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Spincast vs Spinning Reel – Which One Should I Get?

spincast vs spinning reel
Written by Immanuel Baranov
Last Update: June 10, 2022

There are a variety of options to choose from when picking a reel to fish with. For the average fisherman not trolling for big fish or looking to fly fish, the two most commonly available options are the spinning reel or the spincast reel. There is much to be said about each of these and one needs to know everything they can before making a choice.

Are Spincast and Spinning Reels the Same?

Their names may sound similar but they are in fact quite different and serve different purposes when fishing. Thus, it is important for every fisherman, new or experienced, to understand the pros and cons of each reel and in which situation to utilize them. If the differences and uses are understood, you will not find yourself debating spincast reel vs spinning reel. So let’s take a closer look!

Spincast vs Spinning Reel

Spincast vs Spinning Reel

The Advantages of Each Reel

The Spincast Reel

Spincast reels are typically the first reel a new fisherman will encounter. These reels are popular because they are easy to use and maintain. The spincast reel is a hooded reel that features a button you simply press when casting a fishing line, and release when your line is at the distance you want. There are no complicated features, no steep learning curves with it, and no obvious initial drawbacks for a beginner. This reel also tends to allow more line control when casting, and less chance for line twisting to occur. Another advantage it has is its affordability over other reels.

The Spinning Reel

Spinning reels rely on the weight of what’s on the end of the line to draw the line forward when casting. This gives it some significant advantages. The chief of which is its adaptability and versatility. With a spinning reel, you can change between bait types without worrying about the implications on your cast. In addition, it also wins the debate of spinning reel vs spincast reel hands down where casting distance is concerned. The reliance of the reel on tackle weight provides an opportunity for much further casting than with that of a spincast reel. This reel is also the more durable of the two.

The Limitations of Each Reel

The Spincast ReeSpincast ReelThe biggest drawback on the spincast reel is its utter lack of durability. These reels tend to break very easily and do not fare well over time. Another limitation to the spincast reel is its lack of versatility. There are significant limits to what tackle you can use it with, how far you can cast with it, what fish you can catch with it, and even where you can fish with it. This is the reason these reels are most commonly found among beginners and not more experienced fisherman. They’re great to learn the ropes with, but don’t offer much growth room after that. It’s also worth mentioning that these reels cannot hold nearly as much line as a spinning reel can. Fishing is fun if you know the limitations of your gear and take full benefits of the advantages.

The Spinning Reel

The most significant and well-known drawback of the spinning reel is its learning curve. It’s steep! If one compares the immediate ease of use you find with a spincast reel with the learning curve associated with a spinning reel, it’s a clear disadvantage in the spincast vs spinning reel debate. It takes a significant amount of practice to truly understand the right way to cast with a spinning reel. The runner up on the list of cons is its tendency to twist up your line. You will find this to be a far more common occurrence with a spinning reel than with others. It’s also worth mentioning that a spinning reel is designed and built to be light, so there’s a limit to the lure weight with this reel too.

How to Cast with Each Reel

The Spincast Reel

Casting with a spincast reel is pretty much the easiest cast you’re ever going to come across. All that’s required of you is to aim, begin casting over or sideways, and hit the button. Simple! There are no tricks or secrets to it. One can see what makes this reel ideal for the beginner.

The Spinning Reel

Spinning Reel

It becomes a little more complicated with a spinning reel. First, let your line out between 5 and10 inches from the tip of your rod where the line comes out the last eye. Then, ensure you grip the rod correctly by placing the reel between your index and middle finger. Then pinch the line against the rod with your index finger just near where the line exits the reel. Then flip the bail over so the line is free to move as needed. Finally, perform the casting motion and when your rod is facing the water and has cast momentum, lift your index and let go of the line. Once the line has landed and set where you want it, reverse the bail back to its normal position. It invariably takes a good few cracks at this to nail it right, but once you have, it’s like riding a bike!

The Cost Aspect

The Spincast Reel

Spincast reels vary in price from as little as 12$ for the cheapest. One should always keep in mind that when you buy cheap and low-end, you get what you pay for. A decent quality spincast reel shouldn’t cost you more than 25$ though.

The Spinning Reel

Spinning reels also vary greatly in price, starting from around 18$. However, to purchase a spinning reel that you can trust the quality of, it’s better not to purchase anything below the 30$ mark. This ensures that while you don’t break the bank, you still get a reel that you can trust. Price unfortunately is a downside for the spinning reel in the spincast vs spinning reels debate.


Q. What fish are spincast reels good for?

Ans. Spincast reels are simple and more than capable of catching specks, catfish, bluegill, walleye, reds, trout, perch, bass, crappie, and most pike. Sturdy-built and affordable prices also make them great.

So, Which Should You Get?

Well, that depends on your situation. If you are looking for affordability, the spincast reel is invariably cheaper. If you are looking for versatility, the spinning reel would be a better investment to make. If you are a beginner with little to no experience, consider starting off with a spincast reel while you get to know the basics of fishing. If you have been fishing for a little while with a spincast reel and are looking to step it up a bit, purchasing a spinning reel may be a good way to take that step up.

As you can clearly see, there’s no real “winner” in the spincast vs spinning reel debate, because it is in fact situationally specific. I hope now you’ll be able to decide on the best reel for you – whether that’s a spincast or a spinning reel or even a baitcasting reel!

About the author

Immanuel Baranov

My life is pretty much defined by my avid outdoor activities. I’m generally obsessed with fishing, skiing and occasional hunting and whitewater paddling. I’ve been active since my early years. I inherited my passion for fishing from my father who made frequent family trips to the banks of Sacramento River. Growing up, I did a lot of fishing in the vicinity. Now that I have two sons, our weekends are full of fishing activities. I would say, you need good spots where you can go out a lot for the thing you love. I had the privilege to grow up near numerous water bodies and I’m proud to say that I made good use of them. It’s also great to do something with kids that helps them learn patience, endurance and preciseness.

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