The multiplier is essentially a reel with a smalldiameter drum geared to a ratio of 3 or 4:1 so that line is retrieved rapidly by winding. Models with automatic gears are available, but are far more expensive. These have ratios of about 2 and 4£:1. As with the fixedspool reel, there is a wide variety.

To the beginner the multiplier may appear complicated. But you should become familiar with its stardrag, brake and other parts before going fishing with it. Most multipliers are righthanded and are not adaptable.

The main problem with the multiplier reel is that of the line overrunning and tangling into ‘bird’s nests’. To reduce the possibility of this, whether when lowering the bait over the side of a boat and down to the seabed or casting up to 100 yards from the shore, the thumb must rest gently on the line as it pays out. Various devices have been incor porated by manufacturers in some of their models to overcome this difficulty. These include spool tensioners, centrifugal governors, oil drag retarders and ‘lift’ and ‘brake’ gadgets, but bird’s nests can be avoided by the angler if he learns how to use his reel properly.

The more expensive multipliers have ball bearings set in both endplates. Leading from one spindle is a governing mechanism, usually consisting of fibre blocks, which are thrown outwards by centrifugal force, thus acting as a brake when the bait hits the water. To stop the line from running with the weight while casting, a manual brake on the side of the reel can be employed. Another feature of superior reels is a iinespreader’, which ensures the even distribution of line on recovery.

The mechanism of smaller multipliers is extremely delicate, and sand, dust, and, worse still, saltwater, are to be avoided at all costs. The heavier saltwater models still need to be kept clean and oiled, but they are usually rustproof. Unlike other reels, which are fixed to the underside of the rod handle, the multiplier is used with the rod reversed and the reel uppermost.


It is essential after each outing to rinse the reel thoroughly in freshwater and, after drying it, to apply a recommended lubricant, especially if the reel is not to be used again for some time.

Periodical inspection is also advisable, for sand or grit in the gears can wreak havoc and a jammed reel while playing a strong fish is an event no angler wants to experience.