Spinning Rod Vs Casting Rod (What You Should Know)

spinning rod vs casting rod
Last updated:

Many who are new to angling can become overwhelmed with the choices of fishing rods.

They are mostly confused about the differences between casting rods and spinning rods.

Therefore, it can be challenging for new anglers when choosing a spinning or casting rod because they get confused about which one they should choose for their precise fishing purpose.

However, the spinning and casting rod are the two most common rods in the fishing world. They are used by many anglers, both professionals and novices.

So, understanding the differences between a casting rod and a spinning rod will help an angler to avoid mixing the rods up.

Although they are both great for fishing, you should get to know their in-depth features and differences to choose the one that best suits you.

In this article, we will dive into the key features of spinning and casting rods, detailing their differences, so you can decide which one to choose for your style of fishing.

Well, let’s begin!

Spinning Rod vs. Casting Rod

What Then is a Spinning Rod?

 

Spinning rods are fishing rods that come in many sizes ranging from a light action to medium trout rods.

Because of their variety in design and size, spinning rods are known to be the most multifaceted fishing rods used by many anglers.

While fishing with a spinning rod, it manages to bend from the strength of a bite on the line.

The spinning rod has a spinning reel that hangs below the rod, while the handle is on the other hand of the angler.

With the spinning rod, you can cast very lightweight lures, and a perfect setup for finesse fishing because the fishing line comes off the reel when you open the bale without turning the entire spool.

Spinning rods have a significant advantage when it comes to light lures, although a bigger spinning rod can throw huge baits at a long distance.

Also, a spinning rod has a big line guide, making the fishing line come off the spool in large loops. It has an overall soft feel to the backbone.

It has a curved bin that covers more of the rod blank.

Spinning rod features

  • The spinning rod has a spinning reel that hangs below it, with the handle attached to it for an angler to hold.
  • It has an audible drag system.
  • It has an overall soft feel to the backbone

When to Use a Spinning rod

Generally, spinning rods are lighter because of their tinner rods.

So, spinning rods work best when fishing lighter baits, or you can say when finesse fishing (when using things like an egg rig, a lightweight wacky rig, a weightless worm) and all those techniques where you are finessing more, and the baits are generally smaller.

But it doesn’t mean you must only use them when light fishing; rather, it is proven to excel with more lightweight, more finesse, and more sensitive techniques.

It is this way for several reasons:

  • You can easily cast and handle lighter lures.
  • When you flip the bill to cast the reel, the line takes little effort to pull up the spool.

So, it doesn’t need much lure weight or much effort to get the line to start coming off the spool.

What is a Casting Rod?

The casting rod or baitcasting rod is a fishing rod with a baitcasting reel or spin casting reel attached to it for fishing.

It is designed so that when you hold the rod, the guides, and baitcasting reel seat upwards.

Just like the spinning rods, the casting rods come in different lengths and sizes for catching varieties of fish.

They are available in a wide range of different gear ratios.

Baitcasting rods are considered a must for bass fishing and more heavyweight usage.

Some of the most used bass fishing lures, such as crankbaits and jigs, are best used on bait casting reels.

Casting rods have stiffer backbones that help set the hook and pull a bass or the kind out of a heavy cover.

The baitcasting rod has a smaller first guide since the fishing line comes straight off the baitcasting reel.

It sort of offers a greater casting accuracy. The casting rod bends at the tip for sensitivity, but then the blank stiffens quickly for power.

It is also necessary to note that, unlike the spinning rod setups that come off the reel without turning the entire spool, the casting setup, on the other hand, has to spin to release the line.

It will require more force or weight to spin and release the line.

The action of the cast rod is much more near the end of the rod. That is because only about a quarter of the rod has the action; the rest is a stiff backbone.

Casting Rods Features

  • Casting rods have stiffer backbones
  • Their guides and baitcasting reels are facing upwards.
  • The spool requires more force or weight to spin to release the line.

When to Use a Casting Rod

Casting rods are best to use on bigger lures, big spinnerbaits, huge swim bait, and when targeting a power fish.

Because baitcasting rods are designed for heavier weights, it is best to use them for heavier lures from a quarter ounce upwards.

It is excellent to use a casting rod when bass fishing as well. Although using a casting set up to cast a lightweight bait can be done, it would be pretty challenging.

Because it is going to require a whole lot of fine-tuning of the brake system and effort since it has far less whip in the rod, unlike the spin rod with soft parabolic flexibility. You will also sacrifice a greater casting distance.

