Fishing Reel Types – Which One Is Best?

When it comes to fishing, there are a variety of different fishing reel types. It may seem on the surface that no matter what equipment you buy, it will all do the same job. However, this is a common misconception as there are different types of fishing reels to suit specific fishing situations and the waters you will be fishing in.

Many beginners may think that going for the cheapest or most popular option will be the best for them. However, this is a huge mistake as every angler has a specific circumstance in terms of what waters and fish they will have access to, and that is where this guide comes in. We’ll be taking you through the varying types of fishing reel types so you can determine which fishing reel is the best one for you. 

So what makes the fishing reel types different? Before we delve into the specific types and their advantages and disadvantages, it’s important to understand why and how they are different.

If you were to use a fly reel for deep sea fishing, you’ll be very disappointed with the results and risk the condition of your rod and reel as a fly reel is designed for small fish that can be found towards the surface, so the reel has been designed accordingly. If you caught a heavier fish with a fly reel, there is a high chance that your rod and reel will break as they are not designed to withstand the weight. 

Different types of reels

There are four different types of fishing reels, and within these, there are even more different styles to choose from that cater to even more specific types of fishing.

The different fishing reels are: spinning reel, baitcasting reel, spin casting reel, and fly fishing reel. In this section, we’ll be delving into these categories and exploring their pros and cons so you can determine which one is going to be best. 

Which fishing reel is best?

So which fishing reel is the best one to purchase? As you can expect, this depends on your expectations and wishes when it comes to fishing. Some reels are designed for general purposes, such as spinning reels and baitcasting reels, and others that have a more specific use, such as spincast reels and fly fishing reels. They all have their advantages and disadvantages, which will give you a better idea of the differences.

The best thing to do is to start by reading each section thoroughly to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve on your fishing trips and thinking about which reel will help you get that consistent success with top-notch performance.

If you are planning to fish for heavier fish such as bass and trout, then a spinning reel or baitcaster reel will probably give you that success, whereas, for medium or smaller size fish, you may want to consider either a spincast reel or fly fishing reel. Think about the strength of the line, and then always opt for the choice that will correspond properly.

Baitcaster vs. spinning reel comparison

As discussed in the following sections, the most popular reels are the spinning reel and baitcaster reels because they are designed for more general use, making them great for beginners who don’t know what fish to expect.

When it comes to deciding between the two, however, always consider their pros and cons because they have very different functionalities and features that can have an overall effect on the quality of your fishing trips. 

An example of the difference is that baitcasters tend to be lighter in weight, allowing for more casting accuracy and further distance casting. In contrast, spinning reels are easier to master and are more versatile and accessible in terms of use. 

Spinning reel

The most popular type of reel is a spinning reel. This is because of how accessible they are and easy to use, making them a favorite amongst beginners and professionals alike. They can be used as a general-purpose reel as well as for specific techniques. It’s important to take several different spinning reels in varying sizes on your trip to ensure that you are thoroughly prepared. 

What makes the spinning reel different is that the spool doesn’t rotate. This reel works because the bail arm rotates around the spool, wrapping the line onto it. The downside to this setup is that you do have to take your time to ensure that the line is wrapped around correctly, as an incorrect application can cause twisting later on in the spooling process and thus give you a problematic experience when using the rod on the water. 

What makes the spinning reel so appealing to anglers of all abilities is how versatile they are; they are easy to master and are generally extremely affordable. If you are a beginner, you will likely find a spinning reel will be a good addition to your first collection of gear as it will hold you in good stead throughout your fishing career.

The best spinning reel on the market is the Piscifun Flame Spinning Reel which boasts an exquisite appearance and is made from premium materials such as aluminum. You will be guaranteed to have this spinning reel for many years, thanks to the durability and reliability of the product. The lightweight design means that it is easy to use and won’t affect the overall feel of your rod. Available in an array of sizes according to what kind of fish you would like to catch, Piscifun’s Flame Spinning Reel range will have you covered.

The drag power these reels have means that you don’t have to worry about heavier fish thanks to the reinforced metal main shaft, which allows you to fight with them. The braid-ready spool means that you don’t have to worry about spending a lot of time setting this reel up, meaning you can spend more time fishing. 

Spinning reels should always be considered, thanks to their versatility and the variety of choices available on the market. No matter what your ability is or what kind of fish you’ll be catching, you can always rely on a spinning reel to do an efficient job time and time again. Their great price point also means that you’re not spending too much on them even if they’re not your first choice. It’s always handy to have one or two spinning reels in your collection, so you are prepared on your trips. 

Baitcasting reel

If you’re a more advanced angler looking to upgrade your reel, then a baitcasting reel may be the one to look at due to its unique features.

Baitcasting reels are great because the spool rotates as the line is cast, meaning that the line will not twist, making the experience more sleek and easy. The most significant difference with baitcasting reels is that they allow you to cast your line further than most other reel types. This is ideal if you want to catch a larger or heavier fish as you will have the space to fight. 

Like spinning reels, you can purchase baitcasting reels in a variety of sizes, so no matter what kind of fish you want to catch, you can buy the size accordingly and buy a reel that is suited for the particular kind of water you’ll be fishing in. This is because baitcasters can be catered to both freshwater and saltwater fishing. Another great advantage of the baitcasting reel is the high degree of casting accuracy, which is ideal for those casting lures close to cover. 

As mentioned earlier in this guide, there are many subcategories of reel types. The low-profile baitcasting reel is the most popular style thanks to its reduced size and small oval spool, ideal for light spin fishing. If you want a reel for long trips to catch smaller fish, this is the right reel. 

