Different Types of Fishing Reels: Which is Best For You?

Different Types of Fishing Reels
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There is no denying that fishing is one of the most relaxing activities out there. The calming waters will surely give you peace, while the satisfaction from catching one will always give you a high.

But to make the experience truly memorable, you have to be equipped with the right fishing reel for the specific fishing activity. The most common mistake that beginners make is to buy the first rod and reel combination they find and head off to the lake.

Unfortunately, doing so without prior research on the reel you need might lead to disaster.

That is why we suggest getting to know the different types of fishing reels first. You will be amazed by all the options you have out there, and how each one will help you make the most of your game.

Why Do You Have to Use the Right Fishing Reel?

Before diving into our discussion, we have to address this question that is commonly thrown our way.

Bear in mind that the different kinds of fishing reels were made because each serves a specific purpose. They are created to give the angler an edge for the fishing type he prefers, which is why they come in all shapes and sizes.

Also, some reels are meant for long-range casting while others are specially designed for shorter-distance casting. Others are also capable of reeling in heavy fish while others help you cast weightless baits without causing tangles.

Thus, having a deeper familiarity with all of these fishing reels will help you find the right one to take on your next fishing trip.

Different Kinds of Fishing Reels

With that in mind, we can now start discussing the different types of fishing reels. We’ve decided to give you an in-depth discussion of each type to help you understand them better.

Spinning Reel

What is Spinning Reel

One of the most popular reels in the market is spinning reels. Otherwise known as an open-faced fishing reel, a spinning reel is uniquely designed with a bail arm that makes casting more accurate and efficient. The angler controls the line by engaging or disengaging the bail, and this makes casting the line a lot easier.

Another notable feature of a spinning reel is that it attaches to the bottom of the rod. Most reels attach from above, so this is a noticeable reel positioning.

Because of the bottom attachment, you will benefit from a more balanced feel when casting the line. That allows you to throw it at impressive distances, especially if you’re throwing a significantly heavy bait or lure.

Because of how spinning reels are constructed, they are also capable of holding in braided lines. And as a result, you can depend on this reel to help you pull in a large catch.

But despite all this, a spinning reel isn’t perfect. Because of its open-faced design, you might end up with tangled fishing lines if you are not careful.

Overall, spinning reels are great if you want the line to travel at significant distances. They are also capable of reeling in large species of fish, which makes them perfect for experienced anglers.

Nevertheless, the simplicity of its design also makes it easy enough for beginners to use. You also can read about the Abu Garcia Revo spinning reel review! which makes gather better knowledge for you.

Spin Casting Reel

Another popular type of fishing reel is the spin-casting reel. This type of reel is known for its beginner-friendly design.

The most notable feature of the spin-casting reel is its spool control button. This button allows you to control when to release and stop the line. That gives the user maximum control over the casting range without much effort.

Also, spin-casting reels have a notable enclosed design. This type of fishing reel has a conical shell that protects all the internal workings of the reel.

While this keeps the interior from getting wet, this could also mean that cleaning it will be trickier. Thus, spin-casters require much upkeep to keep them functioning perfectly.

Another notable feature of the Spincast reel is its drag system. The drag system prevents the line from breaking – in case the fish tries to pull in the opposite direction. That keeps you from having to replace the line every time.

Despite the convenient innovation, Spincast reels are one of the most affordable reels on the market. This affordability plus ease of use make it a popular choice for beginners.

However, there are downsides to a spin cast reel. The first is that they are not as durable as the others on this list. As such, we do not recommend using them when fishing for larger fish.

And the second is that they are not suited for long-range casting. Keep these pointers in mind before buying this affordable fishing reel.

Baitcasting Reel

Baitcasting reels are also quite popular. Experienced anglers love baitcasting reels mostly because of their sturdy construction and versatility.

The baitcasting reel is mounted on top of the rod and is noted for its partially-enclosed design. As a result, it enjoys the durability of the spinning reel and the casting precision of the spin-casting reel.

However, we must note that the spool on this reel is exposed. Unlike the spinning reel, it does not have a bail arm that keeps the spool from unraveling while you handle the line.

You have to keep the line in with your thumb, and this can be tricky for beginners.

Among the three most popular kinds of fishing reels, the baitcasting reel is considered the most powerful. Like the spin-cast reel, it also comes with a superior drag system. But aside from that, it also has a braking system and a spool tension device that gives you better control over the line.

Also, the Baitcaster has narrower rod guides that allow the line to fly in a straight line. This makes for accurate casting.

Baitcast reels are also known for their sturdy construction. This allows them to withstand the forceful push-and-pull when you’re dealing with large and heavy fish. And that is why it is the go-to reel for serious anglers.

But to have all of these impressive features, you have to be willing to shell out a lot of money for this fishing reel.

Fly Fishing Reel

Another type of fishing reel that has been slowly gaining popularity is the fly fishing reel. As the name implies, it is specially designed for use during fly fishing.

