Spinning vs Casting Rods – What’s the difference?

We all want the best results whenever we fish. And it’s quite a challenge selecting the best fishing rod, especially when trout is your target fish. Generally, the fish species you intend to catch and your skill level will determine the type of fishing rod you need to select.

Spinning and casting rods are two entirely different types of rods. Yet, most of us can not tell the difference between the two. In case you are one of them, then there is nothing to worry about; you have come to the right place because you will get all the information you may need.

So, we will go through the features that make spinning rods different from casting rods. Therefore, by the time you are through with this article and eventually understand and know their differences, be sure that you will not be having a problem getting the best match between reels, anglers, and rods.

Read also: The 5 Best Spinning Rods in 2022

Features of Casting Rods

Casting rods have a reel steel seat positioning a bait-cast or spin-cast reel that is above the rod. Its rod-guides face upward. Once you catch fish and it’s struggling to get away, the rod bends over with guides facing up.

The fish applies a force that brings down the line onto the rod blank and the eyelets. And that prevents a big fish from pulling off the eyelets from the rod.

Better still, long casting rods made with straight handles are designed for power-fishing bass tactic, surfcasting, or trolling for large fish; for example, striped bass fish, salmon, flathead or blue catfish, and any other powerful saltwater fish. These rods usually have more extensive rod guides. That is to hold the heavier line of bait-cast reels.

However, you can match shorter casting rods with smaller rod-guides, and pistol grip handles with spin-cast reels containing a lighter line. The combination is perfect for beginners since it’s much easier to cast compared to the bait-cast compo.

Amazingly, if your interest is only in trout, then note that spin-cast equipment works best when it comes to catching trout, panfish, and other smaller species of fish. You can use live baits or artificial lures when fishing.

Features of Spinning Rods

The spinning rods come in different types and sizes. There are the light spinning rods, heavy spinning rods. Also, there are medium to heavy spinning rods.

While fishing, this rod type bends due to the force resulting from the fish bite. The line feeds out and pulls down while the eyelets point up; hence the reels rest just below the rod while its handle rests on your preferential hand.

Spinning rods consist of fiberglass, graphite, or both materials. Each has its pros and cons. Rods made using graphite are very light to handle and sensitive, but they are not that sturdy. 

On the other hand, the fiberglass rod is substantial but less sensitive. The rods consist of composite materials. Usually, they are costly.

Other factors you should keep in mind while purchasing a spinning rod are the bending ability, power, and length of the rod. Besides, it’s good to know that a short rod is more accurate, but long rods allow you to cast your line further.

Different type of rods bends at different points. Some at the tip, whereas others bend at the middle close to the reel. The former has high levels of accuracy. If you use a more powerful rod, you can quickly reel a bigger fish without breaking your rod.

Read also: Best Trout Fishing Tips

So, How Do You Select the Best Casting Rod for Trout?

Do you need a specific fishing rod for trout? Well, if you want a productive trout fishing rod, then the answer is “Yes!”

Therefore, picking the right rod will ensure a high hook-up rate. And you know what that means? Right. More trout for you!

Let’s take a look at the features you should consider when choosing the best.

Line guide Making sure your fishing rod has quality line-guides crucial. Line guides not only influence the rods’ casting ability; they also affect the feel when fish hit it.

  • Grip Handle

Whether you like EVA foam or cork, make sure you confirm how comfortable the grip handle is. When purchasing, you can achieve this by picking up the rod and making a couple of false flicks.

  • Rod Length

Trout fishing-rod lengths usually range from 6-8 feet. Your rod length depends on your fishing site. That can be in the lower overgrown creeks or open alpine streams. If you intend to fish in an alpine creek with little or no scrub, go for a longer rod. With that, you can cast further though it’s less accurate.

With a longer rod, you can control the hooked-up fish. However, if you are to fish in the scrubby lower stream overgrown with blackberries, then a more accurate, punchier, and shorter rod is invaluable. Thus, a rod length ranging between 6′ and 6′ 10″ will do well.

  • Rod Composition

The rod consists of either graphite or fiberglass. Graphite is more sensitive and the lightest of the two. Graphite rods have better properties than fiberglass rods. They are more sensitive, lighter, and more robust. These features are vital when it comes to trout fishing.

Please go for graphite though it’s expensive. It’s Worth it. For efficient and more productive casting for trout, a graphite rod is the best choice.

  • Action

The term “Action” describes the rod’s point that can bend and flex when there’s a force applied. Action balances the casting power of the rod and also helps in fighting the caught fish.

Your rod’s action affects the rod’s casting, the tip’s sensitivity, the energy transferred to the bait when you strike. There are categories of rod action. They are light, medium, and heavy. A Lighter and whippy action casts lighter baits further. It can also withstand fish surges, and in cases where the fish leaps, it can pick up the open line.

Therefore, it’s advisable to get a rod with light action.

  • Weight Class

If you want a rod weight suitable for trout, go for light. Trout are fun fish, especially on light gear. It’s exciting how they can leap out of the water and try using the streamflow against you.

So, to get the best casting rod weight for trout, select from the ones ranging between 1-3kg. It’s easier to toss most trout lures, excluding deep divers. But If you cast deep divers, then stepping up the rod weight to 2 to 4kg is necessary.

What of Spinning Rods?

Let’s look at the qualities when picking the best spinning rod for trout.

  • Rod length

For spinning rods, you’ll also have to consider your fishing place before purchasing one. Since not all of us have the luxury to get several trout rod lengths, a 7-foot length will do. It will serve most of your fishing scenarios.

With the appropriate setup, you can cast your rod far enough using a 7-foot to get to most fish swimming around. It would help if you scaled back on your rod length when fishing in an overgrown riverbank or wooded lake. That is because you might drive into a tree and break the tip.

  • Rod Power

For trout, light or ultralight power rating is excellent. So, for a perfect set up, you pair this rod type with the right weight line.

You always find the weight features close to the rod’s butt printed on the blank.

  • Rod Action

Fishing using light tackle is a significant sport, and a faster action rod is perfect for this. And when fishing a crankbait or a plug, you should avoid ultralight trout rods since you will end up losing all feeling on your line due to intermittent flexing of the tip.

Hence, tinny fish spinner or a light lure on an ultralight. That way, you can detect every movement. Better still, you’ll get a pin-point accuracy on casting.

  • Rod Construction

Current trout spinning rods consist of a mixture of composite materials. Though durable and very flexible, they are not that strong compared to the older fiberglass fishing poles. They can bend when fishing and casting but not jamming the ends into a tree or stepping on them, be careful.

Modern trout rods have great action. They have a small risk of breaking or snapping. On that account, if you take good care of them, they’ll last longer. It might be expensive, but it’s worth it. You can get yourself a goo ultra-light rod having great action at a reasonable price.

Wrapping Up

Both spinning and casting rods are great, and sometimes you may need to use both. That’s why I explained the features of each in detail. It’s all about the person and choosing what you’re more comfortable with.

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