The disagreement still remains between bait-casters and spin fisherman, as to which reel is the best to use. Both baitcasting and spinning reels have their place but age-old users still swear by their preferences.
Many anglers use what they use because that’s all that they know. They’ve learned on one reel and are comfortable with what they are use to. Typically many beginners learn on a spinning reel because generally they are easier to operate.
Spinning reels are used in freshwater applications when fishing requires finesse techniques and stealth presentations or when you need to down size your bait because the bite is tough. Typically using spinning tackle such as spinners, spoons, and small lightweight lures are used with light lines to fish for pan fish, trout and many warm water species.
Spinning reels don’t require the attentiveness needed with the line like bait casting reels do. They don’t get backlashes or as professional angler Babe Winkleman describes it, “a professional over-run”, a term that only professionals can use when backlashes occur.
However, line trouble will occur with spinning reels if you over fill the spool and if you don’t pay close attention and prevent twist when actually putting new line on the reel.
Another major contributor to line twist in a spinning reel is essentially using the reel the way it was intended says Woo Davis, long time B.A.S.S. pro veteran. “ You can introduce line twist just by auto-engaging the bail after casting with a turn of the crank” Woo Davis comments “ by manually engaging the bail after casting you can prevent line twist.”
When casting a spinning reel, line will fly off the spool without involving any moving parts as opposed to a baitcasting reel, but memory in the line will keep and come off in a spiral. This why the eyes on the spinning rod are larger so looping line can easily be managed through the eyes on the rod.
If you have a user that doesn’t know the proper way to operate a spinning outfit and reels up while drag is running, line twist will occur. This is why a clicking noise is incorporated in the drag to let users know that a resistance is on the reel and line is being pulled off the reel.
The majority of anglers use spinning reels because it’s typically easier to learn, use and manage line.
However, the type of reel you may learn on depends on what part of the country you’re from. For example most warm water fisherman down south that fish for bass, will inherently use baitcasting reels.
Baitcasting reels require a little more patients, but with all the new advancements and engineering, it’s really come a long way in terms of making backlashes less prevalent.
To learn and master the skills needed in variable thumbing does require some understanding of the physics involved, where the free spool on the reel is influenced by the force of the weight going out on the line and without timed resistance on the spool from thumbing, a birds nest will occur from an over-run or backlash.
New technology in the in magnetic spool management or anti-backlash devices requires less thumbing techniques. Improvements in the prevention of backlashes when casting in to the wind with adjustments that can be made to dial the reel in.
Ergonomic designs and higher gear ratios to help in making the baitcasting reel less fatiguing when used all day. Overall these improvements have made baitcasting relatively pain free and easier from a standpoint of operating the reel without your undivided attention not for just the professional but the beginner to novice user as well.
Never the less, you still have to learn how to make all the adjustments. Two adjustments really besides the drag are needed. It’s all about adjusting the tension of the free spool to the weight of the lure so it gradually pulls free and then dialing in the magnetic clutch that compensates for over-run.
The key is thumbing the spool as the lure make splash on the surface of the water. This is very important to do unless you want to spend more time undoing a nasty birds nest rather than actually fishing.
The good thing about baitcasting reels is that there is no line twist during drag release, even if you are cranking. The bad part is only that you can’t hear the drag engaging because it’s silent.
You get more power with a baitcasting reel because it’s a level wind operation and typically in freshwater, if you are after big fish it’s the way to go because you can throw the big baits and have the muscle to bring them in.
Just like anything you want to do, you need the right tool for the job if you want to get it done right and with efficiently. Sure you could get by with another tool at that time, that’s not quite suitable and still accomplish what you need to. But on an every basis, you don’t want to substitute a tool for what you should really be using because then you’re being almost counter productive.
The same can be said about choosing a bait-casting rig or a spinning set up. Yes you can catch various sized fish on both kinds of reels, but how you catch fish is what makes the real difference.
The question still remains, “Which reel is better: The spinning or baitcasting” and the answer really depends on your situation of freshwater application, the species sought after and overall the preference and the skill set of the angler.
Look for baitcasting and spinning reels at your local fishing supply stores.