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PENN Soft Bait Reels

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Soft Bait Fishing Reels

When it comes to a particular category of reels that make us stand up and take notice, soft bait reels are one of them! The incredible make-up of our coastline makes for soft bait fishing to be one of the most exciting ways to target predatory fish. Often we find ourselves in shallow water fighting big snapper, surrounded by rocks, kelp & other gnarly terrain. What this means is we need great gear to help us secure that fish of a lifetime from some areas we have no right to be. 
As soft bait enthusiasts, we will do our very best to point you to the most appropriate reels that are fit for purpose, especially for you! Be sure to continuously check back as our team is always looking to add newly released products & fine-tune our offering of Soft bait reels as the category expands. 
If you are looking to learn more about soft bait lures themselves, our experts have pulled together a full buying guide on soft bait lures just for you! This is a great place to learn everything you need to know about soft baits and which products are best for you. Check this out - the ultimate buying guide for soft bait lures in NZ! When choosing the perfect soft bait reel for you there are a few things we encourage you to consider:
  • Spool Size: The first thing we will call out here is that an increase in spool size ‘generally’ results in an increase in the size of the reel body, gears & drag systems. What this does is increase the reel’s durability & longevity. What we have found over the years is that our 3000 & 4000-size reels will remain smoother for longer. Of course, this is a general rule of thumb however the logic stacks up. If you are fishing in-shore or over sandy shoal then a 2500 size reel is a pleasure to use. A 3000-size soft bait reel offers great versatility and pairs well with most medium to heavy soft bait rods. And 4000-size reels provide a heavier-duty approach to fishing shallow water, heavier drag & targeting big fish. 
  • Fishing Location & Terrain: Nowadays there are several forms of soft bait fishing including the new craze of micro-baiting – seriously good fun. Choosing the best size of reel, the right drag, weight etc.. depends a lot on where you are fishing. For example, of you are fishing primarily over sand, lighten up, go small and enjoy the fight with little anxiety. If we are fishing shallow waters around rocky outcrops then we scale up to a 4000 size reel with the matching line & components. A 3000-size reel offers the best versatility if you are looking for a general-purpose set or are just starting with soft baiting. 
  • Price Budget: Our recommendation is to invest as much as you can afford into your new soft bait reel. We sometimes need to remember, that we are asking these small reels to do a lot of work & often they are the most used reels in our arsenal. Nowadays a $350 - $400 reel packs a lot of punch as we continue to see the bleed-down effect of technology from more expensive models. Shimano & Daiwa are the great exponents of this tactic & it benefits you directly! 
You’re going to need more than just the reel to get out there and smash your PB on soft baits. Once you have your reel sorted we are going to need to hatch a plan for the following:
  • Soft Bait Rods: This is a space that has seen incredible product development over the last several years from blank technology to impressive new componentry. Daiwa is a great example of a company working hard to provide big benefits to consumers at all price points. They do this by downgrading technology through their range but maintaining consistency in the parabolic actions of their rods from $1000 down to $150.  
  • Braided Line: Braid is the most important piece to the puzzle when it comes to kitting yourself out for soft bait fishing. Not only is the braid closely connected to your fish but the quality of your braid affects your casting performance, knot-tying ability & your ability to perform if you end up in a dog fight. Nowadays we can access incredible braided lines with high breaking thresholds with small diameters. This allows us to pack our reels with 300m of smooth, high-performing fishing braid. 
  • Soft Bait Jig Heads: Jig Heads have continued to develop over recent years with the introduction of new brands & designs. Our team has played a key role in ensuring that this development is suited for the NZ market & directly benefits you, the angler. Although we stock a huge range of jig heads, we carefully select what lands in our warehouse to ensure you only choose from options we trust! 
Circling back to the reason you are here, education on Soft Bait reels. It’s important to have a basic understanding of a few things to make an informed decision. Let’s give you a quick rundown. 
  • Gear Ratio: The gear ratio of a fishing reel is a measurement of how many times the spool turns during one full turn of the handle. This is important because it will directly affect the performance of the reel specifically to the style of fishing. For example; a lower gear ratio such as 3:1:1 has more torque than a high gear ratio such as 6:2:1
  • Max Drag: Understanding your max drag is important to ensure you also select the correct fishing line & appropriate fishing rod to pair with your reel. Drag is a set of friction plates inside the fishing reel designed to apply pressure to the fish to a designed strength. If the fish pulls harder than the drag setting the line will leave the reel, ensuring your line does not break. 
  • Line Capacity: Line capacity is simply the amount of line your reel can hold on its spool. Generally measured in Yards (yds) or Meters (m), it’s important to match your spool capacity with the style of fishing. For soft bait fishing, we are generally looking to pack on 280 – 320 meters of quality braided line. 
  • Bearings: Bearings are situated throughout a fishing reel, generally where there are moving or rotating parts to the reel such as gears, spools, handles or level winds. Bearings ensure the components of a fishing reel operate smoothly & as a general rule of thumb higher-end reels tend to have more bearings resulting in a smoother experience.
For those who are interested in more than soft bait fishing, we have some great buying guides to check out. Here is a list we have pulled together for you:


The big reason to shop at Land & Sea

Land & Sea are of course passionate about fishing & the outdoors but we don’t stop there & claim to stock the best products at the best prices. We believe it’s our responsibility to act as your source of truth & pass on our knowledge. Our team work closely with the world’s leading manufacturers to test products & ensure they are fit for purpose. Our team also build an extensive range of buying guides to make sure you have the most informed purchasing experience in the NZ market. When it comes to Soft Bait reels the big brands we stock are Shimano, Daiwa, Penn, Okuma & many more. 



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