Spinning vs casting

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I fish for bass with lures and became a true addict of this fish since I was a teenager, I mean from the beginning of the 80s. During all my school course I avidly fished for bass with traditionnal spinning tackle we could find in french shops. Since I started to work as fish farmer at the end of the 80s, I got some american fishing tackle catalogs and discovered the modern era of lure fishing. After a year of study and practice I tried to bring baitcasting fishing and tackle closer to the French fishermen through different media and animations field. I was an author in a wide spread fishing magazine so it was easy for me to share with other fishermen.

From the second half of 90s, I decided with some friends to found Black Bass France, a non lucrative association, to protect the Black bass french population and promote this game fish offering to anglers the joy of an amazing catch.

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In the same time, the presence of specialists such as Hiroshi Takahashi, amplified and reinforced my goal to popularize modern lure fishing tackle. We created a real movement thru all the country and proved many times in predator tournaments that this tackle is even able to win versus natural baits, in various conditions.

Today we can see and affirm that the use of this technique is perfectly mastered by many fishermen, regardless the age and initial level. This technique has become so popular that we sometimes even tend to forget or even denigrate traditional spin rods and spinning reels in France for fishing as they did in USA. Because of the tough conditions, Japanese bass anglers never forgot to use spinning gear, when necessary.

However, my message has always been clear : One technique does not exclude the other one, but are totally complementary. Depriving yourself of one of those two would be a technical foul, in sports terms, it’s like starting a golf course with only one club!

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Let’s go straight to the point and leave aside the exceptions: spinning is better recommended for delicate presentation called “finesse” and/or to cast light and teeny lures with thin lines. When you need to cast far or fish deep and vertically, spinning should be the best choice too. Zander fishermen know that very well when they use soft baits, like shads, close to the bottom in more than 15 m of water. As a bass fisherman in rivers and lake with heavy shore cover, I really like to skip my lures underneath the tree branches to reach hidden spots where the biggest bass like to ambush. Even if some fellows use casting to do that, believe me it’s far more easy with spinning tackle (talking about soft baits, hollow frogs).

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One more thing you must know about spinning advantage is that under high winds (saltwater fishing or bad weather in freshwater) you could throw your lure with minimum difficulty while with casting equipment it’s nearly impossible or you may spend most of your fishing time to untangle the bird nests made in your reel due to spool overruns. On the other hand,you will better use a baitcasting equipment for heavier lures and stronger lines, practicing a run and gun strategy named “power fishing”. You will be able to make repetitive and quick casts to different targets, keeping your boat or float tube in ovement.

Some lures I like to use for power fishing are deep crankbaits and spinnerbaits, but both pull on your rods and offer big resistance when you crank the line. That’s why, here again, baitcasting gear is a better choice. The multiplier and compact baitcasting reels can handle the efforts applied to mechanics while a spinning one can’t.

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Let’s come back to the heavily covered banks we talked about before and let’s notice that baitcasting rod and reels perform more accurate and discrete presentation of rubber jigs or texas rigged lure in small pockets of reeds or close to dead trees. To do this properly when fish are inactive and stay close to cover, you will use short pendulum casts named pitching or flipping, to send the lure just in the nose of the fish. Because casting equipment is often more powerful and stout than spinning one, you will be more comfortable to pull a fish and extract it from heavy underwater cover with thicker line. That point gives you another advantage if you catch a bigger fish than you imagined, for example catch a big catfish when fishing for bass !

To sum up, if you want to own a complete equipment for bass, perch or pike, the proportion is generally shared like 60% in baitcasting gears and 40% in spinning. We are not so far from parity, keep this in mind … The pleasure and the results depend on it !

Franck Rosmann