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Fishing is one the world’s most popular leisure activities, but with all the different components and the huge range of products, it can be hard to decide what to buy. You’ll certainly need a reel, and the most common options include baitcasting and spinning.
The baitcaster will allow you to cast large lures over a long distance accurately, and its heavy line means it's ideal for catching big game. However, the casting technique takes a time to master, and short distance fishing will be challenging due to the risk of backlash.
Alternatively, the spinning reel is easy to cast with little practice, and the latest models can support relatively heavy lines. Casting over large distances will prove difficult, and many anglers consider this component to be less hard-wearing than the baitcasting alternative.
To help you make an informed purchase, we’ll answer the simple question: spinning reel versus baitcaster – which is best for you?
Ideal for heavy lines
Ability to hold heavy lures
Casts over long distances
Perfect for catching big game
Difficult technique to master
Risk of backlash
Purposed for light lines
Ideal for light lures and bait
Best suited for casting over short distances
Easy to learn
Limited catching ability
Risk of etching
This component is fitted to the underside of the rod, with the rod guides facing downwards usually getting gradually smaller as they reach the end of the tip. The average gear ratio is 4:1, meaning the spool retrieves four coils of line for every turn of the handle.
The 4:1 ratio is considered slow speed, but you might benefit from the huge amount of torque when you’re trying to wrestle and fight a catch.
This reel is traditionally used with light line weighing a maximum of eight lbs mainly because the friction caused when retrieving a line can cause many of the reel's components to etch and consequently, scar your line.
Much of the spinning option’s popularity comes from its easy to master casting technique. For starters, you can cast it low underneath trees or overhanging obstructions and against winds without too much hassle.
Additionally, the casting technique is as simple as holding a button for the line to release and then letting go of the button once the lure has reached its target.
Fishing For Beginners - How to Cast A Spinning Reel
If you’re new to the activity of fishing, the spinning reel might prove the easiest component to get used to, as you’re very unlikely to lose your line even if your technique isn’t perfect because it won’t keep releasing line once the lure hits the water.
This also means the risk of backlash is small. If you haven’t heard the term, backlash happens when the spool continues to release excessive line even after the lure has landed, often resulting in a tangled mess or a ‘bird's nest.'
Unlike the spinning component, the casting reel is attached to the top side of the ride, with narrow guides lining the spine of the blank.
It often has a higher gear ratio than the spinning option, and a popular configuration choice amongst anglers is 6.4:1, literally meaning every turn of the crank retrieves 6.4 spool revolutions of line.
It’s designed to accommodate a heavier line than the alternative component, and that means it might be the ideal product if you want to cast heavy lures over large distances to catch impressive game.
You'll need the use of both hands with this product, one hand for holding the reel and the other for cranking during the retrieve stage. There's a handle for your cranking hand when you're not using it.
When you cast, the spool spins to release line, and that means you have to control the speed to prevent your lure from flying over the horizon. There are a variety of braking and drag systems and you'll need to learn to do this effectively.
It’s important that you remember to disengage the reel when your lure reaches its target, as the spool will continue to release the line if you forget.
Many anglers will say the level of your ability is the most important factor to consider. But we think the superior functionality of the Baitcaster makes it a smarter purchase as it's perfect for many types of fishing, including surf fishing and bass fishing.
While it requires patience and practice to master, you’ll be able to achieve casts over long distances with accuracy once you do, and catching the big game is going to be a rewarding experience.
As the risk of backlash might be frustrating in the beginning, the Abu Garcia Max Low Profile Reel might be the ideal choice for those intending to learn the art of angling with the baitcasting reel.
If you have anything extra to add or still have a few unanswered questions, submit a comment below and join the conversation.
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