Last Updated on February 11, 2024 by Ali Hamza
Fishing rods are an essential part of fishing gear, and if your rod isn’t the right one, then it’s nothing else but a failure even your live bait can’t do anything. Selecting the right type of fishing rod is crucial, especially for beginners and the main point where they are stuck is “Which rod type to pick?” There is always confusion between spinning rods and casting rods. Although professional anglers are well aware of the difference between these two types but novice anglers can decide when to choose spinning rods vs when casting.
To clear this big confusion between these two popular fishing rod types I have listed some of the key differences between spinning and casting rods. Let’s have a brief introduction to them and decide when to choose which rod.
Table of Contents
Spinning rods are the most common type of fishing rod. The main feature that differentiates a spinning from the casting rod is that the reel is placed bottom side of the rod i.e. facing downwards. Spinning rods come in various lengths, sizes, power, and action. They are considered the most versatile fishing rods as it serves as all-rounder rod for many fishing types.
The best part about spinning rods is that they are cost-effective, you can have a collection of the best spinning rods all within your budget.
Another famous type of fishing rod with a baitcasting reel facing upward. The reel is placed upward on this rod. You may have heard the words “bait casting rods”, “bait caster rods”, and “Casting rods”. Don’t panic and just relax, all these terms are indicating to the same type of fishing rod.
Casting rods are relatively more expensive than spinning rods but are well-known among anglers due to their extraordinary performance and are mostly picked by professional anglers for serious fishing. Rather than having multiple spinning rods, you can have one rod as your best baitcasting rod for all types of fishing.
The main differences between Spinning and Casting rods
The reel is placed facing the downside in spinning rods while the bait casting reels are placed on the top side of the rod with the handle on the dominant hand side.
You may have seen the small eyelets on the rod, these are called rod guides. Rod guides are there to maintain the balance between rod and line and help remove line tangling.
Spinning rods have relatively larger-sized guides as compared to casting rods. These guides are also placed facing downward just like a spinning reel and the guides near the handle is larger than the guides near the rod tip while on the other hand casting rods and the same smaller-sized guides all along the length with the position facing upward.
The guides are placed at far more distances on spinning rods and are fewer in number while casting rods have guides placed closer to each other and more in quantity.
Spinning rods are more manageable than casting rods and the best option for beginners whereas learning casting techniques is a bit longer process that mostly needs more practice.
Backslashes are a major issue with bait casting rods and reels which a beginner-level angler can handle. Whereas spinning rods are easy to set up and it’s easy to learn how to cast with spinning rods.
Even with the ease of use, we can’t deny that baitcasting rods are better performers than spinning ones. They offer more casting accuracy and casting distance.
Baitcasting rods handle heavy lures, baits, and lines better than spinning rods. Spinning rods are good with lighter lures and lightweight catches. For freshwater fishing, spinning rods are a top requirement.
When it comes to budget, spinning rods are cost-effective as compared to casting rods in many cases. Although a vast variety of spinning rods and casting are available in the market almost in every range the latter ones have higher prices.
Moreover, backslashes may result in a bird’s nest and line breakage so changing lines is necessarily important here which adds additional cost. With spinning rods, it’s easier to cast and the fishing line is less prone to tangles.
Casting rods are more sensitive than spinning rods which doesn’t mean that spinning rods are useless they are sensitive too but casting rods offers this feature at a higher level. They let you feel the slightest touch and tuck by the fish. This is mainly because of the spool difference between the two types of reels used with their respective rod pairs.
When choosing Spinning Rods
Many anglers will still be confused between spinning and casting rods so let’s be precise and mark the points for spinning one
- If you are at a beginner level/ learning stage.
- Using lightweight lures, the lures that weigh more than ¼ oz. aren’t a good match for spinning rods. Lures like swimbaits and soft plastic worms are a good choice.
- If you are budget conscious and don’t want to spend an amount on fishing gear then spinning rods are best.
- If you have a lightweight line
- For freshwater fishing, spinning rods are recommended ones
- For trolling fishing
- If you have a spinning reel
- Anglers following the simple fishing techniques are good to go with spinning rods
When choosing casting rods
- Baitcasting rods are recommended to anglers with professional skill levels.
- These rods cast heavier lures and lines more smoothly than spinning rods.
- If you are up to big fish and good with angling skills then casting rods are better to adopt.
- Due to their casting accuracy and longer casts with heavy lures they are good for bass fishing.
Advantages and Disadvantages of both types of Fishing Rods
It’s a general rule everything that comes with tons of advantages also has some flaws let’s highlight both sides of these two fishing rods
Pros of Spinning rods
- Best in budget
- Best for beginners
- Best for regular fishing
- Easy to learn
- Due to the spinning technique less prone to line tangles
Cons of Spinning Rods
- Less sensitive than baitcasting rods
- Doesn’t perform well in heavy water conditions
- It’s a bit harder to land a large fish with spinning rods
Pros of Baitcasting Rods
- A recommended rod for serious fishing
- Best for professional and tournament-level anglers
- Perfect option for landing a big fish
- Casting accuracy is the key benefit of casting rods
- Recommended for saltwater fishing
Cons of Baitcasting Rods
- Expensive Rods
- Difficult to learn casting techniques
- Not recommended for novice anglers
- Due to baitcasting reels, more prone to line tangles
Besides all the good and negative points, both fishing rods are the top recommendations of anglers. Keeping in view all the performance points it also depends on anglers’ personal preferences. Many anglers prefer spinning rods due to their ease of use over casting rods and many prefer casting rods due to their performance. The type of fishing rod also depends on the type of fishing you are up to.
So many factors together lead to the selection of a fishing rod type but here if I conclude this whole article, if you are at the beginner stage and learning how to cast, Spinning rods are the best choice. Once you are pro in your angling skills confidently pick the baitcasting rods. I hope that the difference between rods is clear now and you are fully aware of when to choose spinning vs casting rods.