spincast reel vs spinning, how to choose right one; pro/cons

Are you new to the world of fishing, or possibly you are a pro angler searching for a more relaxed and carefree enjoyment in the water? Picture this: a fishing reel it truly is not simplest easy to use but also dependable, permitting you to appreciate each moment without being bogged down via technicalities. Enter the spin-cast reel, a gem amongst fishing tools, it is best for each learner and people looking for a leisurely angling adventure.  In this text, we’re going to dive into the sector of spin-cast reels, exploring their simplicity, versatility, and suitability for numerous fishing situations. Whether you’re a newbie, a pro yearning to a wreck, or introducing an infant to the fun of fishing, the spin-cast reel would possibly just be your perfect companion. So, allows forged our line into the world of spin-cast reels and find out why they’re the correct choice for a trouble-free and fun time on the water.

What is a Spin-Cast Reel?

Spincast reels explained

Spin-Cast reel or closed face reel is a type of reel that involves a spool for line storage. The spool consists of 2 main compartments, called body and rim.

The rim is the area from where the line is attached whereas the body keeps it in place. This design ensures that your line remains neat unless fish nibbing on your bait or your hook finds something to latch onto. The spin-cast reel stands out as one of the most simple and user-friendly fishing reels in the modern angler’s world. Its original design makes it a top choice, especially for beginners or those working with a tight budget. 

Before buying do you want to know, are spin-cast reels good?

 So, the answer is simply yes. Spin-cast reels are a popular choice among anglers for several compelling reasons. These reels offer two distinct advantages that make them valuable. Firstly, Spin-cast reels are known for their user friendliness, making them an ideal choice for beginners and those new to the world of fishing Their simple push-button casting mechanism simplifies the casting process, even for individuals with minimal fishing experience It’s easy to do. Whether you’re introducing a child to fishing or just getting started on your own, a spin-cast reel offers an easy learning curve. Secondly, another appealing aspect of spin-cast reels is their affordability. These reels often come with a lower price tag compared to other reel types, making them an attractive option for anglers who prefer not to invest significantly in fishing gear.

Design of spin-cast reel:

Spin-cast reels come with a distinctive design that makes them unique. At the forefront, you’ll find a nose cone made of metal, this part of reel is the main part because it hides all other parts of the reel.

On the backside of the spin-cast reel, you’ll find a prominent button, in other words, it’s a key player in the functionality of reel. This button serves as a convenient switch, allowing you to toggle the fishing line between two important modes, free spool and locked.

This is helpful in casting the line, you’ll simply need to press the button to release the line for casting and when it’s time to reel in your catch or want some adjustments, release the button to lock the line to place it back.

Finally, spin-cast reels have a drag adjustment mechanism. This mechanism is a critical tool that helps you to fine-tune the level of resistance a fish encounters when it tugs on your line. Adjusting the drag on a spin-cast reel is typically done using a dial or lever located on the side of the reel or positioned conveniently next to the reel handle. This feature is vital in ensuring you have the upper hand in controlling the fight with a fish, preventing line breakage and ensuring a successful catch.

Spin-cast reel features:

Here are important features of spin-cast reel,

Drive gear:

The heart of a fishing reel, known as the drive gears, is responsible for its overall construction. Typically, spin-cast reels feature a plastic body, which is a primary factor contributing to their affordability. However, if you’re seeking a long-lasting option, you’ll find drive gears available in materials like nylon and metal casings as well.

Gear ratio:

Gear ratio refers to how many times the part of the spool that holds the fishing line will complete a full revolution once the handle is turned.

It is expressed in numbers like 6: 3: 1.

The 6 and 3 represent the count, that how many count does the line can wind around the spool and the last digit 1, represents the number of revolutions.

 For example, if your fishing reel boasts a gear ratio of 5:1, that means the spool will complete five rotations with just one turn of the hand.

The understanding of gear ratios is important as it affects how quickly or slowly you can retrieve your line. A higher gear ratio generally means faster retrieval, which can be beneficial in certain fishing situations. Conversely, a lower gear ratio delivers more power but recovers the line slower.


