As others mentioned, it's all about price. I don't buy expensive reels so, do I pay $30 for a spool or $60 for a reel. I do the reel. 1. If something breaks on the body of the reel I still have one, and 2. I love taking people fishing and though I can lend them a rod, lending them an extra spool doesn't help much.
i just read a post where the person preferred to buy a new reel, instead of a spool for an existing reel, for different lines. i was curious what, if any, advantage this has. seems like it could get really expensive if you need three or more reels for each line weight (float, sink, intermediate), but i'm curious nonetheless.
I think the entire thing boils down to budget, as Ard got at.
Three lines for the same rod, even if it's a $100 reel the difference is 1 complete reel + 2 spools at $50 ea = $200, vs. three complete reels at $300. I would save the 100 bucks and put it toward better lines or better yet, upgrade the one reel frame to add spools to!
I'm probably the third 'candidate' for multiple spools per reel, because I know I've talked about them before. While I typically have a second reel for a given rod size, I will have at least two spools for a given reel. It's cheaper to have extra spools than reels, although if a reel should somehow break, a spare reel saves the day where a spare spool wouldn't. It just gives more flexibility to have extra spools in case, for example, you want to go with a DT instead of your go-to WF, or perhaps a sinking line, and spare spools are smaller to carry than extra reels.
For some current model reels, one can buy a reel frame if one wants to mate a spool with a frame.
To add line flexibility without having to invest in multiple spare spools, one can buy a line winder. Hand held units, like the one made by Struble, costs around $80. These units make changing out line very simple. And they wind line in larger relaxed coils.
I have a Hardy LRH. I also have 3 spools for it. One is for a 3wt. rod, one is for my 4wt. rods, one is for 5wt. rods. All floating lines.
I also have 4 Battenkill LA's and I think 6 extra spools for them, (all are used for stillwater fishing.) Plus I have a handful of ba$tard children that are just a reel and no extra spools. Specialized reels (for me) for certain lines and rods.
Location: White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone
Re: spare spool vs. whole new reel
Originally Posted by MoscaPescador
Most people who have spare reels have spare rods. In many situations, it is much easier to grab another rigged up rod rather than wasting time to re-rig.
In a word: "Yup."
Fav place to fish on the upper Rogue is about 400 yards long divided into three separate sections, uniquely different water(s)/flows. Normally I have three 2-two handers rigged; first for the top, second and so on.
Would be a total pain in the butt to swap out line config's from one to the other. Doggies just look at me and know we're moving down stream. Get up, walk down 50 yards and flake out again.
Too funny by half to watch this happen. They know, they know ... The bag of doggie cookies are in my pocket. Their "Mamma's Borned No Fools."
I also have both extra reels and spools. Depending on the cost, I'd prefer extra reels for friends, and for having different flies/lines rigged on different rods when boat fishing. Many surf casters carry an extra rod of the same weight on their back rigged with a different line.
Additionally, complete reels are much more rugged than just the spool. Simply dropping a spool loaded with backing and line on a tile floor or rock can easily knock on rim out of parallel. That won't happen when the spool is on a reel because it is backed by the frame and cannot deflect to the "permanent deformation" distance without a major mishap.
I have more additional reels than additional spools. I do this for a few reasons:
1. I'm a hoarder
2. It's easier to swap out a full reel than a spool.
3. With multiple rods in the same weights the additional reel can be used on another combo
4. SPARE PARTS!!! If I reel goes down I don't have to wait for parts. I cannibalize one reel, get back on the water and replace the parts when they come in.