For fishermen: Rod 'n' reels--open or closed

The only kind of rod and reel that I’ve ever had was a closed-face reel.

I’ve never even used an open face reel.

What are the advantages or disadvantages of one over the other?

Open faced are generally more reliable and durable, and they usually have a greater line capacity. The drag system is generally better, too. They also cost more.

I’ve been fishing for 40 years, and I’ve used all types of equipment. I’ve had closed face (spincast) reels last for decades and open face (spinning) that self-destruct after a few casts.

Casting (level-wind) reels are getting better (fewer backlashes, easier to cast lightweight lures), but I personally don’t like them. I learned how to cast with that type of reel when I was a young’n, and I remember the hassle in trying to straighten out those backlash birds’ nests.

My recommendation: Use spincast if you’re not going after something real large.

I will disagree with dad on one point ( I got A couple of years on him) if you are going after really big stuff use a bait cast reel. They have anti- backlash and freespin now and birdsnests are rare. The big advantage of them is you can feather your cast with your thumb, and develop an impresive calous. The big advantage of a spincast is that they are the easiest to use. One thumb button. Thats what I recomend to any beginner especially my lil cub scouts. They are cheaper too but at the low end ( do they still make the Zebco 202?) they are not very rugged. an advantage of spinning reels is control compared to spincast you can feather with your finger as the line goes over… These days I have gone to ultra light equipment. Mj if you wanta have some real fun get yourself an ultra lite spinning reel and rod. 2 and 4 ounce gear is great. i have two rigs i use most both under 30 bucks one is a telescoping rod for backpacking. A few times casting and there is nothing to it. Great fun too. Why just the other day i cast a 1/8 oz popper out on 4 oz line there was an upswell of water not a splash a sorta raising of the water level in general and then… uh? oh well ok later but if was an inch it was over… ok ok.

“Pardon me while I have a strange interlude.”-Marx

Actually, we agree, Mr John.

I think spincast is the best for all-around general “fun” fishing, but you need something with a little more guts for bigger fish. BTW, anything up to 10-15 pounds can easily be caught with spincast.

Anything over that size would probably necessitate a larger reel capacity, so casting or spinning would be appropriate.

I’ve found that I can cast more accurately with 1) spincast 2) baitcast (same as casting or level-wind) 3) spinning, just because you have to hold the line with one finger while casting. Your results may vary. :slight_smile:

Whatever works best for you, use it. The important thing is just to go fishing.

I am going to disagree just a little bit,spincasting reels a ok in fresh water but in saltwater an openface spinning reel will last a lot longer and is easier to clean and oil.
The Zebco 202 is still in production and are sold at Walmart,etc.

t lion

" I Wonder What Happens When I push THIS Button? "


Where are you planning on fishing? (i.e. salt or freshwater; Alaska or Oklahoma) and what fish ?(eg. salmon or panfish ?) and, to some extent, how ? (toss a line with bait and read a book onshore ? tossing lures in water up to your hips ? actively fishing from boats ?)

Can’t really suggest much without those questions in mind…

O le mea a tamaali’i fa’asala, a o le mea a tufanua fa’alumaina.

And when you grow up and learn a little patience, you can get a fly outfit and really fish…

Fly fishing = fishing lite :slight_smile:

Yes, I know you can fly fish for tarpon, sailfish, etc., but I usually connect fly fishing with trying to catch something that would be more appropriately referred to as bait rather than a catch. “Why, I caught an 8-inch brookie just the other day!”

I think it’s the rituals involved with fly fishing (tying your own flies, getting that double haul cast down) that are as much fun as the fishing itself.

That, and it’s a more “solitary” kind of fishing since nobody can stand within 50 feet of you without risking a Royal Coachman in the eye.

My dad was a big flyfisherman…made his own rods, tied his own flies. I can still picture him, pipe held firmly between his teeth, cranking in a rainbow.


But back to the OP…spincast works fine for saltwater, too. Just run it under a hose or dunk it in a bucket of water when you’re done. Another good thing about spincast is that they’re cheap enough to keep a spare in your tackle box.

thanx for not noticin yall. Unless your fishin for minnows I suggest 4 LB test not 4 OZ. It is hard enough tying knots in 4 lb anyway. Fi on you doc, Whats wrong with just tosin a line out and tyin it to your toe? Tho it was a fly fisher what taught me some knots to use in that light line.We got an urban put and take trout program down here.Every Feb the banks of a nearby pond are lined with neophytes just thrashin the water with flys.These trout were raised in tanks, they’ve never seen a bug. Those guys get real frustrated watching my cubscouts pull out 8"ers with cane poles and prepared marshmallow bait. hee hee. but I am with dad, lets go fishin. God has alloted each of us a certain time on this earth, but he doesn’t count time spent fishing.

“Pardon me while I have a strange interlude.”-Marx

I don’t bother going after the farm raised trout. That would be like hunting for chickens. Stupidest fish I’ve ever seen.

I use a nice nine-foot rod with a #8 line for the stripers and bluefish that come into the harbors around here. Lot more fun than just tossing out a chunk of bunker for them and catching sea robins…

I consider myself an avid fisherman. I have fished for the last 20 years using a closed faced reel to much hoo haaing from my fellow fishing buddies…but as they are untangling bird nests from their rods I am busy catching fish.