Baitcaster vs Spinner Debate

Spinning Reel

Baitcaster Reel

Fishing is one of people's favorite pastimes. People love going out on the water, casting their line out and seeing what they can catch. It's something people have enjoyed doing since the 15th century.

However, fishing is only fun when you have the right equipment. Otherwise, it can go from fun to stressful in no time.

When people, particularly the Native Americans, first began fishing several millennia ago, they used only a simple line and hook combination. That gradually evolved into a cane pole with a line and hook attached to it.

We've really advanced since then.

Rods and reels today are insanely advanced. Manufacturers incorporate some of the most innovative and sophisticated materials and technology available into fishing equipment. There are even lures that require batteries to operate properly! All the new advances in rod and reel combos have given anglers a lot of choices.

This often leads to debates over different gear. One of the biggest, most divisive debates is about which reels are better: spinning or baitcast reels. There are plenty of fishermen on both sides of the argument who swear by their favorite picks, but truthfully there are advantages and disadvantages to both.

The trick to picking the right reel is to research both reels' pros and cons and compare them with your own specific fishing needs. Research the two different types online and talk to users of both. See what each reel brings to the table. Make your final decision only after carefully determining which one is right for you.

Baitcaster vs Spinning Reels Pros and Cons

Baitcaster Reels

The main reason so many anglers swear by baitcasters is because of their superior control and excellent precision. These reels are incredibly sensitive and allow fishermen to control the precise amount of inertia and power they need.

However, because they're so precise and sensitive, it takes a really advanced angler to use them effectively. Even when a fisherman is extremely skilled with a ton of experience, using a baitcaster can be a challenge. These types of reels take a ton of practice before they can be used effectively.

Baitcaster Reel Pros

  • If you want to be a successful fisherman, you need to be skilled at using your equipment. The more precision and control you have over your rod and reel, the more fish you're likely to bring home. Baitcasters provide this control and precision. They're some of the most accurate reels on the market.
  • With baitcasters, you can determine exactly where your lure is going to land after casting. If you're skilled at using a baitcaster, you can use the reel to guide your bait exactly where you want it to go every single cast. This kind of control isn't always possible with a spinning reel.
  • Furthermore, baitcasters are usually higher-quality and better made than spinning reels. This means they're more durable and will last longer than a spinning reel.

Baitcaster Reel Cons

  • The first thing that comes to mind when talking about the cons of baitcasters is their price. Baitcaster reels are expensive. It is possible to purchase a baitcaster for under $100, but it isn't going to be the high-quality baitcasters we're talking about in this article. These cheaper ones just don't have the same accuracy and control.
  • Baitcasters also take a lot of practice to use correctly. When you're using them, you have to be patient and entirely focused on what you're doing. If you aren't experienced enough to use them or if you simply aren't paying enough attention, your baitcaster isn't going to give you the results you want. They're not recommended for use by beginners.
  • Learning to halt the spool at the very moment you drop your bait will go a long way towards ensuring you're using it properly. Until you learn this trick, you're probably going to become frustrated with the reel very quickly.
  • Using lightweight lures also isn't a good idea for baitcasters. This is something some people really hate about them. Because of the way they're set up, baitcasters really only work with heavy lures on them.

Spinning Reels

Spinning reels are one of the most commonly used reels for fishermen. This is largely because they can be used by anglers of any skill level, including total beginners, with relative ease. They're also great rods for catching some of the most sought-after fish, such as bass, red-fish and crappie.

Spinning reels have a fixed spool sitting beneath the rod. The line is pulled out mostly by the weight of your lure, bait or tackle and has little to do with you or your skill at fishing.

This means they're less precise than baitcasters, and your lure might not always go exactly where you want it, but these reels also don't take as much focus or skill to use. These are typical "cast and reel" reels easily used by anyone.

Spinning Reel Pros

  • The biggest reason the spinning reel is one of the most-used reels on the planet is because it's so simple to use. Spinning reels truly can be used by literally anyone. Someone who's never fished a single day in his life could pick up a spinning reel, cast with it and catch a fish. It's that simple.
  • It also works with a wide variety of lures, unlike the baitcasters which only work with heavy lures. Spinning reels can use lightweight bait without problems. This means you can use plastic worms, live bait and more with a spinning reel. The casting distance for spinning reels is usually longer than for baitcasters as well.

Spinning Reel Cons

  • While spinning reels are able to use a much wider variety of tackle than baitcasters, there's still some limitation on what you can use. For example, you won't be able to use anything too heavy with a spinning reel. The reels are light in construction and can't handle super heavy tackle.
  • You're also not going to have as much control over your cast with spinning reels. You'll hit the general vicinity of the area you're aiming for, but it's unlikely you'll ever hit the exact spot. Also, you can't use a spinning reel to catch overly large fish. If you're fishing for anything over twelve or fifteen pounds, you'll need to use a baitcaster instead.

When to Use a Spinning Reel vs a Baitcaster

When it comes to the two reels, there isn't necessarily a "winner." They're both great options for different circumstances. However, there are two main considerations to think about when deciding between the two reels.

The first of these is your skill level. If you're an inexperienced fisherman, you'll probably want to stick with a spinning reel. However, if you're a professional or highly experienced fisherman, you'll be fine with a baitcaster reel.

The second thing to consider is what you're hoping to catch. If you're after big, heavy fish over twelve to fifteen pounds, you're definitely going to need the heavier, more durable baitcaster. If you're fishing for something small to medium size, though, the spinning reel will be fine.

In the end, the choice is yours. Weigh your personal preferences and needs against how much you're willing to spend and what you're hoping to accomplish with the reel and make your choice that way.