Bearings play a vital role in the performance of a spin-cast reel because they are like the unsung heroes behind the scenes, making your fishing experience smoother and more efficient. The bearings are simple and easy to use and have quick turnover speed at which you can reel in a big catch.

Spin-cast reel with a bearing count falling within the range of 4 to 8. This range is considered ideal because it strikes a balance between providing the necessary support for smooth operation and keeping the reel user-friendly.

Line capacity:

The term refers to the maximum length of fishing line that your reel can handle. Spin-cast reels are designed to be lightweight, so they typically don’t come with a high line capacity.

 In fact, you’ll find that most spin-cast reels have a line capacity of no more than 20 yards. This limitation is important to keep in mind when you’re planning your fishing trips, as it determines how far you can cast your line and how much line you’ll have available to work with.

Other Components of a Spin-Cast Reel kit:

The Spin-cast Reel Parts Kit comprises of:

  • Handle
  •  Foot
  • Spool cover
  • Line opener
  • Drag adjustment
  • Line release button
Spincast reels parts, handle, foot, line opening, spool cover, drag adjustment

Spin-cast reel handle:

 The handle of spin-cast reel plays an important part when you cast the line. Think of it like the steering wheel of your fish system. It needs to feel good in your hand and be the right size. Handles come in two flavors: plastic and metal. It is hard in plastic and lasts a long time. They are the most common.

The metal is used less but has its own fan base. The plastic handles are sturdy and can take a beating, but some people find them a bit basic.

On the other hand, metal handles are often seen on fancy fishing rods. Their hand sizes can be adjusted, which is convenient for everyone. So, when you choose a handle, it’s a bit like choosing your favorite tool.

Foot of spin-cast reel:

The foot is the most important part of a spin-cast reel and is typically made from high quality aluminum. What’s cool about this? It’s designed to have a special anti-slip finish, which means it doesn’t slip out of your hands easily, especially when it’s a bit wet and slippery out there. But there’s more, the foot comes with a fixed traction system. That may sound fancy, but it just means it helps smooth out your fishing experience, even if you’re battling some rough conditions.

 So, when you turn in that big eclipse and things get a little bumpy, this part of the reel keeps things moving smoothly.

The foot usually has a built-in weight scale. This means you can quickly check the size of your fishing line without having to disconnect your rod or remove it from the reel. It’s like having a handy tool right there on your fishing gear.

Now, the foot is found at one end of the frame (or body) of the reel, and can be made from a wood, plastic or metal, varies on each fishing condition.

Spool cover of spin-cast reel:

A spin-cast reel is a smart choice, but taking good care of it means having a reliable spool cover. The cover is specifically designed to snugly fit over your spool, offering essential protection against potential scratches and other forms of damage.

Line opener of spin-cast reel:

The line opener is a handy tool located on the spool housing, the part that holds your fishing line when it spins in your catch This spool can carry some line, up to about 100 feet of mono or braid line, making it capable of handling a variety of fishing situations.

 A line opener does exactly what its name suggests: it opens the spool to let the line out. It has a nifty lever that you can easily pull back and then release. When you do this, it guides the fishing line smoothly over the spool at a rate of about 1 foot per second. This action is called reeling in, and it’s a critical step when you’re out fishing for specific species like largemouth bass or walleye.

It is designed to work quickly and easily, so you can focus on fishing and manage it with just one hand.

There’s also a handy thumb button that lets you close the line opener when not in use, keeping everything nice and sturdy. 

The line opener comes with an ergonomic handle designed for maximum comfort and control, ensuring that you can use it without straining your hands.

In my experience, having a reliable line opener makes your fishing adventure much smoother and more enjoyable, especially when you need to manage your fishing line efficiently.

Drag adjustment of spin-cast reel:

 The drag adjustment on a spin-cast reel is the ratio of the number of cast points to the inches in the spool. This is basically a way to balance things out because the diameter of the spool is generally smaller than the diameter of the fishing line.

