I was lucky enough to recently spend my vacation doing what I love the most on the water: fishing cows. Those big, round, sickle finned yellowfin that are the ultimate in long range fishing.
After getting home I got around to unpacking my reels from the trip about a week later. (Don’t gasp—I cleaned them on the boat.)
Reaching into the reel bag, I picked up my Accurate ATD 50 topless first. Thoughts of the 202 pounder I got on the “big reel” popped into my head. Then I grabbed the “little” ATD 12 and thought about the 252 I got on it. I replayed the fish in my head—the cast, the long soak, the bite, the dumping 400 yards of line, the end game—it all came back to me.
Sometimes anglers come up with realizations about their trips after they get off the boat. This was mine.
The “small reels, big fish” saying that Accurate pushes is real and here to stay. There’s a time when the added advantages of a small reel—castability, mainly—are the differences between getting bit and watching.
Some guys like to say, “You can’t fish cows with that thing!” “Kid, you’re going to have your work cut out for you if you get bit by a cow using that.” This is what the other guys sometimes say when they see a little reel like an ATD 12.
But they don’t keep this in mind: you can get over 500 yards of 100-pound hollow Spectra on the ATD 12. Back in the days of fishing straight mono on 50 wides, anglers were still “only” getting around 500 yards. The little reels have the drags, they have the gears, and they have the line capacity.
So here are my questions: What’s the difference? Why can’t a guy fish a little reel that has the same general capabilities as the stuff—like 50s and 80s—that was standard back in the mono days?
Some might say that you have a bigger spool—a bigger barrel if you will—with a 50-sized reel. And you do. But the little reels are so beefed up and a so tuned in, that anyone who is comfortable with a rod and reel can catch a cow on a little reel.
After all, sometimes the “little” things turn up “big” results.