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Can I Use a Spinning Rod with my Baitcasting Reel?

Viewer Question: “I only own spinning rod & reel combos. However, I now bought a bait casting reel, but no bait casting rod. My question is, can I use a spinning rod with my bait casting reel? I really want to get into using a bait casting outfit.” - Mark G.

Spinning Reel in place of a Bait casting reel?

Although it is physically possible to use a bait casting reel with a spinning rod, it is not advisable. They simply are not made for each other & here are a few things to help explain why, as well as one very important factor to consider.

First of all, a rod made for a spinning reel, will have very large, oversized eyes, which will taper down to a small eye on the tip. This is a necessity for spinning reels as the fishing line wraps on the reel with “wide strokes” of each revolution of the spool.


With a bait casting rod, the eyes are typically all the same size from the start right to the tip. This is because on a bait casting rod, your fishing line comes straight off your bait casting reel & when cranking in, your line comes back straight in…no need for large eyes.

There are other differences as well, including the fact that most bait casting rods come with a “trigger” which aids in the casting process. However, I would like to key in on a very important difference.

Most important difference

When fishing with a spinning rod, the rod is held in such a way that the eyes are always facing downwards. With a casting rod, the eyes are always facing upwards when fishing. Each rod is built in order to bend & flex with the rods in these noted positions.

If you try to use a bait casting reel on a spinning rod, in essence, the spinning rod would be upside-down. The eyes on your spinning rod would be facing upwards and you would then run the risk of breaking your spinning rod as soon as there is any pressure applied - as it is not meant, nor intended to, bend that way.

In summary, you are much better off buying a bait casting rod to go with your new bait casting reel. Not only will it make your first time bait casting experience more enjoyable, but you will also ensure your spinning outfits remain in great shape.

Until next time, good luck & good fishin’!

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