Guide to Different Types of Fishing Reels

Guide to Different Types of Fishing Reels

Spinning? Spincast? Baitcast? Which reel do you choose? Read this guide to different types of fishing reels:

To start, we can break fishing reels into three different types: Spincast, Baitcast, and Spinning. If you’re new to fishing, look at a spincast reel first – they’re built for beginners, and are the simplest to operate. Buy a combo, and the reel and rod are ready to go, right out of the package. Spinning are similar to spincast reels – it will take a little longer to pick up, but you should still be able to get the hang of it in an afternoon. A baitcast reel is the hardest of the three to learn – if you aren’t already familiar with the other reels, learn them first. A baitcast reel is more likely to get tangled, and you don’t want that frustration when you are new to fishing.

What is a spincast reel?

A spincast reel has a closed face. This means that the spool of fishing line is hidden under the cover, and feeds out through a small hole to the fishing pole. These reels are usually used on beginner and children fishing poles, because of the ease of use. The biggest difference between a spincast and other types of reels is the button. To use a spincast reel, hold the button on the back of the reel, and pull the rod back into the casting position. When you’re ready to cast, gently flick the fishing pole towards the water. At the end of the cast, you want the rod to be pointing at the position on the water where you want the lure to land. Somewhere between halfway through casting to 2/3 of the way through casting (don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it), let go of the button and the spincast reel will let the fishing line go. A spincast reel really is the simplest way to get started fishing.

A decent first spincast reel will get you a long way, but if you become a serious fisherman, you will probably want to upgrade to a better reel eventually.

Most spincast reels come with fishing line tested for up to 10 or 20 lbs (depending on the reel). These can be used for a wide variety of river and lake fish. These reels usually don’t work well with lines bigger than 20 lbs.

What is the best spincast reel?

Well, it should be obvious that there isn’t a good way to answer this question. The Zebco 33 is an excellent and popular spincast reel. For a little bit cheaper, the Zebco 404 is a good choice too.

Spinning Reel

Spinning reels are also very popular reels, that are easy to use. Spinning reels are also sometimes called open faced reels. Spinning reels are similar to spincast reels, but they don’t include the cover, or the push-to-cast button. The name open-faced spool come from the fact that this reel doesn’t have a cover – its open faced. Instead of holding and releasing the button, a spinning reel has metal loop that goes over the spool. You can flip the loop from one side to the other to free the line. You hold a spinning reel with the reel below the rod, hanging to the ground. To cast spinning reel, first get a little bit of slack on the line, so the fishing line is hanging past the end of the fishing pole by about a foot. Then use your index finger, and pinch the fishing line between the pole and your finger. With the line pinched, flip the switch that goes over the fishing line spool to “open the bail.” Now you’re ready to cast your line. Once the line is in the water, close the bail by flipping the metal loop again.

Check out our article on the best spinning fishing reels.

What is a spinning reel used for?

A spinning reel, much like the spincast reel, is primarily used for small to medium sized fish, with a maximum somewhere between 10 and 20 pounds, (depending on the brand). Bass, crappie, and redfish can all be caught using a spinning reel. Spinning reels are all around good reels to use in most rivers and lakes.


A baitcasting reel is harder to learn than the other types of fishing reels, but it comes with several advantages. Unlike the other reels, in a baitcast reel the spool of fishing line spins to let the line out or when reeling it back in. The advantage of this is that the baitcasting reel works better the other reels when using heavier fishing line. The baitcasting reel can get good long distance casting, even with the heavier line. One reasong a baitcasting reel is harder to use is that if the spool starts going faster than the line coming out of the fishing pole, the line is more likely to tangle. Baitcasting reels come with a tension knob that you can use to slow down the spool and prevent tangling, but it is more complicated of a process to learn than the previous two reels.

What type of fishing reel is best for bass fishing?

Ultimately, all three different types of fishing reels are all for bass fishing. The spinning reel is probably a good midpoint to go with: almost as easy as a spincast reel, and a little more accurate. When fishing for bass, accuracy is important. If you’re serious about bass fishing, you will eventually want to learn the fishing reel that is most accurate.

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