Best Fishing Reel For Beginner: Beginner’s Guide

Fishing is more than just a hobby; it’s a timeless activity that connects people to nature, tests patience, and offers relaxation. For those just stepping into the world of angling, understanding the right equipment is crucial. At the heart of this equipment is the fishing reel.

Choosing the best fishing reel for a beginner can seem overwhelming given the variety available in the market. Diving into the world of fishing gear can feel overwhelming with the sheer variety of fishing reel choices available. From terms like “Spincast” and “baitcast” to brand names like Abu Garcia and Penn, and the complexities of reel retrieve rates and ball bearings, it’s easy to feel lost. But fear not. This article simplifies the jargon and breaks down the essentials to help you select the perfect fishing reel for your needs.

While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer, if you’re seeking a quick recommendation, the Daiwa Crossfire LT stands out as a top choice for beginners. This guide aims to simplify that decision by highlighting the essential aspects of fishing reels, focusing on what beginners need to know. If you’re curious about the reasoning behind this and want a comprehensive guide to reel selection, read on!

Different Types Of Fishing Reels

In any fishing store, the main types of reels you’ll typically find are spincast, spinning, and baitcast reels. While there are specialized reels like line counters and power assist, we’ll focus on the basics suitable for beginners.

Spinning Reels

Spinning Reels

Spinning reels are a popular choice among anglers for their versatility and ease of use. Characterized by an open-faced design, they offer several advantages that make them suitable for various fishing situations.

Pros And Cons Of Spinning Reels

Pros for a Spinning ReelCons for Spinning Reels
1. Best casting distances: Spinning reels excel in casting distance, outperforming other reel types, including baitcasting reels.1. Knots often: The open bail design can lead to frequent looping and tangling, requiring constant attention to prevent knots.
2. Good for any type of fishing: Versatility is a key strength of spinning reels, making them suitable for various fishing techniques and environments.2. Takes some time to learn: The casting motion for a spinning reel can be challenging, requiring practice to master the release timing and prevent casting issues.
3. Easy to fix loops and knots: The visible line allows for easy detection and fixing of knots or loops, providing a straightforward solution to common line issues.3. Not the most accurate casts: Despite their other advantages, spinning reels may lack the precision of other reel types, making accuracy challenging, especially for beginners.
4. Best for use with light lures: Spinning reels shine when it comes to handling extremely light lures, offering unmatched performance for lightweight fishing situations.

Baitcast Reels

Baitcast Reels

Baitcast reels are favored by anglers seekins precision and control, making them a popular choice for those with some fishing experience. These reels are positioned on top of the fishing rod and boast a unique casting mechanism that demands a bit more skill than other reel types.

Pros And Cons Of Baitcast Reels

Pros of a Baitcast ReelCons of a Baitcast Reel
Best for casting accuracyDifficult to learn
Enables quicker castingBacklashes can be challenging to fix
Allows various casting styles (e.g., pitching)Expensive
Highly customizableRequires regular maintenance
Unsuitable for very light lures (under ¼ oz.)

Spincast Reels

Spincast Reels

A spincast reel is a popular choice, especially among beginners, due to its user-friendly design. Recognizable by its distinctive cover over the line, which features a single small opening, this reel minimizes tangles and offers straightforward operation. Ideal for casual fishing trips and those new to angling, spincast reels are often paired with beginner-friendly fishing rods, making them a common sight in many general retail stores.

Pros of Spincast Reels

Easy to CastPressing a button releases the line effortlessly, making casting straightforward and user-friendly.
SimpleMinimal risk of line tangling or knotting, especially for beginners.
CheapAmong the most affordable reel types, with options available for as low as $10 to $20.
Dual-HandedDesigned for both right-handed and left-handed users, offering flexibility and convenience.

Cons of Spincast Reels

Hard to Cast FarLimited casting distance compared to other reel types due to the constant tension on the line.
Difficult to Fix Tangles and KnotsThe hidden line under the protective cover makes untangling challenging, and knots can go unnoticed until they become problematic.
Poor Drag System for Big FishInadequate drag mechanisms make it less effective for reeling in larger fish, compromising durability and functionality.

Best Reel For The Beginner Fisherman

For a beginner fisherman, it’s advisable to steer clear of baitcasters. Not only are they challenging to cast, but they also come with a hefty price tag. Instead, consider options like spincast or spinning reels for your initial fishing ventures. These reels are more user-friendly, have a gentler learning curve, and won’t require a substantial upfront investment.

Save the exploration of baitcasters for a later stage in your angling journey when you’ve developed a deeper passion for fishing and are willing to invest the time and effort required to master them. For now, focus on enjoying the experience of fishing with a more beginner-friendly reel.

