Understanding the Benefits of a 2-Speed Fishing Reel

Posted on Oct 23, 2023

By Dave Brown

Understanding the Benefits of a 2-Speed Fishing Reel

Every angler understands how important it is to have the right gear for fishing. If you are after large game fish such as marlin or tuna, you need to have the right equipment that can handle not only the weight of the catch, but also the speed that these fish can swim. This is where the two-speed fishing reel comes in. In this blog, we will discuss what a two-speed fishing reel is and why it is beneficial for anglers.

What is a 2-speed fishing reel?

A two-speed fishing reel is a reel that comes with two different gear ratios. A low gear ratio and a high gear ratio. Though you can fight fish in either high or low speed, the low gear ratio is used for powering in fish, while the high gear ratio is used for retrieving line quickly. Some two-speed fishing reels come with a lever or button that can switch between the two gear ratios quickly. 

Okuma Cavalla 2-speed reel

Benefits of using a 2-speed fishing reel

One of the biggest benefits of using a 2-speed fishing reel is the increased power and control it offers. When you are trying to reel in a large or heavy fish, having a higher gear ratio can make it easier to work your baits at a higher speed. A technique where this is useful is the Yo-Yo jig technique for yellowtail or tuna.  The lower gear ratio gives you more torque and also allows you to apply more pressure to the fish, allowing you to tire it out before bringing it in.

Another advantage of a 2-speed fishing reel is the ability to quickly switch between the two gear ratios. This feature can be particularly helpful when you are fighting a large fish that is putting up a strong resistance but then starts swimming towards you. When you are fighting a big tuna, for instance, and he is running away from you or simply staying down deep, you can switch to the low-speed gear ratio and gain line on the fish more efficiently than high speed.  But once the fish is headed toward the boat, you will switch back to high-speed allowing you to gain more line on your reel at a faster rate. 

How to use a 2-speed fishing reel

The actual use of a 2-speed reel is simple.  In fact, it is just like fishing any other lever drag style reel with the added benefit of the high or low speed gear ratio.  As stated in the paragraph above, you will use the low-speed for fish that are dogging you.  You want to gain a small amount of line at a time, or get it turned and pointed toward the boat.  And on the other hand, you'll use the high-speed gear ratio when you need to pick up line quickly.  This includes moving bait through the water prior to actually getting hooked into a fish. 

Okuma Alijos 2-speed reel

Types of 2-speed fishing reels

There are a couple of types of 2-speed reels out on the water.  The most common that you'll find is the manual shifting 2-speed like the Makaira, Cavalla and Alijos reels.  The next is an automatic shifting reel like the Tiburon reels.  And the last is an electronic reel that is run by battery and will shift for you.  

When you are out on most boats chasing tuna, you will most likely see manual shifting reels as they are the most common and easiest to use. 


A 2-speed fishing reel offers immense benefits for anglers, particularly for those who fish for big game. Its ability to switch between gears provides a lot of control and power, making it easier to bring in those hard-fighting fish. There are different types of 2-speed fishing reels available, and it is important to choose one that suits your needs and fishing conditions. So, if you are looking to upgrade your fishing gear, consider getting a two-speed fishing reel, and improve your chances of catching that fish of a lifetime!

Head over to Okuma Fishing USA to check out the full lineup of 2-Speed Reels built for your next adventure. 

See you on the water!

Okuma Fishing

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