The concept here is simple: the higher this ratio is, the more drag is applied to your fishing line.

Now why does it matter? Well, it affects how much line is released each turn of the spool. So, if you have a higher drag ratio, that means less line being released out per revolution, which can affect the distance your casting cover and the number of fish you can catch in a single cast.

Types of drag system in spin-cast reel:

Spin-cast reels typically come equipped with one of two types of drag systems, and each has its unique characteristics.

Star drag system:

Star drag system, is prominently placed on the outside of the fishing reel. You’ll find it situated between the handle of the reel and the main body. It’s relatively large and user-friendly, making it easy to operate. This system allows you to adjust the drag quickly and intuitively to control the tension on your line while you’re reeling in your catch.

Internal drag system:

The second type of drag system is the internal drag system. This one operates a bit differently. It features a small, grooved wheel on the outside of the reel, while the main mechanism is tucked away inside the reel housing.

These external wheels often come with a “plus” and a “minus” sign, enabling you to fine-tune the drag by increasing or decreasing tension as needed while you retrieve your line.

Line release button:

The line release button is the most important component of your spin-cast reel. It also plays an important role in retrieving your fishing line from the water and casting it back out.

 If this button is broken or missed, you may face challenges, especially when you are angling for larger fish like bass and trout.

Don’t be sad, if you find a broken or missing line release button on your spin-cast reel, you need not panic. It’s a matter to be fixed. You can easily replace it with a new one and it is ready to get you back in the water, casting and turning with confidence.  

Casting with spin-cast reel:

Casting with a spin-cast reel is generally easier. On a spin-cast rod, the reel seat is right above the pistol grip, while on a spin rod it sits below the rod.

Here’s how to cast with a spin-cast reel:

  • Hold the rod on the trigger with your fingers, and don’t forget to simultaneously press down on the button on the spin-cast reel.
  • Gently pull the rod back slightly.
  • Now, it’s time to make your cast. Quickly snap the rod forward and release the button on the spin-cast reel just after the cast.
  • As you do this you will notice the lure launching out of the reel. You’ll also feel friction, which plays a role in controlling the distance from your performers. This method makes casting with a spin-cast reel such a simple and user-friendly process, making it a great choice especially for beginners in fishing.

How to spool/setup a spin-cast reel?

Spooling a spin-caste reel is simple and easy to do. But before stepping into setting up your fishing reel it is important to ensure that you’re using the correct fishing line with the required pound test rating.

Here is the specification of the fishing line that should be matches.

So, for that, what you need to do is to check the line capacity, simply flip your reel to find the information about its line capacity. The information on reel is enough to tell how much fishing line your reel can hold, and the recommended pound test rating.

Now, let’s start discussing how to spool the spin-cast reel?

1. Remove the reel cover:

Take off the cover of the spin-cast reel. Some reels have screws, some have notches and pins to secure the cover.

2. Remove Old Line (Optional):

 If the reel has an old line, pull enough so you can add enough new line for casting. You can leave the old line as a backup to save money.

3. Tie the new line to the spool:

Thread the new fishing line through the hole in the casing and attach it to the spool. You can use rod guides to help run the line from the front to the handle, then tie it securely with an arbor knot. If you have an old line as backing, tie the two lines together with nail knots or two clinch knots.

4. Reattach the cover:

Carefully place the cover back on the reel. As you do this, make sure you are holding the line tight and check that the line is not being pinched by the reel cover. Reattach the cover and pull the line tight.

 5. Spool the new line:

 Place the line filler spool on the floor so that the line comes off it as it goes on your reel, to prevent twisting. Using one hand to hold the line tightly, begin winding the new line onto the reel. Keep the line as tight as it goes to avoid tangles.

6. Fill the spool properly:

Fill the spool with a new line but leave about 1/8 inch of the lip of the spool blank. Be careful not to overfill. You can take off the cover while spooling, but make sure not to pinch the line when replacing it.

