Different Types Of Fishing Reels: Pros & Cons Explained In Detail

type of fishing reel

Whether you are a beginner or have been fishing for a while, you may have trouble determining which fishing reel to buy next.

In fact, most of us know what a fishing reel is and the basics of its function. However, very few people know the difference between different types of fishing reels

You may be asking yourself, what are the different types of reels? The short answer is yes – absolutely! In this article, we will find out the most important models and how to use them.

So, without wasting much time, let’s read on!

What Are the 4 Main Types of Reels?

1.  Spinning Reel

Spinning reels are the most popular type of fishing reel worldwide. This is because they are not only reliable but also very flexible and easy to use.

As a result, many advanced anglers choose them for their long fishing trip, whether targeting tarpon along the beach or fishing for bass on the lake.

Instead, its bail arm rotates around a spool and wraps the line onto it.

Hence, it is essential to spool the line onto a spinning reel carefully.

Otherwise, you can easily get nasty line twists and tangles.

The other disadvantage is that you are limited to lighter gear. This spinning reel is a perfect option for beginners because it is easy to learn. In addition, many products are relatively cheap.

With prices ranging from $50 to $150 for a quality model, they are suitable for most anglers. 

spinning reel

You can also easily understand this reel’s parts, size reel, and functions, even if you are a novice. The spinning reel is also the perfect pick for seasoned anglers because of its versatility.

These reels are suitable for small fish and big fish. In fact, perch anglers and some steelhead anglers prefer to use these reels. This is because they cover considerable casting distance but not as far as baitcasting reels.

In summary, these models are the most popular on the market because of their simplicity and versatility.

They offer a variety of settings. Spinning reels are the best pick for first-timers.

Most of them have reasonable prices, so it depends on which type of these reels you will buy.


  • Easy-to-use
  • Affordable
  • Work well with lures and smaller baits
  • Can produce some pulling power


  • Easy to tangle
  • Cannot handle heavy lines well

2.  Spincast Reel

Like the spinning reel, the spincast reel is easy to use, making it the perfect choice for newbies. They are also very affordable, which is excellent if you want to try fishing as a hobby. 

This reel comes with a closed spool cover that covers the line.

Casting with this reel could not be simpler. So, all you need to do is press the spool control button, take your swing, and wait for the results.

Basically, spincast reels are designed for the beginning freshwater angler. However, you will sometimes see quite seasoned bass casters using this type of reel for their fishing trips.

spincast reel

On the downside, it will be more difficult when this reel comes to a heavy test line. Many professional anglers believe that it is impossible to fish for big game fish using spincast reel.

That means it is suitable for small fish. So, don’t expect to catch tuna with this.

Also, One of the significant disadvantages of this reel is that you don’t have a lot of room for line capacity (because they are small in size).

As a result, sometimes you cannot transmit as far as you want. In general, these models are known for being inexpensive reels. You can pick up a quality spincast reel for about $20 nowadays.

They are the perfect model to start your fishing career, and it is only suitable for catching small fish. Therefore, if you want to introduce your children to fishing, choose a spincast reel.

However, switching to more advanced reels is best as you become more experienced and serious about fishing.


  • Easy-to-use
  • Difficult to tangle
  • Fairly cheap 
  • A perfect pick for beginners


  • Limited accuracy and casting range
  • Lack durability

3. Baitcasting Reel

Many experienced anglers favor baitcasting reels for many good reasons.

This reel is arguably the most advanced type of fishing reel. It is unmatched in both power and precision.

Baitcasting reels are available in a variety of sizes. As a  result, you can choose the reel that best suits your needs. 

These reels give you more power for excellent distance casting. Moreover, they can handle sustained pound test lines, making them a great option when you’re chasing larger fish.

They are lightweight and feature a user-friendly design, making them ideal for long casting days.

baicaster reel

The biggest problem is that it is a bit harder to master than other reels.

