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Noticed on several tog trips lately a select few using a sidewinder reel. What exactly are they? How do they compare to conventional and spincasting reels? Is there some advantage to these reels in specific types of fishing or conditions? I can find no info on them at various cyber tackle shops. Thanks Jim
 

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Hi jimj28,

A sidewinder is a reel of the past (Back in the Babe Ruth days) that caught many big fish. Nowadays a few sharpies still use it to keep the tradition and catch many fish it. The reel has a direct drive (you control the drag with hand) and it?s a fun way to catch fish. I would not compare it with the new age conventional or spinning reel? because of the obvious.

"Crazy" Alberto
[email protected]
 

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the advantages of a sidewinder are the weight of the reel, or lack of it, and the fact that when fishing in a roll or groundswell you take your finger off the spool and the line runs free, then take the slack back up as you come off the sea. Works particularly well in heavy rolls, everyone elses sinker is bouncing up and down on the bottom but the winders lay steady.

The big disadvantage is gear ratio, there is none. You get used to using your pinky and ring finger for drag quickly after losing a few good fish.

They've been made of wood, hard plastic called bake-o-lite (I can't spell), nylon and aluminum. Every now and then someone revives them.

I still use my bake-a-lites made in the 60's by believe it or not the U-NEEDA REEL Co in Bklyn.

Bill Sullivan
Jones/Debs editor
Nor'east Saltwater
 
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