Spinning Rod vs Casting Rod – How are they Different?

Choosing a fishing reel brings with it other considerations besides price and performance of the reel. Anglers must factor in the equipment their reel will attach to, namely their fishing rod. Knowing the difference between spinning rod vs casting rod ensures a proper match up of reel and rod however, that’s not all there is to it. So what is the difference between casting and spinning rods? Spinning rods and casting rods work nothing like each other. Familiarity with their benefits and drawbacks helps fishermen decide which method works best for their purposes.

Casting vs Spinning Rod – Knowing The Difference Can Make A Difference

Spinning Rod Vs Casting RodWe definitely want to avoid the situation of setting up our rod and reel before fishing, only to find they don’t match. It’s not easy to fish using an upside down spinning reel with a handle that reels backwards. Understanding a spinning rod vs casting rod helps to eliminate such mix ups. Learning this difference because knowing each fishing style can only make you a better angler.

For the beginners that didn’t know before now, there is a definite difference between a fishing rod made for a spinning reel and a fishing rod made for a baitcasting reel. Which combination you decide to use comes down to preference but I’ll say it now, spinning setups come with less of a learning curve for beginners. On the other hand, baitcasting rods and reels offer benefits that spinning setups just don’t have.


Common Features Of A Spinning Rod

What is a spinning rod? When a spinning rod bends from the force of a fish pulling on the line, all the eyelets point down. The line feeds out and pulls down on the outside rings of each eyelet on the spinning rod. The spinning reel hangs down underneath the rod with the handle typically on an angler’s weak hand side. This leaves a right handed fisherman with his strong arm on the spinning rod while his left hand operates the reel.

Saltwater Fishing Gear at Basspro.com

There are many different types and sizes of spinning  rods. You can use anything from a light action spinning rod, a medium heavy spinning rod to a heavy spinning rod.

Pros & Cons Of The Spinning Rod

Spinning Reel Vs Casting ReelAs mentioned, a spinning rod makes fishing much easier on the starter because it uses a spinning reel. Many baitcasting reels now feature magnetic or centrifugal cast control mechanisms. These can be frustrating and take away some of your fishing time to learn.

With a spinning reel, an angler holds the line against the spinning rod with his index finger. He then flips the bail which frees the line and makes it ready to cast. At the proper moment of rod propulsion he lets go of the line and lets the lure or bait fly.

Once the cast is complete the fisherman either starts reeling to flip the bail or flips it back over with his hand. From the moment he lets go of the line until the cast is complete an angler never worries about the line coming off the spool. Not the case with a casting rod and reel.

So why doesn’t everyone use a spinning rod and reel? The reason lies in the benefits of the casting setup. Though tougher to master, the casting setup provides smooth casts and better distance. Baitcasting spools let line come off straight and naturally unlike spinning reel spools that often twist the line.

The Opposite Bend Of A Casting Rod

Casting rods work in a fashion exactly opposite that of spinning rods. A fish pulling on the line fed through a casting rod bends the rod over with the eyelets facing up. It can seem quite unnatural to an angler familiar with only spinning rods, but casting rods employ the eyelets in a more effective manner.

Pros & Cons Of The Casting Rod

Spinning Rod Vs Casting RodThe pros and cons of a casting rod directly relate to those of a spinning rod. Casting reels can make an angler want to pull his hair out while he tries to learn the cast. Line will continue to backlash inside the casting reel until the fisherman gets down the technique. It can be very frustrating and more expensive when your line must be changed so often.

Once an angler has the touch of a casting rod and reel, he has gained several benefits over the spinning setup. Line pushes down on casting rod eyelets which forces them into the rod instead of pulling them away from the rod on a spinning reel. Eyelets aren’t likely to break from force on a casting rod because the rod supports them.

Casting reels allow line to roll off the spool while line on a spinning reel comes up and off the lip of the spool. This creates friction against the line and lip of the spool which slows every cast prematurely. Baitcasting reels roll smooth and an angler learns to get incredible casting distance with practice.


Spinning Rod Vs Casting RodBaitcasting rods offer better performance in many regards when compared to spinning rods. That isn’t to say that spinning rods don’t offer high performance and value. Spinning rods offer a much better experience for beginners. They can get familiar with fishing first and later learn the casting reel.

This day in age with technology and a bit of extra cash can bring home spinning rods and reels so advanced an angler wouldn’t notice the difference much anyway. Most advanced anglers learned to fish the spinning rod and reel then moved up to the superior performance of the casting rod. Knowledge is powerful and knowing the differences between a casting rod vs spinning rod gives one more tool for the tackle box.

<<< Best Spinning Reel Comparison Guide>>>


One comment

  1. This does not explain the difference between the rods themselves. Which is what I needed to know.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Web Analytics