How To Choose The Right Spincast Rod & Reel

By | March 13, 2016
How To Choose The Right Spincast Rod & Reel
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What’s the easiest rod and reel combo to learn to catch big bass?

BassHoles often learn to fish using a spincast rod and reel. Kid Fishing Closed Face Reel

There’s a very simple explanation for this fact: spincast reels are easy to learn!

I told you in my post on spinning gear that learning to cast a spinning rod and reel took about 5 minutes. So imagine how easy it must be to learn on a spincast rod and reel!

What is a spincast reel?

The spincast reel is the newest member of the reel family. It was created by R.D. Hull, a Texas watchmaker, after he noticed the action of string being pulled from a fixed spool to tie up cuts of meet at the butcher shop.

A spincast reel, like a spinning reel, is a fixed spool reel. When the line comes off the spool, it comes off in loops. The spool does not act like a winch, as a baitcasting reel does. But the entire mechanism for the spincast reel is enclosed in a metal or plastic or other material shell, giving the reel it’s other name, the closed face reel.

How do you cast spincast reel?fishing-1565663

The beauty of the spincast reel is the ease of casting. The rod used is the same type as used for a baitcasting reel — it has a pistol grip for your finger, and the reel sits on top of the rod, rather than below it, as a spinning reel does.

You put your finger on the trigger hold and bring the rod back (but not too far back!) with your thumb holding down the button located on the spincast reel. Then you snap the rod forward and release the button at the end of your cast. Your lure will fly through the air, pulling the line off the reel, and land in the water, ready to entice a big bass.

Is a spincast reel only for beginners?kid fishing at-the-beach-1543921

Absolutely not! Many BassHoles love their spincast reels. The biggest bass I’ve ever seen caught was brought in by my fishing buddy, who uses exclusively spincast reels. He also manages to always catch MORE fish than I do, though of course I’m hoping all the research and knowledge I did while recuperating (and he wasted his time fishing, catching, releasing, and having tons of fun) will help me even that score!

How expensive is a spincast rod and reel?

Still another reason this gear is great for beginners and kids is the pieces are generally not very expensive. You can get yourself or child a nice combo for very little investment. That is not to say you won’t get a better product if you spend more money, but let’s look at the options.

Zebco Omega ZO3PRO Spincast Fishing Reel

Price: $77.99spincast reel zebco omega
Bearings: 7 (first ever spincast reel with 7 bearings!)
Cover: Aircraft grade aluminum
Retrieve: Right- or left-hand (changeable)
Pickup System: 3X positive pickup
Drag system: Triple-cam multi-disk
BONUS: Includes limited 1-year manufacturer’s warranty
Rating: 9.5 out of 10 — Excellent (Buy This!)

 

Zebco, inventor of the spincast reel (R.D. Hull), describes this reel as their “most advanced spincast reel.” If you already love spincasting, then this reel is a great addition to your arsenal. Zebco is famous for its durability, reliability, and expertise. After all, they did invent the thing!

You can also use this reel to upgrade from any other spincast reels you may already own. Simply replace the old reel with this baby, and get ready to haul in those big bass!
Note that some models are silver and have two nobs on the handle.

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Rod

Price: $39.90Ugly Stik spincast rod
Rod: 6 1/2 foot, 2 piece
Action: Medium Heavy
Handle: EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate, or foam rubber)
Rating: 8.5 out of 10 (Great Value! Buy!)

 

Shakespeare’s Ugly Stiks are tough, durable, reliable, and most affordable rods. I use one myself! They are the world’s best fishing rod series, so you won’t be disappointed!

What makes them “Ugly”?

Shakespeare (the company, not the writer!) wanted a rod that combined lighter weight with tough durability. So they joined graphite and fiberglass. Graphite is charcoal grey in color, while fiberglass is white and translucent. So the tip of every Ugly Stik is fiberglass. The 2 tone color makes these rods easy to spot, and the combination of materials makes for a very tough, durable rod.

