The Best Spincast Reel (Buying Guide)
Spincast reels are the gateway drug to baitcasters. Kidding, that sounds terrible. They are however an entry level fishing reel designed for new or younger anglers because of the ease of use. In this article we’ll outline what makes a great spincast reel, how it compares to spinning and baitcasting reels, our top spincast reels and many other questions answered!
What is a Spin Casting Reel?
A spincast reel also known as a closed face reel is paired with a casting rod that is different than other reels in that it has a cover (or cone) that shelters the spool and fishing line. Although, the spincast reel does have similarities to both the baitcasting and spinning reels. The spincast reel sits on top of the rod similar to the baitcasting reel, whereas the spinning reel hangs below the rod. The spincast reel mimics the spinning reel spool and how it controls the fishing line coming off and on (both have the spool facing toward rod line guides). Confused? See the diagram below.
Our Best Spincast Reel Recommendations
How do Spinning Reels and Casting Reels Differ?
Button vs. Bale Casting
When casting the these reels the spool must be opened (or “released”) in order for the line to come off. On a spincast reel the spool is released by pushing a button on backend of the reel. On a spinning reel the spool is released by opening the bale on the front end of the reel. To stop the spool from releasing line on the spincast reel you’ll need to engage the handle (aka. reel in), whereas the spinning reel you flip the bale back to a closed position. That said, many spinning reel bales will close automatically by engaging the handle as well, however that’s not encouraged as it’s more taxing on the reel components.
Drag and Reel Sizes
The spincasting reel has a basic drag system and does not compare to the superior spinning reel drag options as it can have both front and back drag options. However, the spincast reel drag is designed for ease of use with a simple adjustment disc on top.
Spincast reels typically have limited number of models (sizes) unlike the spinning reel with a variety model options. Either one or two models are offered, the smaller one for younger anglers and the larger for adults. This reduced number of models keeps the rest of the fishing tackle pretty straight forward with general line sizes, capacity, lures, etc. An average line weight is 10 pounds and capacity max of 80-100 yards. Again, this is designed for that beginner to average angler and general fishing applications.
What is the Best Fishing Line for Spin Casting Reels?
With so many fishing lines available these days it’s difficult to know what to choose. The three most common fishing line options are Monofilament, Braid and Fluorocarbon. For a spincasting reel the best suited line is monofilament.
Monofilament has stretch and “give” versus braid or fluorocarbon which both have very little stretch in the line and are more complicated to manage. Additionally, monofilament is a softer line which allows it to sit on the spool better than stiffer lines. This softer line will reduce backlashes and knots on the spool which is very important (especially for younger anglers). Additionally, with the spool cover has a line opening on it, and a softer line will flow easier through that opening whereas other lines may get caught (or held up) as it’s coming off the spool.
As for the weight or size of the monofilament to use, this is often recommended directly on the reel. There should be line rating and capacity that looks something like this: 85/10. This means the reel should have 85 yards of 10 pound monofilament line. If the reel does not have a line rating, the average line weight would be between 6-10 pounds and most of these reels will not be able to spool more than 100 yards of line.
Quick Tip: Avoid putting too much line on the spool by ensuring there is a ⅛ inch gap between the line and the top of the spool.
Who is the Spincast Reel Best Suited for?
These reels are geared for and work great for new or young anglers. With their ease of casting and general tackle components, I think the cliche phrase “one size fits all” is applicable here as these reels will get the job done for a broad range of fishing applications.
Another reason these work well for newer anglers is how they reduce common frustrations that other reels will encounter like line backlashes. And finally with the cheaper price tag there is a starter reel for all budgets to get someone started with fishing!
Best Spincast Reel Reviews and Buying Guide
- All metal gears, and internal brass gears
- Machined aluminum cover (cone)
- Spare spool included (for a quick line change)
- 7 Steel Bearings system
- Push button rubber can be a little soft (flimsy)
- Dial drag adjustment can be over sensitive, as the dial can easily be tightened/loosened by accident
- Slower line retrieval because of the lower gear ratio 3:4:1
- No under spin model available
- 3 models available, 1 model is an underside/underspin model for a spinning rod (mimics a spinning reel)
- Aluminum Frame & Cone (strong and lightweight)
- 5 bearing system (corrosion resistant stainless steel bearings)
- No spare spool
- Highest rated gear ratio at 4:1:1
- 3 models (sizes) with line weights:8#, 10# or 12#
- Rotating tungsten carbide line pickup pin to reduce line twists
- Ultra-smooth, multi-disc drag
- Very high line capacity
- Low bearing count (1 bearing)
- Line pin may cause line twists
- No spare spool
- Good all around starter reel with excellent history (been around since 1954)
- Lightweight graphite frame
- All metal gears
- Optional audible clicker for the drag (aka. The “Bite Alert”)
- Drag performance at higher settings can be inconsistent/choppy
- Single bearing system
Hi Jesse. Found your site looking for info on best line for bait casting reels. We bought Zebco Omega Pros for 2021 season and have been very happy with them. Was good to see you rated it so highly as well. You were targeting mostly young and beginner anglers for this type of reel. One thing to maybe add to your thoughts on that is how well it works for senior fishermen and women. Uncomplicated and smooth it works great for older folks whose fingers aren’t as nimble as they used to be!! New good quality mono line and we will be good to go for 2022!! Happy catching to you!
Thanks Roxy! Appreciate the feedback and suggestion. Cheers! Jesse