I'd have to disagree with the recommendations for a slower reel for cranking rivers with shallow divers and square bills.
Reels with 5:1 gear ratios are handy when throwing deep divers. The slower speed allows those baits time to get down to their rated depth - something you don't need to worry about when cranking shallow.
I personally use a 7:1 gear ratio when fishing rivers. Allows me to keep up with the current when retrieving downstream. Can't do that with a 5:1. And sometimes it's absolutely necessary to get bit. I have always
caught more fish retrieving with
After all, how many baitfish do you see swimming upstream?
Like Hanover said, all you have to do if your gear ratio is higher than what you need is to slow down your cranking speed. Not as easy to speed up a slow reel.
As far as rods go, M to MH power rating with a moderate to fast tip is what I prefer for river fishing. 6'8" to 6'10" seems to be a good length for me.
Wanna talk about line too?