Baitcaster Vs Spinning Reel Pros And Cons (Detailed Comparison)

Baitcaster Vs Spinning Reel Pros And Cons

Have you ever entered a store that sells fishing supplies and other equipment? The mere sight of a fully stocked business can be overwhelming for aspiring anglers, with hundreds and thousands of different choices laying around, waiting to be examined.

If you have not familiarized yourself with picking the right tools, you run the risk of compromising the fishing experience.

The thing is, for people without much experience in the field, choosing suitable angling gear is a challenge.

You will be facing the age-old question of baitcaster vs spinning reel pros and cons, and which one is better for your needs. Still, pondering over these choices? Why not have a look at the detailed article below for more advice?

Differences Between Baitcaster Reel Vs Spinning Reel

Experience level

Baitcaster is reserved mostly for professionals since it takes a lot of time and effort to master the setup and techniques.

If you have frequented the ponds for months and have tested out a baitcaster reel before, it would be an ideal choice. On the other hand, spinning reels are much easier to use.

Even when you are new to fishing, it will not take you longer than a few minutes to familiarize yourself with how this tool works. 

Spool type

The spool is attached on top of a baitcaster fishing reel, and it rotates as you cast. Since the rotation speed can get out of hand, working with a baitcaster reel means you need the strength and skills to adjust the spool.

On a spinning reel, the spool is right under its bottom. It stays in static conditions throughout the fishing, so the anglers do not feel the extra heaviness.


Casting a baitcaster reel starts with releasing the spool at an extremely high speed, making the line reach out immediately.  Simply put, the spool will loosen the line and let it extend depending on how far you want to cast.

Most baitcaster reels have a built-in ball bearing system that manages the unwinding process, effectively ensuring a flowing performance.

A spinning reel relies on its bail arm for casting. This detail will pick up the line once you start casting, enabling the fishing line to slip off without fail.

No rotation is needed, which eliminates most of the hard work for fishing beginners.

Backlash risk

Since the baitcaster reel uses a rotating spool, it stands a higher chance of producing backlash when casting.

To prevent this from happening, you have to keep the spool rotating at a moderate speed while casting, using either your thumb to add pressure on the spool or your skills to keep the line steady.

Thankfully, spinning reels are designed to avoid backlash, so the risk is minimal.

If used flawlessly, you should never have to worry about jamming or tangling with such a gadget. 

See more: How to Remove Backlash from a Baitcaster

Line capacity

Are you thinking of braided lines rated roughly for 500 lbs and above? Heavy-duty baitcaster reels will accompany these nicely due to their high level of control.

Vice versa, for light nylon lines not exceeding 10 lbs, go for a spinning reel for better elasticity and stretchiness. 

Lure types

Similar to line capacity, baitcaster reels function better when working with heavy lures. For light or ultralight lures, using a spinning reel comes with better results.

Fish type

If you intend on catching some big fish, a baitcasting reel is your top choice, thanks to its line capacity and lure types. But if you simply want to garner small to medium-sized fish, a spinning one will do the job.

Gear ratio/speed

The majority of baitcaster reels have a gear ratio from 5.0:1 to 9.1:1. The higher the speed is, the less work is required to retrieve the line. This explains why many highly trained anglers only use reels that are 7.1:1 and above.  Spinning reels have a narrower range of gear ratio, from 5.2:1 to 6.2:1 only.

There are a few products reaching 7.0:1, but they are mostly for deep-water fishing, so their use is rather limited.

See also: even the size of the baitcasting reel and the size of the spinning reel serve many different purposes


spining reel and baitcaster reel Baitcaster is more robust and can deliver a powerful cast, so worry not about their sturdiness if you decide to purchase one. In most cases, they would never fail to deal with a big catch, as long as you control the gear tightly. If kept in the right hands, you can expect the reel to last for years.

When speaking of shelf life, spinning reels can last up to months with proper care. However, they are more bendable and fragile if coming into contact with great forces, so watch out unless you want the reel to snap in half.


Reel maintenance is no big deal. All it takes is to disassemble the body parts, find the right cleaning solution to get rid of clogged dirt, and oil the gear bearing and teeth.

Both baitcaster and spinning reels pose no critical challenges in this aspect, though you should note that the former takes longer than the latter. It is understandable given the complicated composition of the baitcaster. 

However, rest assured that more time taking care of the tool does not necessarily mean more arduous work. 

Price range

Baitcaster reels tend to cost way more than their spinning counterparts. However, the cost of each angling tool indicates their quality. If you are tightening your budget or just trying out fishing for the first time, buying a standard spinning reel is highly recommended. That being said, for those taking fishing seriously and who wish to make the best out of each trip, a baitcaster reel provides more solid performance and a longer lifespan.

