What are the different types of fishing reels?(Pros and cons full explained)

Do you wanna choose right reel for you? Well, that’s possible only when you have deep insights of different types of reels so in this article, we will discuss 10 different types of reels that can make your 2023 a memorable year!

When a passionate fishing lover wants to learn fishing himself then the question of choosing the right type of reel becomes confusing especially for a newbie. Many people wanna buy fishing gear for their near and dear ones but due to the lack of knowledge about the features of reels it becomes difficult to choose according to their requirement. Although we have discussed the topic of Spincast reel vs spinning cast in detail however, there is need to describe the features of other reels as well so, it becomes easy for you to choose according to your environment and personality.

Explanation of different types of fishing reels:

Spincast reel:

If you are a beginner angler or wanna extremely easy reel then on the basis of our experience recommend Spincast reel is designed for you. As a matter of fact, every fishing expert will agree with this aforementioned notion because of the convenience that Spincast reel provides. It has a casting button just behind it and when you click that it makes the line to start moving forward toward another end in which lure is attached. This reel has spool; it is basically a part through which string is attached and on the other end lure is attached so, after clicking the button this spool gets freed and, in this way, lure starts moving down. Following are some of the main advantages and disadvantages of these reels types:

How spincast reels look like:

Spincast reel
Types of fishing reel number 1
How spincast reel look like?

Advantages of spincast reels:

  • It is very easy to cast so that is why it is beginner friendly.
  • It is easy to understand and use so it’s good for kids as even the 4 to 5 years old kid can cast it.
  • It is suitable for nearly all kinds of small fishes.
  • If you are a beginner then one of its advantages for you will be its low cost.

Disadvantages of spincast fishing reels:

  • It is not durable especially when it is made up of plastic material furthermore its durability gets affected by rusting and corrosion.
  • It is not suitable for many of the big basses so, it will be disadvantage for you when you want to catch big fishes.

How to cast a Spincast reel?

Spinning reel:

It is bit advanced reel and it is different in terms of its structure and pricing as compared to other reels. One important thing that you can notice in its appearance is it is usually hanging below the rod in contrast to other reel in which reel setup is above or behind the fishing rod. The second part that distinguishes this reel from others is bail that extends above from one side to other; the function of this bail is to open or close the casting of reel. The part that is used to attach with that of fishing rod is known as reel foot while just above the handle there is spool on which string is collected or released. The pictorial view these reels are following:

How spinning reels look like?
Fishing reel type 1
Pictorial view of spinning reels

The advantages and disadvantages of it are following:

Pros of spinning reels:

  • It can cast longer among other reels.
  • It has longer life as compared to other reels.
  • This reel can help you to cast lighter lures more effectively.
  • Effective to deal with the bird nests or backlashes.
  • More expensive than that of Spincast reels however it is less expensive than that of baitcasting reels.
  • Handles can be adjusted on the right and left side as this causes convenience to adjust for both left and right-handed persons.

Cons of spinning reel:

  • To get the accurate results you have to learn properly about the string adjustment with that of thumb.
  • Complicated in terms to avoid backlashes especially for beginners.
  • Appropriate for lighter lures or basses

How to cast spinning reel:

Baitcasting reel:

Baitcasting reel is one of the most advanced ones and it is mostly used for heavier baits and heavier lines. These are basically used for heavier basses and mostly these types of reels are used by advanced anglers because of the expertise that are needed in terms of spooling. As explained earlier, the Spincast reel as well as spinning reels are more beginner friendly as compared to baitcasting as the appearance and functioning of this reel will prove this notion as well. The first thing that makes the baitcasting reel different from rest of them is button just beneath the spool. If you wanna understand the functioning of baitcasting reel in detail then you can checkout article that has described its part in detail.

Baitcasting reel
Types of fishing reel 3
How Baitcasting reels look like?

On the basis of our exposure to these reels we’ve found following striking things about them.

