Why Do Bass Fishermen Use Baitcasters?

Photo Credit – @lews_fishing

Bass fishing is a widespread activity, and for a good reason: they’re tasty and challenging to catch, which makes the pastime well worth it. When you’re fishing for bass, you want to have the best available tackle to ensure you don’t go home empty-handed. Baitcasters are ubiquitous in this pursuit, though not all may know the exact reasons why bass fishermen use them to catch bass.

Bass fishermen use baitcasters because they boast high ease-of-use, low weight, distance control, and they make retrieval easy. Baitcasters allow a high degree of control over your cast, letting you adjust the speed of your cast to lower your chances of spooking fish.

Everyone has their own preferences as to what they think works best to catch fish, and the fact that the topic is so widely discussed is proof that baitcasters have at least some use. In this article, we’ll be discussing some of the merits of baitcasters and why fishermen use them.

What Are Baitcasters?

Here are my personal rods and reels. I almost never use a spinning reel unless I’m using a dropshot.

Baitcasters are a type of mechanical reel that sits on the fishing rod and holds the spool parallel to the rod, which is the opposite of where spinning reel spools sit. You can see a noticeable difference that the rings of a baitcaster rod are on top of the rod and larger than a spin rod’s rings. This is because the spool moves with the cast, and a higher volume of the line can go through faster.

Baitcasters are versatile in that they can be used with just about any type of fishing line, including fluorocarbon, monofilament, and other types. Something to note is that baitcasters handle heavy fishing lines better than other kinds of reels.

Because of the way the line unfurls, baitcasters allow greater accuracy than spin reels, but baitcasters have their drawbacks as well. If the fisherman isn’t careful to control their cast, it can cause the spool to move faster than the casting line, causing a big mess of tangled fishing line, commonly called ‘backlash.’ be prevented with practice by braking and controlling cast speed.

The Pros of Baitcasters

Photo Credit – @lews_fishing

If you’re reading up about baitcasters, you’ll be wanting to read about why they’re good and why you should use them versus the countless other fishing reel options out there. The good news is that baitcasters are widespread because they have a lot of useful features that make them ideal for fishing, and bass fishing in particular.

They Hold More Line

Baitcasters are renowned for bass fishing because bass fishing requires a larger amount of fishing line than other smaller fish. The worst thing when fishing is running out of line when you have a fish hooked, but baitcasters render this issue moot. A caveat to this benefit is that if you overstuff your spool with line or spool incorrectly, it can cause backlash or line tangling up.

Heavier Line Means Heavier Fish

Photo Credit – @lews_fishing

Catching big fish like bass not only necessitates the use of a lot of fishing line but heavier fishing line. A thin and flimsy line is liable to break or not be capable of reeling in a heavy fish, so you want a reel that can handle a heavy-duty fishing line that can handle any fish you can come across – especially bass!

Precision Distance Control

Bass fishing demands accuracy, and baitcasters deliver that in spades. With proper practice, you can cast farther and with greater accuracy than other reels and even control how hard your lure hits the water. This last bit is particularly important if you’re trying not to spook fish in your fishing area.

High Comfort Factor

Photo Credit – @fish_shimano_north_america

Baitcasters can be cast singlehandedly, which is a huge benefit to the ergonomically minded. It does require both hands to reel in, but that’s the same as any other reel, so it’s not a big deal. In addition, your hands will appreciate the relatively lighter weight of a baitcaster compared to other reels.

The Cons of Baitcasters

When considering any piece of fishing gear, it’s very important to thoroughly research what downsides exist and whether they’ll ultimately cause more problems than they’ll solve. While baitcasters do have their own cons like any product, you’ll have to carefully consider whether the pros outweigh them for your future in fishing.

They Take Practice

Novice fishermen may see pros use them everywhere, but baitcasters require more practice to use efficiently than other reels. If cast improperly, you’ll have a mess of fishing line on your hands, and nobody wants that! If you get a baitcaster, consider doing some research on how to best use it, or ask an experienced angler for some pointers.

They Are an Investment

While fishing can be a dirt-cheap hobby, there are items like baitcasters that, at a cost, can improve your experience. It may be worth thinking about whether the use you’ll get out of it will outweigh the monetary cost. Other reels are cheaper, so new anglers will want to think about which to use carefully.


Photo Credit – @lews_fishing

If improperly cast and the spool moves faster than the line unspools, the fishing line gets caught in the spool and creates an unholy spider web of fishing line that will be a pain in the neck to untangle and re-spool. If considering a baitcaster, it’s worth thinking about how to minimize the chances of backlash. If it sounds like more trouble than it’s worth, perhaps consider a different kind of reel.

Which Should You Choose: Baitcaster or Spinning Reel?

While it can be tempting to look at pro fishermen using baitcasters and think you want one, other options are perfectly serviceable, especially for novices. The most common type of reel that many people learn to fish with is a spinning reel and offers its own set of pros and cons that you should be aware of before biting the bullet and buying a baitcaster.

The Pros of a Spin Reel

Photo Credit – @fish_shimano_north_america

Spin reels are the most common starting equipment people use when starting out fishing, and for a good reason. They’re very cheap compared to baitcasters and can be used with a variety of bait and lures that equate to being able to catch a good variety of fish.

Spin reels don’t have much of a learning curve, especially compared to baitcasters, which require practice to use effectively. By contrast, spin reels are easy for a beginner to pick up and catch some small fish with. 

Another prominent pro of spin reels is that they don’t suffer from the infamous backlash problem, so if you’re not that skilled yet, you can pick up a spin reel rod and not worry about endless tangles of fishing line.

If your goal is just to pick up a cheap fishing rod and catch some medium to small-sized fish, a spin reel may be your bag.

The Cons of a Spin Reel

While good for beginners, spin reels have some issues that keep them from being the top choice of expert anglers. Spin reels have virtually no distance control or drag resistance, making them less than ideal for bass fishing. In addition, spin reels are both bulkier and less durable than baitcasters, not to mention less comfortable to use due to needing both hands to cast.

Final Thoughts

Baitcasters are used by pro fishermen everywhere because they offer a wide variety of useful features like distance, precision, comfort, and durability. Other options are available and even more ideal for beginners, but on the pro end of the spectrum, baitcasters are king.


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