Spin casting or “spinning” is the most commonly used method in the world of fishing.  It is one of the most simple yet effective methods to catch fish. Spin casting is great for anyone new to fishing as it is extremely versatile and can be used in almost all types of waters, to catch all types of species. Spin casting is the preferred method when multiple casts are required. It is versatile because casts can be extremely accurate, while long distances can be easily achieved using the right gear. Spin casting is specifically designed to be the least physically demanding when trying to cover as much water as possible. We will fully break down everything you need to know surrounding Spin casting, its methods and materials.

We will break down the art of spin casting through these categories:

  1. Why Choose Spin Casting
  2. When to Use Spin Casting
    1. Lure Fishing
  3. Spin Casting Rod & Reel
  4. Spin Casting Tackle
  5. Advanced Techniques & Methods

Why Choose Spin Casting?

Spin casting is definitely one of the favourite ways to catch fish! There are a few reasons why it is so widely used. First of all, spin casting is very simple to master. The way a spin casting rod/reel is designed is to allow for versatility. Most spin casting reels are typically much lighter than other mechanical fishing reels, and are designed to reduce issues with line tangles compared to other reel styles such as baitcasting reels. It also isn't quite as physically demanding to cast, as there is no need for line controlling.

A favourite personal method of mine is spin casting lures. There is absolutely no better feeling than retrieving a lure through the depths of the water, before a massive fish smashes and takes a run leaving you with a bent over rod and screaming reel. This is an experience that can only be felt spin casting. Because your line is always tight during retrieve, you will always be able to feel the slightest bumps and bites. This translates into an instant reaction of setting the hook. You will typically lose less fish when spin casting lures because you are constantly ready for the strikes. This type of fishing method allows you to be very engaged, catching a fish this way is very intimate and brings total gratification!

When to use Spincasting?

If you are a fisherman constantly on the move, spin casting allows you to cast and retrieve without spending too much energy so that you can quickly move through and cover as much water as possible. This efficiency translates into catching more fish. With a flick of the wrist you can cast long distances and precisely land your lure in the tightest areas.

You can typically use a spin caster for many different styles of fishing, below are styles of fishing that spin casters can be used for:

Lure Fishing (Spoons & Spinners & Jigs)

This is by far the most popular method used when spin casting. Spin casting lures can be used for all types of waterways. The most effective areas to lure fish are beaches, slow to moderate moving rivers and lakes. This method is great when you are targeting aggressive types of fish species such as salmon, trout, bass, pike or steelhead. You can cast your presentation into large open waters or tight bends with over hanging trees with ease when spin casting lures. Use this method if you want to be more engaged in feeling the bites. Bites tend to come in 2 main forms; feeling like a heavy snag, or an explosion followed by a running fish on the end of your line.

Select your lure size and weight depending on the size of the species you are targeting, and the depths of the water you will be fishing.

Spin Casting Gear

Spin Casting Rods

Spinning rods have a straight handle, with small diameter guides at the tip, gradually getting larger as it gets closer to the reel. The line peeling off your reel flows through the largest guides to the smallest, this allows for the least amount of resistance, channeling all the force of the cast to the tip of your rod. This force in exchange allows you to precisely cast to your target and with great distance.

Spin casting rods come in different lengths, weight and power. Do not confuse a spin casting rod with a baitcasting or fly rod. A spin casting rod is specifically designed to hold a spin casting reel for optimum performance.

Spin Casting Reels

Spin casting reels are designed to sit on the bottom side of the rod, the spool its self sits perpendicular to the rod. As you retrieve, the line is received through the rod guides and onto the reel. A roller or small wheel called a “Power roller” catches the line A metal arm called the “Bail” keeps the line in place and rotates to receive the line onto the spool.

These reels usually come with a drag setting, which can be adjusted by a knob on the top of the spool. The drag is essentially the “brakes” of which to stop a fish from peeling line off your reel. Adjusting the drag is essential to landing fish: you will lose fish if your drag is not tight enough and the line is slack, on the other hand, you will lose fish if your drag is too tight and the fish will break your line.

Spin casting reels come in all sizes depending on how large the fish you are targeting. Most reels can be swapped between both left and right hand retrieve.

Spin Casting Tackle Selection

Line Selection

In order to achieve distance, there is a formula that we must use. First of all, you should typically match the weight of your line to the correct limitation of your rod. Try and scale your line weight to as minimal as possible or the type of fish you will be fighting. Here is a rough example of minimal line power to the target species.

  • Salmon - 12lb line
  • Trout - 6lb line
  • Pan fish (sunfish, perch etc) - 4lb

By scaling down your line diameter and weight, you will typically have less issues with tangling. With a thinner diameter line you will be able to cast much farther than with a thicker diameter line. Line memory also causes resistance in your guides therefore slowing down the speed of which your line casts out.

Visit our Line Selection page for more details for the best type of line to choose for your fishing style.

Lure Selection

With so many different types of lures, focus on using lures that have the best action when retrieving. 3 of the most widely used lures are spoons and spinners and jigs. These lures are a staple and should be in any angler's artillery.

A spinner provides a heavier drag in the water from the fluttering blade, therefore it creates waves in the water which attracts fish. Spinners are great for rivers and lakes. However keep in mind due to its shape and weight, typically spinners are hard to cast far, and will rise in the water when being retrieved. When distance spin casting in deeper waters, select heavier spinners.

A spoon provides movement similar to a wounded fish. A spoon can be spin casting extremely long distances because of its slim profile. A heavier spoon will provide distance and fish deeper waters, however will lack in movement, compared to a lighter smaller spoon which may not cast as far but will provide much more flutter.

A jig can be extremely effective when fishing deeper waters. Due to the built in weight of the jig, they can typically be cast extremely far with ease. The jigging motion of a jig is irresistible to fish. The jig can be fished across all levels of the water depth, however be wary of snags.

Advanced Techniques & Methods

There are a few little tricks that can increase your chances of hooking more fish. One of the most important factors is distance casting, not only do larger fish reside in deeper waters further from shore, but distance casting when spin casting also means your lure is the water for longer periods of time which will dramatically increase your chances of hooking up. Certain species of fish will chase and follow your lure until it feels it is the right time to commit to the bite. By casting farther, you allow for more time for the fish to follow your offering. Use smaller diameter line to achieve farther casting distance

Select a longer rod with a stronger backbone. This will provide you leverage when casting, however a longer rod will take away from your accuracy. Therefore decide what is more important to you, accuracy or distance.

Select a reel that best matches with your rod size. A rod designed for small fish should have a matching reel for castability. A rod designed for large fish should have a matching reel that can withstand the powerful runs and have enough line so the fish does not out spool you.
If fishing for species such as salmon, trout or bass, select a rod/reel combo that is medium sized. For any rod and reel combo of any size the most important thing is to make sure the line flows very smoothly without too much friction against the rod guides.

By using smaller diameter line combo’d with the correct rod and reel, you will achieve not only distance but also accuracy. Accurate casting will come with experience and practice.