Baitercaster VS Spinning


When it comes to fishing, it’s all about selecting the right toys to play with and when it comes to toys the most sophisticated piece of equipment a fisherman would own is the fishing reel. With so many parts and so many types to choose from reel selection can be a difficult thing. It is the age-old question: what’s better? The baitcasting reel or the spinning reel? In Thailand using a baitcaster over a spinning reel is pretty much a statement to say that you are a more serious fisherman than others as the spinning reel here is generally the first reel most people use or own here. In Thailand, there is also the general misconception that the spinning reel was invented before the baitcasting. Boy were they wrong.



  • The original baitcaster reel was believed to have originated in the 17th Century.
  • Originally, the drag of a baitcaster reel came with no drag. The only resistance came from the fisherman’s thumb.
  • They are known sometimes as a conventional reel in the US and a multiplier reel in the UK.
  • The reel is fixed above the rod and not below.
  • Can be cranked on the drag allowing for more powerful retrieves, good for bigger fish.
  • Having the thumb on the spool improves distance control and accuracy when casting with just one hand. This sort of control requires both hands.
  • Slack line can be retrieved on a baitcaster on a moderate level allowing for easier control over lures that need a jerking motion like the popper or a jerk bait.
  • Drag can easily be temporarily increased by placing thumb on the spool.
  • When casting, the spool must overcome inertia meaning that lightweight lures would be very difficult to cast unless.
  • Due to the reel being positioned on the top, standing the rod on structures will always result in the rod being upside down due to the reel’s weight.

Spinning reel

  • Spinning reels came into popular use as early as the 1870s. They were created so that people could cast out smaller lures and baits.
  • They only became widely popular after the Second World War.
  • The spinning reel’s design allows for line to leave the reel without having to overcome inertia thus eliminating backlash.
  • It can cast much lighter gear allowing for some superior finesses fishing.
  • With the reel at the bottom, holding a spinning rod feels a lot more natural than holding a baitcaster rod as it allows for a more solid grip and a more comfortable weight distribution.


  • Cranking the line while the fish is pulling the line out will easily result in twisted line a problem when fighting bigger fish.
  • Requires both hands when pressing down on the spool for power lifting.
  • Holding the reel incorrectly can hurt when the bail arm spins into your knuckles, something that would never happen with a baitcaster.


Interesting Thai reel trends

  • The preferred reel for freshwater lure fishing in Thailand is the low-profile baitcasting reel.
  • Fishing with a baitcaster in Thailand shows that you are more serious about fishing simply because the first reel most people own in Thailand is the spinning reel. There’s a novelty in using something that no one else uses.
  • Like hand-bags there is also a hierarchy of brand names when it comes to reels. It’s almost a status symbol like driving an expensive car around.
  • Shimano dominates the market as being the number one luxury brand for fishing reels. It is also the most easy to resell.
  • The spinning reel that everyone seems to want for all sorts of fishing is the Shimano Stella family. Prices range from about B17000-30000.
  • The baitcaster reel that everyone seems to want for lure fishing is the low-profile Shimano Anteres or anything from that family. The magnetic control and the built-in microchip allows for this baitcaster to cast small lures like a spinning reel. Prices in Thailand for the Anteres start from B14000.
  • On top of the Shimano Anteres, the Shimano Calcutta is also in great demand and will always very easily fetch a high price on the online auctions.


What are your thoughts on your choice of fishing reel? Is one superior to the other? What sort of  unique trends do you have in your country?

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10 Responses to Baitcasting VS Spinning

  1. Doc says:

    Great article and well thought out. I may also add that the baitcaster has a problem with the top mounted guides being above the rod add a tourqing force to the spline of the rod. This hurts the ultimate strength of the rod and detracts from the feel as part of the “feel” is aborbed in the twisted spline. I corrected this on my by installing “spiral guides”. This means the guide closest to the reel is on top and the the tip guide faces down and those in between are in a spiral. It looks strange at first but works great.

