Can You Use a Spinning Reel on a Casting Rod ? ( Here is the Answer)

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Yes, you can use a baitcasting rod on a spinning reel. However, it is not advisable to do so. In this blog, I will discuss the shortcomings of using the “wrong” rod for a spinning tackle. But to help you understand better, I will first discuss the differences between baitcasters and spinning tackles. 

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Differences between Spinning and Casting Reels

There are many differences between the two. I can’t possibly discuss them all in this article. Therefore, I will only discuss the basics to help you get why it is not a good idea to use a baitcasting reel on a spinning rod or vice versa. 

Spinning Tackle 

Typically, a spinning tackle is designed to be used on a spinning rod. All spinning tackles are supposed to be mounted underneath the rod, and a spinning rod allows this possibility, but a casting one does not. The reel faces downwards while reeling in or out. 

When casting, the fishing line leaves the spool and bends in a 90°angle before it continues to the rod tip. To release the line from your tackle, you will need to flip the bail. It is worth noting that the spool will not turn while casting. It only turns while retrieving. 

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A baitcasting reel is specifically designed to be used on a casting rod. Typically, they are mounted on top of the rod, unlike spinning ones, which are mounted underneath. The reel faces the sky while reeling in or out. 

Like in a spinning tackle, the fishing line is stored in the spool. There is a lock on a baitcaster’s spool that you should press to release the fishing line. When you press the button, the spool spins as the line comes off the baitcaster. The release button is located at the back of the spool. To reengage the lock, you should turn the handle. 

From the above information, you can see there is a big difference in the usage of the two tackles. So, what happens if you use a spinning reel on a casting rod or vice versa? 

Learn More : What is the difference between spinning and Baitcasting reels?

Why It Is Not a Good Idea to Use a Casting Rod on a Spinning Reel 

There are four things that are likely to happen if you do so:

The Casting Distance Will Be Affected 

There are many benefits of increased casting distance; something using the wrong rod deprives you. When fishing from the shore, you will need your tackle to cast as long as possible. Most of us fish from the shore, so casting distance is vital. Furthermore, even if you fish from your boat, you will still need to do it from the shoreline once in a while. 

On a spinning rod, the first two line guides are very close to the handle. This helps the fishing line move out of the spool evenly following the guides. However, if you use a casting rod, the line guides will be much further from the rod. This will make it difficult for the line to come off the spool evenly. 

Instead, the line will have to bend towards the guides, which are closer to the rod blank. This unexpected deflection will increase friction and limit the casting distance. This will probably not matter if you are just going to catch some fish from the dock. However, there is nothing wrong with doing things the right way. 

I will give you an example to explain why casting distance is crucial. If you lose four yards because of using a casting rod on a spinning reel, that’s about 13 feet of water. That area holds fish that won’t see your lure or baits. Therefore, if you make ten casts in one hour, you will be looking at up to 150 feet of untouched water. Imagine the amount of fish that will not see your bait because of using the wrong equipment. 

Increases the Risk of Rod Damage 

There is still a huge debate on this topic. Some people feel the rod can break regardless of whether you are using it on the “right” or “wrong” reel. However, there is no doubt that the risk increases if you don’t use the right equipment. 

For example, if you put a casting rod on a spinning reel, you will be forced to use it on the opposite side (against its spine). A rod’s spine is often covered with a metal mandrel, which makes it stronger than the other side. Therefore, using the rod on its opposite side will increase the risk of snapping.

However, the type of rod also plays a significant role here. Some rods are strong on both sides. Therefore, it will matter less whether you use it by the spine or not if you use a high-end casting rod. 

The wrong Combo Can Alter the Rod’s Action and Power 

Typically, a rod is cautiously crafted to meet the standard of the manufacturer in terms of power and action. Rod’s action is the point at which the rod will bend when force is applied. For example, a rod with slow action will bend near the rod handle, while one with fast action will bend near the tip. Rod power is the resistance to bending when force is applied. 

Using the rod on its opposite side will change its action and power because that’s not how it was crafted to be used. It is not necessarily a bad thing, but your rod will unlikely be at its best performance. Therefore, if you are angling in a place that demands precision, you will likely be frustrated since the rod’s action often determines accuracy. 

They Will Laugh At You 

This may not feel like a big deal on paper but when it happens to you is when you realize just how embarrassing it can be. Fellow anglers will look at you like a confused person, and some will even try to tell you that you are doing it wrong. 

Yes, you might be able to convince them you know what you are doing, but it will still look stupid, to say the least. It can be quite embarrassing if you are with your kids. 

That said, we should all try to be responsible adults. Don’t go around bullying people just because they are using casting rods on spinning reels. The world is full of disrespectful people, and anglers should be different and stick together. Therefore, be kind to fellow anglers, regardless of how they choose to use their equipment. 

Should I Choose Spinning or Casting Reel?

Now that you know the importance of using the perfect combo, should you go for casting or spinning combo? Well, the ideal combo will depend on several things, including your experience, the type of fish you plan to catch, your fishing location, and your taste and preference. 

That said, I usually recommend spinning reels or combos for beginners since they are easier to cast and relatively more affordable. They are also excellent with lighter lures that most beginners use. With time, you can graduate to baitcasters. Baitcasters provides more precision and casting distance. They are often the best choice for larger fish and fishing locations that require precision.

Whichever type of tackle you choose, just ensure to match it with the right fishing rod. If you select a baitcaster, choose a casting rod. If you choose a spinning tackle, use a spinning rod.


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