Baitcasting VS. Spinning Reels [What’s The Better Inshore Option?]


What’s the better inshore option: Baitcasting VS. Spinning Reels?

More importantly, what’s best for YOU?

Let’s talk about the pros and cons of both!!

Check it all out below!

Baitcasting VS. Spinning Reels [VIDEO]

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Gear Discussed:

Pros Of Spinning Reels

Spinning reels are a popular choice and it is often the first reel people use when first starting to fish.

It is an easy reel to use, easy to teach others to use, and it works very well.

Another reason to get a spinning reel is the cost.

It is definitely cheaper to go with a spinning reel rather than a baitcaster.

Additionally, the typical spinning reel has more line capacity than a baitcaster.

Spinning reels are also interchangeable for either hand.

You can switch the handle to either side you’re most comfortable with.

Baitcasting reels come either left-handed or right-handed.

Another pro to spinning reels is casting distance.

They simply cast farther than baitcasting reels.

This may sound silly but spinning reels also give off a cool sound when fish are peeling off drag.

There is something special about that click as a fish pulls the line off the spool.

Cons Of Spinning Reels

Now for the cons.

The biggest con is wind knots.

There are ways to mitigate wind knots but you’ll inevitably run into them here and there.

Especially when fishing braided line on spinning reels, wind knots are an issue.

Another con to spinning reels is weight.

They are a bit heavier than baitcasting reels.

Pros Of Baitcasting Reels

Right off the bat, you can tell baitcasting reels are more compact and streamlined.

These reels fit nicely in the palm of your hand.

For topwater lures and other hard-body lures where you need contact to the plug, baitcasting reels are a great choice.

You have contact with the plug and more control.

Another pro is less fatigue on you because they are lightweight when working lures.

Moreover, baitcasting reels are overall more accurate than spinning reels.

The reel acts as an extension of your hand giving you more accuracy when casting.

Furthermore, you can present your lures much softer than spinning gear with a baitcaster.

Because you can feather the line off the spool, you can have your bait land much softer than spinning reels.

This makes baitcasting reels an excellent sight fishing choice.

Cons Of Baitcasting Reels

The #1 con to baitcasting reels is backlash.

If you are new to baitcasting reels, backlash is inevitable.

As I mentioned earlier with spinning reels, line capacity is a con to baitcasting reels.

Baitcasting reels typically do not hold as much line as spinning reels.

Additionally, the drag systems on baitcasting reels are not ideal.

I find the drag systems in spinning reels to be a bit smoother than baitcasters.

Another con to baitcasting reels is the cost.

In my experience, cheaper baitcasting reels do not last very long while inshore fishing.

Getting a quality baitcasting reel is important and those can cost upward of $150+.

Due to the lack of sealing on baitcasting reels, maintenance and upkeep is a con.

Water and debris can get into the reel more easily than spinning gear.

You’ll have to take the reel apart and clean them more often.

What’s Better For YOU?

I personally use whichever reel the situation calls for.

If I’m throwing lighter lures trying to get as much casting distance as possible, I’ll go with a spinning reel.

But if I am fishing a hard-body or topwater lure, I’ll go with a baitcasting reel.

Lately, I’ve relied heavily on the baitcasting reel for accurate sight fishing.

It all depends on the style of fishing you do.

Also, it can’t hurt to have both types of setups available and at the ready.

There is no RIGHT answer.

It depends on what fits the bill for you and the application you need your gear to fulfill.


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Christopher Mackert
3 months ago

I just wanted to add that if you use a baitcasting reel that when you clean your reel do not use regular reel oíl on the line guide of your reel because of the thickness of oíl will gather to much dust and evetually jam the line guide and and it’s game over.

Robert Shull
4 months ago

Baitcasters are more fun to use. And it seems that you have honed your craft better if you can use one, surprisingly many can’t. I have used baitcasters since the 1960s and technology has sure changed over the decades they have become much easier to cast. Line capacity and drag are their only disadvantages now.

4 months ago

The baitcaster is the better one

Ronald Peedin
4 months ago

thanks I use spinning mostly

terry hinton
5 months ago

thank you Pat !

5 months ago

I use spinning reels when saltwater fishing 80% of the time, almost exclusively because of the drag system. However, if you are fishing mangroves, or oyster bars… drag is a bad thing and I use baitcasters with heavy braid. You gotta keep them out of the cover, or you’ll probably lose the fish.

Sherry Leger
5 months ago

I recently bought my first bait caster. Compared to my spinning reels, it is smooth, light, and accurate. Especially in reducing the amount of Plop noise when the bait lands. I will be using both from now on. Might take me a while to get the hang of keeping it clear of those bird nest though 🙂

Neal Hagood
5 months ago

Nice comparisons!
Could you do a vidio on how to best set up a bait caster as far as adjustments to spool tension, drag etc. To minimize the birds nests/ backlashes and maximize casting distance. Not being a baitcasting angler, I am not sure of the correct terminologies or proper questions to ask, but you get the jist, I hope!.

Nick Christo
5 months ago

Great objective comparison between the two types of reels. We appreciate your teaching skills. Thank you Pat.

Robert Glassen
5 months ago

Great report. I’m about 50/50 bait caster v spinning and I find everything Pat mentioned to be right.


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