Spinning Rod Vs. Casting Rod: Which One to Choose?

Choosing a fishing rod is a common problem among anglers, especially when choosing between a spinning and casting rod. So as a novice (or even experienced) angler, which one should you choose?

There has never been a definite winner between the two. When choosing a fishing rod, choose one that will suit almost all of your fishing needs and leave you feeling fulfilled. This article will make choosing the right rod a bit easy.

What Is the Difference Between a Casting Rod And a Spinning Rod?

What Is the Difference Between a Casting Rod And a Spinning Rod

Knowing the distinctions between spinning and a casting rod is very important before deciding which one to choose. This piece of information is especially vital to novice anglers. Casting rods and spinning rods have almost similar properties, but certain ones do not allow interchangeable usage.

It would be best if you understand the rods and their differences as an angler so that you avoid mixing up your rods and ending up not enjoying your day out in the waters. The more experience you get from using both rods, the easier it will be to pick and use the right combination.

Some of the significant differences lie in the following

The Size And Location Of Guides

The guides/ eyelets are the loops you see on the fishing rod. They start in front of the reel and end at the tip of the fishing rod. They keep the fishing line straight once it leaves the spool.

The guides on a spinning rod are larger than those on a casting rod. They are on their underside and point toward the ground. The loops get larger from the tip to the rod’s base to enhance the flow of the line. The guides are well structured, and their spacing is quite far apart as the rods do not require as many guides as casting rods as they pair with spinning reels which have a line moving below the rod.

The guides on a casting rod are smaller than those on a spinning rod. They run along the top of the rod and point upwards. The loops are uniform and trim along the whole length of the rod, and sit closer to the rod handle than in spinning rods. Casting rods also have numerous loops as they pair with casting reels which require a guide.

Reels And Reel Seats

The reel seat is the section of the rod where you secure your reel. The reel seat of a spinning rod is on its underside just like its eyelets; for casting rods, though, the seat is atop the rod.

Since the guides on a spinning rod are on its underside, it has provision for mounting a spinning reel below the handle. On the other hand, the casting reel has the guides on the upper side, allowing for mounting of baitcasting or spin-cast reel above the rod.

The reels that match spinning rods’ usage are not suitable for heavyweight activities as they do not have features to secure line twists, while the reels that accompany casting rods have strong line twists and can handle heavy weights.


Although both the spinning rod and casting rod come in low, medium, and high action, there is a slight difference in how much flexibility they offer. The casting rods have tight bases, making them very stiff and heavy. They are also quite thick to build stability. These features appeal to experienced anglers.

The spinning rod is more flexible than the casting rod so it easily bends. Also, the rod’s base is slightly thin and light, making them easy to hold and use. This feature is what attracts most novice anglers to it.

Application Areas

There are thick casting rods anglers use for catching colossal fish. These casting rods accommodate reels with very high drag and a lot of line capacity. Large fish are pretty heavy and require a rod that can handle their weight without breaking. Casting rods are quite effective even when you use them in large areas with heavy covers.

Using a spinning reel on a casting rod is quite peculiar. If you try using a spinning reel on this type of rod, your rod may suffer. You will be putting a lot of pressure on the rod’s spine, and the line may wear out and break easily.

Catching small and medium-sized fish is quite befitting for spinning rods. They are light and might break if used on huge fish. Many anglers use spinning rods for trolling and still fishing as heavy cover hinders their usage.

Spinning rod design allows it to be very effective when used with spinning reels. Using it with any other reel apart from an underspin reel may result in problems like bird’s nest and limited casting range. You may also end up damaging your rod.


Most casting rods have a trigger on the reel seat (not all, though). Spinning rods, on the other hand, seldom sport a trigger.

Model Number

In almost all cases, the model number in casting rods features the letter ‘C,’ for example, HS80MC. Conversely, in the model number of a spinning rod, there is an ‘S’ at the end, for instance, HS80MS.

Should You Get a Casting or Spinning Rod?

Should You Get a Casting or Spinning Rod

There is no best fishing rod. It all boils down to the one that suits your fishing needs and techniques. Most experienced anglers use both the spinning rod and casting rod for different purposes. Here are a few factors that may influence whether you use casting or spinning rod


Learning how to cast takes a while. If you are a newbie in angling, we would recommend that you get a spinning rod. The spinning rod and reel combination is easier to use and requires less skill than their casting counterparts. Once you are comfortable with your casting expertise, you can try the casting rod.

As is human nature, most of us will not get it right the first time. With constant practice, you will get the hang of using both reels, and you will learn how to cast your lure perfectly without tangling the line. This will save you a lot of time and energy. Anglers like C Eastwood make using casting rods relatively easy.

If you are new to angling or are not planning on fishing frequently, you will be better off with a spinning rod. They will help you eliminate backlash, and hang-ups and allow you to cast more accurately.

Fish Species

There will be situations where you may catch huge fish with spinning gear, and somewhere you catch tiny fish with a casting combo. We would advise you to use the casting rod when you have no specific fish size in mind.

Yes, there are spinning rods that may allow you to reel in big game fish, but you will have to expend a lot of energy. If you are using a well-structured casting rod, you are sure you will reel in your big fish with less effort than you would have put in the spinning rod.

If you are fishing for big fish, it would be practical for you to buy a well-structured heavy casting rod, but if you want to catch small to medium-sized fish, a spinning rod will suffice.


If you plan an angling trip and want to use light lures, accompany the lures with a spinning rod. Spinning rods have wide guide loops that allow maximum line flow, thus lessening the line friction, and giving you long casts. If you plan on catching small fish with a small lure while you are on land, we would recommend getting a spinning rod.

If you plan to use fast retrieval and heavy lures, having a casting rod will be a plus. Casting rods and reels allow you to throw your lures repeatedly, ensuring you don’t waste time and use little effort. Casting rods will also ensure you can get your lures into tight places, like areas with thick cover.

Casting Technique

If you want to cast and retrieve your line simply, you may prefer using a spinning rod. If you’re going to hone your fishing tactics, you may want to use the casting rod. While you may add a little flair to your fishing with a spinning rod, it limits you to shooting docks and crappie.

If you are looking to add skills like flipping, pitching, and others to your angling, or you want to cast heavy lures over long distances, we would advise you to buy a casting rod.

Control and Accuracy

Casting rods will help you get your lures into tight places as they use reels that accord you a lot of control. When casting, you can control your reel to release and stop the line at your desired spot. Therefore, if you want to regulate your casting distance and accuracy, our recommendation is the casting rod.

In conclusion, casting rods have been ruling the angling world, but your ultimate choice is a personal decision. Different rods suit different people.