It is rare that I will use anything other than a multiplier reel when out on the sea. Occasionally I will use a fixed-spool model but 99% of the time you will find me using multipliers.
I much prefer the way a multiplier reel puts you in direct contact with the fish. With a fixed-spool reel the line has to come off the spool and is directed under the bail arm before heading up towards the tip of the rod. This right angle in the line transfers a lot of the pressure onto the bail arm, effectively deadening a lot of the fish’s power. With a multiplier the line spills off the spool towards the fish in a direct line with no interference. If you have never used one then try it. Even the smallest of fish seem bigger on a correctly set multiplier reel.
All of my multipliers are filled with braided line. I like the lack of stretch in braid, allowing you to sense bites in very deep water. I will not use anything else. A word of warning though – braid does not stand up well in areas of rough ground. If you fish these types of areas it is advisable to attach at least 40 feet/12 metres of monofilament or fluorocarbon in front of your reel line to minimise the impact from abrasive rough ground. I attach the two lines with an Albright knot.
Heavy and Medium
I use an ABU multiplier on my 30lb class and 20lb class rods. I use 50lb braid on these setups.
The multiplier that I like to use on my 12lb class rod is a Penn reel. Older than I am, it has never let me down. It is loaded with 30lb braid.
For the fun stuff, fishing for flatfish, wrasse, pollack and bass I team the jerkbait rod with a small jerkbait reel from ABU. Like the previous reel, this is also loaded with 30lb braid.
There are other reels that I do use in a saltwater environment. These include a fixed spool reels for mullet or fly reels for saltwater fly fishing. Information on these ‘crossover’ reels can be found in the freshwater reels section.