The main disadvantage of baitcasting reels is that they are more difficult to use than spinning reels, so more advanced anglers often favor them. If you are a beginner and you’re certain you would like to invest in a baitcasting reel, then make sure you take your time learning how to set it up and use it to avoid causing a bird’s nest while casting. 

The best baitcasting reel on the market is the Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Reel. Thanks to its advanced four washers, it gives the reel an extremely powerful 18lb carbon fiber drag, allowing you to catch heavier weight fish, making it perfect for catching bass easily. The industrial strength and climate-resistant brass gears make this one of the most durable and reliable models on the market.

The high-quality materials ensure that you will have the best performance and results thanks to the versatile gear ratio making it ideal for the avid angler. The super silent high speed means that you can get the fish out of cover quickly and out of the water faster. The unique side plate oil port allows for prolonged maintenance which is great for all abilities, so whether you are a beginner or advanced, you can have years of successful fishing experiences.  

Baitcasting reels are great for those who want more control and accuracy when casting their line. Boasting a higher power average than over reels, this is the most popular reel for more advanced anglers because they are consistent. They do take a bit of time getting used to, thanks to how complicated they can be to set up, but once you have mastered the basics, you’ll find yourself using this on the regular. 

Spincasting reel

Another great alternative reel for beginners to consider is spincasting reels. They are a great price making them an ideal choice for those who want to have a casual hobby rather than taking fishing seriously. For example, if you have a young child keen to get into fishing, then a spincast reel will be best for them. 

Spin cast reels have a closed spool that covers the line meaning that you can cast your lure using a release mechanism that is operated by using a push-button. This means that you can have an accurate performance where many complicated tasks are handled for you. 

The disadvantage of spincast reels is that they are quite small, meaning that their field of application is limited, which isn’t ideal for those who want to cast longer distances. This means that they are only suitable for lighter freshwater fishing as they cannot handle heavier weights or handle saltwater due to the materials used. Another disadvantage is that these casts experience a lot of friction due to the closed spool cover, which can become quite uncomfortable after long periods. 

The best spincast reel on the market is the KastKing Brutus Spincast Fishing Reel which provides high-performance thanks to the high-quality materials used. The stainless steel dual pickup system grabs the slackline quickly, meaning that you can withdraw the fish from the water faster. The high speed allows you to fight with fish thanks to the gear ratio making it particularly suitable for smaller, aggressive fish swimming near the surface.

The smooth and durable design has been manufactured to ensure that you will get many years of use from the reel. The reversible handle has a push button made from aluminum with durable rubber grips making it suitable for both left and right-handed anglers simply by adjusting the grips to the other side of the handle. This means that it is easier for all anglers to get used to this product, thanks to its accessibility.

This reel has already been pre-spooled with a premium mono line and 33% more fishing line capacity thanks to other push-button reels meaning that it can have a longer cast. 

Overall, spincasting reels are both convenient and user-friendly. If you’re a beginner who wants to catch small fish casually, then this is the model for you. Once you’ve mastered using a spincasting reel, you’ll be ready to upgrade to a more durable reel that can withstand heavier fish in deeper waters.

Fly fishing reel

The last type of reel to consider is the fly fishing reel which, as previously explained earlier in this guide, is designed for catching small fish that swim near the surface of the water. The name comes from the artificial fly lures used to cast, weightless, making them very sleek and sensitive.

What makes the fly fishing reel different from other types of reels is that the fishing line itself is used for casting rather than the weight of the lure, which is the case for other models. It is therefore designed with a thicker line that holds more strength because of this.

The actual design of the fly fishing reel is more akin to traditional centrepin reels that aren’t as popular anymore. This simple mechanism consists of a single spool rotated around the center pin, which can handle the thicker line properly and effectively. 

The advantage of purchasing a fly fishing reel is that it is specifically designed for catching small fish, which is the best choice for those who have that in mind. Its unique structure is also a handy skill to learn if you’re a beginner and gets you accustomed to a different kind of fishing, allowing you to advance quickly. They are also incredibly easy to set up and use, thanks to the simplicity of the design. 

The main disadvantage of fly fishing reels is that many of them are made without a drag system, meaning that you have to drag the line manually using your thumb on the spool. Nowadays, however, brands are beginning to incorporate a drag system into the reel, meaning that you will have a more comfortable experience but be sure to check this when you are researching specific fly fishing reels. 

The best fly fishing reel on the market is the Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Reel which has a smooth drag system made from cork and stainless steel, meaning that you are guaranteed to have a comfortable experience to go fishing for long periods. With the accurate click drag and silent retrieve, you’re less likely to be scaring any fish away, meaning you will have a more consistent performance and successful results.

The solid and lightweight design is made from aluminum alloy, which provides high impact durability, and the CNC hollow design means that you won’t be feeling fatigued after a while. Boasting a corrosion-resistant surface, this reel will not be abrased easily as it will always be protected no matter the weather condition. The three-year warranty means you can have peace of mind with your purchase and know that you’ll have years of continued use.

Like other types of reels, fly fishing reels come in various sizes and strengths, meaning that you can buy one according to the type of fish you want to catch. Bear in mind that you won’t catch heavier or larger fish like catfish due to the structure of the reel. If you try to catch a heavier fish with a fly fish reel, there is a strong chance that it will break and could cause damage to your rod as it won’t be able to withstand the weight and fight. 


In conclusion, it is always important to know about the various types of reels and their qualities before making your final decision. This is because you’ll know what to expect from the product you choose and what other reels will be used for, so if you decide you want to try something new or want to upgrade your reel, you’ll know what to look out for.

If you are still in doubt when researching, then it’s always good to ask for assistance from customer service teams who are more than happy to help you however they can.