Spinning Vs. Casting in Ultralight Fishing

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Quite a few anglers have wondered whether or not they would achieve better distance by using a baitcaster and rod. Time, and time again, though, they end up finding out that there is a reason why so many ultralight combos are sold as spinning outfits. I personally made this mistake when I purchased a reel that was supposedly able to throw UL lures, only to find out that it is like so many other baitcasters that requires heavier weights to move any line. There are a few different reasons why this happens so often.

The main reason that I wanted to try out a casting reel was to determine whether or not I would be able to achieve further distances with a casting rod than I could get on my old spinning outfit. I had read that both the Calcutta 50, as well as the Prolite Finesse reels were capable of throwing ultralight lures without any problems, so I decided to pick up a Prolite Finesse reel and rod for myself. I quickly found out that when I tied my 4lb test line, and a 1/8oz Rapala Countdown onto it that there were going to be problems. I loosened the drag as much as possible, set the left magnetic brake to 0, and then opened up the spool brake as much as I possibly could. (The knob actually came off from loosening it so much!)

When I did that, and then released the spool, the lure did not begin dropping like it does with other heavier lures. This told me that there simply wasn’t enough weight to get the spool moving. I went outside and tried casting with the setup I’d just spent so much money on, with the same dismal results. Even though the reel didn’t backlash (which was promised in the reviews that I read before purchasing it) it simply didn’t move the lure at all. It didn’t matter how much force I put into the casting stroke, the lure just didn’t want to move forward.

When I tied the same lure onto my 5’6″ UL rod and spinning outfit, then flipped the bail, the lure sunk straight to the floor without any hesitation. When I use this same outfit to cast out on the water, I can easily achieve 40′ casts without any problems. All of the problems that I had with my casting reel fiasco prove to me that there has yet to be a reel designed for throwing super light lures with any sort of distance. If you have positive experiences with a baitcaster, definitely let me know in the comments. From here on out, though, I will only be using spinning gear, and have grown to understand why there are so many high quality ultralight spinning outfits for sale, and zero ultralight baitcasting outfits on the market.

Go deeper on spinning vs. casting in ultralight fishing with this helpful guide or learn some advanced casting techniques for accuracy.

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