Therefore, if you are a beginner, it will be difficult for you to operate them correctly.

However, when you have understood the parts of a baitcaster reel, you should use it without any problems.

Another downside is the price.

You have to spend somewhere between $100 and $500 for a quality model. So, there is no denying that baitcasters are the most expensive fishing reels available today.

However, they are well worth the investment, provided you know what to do with them.

In short, these reels provide greater control and power for casting than other types. Also, they tend to be lighter as well. They best suit freshwater salmon anglers, steelhead anglers, and bass anglers.

However, baitcasting reels are suitable for experienced anglers. These models require a little more practice than spinning reels or spincast reels, making them not ideal for beginners.

It may take you a few days to master the accuracy part of the casting. However, you will often want to use this product after getting a feel for it, thanks to its high casting precision.


  • Most powerful reels
  • High casting accuracy
  • A perfect pick for chasing larger fish
  • Lightweight
  • Easy-to-use design


  • Easy to tangle
  • Difficult to master
  • Fairly expensive

4. Fly Fishing Reel

These reels are designed with precision in mind. In fact, these reels are considered the type of reel that provides the most accurate casting compared to other reels.

So, it is wise to choose a fly fishing reel if you need a cast with high accuracy to cast the line to your desired spot.

These reels are designed to effectively handle thick fly fishing lines. They are simple in design, reliable, and durable. So, there is no doubt that they are still popular despite being over 40 to 50 years old.

Fly fishing reels are available in various sizes to fit fish of different sizes, from salmon to brook trout. Previously, this model was only used for fishing sardines.

However, in recent years, they have been engineered to accommodate many other fish species, including species like trevally, mackerel, and so on.

fly reel

Overall, fly fishing reels ensure high quality and durability.

They are long-lasting, effective, and easy to use. As a result, if you intend to make a one-time investment in a reel, then a fly fishing reel will be one of the best you can get. In addition, you are not going to have to replace your fly reel all that often.

Fly fishing reels can even last for 40 to 50 years, provided they are well maintained. They are reliable, sleek, and robust, allowing for catching bigger fish. But, of course, as a rule, you get what you pay for. These reels are not cheap.


  • Reliable
  • Durable/ Long Lasting
  • Easy to use
  • Simple in design


  • Not cheap

4 Types of Auxiliary Reel

While the following reels are not as popular as the ones mentioned above, they are well worth your investment for many good reasons.

1. Offshore Reel

If you think you can catch a 90-kg fish with any reel, you are wrong! Offshore reels are robust and durable. They are built to handle the harshest offshore conditions that can destroy other reels.

Moreover, they allow you to defeat monster-sized fish in the sea.

Traditionally, these reels were preeminent baitcasting ones. But, these days, it is easy to find many quality offshore spinning reels on the market.

They can handle corrosive saltwater conditions without sacrificing their performance.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that you have to pay about $1,000 for a quality offshore fishing reel. However, intelligent bargain hunters can bid much less.

Offshore Reel

In short, these reels perform more strongly than many other reels. Tvarioushey can be anywhere between 20 and 50 pounds when it comes to capacity.

Thus, they allow you to catch large fish, such as marlin or tuna. They certainly will not let you down in a long battle at sea.


  • A perfect pick for fishing offshore
  • Suitable for handling the big fish
  • Built with durability in mind
  • Deal with the salt


  • Not cheap

2. Surf Fishing Reels

Both spinning and baitcasting reels can be used for surf fishing.

They are the perfect choice for you if you work in harsh conditions: saltwater, sun. 

We prefer spinning surf reels because they resist corrosion well. In fact, these reels are made of stainless steel and graphite or anodized aluminum.

In addition, they are packaged with sealed stainless steel ball bearings and drags for maximum corrosion resistance.

Therefore, if asked for build quality, we highly recommend surf fishing reels. 

What’s more, surf fishing reels are light and flexible.

