Baitcasters have this aura of superiority because it requires extra effort. So, you may think you must adopt one to become a better angler. And sure, baitcasters have their advantages. But many top-level anglers utilize both baitcasting and spinning reels according to the situation. So, do you absolutely need a baitcaster set up to achieve your fishing goals?
Having a baitcaster is not a mandatory requirement. They are simply better suited to certain situations. If you are utilizing lightweight fishing lines and lures, a spinning reel will do the task perfectly. If you want precise and long-distance casting, a baitcaster will serve you better.
So, today, I want to go over the various pros and cons of using a baitcaster. I will explore scenarios where they are ideal and scenarios where they are not. As a bonus, I will even suggest some high-quality baitcasters available on the market for newcomers.
The goal here is to help you select fishing equipment that matches your situation and need. So, let’s get started.
What Are The Features Of A Baitcaster?
The main point of difference from spinning reels is with the position of the spool. In a baitcasting rod, the spool is situated on top of the pole and runs parallel to the length of the pole. So, when you cast, the line is launched straight. When you throw with a spinner, the line creates a circular movement.
One thing you will realize instantly when lifting a baitcaster is how much lighter it is than most spinners. But it can still hold heavier varieties of baits and lures. When it comes to fishing lines, a baitcasting reel works with any of the three major types.
Another point of note is that baitcasters usually operate with two types of braking systems. There is a spool tension knob located near the handle. The other is a magnet-based brake on the palm side. These provide resistance to the spool and provide spin control.
What Is A Baitcaster Good For?
The main draw is that a baitcaster will let you cast with terrific accuracy. This is due to the straight trajectory of the line. You can target a particular area and hit that spot repeatedly.
Baitcasters also have a longer casting distance. This is a result of its substantial line capacity and use of heavyweight lures. The typical baitcaster can give you 20-30% more distance than a spinning reel. So, baitcasters are better suited for long-distance casting.
The longer cast grants the lure more time in the water. This increases your chance of landing a bite. Baitcasting reels also have more options for gear ratio. You can optimize it for smooth retrieval.
Baitcasters can handle more weight than a spinning rod. Hence, most anglers prefer them when using heavy lures like crankbaits or jigs. They can also perform well with bulkier lines. All this makes baitcasters better for larger varieties of fish. Because the risk of breaking the line is far less.
Baitcasters have a lighter build and they are also more durable. So, they are easier to operate in harsh conditions. You will find this easier to handle when there is strong wind or current.
Baitcasters are perfect for saltwater fishing where you have to make long casts. Additionally, if you use lines bulkier than 10 pounds, a baitcaster is more fitting. They are also better for using lures that weigh more than ¼ ounce.
Is It Hard to Use A Baitcaster?
Using a baitcaster is challenging. The most common problem is the potential of a backlash or bird’s nest. This is an issue even veteran anglers will face occasionally.
When you launch your lure using this reel, the spool will begin to rotate with the line. Once the lure or bait hits the water, it begins to slow down. However, the spool keeps on spinning.
At this moment, if the spool is not slowed as well, an extra line will come out in loops. This is referred to as backlash and the resulting web of fishing lines is called a “bird’s nest”.
Naturally, the lure will slow down as it travels further away or when it lands on the water. But it can also slow down due to extra wind pressure or from hitting a rock. Again, if the spool is not slowed down in time, a backlash will occur. You may end up losing a large amount of line if this happens repeatedly.
To counteract this phenomenon, anglers need to employ a variety of techniques. They must properly set up the spool knob and the magnetic brake. They have to put manual pressure on the spool with their thumb during each cast.
But the pressure needs to be just right. Put too much pressure and the lure will not travel very far. Put too little pressure and you increase the risk of a backlash. So, you need to find the sweet spot.
You also have to readjust the tension knob and brake before every cast. Because the proper setting is different for each lure.
All this makes baitcasters pretty difficult to master. You require a great deal of practice and patience before you feel comfortable with the rod.
Are Baitcasters Good For Beginners?
|Allows Longer Cast||Can Create a Backlash|
|Handles Heavier Fish||Requires More Time & Effort|
|Handles Heavier Lures||More Expensive|
Anybody trying baitcasters for the first time will find it tougher to wield than other rods. But with enough time and effort, you will get the hang of it.
Baitcaster has a higher learning curve than most other fishing rods. So, beginners may find it very frustrating and that frustration may stop them from using it altogether.
Many people will advise beginners not to start with a baitcaster. The main reason for this is the potential backlash. Finding that sweet spot of pressure will require numerous trials and errors. And yes, you will make plenty of errors in the beginning.
Even professional anglers know they will encounter a backlash now and then. But for a newcomer, this will be a specially demanding experience. Hence, why so many hesitate to start with a baitcaster.
Baitcasters are also more expensive than most fishing gears. So, if you have a limited budget, a baitcaster may not be the best choice.
However, newcomers can still use a baitcaster. In fact, various manufacturers have designed baitcasting gears specifically with newcomers in mind. So, if your situation is better suited for a baitcasting reel, then you can use one regardless of your experience level.
Remember to be patient and consistently practice your casting. Trust me, the benefits you are going to gain in return are worth it.
Best Baitcasters For Beginners
As I mentioned previously, there are baitcasting gears on the market perfect for novice anglers. So, I have made a list of the best ones.
I have taken into account the ease of use and price of each gear to come up with this list. If you are beginning as an angler or looking to use a baitcaster for the first time, pick up one of these bad boys:
This is a very popular reel having a sleek and lightweight profile. The Revo employs a dual braking system which makes casting very easy and comfortable.
The KastKing royale series offers small, compact, and user-friendly fishing reels. It also uses dual brakes that can be adjusted separately; reducing the chance of a backlash or overrun. It is also very cheap, coming in under $100.
With dual brakes for smooth retrieval and control, the Perseus is a great choice for newcomers. This is also the cheapest rod on this list, coming at around $50.
The DAIWA Fuego has an aluminum CT mount for amazing casting performance and durability. It is particularly efficient for big bass fishing. With the air rotation carbon drag, it becomes very lightweight.
The Mach Crush is a very light but sturdy rod. The multi-setting braking system offers more control and gives you more distance with your cast. Also, the custom hand paddle will give respite to your hands from fatigue.
Once again, baitcasters are not necessary for everybody and every situation. Think about the fish you are aiming for and the line and lure you will use. Also, consider your budget. After all this consideration, if you feel a baitcaster would be better, then go for it.