Baitcasting vs Spinning – how to choose the right fishing reel

Baitcasting vs Spinning – how to choose the right fishing reel

18 November 2019

This has been a long-debated question… baitcasting reel vs spinning reel, which one is better and which one is right for you? Both reels have their pros and cons, but we want to debunk the benefits and help you decide which one you should choose.

The main elements you need to consider when choosing a reel are:

  1. Can you operate it? (beginner level or pro?)
  2. How accurate at casting do you need it to be?
  3. What type of fish are you planning to catch?
  4. What type of lines and lures are you using?

Spinning Reels

Spinning reels are known for their ease of use and simplicity. They’re the most commonly used and perfect for beginners who are just starting out in the angling world. Spinners generally throw smaller baits like soft plastics as well as live baits and cast lighter lines, which is also great for beginners, as you don’t have to worry about backlash.

Pros Cons
Less likely to tangle Less line capacity
Easy to use Less accurate
Good for beginners Can't catch heavy fish
Easy to maintain Heavier reel
Good for light lures and live bait Difficult to control whilst still in flight

If you’re just getting into fishing then a spinning reel is the best one for you. The lack of complicated features means there’s a lot less to learn, and you can focus on catching some serious fish without the risk of backlash! If you’re already a pro angler and looking for fish with light line then a spinning reel is also favourable.

Baitcasting Reels

Baitcasters are particularly great if you’re going to be out on the water all day long, casting and casting and casting. They offer greater line capacity and you can get a lot of drag and strength in a very small package. There’s also greater accuracy as you can control the distance by resting your thumb on the spool, to act as a brake. This feature is ideal for bass fishing and allows you to get the lure as close as you can to the shore, without landing it in the bushes.

Top tip: put the brakes on just before your lure hits the water, as if not you will experience backlash.

Pros Cons
Greater line capacity More complicated to use
Lighter reel Harder to maintain
Greater control and accuracy High risk of backlash
Durability - cast heavier lures and lines Takes time to learn
Catch heavier fish Wears out lighter lines

If you’re looking for a more advanced reel which will help you land a heavy fish, then a baitcasting reel is your weapon of choice.

All in all, it really depends on you as an angler and what you’re looking to get out of the reel. Spinners are beginner friendly, whilst baitcasters are slightly more complicated to operate but are great for catching bigger fish. Whatever reel you choose, we have plenty at Harris Sportsmail. Browse our range of baitcasting reels and spinning reels.