7. Use a rod guide:

 If you haven’t run line through a rod guide before spooling, you can do it now. Then, tie your lure. Make sure to pinch the line between your fingers and hold the reel when casting to keep it tight, especially with smaller lures that don’t add a lot of tension to the line.

8. Remove line twists:

To remove line twists, you can leave some line out while in the boat and reel slowly. Make sure there is nothing on the line. Alternatively, place the line on a flat surface and slowly reel it back on the reel, making sure there is nothing on the end of the line.

How to Choose the Right Spin-Cast Reel

When you’re out catching fish like smallmouth bass or trout, it’s important to choose the right spin-cast reel. A well-designed reel can make your fishing trip much better. It helps you cast your line farther, reach deeper water, and catch more fish faster. Plus, a good reel prevents your fishing line from getting all tangled up, which can really mess up your fishing plans. So, these are different kinds of spin-cast reel and each reel used for its own purpose, here are different kinds of spin-cast reels.

Spinning reel: 

These reels are lightweight and easy to handle because they don’t need a complex drag system. They’re good for basic fishing.

Fixed-Spin reel: 

 These are a bit heavier and use a magnetized drag system. They work well for heavier lures like crankbaits and spinnerbaits.

Monofilament reel:

Great for saltwater fishing specifically.

Floating line reel:

These are tough but heavy, best for saltwater fishing.

Fluorocarbon reel: 

Ideal  reel for all purposes usage.

Stainless steel reel: 

Durable for salt fishing conditions.

Aluminum reel:

Also suitable for saltwater fishing, known for durability and various line size options.

Carp reel:

Ideal  for heavy-duty fishing.

Crank reel: 

Durable and affordable, great for saltwater fishing and comes in different line sizes.

Fluoro reel: 

Versatile and suitable for different types of fishing.

Push button spin-cast reels Vs. trigger-equipped spin-cast reels:

Push-button spin-cast reels are designed to be used with a bait rod. They come equipped with a user-friendly button on the fishing reel that is easy to press.

Whereas, trigger-equipped fishing reels, also known as under-spin or trigger-spin reels, are specifically manufactured to pair with a spinning rod. These reels sit underneath the rod and work in a manner like a spinning reel.

 Both types of Spin-cast reels have some major advantages. They are budget-friendly and offer ease of use, making them suitable for a wide range of anglers from kids and beginners to experienced experts.

Spin-cast vs. Spinning Reel

What is a spinning reel?  It is a type of fishing gear that is attached to a spinning rod. It has a fixed spool and a rotating metal arm on one side of this spool. This metal arm serves the purpose of grabbing the fishing line and winding it over the spool when the angler turns the reel handle. During the molding process, however, this metal arm detaches so that the line can spiral freely from the spool when propelled by the cast lure. This design allows for smooth and controlled casting and retrieval in spinning reel setups.

Spin-cast reels are different from spinning reels or open face reels by the following aspects.

Spin cast (closed-face reel) Vs. Spinning (open-face reel)

Closed face reel
Open face reel
Enclosed, covered spool, push-button release
Exposed spool, bail system, manual line management
Ease of use
Very easy, ideal for beginners
Moderate to challenging for beginners
Tangle resistance
Highly resistant to line tangles
Prone to line twists and tangles
Casting distance
Limited casting distance
Excellent casting distance and accuracy
Line capacity
Smaller capacity
Larger capacity, suitable for heavy lines
Versatile, suitable for medium-sized fishing conditions, including some inshore saltwater species
Well-suited for various freshwater conditions, excellent for streams and casting small lures like jigs and spinners
Precision and Control
Limited precision and control
Offers precision and control for experienced anglers
Low maintenance
Requires regular maintenance due to exposed design
Experience Level
Suitable with a learning curve
Complexity Level
Moderately complex
Suitable for Saltwater Use
Capable of handling some inshore saltwater species
Typically used in freshwater but can also handle light saltwater conditions.
Target Species
Suitable for a wide range of fish sizes, including medium-sized species
Ideal for trout, sunfish, crappies, and similar smaller species found in streams and freshwater settings.
Beginners, casual anglers, medium-sized fish
Intermediate to experienced anglers, precision casting, smaller freshwater species


As far as design is concerned, the spin-cast reel is different from spinning reel.

