Spinning Rod Vs Casting Rod (Detailed Guide About Both and their Differences)

Whether you are going on a fishing day out or you are trying to step into regular fishing and planning to choose or buy a fishing rod for that purpose, but you get confused in the spinning rod vs casting rod debate, don’t worry, we have got it all covered here.

In this article, we will tell you about what is a spinning rod? What is a casting rod, the difference between the two and a comparison chart as well so that you get everything you need to know here in this single article, so sticking up till the end is very important for you to take the right and calculated decision.

spinning rods vs casting rods

What is a Spinning Rod?

Spinning rods are preferred for beginners as they are comparatively easy to use and are less vulnerable to tangles. They are mostly represented with an ‘S’ in their model number. For example, in Ugly Stik’s Spinning Rod model “USSP461UL”, the extra ‘S’ represents the spinning rod after the initial two letters ‘US’, representing the Ugly Stik’s name.

spinning rod vs casting rod

Spinning rods equipped with spinning reels are usually lightweight rods and are mostly used to cast longer and to use lighter lures. They are generally more suitable for small to medium fish species. Still, some of them, made of fiberglass, also handle the large fish.

Also check 10 best spinning rods of 2022 if you are starting with spinning rods and needs the best choice for your journey that is recommended by the experts.

Benefits of Spinning Rods:

  • Easy to learn and recommended for a beginner
  • No problem of line tangles and frictions as in casting rods
  • Smooth casting for longer distances and light lures mostly
  • They have more flexibility and bend more
  • You don’t have to spend  much on its maintenance like the casting rods

What is a Casting Rod?

Casting rods are mostly used to fight large fishes and use heavy lures and baits for that purpose. They are mostly represented with a ‘C’ in their model number. For example, in Ugly Stik’s Casting Rod model “USCAP561M”, the extra ‘C represents the casting rod after the initial two letters ‘US’, representing the Ugly Stik’s name.

spinning rod vs casting rod

They come with and support the casting reel known as the conventional reel. While spinning rods are used to cast by angling technique where lures or baits are spinning and attracting the fish, the casting rod throws the bait in the water and then fights it with its strength.

Benefits of Casting Rod:

  • Good for catching large fishes
  • Can use heavy lures and baits
  • Better accuracy
  • Casting rods can throw baits/lures quickly and continuously

Spinning Rod Vs Casting Rod (Key Differences)

We have carefully and thoroughly written each and every detail of the difference between the spinning and casting rods and mentioned the main points which differentiates them in depth and then a precise and complete comparison chart of their differences below.

Reel Type and Seat:

One of the major differences between the two rods is the type of reels. The spinning rod has a spinning reel hung under the rod, while casting rods have a bait caster reel attached above the rod that looks like a small pulley. Casting rods can accommodate both the bait cast and spinning reels, while the spinning rod can only accommodate the spinning reel. Most casting rods have a trigger on the reel seat while spinning rods rarely have it.


Spinning rods usually have larger and few guides spaced quite apart. The initial guides closer to the handle are larger than those at the tip of the spinning rod. Casting rods, on the other hand have smaller, a bit more in quantity and less distant guides from each other.


Spinning rods usually cast longer than the casting rods and comparatively use lighter weight and lures. These are easy to use and are usually recommended for beginners or people who are not into serious fishing as a profession. Whereas casting rods generally are for the people who are seriously involved in the profession, they carry larger weights and fight with large species and are known for their accuracy.

Difficulty and Cost of Learning:

For a beginner, learning and getting the hold of a casting rod is much costly than the spinning rod in both terms, the expense and the time. For instance, the casting rod can bring some challenges where you might require changing the reel lines frequently and that will be adding up to your cost and will also consume time while in spinning rods, you will just be paying one time at the time of purchasing if you take care of it and use them according to their specifications.

Ease of Usability:

Apart from the fact that we still feel that spinning rods are comparatively easier to learn than the casting rods for the beginners as they also avoid line tangles, but it still depends on your fishing style, targeted species, and the required objectives such as spinning rods are not beneficial while in heavy cover when the casting rods are ideal for it.

Spinning Rod vs Casting Rod Comparison Table

Comparison Factors Spinning Rods Casting Rods
Reel TypeCan have spinning reels onlyCan accommodate both the spinning and the casting reels
Location of ReelSpinning reel is hung under the rodbait casting reel is attached above the rod
Size of GuidesHave large guidesSmall guides
Number of GuidesUsually have small number of guidesHave more guides
PerformanceCast longer than the casting rods but are not as efficient as casting rods for large and tough speciesNot much casting distance as spinning rods but the accuracy is great, targeted and precise
Weight HandlingNot much used with heavy lures and baitsAccommodates heavy weights and lures pretty well
Learning DifficultyEasier to learn than casting rodsA bit difficult in terms of time required and the expense incurred during learning
Target UsersIdeal for beginners and startersIdeal for the users who are seriously involve in fishing

When to Choose a Spinning Rod

We have learned that we will be using spinning rods in case of longer casting. If we are looking for lightweight rods and comfortable ones that we will hold all day long on a trip, then spinning rods will be preferred. If we are just starting out and want to get hold of a fishing rod, then again, spinning rods will be quicker, easier to learn and will incur less maintenance cost. Usually, it will be recommended for surf and inshore fishing.

When to Choose a Casting Rod

Casting rods will be used when you need to throw heavy baits and lures for catching large species in the water. They are generally an ideal candidate when fishing in heavy cover, although their casting distance is short than spinning rods but because of their great accuracy. Mostly used with baits like big-lipped crankbaits, jerk baits, jig, and spinnerbaits. So, whenever you are fishing in a restricted diameter, where you could encounter large fishes and needs the accuracy to be top-notch, casting rods will be the way to go without a doubt.


We have broken it down for you as much as we could and explained what both the rods are, their advantages, and the key differences between them and then our recommendation in the end regarding when to choose which rod. So, it is advised to thoroughly read this article and then understand your circumstances and what strategy you will be using while hunting and then choose the rod accordingly.

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