John Rankin

To Spin or Cast: That Is the Question

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shimnaAll bass fishermen have their own ideas concerning the use of spinning and bait casting reels. Most of us love one and shun the other due to experiences, and simply the way we were taught to fish. To spin or cast baits around for smallmouth bass really comes down to the conditions we are fishing in, and size/weight of lures we are casting. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each reel type, and see if you might want to consider changing the reel you are favoring most.

When deciding to use a spinning reel or baitcaster it is important to keep in mind modern spinning reels and baitcasting reels are vastly superior to what you might have grown up using. I say this because many people fishing stick to a particular type of reel because it is what they learned to use as a kid. This skews their attitude towards giving a different operating fishing reel a try. Old baitcasting reels were well known for backlashing. I call this mess a “crow’s nest” as the pile of line is as difficult to clear as taking apart a bird nest piece by piece.

Modern baitcasting reels have solved this problem with innovation and better construction. Casting reels are the choice for many pro’s due to more control over bait placement and speed of casting. Let’s face it, the only way to catch fish is putting your bait in the water, so it makes sense the more time the lure spends in the smallmouths living room the more often you are going to catch him. This is a big plus for selecting a bait casting reel.

Another reason for going with a casting reel is heavier line can be used. Spinning reels, unless they are very large saltwater, and to some extent freshwater reels, do not handle the heavier weight lines as well as casting reels. One other factor for going with a casting reel is their durability. Plainly put, there reels last longer, and this is important when you shell out serious cash for a good reel.

Now, the time to use a spinning reel is when casting light baits, jigs, drop shotting and other finesse techniques. Under docks is a great example of where the spinning reel out shines the bait caster. Lighter line can be used and this translates into better feel when a fish picks up your bait.

To spin or cast is a decision all fishermen will make at some point in their lifetime. Personally, I like both, and carry both so I have the best reel for the situation. I typically use my baitcaster for spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jerkbaits and sometimes wacky and texas rigged baits. You might want to try this as well.

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