Spinning v Baitcasting Reels

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One thing that never seems to wane is the battle for supremacy over which reel is better, spinning or baitcasting reels? Before voicing an opinion we need to take a good look at both.

A baitcasting reel is a classic design and, while many changes and improvements have been made over the years, the durability and quality of these reels remain. They have a toughness that is unmatched by any other reel. When conditions turn tough, a baitcasting reel will stand the test of time and be there when you need it. Baitcasters are traditionally known for their ability to handle strong fish, making them ideal for a long fight. The drag systems helps to outlast the fish by applying constant drag pressure and confidence to outmuscle the fish.

While there are many pros to this reel there are also cons associated with the baitcaster, the most notable being the dreaded birds nest, backlash etc. This is normally followed by a spray of colourful language depending on the fisherman. You are able to vent a bit of frustration in the outdoors such as this as there are normally not too many people within earshot of you. Backlash can result if there is too much slack in the line during the cast, drag settings not set properly or maybe not applying enough thumb pressure needed to make a good cast. Most fishermen will not attempt to use these reels if there is wind around as either visions of backlash or experience will haunt them to turn towards a spinning reel.

Like the baitcaster, a spinning reel has its pros and cons as well. An obvious answer to use a spinning reel may be to avoid the backlash as discussed above, however if you have overspooled your reel or simply not spooled correctly can result in backlash. From this results in lost time when you have to pull out line until you have the appropriate amount and respooling when it tangles in the rod guides.

When the automatic bail won't flip over due to being too rough or dropping the reel too often can result in lost time during the cast. Every time you cast out, you have to flip the bail back manually which is not that much fun, especially when the fish are biting and you are losing time flipping back the bail on each cast.

One of the main pros of the spinning reel is the ability to cast under overhanging trees on the shoreline or in tight cover. A side arm cast is a lot easier than the pitching method used with baitcasting reels. Spinning reels tend to hold lighter line which is useful in certain situations causing baits to move in particular ways. A lighter line on a baitcasting reel can result in a lot more backlash until the gears and drag settings have been mastered. The spinning reel is easier to cast when you can't keep steady pressure on the line.

Something to keep a mind on when your next argument erupts over what type of reel is the best. Not all pros and cons are mentioned, but that would take the fun away of the argument. My advice is to master both so you are as good with one as the other and able to perform regardless of the situation.


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