The Key Difference Between a Spinning Rod and a Casting Rod

1) The rod’s backbone

The spinning rod has an overall soft feel to the backbone, more like soft parabolic flexibility, while the Casting rod only has about a quarter of the rod action near the end, and the rest is a stiff backbone.

Guides and reels placements 

The spinning rod has its guide and reel sitting below it, while the casting rod has its guide and reel facing upwards.

2) The Spool 

With a spinning rod setup, it doesn’t take that much weight of a lure or much effort to get the line to start coming off the spool, while the casting setup requires more force or weight to spin and release the line.

3) Line guides

Spinning rods have fewer line guides than the casting rods

4) Usage

Spinning rods work best when fishing lighter baits, or you can say when finesse fishing, while Casting rods are best to use on bigger lures, big spinnerbaits, huge swim bait, and when targeting a power fish.

The Benefits of a Spinning Rod

Spinning rods do not require heavyweight lures to use, and it works excellent when finesse fishing.

In addition, it is easy to use since it only requires a consistent, straightforward approach and is very versatile.

The Benefits of a Casting Rod

You can use casting rods for bigger or heavier lures, big spinnerbaits, huge swim bait, and when targeting a power fish.

The casting may bend at the tip for sensitivity, but then the blank stiffens quickly for power, and with the power it provides, you can pull a bass or the kind out of a heavier cover.

Which Rod Should You Choose

You might want to know what the best fishing rod is, but the truth is between casting and spinning rods, it really depends on the technique you are using and what type of fish you are targeting.

The spinning and casting pole are both great, but they are for different applications.

If your targeted fish requires smaller or lightweight baits and freshwater finesse fishing, you should consider going with the spinning reels.

On the other hand, in situations where you are targeting power fish or bass and for inshore saltwater fishing, you should go with the casting setup since casting rods tend to work perfectly for heavier baits and lures.

Sometimes it comes down to personal preference. Some anglers prefer one to another and stick to it because they are more comfortable with it.

As I mentioned, you can also use a casting pole to cast a lightweight bait, but it would be pretty challenging.

Because it is going to require a whole lot of fine-tuning of the brake system and effort since it has far less whip in the rod, unlike the spin rod with soft parabolic flexibility.

In general, it is recommendable for beginners to begin by using a spinning rod since it’s much easier or simple to master.

Should I Have Both a Casting Rod and a Fishing Rod? 

Obviously!

Owning a spinning and casting rod is excellent because they are best for different fishing situations.

As an angler who would want to enjoy his fishing experience, it is necessary to have both.

So that you can easily explore all the fishing techniques, whether lightweight freshwater finesse fishing or inshore saltwater heavyweight fishing.

Conclusion

To conclude, I would say go for both or the one that suits you.

In this article, we have explained what a spinning rod is and what a casting rod is and gave an in-depth comparison of both rods.

We also discussed each rod’s benefits, when to use it and what it is best used for.

Now you’ve gotten to know their in-depth features and differences and learned that they are both great for fishing, it is left for you to decide and choose the one that best suits you.

I hope this article answers your questions. Scroll down to read more about fishing reels and rods and the best ones to buy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the differences between spinning rods and casting rods?

The spinning rod has its guide and reel sitting below it, while the casting rod has its guide and reel facing upwards. Spinning rods have fewer line guides than casting rods. With a spinning rod, it doesn't take that much weight of a lure or much effort to get the line to start coming off the spool, while the casting rod requires more force or weight to spin and release the line.

Spinning rods work best when fishing lighter baits, or you can say when finesse fishing, while Casting rods are best to use on bigger lures, big spinnerbaits, huge swim bait, and when targeting a bigger fish.

What should I know about spinning rods and casting rods?

Spinning and casting rods are rods that come in many sizes ranging from a light action to medium and heavy trout rods. The spinning rod has a spinning reel that hangs below the rod, while the handle is on the other hand of the angler. With the spinning rod, you can cast very lightweight lures and a perfect setup for finesse fishing. But the casting rods are best to use on bigger lures, big spinnerbaits, huge swim bait, and when targeting a fish-like bass.

Should I get a casting rod or a spinning rod?

You might want to know what the best fishing rod is, but the truth is between casting and spinning rods, it depends on the technique you are using and what type of fish you are targeting. The spinning and casting rod are both great, but they are for different applications. If your targeted fish requires smaller or lightweight baits and freshwater finesse fishing, you should consider going with the spinning rod.

On the other hand, in situations where you are targeting fish or bass and for inshore saltwater fishing, you should go with the casting rod since it works perfectly for heavier baits and lures. Sometimes it comes down to personal preference. Some anglers prefer one to another and stick to it because they are more comfortable with it.