Grear ratio determeines rate of retrieval, inches per reel handle turn. A 3.8:1 gear ratio gives about 15" per reel handle turn. A 5.1:1 gives you betwween 18 and 22" per reel handle turn. Many people believe they can reel a fast reel slow, but I have never seen it happen, especially after catching a fish, it is nature to reel faster after that. Your 7.1:1 gear ratio probably retrieves about 30-33' per reel handle turrn, so you are moving the bait a lot faster. I, myself, sue a 5.1:1 gear ratio fo rdeeper crankbaits. It tires me otu a whole let less than trying to reel with a faster reel. I use a 6.3:1 for my square bills, if I do not use my 5.1:1 ratio, something to be said for slow retrieves sometimes. If the wind is high, I speed crank a 6.3:1 gear ratio to get the active fish. This beats and bangs off all the brush/rip rap, etc.... You have a LOT more torque on the slower reels as well, that is one reason I use my 5.1;1 RATIO. Just an opinion, some pros use 7.1:1 for everything, but I am not a pro and like to keep my shoulder from dropping off after a day of cranking. Hope this helps. Tight lines, keep safe and good luck.
Tight lines, keep safe and good luck.