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Texfisherman

Bait Casters Vs. Spinning Reels

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Hey, everyone.

I've grown up using spinning reels and I'm a dead-accurate cast with it. I've also pulled in some huge bass on a spinning reel, including my PB (see pic).

My buddy feels the same way about bait casters. But what really blew me away was the TTBC that was held recently. I walked around and looked at all of those fishing poles on every boat, right before the tournament launch. I literally saw 99% bait casters and 1% spinning reels.

So my question is: What's the advantage of using a bait caster over a spinning reel?

I'm not looking for a heated debate :) just your personal experiences on the matter.

Thanks.

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It is a preference thing, use what you feel comfortable with. Generally baitcast setups are using for heavier baits or were more power is needed. Spinning is used for lighter more finesse fishing. But there is no reason, other than something being to light for a baitcast reel, to put much worry into it. If its comfortable and works for you have fun.

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Bait casting reels are traditional for bass fishing for over a century. The reasons are; control of the line and lure during the cast and ease of casting. The modern spinning reels have come a long way in regards to handling larger size line, plus the super braids are smaller in diameter allowing the use of smaller lighter weight spinning reels. Drags and line twist have always been a problem with spinning reels, today's have excellent drags and line twist can be reduced by the use of superb raids.

I know 1 bass pro who made his living using a spinning reel; Gary Yamamoto. Today nearly every top bass pro has at least 1 spinning outfit for finesse presentations, spinning reels excel casting light weight lures.

Tom

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The baitcaster for me is as motor is to a crane, the bait caster will really get some monsters out of some of the thickest stuff there is, think of it as a winch on a jeep.

The spinner is one of the best reels ever invented, there are tons of uses for it, some have converted to all baitcasting equipment but I still prefer the spinner for a lot of my finess fishing, my mix is about 60/40 with baitcasters in the front, but most of my fishing is some sort of jig fishing.

Don't ever give up on the spinner, like you I have caught some really good fish with mine as well, the difference in my opinion is the rod does more of the work on a spinner set up and the bait caster does most of the work on it's set up, it's good to have both and I enjoy using both.

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My fishing buddy uses only spinning reels and always busts my balls saying "you use those baitcasters so when you catch a fish you can feel like one of them pro guys." Lol. He got turned off by them when we first started using them because we were clueless and didnt know about having a smart thumb. He just doesnt feel like taking the time to educate his thumb. But like everyone is saying they excel at throwing heavier lures, I use spinning reels for weightless plastics, tiny cranks, jerkbaits and small in line spinners.

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WRB, couldn't have said it better myself.

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I use baitcasters 99% of the time. Sometimes I'll use a spinning rod for throwing jerkbaits if it's windy. Perhaps as a shakey head/senko setup in clear water, also (using thin flouro line).

For me, it's mostly about accuracy...I can't even come close to the same accuracy with a spinning reel as I do my baitcaster. I can't imagine flipping/punching with anything but a flipping stick/baitcast reel.

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Thanks for all of the great information. I have a bait casting setup, so I may go ahead and start working with it this weekend. Maybe I'll bring some extra line with me for dealing with the backlashes, lol.

Thanks again.

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Thanks for all of the great information. I have a bait casting setup, so I may go ahead and start working with it this weekend. Maybe I'll bring some extra line with me for dealing with the backlashes, lol.

Thanks again.

A good trick to avoid wasting line is pull out as much line as youll need to make a long cast and then put electrical tape on the line across the spool. This will prevent the backlash from going very deep and making a huge mess.

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Use whatever you are comfortable with.