In the case of spin-cast reel, the reel is like a closed box, that has a metal cover hiding all the essential parts. When you want to cast your line with a spin-cast reel, you simply need to press a button to let the line go out. It needs the same press to stop it.

But spinning reel is designed as an open system, where all the parts are not completely hidden, instead they are exposed.

In spinning reel, you need to use index finger instead of button to hold the line in place while casting.

Experience level:

For newcomers, the spin-cast reel is a great choice, because it doesn’t require much experience and is user friendly.

However, if you’ve been fishing for a while and have some experience, you might prefer using a spinning reel. Because it offers more control and flexibility, which can be advantageous for seasoned anglers.

Complexity level:

In terms of complexity level, spin-cast reels are less durable and often don’t last beyond a single fishing season due to their simpler construction.

While spinning reel is a bit tough to operate as compared to spin-cast reel, by offering efficiency and durability.

Casting range:

Spin-cast reels are limitated to some casting distances as compared to spinning reels. They generally can’t cast as far as spinning reels and lack precision in casting accuracy overall. This makes them more suitable for shorter-range or close-quarters fishing situations.

Choice of spin-cast reel vs spinning reel:

Choosing between a spinning reel and a spin-cast reel depends on the type of fishing and the target species.

Spin-cast reels are versatile and work well in a wide range of medium-sized fishing conditions. They come in various sizes, including larger ones that are capable of handling big fish, even some inshore saltwater species.

 A well-sized spin-cast setup is perfect for catching smallmouth and largemouth bass, medium-sized catfish (up to 25-40 pounds), trout, white bass, carp, and mid-sized stripers and snook.

Spinning reels are well-suited for casting small jigs and spinners, especially when fishing for trout in streams, sunfish, crappie, and similar species. They offer an advantage over fly rods because they don’t require a back cast, so you don’t need to worry about what’s behind you when casting.

Baitcasting vs. Spin-casting:

A bait-caster reel is also called casting reel, is positioned on top of the fishing rod, aligning the spool parallel to the rod. It’s compatible with various line types, including monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braided lines. When you cast with a bait-caster, the line comes off the spool in line with the rod, allowing for precise control over casting.

However, bait-caster reels require a higher level of angler skill and experience to operate effectively. The spool on a bait-caster reel moves in coordination with the casting motion, demanding precision from the angler. If not controlled properly, the spool can outpace the casting line, resulting in a frustrating tangle known as backlash or a bird’s nest. This challenge is the primary reason why bait-casters are often recommended for more advanced anglers.

One the other hand, spin-cast reel, a spin-cast reel is mounted on the underside of the fishing rod, with the spool perpendicular to the rod. Spin-cast reels are known for their user-friendliness. They typically work seamlessly with monofilament lines.

One notable difference with spin-cast reels is the line release. When casting, the line is released away from the rod, following a straightforward push-button mechanism. This design minimizes the risk of backlash and makes spin-cast reels a great choice for anglers looking for simplicity and ease of use.

Spin-cast reels are excellent for light to medium fishing applications and are often used for targeting smaller fish species like panfish and trout.


Spin-cast reel
Bait-caster reel
- User-friendly, great for beginners
- Minimizes line tangles and backlash
- Easy to learn and operate
- Lower maintenance requirements
- Suitable for light to medium fishing applications
- Exceptional casting precision and control
- Versatile, suitable for various fishing styles
- Larger line capacity for heavier lines
- Well-suited for experienced anglers
- Enables the use of a wide range of lures and baits
- Limited casting distance
- Smaller line capacity
- May not perform well in windy conditions
- Steeper learning curve, not ideal for beginners
- Prone to backlash (bird's nest) if not controlled well
- Higher maintenance due to exposed design

Advantages of Spin-Cast Reels:

Here are advantages of Spin-cast Reels:


Spin-cast reels are wallet-friendly, making them an excellent choice for anglers on a budget.