Since fly fishing requires the use of lightweight lures, casting them accurately can be quite a challenge. That is why experts engineered this special type of reel to make it easier for fly-fishing anglers.

In terms of design, a fly fishing reel is similar to a spinning reel in the sense that it is also attached to the bottom of the rod.

This allows the angler to throw the line more accurately despite the seemingly weightless lure. Even if you have to cast it at notable distances, count on the fly fishing reel to do its job.

Fly fishing reels are also known for their durable construction. Since it is mainly used to catch fish like trout, it is expected to hold significant weight. Thus, you know it won’t break if you happen to make a large fish bite.

Because it is especially used for fly fishing, this type of reel requires a special angling technique that can be complicated for beginners.

Thus, we do not recommend this for fishing beginners.

Surf Fishing Reel

When it comes to saltwater fishing, no reel does better than a surf fishing reel.

Because saltwater is known for causing corrosion on metal parts, surf fishing reels are usually made of special aluminum, graphite, or similar corrosion-resistant material.

This allows it to withstand the moisture coming from saltwater to ensure prolonged longevity.

Also,  it must be noted that surf fishing involves long-range line casting. To do so, this type of fishing reel is specially designed with large spools and solid construction.

This allows it to hold onto the line despite the significant distance without fear of breakage. They are also designed to hold heavy lines that can be cast far enough for surf fishing.

However, there are downsides to a surf fishing reel. First, it can be quite heavy. Since you have to cast the line far enough, you have to exert extra effort to be successful.

And second, since these fishing reels are made of special materials, they can be quite pricey.

Trolling Reel/Conventional Reel

The trolling reel is another type that is growing in popularity. Otherwise known as a conventional reel or bottom fishing reel, a trolling reel is designed for catching large fish and deep-sea species.

At first glance, this fishing reel will appear like a bulkier version of any ordinary reel. But, if you look into its features, you’ll see that it is one of the sturdiest reels on the market.

One of the most notable features of the trolling reel is that it is built with one of the most powerful drag systems.

Since it deals with big game fish, it is expected to withstand strong pulls from large species. These sophisticated systems keep the line from breaking, so you can expect a successful catch.

Working hand-in-hand with the drag system is the superior brake system. This feature regulates the movement of the spool as the line is being cast. This keeps it from getting tangled to ensure a smooth retrieval afterward.

Since trolling involves dragging the line and luring across the water with the rod attached to the boat, these reels are designed to catch fish that are swimming near the surface.

Nevertheless, some models are bulky enough to support the line in deep parts of the sea for a more exciting catch.

Among the different kinds of fishing reels, it is safe to say that the trolling reel is the sturdiest. After all, it is meant to tackle the large species of the deep sea, so it is only necessary that it should be built solidly.

It is also relatively easy to operate, but the complicated setup may not always be the best for beginners. If you use an electric fishing reel you should know how electric fishing reels work properly you can read this review!

FAQs of The Different Kinds of Reels

For added information, we also decided to gather the following questions and answer them for you.

What are the different types of fishing reels?

In general, there are three main types of fishing reels: the spinning reel, the spin casting reel, and the baitcasting reel. But over the years, more types of fishing reels have been introduced to make fishing more convenient for everyone. These newer types of reels include the fly fishing reel, the surf fishing reel, and the trolling reel.

Which type of fishing reel is best?

It’s hard to choose the best type of fishing reel. After all, they all have different purposes.
But for the sake of answering this question, we believe the baitcasting reel is the best for catching large fish. It is also versatile and durable, which gives us good value for money.
But when it comes to the best fishing reel for entry-level users, it is a toss between the spinning reel and the spin caster reel.

What is the easiest fishing reel to use?

In terms of usability, there’s no doubt that the spin-casting reel is the easiest to use. It has a simple spool button that offers easy control over the line, so beginners can use it with ease.

The drag system also keeps your mind off of how the line holds up, so there is no need for complicated reeling techniques. GuideRecommended tells us enough about understanding drag system fishing reels.

What is the best fishing reel brand?

Several brands come into mind when we’re asked about the best reels. This includes ShimanoDaiwa, Penn, and Abu Garcia. All of their reels are made with premium materials and are perfectly designed for smooth casting, reduced tangles, and improved retrieval.

Now, look at it! which brand is best for the reels we did the best saltwater spinning reels reviewed.


The different kinds of fishing reels have their advantages and disadvantages. Knowing which one to use will greatly improve how you fish.

That is why we made sure that this article tackles all the important points you need to know about these fishing reels.

If you are a beginner, you can’t go wrong with a spin-cast reel. This is especially true if you go on fishing trips to relax.

But if you are someone who wants to become a professional game fisher one day, then you can start with the more complicated spinning reel.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a sturdy reel that can hold onto large fish, the baitcasting reel is your best friend.

For the sturdier version of a baitcasting reel, the trolling reel is your best bet especially if you plan on doing deep-sea fishing.

And if you’re learning special fishing techniques, you can use the fly fishing reel or the surf fishing reel to take the experience to the next level.

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