Pros of baitcasting reel:

  • You can control your spool so; this gives you control over casting lures according to requirement.
  • If you wanna accurate results then you may not be able to find something better than baitcasters.
  • Baitcaster have lots of varieties in terms of retrieval speed; that actually is when you cast a lure with the help of line then you retrieve that line with the help of handle so, that speed matters when a fish for example is caught and how you make it to move toward you.
  • They are more compact in terms of their size so because of their small sizes they are easy to hold.
See also  Top 10 Best Baitcasting Reels Under $200

Cons of Baitcasting reels:

  • They need more practice to master all of its aspects as such spooling, casting and best lures for it.
  • They are complex so it is difficult to avoid line twists as well as backlashes or bird nest; all the fancy terms associated with entangling string.
  • They are more costly as compared to the other reels such as spinning reel.

How to cast a Baitcasting reel for a beginner:

Fly fishing reels:

Fly fishing reels are quite simple in their appearance as there are two most important things to understand in them. One is that of drag that in simple words is used to make the string or fishing line tighter or loose according to the requirements. The spool design of fly-fishing reels is also quite simple and easy to use as well. These types of reels usually have spool having holes like structure in their frame and through these holes the string that is wrapped inside on the spool becomes visible. According to Lefty Kreh who is expert (Also known as father of fly fishing) it is the easiest way of fishing to teach even to a child. Fly fishing is often attached with trout however it is misconception among the masses so, it can be used for other fishes as well. If we just make the summary of fly-fishing gear then it would consist of a reel having spool, fishing line, rod, flies as lure, as well some of other basic accessories like seizer. It differs from other baitcasting fishes because of the fact lure in fly fishing lies on the surface of water while in the later the baits lie beneath the surface. You can observe the picture of fly fishing reel as following:

Picture of Fly fishing reel
Fishing reel type 4
Fly fishing reel

If you wanna know how to cast it then you can watch following video:

Advantages of Fly fishing reels:

  • It is suitable for both salt water as well as fresh water.
  • Best for variety of fishes and effective for small mouth as well as long mouth basses.
  • It is not complicated so beginner friendly.
  • They can be used to cast lures at large distances.
  • It is affordable.

Disadvantages of Fly fishing reels:

  • If artificial fly does not work as a lure, then the whole setup would be futile.
  • Fly fish lures can be less beneficial for some situations because of their less weight.
  • On the basis of our exposure to fly fishing we have observed that Its fishing line is somehow long and its adjustment can be difficult to learn especially for newbies.
  • Moving the line back and forth and whole of the casting can take much of the energies as compared to other reels.

Hopefully this description has given you some ideas about flyfishing so let’s move forward:

Trolling or Conventional reels

We have discussed the comparison of conventional reel vs baitcasting reel in the other blog post as well; however, let’s explore some of its main features here for your convenience. If we checkout the appearance of trolling reel then it becomes clear that it has large spool having the ability to hold line according to the requirements. It has louder clicker and you cast the bait by placing your thumb on the spool that is creates advantage for you if you are looking for deep fishing. Its rod provides good support for it as it often is made of steel or material that makes it good to catch big fishes. Conventional reels usually have magnetic brakes system and this helps to avoid string entangling or backlashes. There is a control knob on the side through which you can control spool and, in this way, you can get control over casting speed. There is spool release knob on some trolling setups as well that give you more control over casting and then ultimately results to more accuracy.

Picture of Trolling types of fishing reels
Trolling fishing reel

Pros of trolling fishing reels:

  • This reel is very accurate in terms of its results.
  • Good for small as well as big basses because of their star shaped drag that can give you control over line.
  • Solid rod that supports the reel to cast longer.
  • It has ability to cast at longer and deep casts.

Cons of trolling fishing reels:

  • Its retrieving speed can be difficult to handle for beginners.
  • They are less sensitive as compared to baitcasters.

