Baitcaster VS Spinning Reel Pros and Cons


There are a lot of good reasons to use baitcasting fishing reels, the first of these reasons is distance.

Compared to a spin casting reel, the bait casting reels can be cast at nearly twice the distance.

This is helpful when you can’t access the spot you want your boat to go it. Or, if you decide to fish from the shore, it will help you reach an even greater distance.

Are Baitcasters Better Than Spinning Reels?

Passionate fishermen will always have arguments concerning the best pieces of equipment for your fishing sessions.

Of course, most of these arguments are done for the pleasure of debating the subject, but there are some topics that seem never-ending.

The question of which reel is best has very good chances of being one of these topics.

So, since we got to this point, which one is better, the bait caster or spinning reel?

While it is true that you can find a good number of articles on this matter and an even higher number of opinions, we will try to provide accurate information and unbiased aspects in the following lines.

If you want to know more about each type of reel and make an informed decision, continue reading the remainder of this article.

Fisherman Using a Baitcast Reel
Fisherman Using a Baitcast Reel

Details About the Baitcast Reel

The first thing you need to know about this kind of reel is that the design and positioning on the rod allow you to use a heavier line when fishing and a larger spool.

In other words, you can improve the maximum cast you can achieve during each cast.

The ability to retrieve the line fast and manage larger captures also increase the popularity of this kind of reels.

But, they do have both advantages and disadvantages, as follows.


• Larger distances can be achieved;
• The cast is easier to control;
• A higher level of accuracy can be reached, with a good amount of practice;
• High rates for line retrieval;
• The design allows a higher cranking pressure when capturing large fish;


• The learning curve is steeper;
• In case of significant wind speeds, this reel can behave badly;
• The backlash can be severe;
• It will be a challenge to skip it under various structures;
• In the event of using larger lures, the reel can be difficult to control.

Bait Casting Reels Are Also More Accurate

The neat thing about these reels is that you can stop the line with your thumb when you get your bait into the right spot.

Baitcasting reels end up being pretty helpful when you are out fishing on a dock.

With this reel, you can easily flip your bait under the dock to get to where those fish are.

If you are using a spin casting reel on a dock then your chances of doing this becomes a little slimmer just because they tend to tangle up.

Baitcasting Reel Is More Durable

Similarly to spinning reels, bait casters have been modified to make casting and retrieval more efficient so that when you crank your reel it will withstand the pressure without breaking.

The top baitcaster reels manufacturers have incorporated certain features to make one-handed casting easier. There is a device that has been implemented in various reel designs so that you don’t need to use both hands anymore for flipping the spool and releasing the cast.

The device that has been implemented in the designs is a locking device that stops the spool at a particular point and sets off a trigger that allows you to flip the line with a single finger.

The downside of spinning reels is that the line tends to sit in the spool for an extended period of time.

This results in coil memory and the only way of rectifying it is to get a new line or to stretch it out. But if you don’t know how to do it, then it is easy to break the line.

Using the right amount of thumb pressure takes a lot of practice. But after a while, it will come naturally.

They can be a little frustrating to use when you are first learning, but like any skill, it takes a while to learn. At the end of the day, it’s up to you what you want to do.

Details About the Spinning Reel

In comparison with the baitcaster, the spinning reel will sit under the rod and are better in the case of finer retrieval techniques and lighter tackles. Of course, they won’t offer the same line retrieval rate and speed, but they are more than capable of answering to the needs of fishermen looking for advanced pieces of equipment.


• They are very easy to use;
• Suitable for light lures and finer techniques;
• Increased resistance to backlashes and higher wind speeds;
• They show great versatility when it comes to various casting scenarios;
• Is a great option for those preferring live bait;


• The distance is limited;
• A heavy and large line can become cumbersome;
• The line can twist in certain situations;
• It is difficult to control the cast when it is still in flight;

What Are Baitcaster Reels Good For

When most people start fishing, they opt for spinning reels. Of course, this is not a bad thing to do, but baitcast reels end up being ignored.

They get to be ignored because people don’t know the advantages of using such a type of reel. So, before you actually decide whether a baitcaster is indeed good or bad for you, it is worth knowing as much as possible about this kind of reels.

Having said all these, let us look at what recommends baitcaster reels and what they are good for.

Even if none of your friends use baitcasters during their fishing sessions, it doesn’t mean that you can’t use one. Also, if you did get a baitcaster reel and you find it difficult to manage, do not despair.

They are not meant to be used by expert fishermen. They just need a bit of practice and you need to develop a finer sense of touch and feel.

These two are not required when using a spinning reel, so you’re not to blame if you don’t have them just yet.

Perseverance is key and once you get the hang of the baitcaster, you will sense a significant improvement of your fishing experiences.

Cast Lures Over Longer Distances and High Retrieval Speed

Baitcaster reels perform much better when it comes to cast the lure over long distances and provide a higher retrieval speed.

They are preferred by experienced fishermen because this reel gives them the chance to perform finer techniques, which are not possible in the case of a spinning reel.

