Baitcaster vs. Spinning Reel: Which is Better for You?

The baitcasting reel and the spinning reel are 2 popular fishing reel solutions.

However, when do you use a baitcasting reel and when do you use a spinning reel? It can be confusing, especially if you are an absolute beginner and have never purchased any of those fishing reels before.

In order to help you find the best type of fishing reel for your need, we made this comprehensive baitcasting versus spinning reel comparison guide.

Hopefully, it will help you find the best fishing reel for your need.

1. Baitcaster

Baitcaster

The baitcaster or commonly known as the baitcasting reel is a type of fishing reel that is very versatile and allows you to cast lures like jigs, crankbaits and spinner baits with great accuracy over long distances.

Indeed, the baitcasting reel is known for its pinpoint accuracy as well as sensitive control over your fishing line.

Advantage:

Very sensitive. Due to a more efficient internal design, the baitcaster is much more sensitive than the spinning reel. In fact, this type of fishing reel can be used to catch any type of prey, ranging from large seawater catch up to small freshwater fishes like bass.

Longer distance casting. Since the baitcasting reel is generally bigger, it can accommodate more fishing line in its spool. Bottom line, this type of fishing reel can cast a longer distance fishing line which is very helpful especially for those fishing in the marine open where you need a long fishing line.

More versatile. The baitcasting reel was designed to be used with different types of lures. Notably, fishing lures like the jig have difficulty working with a spinning reel but work excellently with the baitcaster.

More solid build construction. Since the baitcasting reel is generally used as a heavy-duty fishing reel, it stands to reason that it has a more solid and durable build construction. Manufacturers use a combination of lightweight materials like ABS plastic, aluminum, and rubber in the construction of the baitcasting reel. So much so, you will have no problem fishing a large catch with the baitcasting reel.

More fluid casting motion. One of the reasons that the fishing line gets tangled when casting, especially by those who lack casting experience is because of the motion of the fishing line inside the spool. 

With the baitcasting reel, the fishing line leaves the spool in a straight line as it has multiple guides inside the spool that allows it to do so.

However, with the spinning reel, the fishing line leaves the spool in every way which sometimes can lead to the fishing line getting tangled.

Disadvantage:

More expensive. Since the baitcasting reel usually has a better build construction and intended for more heavy-duty fishing, it is also more expensive. However, due to better modern-day manufacturing processes, the baitcaster is still cost-effective.

Needs a minimum experience to maneuver. Unlike the spinning reel, the user will need a minimum amount of experience to use the baitcasting reel.

Indeed, this type of fishing reel is not an entry-level fishing reel and intended for those who are moving away from the spinning reel and want more accuracy and control over their casting.

However, the learning curve of the baitcasting reel is still reasonable and almost everyone will get used to it with practice.

2. Spinning Reel

Spinning Reel

The spinning reel is the most popular type of fishing reel on the market. It is a simple device that is not only easy to use but also quite lightweight and will not cause hand fatigue especially when used for an extended period of time.

To use the spinning reel, you simply have to flip the metal bail which will unleash the fishing line inside the spool and flip the metal bail again to brake the spool once again. To retrieve the fishing line, all you have to do is to perform clockwise motions on the handle.

Additionally, the spinning reel also has multiple technologies like a brake system and carbon fiber discs that make the drag very smooth and will not cause extra stress on the hand, which is very important especially when reeling a large catch.

Advantage:

Large and comfortable handle. One of the best things about the spinning reel is the presence of a large and comfortable handle. This large handle will allow you to retrieve a large catch more easily when compared to a baitcasting reel.

Additionally, the handle in the spinning reel is usually coated with a soft and heavy-duty material that will make it even more comfortable to hold for an extended period of time.

Ease-of-use. You do not need any type of experience to operate the spinning reel. In fact, it is extremely beginner friendly with a very short learning curve. The spinning reel is a great entry-level and introductory fishing reel to absolute beginners, especially kids who have never used a fishing reel before and still learning.

Butter smooth. In tandem with the large handle, the spinning reel also has multiple technologies like carbon fiber discs, multiple ball bearings, and a drag system that makes it smooth to cast and to reel the fishing line. You will have no problem reeling a large catch with the spinning reel as it is quite comfortable to do so.

More affordable. When compared to the baitcasting reel, the spinning reel is significantly more affordable. Everyone with any type of budget can get started quickly and easily with the spinning reel.

Read More: 10 Best Spinning Reels under $100

Disadvantage:

Not as heavy duty. Despite having a good build construction, the spinning reel is not heavy duty when compared to the baitcasting reel.

Lacks control and accuracy. The spinning reel is an excellent general purpose and beginner friendly fishing reel. However, it cannot be used for competitive fishing or where absolute accuracy and control over your catch is required.

Not as versatile. When compared to the baitcasting reel, the spinning reel lacks versatility. Especially when it comes to the types of lures that can be used with it. This type of reel is usually intended for floating lures like plastic lures or crankbaits. It does not do a good job when used with lures like jigs.

Conclusion

Both the baitcaster and the spinning reel have its advantages and disadvantages.

If you have never used a fishing reel before, it makes sense to go with a beginner friendly and easy to use fishing reel like the spinning reel. You will have no problem operating this reel, even if you have no experience doing so.

On the other hand, if you require accuracy and control over your fishing line, then the baitcasting reel has no equal. It is versatile, can be used with almost any type of fishing lures on the market and very durable so it will last a long time.

Allen Ethan