Spincast rods & reels are the best beginner fishing rod. They are simple to use and very affordable.
If you’re just learning to fish, keep it simple. You keep it simple by reducing the number of things to keep track of or think of. Fewer things to do means fewer things that can go wrong. With other, more complicated fishing rod setups, there are more things that can go wrong, and they’re easier to screw up, so they’re less ideal for beginners. Spincast rods & reel setups make it hard to mess up.
A spincast reel is mounted on the top of a rod. The eyelets on the rod (aka rod guides) should be on top of the rod as well. The handle is usually on the right side (wind away from you with your right hand), but most reels can easily be reversed if you’re left-handed. There is a cover over the spool of line, so it’s protected from beginner hands (especially kids).
Learning to cast a fishing rod is probably the most difficult part of learning how to fish, but it’s super simple with a spincast rod & reel. On the back of the spool (the end closest to the person holding the rod), there is a large button. To cast, simply depress and hold the button down with your thumb. Raise the rod so the reel is about shoulder height or slightly higher, and point the rod behind you in about a 2 o’clock position. Quickly swing the rod forward, releasing the button when it’s approximately in the 10 o’clock position. This push-button method of casting is about as simple as it gets.
Your lure/bait will land on the water with your reel still disengaged from the button push. Simply wind the handle a couple of turns to re-engage the reel to stop it from free-flowing.
With spincast fishing, the weight of the bait/lure is what propels the line when casting, so it’s important to leave yourself about 2-4 feet of line between the rod tip and the lure. This creates more momentum on the forward cast so it can go farther and cast easier. Most beginners wind the lure up too close to the rod tip. Don’t make this beginner mistake.
Spincast reels have a couple disadvantages. As you gain experience, you may want to switch to the more popular setups used by experienced fisherman such as; spinning rods, baitcasting rods, or even fly fishing (my favorite!). Disadvantages include:
- Small spool size: spincast rods don’t hold a lot of line, which isn’t an issue when just starting out on small lakes, ponds, and rivers.
- Must use thinner diameter lines. Because of the small spool capacity, it’s difficult to put thick, heavy lines on spincast reels, so you’ll be limited in what kind of fish you can catch.
Don’t worry, there are some great, strong lines available that have small diameters. You won’t be catching tuna or swordfish on a spincast reel, but many large popular gamefish can still be caught with spincast rods by beginners. Check out this awesome bass my 5 year old daughter (at the time) caught with her spincast rod!
If you’re brand new to fishing, look for a decent, spincast rod reel combo at popular retailers like Bass Pro Shops (Cabela’s), Walmart, or Meijer. Expect to pay around $20-$40 for an adequate spincast combo that includes the fishing line. Ugly Stik is my favorite brand of spincast rods. Give them a try and I’m sure you’ll agree a spincast rod is the best beginner fishing rod!