You can pretty much count on loving your Ugly Stik for a very long time. If you choose a less expensive reel, then when that one wears out, you can upgrade and still use this rod.
AND you could even upgrade to a baitcasting reel and use this rod (or pretty much any spincast rod).

Abu Garcia Medium Veritas Casting Rod

Price: $99.95ABU rod
Length: 6 foot 6 inch, 2 piece
Action: Medium
BONUS: Lightweight
Rating: 8 out of 10 — Excellent value Buy!
I feel if I’m going to show you the Ugly Stik, then I owe it to you to show you a much more beautiful rod!

 

Abu Garcia Veritas is a lovely piece of craftsmanship. Built by Abu Garcia, a company that had trouble selling the taxi meters due to World War II and so started making precision fishing reels, continues its commitment to high quality and craftsmanship with its fishing rods.

 

There’s a lot to love about this rod, but let me tell you the highlights:
  • Aesthetically pleasing (beautiful craftsmanship!)
  • Lightweight (after a day of casting and hauling in big bass, this matters!)
  • Excellent guides (typically 10 for this length, and made of titanium)
  • Made by a company with an impeccable reputation in fishing (awarded “Purveyor To The Royal Swedish Court” for exceedingly high standards of quality and craftsmanship)

Looks may not be everything, but with a quality rod as good as this one, it don’t hurt that it’s so purty!

 

This is actually a baitcasting rod, but will accommodate a spincast reel (as will virtually all baitcast rods), but if you ever decide to upgrade to a baitcaster, this rod will still be sitting pretty just for you!

Price: $54.58Zebco 33PL
Rod: 6 foot, 2 piece Medium action rod
Reel: All metal body and handle, 5 bearings
Retrieve: Right- or left-hand (changeable)
Gear Ratio: 4.1:1 (high speed)
BONUS: Comes spooled with 100 yards of 10 pound line
Rating: 7.5 (due to length) out of 10 — Good value
Zebco has been around for a long time, and is the company that invented the spincast reel. They continue to offer fine products that are priced for everyone’s budget. A very medium priced selection, but one that offers some nice features, is the Zebco rod and reel combo here.

 

This rod and reel are a durable, mid-priced that will serve the needs of the beginner as well as the more experienced BassHole. At 6 feet, it’s shorter than I would like, but there is a benefit for the beginner in that a shorter rod is a bit easier to cast.

 

Price: $49.99Zebco 33 Max Black
Rod: 6 1/2  foot, 2 piece Medium Heavy action rod, 2-piece
Reel: Graphite
Bearings: 4 (3 + clutch)
Rating: 7.5  out of 10 — Good value
Whenever you choose a “combo” set (rod and reel in one purchase), you generally sacrifice on either the rod or the reel. This combo is no exception.

What I like

I like the rod.

  • Length: 6 1/2 feet (compare to 6 feet above)
  • Weight: Medium Heavy (compare to medium above)

 

The extra six inches will allow for longer casts with minimum sacrifice of accuracy. And the Medium Heavy weight gives you plenty of backbone to set the hook and haul big bass up out of the weeds, structure, and so forth.

What I don’t like

The reel is not as good as the other combo.

  • 4 bearings (compare to 5 above)
  • Graphite case (compare to metal above)

HOWEVER, the real (reel?) difference in bearings is pretty minor. Bearings reduce friction and keep evertying running smooth. So it’s really (reely) not a big deal (excuse the parenthetical puns; I am a recovering standup comic, after all!).

And the case being graphite (plastic) vs. metal is also not such a big deal. Graphite is very tough (it’s what your rod is made of). The up side of graphite is it is a little lighter.

So the two combos come out equal.

My recommendation

I would choose the stouter, longer rod. You can always upgrade your reel later. So that would be the Zebco 33 Max Black Atac Medium Heavy Spincast Combo.

Something for the ladies?

