Baitcaster vs Spinner Reel

Baitcaster vs Spinner Reel

What are baitcasting and spinning reels used for?

Baitcasters are used for a wide variety of applications, ranging from casting lures, to surf casting and big game fishing. The most popular use of baitcasters in North America is for freshwater fishing for bass.

Spinner reels are also used for a wide range of applications, many of which overlap with baitcasters, including spin fishing, surf casting, and offshore fishing. However, in general, they are not used for very heavy applications, such as big game fishing, which is a domain reserved for baitcasters.

This raises another question: why are these two types of reels used for many of the same purposes, and is there a difference between them in how they perform in each scenario?  

Pros and cons of baitcasting reels 

Long distance casting ability 
High degree of casting accuracy 
Work well with heavy lures 
Durable design 
line capacity on large models 
Lighter weight than comparable spinner reels 

More difficult to master 
High risk of backlash while casting 
Spool tension needs to be adjusted for lures of different sizes 
Generally more expensive than spinning reels 
Not good for casting very light lures 
What are the advantages of a baitcaster vs spinner? 
Baitcasters have better casting qualities than spinner reels – both in terms of distance and accuracy achieved. 
However, baitcasters are generally more expensive and more difficult to master than spinning reels, especially for beginners. 
The reason for this immediately becomes apparent during the casting process: you have to use spool tension (controlled by an adjustable magnetic tension system) to slow down spool rotation during the cast. 
If you don’t slow down the spool during the cast, it will continue to rotate rapidly even after the lure slows down and hits the water, which immediately results in
line backlash and birds nest generation, which is a huge hassle to untangle. 
A second way to control the rotation of the spool is by placing your thumb on the spool during the cast. This has the added advantage of enabling accurate control of the casting distance, which allows you to cast the lure to a very specific location, once you have mastered the technique.   

Pros and cons of spinning reels 

Very easy to use 
Generally cheaper than baitcasting reels 
Highly versatile 
Spool can be changed easily 
Very simple maintenance 
No backlash during casting 
Great for casting with ultralight lures and lightweight lines 

Lower casting distance and accuracy 
Not as good for heavy lures 
Not good for big game fish 
Heavier in weight than comparable baitcasters 
Usually not quite as durable 

What are the advantages of a spinning reel vs baitcaster? 
The fact that spinning reels are generally cheaper and easier to use makes them a popular choice for most scenarios that don’t require the specific strengths of a baitcaster. Many anglers use spinner reels as general purpose reels, and they are also a top choice for beginners. 
In addition, spinner reels are incredibly versatile, which means they can be adapted to almost any type of fishing. The same reel model can be used for spin fishing, trolling, bottom fishing, live bait fishing, and many other purposes. 
On the downside, their casting qualities are not as good as those of baitcasters, which is why some experienced anglers prefer casting vs spinning reels for specific applications. In addition, it’s essential to know how to spool a spinning reel correctly to avoid line twisting and fouls ups while casting. 
Finally, if you decide in favor of using spinner reels, you should familiarise yourself with the right spinning reel sizes for your purpose, plus get to know the spinning reel parts, in order to use them optimally.

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