Hook, line, and center – that’s how you catch a fish. Fishing seems pretty straightforward. You tie bait at the end of a hook, throw it in a body of water, and reel in your catch.
However, this seemingly three-step process might sound like a piece of cake to someone who knows nothing about fishing. Whereas an experienced angler will tell you that each step comes with its own technique and equipment.
This article is dedicated to the different types of fishing reels used for each technique, their pros, cons, and our final thoughts.
What Are the Different Types of Fishing Reels
Experienced anglers all over the world will tell beginners to choose their equipment wisely.
In hindsight, there are only two things that beginners need to be educated about when fishing – the different types of fishing rods and reels. The reel is attached to the rod and the hook. Fishing reels are what (quite literally) reel in your catch.
However, the reason why there are several varied types is that each one of them holds its own set of advantages and disadvantages. They’re linked to the type of catch you’re going for and the technique you’re using.
For example; we have spin cast, spinning, fly, baitcasting, and several others. Each reel has been designed to withstand a particular type of force (brute or light) depending on your catch.
We’ll go over each one by one for fishing reels explained better:
Spinning reels are arguably the most popular type of fishing reels. They’re considered ideal for beginners with their opencast design – a fixed spool, a large line capacity, and quick casting.
However, spinning reels are a bit more expensive than other types of reels such as spin-cast reels. Prices range from $50 to $150.
Spinning reels are the different types of fishing reels that work well with brute lures and lighter lures. If there’s one thing that’s holding spinning reels back beside their steeper price point, it’s handling the bail.
This type of fishing reel features a metallic bail that’s designed to draw in your catch. While it may simplify drawing it in, it’s difficult to rearrange the bail.
To cast with a spinning reel, you’ll disengage the bail and hold the line against the rod. The bail is the metallic part on top of the rail to prevent your line from unspooling.
When you feel resistance against the line (a catch) reel in your line by swinging your rod either from the side or overhead. Halfway through, let go of the line and aim the tip where you want your catch to land.
Spincast reels are the cheapest reels out of the different types of fishing reels. However, they are also some of the more technique-sensitive ones.
The technique might seem straightforward with the reel’s closed-face design (all the components are kept inside) and there’s only a button for anglers to press, but the reel isn’t made to handle brute force and the line can only go so far.
Spin-cast reels hold the advantage of being simple in their design and mechanism. The reel features a button that you push to extend the line and stop pushing when you’ve reached an adequate length.
They’re usually priced at $20 or might go up to $50.
Out of all three reels so far, the baitcasting reel is the most advanced one. Likewise, this means that only pro or experienced anglers can use them to the best of what they have to offer.
The reel requires a lot of skill and practice to effectively cast them. The reel tends to tangle up pretty easily and detangle just as difficulty.
The reel sits on top of the rod handle and features a semi-enclosed design with a stronger build. The spool tension knob and the braking system are two additional features found on baitcaster reels that help adjust the speed of the line, how far the line should go, and prevent it from turning.
As the line is released, the spool rotates with it. This offers greater accuracy and distance but is also more difficult to handle. Baitcasting reels offer more retrieving power and are best used against a catch that’s fighting with all its might.
All in all, baitcasters are powerful and customizable. However, they are also technique sensitive and expensive (prices start from $200 and go up to $500).
Other Types of Reels
Spinning reels, spin caster reels, and baitcasting reels are three of the most commonly used reels. However, they aren’t the only kinds that are used.
There are several other types of reels such as trolling reels and fly reels as well.
Trolling reels are more rigid (and expensive) than other kinds of reels. The reels are somewhat similar to baitcasting reels with the difference of the space between the yarn.
They feature carbon fiber or graphite line materials and are best used against stronger catches and brute force.
Where can you use a trolling reel? Seas and oceans. Trolling reels are your typical reels featured in movies and TV shows of lone fishermen at sea.
After spin caster reels, fly reels for fly fishing are the easiest and cheapest reels to use for beginners.
The reel has a straightforward design and requires little to no force. Likewise, it can only reel in catches from freshwater bodies and ponds.
Fly reels are priced between $20 to $50 or under this range. If you’re a beginner looking to tap into fishing in a nearby body of water for the first time, a fly reel is your first choice.
There are several different types of fishing reels available on the market today. Each one comes with its own set of specifications and technique requirements.
Some of them are more suited towards beginners, some for experienced fishermen and women, and some for only professionals.
Most reels feature the same basic design; a line, a control for the line, and a mechanism to reel the line back in.
While seemingly straightforward, this design varies between one reel and the next in terms of open-faced, closed-faced, and semi-enclosed designs plus the forces that they can withstand.