How to Select the Best 2-Speed Fishing Reel

With some models costing up to $1,200 dollars, the Shimano Talica II is one the most highly respected 2-speed fishing reels on the market; but you need not pay that much to own a quality 2-speed reel of your own.

When it comes to fighting big game fish weighing 25 pounds or more, most knowledgeable saltwater anglers would select a quality conventional set up over spinning tackle because it is far better suited to the job at hand. But when battling huge tuna and billfish that can tip the scales at several hundred pounds, even the highest quality single gear conventional reel can be put to the test. Thanks to the relatively recent development of contemporary 2-speed reels, however, the playing field for successfully landing one of these brutes has been leveled significantly.

Just as putting your car in low gear will help you climb a hill more effectively, having a second, lower gear on your reel will deliver much more power to your retrieve. This can be an indispensable asset engaged in a battle with a truly big fish that might otherwise require much more time to bring to the boat.

Although 2-speed fishing reels have technically been around since the late 1930’s, it has only been a little over a decade since a new generation of 2-speeds has caught the attention of anglers worldwide. They are especially popular among passengers on west coast long-range boats that fish the Baja California coast for giant yellowfin tuna weighing 300 pounds or more. As noted by Okuma Tackle representative, Brandon Cotton, “They allow an angler to put more pressure on the fish. Higher speeds let the angler fish jigs and lures at a faster pace, but lower gears help them to put a lot more torque on a fish once it has been hooked.”

One of the only drawbacks to buying a quality 2-speed fishing reel is the cost; a few of the top shelf brands and models can range in cost from $1,000 to $2,000. Fortunately, not all good 2-speeds require that much initial cost outlay, although they are generally priced higher than single speed reels in the same size class.

If you are considering purchasing a new 2-speed fishing reel, here are a few that you might want to look into as described by Milton International:


Accurate ATD Platinum TwinDrag Reels - The Accurate Platinum TwinDrag 2-speed reel was the very first big game reel to have drags on both sides of the spool. By dispersing the drag friction over the surface of the two drag plates (instead of just one), the Twin Drag keeps the pressure constant during long and drawn out battles. Accurate has engineered a fishing reel that will set a totally new standard of performance for big game reels. This is a serious offshore reel with uncompromised integrity and unfailing quality. 

Shimano Talica II Reels - A truly lightweight spool for casting small live baits such as Anchovies and Sardines is a must. So Shimano aggressively machines the spool to maximize weight savings while maintaining strength. We also created a way to minimize drag created by water between the spool and the frame. The use of High-Efficiency Gears in high and low speeds sets Talica apart from all reels currently offered in the market. The incredible power in low and in high is what makes Talica a joy to battle big fish with.

No longer will you have to decide between power in low gear or speed in high gear. Talica is the best of both worlds and lets you save your energy for hoisting that cow up for a photo!


Avet Pro EX 2-Speed Game Reels - The quality, finish, and ruggedness of Avet Pro EX Reels are rarely seen in today's market....certainly not at this price level. Avet Pro EX Series Reels are built to be fished hard. The two-speed mechanism is push button style for ease of use. Avet Ex Reels feature a topless design for casting ease and thumb control for live bait applications. One Piece machined aluminum frames, 6 stainless ball bearings, and heavy-duty carbon fiber drag. These reels are built to take all the punishment you can dish out!!

Daiwa Saltiga Lever Drag 2-Speed Reels - Daiwa’s finest compact lever drag reels offer the durability and performance features needed for ultra-strong fish, ultra-strong braid.

Easy-shifting two speed models feature fast, one-touch shift and Daiwa's exceptionally-smooth Ultimate Tournament Carbon Drag. Saltiga Lever Drag reels match perfectly with Saltiga Boat rods.


Okuma Andros Two Speed Reels - Okuma Andros Two Speed Reels are constructed with Okuma's Dual Force Drag System. Okuma's DFD system is specifically engineered to be mounted on the right side of the spool in order to bring all the mechanical workings closer together to maximize alignment and durability. This highly efficient drag system was designed to increase maximum drag pressure and to improve heat dissipation for long-term smoothness. Okuma utilizes Cal Sheet's Universal Drag Grease to prevent corrosion and provide the smoothest, most efficient drag system possible.

Daiwa SaltistLever Drag Conventional Reels - Lever Drag Conventional Reels feature: Choice of single or two speed models, Fast, One Touch gear shift, Six CRBB corrosion resistant ball bearings, Precision stainless steel gears, helical-cut for smooth, powerful winding, Ultimate Tournament carbon drag (UTD), Offset power handle with round speed knob, Aluminum frame and left side plate are one solid piece for unmatched strength, Dual system Infinite Anti-Reverse (single speed models), Precision ratchet Anti-Reverse (two speed models), and Machined aluminum spool