3 Types of Fishing Reels

There are three main types of fishing reels, and each has advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a brief explanation of the types to help you choose the right one for your fishing needs.



Often referred to as a “closed-face reel,” this is the easiest to cast and also the least expensive. For beginners, or if you’re on a budget, this reel is for you.  It’s very easy to use and makes fishing very simple. It’s what I started with, and what most anglers still start with today. A rod-and-reel combo such as the Shakespeare Catch More Fish series is a great place to start.



Commonly referred to as an “open-face reel," a spinning reel excels at  throwing lightweight lures on light line. This is often the second rod-and-reel combo that anglers use as they start to advance their skills. A spinning reel works great with today’s new braided lines, which are thin and strong and make a spinning combo quite capable. On the downside, line twist and slack left in the line can result in big snarls or tangles. So pay close attention to your line when using a spinning reel. If you’re new to spinning reels, start with an Abu Garcia Black Max reel. For more hard-core bassers, try the Abu Garcia Revo SX series for longer casts and smoother retrieves.



This is the preferred rod-and-reel combo of most pros and hard-core bass heads. A baitcasting reel has extra cranking power to retrieve larger lures and bring in bigger fish. In addition, an experienced caster can feather the line spool with their thumb and land the bait in precise locations. A baitcasting reel takes a bit of experience to learn how to cast, so it’s best to learn good casting technique with the spinning or spin-cast reel before graduating to a baitcaster. A bad cast results in what’s called a backlash, or a bad tangle, and if it’s bad enough you might have to cut out the entire spool of line and replace it. In the past, baitcasting reels were much harder to tune and cast, but new advanced brakes make reels like the models in Abu Garcia's Revo series much easier to use. When you’re ready for your first baitcaster, try an Abu Garcia Max reel or an Abu Garcia Revo X.  Once you feel comfortable with a baitcast reel, you can upgrade to a higher-performance reel like the Abu Garcia Revo STX.

Tags: baitcaster  -spinning-reel  -fishing-reel  -fishing-tip  -beginner-  fishing-tips-beginner  tom-redington 


Summertime Wet Wading

I’ve fished from 70 mph Ranger bass boats, 5 mph johnboats, pontoons, kayaks, canoes and yachts. I’ve fished from shore, from docks, and from dams, bridges and piers. But my love of fishing grew from wading streams. READ MORE »


Think Small for Big Results

We all like catching big fish and big numbers of fish, but sometimes when you want big, you need to think small. One of the biggest errors I see by anglers is they use tackle that is too big and catch fewer fish as a result.  Let’s start with the bait. A great big night crawler might catch a great big fish. But too much bait on the hook makes it hard for a small fish to eat it. When you fish a great big worm under a bobber for bluegills and other panfish, the fish often pull down the bobber, but don’t get the hook. You’ll miss the fish and wind up having your bait stolen. READ MORE »


3 Tips for Finding Summer Bass in Shady Areas

In the summertime, everyone has a favorite spot to stay cool and beat the heat. Some go to the water park; others just hang out inside the house. Now, here is the cool thing: Fish also have predictable summertime hangouts. They go to places where there’s food, current, plants, high levels of oxygen and shade, which they use as cover. Of all those factors, shade is one of the easiest for anglers to find and target. Use the tips below to help find good shady fishing spots and get more bites during your next fishing trip. READ MORE »


The Wacky Rig: The Best Bass Lure

I always get asked about my favorite lure, and it’s hard to pick just one. But if you asked me what lure I would want if I could only have one for bass fishing, a wacky worm would easily be my choice. A wacky worm will catch a bass anywhere from shallow water to 20 feet deep, and it will catch all species of bass. Not only will it catch big fish and lots of fish, but it’s also one of the easiest ways to fish for bass. READ MORE »


Top 5 Shore-Fishing Targets for Rivers and Streams

Ever move to a nice shady spot on a hot, sunny summer day? Or take shelter out of the wind on a blustery winter day? Yeah, me too. And guess what? Fish don’t hang out in the middle of nowhere, either. They often seek out areas that give them comfort, shelter or food. READ MORE »


Top 5 Shore-Fishing Targets for Lakes and Ponds

Think back to a time you played catch with a ball. Did you pick up the ball and throw it as far as you could, out to the middle of nowhere? I’m guessing no. You probably threw it to the person playing catch with you. READ MORE »