3 Types of Fishing Reels (Beginners Guide)

James Thomas

Last updated Apr 4, 2022
I'm a fishing blogger and I love to write about my experiences fishing. My blog is a place where I can share my tips, tricks, and tales with other anglers.

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3 Types of Fishing Reels

Fishing reels are the vitals for a perfect move on the moment and winning your desired trophy. And there are multiple options available. 

Some are better for specific types of fishing, while others are more versatile. Each has its unique benefits and drawbacks that make it better or worse for certain situations. 

Knowing which type of reel will work best for your fishing style is important to get the most out of your gear. That’s why you need to know the common types of reels and what they are best used for.

In this article, we will take a closer look at each of these types of fishing reel and discuss when it is best to use them.

Types of Fishing Reels

When it comes to fishing reels, there are four different types: spincast, spinning, baitcasting, and fly. Each style is distinct and efficient in specific situations, so it’s important to choose the one best suits your needs.

Spincast reels are perfect for beginners, as they are easy to use and require little maintenance. Spinning reels are great for larger fish, as they can handle heavier lines and lures. Baitcasting reels are perfect for experienced anglers who need more control over their lure. 

Fly reels are ideal for fishing in streams or other small bodies of water, as they can handle light lines and small lures. But fly reels are now widely discontinued for the complex usage and expensive pricing compared to the efficacy.

1. Spincast Reel

Spincast Reel

A spin-cast reel is perfect for the beginner angler. It is easy to use and very budget-friendly. The spin cast reel sits on top of the rod, and a small button releases the line on the top of the reel. This makes it easy for beginners to cast without worrying about backlash. 

Best for: Small and light baits, Inshore angling

Not for: Large game, Long casting.

Design and Specification

The spin-cast reel is designed to provide anglers with a simple and efficient way to cast bait or lures. The reel has a nose cone that protects the line during casting and a button on the toggle that allows the angler to change the direction of the line easily. The drag is located on the right side of the reel, next to the reel handle, making it easier for anglers to control the tension on their line.

How to cast a spincast reel

Casting a spincast fishing reel is maybe the easiest casting ever. To launch a spin-cast reel, press the spool control button and swing the rod forward. Release the button to cast when you are satisfied with the line motion towards your desired point, press the button again. 


  • Spincast reels are a great option for those looking for an easy and affordable reel. 
  • Casting with a spin cast reel is simple, making it perfect for beginners or kids. 
  • The line rarely tangles, making it a favorite choice for those who fish in tight spaces.


  • As spin-cast reels are a cheap option, you may face some durability issues. 
  • The spin-cast reel has a limited casting range.

2. Spinning Reel

Spinning Reel

Spinning reels are the most popular type of reel and are used for various fish. They have a very simple design with a line that wraps around a stationary spool. This makes them easy to use and perfect for novice anglers.

Best for: Saltwater, Freshwater, Small lures and baits, Braided line

Not for: Large and fast fishes

Design and Specification

A spinning reel has an open face with the drag adjustment on top. It holds the line and a metal bail. And the metal bail locks the line from unspooling. The specialty of the spinning reel is the rod is held below the reel. And that’s why you can cast the line more naturally. The line is drawn by surface tension to the reel’s spool and held by a drag; the blade retains contact with the line throughout the cast or whatever gravitational action occurs during the cast.

How to cast spinning reel

When casting a spinning reel, you need first to disengage the bail. Hold the rod with your left hand and use your right hand to squeeze the line against the rod with your index finger. Then, use your right hand to flick the bail arm away from the spool. Next, place your left hand behind the rod and slowly move it forward while keeping tension on the line. When you have reached the desired distance, release the line and allow the lure to fly through the air.


  • A spinning reel can produce intense power and can be used for both light and heavy fish.
  • The biggest advantage of a spinning reel is its versatility. It is perfect for multiple species and different water conditions.
  • This reel is a great choice for anglers who want one reel that can do it all. 
  • Additionally, a spinning reel is easy to use and requires little maintenance, making it ideal for beginners.


  • The performance of a spinning reel drops off significantly when used continuously for heavy lures. 
  • The tangled line is a common issue with spinning reels when you can’t cast the bail carefully.

3. Baitcasting Reel

Baitcasting Reel

Baitcasting reels are ideal for larger fish because they can handle heavier lines and lures. They have a more complex design with a rotating spool that sits on top of the reel body. This makes them more difficult to use but also more accurate.

Best for: Veteran fisher, Large lure, and baits, Heavy target

Not for: Beginners

Design and Specification

The baitcasting reel is a popular choice for anglers targeting larger fish. Its semi-closed design sits on the top of the rod handle, and its spool tension knob ensures that the line is tightly wound around the spool. The braking system can be adjusted to allow more or less control while casting. The baitcasting reel is also very sturdy, making it ideal for saltwater environments.

How to cast a baitcasting reel

When casting a baitcasting reel for the first time, it is important to remember a few key things. First, the baitcasting reel does not have bail on the reel. This will allow you to thumb the spool easily. Then, use a clip to lock the line in place before casting. Finally, make sure your lure is properly weighted to cast correctly.

Practice casting in an open area once you have these basics down until you feel comfortable with it. Remember to keep your arm straight and use your whole body to cast. Be patient, and eventually, you will be able to throw like a pro!


  • When it comes to powerful fish in a challenging environment, baitcasting reels are the choice gear for many anglers. 
  • Compared to spinning reels, bait casters provide more control and can handle larger fish with ease. 
  • They are also perfect for fishing in windy conditions, as they are less prone to backlash. 
  • Baitcasters can be customized to match each angler’s needs, making them a very versatile tool.


  • It can be tricky to cast if you don’t have the proper experience. 
  • Expensive compared to other reels. 

Frequently Asked Question

Which type of reel is best?

Baitcast reels are best for general use. They are the most powerful and almost go with every difficult environment. However, beginners who need affordability and easy user specification can go for spin-cast or spinning reels. 

What does reel size 30 mean?

This size mentioned in the reel means it’s a 3000 or 30 powered reel mostly for 6 to 10lb for mono-lines and 6-14lb for braided lines. It is suited for small targets like Bass, Flathead, Bream, Tarwhine, KG Whiting over rivers, lakes, and harbors. 

Which reel is called an open face reel?

The open-face reel is none other than the most versatile spinning reel. Because the spool and other parts remain open in a spinning reel, this reel is affordable and widely used as a basic reel. 

What is the easiest reel to use?

The spin cast reel is one of the easiest reels to use and is perfect for novice anglers. These reels can be operated with just one click on a spool. They are inexpensive, making them a popular choice for those looking for an affordable option.

Final Words

In conclusion, there are many different fishing reels available on the market. It is important to do your research and find the right one. Hopefully, this article has helped you do just that! 

However, consider the types of fishing reel you will be doing, the size of the fish you will be catching, and your budget before purchasing.

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