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Comparing Spinning and Spincast Reels

Updated on March 1, 2019
Joe Abshier profile image

Joe is a student that likes to fish in his free time and try new lures and techniques that may increase his odds of catching.

Common Fishing Gear

These reels can be found at any supermarket or sporting goods store for any beginner angler looking for an easy reel and for experienced anglers looking for a stronger or smaller reel. The biggest difference between the two is how they are cast into the water, and how they are held for retrieving the line. The spinning reel is great for experienced and starting anglers, and though they look difficult to cast at first, they are actually more accurate than spincast reels. Where the spincast lacks in accuracy, it makes up in casting power and preventing knots when reeling.

Spinning Reel (Open Cast)

Advantages with Spinning Reels

Spinning rods are iconic for being the only reel located under the rod, which can confuse beginning anglers at first, but can develop their casting technique. These reels can overhead cast and underhead cast with incredible accuracy as the line can be pulled midair to position baits away from obstacles like vegetation. The reel itself is very smooth when reeling and can return fish with little stress. Spinning reels will always have a position for wrapping your index finger around, as the upside down position makes the connecting shaft a perfect finger hold. In case of line replacement, spinning reels are the absolute easiest to switch. The exposed line can be pulled onto a spool and a new line tied on without having to dismantle the reel itself.

Spincast Reel (Closed Reel)

Advantages for Spincast Reels

Spincast reels are mostly used for long casts in open water like lakes or rivers. These reels have more power than spinning reels since the reel is above the rod and can be flicked with the wrist for best distance. While the line cannot be changed in air easily, some techniques like reeling midair can change the distance of the line and prevent it from hitting any shoreline obstacles. Triggers for the spincast reel mostly depend on the rod, but most beginners rods have the trigger available for the rod so the line can be cast easily. An interesting spincast modification would be the shooting modification. Some reels can be modded to have a launching mechanism so that the angler doesn’t need to cast. While I have no experience with these modifications, many sea fishers on the shore will use these to shoot bait over long distances and breach coral lines.

Why Both Are Great

The best thing about both of these reels is that they can be easily replaced or put on different poles. The pole will usually have a screw to keep the reel in place and can be used to try different reels with different poles, giving angles a better chance to try new things and improve their casting. Both reels can also change the reeling handle position by unscrewing on the opposite side and switching the position for any left or right handed anglers.

Switching the Handle Position


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