It is true that the risk of getting a backlash is quite present, especially when you’re just starting out with bait cast reels. But, at the same time, you have the possibility to tune in your baitcaster.

Baitcasting Reel Used in Beach Fising To Cast The Lure at Longer Distances
Baitcasting Reel Used in Beach Fising To Cast The Lure at Longer Distances

It is even recommended to do so, in order to enjoy better control until you get used to it and develop the right kind of skills.

So, make sure you do get familiar with the reel’s break and spool-tension knob and use them to tune in your reel.

At first, you may want to have the brake set on the highest level, as it will slow down the speed of the line when you cast, giving you the chance to better control what is going on.

Also, the spool-tension knob keeps averting overruns from occurring, by applying the same level of tension on the spool’s sides.

More Precision and Control

When to use a baitcasting reel? There are fishermen that prefer using this type of reel all the time, due to the fact that it allows them to cast the lure with more precision, as they control the spool with their thumb.

But, as a general rule, they are recommended for power fishing sessions, when a heavy line and lure are used.

Of course, you can use light lure on a bait caster reel, according to the line you prefer, but you may find it difficult to handle as a beginner.

At first, you should practice on shorter distances and with heavier lures, which give you a better sense of control.

It is good to know that it will work great with monofilament, braid, and fluorocarbon lines alike.

If you have been avoiding this type of reels so far, it may be time to give them a chance.

It may take a while to get used to them, as you will need to develop skills that weren’t necessary with a spinning reel.

But once you do, there are high chances that the baitcaster reels will grow on you.

How To Cast a Baitcasting Reel Without Backlash

It is said that a baitcasting reel is much more precise when it comes to obtaining the desired cast.

However, backlashes can occur and it can be very frustrating. Accuracy occurs with practice and with, of course, adopting a correct technique.

Those that try a baitcaster for the first time may find it hard to understand why this type of reel is considered accurate when everything seems to work against them.

The truth is that you don’t have to be an expert to know how to execute a baitcasting reel cast without a backlash. Here are a few things that  you need to have in mind in order to make this happen each time you are using this particular reel type.

What Is A Backlash

But first, what is a backlash and why it is not desired to have one during a cast? When you cast a baitcaster, the idea is to get the bait as far away as possible.

This happens by pressing down on the button that allows the reel to spin freely and releases as much line as it is possible.

But, unfortunately, during a backlash, the line won’t stop from running out of the reel, even if the bait lands in the water.

So, you can end up with a tangled lined due to too much line that was released by the reel.

As you can see, this a not a desired situation. A backlash can really ruin your fishing session, as it will get you to spend a lot of time in remedying the situation.

How to Cast Correctly

To learn how to cast correctly, you will need a few items, besides the rod and baitcasting reel. Short regular fishing line would be recommended, together with a type of heavy lure.

Resist your instinct to use a light lure, as a heavier version will be more useful. Why is that? When the lure is heavy, it will force the line to get into the water faster, instead of lingering at the surface and risking getting tangled.

Also, practice with a monofilament line, instead of a fluorocarbon line, as the chances for it to get tangled are much lower.

A good piece of advice is to use the wind in your favor.

When you don’t have sufficient experience with a baitcaster, it can be rather challenging to cast against the wind. So, it will be much easier to cast with the wind.

Pay attention to the direction of the wind before a cast and go with the wind for a higher success rate.

Adjust the Braking System of the Reel

Make adjustments to the braking system of the reel. You will find it on the side of the baitcaster and it is advisable to set it to the highest setting.

This will reduce the release speed of the line so that you will have more control over it as you cast.

As soon as you get the hang of it, you will be able to reduce the level of the braking system.

Just make sure to practice on short distances first. Learn to feel how your baitcaster reacts and behaves and you will soon have the chance to try it on longer distances.

How to Cast a Baitcaster Far Without Backlash?

Like any skill, baitcasting reels take a little bit of practice to get used to. Using your thumb is the key to getting your bait in the right spot.

With the bait casting reel facing down, you need to press the free spool button with your thumb in order to hold the spool in place.

Once you have done that, turn the rod sideways keeping the handle face up. You should make sure that you put just enough pressure on the line as you cast it. This will prevent the hated backlash.

The reason why anglers hate backlash is that it significantly weakens their lines. There is a small loop that poses a significant problem because it gets wound up in the reel’s spool.

This happens because of “etching”, it increases the likelihood of the line breaking due to pressure.

Baitcast Reel is Good to Catch a Peacock Bass
Baitcast Reel is Good to Catch a Peacock Bass

Final Thoughts

Practice is always the key to getting better; it won’t take long before you catch fish like you’ve been doing this for years. There is a pretty big chance you won’t shy away from bait casting reels after you try them out for the first time.

Now that you know which of them offer and what are the drawbacks in each case, you need to study your fishing style and preferences best.

One can offer what the other can’t, and the other way around. In the end, each fisherman should know what he expects from a fishing adventure and go for the equipment that can offer an exceptional experience.

And, of course, no one stops you from trying both of these reels, depending on your mood and what you’re looking to expect.