Types Of Rods And Reels

Courtesy Of The Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife

There are literally thousands of choices when it comes to selecting a fishing rod and reel, but here are the four basic types to help you decide which one is right for you.


Spinning rods and reels are very popular because they're easy to use, allow long casts with light lures, and can be quite inexpensive. The first two or three line guides on a spinning rod are large, because the line "billows" off the end of the reel spool during the cast.

To cast with a spinning reel, you open the wire "bail" that wraps line around the spool, holding

the line with your index finger. Release the line as you move the rod forward and with a little practice you're casting like a champ. Nylon monofilament line of 6- to 12-pound test works best on most spinning reels.


Like a spinning reel, the spin-casting reel has a stationary spool, with line leaving and returning at one end of that spool.

But the spool on the spin-casting reel is enclosed, so you can't see it.

The line is released by use of a thumb-button at the back of the reel.


These reels differ greatly from both spinning and spin-cast reels because the spool sits perpendicular (cross-ways) to the rod rather than parallel to it.

Because the spool moves during casting and retrieving, these reels are often called revolving-spool reels.

Bait-casting tackle requires more practice, patience and skill than both spinning and spin-casting tackle, but once mastered, allows for pin-point casting accuracy and excellent line control when fishing and playing fish.


As mentioned earlier, artificial flies are very light, making them virtually impossible to cast with most rods and reels. So fly casters use a special kind of line and a certain kind of rod that allow even the smallest of flies to be cast long distances.

The line itself provides the casting weight, and the rod's size and flexibility are matched to the line's weight for best casting results.

Fly-fishing line is thicker and more visible than other types of fishing line, so fly anglers use several feet of monofilament or other low-visibility material as a "leader" between the fly and the fly line.