Ease of Use:

They’re user-friendly and straightforward, making them perfect for beginners.

No Backlash:

 Spin-cast reels are less prone to backlash, which is when the line gets tangled due to the spool moving too quickly.

Suitable for Light Lures and Lines:

 They work well with lightweight lures and lines, making them versatile for various fishing situations.

Efficient for Close Quarters

Spin-cast reels are ideal for casting near the shoreline or under overhanging trees using a sidearm cast.

Expandable Line Capacity:

 You can increase line capacity by adding an additional reel, providing flexibility for different fishing needs.

Great for Inshore Fishing:

Spin-cast reels are well-suited for inshore fishing, particularly in calmer waters and for targeting a wide range of species.

Limitations of Spin-Cast Reels: 

Limitations of Spin-cast Reels:

Bulkier Design:

Spin-cast reels tend to be bulkier in comparison to some other reel types, which can affect the overall balance and feel of your fishing setup.

Limited Strength and Durability:

They may not be as robust or long-lasting as some more expensive reel options, which can be a drawback for anglers seeking rugged gear.

Potential Line Issues:

Spin-cast reels can be prone to line tangling, twisting, or tearing, often resulting in frustrating wind knots that can disrupt your fishing experience.

Limited Drag Ability:

They have limitations in terms of drag ability. This refers to how much resistance a fish feels when it pulls on the line. Spin-cast reels may not offer as much control in this regard.

Lack of Distance Control:

Unlike some other reel types, Spin-cast reels may not provide precise control over casting distance, which can be a drawback in specific fishing scenarios.

Shorter Lifespan:

 Spin-cast reels may not be designed to last multiple seasons, and they may require more frequent replacement or maintenance compared to higher-end reels.

Maintenance and Care of spin-cast reel:

Spin-cast reel has shorter lifespan. So, proper maintenance can enhance its life.

Keep it clean

 Always make sure your reel is clean. Keep it thoroughly clean after every fishing trip.

Dry before storing:

Make sure the reel is completely dry before setting it aside. Water can cause problems, so let it dry.

Prevent from dust and rust:

Do not allow dust to accumulate on your reel and remove any signs of rust immediately. Rust can damage your reel.

Safe in box:

When not in use, store your reel in a locked container or protective box. This protects it from dirt and damage.

Regular lubrication:

 Keep your reel running smoothly with good oil on a regular basis. These fats help keep it functioning properly.


Spin-cast reels are user-friendly tools that cater to a wide range of anglers, making them an excellent choice for those seeking a reliable and straightforward fishing experience.

Are Bait-casters Better Than Spinning Reels?

A straight forward distinction between spinning reels and baitcasting reels lies in their ability to cast heavy monofilament lines. Baitcasting reels excel in this regard, offering superior performance when dealing with heavy lines. This distinction becomes particularly significant for bass anglers who frequently fish in dense cover. In such scenarios, opting for a baitcasting reel becomes a logical choice. Spinning reels, on the other hand, may struggle to deliver the same level of effectiveness when handling heavy lines in heavy cover situations. Therefore, for bass anglers seeking optimal performance in such conditions, the baitcasting reel often emerges as the preferred tool of choice.

Are Bait-casters Hard to Use?

Bait-caster reels can be challenging for beginners, those new to fishing. They require a certain level of skill and technique to work effectively. The main reason for this challenge is that the spool of the bait-caster reel moves in sync with the casting motion, demanding accuracy from the angler. If not properly controlled, the spool can overtake the casting line, resulting in a frustrating tangle known as backlash or bird’s nest.

About Jason

Jason is a skilled and experienced Tackle Shop Manager with 17 years of fishing expertise and four years of successfully managing a prominent shop. His passion for fishing, commitment to education, and unbiased gear reviews make him a trusted resource in the industry.

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