Shallow spinning reel spools. Help a brother understand.

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Oktayne the Red
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Shallow spinning reel spools. Help a brother understand.

Post by Oktayne the Red » Sat Aug 19, 2023 5:52 am

So it's finally time I ask an embarrassing question. I've looked for answers (years), found what sounds to me like marketing BS mostly. Other answers have sounded like regurgitated facts based on baitcasting tech...

I understand the physics behind shallow spools for baitcasters. Makes total sense. Lightweight rotating mass makes for easier and longer casting. Pretty simple concept.

So what is the benefit of a shallow spool on a spinning reel? How does the depth of the line bed affect casting performance when the spool is stationary? What are the secondary effects?

I'm a saltwater guy and line capacity matters. It feels like reel manufacturers are doing two things. #1, fewer 1000 size reels in some lineups, and an almost total ditching of anything smaller, and #2, shallow spools everywhere. What happened to Shimano's 750 size stuff? Symetre 750FI was the last one I saw (and own, great reel). Daiwa has the QZ750, also a nice reel, but I question how long this thing is gonna last. Not as nice as the Symetre. You can't tell me a Stella/Exist-like quality 750 size reel wouldnt sell like mad. 750 sizes just feel much better in the hand than the 1000 sizes to me. Am I stuck with the Vanford 500? 500s don't hold enough 6 lb mono, 750s are goldilocks, 1000s start to feel beefy.

But all of that is just a tangent. My question is really just about the purpose/benefit of a shallow spool on a spinning reel. Help me understand please.

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Re: Shallow spinning reel spools. Help a brother understand.

Post by Tim Kelly » Sat Aug 19, 2023 10:38 am

Reels are so much lighter than they used to be, so the weight issue is pretty much negated now. A larger diameter spool just handles line better, less coiling and longer casts, so a shallow spooled 2500 size reel holds the same amount of line as a 750 or 1000 sized reel of old, weighs the same or less and just works better in every way. If you're more comfortable using tiny reels, then you have to use whatever's left on sale, but really the larger spooled reels will beat an old smaller reel every time.

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Re: Shallow spinning reel spools. Help a brother understand.

Post by mrpao » Sat Aug 19, 2023 12:57 pm

The Japanese market is full of shallow spool spinning reels because they do a lot of finesse fishing there. Here in the USA, most people still want reels that hold 10,000 yards of line. Not sure why, because most of that line never sees water.
Shimano and Daiwa has gotten away from the 750 size because they didn't sell that well. Most people on this forum already consider a 1000 size reel too tiny for their normal use.
Most of shimano's and daiwa's higher end 1000 and 2000 size reels are lighter and perform better than their cheaper 500 size reels. Its cheaper to just have a shallow spool for lighter line than develope another tiny reel for light line.
The Vanford 500 doesn't have the same quality as the 1000 Vanford. The daiwa 750 size reels are rebadged from another manufacturer. The quality of these small Daiwa reels dont match the quality of the cheaper LT series reels.
In Japan, they do a lot of finesse fishing so shallow spools just make since. They have alot of super light lines that most people here would never buy.
Just about all the reels I've bought lately have been shallow spool versions. Light line finesse fishing can be pretty addictive.

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Re: Shallow spinning reel spools. Help a brother understand.

Post by Real » Sun Aug 20, 2023 4:34 am

Yes, the depth of the line has an impact even if the spool does not move. On a shallow spool you get a more even lay of the line because of the hard metal surface. The line seems to place itself like when you buy an even wound spool at the tackle store. Because you have less line on the spool, there is less dig in and the rows of line are even. This is with all type of line but specially true with braid. On a deep spool like a 3000, from the bottom of the spool to the top, you might have 25 or 30 uneven rows of line, all one on top of the other.

With a deep spool, a lot of times you get more line at the front of the spool or at the back. With a shallow spool this never happens.
All this creates friction and makes the line fly out unevenly. A shallow spool gives you longer casts et more precise casts but you have less line on the reel. Shallow spools are great for long distances with light line and light lures.

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Re: Shallow spinning reel spools. Help a brother understand.

Post by slipperybob » Sun Aug 20, 2023 11:25 am

This. Just minute differences but the actual performance merits differs just a bit.

