When it comes to reels, performance will always be more important to me than bling. But if a little bling happens to ramp up performance, I’m all about that, too. That being said, whether you’re trying to achieve some improved hand-to-reel ergonomics, better leverage from your spinning reel for those crazy jumping deep water smallies, or just want to show off with custom color-coordinated reel accessories, you may want to check out some of the next-gen lightweight reel accessories on the market these days.


There are lots to choose from—Basszone Handles and Knobs and Livre Fishing Custom Parts are just two I happen to be familiar with. Now granted, the price tag on some of these extras rises a bit higher than “stocking stuffer,” but I must say, after trying an aftermarket Livre round knob that my buddy splurged on for one of his spinning reels, I think I’m going to have to pick one up…or at least explore this avenue a little more for some specialty fishing situations where I know it would help. Between the handle’s light weight and oversized knob, I could feel an increase in control and performace pretty much right away.

Many of these custom options actually originated in the salt world, which is why lots of aftermarket handles are for use with larger offshore spinning reels. Personally, I never minded the salty stuff or the larger reels in the bass world; I just always tried to make sure the balance of the total setup took precedence over the size. And in many cases, what I’m learning is that custom parts help you achieve better balance, which translates into better performance. I’ve still got more research—and ordering—to do, so we’ll talk on the other side of a couple grand in custom parts.

If you’ve already dabbled in aftermarket reel accessories, I’d love to hear your feedback.