Price: $25.24Ladies Zebco
Rod: 5 foot or 5 1/2 foot (descriptions vary!)
Reel: All metal gears
BONUS: Pretty in pink!
Rating: 8 (for beginners and youths) out of 10 — Good value
Do women need a different rod and reel combo? Not really. However, there are some nice things about the women’s product.
  • It’s pretty. Hey, guys may say they don’t care, but note my comments on the Abu Garcia rod above. Looks do count for something!
  • They are lighter. Generally fishing gear tailored for women is lighter and so easier on the arm.

 

Other nice factors are this rod and reel combo, though certainly not the most rugged, does get great reviews from users. And of course it could certainly be used by a younger angler, though some lads may be put off by the pink color?
So if you’re just starting out and are not sure how much fishing you are going to do, then this is a fine place to start. My first store bought rod (as opposed to the rod I constructed out of discarded gear and cup holders for guides) was a Zebco combo. I fished (trout mostly) that rod and reel for years without issues. And when I resumed fishing as an adult, I bought another Zebco combo because it was so inexpensive! But be warned, you could get HOOKED and turn into a BassHole!

What about little kids?

 

If you have children who long to be BassHoles, or if you just want to spend some quality time with your family outdoors, here are a couple of suggestions, both from Kid Casters.

Price: $27.99KC TF
Rod: 34 inches
Reel Gear Ratio: 3.1-1
BONUS: 1 sponge fish training lure
BONUS: Practice casting plug
BONUS: Comes spooled with 6 pound line
BONUS: Safe Plastic Hook (for training lures and casting plug)
Rating: 7 out of 10 — Good value
Tired of tangles? Tangle no more! Instead of using guides on these innovative fishing rods, the line goes directly through the rod (your rod is probably hollow anyway!). This is a great starter kit for very young (3 years and up) BassHoles.
The one pictured above is a “plain” version, but they do come in character styles as well, including:
  • SpongeBob Square Pants
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle
  • Dora The Explorer and Friends
  • Hello Kitty

And yes, they CAN catch fish with these! Here’s the proof: watch video.
For details on the training lure, read the description below.
Kid Casters Fishing Kit

Price: $21.99Kids fishing set
Rod: 29.5 inches
Reel Gear Ratio: 3.1-1
BONUS: 3 sponge fish training lures
BONUS: Practice casting plug & training lures
BONUS: Comes spooled with 8 pound line
BONUS: Safe Plastic Hook (for training lures and casting plug)
BONUS: 8 compartment tackle box
Rating: 8 out of 10 — Good value and FUN!
Start a child out right with this fun, safe fishing kit from Kid Casters!
Let’s face it, you may not want your child to start fishing with dangerously sharp objects (aka, hooks!). Kid Casters is a company dedicated to helping young children enjoy the adventure and excitement and quality family time of fishing in a completely safe and easy way. This set allows you to start them out with something safe, and once their skills are at the correct level, you can upgrade them to real hooks. But meanwhile, they will have a blast learning!
The sponge fish attach to the line, and when cast into the water, they transform into large colorful sponge fish. Once fully expanded, they can be cast again and again. The casting plug and training lures allow them to learn the skills without any real danger.
So, there you go! Plenty of information to get you started out as a BassHole. Whether you’re a 3-year-old child, a teen, or an adult starting out or building up your stock of material, there’s something here for you!
Welcome to all you once and future BassHoles!
Be sure and let me know what you decide to use, and how it works out for you!
Tight lines!
Roger, The Smiling BassHole

21 thoughts on “How To Choose The Right Spincast Rod & Reel

  1. Brenda

    WOW!! Great job. Thanks for doing all the research!! Makes it easier to shop .

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      You’re welcome, Brenda!

      And of course that’s the whole idea! More research going on, more to share, so stay tuned!

      And check back in once you have made the official transition to “BassHole”!

      Thanks!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  2. Chris

    I remember when I used to fish as a youngster me and my buddies would always use bread on the end of a string with a nail on it or something. The Shakespeare Ugly Stik has a weird name because I don’t think it looks ugly at all. It’s actually the coolest fishing tool I’ve seen since I’ve seen anybody fish this year.

