Casting vs Spinning Rods: What’s Best For Your Fishing Needs?

Fishing has been around for quite some time, but the sport has become much more complex in terms of style, technique, competition, and gear. Advances in technology have made it so that there is endless fishing gear to choose from: best reels, thousands of lures - there are even some of the best fishing hats today, designed specifically for anglers.

With so much gear to choose from, it can be hard to know where to begin. One choice anglers have to make is the decision between casting or spinning rods. Before, casting rods were the only type of fishing rods on the market. Now, choosing between casting and spinning rods is a big decision that can influence your success on the water. There are pros and cons to both casting and spinning rods, so we’ll break down the differences to help you make your decision. 

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Baitcasting Rods

Casting rods, also called conventional rods or bait casters, are for serious anglers. On a casting rod, the reel sits on top of the rod, facing upwards towards the angler, and the eyelets on the rod also face up when the rod bends with the pull of a fish. This way, when a big fish pulls your line and the rod bends, the eyelets won’t be broken off by the force of the line.

Power casting rods are generally longer, with straight handles and larger guides to handle heavier line. Smaller casting rods have pistol grip handles and smaller rod guides for a lighter line.

baitcasting rods

Casting Rod Pros and Cons

Baitcasting rods are generally more powerful and accurate. Experienced or old-school anglers tend to prefer casting rods. Casting rods tend to have smoother casts because the line rolls off the spool. This also allows for longer distance casting.

The eyelets are less likely to break on casting rods as well, because the line pushes them into the rod instead of away, like on spinning reels. Casting rods generally allow more controlled release, and accurate casting for targeting specific spots on the water.

The only major drawback to casting rods is that they are difficult to master. It takes time and practice to get used to baitcasting rods, which is why many people start with a spinning rod and reel. When learning how to use a casting rod, the line frequently tangles and creates a backlash, which can be a waste of line, time, and money, turning off inexperienced fishers.

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Spinning Rods

Spinning rods are easier to learn and use, and their popularity has grown since their creation. The reel on a spinning rod is under the rod, facing downwards. Eyelets also face downwards, so when the rod bends the line feeds out and points down. Spinning rods come in different sizes, from ultra light to heavy with mid-range rods in between. The handle rests on your dominant hand, and your non-dominant hand would work the reel.

spinning rods

Spinning Rod Pros and Cons

Spinning rods are easy to learn how to use and are great for beginners. They are easy to cast, and there is less of a chance of tangling or backlash. Spinning rods and reels also allow for quicker retrieve, as you can typically reel faster. When you have to cast multiple times, spinning rods are ideal for consistent, straightforward casting.

Spinning rods have eyelets along the bottom of the reel, and line pulls against it. This means that eyelets are more likely to break under the strain of a big fish, which is one major drawback to spinning rods. The line on spinning rods tends to come off the lip of the spool, creating friction and can result in a twisted line.

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How To Choose: Casting vs. Spinning Rods

Choosing between casting and spinning rods can be difficult, and ultimately it’s up to the angler. Beginners should probably start with a spinning rod to get the hang of the sport, but with time, practice, and patience they can also take the time to learn how to use a bait caster. Anglers with experience can choose between the two based on what kind of fishing they’re doing.

For longer casting and stronger, larger fish, casting rods may be the way to go. They are generally stronger and can smoothly cast further, and their design makes them less likely to break when fighting strong fish.

That being said, spinning rods can also be strong and durable. A quality spinning rod is easy to use, but can also cast long distances and reel in strong fish.

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer, just personal preference. With constantly evolving technology and high-quality craftsmanship, either casting or spinning rods can work wonders out on the water. Most professional anglers opt for a casting rod, so if you’re serious about fishing or plan on doing a lot, it may be helpful to learn how to use a casting rod. For those fishing recreationally, a spinning rod will work perfectly, saving you the frustration of learning how to use a casting rod.

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