When to Use a Spinning Reel Versus a Baitcaster

Last Updated: 13.07.20


In order to catch the big fish, you need to get the right equipment and that requires that you take the time to research and find out which piece of equipment will work best for any given situation.

With lots of options to choose from, the following paragraph will give you all the information you need and after you are done reading you can take a look at the top-rated products we have reviewed such as the Shakespeare two piece Ugly Stik Bigwater spinning rod.



Baitcasting reels

Anglers have an ever increasing range of advanced technology at their fingertips that they can apply when pursuing their sport, and baitcasters are no exception. With every passing year, they become more and more advanced, employ better and better materials to make them lighter yet stronger, and more functional than the previous models.

In the case of both spinning and casting reels, these improvements included more reliable drag systems, more precision machinery of the internal gears, drive assembly, external components, and bearings. Some baitcasting reels even contain anti-backlash devices that let you handle big fish that fight hard.

First things first, you should decide which of these two options you should use for any given situation or preference. Both reels cover most of the angler’s needs and they both have advantages and disadvantages, most of which we will cover in-depth below.

Baitcasting reels are also known as conventional reels and they have been used by anglers for a while. This type of reel is considered advanced and it is recommended that it only be used by experienced fishermen since other users might encounter difficulties if they don’t have the necessary skill.

This is the reason why most experienced fishers prefer baitcasting reels as they give them better control and an improved degree of precision. Since the spool moves as you cast, the reel demands a greater level of skill to produce the required power of inertia.

Experienced anglers need to practice a lot with a baitcaster before they get the hang of using it. All the practice and exercise is well worth it in the end since baitcasting reels provide the strength and durability that anglers cannot get from any other reels. The spool can also withstand the heavier line that is needed to catch big fish.

Thus, the big advantage of this type of reel is that you get increased accuracy but as a drawback, any slight error can make you go back home empty-handed. Compared to a spinning reel, a baitcaster is also much more durable, which makes it a better choice especially if you want to catch big fish.

The main disadvantage for this option apart from the higher level of skill required to master it is without a doubt the price. A high-quality baitcaster should set you back a bit, but you should still be able to find a few decent ones under $100.

If you are a beginner but you still want to use a baitcaster, make sure that you get a model that comes with an anti-backlash device since if you can’t control the line speed properly, the backlash could cause the line to tangle and ruin your whole fishing trip.


Spinning reels

Things are much simpler with a spinning reel since almost all fishers have used one at least once. This choice is perfect for catching crappie, bass, redfish, and other types of small to medium-sized fish.

As far as the look and feel are concerned, this type of reel has a fixed spool right beneath the rod. The angler needs to use the weight of the bait, lure, or tackle to pull out the line and get the fish out of the water.

The main advantage that this unit offers is its high level of compatibility and versatility that makes it a very popular choice for amateur fishers or people that have just started this sport. It can be used to cast a wide variety of tackles, is very easy to get the hang of, and has quite a considerable casting distance.

Spinning reels can also hold more line and the spool can be replaced with little effort if you ever need to replace the line. Just don’t expect to use it to catch big fish – spinning reels are only suitable for light bait due to their light construction.

The size limit for this option tends to be about 10 pounds, so if you try to catch anything heavier, chances are that the rod or line will snap under the weight. Furthermore, they are not as accurate as baitcast reels are.


When to use baitcasting reels

As mentioned previously, baitcasters are the true workhorses for anglers, and they are perfect for flipping and pitching with heavier lures once you need to set the hook hard and get the fish headed to your boat before it has time to bury itself in the vegetation.

While baitcasting is just as versatile as a spinning reel, there are situations where it is the best option. One of these situations is when you need to use heavier lures and line. A spinning reel that can accommodate 100 yards of 30-pound test monofilament can often be up to four times the size and weight of a baitcasting reel that can hold the same amount of line.

Similarly, while the spinning reel will not work well with the thick and stiff type of monofilament, the baitcasting reel will have no problem with it. Furthermore, when using heavier lines and lures, the baitcast reel will give greater accuracy and control to the fisher which makes it a better choice for catching those elusive fish.

Situations that require control, such as the ability to slow down the bait can be handled better with a baitcast reel as long as you have taken the time to learn how to use it. Certain fishers also prefer a baitcasting reel since they want a challenge, and once you master this equipment you will be able to cast the line like a professional.



When to use spinning reels

If you want to use a line that has a weight limit of less than 10 pounds then the spinning reel is the best tool for the job. Anglers recommend using this equipment when fishing with lighter lines or lighter lures for this exact reason.

If you are fishing with a line below 10 pounds, a lighter rod that can flex and bend is required. Otherwise, the line could break once the fish takes a bite of the lure and pulls. If a baitcast rod flexes, the line can rub against the rod blank and repeated rubbing can make the line develop weak spots and then break.

Because the guides are below the rod in a spinning reel, it can flex as needed and the line won’t touch the rod. Furthermore, spinning reels are also the better choice when using lighter lures as well since the lure will only pull the weight of the line instead of the entire spool.

Once you consider all the factors, it is clear that there is no clear winner between the two reels and that each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. The tool of choice depends equally on the skill and experience of the angler that uses it, the type of fish that he or she wants to catch, and on personal preference.

For beginners, the spinning reel is without a doubt the most appropriate equipment, as long as they have the patience and finesse to use it. However, even amateur anglers can find the baitcast reel suitable with a bit of exercise.

Ultimately, the choice is only yours, and once you have tried both you will be able to choose the one that suits your fishing style and the situation you find yourself in.



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