However as someone who grew up using spinning reels and never even held a baitcaster till I was nearly 30 I will tell you that I am glad I decided to diversify. Today, a good 10-12 years after I decided to learn how to use a baitcaster, 70-80% of my bass fishing is with a baitcaster. The other 20-30% is still with spinning reels though. I think that if you try one out and get used to it you will find it so much easier to present certain types of baits in certain ways. Conversely, the guys that refuse to use spinning reels are WAAAYYY missing out on a way to expand their repertoire as well.

for me:

1/4oz or heavier spinnerbaits or buzzbaits - baitcaster

under 1/4oz spinnerbaits or bussbaits - spinnning

inline spinners - spinning

topwater like a popR - spinning

topwater frogs or big spook - baitcasting

small crankbaits like a rapala - spinning

deep water crankbaits and squarebills - baitcasting

lipless cranks - baitcasting

jigs, t-rig, lizards, etc - baitcasting

drop shot, senko, weihtless plastics, flukes - spinning

Anyway, the point i want to make to you above is, learn new techniques and you will find that it will make you a better fisherman. There is no right way or wrong way, other than the way that works best for you. Good luck!

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Accuracy will suffer a lot in the beginning, IMO. At least it did for me. I grew up with a spinning reel, and could be pretty accurate with it, but not when I switched to B/C reels.

i switched mainly because I didn't like the reach to the line with decent sized reels I was using for bass fishing when visiting Florida. Now I use B/C reels for everything I can. A side benefit is that B/C reels are lighter. Not that I ever got tired using a spinning reel, but I do enjoy how light most of my new combos are compared to my spinning combos.

EDIT: X2 on McAlpine's post.

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I think we make way too much about how hard it is to use a baitcasting reel. Many fishermen are intimidated into sticking with spinning reels their whole life and miss some of the best fishing to be had for fear of the dreaded backlash. I have shown a lot of people how to use a baitcaster and the worst of them had it mastered in a few minutes or hours at most. It really isn't that hard. With a minimum of hand eye coordination and a tiny bit of determination, I believe anyone who can proficiently operate a spinning reel can use a baitcaster. Yep, there is a learning curve, but it is not great big one. JMHO

Ronnie

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I think we make way too much about how hard it is to use a baitcasting reel. Many fishermen are intimidated into sticking with spinning reels their whole life and miss some of the best fishing to be had for fear of the dreaded backlash. I have shown a lot of people how to use a baitcaster and the worst of them had it mastered in a few minutes or hours at most. It really isn't that hard. With a minimum of hand eye coordination and a tiny bit of determination, I believe anyone who can proficiently operate a spinning reel can use a baitcaster. Yep, there is a learning curve, but it is not great big one. JMHO

Ronnie

Wish I had had someone to coach me. Took a lot more than a few minutes to get the lure going out somewhat straight. I'm sure there were other areas where advice from a proficient B/C user could have helped. No doubt they still could. :)

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We do a lot of pin point casts to cypress trees and stumps, lots of following the bank casts.

With spinning reel, I often overshoot and miss my target.....sometimes hanging up in good spots, so the baitcaster is most used for that spot on cast.

When the sac-a-lait start biting (crappie) I pick up the spinning rod and cast Sliders and little tube jigs. Usually don't have to be too accurate with them.

Also, a deadly combo here is a wacky rigged 3 inch Yum Dinger (hard to find today.) Use 6# line and small wacky hook.

The guys I fish with bring 3 or 4 baitcasting rigs and maybe 1 spinning, but 95% of the time they use the baitcaster.

When bringing a kid or inexperienced fisherman with me, I often bring an extra spinning rod for him.....or a Spin-cast, like an Abu 170 or Daiwa.

Of course, when we fish the marsh, which is brackish and salt, there are NO trees or stumps, so we fish for speckled trout and redfish with heavier spinning gear. Saltwater casting is all about distance here, and sometimes high winds. Not a good combo for several baitcasters in the same boat!

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Accuracy is something you obtain with -------------------> practice

Baitcasters more accurate than spinning ? -------> nonsense, if you aren´t accurate with a spinning reel then you need to practice more and more and more, when you get bored of practicing then it´s time to take a deep breath and practice until you make it perfectly.

One advantage I find with spinning gear is that I can cast well in places where I don´t have a lot of room to swing the rod.

Don´t know if you heard about Fish Chris, he´s a member here and his collection of 10+ lbs fish is really impressive, he fishes exclusively with spinning gear.

