Baitcasting vs. Spinning Reels: Pros, Cons & Differences

John Hunt
Owner at - FishingMet

John Hunt is a professional angler! He has been fishing for the last 12 years, he loves to participate in fishing tournaments everywhere with his...Read more

Baitcasting or spinning reel – which one to choose from? If you are not a veteran angler, this question must have been bothering you for a long time, especially if you are planning on taking your fishing hobby seriously.

Depending on the reel type – baitcasting and spinning are the two common and most widely used gears that anglers use around the globe. But which one you should go for needs a lot of factors to consider.

While experts prefer baitcasting reel for superior control, beginners feel comfortable with a spinning reel for its lesser backlash threat. In this piece, we are going through the Baitcasting vs Spinning Reel pros and cons of both reels to help you reach a conclusion once and for all!

Difference Between Baitcasting and Spinning Reel


Although both the reels are used for the same purpose, there are some fundamental differences between the baitcasting and spinning reel.

A baitcasting reel is built with a spinning spool that is attached to the top of the fishing rod. The spool can rotate itself with the help of a handle that is attached to its side. By turning, the spool homes the line.

A spinning reel, on the other hand, is attached to the bottom of the fishing reel. Unlike the baitcasting spool, the spool here doesn’t rotate. Instead, there is a bail arm that rotates on the side of the spool so that the line is spooled on the spool.

While casting with a baitcasting reel, you simply let the spool rotate at the top of its speed, and it will release the line from it. In contrast, while casting with the spinning reel, you just fold the bail arm back, and the line will easily slip off from the spool.

Uses of Baitcasting and Spinning Reel

Baitcasting reels are used in both simple and heavy-duty fishing like surfcasting, light spin fishing, and, not to mention – big game fishing. On the other hand, spinning reels are used in surf casting, spin fishing, and some offshore fishing, as well.

Although it sounds like both the reels are used for some pretty common fishing purposes, spinning reels are rather used for simple fishing. For example, spinning reels are not suitable for big game fishing.

Still, as both are used in most of the common fishing purposes, what makes these two so different? Do these vary in performance? Well, let’s find out.

Baitcasting Reel – Pros and Cons

Here are some pros and cons of baitcasting reel at a glance.


  • Ability to cast at a long distance
  • High level of accurate casting
  • Ability to handle heavier lures
  • Solid and durable design
  • Extended line capacity
  • Weighs lighter than a spinning reel


  • Takes time to get used to
  • Difficult to become an expert on
  • Higher risk of backlash
  • The tension of the spool needs to be adjusted for different lures
  • It comes with a higher price tag
  • Not suitable for lightweight lures

Why Should You Choose a Baitcasting Reel?

Although baitcasting reels cost you more than spinning reels, the trade-off is justified when you can cast a longer distance than a spinning reel. Not to forget, the accuracy is better than the spinning reel, as well.

But you must use the adjustable tension to slow down the spool rotation. Otherwise, the spool will keep rotating at the fullest speed even if the lure is under the water. This will obviously cause backlash and bird’s nest.

But to prevent this, you can always place your thumb on the spool to control the speed. Using a magnetic or centrifugal brake can also help in this regard.

Although it may take a while to master using it, a baitcasting reel is a more professional gear for fishing, without a doubt.

Spinning Reel – Pros and Cons

Here are some pros and cons of spinning reels at a glance.


  • Easy to use the reel
  • Cost lower than a baitcasting reel
  • You can change the spool easily
  • Takes little effort to maintain
  • No backlash issue
  • Suits well for lightweight lure


  • Casting distance is not up to the mark
  • Accuracy is lower than baitcasting reel
  • Doesn’t suit big game fishing
  • Weighs more than a baitcasting reel
  • Not as durable as a baitcasting reel

Why Should You Choose A Spinning Reel?

Spinning Reel – Pros and Cons

There are plenty of reasons why you should choose a spinning reel. The prime fact is that it comes with a beginner-friendly design that allows anyone to get started with fishing in no time. While baitcasting reel takes a lot of time to master, the spinning reel is relatively easier to understand the ins and outs.

Another factor is the price. The spinning reel is way cheaper than the baitcasting reel. That makes it pretty convenient for those who have budget constraints and are looking for a cheaper route to go fishing.

But that doesn’t mean it delivers anything less than a baitcaster in a general sense. The spinning reel is actually quite versatile in nature. You can use it for trolling, spin fishing, live bait fishing, bottom fishing, and many other types of fishing, as well.

That’s why anglers who are just about to start their fishing career generally tend to get a spinning reel for them.

Comparison Between Baitcasting vs. Spinning Reel

Here is a quick comparison between the baitcasting reel and the spinning reel for your convenience.

FeatureBaitcasting ReelSpinning Reel
Casting DistanceLongerShorter
Casting AccuracyMost AccurateModerate
Line CapacityExtendedShorter
Suitable For Big GameYesNo
Suits Lightweight LureNoYes

Final Words

In the old times, people put less importance on reels for fishing. Only a hook and a fishing rod were enough to get going for a fishing session. But things have changed a lot in the past decades. Fishing gears got smarter, and fishing has become more convenient and enjoyable. It’s a full-fledged hobby for most fishers today.

Finding the best reel for you is quite a challenging task if you are just getting started. We hope this article here will make it easier to decide between a baitcaster reel vs. a spinning reel. Make sure you analyze the points well and finally decide for yourself.

John Hunt is a professional angler! He has been fishing for the last 12 years, he loves to participate in fishing tournaments everywhere with his favorite fishing gear. As a pro angler, he is sharing his valuable fishing guide with newbie anglers...

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