Therefore, they allow you to apply different fishing techniques and hunt different fish species, from speedy Spanish mackerel to powerful Striped, even in harsh conditions.

Although these models are designed for saltwater use only, they are also suitable for freshwater. That means they may function as multi-use.

Surf Fishing Reels

Of course, these reels are pretty expensive. So, it is essential to store them properly. For best results, you should combine a surf fishing reel with a rod designed explicitly for surfcasting.


  • Handle the harshest offshore conditions
  • Corrosion-resistant material
  • Compatible with various types of lures, live and cut baits
  • Suitable to battle monster-sized fish
  • Light and versatile


  • Fairly expensive
  • Requires more attentive maintenance

3. Trolling/Conventional Reels

Trolling reels are sometimes called conventional reels. These reels come with machined aluminum construction for greater strength and capacity.

So, they are typically used in heavy deep-sea or big game offshore fishing.

Conventional reels let you handle prolonged battles with bigger and stronger fish, like marlin and tuna.

They are made from graphite and can keep more lines because they are larger than many other types of fishing reels.

Trolling Conventional Reels

So, you should use these trolling reels with a special rod, not a traditional one, for the best result. These models seem a bit more expensive, but they are well worth buying. Their high quality, efficiency, and reliability make trolling reels an excellent choice for an advanced angler.

All in all, the most significant advantage of these reels is excellent line capacity, together with a smooth and powerful multi-disc drag system.

Hence, if you plan to catch a big fish in a deep sea, consider these reels.


  • Great line capacity
  • Suitable for handling bigger and more powerful fish
  • Suitable for fishing in deep water or offshore
  • Can handle more fishing line


  • Request a special rod, not a traditional one

4. Centerpin/Float Fishing Reels

Centerpin reels have been around since the early 19th century, and they’ve been revolutionary in the world of fishing.  They are reels that run freely on their “center pin” or their axle.

The spool and drag are free.  So, they allow the bait or the lure to float along much more naturally.

Another big advantage of these reels is that they help you make a longer cast. This type of reel is expensive and requires you to spend some time mastering them at first.

Therefore, like baitcasting reels, they are not beginners in fishing. That’s why they are less popular than before. Today, this type of reel is very popular with anglers in the United States and Canada.

They are also commonly used both in Europe and Australia for saltwater and freshwater fishing.

CenterpinFloat Fishing Reels

They tend to be relatively expensive reels. Also, when you first get an afloat fishing reel, it takes some time to learn how to use it.

So, if you are a real fishing enthusiast and enjoy collecting a wide variety of reels, a centerpin reel deserves to be added to your collection.


  • Allow you to make a more extended cast
  • The spool and drag are free
  • Simple design


  • Expensive
  • Require some effort to master them

Relate: How many types of fishing rods are there?


And there you have it. We have covered 8 top types of fishing reels that are commonly used today. You should choose a reel based on the type of fishing you plan to do. 

Every job requires the right equipment, right? Choosing the right reel can make your day on the water much more fun.

Hopefully, you liked our article! Please leave your thoughts below. Thank you for reading! Happy fishing!

Rate this post
Related Post
casting rod
Can You Use A Spinning Reel On A Casting Rod? (Must-Read Info)

If you are a fan of fishing, chances are you have managed to assemble tons of different tools. Among them, Read more

how to choose spinning reel sizes
Spinning Reel Sizes Chart: How To Choose The Right One

A good grip on spinning reel sizes guarantees anglers choose the right gear with the capacities for their intended fishing Read more

Baitcaster Vs Spinning Reel Pros And Cons
The Difference between Baitcasting Reel and Spinning Reel

A reel can be as simple as the handle on a spool filled with lines or as complex as a Read more

9 External Parts Of A Spinning Reel
All Parts Of A Spinning Reel Every Angler Should Know

Do you know all parts of a spinning reel contribute significantly to how effectively the rod works? Indeed, each component Read more