Can You Use A Fly Rod With A Spinning Reel?

Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on a link we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

To set the record straight, different fishing techniques have their rules. But, fishing for certain species in unusual ways isn’t a big deal. Especially, if you aren’t breaking any regulations. I ALWAYS maintain humane tackle gear.

So, yes! You can use a fly rod on a spinning reel and still reach your day’s limit. (Want to know more about the difference between a fly rod and a spinning rod, read the content on Fly Rods Vs Spinning Rods : which One to Pick?) This is a topic I like as I sometimes spin fish on fly rods. However, the tactic won’t work surprisingly well in all situations. I often pair my Pflueger and Shimano reels to longer Orvis rods. The added length strikes a distinct plus

What works for the Spinning Reel and Fly Rod Combo?

Oh! You must have thought that fly rods are only for fly reels, right? No, they can work interchangeably. I have fished smaller mountain brookies using worms on a fly rod and spinning reel setup. I often use the Okuma Avenger ABF Ultralight Spinning Reel on my Redington Path 9 foot rod and it works perfectly. Mostly, I fish upstream and create pendulum casts. These drop the light worms straight into deeper pockets near logs and boulders.

I love the fly rod’s extra reach and the control that the spin caster offers. You can try the same and share your experience in the comment section.

I have created my setups by using a reel seat and guides with a spinning style and cork. This works perfectly for micro-jigs when chasing trout. I paired it with a spinning reel. It casts an eighth to a sixteenth of an ounce jig farther up and takes them across currents.

Using a longer rod was beneficial as the extra length offered more control. This is also perfect for dipping jigs and minnows. They can catch crappies in tangles brushes and thicker spatterdock bunches of weeds. In such areas retrieving and casting is trickier. Does it sound impossible? It works magic!

The Good

You can use the combo if it currently is what you own as you save to advance your collection. It works!
On the downed trees, the combo gets into some spots you couldn’t access from a boat or the shore.
I alternate between a spinning reel and a fly fishing reel on my fly rod depending on whether I want to fish with flies or spawns.

Fish Species you can Catch using a Fly Rod and Spin Reel Combo

  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Bream
  • Brook trout
  • Steelheads
  • Perch and other panfish

Possible Challenges for using a Fly Rod and Spinning Reel Combo

  • It might not cast light poppers or flies farther enough. However, you could slingshot for better results.
  • The setup can be a great wind-cutter especially if you are targeting crappie in the gusts.
  • If you mono-run through your combo, the snake guides can groove. Especially, if you do this often.
  • Using too much weight makes the action sloppy. The fly rod won’t react to strikes as you’d want. It happened to me the first time I tested such a combo.
  • If you cast often and for a long time, you might not love the experience on your wrist if you choose a shorter rod.
  • Some middle-size to large spinning reels don’t fit on the reel seas of most fly rods.


Often run Q-Tips through your fly rod guides to prevent grooving. Focus more on the tip of the top guide.
Don’t use very expensive fly rods for such a setup. Save them for true fly fishing!


How to Tie a Knot in Fishing Line: Everything You Need to Know

Sage Pulse Vs Sage Foundation Fly Rod Review