We call it a reel, but it is really a retractor. It keeps the mitt of the Catcher's Mitt snug up against the reel. This is what makes the whole system work so great.
The reel has 36" of stainless steel cable that is in a plastic sleeve. The spring tension will hold 6 ounces up tight to the reel and as you put your hand in the mitt and reach out, the tension increases aiding in getting your hand all the way in the mitt.
The reel attaches to the sheath by a rotating stainless steel clip. So no matter if you are reaching down, up, or out it will turn the opening the way you are reaching for smooth operation.
Here is a detail of the front showing the stainless steel split ring that the attaches to the mitt and our website. The-mitt.com
The other thing the reel does is keep you from losing the mitt! It won't fly out the boat.