Shimano spool and handle comparison:
Spool series --- spool width - spool base - spool lip - spool arbor - handle length radius
Stradic 1000FG - 14 mm - 40 mm - 38 mm - 25 mm - handle 50 mm
Stradic 1000FH - 13 mm - 40 mm - 38 mm - 25 mm - handle 50 mm
Stradic 1000FI - 12.5 mm - 40 mm - 40 mm - 25 mm - handle 40 mm
Stradic 1000MgFB - 12.5 mm - 39 mm - 39 mm - 25 mm - handle 40 mm
STCi4+ 1000HGFB - 13 mm - 41 mm - 42 mm - 31 mm - handle 40 mm
Sustain 1000FE - 12.5 mm - 39 mm - 39 mm - 25 mm - handle 40 mm
TwinPower 1000FD - 15 mm - 40 mm - 40 mm - 28 mm - handle 40 mm
Symetre 750FI – 11.5 mm - 40 mm - 36 mm - 25 mm - handle 40 mm
Symetre 500FJ – 9.5 mm - 36 mm - 36 mm - unknown - handle 40 mm

Pfleuger
Spool series ---- spool width - spool base - spool lip - spool arbor - handle length radius
President 6720 - 9 mm (7mm @arbor) - 36 mm - 35 mm - 20 mm - handle 50 mm
President 6725 - 14 mm (9mm @arbor) - 38 mm - 36 mm - 24 mm - handle 55 mm

Just because it's small doesn't mean it will perform better. What makes the Shimano 750 series not that great was simply a smaller spool lip. And when you drop down the to 500 series, well line memory coils destroys long distance casting merits. Most notable when Shimano secretly shaved off line one millimeter or adds one millimeter like on the Stradic 1000MgFB with 39 mm spool lip or the STCi4+ 1000HGFB with it's 41 millimeter spool lip. There is a casting performance difference from either ease of cast or power long casting. Shallower spools or rather larger spool arbor also lends to less line dig in underneath because you don't have that tiny narrow arbor. That's where the Pfleuger President 6720 falls short is small arbor at 20 mm. What also makes the Stradic Ci4+ 1000HGFB special is it's larger spool arbor at 31mm while also having a larger 41 mm spool lip. Then you have your long stroke spool or simply wider spool width. TwinPower 1000FD with it's long stroke of 15 mm. Of which going back to the old long stroke spool of the Stradic 1000FG with 14 mm spool width. Really it's again a subtle 1+ mm change compared to standard spool dimensions.

If I was ice fishing, yeah I would want an even more shallow spool. Since I only ice fish about 30 feet straight down.
slip bobbing is the laziest way to fish

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Re: Shallow spinning reel spools. Help a brother understand.

Post by ras » Sun Aug 20, 2023 11:55 am

I wish, I WISH, Shimano and Daiwa turned to developing true 500 sized modern reels, but that's not likely to happen. There could be many reasons, among them, I think, is the combination of relatively limited expected market share and the need to invest in a completely new, smaller than 1000, sized body and rotor.
Shimano has had different Soare series with 500 size for a while now, but the body is still 1000 size and their truly smaller than 1000 rotor isn't that great, likely due to construction limitations of the size. Daiwa's new Exist SF actually has a smaller body than their 2000 size Exist, which got me quite excited until I learned that the rotor was the same as 2000 size.
The coil size with small spools isn't an issue for ultrathin PE lines with little to no memory.

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Oktayne the Red
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Re: Shallow spinning reel spools. Help a brother understand.

Post by Oktayne the Red » Sun Aug 20, 2023 4:42 pm

Thanks for all the info folks. You definitely have my appreciation and respect for trying to help. I know mostly all of this already though. I guess I was hoping for some new crazy insight I hadn't thought about before. UL reels are being developed and tuned for freshwater and braid, and mono is (has been?) a thing of the past. I believe they both still have their place and use. This all has come to my brain's forefront because I have the opportunity to buy a new upper-end UL spinner, I just can't find anything I really like with enough capacity for mono.

I've never had dig issues (other than braid), very little issue with wind knots (mostly very fresh spooled mono and braid), change line often enough that coiled mono isn't a thing, and distance has never been a problem (with caveats). My 3 biggest complaints about UL spinning reels is the assumption that one wants to use braid, capacity, and drag, and yeah, bigger spool arbor makes for bigger drag, so I do give the shallow spool props for that. I seem to be one of a dying breed of guys who still have a passion for true UL saltwater fishing, and I suppose I have no small amount of arrogance about it either.

At the end of the day, I guess I'm just an increasingly older man who's trying to hold on to what is familiar, comfortable, and most importantly, flat-out worked just fine for me in the first place.

You know, that shaking his fist at the clouds thing. Like Grandpa, when they took his braided silk line away.

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Re: Shallow spinning reel spools. Help a brother understand.

Post by dapadest » Sun Oct 01, 2023 9:29 am

Does Shimano make/have available a shallow spool for the 1000FG spinning reel? I have hunted everywhere with no luck. Or a spool backer? It just seems kinda dumb to have only a deep spool when using braid with the equivalent of 2 pound mono where the majority of the line will never see the light of day......
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Shallow spinning reel spools. Help a brother understand.

Post by hoohoorjoo » Sun Oct 01, 2023 9:38 am

Since a spinning reel spool doesn't move, this has never been a concern for me. I just use cheap mono as a backing, splice in about 80 yds of thin braid and go fish. If you do still want a shallow spool, there is a "1000S" model available in Japan. Plat can likely source this spool for you.
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