshwater through Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The purpose of each version is to catch fish but operates differently in how the line is received on the spool. The level wind reel has been used since the late 1800s and is still widely used today. Here is what you need to know about level reels. 

What Are The 4 Types Of Reels

There are four different types of reels used in water sources, including oceans, rivers, creeks, streams, ponds, reservoirs, coastal waters, and more. 

The four types are spinning, spin casting, fly, and conventional. Conventional reels include level winds, bait casters, and unguided conventionals. However, with each, the line enters horizontally along the spool compared to wrapping around. 

What Makes A Level Wind Unique From Other Conventional Reels

What is unique about level winds is the mechanical motion of the fishing reel. Conventional reels require anglers to physically move the line from one side of the spool to the other or the spool becomes unbalanced. 

A spool loaded on one side compared to the other becomes bound by rubbing on the frame of the reel. The situation causes anglers to lose fish as the line must be paid back out to re-balance. 

Conventional reels without a level wind require anglers to remain cognizant of the line position when fighting a fish or retrieving the hook. 

On the other hand, level winds perform the duty of balancing the line mechanically versus using the fingers and hands. 

A level wind, when reeled, a guide called a pawl, moves across from side to side by rotating the handle. The pawl moves along a part called the worm. A worm is a track for the pawl. 

The motion of the pawl guided by the worm balances the line as the angler reels. The fishing line lays evenly on the spool from the left to the right side when retrieving. No ridges are formed during the process compared to conventional reels, which cause them to become bound. 

Is Level Wind Good

Level winds are excellent for both experienced and inexperienced anglers. The self guided spooling mechanism is particularly helpful for young children who are incapable of holding the rod, reeling, and navigating the line. 

Charter boat captains frequently use level winds because they avoid constantly rebalancing the spools because of the failure to guide the fishing line. 

One drawback to the reel is the likelihood of becoming jammed. The reels have many moving parts, particularly the worm and pawl. A worm and pawl, which are improperly cared for, seize. 

Level winds require regular oiling with reel grease. Reel grease prevents the worm and pawl from binding when applied correctly in regular intervals. All too often, anglers are engaged in a fight with monster fish, only lose the battle because of a jammed reel. 

Yes, level winds are great for fishing but remember to take the necessary maintenance steps to avoid running into issues down the road. 

Can You Cast With A Level Wind Reel

Yes, you can cast with a level wind. However, casting with this type of reel compared to spinning gear requires practice. 

To cast, set the reel in free spool. Hold the thumb on the spool while casting and ease the tension as the rod tip moves in the forward direction. The thumb controls the rate at which the line falls free. 

Failure to control the spool by applying pressure with the thumb results in a birds nest. A birds nest is a knotted ball of line between the spool and the pawl. The ball of line requires time and patience to unravel. 

Avoid creating the mess by controlling the rate of speed at which the line peels off of the fishing reel. 

How Do You Spool A Level Wind

The process of applying line to a level wind is straightforward. Tie an arbor knot to secure the fishing line to the reel’s spool. 

While applying pressure to the spool of line, reel the fishing line. Ensure that the line is evenly distributed across the reel and continue until full. 

Consult the reels manual to determine the line weight required when re-spooling or spooling a new fishing reel. 

Now You Know What A Level Wind Reel Is

With all of the fishing reel options, determine the type of fishing you are engaging in and select what best suits your needs. Level winds are excellent for downrigger trolling lakes and rivers or bottom fishing offshore reefs and wrecks in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Remember to take proper care of the reel to increase longevity.