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Chris,

      I also remember fishing as a kid. I remember catching what we call “Pumpkinseed” on a hook with NO bait! And I caught my very first fish on a hook baited with a berry!

      As for the Ugly Stik, I agree! It does look good. And cool! And it works! It’s the best selling rod series ever.

      Thanks for reminding me of my younger days as a BassHole.

      Stay in touch and

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  3. Julius

    Never knew fishing equipment actually has some depth and you should know what to look for. Nice post, keep it up!

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks, Julius!

      Though it was no fun to have to sit around instead of be out fishing, I did learn a lot of information about the history of rods, reels, and baits that I can now use to bore my fellow BassHoles!

      Glad you found it interesting.

      Tight lines,

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  4. Uwais

    I have taken up fishing as a hobby and still not sure if it is for me or not. The info provided was great and I got to learn more interesting things everyday. The areas I fish around have more carp than bass. Will this be sufficient for carp?

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      I hope you continue to enjoy fishing!

      I don’t know a lot (well, nothing) about carp fishing, but some quick research and I’ve found:

      * You probably want a spinning reel and rod to match.
      * I have caught carp, and they can put up a good fight, so maybe a stiffer rod (Medium or Medium-Heavy).
      * Use black matt hooks.
      * For bait, the best choice is sweet corn!

      Here’s a site I found that offers advice on carp fishing.

      Keep me posted on carp fishing. Maybe you could become a “Carp-Hole”?

      Tight lines,

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  5. Chris

    Thanks for another great post, it really helps when deciding what to buy. I like the kids combos with the training lures, it’s a great idea and I will look out for that when I need to buy a rod for a young one.
    Looking forward to your next post.
    Cheers

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks, Chris!

      I’m always stressing that when you take young children fishing, you really want to have plenty of action for them. And of course it doesn’t have to be JUST fishing — looking at the critters in the water, finding shells and smooth stones, anything to engage them.

      But these outfits make it easy — AND SAFE! — for them to learn to cast, AND something happens!

      Plus they can practice anywhere.

      So have fun! Let me know what you think of them once you get them.

      Tight lines,

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  6. E. Mercer

    This website is great. I learned a lot of new information about fishing. I love the outdoors and this post just encouraged me to plan a family fishing trip this summer! I did not know the technique involved in fishing. I surely thought you just drop a line, any line with a worm, set back and catch fish. You have made me aware that it is much more to it than what I thought. This is the most interesting post that I’ve read! Thanks for the information and if needed, Ill refer back to this page to make a purchase.

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Glad to be of help!

      What you describe, by the way, IS one way to fish. It’s what most folks conjure up when thinking of fishing. It’s relaxing!

      Some people excel at that type of fishing because they study the contours of the lake or river, know exactly where to place their bait, and so have great skill.

      For me, that’s a bit boring (UNLESS the fish are really biting!). I prefer casting, using different lures, and finding fish in that fashion.

      There will be plenty more tips and techniques to come, so please come back and visit.

      AND be sure and share some of your adventures from your family fishing trip!

      Tight lines,

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  7. john

    Roger,
    I started with a Zebco 202 many years ago. I think I still have one. I know I still have several of the Zebco 33 reels. One of my favorite rods is an Ugly stick. You have the correct information for the novice fisherman to get started and catch fish. I will be going to the lake next weekend, hope I can give a good report on catching something as this is the first season for this area. I do hear the peepers every night, a sign that the spring fishing is starting. My favorite reels are the open face with light 2-4 pound line that can take on some heavy fish. I have caught some 8 pounders on this combo.
    John

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      John,

      You have a better memory than I do! I know my Zebco was a combo, and came in a shrink-wrap package. My sister had told me I was getting a baseball glove for my birthday. I was appalled! So when the real (reel?) gift was presented, I was thrilled AND surprised. The rod was white, and that’s the last white rod I’ve ever had. Maybe it’s time for another!

      The Zebco 33’s look great. And I know the Omega gets tons of respect.