    • andy says:

      Had only ever seen that spiral on jigging rods and thought it looked cool rather than strange, Assumed the reason i had,nt seen it on lure rods was that it might not cast so well?
      I,m about to try a rod with no guides in the near future,

      Not sure i know how to use a spinning reel (drag adjustment and so)all my reels have been either multipliers for bait fishing-jigging and baitcasters for lure ..the only difference being with multipliers i have the handle on the righthand side and baitcaster handles on the left becasue it seems only my right thumb is educated,
      maybe i love the smell of burning thumb in the mornings.

    • Bangkokhooker says:

      thanks for the feedback Doc! The stress on the guides was definitely something that I had overlooked!

  2. crystallinesheen says:

    Since I have been an adult fisherman I have always used spinning reels. I do have one conventional reel for boat fishing, however. When I was little, fishing in freshwater, I always used casting reels. People always seemed to use spinning reels on the Gulf of Mexico saltwater fishing, so I got used to spinners. I’ve been wanting to get a good baitcasting reel (Shimano probably) and setup for a while now for beach and rock fishing. I’d say out here in Cali fishermen I meet prefer spinning reels but quite a large number I meet have baitcasters.

  3. Kevin says:

    I second Doc on the spiral wrapped guides. I have two casting rods that have been spiral wrapped and the difference is significant enough to notice.

    The rod “feels” much more responsive while you’re fighting a fish and maybe it’s just me, but I noticed I could cast a lil’ bit further than before it was spiral wrapped.

    As for reels, I’d have to say it’s personal preference. Some may be more comfortable using spinning reels for finesse fishing as it may be difficult to cast really small/light lures.

    That said, I know of this dude who “fine tunes” baitcasting reels here in Malaysia and after he’s done with your reel, it’s FRIGGIN’ SICK I tell ya. Once he’s tuned your reel and with some practice, finesse fishing with your casting reel is a breeze.

    In his demo on youtube, he tests a tuned Revo Elite by only using only a swivel….yes you read right…A SWIVEL. I have had my Abu 5501 fine tuned and needless to say I no longer need to cast like as if I’m hacking down a tree :)

    Oz, I’m sure you were surprised after watching the vid weren’t ya? Cya in a couple of days buddy!

  4. Alex West says:

    Very good topic. Enjoyed reading it…in your writings, you can always expect facts coupled with personal input.

    In my fishing arsenal, my personal favorite spinning reel is the Ryobi Amazon with “rear-drag knob” (here is a subject for your next post…).
    As for the Baitcasting reel, the Quantum Smoke rules them all (nice to look at, functional, but feels big in the hand).

    As to what Doc is pointing out (Hi Doc!!), I believe no reel will feel right if it is not matched with a suitable rod.
    On the subject, I have seen that ‘spiral guides’ rod at 7Seas, which now comes very intriguing…

    By the way, I am about to order a Spinning Reel with a ‘Trigger brake’. I had one of those a long time ago and loved it! Haven’t found any in Thailand, so I have to order it from Hong Kong (Tica brand).

    • andy says:

      I noticed a spinning reel with a trigger brake at pokee fishing shop in HK a few weeks ago but they dont seem to have it on thier website, Dont remember the brand or the price..was just the trigger brake which caught my eye,
      I go to HK every 3 months so if you have trouble locating one i can have a look for you next time,
      When there i do the rounds of all the tackle shops ;-)

  5. andy says:

    As a natural born fiddler of anything technical i started magging all my multipliers some years ago, Untill i found a supplier of rare earth magnets near bkk i was constantly taking old harddisks apart just to get the magnets out, Some reels i even got around to upgrading the bearings but at times the oh jesus clips went flying in the action of a stripdown then spent hours searching….anyone know where i can get these in bkk?
    As for baitcasters i use abu revo mgx and daiwa T3 but am considering buying the shimano anteres DC,

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