Spincast Vs. Spinning Reel

Spincast ReelSpinning Reel
Beginner-friendly; easier to learn.Beginner-friendly with potential for long-term use.
Generally more affordable, with some options around $30.Affordable options, commonly used by both beginners and professionals.
Suitable for certain techniques but has limitations.Versatile; compatible with various lure types and fishing techniques, including multi-species setups.
Holds less line compared to spinning reels.Can hold more lines; changing lines is simpler.
Casting might be less efficient compared to spinning.Longer casting distances are possible, reaching fish beyond the reach of some other reels.
Learning curve includes watching for loops and knots.Encourages good habits early on, preparing for more advanced techniques in the future.

What Qualities Should A Fishing Reel Have?

What Qualities Should A Fishing Reel Have?
AspectSpincast vs. Spinning Reel Details
Reel RecommendationConsider the Daiwa Crossfire for beginners due to its affordability at $30 and its reliable performance.
Ball BearingsBearings in a reel reduce friction, enhancing smoothness during operation. More bearings generally mean smoother operation. However, the quality of the bearings matters; not all are created equal. The recommendation is to test the reel in person for smoothness.
Gear RatioGear ratio indicates how many times the spool rotates with one turn of the reel handle. Higher ratios pull in more lines quickly, beneficial for situations where rapid retrieval is needed. While it’s crucial for baitcast reels, spinning reels typically come in a standard 5.2:1 ratio suitable for most beginners.
Fishing Reel SizeSpinning reels come in various sizes, usually denoted by numbers like 2500 to 4000. Larger reels offer more line capacity, increased drag, and can be beneficial for targeting larger fish. For beginners, a size like 35/3500 or 40/4000 is versatile enough to handle a range of fish sizes without being overly cumbersome.

Understanding these aspects and their nuances can greatly aid beginners in making informed decisions when selecting their first fishing reel. Starting with a versatile and user-friendly reel, such as the Daiwa Crossfire, can set the foundation for a rewarding fishing experience.

Left Vs. Right Handed Fishing Reels

AspectLeft vs. Right Handed Fishing Reels Details
Spinning ReelsDespite what many believe, most spinning reels are designed for right-handed people to cast with their dominant hand (right) and then switch the rod to the left hand for reeling. This setup may feel counterintuitive for some, but it’s a standard design. While specialty spinning reels with the reel on the right side do exist, they’re uncommon. It’s common for users to adapt and use their non-dominant hand for reeling, although this isn’t the recommended technique.
Baitcasting & SpincastWith baitcasting and spincast reels, there’s more flexibility in choice. Whether you opt for a left or right-handed reel largely depends on personal preference. Some anglers, after becoming accustomed to using spinning reels with their non-dominant hand, choose left-handed baitcasting reels even if they’re right-handed. The key is to try out both options to determine which feels more natural and comfortable for individual users.

Choosing between left and right-handed fishing reels is an essential decision that can impact an angler’s comfort and efficiency on the water. While some reels have standard designs, personal preference plays a significant role in selecting the most suitable option.


What size rod is best for beginners?

A light rod that is between 1.2 and two meters (four to six feet) in length is a good option for novices. This is lightweight, perfect for trout and other small fish, and very good with smaller tackle.

Is baitcasting better than spinning?

Spinning reels excel with smaller diameter and lighter pound lines, while baitcasters are better suited for heavier lines. When choosing, it’s also essential to consider the ease of use for each type.

How do I choose a fishing reel?

When selecting a fishing reel, consider the type of lures or bait you’ll use; spinning reels suit small lures, whereas baitcasters are better for heavier ones. Ultimately, the choice often comes down to personal preference.

Why do fishermen prefer baitcasters?

A baitcaster reel excels in precision for crowded areas or riverbed hot spots. Additionally, higher-quality versions can serve as potent offshore fishing reels.

Why are baitcasters so expensive?

In terms of difficulty, the baitcasting reel is one level above the spinning reel. These reels give up casting distance and adaptability in favor of accuracy, comfort, and leverage. Bass tournament anglers value these reels highly, and they frequently have a price tag to match.

Final Thoughts 

Here we discussed the details of “Best Fishing Reel For Beginners”. Choosing the right fishing reel depends on various factors, including your experience level and preferences. While baitcasters offer precision, beginners might find spinning reels, like the Daiwa Crossfire LT, more user-friendly and cost-effective. Remember, it’s essential to consider aspects like ball bearings and gear ratio, but always try out different reels firsthand when possible to find the perfect fit for your fishing adventures.

Leave a Comment