[5] Different Types of Fishing Reels Explained

Like any other piece of fishing gear, a reel is one that you should use for careful consideration when in the buying process. While most people are familiar with a reel’s basic function, many are unaware that many different types of fishing reels are available on the market and their uses.

Different Types of Fishing Reels Explained

This article will walk you through the process of choosing a new reel and why it will be the best one for you!

Things to Consider When Selecting Fishing Reel

There are a few aspects to keep in mind when looking for a new reel:

Compatible With Your Rod

Your rod is the first thing you must remember when buying a new reel. Though a great reel is easy to find, it won’t be worth anything if it isn’t compatible with your fishing pole. You should also keep in mind the line you’ll be using, as that will also come into play. But the most important thing is that the reel is balanced compared to the rod. Having a properly balanced rod is a great first step in catching a fish.

Find A Reel That’s Durable

As with all of your fishing gear, your reel should be the highest quality that you can afford. While a super cheap reel might be tempting, in the long run, you will get much more use out of something that is well made. That’s not to say there are not good options out there at an affordable price, but be aware of what brands are known as the quality and which ones aren’t. 

Match Your Skill Level

A reel that you would use as a beginner fisherman can and will most likely be different from the one that an experienced angler will use. Make sure that you choose a reel that matches your personal skill level. New anglers will definitely have an easier time using spincast and spinning reels over a baitcasting reel. 

Types of Fishing Reels

Now that you are ready to select a reel, it is time to look at some specifics of the most popular types on the market. There are three main types of reels on the market today: baitcasting, spinning, and spincasting reels. 

1. Baitcasting Reels

Most anglers that have some experience will usually use baitcasting reels. They rely more on the weight of a lure to launch a line through the air and handle different lines well, which makes them a great choice for fishing larger species. 

Baitcasting reels really shine in the amount of accuracy and control they give an angler. They are most efficient in the hands of an experienced angler since they take a little more control when used. A fisherman must learn to touch the line just right and at the right time to stop the lure as it hits the water, or it can cause a backlash, a tangle of line that is difficult to fix.

Types of fishing reels: Baitcasting Reels
Baitcasting Reels

This reel is great for use in isolated areas that require accurate casting. Whether it’s casting around logs, trees, or rocks, they will hit their spot in the right hands. They also retrieve extremely well, making them great for using lures like spinners or crankbaits. 

2. Spincast Reels

Spincast reels are probably the most popular and relevant to most people, as the majority of anglers start out and learn to fish using this type of reel. They are very simple to use and set up. Unlike a baitcasting reel, a spincast reel takes much less effort to use.

A spincast reel is essentially a small spinning reel with a plastic cover over the line. This prevents tangles and keeps the line uniformly stored. There is also no need to hold the line while casting, and a simple button can be pressed that allows the line to run loose. Spincasters are the best choice for beginners because of their simplicity. Most advanced anglers have started to move away from spincast reels as they do not offer the most functionality that other reel types offer. 

3. Spinning Reels

Easily one of the most popular reels are spinning reels. This is because they are easy to use and work well in many different situations. Less practice is needed to use a spinning reel than a baitcasting reel, yet they offer more variety and options than a simple baitcasting reel. This makes them a great pick for a variety of skill levels. While they may not have as much power as a baitcaster and can’t handle a super heavy line, the benefits greatly outweigh the negatives. Spinners are very useful when using smaller baits and lures and help an angler feel fish strikes and bites at the end of their lines. 

4. Surf Fishing Reels

The only main difference between surf fishing reels and regular fishing reels is that they are made to withstand the harsh environment around the ocean. The combination of salt, water, and the air is hard on equipment, so they are usually coated in corrosion-resistant materials that keep them strong over time. While you can use a number of reels while ocean fishing, the most common are spinning reels. 

Types of fishing reels: Surf Fishing Reel
Surf Fishing Reel

5. Fly Fishing Reels

Fly fishing reels are made especially for a fly rod, as the two work hand in hand to cast and fish. They must be balanced and allow a user to use the weighted line to cast a small, lightweight fly into the water. Fly reels are usually machined out of a solid piece of metal, which makes them lighter and stronger. They put a big amount of time into the drag system, as this is an important part of fly fishing. They will either include a click system or a disc drag system, both of which work well in order to catch fish. 

Types of fishing reels: Fly Fishing Reel
Fly Fishing Reel

Types of Fishing Reels | Final Thoughts

When it comes to fishing, a good reel will make the difference between catching fish or untangling knots all day long. Whatever you choose, make sure you pick a reel that fits your needs and budget. If you have any questions about reels or other fishing equipment, feel free to leave us a comment. Happy fishing!