Spinning vs Casting Rod: What’s The Difference? (Full Guide)

For beginner anglers, deciding whether to use a spinning or casting rod might be difficult. In general, the type of fishing rod you should use is determined by your skill level and the kind of fish you prefer catching.

Casting rods are best for some approaches, while spinning gear is preferable for others. To make matters more complex, there is a lot of overlap between what the two-rod kinds can perform.

Do not underestimate the value of a decent fishing pole, however. Choosing the right rod for the job can spell the difference between a successful and unsuccessful fishing expedition. If you use the right one, your casts will go precisely where you want them to go, and you will be ready for any fight a fish throws at you.

This article will compare and contrast spinning and casting rods and their main benefits and drawbacks. Finally, we will go over which one is best for beginners and what each is best suited for.

Spinning Rod

A spinning rod is a fishing pole developed expressly for use with a spinning reel. The rod handle has a reel seat that points downwards. The line guides are also on the same side as the reel because the reel handle is on the bottom of the rod.

Spinning Rod

A spinning rod is designed to hold the reel below the rod while fishing and the reel mount will support this. These rods also feature fewer guides (loops through which the line passes) than casting rods, but the guides are more extensive. When casting, this allows the line to flow more easily.

It comes in various sizes, from light action to medium action and a strong spinning rod. The spinning rod bends when used for fishing due to the force of a bite on the line. The spinning reel is tucked beneath the rod, with the handle in the angler’s non-dominant hand.

When Should a Whirling Pole Be Used?

The ability to throw extremely light baits is the main advantage of whirling pole. This difference is solely down to the way the reel works. The line can flow freely from the spool due to the spool’s orientation. The curls fall off the reel in huge coils, and rotating pole possess a longer initial guide to reduce tug when the curls fall off.

Top water bait fishermen use spinning gear because it allows them to offer a wide range of surface baits. Spinning gear allows you to fling gentle soft plastic rigs that are used in tact fishing in addition to casting lightweight surface plugs and buzz baits.

Another situation in which rotating equipment is commonly used is bait fishing. With the type of heavyweight you are tossing in the surf or while catfishing, case in point, a huge rotating reel can create extremely extensive casts.

While whirling gear lacks the force of a baitcasting gear when battling a large fish out of deep cover, it excels at what it does, allowing anglers to employ smaller baits like poppers and small bugs.

Longer spinning poles are popular for inshore and surf fishing since they are lightweight and easier to handle in these conditions.

Benefits of Spinning Rods

  • For a beginner, they make fishing more manageable.
  • Inexperienced anglers like spinning rods because they are quick to reel in fish and eliminate line tangling.
  • Unlike bait throwing reels, the spinning reel is a simple mechanism, which makes using a spinning rod simple.


  • Over time, they are less durable than casting arrangements.

Casting Rod

Keep in mind that the casting rod is the polar opposite of a spinning rod when learning about it. When a fish tugs the lines of a casting rod, the pole bends over as the eyelets rise to the top. While some fishermen may find this odd, the truth is casting rods are superior to spinning rods for serious fishing.

Casting Rod

Although this rod has more guides than its spinning version, the guides are much smaller. This provides you with more casting control.

When Should You Use a Casting Rod?

A baitcasting rig is the ultimate leader in many popular fishing techniques due to its winch-like control and laser precision. When it comes to jigs and crankbaits, two of the most effective bass fishing baits on the market, baitcasting rigs are far more common than spinning rigs.

Because of their low-profile installation and smooth operation, baitcasters are popular for jigging for bass in thick.

When handling bait or dragging a lunker out of its cave, anglers have complete control. This is due to the spool position of this design’s spool providing direct, in-line power. Anglers can improve casting accuracy even more by using a baitcasting reel; most models allow for a great deal of fine-tuning, resulting in pinpoint accuracy.

Spinnerbaits, Texas-rigged worms, swimbaits, and jerk baits are other standard baits used with a baitcasting rig. Any lure with a significant amount of weight is suitable for use with a baitcasting setup. Furthermore, a bait caster is nearly usually the rig of choice for lures presented under dense cover.


  • Seasoned users will be able to acquire more distance and precision on their casts.
  • Superb for dealing with larger fish.
  • It has a longer lifespan than spinning rods.


  • Casting rods are higher priced than spinning rods.

Differences between Spinning and Casting Rod

 Casting RodSpinning Rod
Rod backbone locationLocated on the same side as the line guides. Line guides are on the opposite side of the room. 
Reel seat orientationPointed upwards on the rod handle.Points downward on rod handle.
Line guides numberMany.Relatively few.
Line guides sizeThroughout the length of the rod, it is small.It’s big near the rod handle, but it gets smaller as you approach closer to the tip.
Line guides positionFound along the top of the rod.Runs along the rod’s underside.

Detailed Look of the Differences

Rod backbone location- The backbone of a rod is the blank section designed to withstand most of the strain when the pole bends. The spine of a spinning bar runs on the opposite side of the blank from the line guides, whereas the backbone of a casting pole runs parallel to the line guides.

Reel seat orientation- When opposed to casting rods, spinning rods are effectively “upside down.” A casting pole’s reel seat is meant to retain a baitcasting reel facing upwards on top of the reel handle. In contrast, a spinning pole’s reel seat is intended to maintain a spinning reel pointing downwards.

Line guides number – In comparison to casting rods, spinning rods feature fewer line guides positioned further apart.

Line guides size – Casting rod line guides are modest through the entire length of the rod, whereas line guides on spinning poles near the handle are significantly larger than those towards the tip. The wide shape accommodates the large diameter of a spinning reel’s line spool. Furthermore, the line guides on spinning rods protrude further from the backbone of the pole than those on casting bars, which are close to the rod.

Line guides position – A spinning reel’s line guides go along the bottom of the pole, whereas a casting pole’s line guides go along the top. Therefore, line guides are located on the same side of the pole as the reel seat in each case.

Is it possible to do the same thing with a casting rod and a spinning rod?

Yes. Both of these rod kinds can be employed for a variety of applications. In fact, casting and retrieving lures is the most common application of both pole types. This is why we recommend that beginners begin their fishing adventures with a spinning pole since it is considerably easier to master while yet providing many of the same benefits as a casting pole.

However, some specific fishing applications require only one of these two pole types to be used. Offshore big game rods, in particular, are almost usually casting poles with massive, traditional solid reels. On the other hand, casting poles are rarely used for ice fishing, with spinning rods taking the lead.

Is it possible to use a spinning reel with a casting rod (or the other way around)?

A spinning reel can be used on a casting pole, and a baitcasting reel can be used on a spinning rod. However, because the rods are specially built to operate best with their particular fishing reel types, this is not an ideal solution. It will always feel weird and unstable if you use them with the wrong reel type, and it will take away the enjoyment of fishing.

Furthermore, if you misuse the pole, you risk shattering it. This is since you must use the rod in the opposite direction that it was designed to be used. In other words, if you use the wrong reel with the wrong pole, the backbone will be on the wrong side of the bar, which might lead to breakage if you fight a giant fish or snag your hook on something.


Both of these rods have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. The one you choose should be determined by your degree of skill as well as the type of fishing you intend to do.

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