Baitcasting Vs Spinning Reel: Which One Should You Choose?

baitcasting vs spinning reel which one to choose

If you’re a keen angler or are considering taking up fishing and have already done a bit of research into it, you will know that there are different types of fishing reels that serve different purposes. Among those, two kinds of reels are most commonly used: the baitcasting reel and the spinning reel.

The mechanisms of these two types of reels are very different from one another, and so are their uses and purposes.

Beginners who just have started to learn fishing may get confused by this choice. They may find it hard to decide which reel type they should go for.

However, there are some obvious and important distinctions. Therefore, knowing how exactly these reels work and what separates them from one another will greatly help you to figure out when to use what!

With this in mind, we have designed this very guide for beginners who are uncertain which reel they should choose and are looking for a reliable answer.

This baitcasting vs spinning reel guide will answer your questions and put an end to your confusion when it comes to these two reel types.

Let’s get started then!

Baitcasting Reel

fishing with baitcasting reel

The activity of casting with a baitcaster reel is called baitcasting. However, the reel itself can be called by both names: baitcaster and baitcasting.

This type of reel sits on the top of the fishing rod, with the reel spool positioned parallel to the rod. Talking about rods, you cannot just use any rod. You will be needing a specific baitcasting rod for a baitcasting reel. Since the baitcaster sits on the top of the rod, the line guides need to be at the top, and only dedicated baitcasting rods can offer that.

Compared to other rods, the line guides on baitcasting rods are bigger. This reel works best with braided, fluorocarbon, and monofilament line.

And now here comes the main question of interest: who should choose a baitcasting reel? The answer is everyone except beginners. Intermediate anglers can start learning baitcasting, but it is generally not accessible to beginners.

In this reel, the spool spins with the line. The weight of the line and your casting ability will determine how far and accurate of a cast you can make.

As mentioned before, the line controls the spool. When the line flies, the spool starts to spin, so it is a matter of great control. If the line flying speed and the spool spinning speed don’t match, that will cause backlashes.

In case you don’t know what a backlash is, it refers to the situation when the line makes a knotty mess. And this is the last thing that any angler wants. Backlashes can cause you to cut off the entire line and to spool anew. Backlash is also known as “birds nest.”

That being said, there are ways to prevent it, which anglers learn with time.

Moving on!

Anglers use their dominant hand to cast when using a baitcaster, and later hold the rod with their other hand so that they can control the reel with their dominant hand.

For these reasons, baitcasting isn’t very easy. Anglers need to practice a lot to get a good hang of it. Though learning baitcasting takes a long time, it is worthwhile because it allows you to go after big fishes. And you can cast longer with more precision with this kind of reel. Plus, it works great with heavier fishing lines as well.

However, to get all these perks, you will have to ensure that you are investing in the right baitcasting reel, since there are hundreds of models. Check out for top-notch baitcasters within budget.

When to Use Baitcasting Reel?

It is not necessary to always use a baitcaster. Professionals use it only where and as needed! Here is when you should consider using it:

  • When you are after heavy, fighting fishes, a baitcaster is essential.
  • When you are fishing in harsh weather.
  • If your hand gets fatigued easily due to the setup weight, then choose a baitcaster since it is very lightweight.

Advantages of Baitcasting Reel

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Highly durable reel
  • Works well with heavy lines
  • Longer and precise casts
  • Strong drag ability
  • Can tackle down hard fighting fish
  • Used for catching heavy fishes

Disadvantages of Baitcasting Reel

  • Compared to spinning reels, baitcasters are expensive
  • Requires a lot of practice
  • Prone to causing backlashes
  • Not very beginner-friendly

Spinning Reel

fishing with spinning reel

There is no doubt that spinning reels are the most popular reel type. There isn’t any other fishing reel that is as popular as spinning reels.

The main reasons behind the popularity of this reel are its price and ease of use. Spinning reels are the best choice for beginners, since they are super easy to use and extremely affordable.

This reel sits under the rod and the line guides of the rod should be under the rod as well. So, you will have to use this reel with a spinning rod.

Spinning reels are big, and they are a little heavy as well. They cannot work well with heavier lines; light lines work best with spinning reels. The same goes with the lure: do not use a heavy lure with spinning reels.

And if we talk about the durability, this reel is durable but not as durable as baitcasting reels. With a spinning reel, you will surely see fewer backlashes, but you might see a lot of line twists and tears.

With this reel, anglers can go after a lot of fish species but not after heavy fishes. Casting with a spinning reel is fun since it is easy but long casts are hard to make with this reel.

When to Use Spinning Reel?

  • When your target fish species are small or medium sizes.
  • When you will be using light lures and lines.
  • If you just have started fishing, use a spinning reel.

Advantages of Spinning Reel

  • Comes at a very affordable price
  • Extremely easy to use
  • Doesn’t cause backlash or birds nest
  • Very easy to make short casts
  • Works great with lightweight lure and line

Disadvantages of Spinning Reel

  • Not as durable as baitcasters
  • Cannot tackle down heavy fighting fishes
  • Has low drag power
  • Cannot make long accurate casts


man fishing

In plain words, baitcaster reels are for the intermediate and professional since they are tough to handle. Meanwhile, spinning reels are best for those who just have started fishing, because they are very easy to use.

Once you have mastered the spinning reel, then you can move on to baitcasting reels and go after bigger fishes. Otherwise, it will be very daunting for you.

See also these related articles:

So this is it! We hope this guide answered all your questions regarding baitcasting and spinning reels. And if there is anything else we can help you with, do not forget to ask in the comment section.

One thought on “Baitcasting Vs Spinning Reel: Which One Should You Choose?

  1. Storm says:

    Nice article, very informative. I’m going dropshotting this weekend and can’t decide between a baitcasing or spinning reel. Which one do you recommend?

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