Whether you are just starting out fishing or whether you have been fishing for years, it is important to understand what are the different types of fishing reels available to you and how they were designed to be used.
In this post, we are going to be discussing five of the most popular designs: the baitcaster, the spinning reel, the trolling reel, spincasting reels and the underspin reel. Briefly, we are going to highlight a few advantages of each and a very disadvantages.
What are the different types of fishing reels?
Amongst bass fishermen such as ourselves, baitcasting reels have become very popular. The reason being because of their ability to handle larger fish. The picture above is a Abu Garcia Max reel, this is an entry-level baitcasting reel. It is both inexpensive and very easy to use.
As you can see the baitcaster is a low profile reel that is designed to be mounted on top of the fishing reel. When the thumb button is engaged the spool goes into a free spool mode. In this mode you are able to throw your bait. There are two different knobs located on the outside they are spool tension and the braking systems. The spool tension can be used to tighter or loosen the spool. The braking system can be used to help you cast without a backlash.
- Baitcasting reels are made for heavy fishing line and heavy lures.
- They tend to be more accurate.
- Casting Reels are the most difficult to cast, but with time one can learn to do so without a backlash.
- They don’t work very well with light lures.
- They are very difficult to cast into the wind.
Very similar to the baitcasting reel is the conventional or trolling reel. These reels have the same basic design as the casting reels expect these were designed for even bigger fish. Just like the baitcaster, they do have the tendency to overrun if you don’t have your thumb trained properly, but some have the capacity to cast up to 400 yards. It is because of this great capacity and the heavy-duty designed these reels are used for offshore fishing, trolling and deep-sea fishing.
One of the most popular fishing reels on the market is the spinning reel also known as the opened face reel. The reason is because they are extremely easy to use. As you can see from the picture above these reels are mounted below the rod.
The greatest difference between baitcasting reels and spinning reels is that spinning reels don’t have a free spinning reel. Instead, they have a fixed spool. This fixed spool is not capable of overrunning and thus you no longer have the problem of experiencing a backlash.
In order to cast, you need to open the bail while at the same time putting tension on the line with your index finger. As you motion forward you release your finger on the line. When the lure hits the water you can manually close the bail and begin retrieving. Learn more about how to cast a spinning rod in a previous post found here.
- Spinning reels work very well with light lures and light line.
- They are very easy to use, no backlash.
- Spinning reels don’t work well with heavy fishing line such as: 20 pound test or more.
- They don’t work well with heavy lures.
- You don’t get backlash, but you experience line twist.
My very first fishing reel was a spincast reel and as a child I loved fishing with it. They are great for beginners because they are extremely easy to use. Like the casting reel they are mounted on top of the fishing reel, and they are similar to spinning reels in the sense that they have a fixed spool.
The spincast reel was basically designed to fix two common problems: backlash and line twist. It successfully did away with these two problems, but in the meantime because of its design it tends to be less accurate and the casting distance is much shorter.
With the push of the button located on the back of the reel, the line becomes disengaged. A forward motion launches your lures into the air. When your lure gets to the point where you want it click the button again and beginning retrieving. Learn more about using a spincast reel in a previous post found here.
- Spincast reels are extremely easy to use.
- No line twist.
- No backlash
- Spincast reels tend to lack accuracy and distance.
- Don’t have much line capacity.
Another great beginner fishing reel is the underspin reel. These are very similar to spincast reels in that they were designed in a way not to backlash nor having line twist when casting. The only difference between Underspin reels and spincast reel is the where they are mounted. Underspin reels are mounted underneath the fishing rod. This makes them more comfortable to hold and to cast. Learn how to cast an underspin reel here.
Now it’s your turn. Which of these types of reels do you have in your boat and why? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below.