Spinning Vs Casting Rods Explained

Mark Johnson
Written by
Last update:

The Difference Between Spinning Vs Casting Rods

Before this discussion about spinning vs casting rods, we first need to understand the basics of fishing.

Fishing is all about getting the line into the water, keeping it in the water, and finally getting the fish off the hook without breaking the line.

Because fishing is all about keeping the line in the water, the strength of your line is the most important factor. To keep your line in the water, you need a strong connection to the line. To keep the fish on the line, you need a sensitive connection with action when the fish bites. The only way to keep all of this together is with split rings.

Split rings look like any ordinary ring except they have two parts. There’s a big flat side and a little round side. The big flat side slips over the fishing line and the little round side goes on the fishing hook.

To keep the split rings from sliding off the fishing line or the fishing hook, you’ve got to make sure you have a good connection between the big flat side of the split ring and the fishing line or fishing hook. You’ve also got to have a good connection between the little round side of the split ring and the fishing hook eye to make sure it stays on the fishing hook.

Two other things that help are the baits and rods you use. The baits that you use can help you catch more fish.

We Need Both Rod Types!

Most anglers only start off with a couple of simple casting rods and a spinning rod, then tend to go all-in with just spinning rods. Before you buy more spinning rods, it’s worth considering why you need them and consider buying a decent casting rod as well.

Spinning rods have a ball and socket joint between the top and bottom sections. When you cast using a spinning rod, the top and bottom sections rotate away from each other. This makes the connection between the two sections quite weak.

To overcome this weakness, spinning rods usually have smaller guides than casting rods. This allows the rod to be less stable, but it helps the rod to cast without breaking!

Casting rods have the strongest and most durable connection between sections, being a full I-beam joint. This means cast rods will be more solid and you can really load them up and get the bass out of the thickest of cover.

In addition to this, the top section of a casting rod is shorter and fatter than a spinning rod top section. This helps when you're fishing with live or soft plastics and need a very sensitive tip to detect bites or feel the weight of the lure. If you only own a casting rod, I guarantee you'll make every bit of it count and learn to fish to its strengths. Caster + Spinner

When to Choose a Spinning Rod

The most common two types of rods used in fishing are spinning and casting rods.

Spinning rods are normally those that are cast from the boat, but the name is derived from the type of retrieval. These are very flexible with a lot of power.

They are designed to handle heavy weights and large fish. Spinning rods are built for the angler who wants to fight fish on a level playing field.

The pros of spinning rods are:

{1}. You need less muscle to control the fish.
{2}. These are considered a universal rod.
{3}. Due to the lack of backbone in the rod, it handles fish better and doesn’t cause undue stress on the fish. It is also a good tool for teaching children how to fish.

The cons of spinning rods are:

{1}. Visualizing the strike is harder because of the flex of the rod.
{2}. It has a tendency to "tear" the fish, especially large ones.

When to Use Casting Rods

Casting rods are normally the X factor in the fisherman's arsenal. This type of rod is normally chosen by the experts.

It is the choice of the fisherman who desires accuracy. The casting rod can be designed to have more power or more flexibility, and in that way can be depended upon to get the job done.

When to Choose a Casting Rod

Casting rods are an excellent choice when you plan to fish in an area with extreme target distance and a lot of cover like lily pads or moss. The casting term “casting” refers to the distance of the target from where you are, so if the target is less than 10 feet from you, you won’t need a casting rod. If you know the target is more than 50 feet away, you need a casting rod.

The advantage of a casting rod is that it is usually more flexible. This means that you have a greater chance of keeping the fish on the line if your fish makes a sudden jerk. It may also be easier to keep in contact with your fishing line when the fish is constantly and quickly moving around in brush.

When you get a better understanding of casting rods, you will notice that there are many rods that are originally designed for cast fishing that are useful for spin fishing.

If There Has to be a Winner…

If there’s one area where spin vs. bait fishermen tend to disagree, it’s on this question: “What’s the best way to catch bass?” Nothing will start a good old-fashioned fish fight quicker than this debate. The truth is, both methods can produce bass, but you can maximize your odds by understanding the differences between casting and spinning gear.

What's the difference?

Casting equipment typically is made for slower presentations and shorter casts. Spinning equipment, on the other hand, is geared toward faster presentations and longer casts.

Why is this important?

DEPTH

Bass can be found in water only a couple of feet deep, but they also can be found in water 80 feet deep. If you’re casting, you’re limited to water less than 60 feet deep. If you’re spinning, you can go to water that’s up to 100 feet deep.

SPEED

Spinning reels hold much more line, giving you more casting distance and the ability to make longer, faster casts.

CLOSE QUARTERS