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  • Writer's pictureNew Wave Fishing Academy

Spinning Vs Baitcasting

Updated: Dec 16, 2023

Spinning vs bait casting reel

Winter is the perfect time to take stock of your gear, replace anything thats missing, fix damages, and replace hooks. It's also a great time to learn! As anglers develop they all inevitably arrive at the same question; do I get a baitcasting setup? While a lot of tournament anglers, tv personalities, and other experienced anglers you know might use them it does not necessarily mean you should; or even need to.

bait casting reel vs spinning reel

Just like lures your rod and reel are tools that allow you do different things. Different tool, different job. While there are some overlapping jobs that can be accomplished with both spinning and baitcasting setups each has their own benefits & drawbacks that make them better suited for certain applications over others. Let's go over some of these features:

Ease of Use - For kids, new anglers, and those that don't get to fish very often ease of use is a major factor in making an enjoyable day on the water. While baitcasting reels are not overly complicated to set up properly they do need to be adjusted to avoid tangles. Baitcasting reels have 3 setting (drag, spool tensioner, braking system) while spinning only have one (drag). Spinning reels are much more "pick up and play" friendly that anyone can learn how to use in seconds

Drag Smoothness –. Finess techniques with thin hooks require a smooth drag to keep fish pinned and prevent hooks from bending out. Spinning reels have much smoother drags than baitcasting reels and are ideal for these situations.

Max Drag Rating – For fighting the biggest and toughest fish, using big lures, or wrestling fish away from heavy cover you don’t want to give the fish an inch. Being able to do this comes down to how much pressure your drag can withstand. Baitcasting reels are able to have much higher drag ratings than spinning reels and are ideal for these situations.

Casting Distance and Accuracy – Power Fishing, Covering Water Fast, and ability to put the bait where you want it without tiring are all important factors especially when fishing tournaments or new bodies of water with limited time. When paired correctly with the lure of choice baitcasting combos are able to reach greater distances, allow more control, and improve accuracy when compared to spinning reels.

Use with light lures – Often done with finicky fish, live bait rigs, and little kids being able to cast and control small or light lures is a must. Due to the way line is pulled off each type of reel baitcasting reels often backlash and are extremely difficult to use with light lures. Spinning reels are the go to in these situations.

Depth Control of Bait – In applications where maintaining bottom contact or near bottom depths is key anglers need to be able to let out line and make their bait sink at a moments notice. While baitcasting reels can be adjusted to allow this to happen the adjustment makes casting more difficult and prone to backlashes. Spinning reels allow anglers easy depth control with minimal risk of tangles.

While both tools have their time and place spinning reels are generally associated with deep water, finesse tactics, and for beginners while baitcasting reels shine in shallow water, power fishing applications. Consider the above and what situations you fish before deciding on going the route of spinning or baitcasting for your next set up.

If you or someone you know is looking to get into fishing or you just want to become a more successful angler be sure to check out our "Zero To Hero Fishing Masterclass" for courses on everything fishing! The masterclass is built to help you learn how to find and catch fish like the pro's by providing all the information you need and a clear development path! Don't miss out check it out now at

Have you ever wondered why lures don't come with instructions and wanted to know how to fish them? Look no further than our "How To Fish" series where you will learn what each bait is, how to use it, when and where it excels over other baits, our preferred setup to use it on, and the common mistakes anglers make when using it.


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