Bait Caster Reels vs. Spinning Reels

Spinning reel

Which is better, spinning reel or baitcaster reel? Most likely, you heard that question many times. When you are just new to the fishing scene, it can be confusing to know which tools to settle for. There will be days as a novice that you will also want to try something new, and even with everything you know, you might find it hard to choose the perfect t reel.

So, guess what? I will make that easier for you by giving you a walk through the reels.

There are two main types of reels on the market. There is the bait caster reels and the spinning reels. When choosing which kind of reel to use, many factors have to be considered. The angler’s experience, the type of fish you are fishing for, the baits and lures you are using, the distance to be covered, and the accuracy of casting are among the main determining factors of this choice.

Both types of reels have their advantages and disadvantages to being considered.

So what is the difference between a bait caster reel and a spinning reel?

  • The main difference is the mounting position on the rod. Bait caster reels sit on top of the rod while the spinning reels underneath the rod.
  • The second main difference is a bait caster spool spins to unroll the line during the casting, and the line goes out directly.

On the opposite, a spinning reel uses a power roller, and a bail arm is used to keep the line over the power roller. The spool doesn’t move during the casting, and the line goes out in a circular motion.

In this article  I’ll cover the following points :

Their respective features

When to use each one?

Answering the decades-old question  Baitcaster vs. spinning reel pros and cons

What quality bait caster reels to buy

Frequently Asked Questions about baitcaster reels and spinning reels


Let’s take a closer look at  their features:

Bait caster reel: the first difference is that the bait caser reel mounts on top of the rod while the spinning reel is mounted at the rod’s bottom.

The spool of the baitcaster spins at high speed to release the line during a cast.For the spinning reel, there is a bail arm that rotates around the spool.

When casting with a bait caster, you control the line’s release, which can go at high speed. On the other hand, in a spinning reel, the line’s release is managed by the bail arm, and some of them are automatic.

When to use each one?

Baitcasting reels are great for:

  • Surfcasting
  • Salt Water fishing
  • Fishing around vegetation or structures
  • Fishing for large fish,
  • When fishing with spinnerbaits and crankbaits
  • When using heavier line

Spinning reels are great:

  • New to fishing
  • when casting under trees,
  • Near a shoreline,
  • Fishing for small to medium fish
  • When it is windy

Baitcaster Vs. Spinning Reel Pros And Cons

The bait caster reel

bait caster reel


The bait caster reel gives the angler a better fishing experience.

  • It has a high gear ratio, which allows you to retrieve faster  (higher than the spinning reels) therefore has more power than its counterparts.
  • It can accommodate bigger lures and generally can be used to catch bigger fish than the other reels.
  • The bait caster reels provide the anglers with a more considerable degree of control. This is done in two main ways;
  • First, the angler can determine the distance to which the bait is to be projected. Unlike the spinning reel that depends on the uncoiling of the spinning bail, the bait caster reel line comes directly off the spool allowing a longer casting distance.
  • Second, the angler can determine the exact position to cast the bait by thumbing the spool during the cast. This is not possible with the spinning reel.
  • They have a durable design
  • You can use heavier line and lures


Despite the numerous advantages;

  • The bait caster reel is one reel that is very hard to use. It requires a lot of patience in learning the skill on how to work it. The reason is, you have to use your thumb as you cast to apply pressure on the line to slow down the spool rotation; otherwise, it will keep unspooling.
  • When using the bait caster reel, one will experience a lot more backlashes than the other reels.
  • It requires more skills to cast in the wind
  • It is an expensive reel costing more than what the other reels go for.

The Spinning Reel

bait caster reel


They are the most common type of reels see around, most favored by the beginner angler

They are the most common type of reels see around, most favored by beginner anglers because of their simplicity.

  • Working the spinning reel is quite simple; one needs to pull the weight of the line by just spinning the reel handle.
  • This kind of reel rarely backlashes and therefore safe and easy to use.
  • It is an ideal reel for beginners. Spinning reels are highly compatible with smaller baits, and they use lighter lines than their counterparts.
  • They cost less than baitcasting reel
  • Easy to cast in the wind
  • The reel can be adjusted to fit a right-handed or left-handed person
  • Great for vertical jigging and drop shotting for largemouth and smallmouth bass.


  • •    It offers poor control and power of the reel to the angler.
  • •    It is only suitable for light baits and catching small fish.
  • •    The spinning reels can cause the fishing rods to break.

When choosing an ideal reel for fishing, one must carefully comb through the advantages and disadvantages of each before settling for one. The choice will mostly depend on one’s prowess and experience.  For experienced anglers, the bait caster reel is the best for them.

Quality bait caster reels

The market is flooded with different brands of bait caster reeds. Getting quality ones might sometimes seem daunting. Some of the proven bait caster reels include Abu Garcia Revo SX, Lew’s pro magnesium speed pool, Shimano Chronarch, 13 fishing concept A and Daiwa tatula.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why spinning reels are better?

The answer to this question depends on the water body, the type of fish you are after, and your fishing experience, as we have explained above. You can go even further by testing both reels in the same environment and conditions to see which one works best for you.

Do pros use spinning reels?

The simple answer is yes, however, under specific circumstances. For example, if they need to cast a light bait and lure, then a spinning reel is the right tool to use; otherwise, they’ll have a backlash with a baitcasting reel because it needs weight to work well. They will also use it in tight space as it is easier to make a side cast.

What baits to use on a spinning reel?

Baits that are suitable for a spinning reel and rod setup are: Poppers, small worms, 1/2oz jig, drop shot rigs, small shaky heads

Why do bass pros use Baitcasters?

There are several reasons why bass pros use baitcasters more often than spincasters.

What casts further Baitcast or spinning?

Baitcaster casts further than a spin caster because there is no drag on the line when casting them.

What is the Best Baitcaster for beginners?

A favorite baitcaster reel for a beginner is the Abu Garcia Revo SX Low profile due to its durability and easy to use. It has a braking technology that eliminates the typical backlash issue when you don’t know how to control the spool rotation correctly.

What is the best spinning reel for the money?

Pflueger President XT is a good spinning reel for the money. The reel is light and has a nice twisted handle knob of the crank, which fits better than the round type. Cast and retrieve is effortless, and it works well with braid lines.  The price is suitable for a quality reel.


The type of reel will give one an edge in their angling, but the buck stops at the angler’s skills. If you settle for bait caster reel, make sure to master your craft. Whatever you decide, be sure that you can handle the cons and enjoy the pros.

As you gain experience using one over the other will much depend on the given situation. A windy day will call for a spinning rod while fishing a large fish will require a bait caster rod.

As a beginner, you may be dealing with these common challenges: what gear to necessary gear to buy, know where to find the fish, tying your fishing tackle, and how to cast and retrieve to catch your first fish. 

I have a free e-course that will teach you the tools you need, how to cast, and techniques use by seasoned anglers.

This course will help you build the confidence to catch your first fish.

 Click here to have access to this course.

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