August 13, 2021
Are you a beginner who’s getting ready to invest in your own fishing gear? Then perhaps you’ve gotten caught up in the spinning versus baitcasting dilemma. It is quite a puzzle to know just what kind of gear to invest in, especially if you’re still a beginner. However, you don’t have to get stuck in your decision-making process. In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of both gear designs, including their pros and cons, so you can decide for yourself which one seems right for your level of expertise and preference:
If you’ve been dipping your toes into fishing for a bit, you will have noticed that the spinning reel is the most popular reel of choice among anglers - and for good reason. It is relatively easy to learn how to use and can be mastered fairly quickly. It is a much more affordable option as well, and because of its design, it can be comfortably used by both left-handed and right-handed anglers.
What makes spinning reels and rods more popular is how versatile they can be. You can use your spinning reel not just for spin fishing but also for trolling, live bait fishing, and bottom fishing. Nowadays, with so many spinning reels available in the market differing in size, spool, and drag capacities, it’s easy to use the spinning reel with various rigs and baits. It works especially well with lighter lures and baits. Some anglers will prefer using the spinning reel for finesse fishing because it’s great with ultralight lines and rigs, adding more to the sporting element. Its spool design also allows for maximum casting distance and accuracy, especially for light lines and lures.
Compared to baitcasting, the spinning reel doesn’t cause a backlash, making it less frustrating for beginner anglers. The key thing to keep spinning more comfortable is to know how to spool a spinning reel properly and to learn how to handle the bail so that the line does not twist while casting.
Back in the day, bass anglers would never be caught dead with spinning gear, but today, thanks to the use of braided lines in spinning reels, more and more are adding spinning to their arsenal. Saltwater anglers have caught on as well, choosing to use heavy braided lines with their spinning reels to target trophy fish.
One of the cons of using spinning reels, though, is that it is prone to line twists and tangles. And no matter how well some modern spinning reels can handle heavier lines, they are still not as compatible, especially if you compare it with how baitcasters function with heavy lines and lures. The casting distance and accuracy with spinning gear are also not up to par compared to baitcasting.
While using a spinning reel is relatively comfortable because of its placing on the rod, it is still quite bulky and heavy, especially if you put it side by side with a baitcaster that can hold more weight.
Still, though, the spinning reel is best for beginning anglers who are looking for a relatively affordable gear to master that will allow them to practice a variety of fishing techniques.
A baitcasting reel or baitcaster is another basic reel design that seems like the complete opposite of a spinner. It sits at the top of the rod and has a revolving spool. Unlike the spinning reel, the spool of the baitcaster moves when you cast the line. For this reason, using a baitcaster requires a tremendous amount of skill. If the angler baitcasting is not able to prevent the spool from spinning more than is required, the line can get knotted. And while baitcaster may be a little harder to master compared to the spinning reel, it does provide the angler more control, especially over the cast landing. Ultimately, the parts of the baitcaster — from its drag mechanism, spool tension knob, and braking system — give the angler more control and extra power when fishing.
The use of the baitcaster is popular among anglers who target bass, but that is not all this reel is capable of. It can be used similarly for spin fishing, trophy fishing, and surfcasting. Because of its power, it can handle heavy lines, which is always great for targeting trophy catch.
What makes the baitcaster a great match for bass fishing is the fact that it allows for greater casting accuracy and generally has a bigger gear ratio compared to other reel designs. Having a large gear ratio allows you to quickly retrieve lures, which is necessary for bass fishing.
And while the spinning reel may provide more relative comfort because of its position on the rod, the baitcaster is so much more lightweight, especially if you look at the power it holds. It is highly customizable as well with its pulling power, allowing you to bottom fish and bass fish without changing gears.
However, you can only truly maximize the power of the baitcaster if you’ve mastered using it, which will take more time than mastering the use of a spinning reel. That’s because there are so many moving parts to this reel design. You have to know how to adjust the spool tension depending on the size of the lures you’re using. This takes quite a lot of practice, which may turn off beginning anglers who have yet to reel in their first big catch.
Mastering the baitcaster, though, will give you better accuracy in casting lures such as spinner baits, crankbaits, and jigs. You can also cast lures in greater distance with this reel because the line on the baitcaster flows straight off the spool. Because of the distance and accuracy that the baitcaster affords the angler, it is perfect to use in challenging and unpredictable fishing spots.
With the power and greater accuracy of the baitcaster comes a hefty price tag, of course. Though there are now cheaper options in the market, they are still quite expensive. So it is the perfect match for you if you’re now looking to specialize and challenge your fishing skills.
Get the spinning reel if you're still very new to fishing. It is easier to use and master and relatively inexpensive, too. And even if you get better with spin fishing, you can still use the same gear for other types of fishing as the spinning reel is quite versatile.
Now if you're past the beginner stage and would like to invest in more specialized gear, by all means, get the baitcaster. It is not just for bass fishing, so no need to wonder if you'll be able to maximize it for other fishing techniques and catch. It is a great reel to challenge yourself with, though it takes quite a lot of practice to master.