Five Amazing Tips On How To Buy Fishing Reel: #1 Is Just For You

What is the best fishing reel for an angler? Honestly, there is no “one size fits all” answer when it comes to choosing fishing reels and rods. However, there are different types of fishing reels for different functions and occasions. The type of fishing reel and rod you choose depends on your experience and personal preference. In addition, the type of fishing method you intend to use may also determine the type of rod and reel you decide to choose. Without further ado, allow me to introduce you to the basics of selecting an ideal reel for the job.


Types Of Fishing Reels And Rods

There are five main types of fishing reels available on the market including spincast, spinning, baitcasting, trolling, and fly-cast reels. Each of these reels requires a specific type of rod to successfully cast the fishing line.

1) Spincast Reels

I would recommend the spincast reel to anyone with little or no experience in angling. Spincast reels are the most basic types of fishing reels you can find. They are also ideal for teaching sport fishing to both kids and grownups. The spincast reel attaches to the top part of the fishing rod. The reel spool is then secured in place by a nose cone. This nose cone helps to prevent line snarling or backlashing.

To spool the line, the angler holds down a button located on the reel to unlock the pick-up pin. Since spincast reels spool a large amount of lines, their gear mechanism is quite slow. When fish bites the bait, the angler then retrieves the line by turning a crank lever on the reel.

Spin Cast Reels Are Suitable For Both Beginner And Experienced Anglers

Spincast reels are suitable for both beginner and experienced anglers

Basic baits will work on a spincast reel. However, due to a slow working reel, you will not be able to use advanced bait including buzz baits and inline spinners. I would recommend the spincast reel if you are only fishing as a hobby.

Anti-Reverse Feature Drag Reel

Modern spincast reels have an anti-reverse feature and an advanced drag system. These two features work together to prevent fishing line backlashing or snarling.

Spincast reels are best handled with fiberglass rods. Fiberglass is durable and can withstand the constant abuse that comes with sport fishing. When buying a spincast reel, it is advisable to go with the newer models in the market.


  • Ideal for beginning anglers.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Advanced drag and anti-reverse system to prevent line backlashing


  • Low gear mechanism prevents the reel from using heavier line and bait

2) Spinning Reels

The French company, Mitchell Reel, introduced the first spinning reels in 1948. The spinning reel attaches below the rod as opposed to the top. They also came with pick-up mechanism to retrieve line faster while battling fish.

To reinforce the pick-up pin is an anti-reverse feature. This feature locks the crank handle in place to prevent it from rotating and spooling out more line. Without the crank handle spinning, the reel line experiences tension known as drag.

Spinning Reels Feature An Advanced Drag To Reel In Aggressive Fish

Spinning reels feature an advanced drag to reel in aggressive fish

Spinning reels only work with light lures. A lighter lure does not exact a pull on the rotating spool therefore making casting easier. A spinning reel works with fiberglass or carbon-graphite fishing rods. The fishing rods come with large line guides that reduce friction on the line.

A light monofilament line pairs well with a spinning reel. To cast the fishing line, the angler unlocks a lever known as the bail. He then holds onto the line with the forefinger.

Using A Backward Snap Then A Forward Cast Of The Rod, The Line Reel Spools An Even Amount Of Line

Using a backward snap then a forward cast of the rod, the line reel spools an even amount of line


  • Light and easy to handle.
  • Ideal for fishing walleyes and crappies.
  • Anti-reverse to lock line in position


  • Cannot work with heavy lure

3) Baitcasting Reels

If you are casting heavy lines and lure, I will recommend the baitcasting reels. The baitcasting reels are the most versatile in the number of line and bait that can work on them.

Bait Casting Reels Are Also Mounted On Top Of The Rod

Bait casting reels are also mounted on top of the rod

The early version of the bait cast reel did not have an anti-reverse mechanism. Anglers had to use their thumb to regulate how much line spools. Modern day baitcasting reels have a special future known as centrifugal brake. It acts as a tension feature that controls how much line leaves the spool. The centrifugal brake eliminates the problem of overruns or rampant line snares.

Baitcasting Reel With Anti-Reverse Mechanism

Baitcasting reel with anti-reverse mechanism

Baitcasting reels accommodate a variety of fishing line. You can use copolymer fluorocarbon or the new braided low stretch lines. Nylon monofilament lines are another option, especially for the budget conscious angler.

