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.
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?
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?
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, 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!
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).
- 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!
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.
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?
- 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.
- SpongeBob Square Pants
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle
- Dora The Explorer and Friends
- Hello Kitty