In addition to its ability to corrode faster, its louder clicker has many complains because of its difficulty in adjustment especially after time being and its ability for distractions.

How to cast trolling or conventional reels:

Casting trolling or conventional fishing reels!

What are Surf fishing reels?

While scrolling on the internet you can come across the term surf fishing and you might get confused about the question what actually the difference between surf fishing reels and others? Surf fishing reel is the umbrella term that constitutes ranges of different reels that are used to cast long distances with great accuracy. If you search this term on any market place then the results will show up with the spinning reels so, this section is added for those beginners who might confuse while searching for it. In short, many experts consider spinning reels as well as baitcasting reels under the category of surf fishing.  Learn how surf casting reels work:

See also  10 Best Baitcasting reels under $100 for 2023
How surf casting reels work?
How Surf Fishing types of fishing reels look like?
Surf fishing reel

These reels as we have discussed earlier that especially are designed in a way that can have following advantages and disadvantages

Pros of surf fishing reels:

  • They can handle big basses as well small with great proficiency.
  • These reels are famous for their accuracy.
  • They are Corrosion resistance reels so they last longer.
  • They are easy to open and maintain.
  • Surfcasting reels are more durable.

Cons of surfcasting reel:

  • Some of their designs are heavy.
  • These reels need technical expertise so, they take time to understand all of their aspects to master them fully.
  • They are more expensive reels.

What are Offshore fishing reels types?

There are three types of reels that are collectively known as offshore fishing reels; the first type of these reels is spinning reels. The second type is that of conventional while the third type is updated and new high tech conventional reels. If you intend to enjoy the fishing in ocean then this group of offshore fishing reel groups are designed for you. Offshore fishing is designated for the deep-water fishing and all of the above mentioned three designs of reels can help you out in it. We have already discussed in detail about in this article about these two groups in this article as spinning reels have low weight and these are convenient even for beginners as well. The second and third group of offshore fishing reel includes the designs of conventional reels; one of the offshore conventional reels have free spools while the second one is star drag reel. The third one is high tech conventional reel as they are updated versions having multiple functions. These conventional reels are designed with small spools and thus they are very helpful in offshore fishing.

How Offshore fishing types of reel look?
Offshore fishing reel!
Centrepin fishing reels; are they same to fly fishing reels?

Centrepin fishing reels have similar appearance with fly fishing reels and surprisingly there casting process is also similar but both of these are different from one another. If you are beginner, you may consider both of these as same but there are some properties that can help you to distinguish them. In the fly-fishing reel the fishing line is wrapped or collected around the spool so that of fly-fishing reel is given the name of line storage device as well while that of the centrepin fishing reel is free spinner with more control. The second thing that distinguishes centrepin from fly fishing is the drag of both of them as in fly fishing there is always a drag while in some of the designs of centrepin there is no drag. One of the downsides of centrepin fishing reels are casting distance as they are less beneficial in terms of casting very long distances. The picture of centrepin fishing reel is following:

Picture of centrepin types of fishing reels!
How centrepin fishing reels look like!

This reel is popular among experienced anglers because of following reasons:

The line control is the first thing that makes it popular among all other types as you can more effectively slow down or speed up the fishing line more effectively.

The second thing is the lack of drag that makes it different from others and you can move the reel in the both clockwise and anticlockwise direction so, if you are someone who likes to control the fishing line with the help of your thumb then centrepin reel is for you.

Learn how to cast centrepin reel:

Overhead fishing reels:

Overhead fishing reel as name show has spool with the headlike structure means the spool is enclosed in a structure. These reels are considered good for deep water baitcasting and their varieties of designs make them comfortable for kayaks and boat fishing. These overhead fishing reels are good for jigging that means when you actually fish in the deep waters in an ocean with certain techniques; these reels provide leverage over others. The fishing setup is set above the rod like baitcasters however the covering of the spool is the main feature that distinguishes both of them furthermore overhead reels as we have explained are good for deep water fishing via kayaks. One of the important features of this reel is the convenience as these reels do not require manual casting as it happens while dropping the line below to the water from the boat setup.