      And yes! You CAN catch big fish on light lines! Ask any fly fisherman! (We’d use very light tippets to not spook trout, then catch 5 to 7 pounders — when we could!).

      Certainly shows you know what you’re doing.

      Yes, please report back your results. I’m in NH. Still ice on my home lake, but the weather has been unseasonably warm, so can bass fishing be far behind? NO!

      Tight lines,

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  8. Rhett

    Hi Roger,

    Very informative!!!! I never knew that there were so many different types of fishing equipment (rods) I remember when I was younger, my Dad went to the store and bought me a rod and reel to go fishing with the boys. I was ALWAYS getting the line all twisted up. Glad to know that they have a no tangle fishing rod for little ones age 3 as my granddaughter has decided she wants to go fishin’. She just turned 3. I will be definitely be bookmarking your website to be able to refer back to just in case this is just more than a phase. What would you recommend would be the best one when she gets older and how long before I should get her a more advanced one?

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Rhett,

      At 3 you have a few years before you need to worry about “upgrading” to another rod and reel. And I’m sure SHE’LL let you know when she needs to move up! But probably around 5 or 6, depending on how much fishing she does, and her skill level.

      For the next step, I would definitely recommend a baitcast reel. Here’s a great combo with an Ugly Stik rod (don’t let the name fool you! They look great!). It has a reel, fishing line (6 lb. test), and comes in pink!

      The important thing to remember is to let her have fun. And don’t focus on JUST fishing! Here’s a post about getting your child into fishing (ignore the comment about the rod, as the author is talking about a fly rod). And it features a 2 1/2 year old girl!

      2 VERY IMPORTANT tips:

      * Keep outings short (with snacks) (OK, that’s 3 tips!)

      * Find a bluegill pond (they are very eager to be caught!) (BTW, I like to fish for bluegills even now, and I’m 62!)

      ALSO, don’t focus only on fishing. Turn the outing into a fun nature experience. Collect rocks, shells, observe bugs and critters (like crawfish — but be careful, those pinchers hurt!). Take pictures to discuss later.

      Here’s another post about getting kids started fishing, with pictures! You won’t even have to worry about putting the line on the reel with the combos I’ve mentioned.

      Bluegill will be spewing soon here in New Hampshire, and are probably already doing so in warmer states, so this is a great time to find a bluegill pond and get out fishing!

      And it’s a great idea to practice casting before you start fishing. If your set came with a casting plug, use that. If not, put something on the end of the line (without a hook!). I used to practice with clothespins on my line.

      Put a hula hoop (or a few!) out on the lawn, and practice casting into the hoop. If you don’t have a hula hoop, a length of rope will work. Or anything, really, that she can aim at.

      Let me know how it goes!

      Tight lines,

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  9. Sue

    I recently moved to beautiful Alabama after living in the desert for about 40 years. Getting back into fishing, which I really enjoyed as a kid is something I have been looking forward to. I have recently begun to look for equipment and your post really helped me decide on purchasing a spin caster. The Zebco 202 Ladies Spincast 562M Fishing Rod and Reel Combo that you described is probably going to fit the bill nicely. And it is a at a great price so getting back into the sport will not break the bank. Thanks so much for the wealth of information you shared. I will be back again to see what other great advice you will have in future!

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks, Sue!

      Awesome! Let me say you are welcome as an official “BassHole”!

      Yes, that combo is a great starter, and may last you many years. Just be careful not to close the rod in the car door (that’s the number one cause of broken fishing rods!).

      And there are certainly many great bass fishing areas in Alabama, so have a great time and let me know how you like it!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  10. Owain

    Thanks for a very informative post. I am no fisherman but both my father and brother are. I hear both of them like to catch bass and so these reviews will be of great use to them. I will have to show them this post so that they can see what is out there.

    Reply
  11. 98Collin

    I must say you have very interesting content here.
    Your page should go viral. You need initial boost only.
    How to get it? Search for: Etorofer’s strategies

    Reply

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