Have you ever been to a large outdoors store? You know the ones; the major chains with fishing sections larger than your local tackle shop’s parking lot. These places are like heaven for anglers, because they have every conceivable fishing lure, rod, tool, and accessory you can think of.
With so many options, you can be struck with near paralysis.
Just look at the reels. There are hundreds, if not thousands of options. How can you possibly make a decision? One of the first steps you can take is to decide whether you want a spinning reel or a baitcaster.
These two unique reels constitute the majority of bass fishing, as well as many other styles of angling, so let’s look at the advantages and drawbacks from each style. Whether you are just starting to fish or want to review the basics, this is the information you need before you buy.
A spinning reel is probably the most common type of fishing rod among anglers, especially those going after small to medium-sized fish like bass, redfish, and crappie. These reels have a fixed spool underneath the rod, and line is drawn out by the weight of the lure, bait, or tackle.
Benefits of a Spinning Reel
All around versatility is the biggest reason people choose spinning reels. They can be used to cast many different types of tackle, including artificial lures and live bait. Because they only need to pull the weight of the fishing line, spinning reels are especially useful for light tackle and bait.
Drawbacks of a Spinning Reel
While spinning reels are great for casting practically everything in your tackle box, they don’t always provide the best effectiveness for heavy lures. They are also not as accurate as baitcasters, so experienced bass anglers use them sparingly.
If you are just getting started in fishing, a versatile and easy-to-use spinning reel is probably your best option.
Baitcasters, also known as “bait casting reels”, are for the more experienced anglers who want better control and accuracy. With a baitcaster, the spool rotates as you cast, meaning the inertia has to be strong enough to move the spool but not so strong that it creates a rat’s nest. These types of reels require experience and skill, often requiring a full season’s worth or practice before they can be used effectively.
Benefits of a Baitcaster
The number one advantage for a baitcaster is accuracy. After hours of practice with a baitcaster, you’ll be able to put a lure exactly where you want it. You’ll also be able to stop the lure on a dime, meaning bad casts that are headed for a snag can be swiftly recovered.
Drawbacks of a Baitcaster
You need patience to use a baitcaster effectively. At first, it will seem impossible to cast correctly, and if you don’t stop the spool after the lure lands, the line keeps feeding out, creating a frustrating mess. They are also used for lures alone, so they don’t have the versatility of other reels.
When you are ready to upgrade your fishing and increase your accuracy, consider purchasing a baitcaster.
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Kyle Alsop and Taylor Bivins of Kansas State University are the winners of the 2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship, thanks to a series of consistent weights. They finished the tournament on Kentucky's Green River Lake with 36 pounds, 4 ounces.
The Kansas State team was the only one in the field of 89 teams to bring in more than 10 pounds every day.