Shimano Gear ratios explained: PG, HG or XG?

Fishing reel gear ratios can seem confusing at first, but once you get the hang of them, they’re easy to understand. The gear ratio tells you how many times the rotor will spin around the spool with 1 full crank of the handle. So the rotor of a 5.7:1 ratio reel will spin 5.7 turns around the spool from 1 full crank. The lower the ratio, the less rotations, the higher, the more. To simplify it, if you want to fish slow and deep, go low ratio, and if you want to fish fast and on top, pick a higher ratio.


These acronyms – common on many Shimano reels – represent the following:

PG = Power Gearing
HG = High Gearing
XG = Extra-High Gearing

Standard = Some Shimano reels do not feature an acronym. These reels sit in the Standard Gearing segment and can be used as an all-rounder.

Power Gearing (PG) reels are best suited for jigging and deepwater bait fishing where large fish and bottom structure demands plenty of cranking power and torque. A lower gear ratio also requires less strength for the angler to rotate the handle. In Baitcast reels, you may see PG options available. These reels are perfect for anglers who want to retrieve their lures slowly and methodically.

High Gearing (HG) reels are popular for many lure anglers and allow line to be retrieved quickly when needed. A high gear ratio is well suited to general estuary, inshore and offshore lure and bait fishing. High gearing reels offer a good compromise between retrieve speed and power.

Extra-High Gearing (XG) is designed for anglers looking for ultra-fast retrieve speeds. XG gearing is ideal for anglers looking to target fast moving fish like tuna, trevally and mackerel using topwater lure presentations. The huge benefit of XG reels when topwater fishing is that the extra line pick up it offers, helps you keep constant contact with your lure between sweeps, reducing slack line, meaning you’ll be able to instantly strike and set your hooks.


Hopefully this helps explain it a bit more! If you have any other questions or queries, please shoot us a DM on our Facebook or Instagram or give us a ring on 02 9533 0000!