How to cast an overhead fishing reel?
Sidecast fishing reels:

Sidecast fishing reels are one of the oldest reels and there are numerous designs of them that can be observed in different marketplaces. They have tension knobs in the center of their dial and inside the dial is a big spool while there is direct wind of these reels that is functioning bit differently as there are two knobs that act as handle. There are some designs in which the star drag is integrated in the center so this factor can vary from one design to other. They are given the name of Sidecast because of the turning mechanism that is available in the back; by using these reels you are not bound to keep your thumb on spool. You just make the line to come behind the spool by making the reel in the sideway so, in this way you can cast the reel. If you want to learn the practical demonstration to learn the working of Sidecast fishing reels then you can watch the following video as well:

See also  What size test line for bass fishing? (Monofilament vs Fluorocarbon vs Braid) fishing line types
How to cast a sidecast fishing reel?
Factors that must be under your consideration while selecting the right reel for you:

If you are a newbie then it is better for you to understand that there are multiple factors that play an important role while deciding which fishing reel is good for you. These factors include the condition of weather such as wind can play an important role while deciding the best fishing reel according to that environment. In addition to weather conditions fishing rods and right fishing lures according to the reels are quite important to become a successful angler. So, in a nutshell there are different types of rods and lures as well so, keep exploring our blog to understand the basics of each of these topics.


You have explored the insights of different types of fishing reels hopefully, this blog post has helped you to learn about them. If you have any query related to any aspect of blogging then you can ask me in the comment section. Keep exploring the different sections of our blog to learn more about blogging!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Some people may have told you that there are three types of reels while some others may have told you about four types of reels however in this blog post we have observed that there are eight to ten types of reels that are available in different market places. So, it can be said that in addition the to spinning, baitcasting, fly fishing as well Spincast reel there are other reels such as centrepin, conventional as well as Sidecast reels that are entirely different from other reels in addition to offshore, overhead and surf fishing reels.

Some people may have told you that there are three types of reels while some others may have told you about four types of reels however in this blog post we have observed that there are eight to ten types of reels that are available in different market places. So, it can be said that in addition the to spinning, baitcasting, fly fishing as well Spincast reel there are other reels such as centrepin, conventional as well as Sidecast reels that are entirely different from other reels in addition to offshore, overhead and surf fishing reels.

As the features of the spinning and baitcaster are described in detail so, by exploring these properties we have found out that spinning reel is different not only in appearance but functioning as well. Spinning reel is more beginner friendly having the bails over the spool while baitcaster do not have bails however baitcaster have moveable spool and need great proficiency and practice to avoid backlashes.

As most of the experts recommend baitcasting reel as a most accurate reel however we have found out that in addition to the reels there are other factors such as choice of rod, environment, fishing line and fishing lures also play an important role so, on the basis of these factors we can say that accuracy of the reel vary from environment to environment and your practice.

Pro fishermen use baitcasters because of the accurate results that baitcasters provide furthermore they have more retrieval speed as well as style of baitcasters for fishing environment make them to enjoy fishing so, that is why pro fisherman use them often.

Pro fishermen use baitcasters because of the accurate results that baitcasters provide furthermore they have more retrieval speed as well as style of baitcasters for fishing environment make them to enjoy fishing so, that is why pro fisherman use them often.

We have found out that there are many differences in reels however if we summarize main differences then it becomes clear that method of casting, drags, environment, spools, and prices are different from one another.

Spincast reel is one of the easiest reels because of its simplicity in structure, size and casting process however spinning reels are also very easy to handle for beginners. It is the practice of the angler that makes any reel difficult or easy but if you are beginner then all the experts will ask you to start from Spincast reel.

Spread the love!

Leave a Comment