Early versions of baitcasting reels could only work on 5 to 6 feet fishing rods. Today it is possible to find baitcasting reels on 7 and 9 feet fishing rods.


  • Highly versatile in functionality.
  • Uses a variety of fishing lines.
  • Centrifugal brake to prevent reverse action of line


  • May be complex for a beginner to use

4) Trolling Reels

Trolling reels suit a specific fishing technique known as trolling. This fishing style uses a line with a hook on the end camouflaged by lure to entice fish. This line attaches to a fixed rod on a boat. The boat drags the line behind as the boat moves.

Trolling Reel For Big Game Fishing

Trolling reel for big game fishing

Modern day trolling reels have three distinct features. The braking or drag-line system which holds the line steady when fighting larger fish. There is an on and off lever that releases or retrieves the spooled line. Thirdly, an inbuilt clicker that also acts as an alarm when the line is out. Some trolling reels may include what you call a line counter. It replicates the exact amount of line used to catch fish on a previous trolling hunt.

The trolling reel attaches to the top part of the rod. There are two types of fishing rods used for trolling. The first type is the long and limber rods used as downriggers. The second kind are the planer board that suit larger crank baits.

Trolling reels have one advantage over other reels. They can accommodate various fishing lines for different trolling hunts. I have used a monofilament and lead core lines when trolling for salmon and walleyes. Anglers trolling on salty waters may prefer wire fishing lines. Materials used in making wire lines include stainless steel, titanium, and metal alloy.

Trolling Reels Can Accommodate Many Fishing Lines

Trolling reels can accommodate many fishing lines

Lastly, we have the modern low-braid super lines. These are ideal when trolling for spinners or big plugs.


  • In-built alarm to alert angler when there is a tag on the line.
  • Uses various types of fishing lines.
  • Sturdy and durable rod.


  • Not suitable for amateur anglers.

5) Fly-cast Reels

Fly-casting is a fishing technique that has existed since ancient times. Fly-casting was popular in Europe for sport fishing trout and salmon. Nowadays, anglers go fly-casting with simple tools like fly-casting line and a lure-hook.

Fly-cast reels use lures made of feathers, fur, or foam. The lure will mimic the movement of tiny creatures like minnow and insects. The lure attaches to the hook end using an accessory known as a tippet.

Fly Cast Reels Are Best Used With A Lure

Fly casting reels are best used with a lure

Fly-casting uses long, thin, and flexible rods. Common materials used to make the rods include bamboo, fiberglass, and carbon-graphite. For successful fly-casting, the fishing rod must be 6-14 feet in length. Fly-cast lines can either be double tapered, leveled, or float and sink.

An important factor to know is that fly-casting reels do not use lure sinkers. Since the lure is non-weighted, you will have to rely on the weight of the line for successful casting.

Generally, The Fly Casting Lines Will Almost Be The Same Weight As The Rod Itself

Generally, the fly casting lines will almost be the same weight as the rod itself

Similar to the spinning reel, the fly-casting reel is also mounted underneath the rod. Earlier fly-cast reels lacked a line brake to control amount of line spooled. Anglers had to use their palms to prevent line tangling or the “bird’s nest”.


  • Camouflages the hook when baiting fish.
  • Ideal for fishing bigger aggressive fish.
  • Uses various types of fishing lines.


  • Not suitable for beginning anglers.


Are you informed of the type of fishing reel and rod you need to get? Many beginners are not sure of the type of fishing rod and reels to use in their fishing excursions. I hope you found this article comprehensive in explaining the major types of fishing reels available on the market.

Years of angling experience played a big role in helping me understand different types of fishing reels and rods as well as their applications. Armed with the knowledge I shared, you should not find it hard to find the fishing reel and rod that suits you.

If you already made an order, comment below and let me know what you got and why. Also, share this article with anyone you feel will find the information useful as well.

Lucas Bryant

Hi, I’m Lucas Bryant and fishing is one of the most important parts of my life. I usually go fishing with my friends and have many fishing competition. That why I like to research and create many tips to get more fishes to win a race. I hope my experience will be useful for you.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 1 comments
James Brad - 3 years ago

Excellent guide. Very comprehensive. One of the most thorough posts on fishing guide that I’ve read. I am commenting to congratulate the writer for coming up with such a creative headings for all the 5 points. In short, all the 5 points are just perfect about fishing reel.


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