Most of my reels are BCs, why ? because I like BCs, I do have some spinning reels and if I were limited to carry only one set-up ( like when I go on foot patrol ) then it´s not hard to choose: spinning gera will be more than enough.

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For the most part freshwater casting rods are heavier rods for heavier baits, I do see the point for using them. To match up an inshore spinning rod and reel for freshwater use the overall weight of the combo is going to be heavier, open water with little vegetation, a light spinning outfit is very comfortable, thick stuff it's a different story. That still is not a deterrent for me, I'm a 100% spinning for all freshwater and inshore fishing, I can do whatever I need to, I much prefer the reel on the bottom of the rod, no rod twist with a larger fish on. I do use conventional reels for offshore use, many reels do not have a level wind, that does take a little time to get used to. Even offshore I use them sparingly, with a good fish on that reel and rod is twisting pretty good in your hands.

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It's not so much vs. as it is when, where and why to use one over the other. You can certainly get by with all one or the other but IMO mastering both spinning and casting (and for that matter fly & float tackle) you open up options and get greater satisfaction from the overall fishing experience.

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I grew up using spinning tackle didn't pick up my first baitcaster til my 30's. To me its more about what each can do proficiently. Modern baitcasting equipment is not hard to learn, especially if you use a twin braking system. I can cast with my pro qualifier and never touch the spool without overrunning, when the brakes are set up for it. IMO being able to use both enhances the experience.

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I use and enjoy both.

Two different tools for different tasks.

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They are both excellent tools that have their advantages and disadvantages. Generally where one setup shines the other does not and vice versa. It really comes down to personal preference for most people.

In my experience casting reels generally avoid line twist, yet are prone to overruns. Spinning reels generally avoid overruns, yet are prone to line twist. Casting reels are generally lighter and more compact. Casting reels are a little more ergonomic by being “palmable” and engaging and disengaging the spool with the handle and thumb bar, where as spinning reels require opening and closing the bail by hand. Spinning reels are generally more user friendly as the learning curve is less steep having a fixed spool to avoid backlashes. Spinning reels also have the option the switch the placement side of the handle for different people’s preferences of retrieve.

While there is a great general overlap in technique and presentation usage, each reel excels in certain situations. Generally I prefer casting gear with techniques such as pitchin’ and flippin’ where you are constantly drawing out a fixed amount of line and engaging and disengaging the spool with the handle and thumb bar. While on the other hand I feel spinning gear shines with lighter lure presentations and techniques by utilizing the fixed spool to avoid overruns.

I say have both in your arsenal and through time on the water you will develop a sense of which you prefer in certain situations. That’s the best part; time on the water is the only way to tell which you prefer for any given technique.

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About the only thing I use a spinning reel for is the drop-shot. As stated before, there is a fear factor about bait casters that is over-blown. They aren't that hard to master. I use very good b/c reels and have no problem delivering weightless plastics.

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I have one spinning reel, and it's relegated to light lures/finesse fishing. Feels so weird after using my BCs 99% of the time, but I've caught some nice fish on my spinner.

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I use about 65% to 70% baitcasters for bass fishing, and the rest spinning. Casting lures with a baitcaster seems to take less effort than with spinning gear, ESPECIALLY with heavier lures. They are more accurate as well, but I'm pretty accurate with my spinning gear too. Any lure under 1/4 of an ounce or line under 10 pound test calls for spinning gear, the rest, casting gear. Generally I think spinning gear works better for light balsa cranks, small - medium soft jerks (both fluke and senko type, and most smaller plastics. So they are still an important part of my arsenal.

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Do not get caught up in the BC vs Spinning gear wars....

I use both because I like both, not because I need both. I, and anyone else could use spinning gear only, and catch as many fish in any type of cover or situation, and never pick up a BC setup again.

I've pulled in 40" plus striper's from the Cape Cod Canal on mostly spinning gear without any issue, as have hundreds of others. There is ABSOLUTELY no need for BC gear other than you enjoy using it.

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