Baitcast vs Spincast vs Spinning Reels – Which Is Better, and Which Should You Be Using?
- 11 Mar, 2016
Whether you’re going fishing for the first time or you’ve been doing it for years, you’ve probably asked yourself at one time or another if you should use a baitcasting, spincasting, or spinning reel. For some fishermen, this is a matter of great philosophical debate. For others it’s simply a matter of preference. Wherever you fall on the reel divide, there are some clear advantages and disadvantages to each that all anglers should understand.
On a baitcasting reel, the spool is positioned so that the line unreels in the direction of the rod while the spool itself is spinning. This is different from a spincasting or spinning reel where the line actually comes off at a 90 degree angle from the spool, which is stationary. A lot of fishermen prefer baitcasting reels because they are more traditional, but they also have distinct advantages. Baitcasting reels are considered more durable and are also often better for handling heavy lines, especially for fish over ten pounds.
However, there are also a few tricks to using a baitcasting reel. If the fisherman doesn’t carefully use his/her thumb to control the speed of the line, it can result in a backlash and tangle if the spool moves faster than the line can pay out. Learning how to use a baitcasting reel takes some practice, so it is not always the best choice for beginners.
On a spincasting reel, the spool is perpendicular to the rod, and the line is guided through a closed compartment. One of the strengths of spincasting reels is their ease of use.
To cast the line you simply press and release a button, and many find this simpler to learn than the techniques of a baitcasting reel. However, spincasters also have some disadvantages. Pinpointed, precision casting is more difficult than with a baitcasting reel. Because the line is turned 90 degrees as it’s wound and unwound, it leads to twisting that will damage your fishing line over time.
Lastly there is the most common of all reels, the spinning reel. Spinning reels are more accurate than spincasters while also being easier to use than baitcasters. They can typically also hold more line, and the spool can be easily swapped out if the fisher needs to change lines.
Spinning reels are a great all-purpose reel and can be used by experienced and beginner fishermen alike. While not the best reel for heavy fish over 10 lbs, the ease of use, accuracy, and overall versatility of spinning reels make them a solid choice for all fishermen.
Ultimately, there is no correct answer to the question of whether to use a baitcast vs spincast vs spinning reel. It depends partly on preference and partly on the type of fishing to be done. Beginner fishermen often prefer spincasting reels due to their ease of use, but with a good teacher and a little practice a baitcasting reel can be mastered in a short time for larger catches and precision casting. That said, a good all-around choice for many fishermen - and the most popular reel of them all - remains the spinning reel.