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The Casting Rod vs Spinning Rod Debate – Who Wins the Battle?

Casting Rod vs Spinning Rod
Written by Simon Michel
Last Update: July 24, 2023

If you’ve been in the fishing game more than a minute you’ll be well aware of the constant global discussion over which is better between a casting rod and a spinning rod. Truth be told, both rods are better, and both rods are worse. What do I mean? I mean that there are situations that call for a spinning rod, and situations that call for a caster. The trouble should be less over arguing preference and more over what is best for you right now. Figuring that out requires understanding the fundamental features and difference between casting and spinning rods so as best to pin-point the better one for your needs. So let’s get into all of that and see if we can’t settle this for you!

The Key Differences Between Casting Rod vs Spinning Rod

A baitcaster or casting rod differs from a spinning rod in quite a few ways. The most profound difference is the reel, the reel gives the rod its name. Baitcast rods use baitcaster reels and the same goes for spinning rods. Baitcaster reels have a completely different way of working to spinning reels. We will get into the particulars of that in a minute. The other differences include the location of the axis of the spool, the direction the guide eyes face, and the resulting method used to cast the line. Another difference to note is the price. Top-class Baitcasting rods are slightly more expensive.

What Exactly Is a Baitcast Rod?

A baitcast rod relies on a baitcast reel that is geared for a very specific kind of casting. The reel is set so that it rotates during casting while the line goes out. It has a sensitive drag set up too. They eye-guides of this rod face upward when you are holding the rod out in front of you. The reel sits atop or to the side of the rod. This kind of rod is used mostly by experienced fisherman and professional anglers as it is a difficult rod to use well.

What Exactly Is a Spinning Rod?

A spinning rod uses a spinning reel. This kind of reel requires you to flip a lever, pin your line, hoist, let the line go as the tack setup pulls your line out, and then flip the lever back when the cast is complete. The guide-eyes hang from the rod facing the ground when you hold the rod out in front of you. The reel is mounted at the bottom of the rod, or underneath it, depending on what angle you’re looking at it from. These rods are much easier for beginners to use effectively and don’t require as much practice.

Baitcaster vs Spinning Rod – The features

Baitcasters feature upward facing eye-guides that force the line to rest on the rod itself when the line has weight on it. This is structurally sounder and gives you more control. Baitcasters also feature a reel that has greater line capacity and potential for a thicker line that lends itself to fishing for a bigger catch.

Spinning rods feature more straightforward reels that are easier to understand and cast with. They are great for beginners and catching smaller fish. Their structure lends them out to a more finesse-type fishing style which is enjoyable and necessary when fishing for certain species.

Baitcasting Rod vs Spinning Rod – The Pros and Cons

Baitcaster Pros

  • These rods offer much greater accuracy when fishing.
  • They last longer than most other types.
  • They allow for heavier catches.
  • They have a good drag system.
  • Snapping of the line is much less of an issue with these rods.

Baitcaster Cons

  • They are slightly more expensive.
  • They are very difficult to learn to use effectively and consume time in practicing.
  • They are not beginner-friendly at all.
  • They are difficult to finesse-fish with.

Spinning Rod Pros

  • They are cheaper than their alternative.
  • They are beginner-friendly.
  • They are easy to cast with.
  • Finesse-fishing is easier.

Spinning Rod Cons

  • They are less durable than baitcasters.
  • They are not very accurate when casting.
  • They are more of a problem where snapping of the line is concerned due to the reel structure.
  • They offer little for a professional fisherman.
  • They lack the capacity for heavy line.

Casting Technique

Baitcasters have a very difficult reel to cast with that requires honing the technique with time, practice and patience. Once you have the technique down you will be getting very accurate, far, effective cats that serve well when fishing.

Spinning rods require much less practice of casting technique in order to be effective. You simply pin your line to the rod neck with you pointing finger, flip the bail, draw back, cast, release the pinned line mid-cast, and watch your line fly. Honing your specific technique with a spinning rod may even help you slightly with regards to aiming for when you want to try out a baitcaster.

Choosing the Best One – Spinning Rod vs Casting Rod

In order to choose the rod best suited for you. You need to honestly think about your level of skill before anything else. If you are new to the world of fishing, going for a baitcaster may set you back in progressing, wear out your patience, and leave you unfulfilled where fishing satisfaction is concerned. It would be better to learn how to set up a fishing rod, and try out a spinning rod and perfect that first.

If you are more experienced and would like to challenge yourself, up your game, and open yourself up to more varied types of fishing, a baitcaster would be perfect.

You also need to consider the cost aspect. If your budget for rod, line, and lures is tight, you should consider a spinning rod as a fully rigged spinning rod is cheaper to acquire than a baitcaster rig.

If budget and experience are of no real concern to you then it simply comes down to preference! Then let your personal fishing style, desired catch, and general comfortability decide for you. I sincerely hope this has given you enough clarity and food for thought so you can better decide what it is you’re really looking for. Happy fishing!


1. Can I use a spinning rod with a casting reel?

Ans. You can theoretically mount a spinning reel to a casting reel but it’s not recommended. The setup will have a significant impact on your reel and rod. It will also get lots of odd stares.

2. What type of rods for tossing spinnerbaits and buzzbaits?

Ans. 7-foot baitcasting rods are ideal for tossing your spinnerbaits and buzzbaits. They will provide good casting distance and leverage. You will also pick up the line quickly with them.

3. What’s the best rod length for baitcasting rods?

Ans. 6-foot rods are ideal when you want accuracy and plan on casting short distances. If you want to cast long distances and precision isn’t a priority, pick 7 to 8-foot rods.

4. What type of line should I use on a baitcaster?

Ans. Braided is often considered the best option for baitcaster fishing. However, a few types of braided lines and you need to pick the right one. Braided lines are made from many single strands. The high molecular weight polyethylene strands are weaved together, which gives braided lines high strength.

About the author

Simon Michel

The plight of life sometimes takes you to extremes of nature and guess what, you learn the best lessons in your most difficult times. As a keen sea explorer with several years spent in yachts business, I had damn busy schedules throughout 13 years of my career. I used to free my mind from my mundane days in the sea with extreme fishing expeditions when this became not just a fun activity, but a life saver. You could say, I employed most types of fishing techniques but nothing felt better than fly fishing. That drew my whole attention for a good number of reasons. I mean, it’s an amazing feeling when you are in a light mood with buddies munching snacks and casting the fishing road. I look forward to making the most of my leisure time with this fantastic sport.

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