Many anglers often have a preference for using a baitcast or spin set up when they’re fishing, however it’s worth noting that while it’s okay to have a preference, these two set-ups have different properties that lend themselves to certain scenarios. For example, a baitcaster, while being perfect for working hardbodies amongst snags for Murray cod, might not be suitable when throwing smaller hardbodies over a shallow flat for bream!
Starting with spin set-ups, let’s look at the pros of spin rods and reels. Firstly, they are easy to use, and there is no chance of the dreaded overrun or ‘bird’s nest’. Secondly, they are capable of throwing exceptionally light weights, which is great if targeting some of our light tackle sportfish such as bream and whiting. Thirdly they can generally achieve better casting distance than baitcast set-ups of the same weight.
Unfortunately, there are drawbacks with spin set-ups, such as wind knots, and having less feel and control during the retrieve when lure fishing.
Baitcast set-ups on the other hand offer anglers great casting accuracy and control, and much better feeling when retrieving a lure, as there is direct contact with the line at all times. Baitcasters also offer the advantage of being able to apply more pressure to fish with the use of the thumb on the spool.
Drawbacks of baitcasters are that casting is harder to master, tangles happen more easily, and they struggle to throw light weight - although some high-tech baitcaster can throw exceptionally light weights. Baitcaster set-ups also usually start at a higher price.
If you want to get into the spinning world, the Shimano Spectrum Spin, Okuma Celilo Trout Spin, Silstar Power Tip PF Series and Penn Ally are great entry level rods. Matched with a Shimano Sienna, Okuma Alaris or Penn Wrath spin reel, these can make perfectly serviceable spin combinations! You can also buy combos, such as the 13 Code Black Rod and Reel combo, or the Penn Wrath combo!
If you’d like to start your baitcast journey, the Storm Adventure Xtreme Baitcast series and Daiwa TD Hyper (baitcast model) are more than suitable for most light tackle situations, especially if paired with a Daiwa Strikeforce or Shimano Caius 150HG.
It pays not to get too worried if you’re a spin or baitcast angler, but rather understand the benefits and drawback of both and decide which is better for the situation in front of you!