Baitcaster Vs Spinning Reel Pros And Cons

 Baitcast reelSpinning reel
ProsLightweight and highly portable for the best convenience.Relatively easy to use, even for inexperienced fishers.
High level of durability and can last for a long time.Backlash is less likely to happen.
A wider range of gear ratio/speed to accompany different fishing purposes.Maintenance is less time-consuming and does not require as much work.
Spool attached on top of the reel for extra force upon the fish. Excellent for light and ultralight lures.
Easier to feel the bite without much effort.Highly affordable for the majority of anglers.
Many types of handles are available to increase the rotation speed.Swappable bail arms for people with different preferences.
Can cast in longer distances with greater accuracy.Less physical strength is needed to cast and unreel.
Perfect to land big-sized fish or anything that weighs more than 10lbs.Best for landing fish that weighs under 10lbs.
Provide a natural fishing process with the unreeling in the same direction towards the rod.Highly compatible with different types of lines, though works best with light lines.
Capable of handling heavier line capacity. Easier to control for a smooth, relaxing fishing trip.
Works great in muddy or unclear water conditions.Lures can sink immediately without hovering on the water surface.
Spool changing is quick and easy to perform.
Versatile for various fishing purposes, from live bait fishing, trolling, to spin fishing.
ConsRequires a lot of practice to master the use. Limited casting distance with a lower level of precision.
Can be too costly for the average anglers.A bit too fragile and breakable when exposed to heavy pressure.
Difficult to land tiny to medium-sized fish without proper skills.Not as lightweight and harder to move around.
Longer time for maintenance.Fail to go with big lures.
Not suitable for light and ultralight lures.Cannot land anything too hefty or large.
More frequent to get backlash.Only slow to medium speed ratios are available.
Harder to adjust the drag when retrieving.Not great for dealing with difficult water conditions
Limited lifespan.

Further Tips About Reel Types For Anglers

Baitcaster reel

baitcaster reel Are you about to go fishing with some skillful buddies? A baitcaster reel is exactly what you need right now! Baitcaster reels are best known for their casting distance with a high level of accuracy, resulting in more impressive catches.

The structure itself is built to last, so you never have to worry about replacing the tool anytime soon. Reliable, robust, and aptly designed for serious fishing games, what else could you expect from this beast?

See more of our reviews of the top baitcasters for beginners as well as the top baitcaster under $100

Spinning reel

 spinning reel Spinning reels are arguably the most popular angling tool in the fishing industry.

They can work well even in the hands of an amateur, are highly flexible in terms of applications, and are economical. These are the reasons why aspiring fishermen would have a go at spinning reels before switching to anything more complicated.

We have prepared a full article for a detailed review of the top ultralight-reels for anglers.

Other types of reels

Have you ever heard of the spincast reel and fly reel? Apart from baitcaster and spinning reels – the two angling gears we have covered extensively in this article – these two categories are also worth mentioning. What is so special about them? Spincast reels are an excellent choice for newbies thanks to their safety-guaranteed design and easy-to-use techniques. Each reel contains a closed face, shielding most internal body parts of the reel from external factors.

When it is time to cast, all it takes is a push on the operation button, and the release mechanism will do the job automatically. There is no need to cast the line manually, so you will encounter virtually no difficulty using this device. 

Even better, spincast reels are dirt cheap compared to higher-level reels. This does sound like a real bargain, right?

spincast reel Still, be aware of the spincast reel’s limitations.

They are quite small in size and cannot handle heavy lines, so you may want to stay away from big game fish and stick to light fishing only. Furthermore, the casting distance is relatively short due to the increased friction on the closed cover. 

In short, if you want a child-friendly, beginner-friendly reel, a spincast one will suffice. But once you step up the game, be sure to invest in something more powerful.

Another type of fishing reel is the fly reel. Fly reels take advantage of a sturdy, thick fishing line for casting, coupled with an almost weightless lure. The structure of fly reels is pretty straightforward, as it only includes a single spool rotating around a central core.

fly reel While it sounds easy enough, controlling a fly reel is not a piece of cake. Lots of physical strength and expertise are needed to maintain the fishing line and throw the lures accurately.

Regarding application, fly reels can be used for a wide variety of purposes. Anything from saltwater fly fishing to bass fishing can be done neatly with a fly reel.


When it comes to fishing, angling gears can make or break your success. With the right set of tools, a mundane, frustrating fishing trip can quickly turn into a high-quality relaxing time.

Therefore, never hesitate to carefully check out the characteristics of each fishing reel and see whether they are designed for your needs. For example, while talking about baitcaster vs spinning reel pros and cons, you should know the most fundamental differences between the two of them before making a decision. The former is stronger, more advanced, more expensive, and is great for landing big fish.

At the same time, it requires professional-grade skills to fully master the techniques.

The latter is affordable, easy to use,  highly versatile, and works well with various fishing lines. Still, it is mostly reserved for light fishing and cannot provide a heavy performance.

Now that you have thoroughly understood what each reel has to offer, it is time to get out there and lay your hands on the most tempting deal you can get. Let’s get all ready to bring out the fisherman inside you!

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