Baitcaster or Spinning

As an angler, you should always look for that edge, that little "something" that will give you the advantage when pursuing your catch. This is the true reason why you will see anglers using both style of reels, because under certain conditions, the reel you choose will make the difference.

Baitcast Reels


  • When mastered, are excellent for precision casting.
  • Can be loaded with heavy or light line depending whether you're fishing around structure or not.
  • By way of design, baitcasting rods and reels afford anglers great leverage when fighting fish.
  • "Low profile" reels are extremely comfortable in the hands of anglers.
  • New designs have anti-backlash systems that are usually adjustable by engaging or disengaging "brakes."
  • Many baitcasters have "high retrieve" which becomes very useful when attempting to gather line back quick, especially when twitching top water baits.

Spinning Reels


  • Under windy conditions where anglers have to cast into the wind, hands down the best!
  • Light line specialists, this is the reel for you, as you can really "scale" down for ultra-light action.
  • Light line will afford long-distance casting.
  • Allows anglers to cast small and very light baits efficiently.
  • Anglers can usually switch handles from left or right retrieve relatively quick and easy.
  • Very effective for flipping baits under docks, trees and bushes (such as Mangrove bushes).
  • New technology with most manufacturers, allow anglers further casting distances than ever.

Now as far as the negatives. I'm not sure there are any, other than using either reel under conditions that are not favorable, like casting into heavy wind with a baitcaster, or loading up your spinning reel with heavier line than it is designed for and expecting it to cast far.

No question every angler should have both on board, so no matter what conditions you are faced with you will be ready. Now deciding on which one to buy may seem confusing, but it really isn't. When it comes to spinning, match the size reel to the size of fish that you most often pursue. I always try to use the smallest size reel that I can get away with. As far as baitcasters, the main decision will be deciding whether you prefer "low profile" or "round" style reels. There are several good manufacturers on the market. Personally, I have been using OKUMA's reels for over nine years now and have been extremely pleased.

Their spinning reels are as smooth as any on the market and smoother than most. Baitcasters, because they have caught up with other manufacturers in the last few years, are a player now!

As an angler, you owe it to yourself to go to your favorite tackle store and actually put several reels in your hand and try them out. Make sure the salesman puts a little line on the reel so that you can feel how smooth the drag is. If it is not smooth, stay away from it. Bottom line, get experienced with both, practice with both and I can assure you that having both spinning and baitcasting in your boat will make you a better angler.


Courtesy of ESPN Outdoors -
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