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When choosing your fishing rods and reels, you have to account for the fish species and the type of bait you’re going to use.

For instance, a heavy bait caster is ideal for bass and pike, whereas if you’re going after panfish, a lighter cast with minnows or other small bait is more appropriate.

The following are the basic reel and rod categories, but do keep in mind that each one has several sub-categories for fishing different species.

Spin Casting

This is the ideal configuration for seasoned anglers, and it also works great in terms of teaching new anglers and children about the mechanics of casting.

The spin cast reel is set over the rod with the reel spool covered with a nose cone, which helps keep the line in order and prevents any backlash.

To cast, you just press a button and hold it down. This results in the disengagement of the pickup pin and the line comes off. After the crank handle turns, the pickup pin is engaged again, taking in the spool line.

Spin casts have a low gear ratio because of the spool’s size. For this reason it’s hard to use it with lures that need quick retrieval like buzz baits, spinner baits and inline spinners.

If you’re going to buy one, make sure it has a smooth drag system and anti-reverse.


Bait-casting rods are suitable for different types of fishing and come in several variations and options, such as Low Retrieve Speed, High and Round and Low Profile, plus they have anti-reverse handles created specifically to slow down the bigger game fish.

Bait-casting outfits are ideal if you’re going with heavy lures to fish Muskie, pike and bass.

All bait-casting reel is mounted on the rod, and when you cast you move the rod backward and then snap it forward, pulling the line off.

Today all top quality bait-casting reels come with a spool tension so you can adjust the centrifugal brake or a cast control to minimize spool overrun.

Another key to effective bait-casting is making sure that the casting brake is top notch (the casting brake is the knob set in the center just below the side of the reel handle).

With bait-casting reels you get several fishing line options, and rods, from 5 to 6 ft., are now available in 7 to 9 ft. length.


Trolling refers not just to the method but also the equipment, and it’s a type of angling that has the lines and hook rigged lures dragged behind a boat, enticing the fish.

When it comes to the set up, trolling has many similarities to bait-casting.

Also, trolling rods come in different types including limber and planer boards, but the spoon line capacity is greater compared to baitcasting reels as it’s designed for heavy fish.

Fly Casting

fly-rod-487801_640With fly fishing, you cast a stream or fly made up of a hook with foam, feathers or other materials that simulate the appearance of minnows, insects and other baits.

They come in different forms including those with a tapered section (shooting head, weight forward, double tapered), and there are also sinking and floating types that are connected to the fly line.

Fly rods are thin, long and flexible, made from various types of composite materials, and their lengths vary from 6 to 14 ft. The line, and not the lure, however, determines the casting.

The fly rod size corresponds to the fly line’s weight, from #0 rods for panfish and trout up to #16 for game fish.


Spinning reels have been around since 1948 and are still used today. The basic design consists of a fixed spool reel set under the fishing rod with a mechanical wire bail used for retrieving the fishing line.

They also have an anti-reverse feature that stops crank handle rotation, and also allow you to use some drag.

These are the most common types of fishing rods and reels available, and as was mentioned earlier you can find several variations for each one. The easiest way to find the right combination is to take into account the type of fishing you’re going to do, and to make sure that the rods and reels are suitable for beginners.