Difference Between Casting and Spinning Rods

If you’re quite new to fishing, you may be wondering what the difference is between a casting rod and a spinning rod.

Although the two rods look almost identical, there are many differences that set them apart. Once you know the differences, you’ll be able to spot them from a mile away.

Let’s talk about the main differences between casting and spinning rods so you can make the right choice when fishing.

Casting Rods

Before anything, you must understand that fishing rods are designed according to the type of fishing reels. Casting rods are manufactured to be used with casting reels, while spinning rods must be attached to spinning reels.

If you decide to mix a casting rod with a spinning reel, your fishing experience can literally become a nightmare. Many things can happen, like breaking the rod or frequent tangling of the fishing line.

So, remember to always pair a rod with its respective fishing reel.

Casting rods are also referred to as baitcasting rods, which are fishing rods that are designed to have better angling accuracy and withstand heftier lures.

Usually, their frame is made of graphite, fiberglass, or carbon fiber, which makes them durable and lightweight. The baitcasting reel is also placed on top of the rod. This increases power and accuracy, thus enabling you to cast longer distances with a high accuracy.

Since the reel and fishing line is on top of the rod, bigger fish tend to bend the rod down when pulling away. This provides more control when using heavier lures or reeling in bigger fish, like bass and trout.

However, casting reels do require more skill to maneuver it correctly. For this reason, baitcasting rods are used by experienced anglers since they can be hard to control.


Spinning Rods

Spinning rods are best to use lightweight lures and ideal to indulge in some surface fishing. While the baitcasting reel is mounted on top of the rod, spinning rods have the reel mounted on the bottom of the rod. However, they’re still made from durable materials, like fiberglass, carbon fiber, or graphite.

Fishermen tend to use spinning rods to catch catfish, panfish, and walleye since they’re ideal for fishing with live bait or trolling.

Since the reel is at the bottom of the rod, the tension is increased against the guide. This is the reason why spinning rods aren’t the best for larger fish, as the line can break or detach from the guide if you try to reel in a heavy fish.

Similarities Between Casting and Spinning Rods

  1. You are able to purchase them in any size and length. Generally, casting rods measure between four to fourteen feet, as spinning rods do. However, experienced fishermen tend to use rods that range from six to eight feet.
  2. They have an array of “action”, which can be slow, medium, and fasting, depending on the type of fish you are trying to capture. Slow-action rods are able to curve downward to all of its extents, but moderate-action allows it to bend until the middle. Thus, fast-action rods only arch at the top of the rod.
  3. Both rods use durable handle materials. Most rod handles are made of cork because they provided a stronger grip and more sensitive to the hand. However, they can also be made with EVA foam, which is more lightweight, durable, and requires less maintenance.

Difference Between Casting and Spinning Rods

Baitcasting Rods

  1. Casting rods are more pricey than spinning rods. Casting rods usually cost a couple of hundred dollars, but the price comes with quality.
  2. They have a greater casting distance than other fishing rods, which enables you to reach more fish.
  3. Baitcasting rods are known for their jaw-dropping aim and accuracy. I have known fishermen that use a baitcasting rod and are able to cast a lure about 35 meters away into their target zone with no difficulty.
  4. Although both rods are made of the same materials, baitcasting rods tend to have a longer lifespan than spinning rods because they resist greater tensions.
  5. Due to the position of the fishing reel, they can absorb force from fish that fight when you reel them in. Thus, it’s less likely for the fishing line to easily snap.
  6. You can use heavier lures and catch bigger fish, like bass and trout.
  7. Since these rods have a rotating spool with a high-quality line mechanism, they possess a great drag system.
  8. Unfortunately, they require experienced hands in order to be used appropriately and efficiently. For this reason, fishing enthusiasts and beginners are not able to handle baitcasting rods adequately.

Spinning Rods

  1. Spinning rods are more accessible than baitcasting rods because their costs are below $150.
  2. You can use lightweight lures and you can perform surface fishing using live bait.
  3. Since they have an easy-to-ease reeling mechanism, you are able to cast them easily from various locations.
  4. They are an excellent option for beginners because they’re easier to maneuver.
  5. The eyelets of the fishing reel can snap faster due to the reel’s position. Since the reel is underneath the rod, all the pulling force is placed on the guides. Thus, fish are able to snap it off more frequently. especially if they weigh more than average.
  6. Experienced anglers are not keen to use them because they don’t require professional handling.
  7. They are not as accurate as baitcasting rods when tossing a lure.

Although they both provide a thrilling fishing experience, you must handle them depending on the situation. It’s best to use a spinning rod if you are new to fishing and want to comprehend the basics of it. However, as you improve your skills and technique, you can transition to a baitcasting rod and enjoy the wonders of power and accuracy. Simply understand the capacity of each rod and use them to your advantage!

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Nathan Barker

My wife and I are huge adventure seekers! We've traveled and explored over 40 countries and want to share what we have learned on our journey. We'll be talking about everything from hiking and camping, to guides, reviews and tips that we're sure will help any avid adventurer no matter what walk of life. So relax, grab a cup of coffee and we hope you enjoy the read!