Ah, fly fishing vs. spin fishing. Which is more popular? Which is more fun? Is one better than the other? Does one net you more catches than the other? Dare we suggest that one is easier?
We don’t need to overcomplicate the matter with such questions. Both styles of fishing are great in their own way.
The point of this article is to show you what each one is like, discuss the main differences, and encourage you to try each one so YOU can decide the answers to the questions above.
Fly Fishing Vs. Spin Fishing: Overview
At this point, we will get right into the two styles of fishing and what you can expect with each one.
In a nutshell: Fly Fishing
The goal of fly fishing is to bamboozle a fish into biting onto a fake fly that has been tied by hand and made with items such as feathers, hair, and other natural objects to look as if it were really a baitfish or other living creature fish enjoy eating.
You then cast the fly using a fly rod and reel plus a special weighted line. Since the fly is basically weightless, it means you have to learn and execute casting skills that are different than other techniques.
This is probably the hardest part of learning how to fly fish, but you can do it with plenty of patience and practice. You might even be a fast learner and get it right away!
This is a type of fishing designed for anglers that want to really give themselves a good challenge and learn a tougher style of fishing and get as many fish as possible while they are on the water doing it.
And fly casting looks hard, but once you start doing it, you will find it’s easier done than observed.
The challenge is what makes this style of fishing so unique and beloved among anglers. It’s hard, but it’s a “pure” method of catching fish. It is a peaceful activity and will make you feel great once you do land that good catch.
All the hard work pays off, and the confidence boost is really worth it.
Many people think this style of fishing is for trout, but that’s not true. With skill and patience, you can catch anything you like with a fly rod. You can fly fish in fresh or saltwater.
So, learn how to do it and hit the water wherever you go, whether it’s a Florida fishing charter or fishing in one of the Great Lakes.
In A Nutshell: Spin Fishing
In spin fishing, we catch as many fish as possible. This is a very versatile way to nab those fish if you are going for any species other than trout. Most anglers have found great luck when using this method for fishing.
Here we use resistance lures and crankbaits that are to be used solely with spin rods. This is what leads folks to believe this style of fishing has a greater advantage compared to fly fishing.
Indeed, spin fishing focuses more on getting results, whereas fly fishing focuses on the work and time put into catching the fish, you might argue.
The rod and reel you use while spin fishing is different, too. When going spin fishing, you will see anglers using closed-faced reels or open-faced reels. However, the rod we use for spin fishing does need a trigger attached at the base, and this is perhaps the main difference between it and baitcasting rods.
And as you would expect, the method by which we cast these two rods is different, too.
Techniques of Fly Fishing vs. Techniques of Spin Fishing
When we talk about fly fishing, we are talking about the weight of the leader and the tapered line. The former propels the latter toward the place you want it to go.
When it comes to spin fishing, casting a weighted hook makes the lure go toward the fish. You can’t use fly fishing equipment for spin fishing, nor can you use spin fishing stuff for fly fishing.
They are two totally different styles, and if you want to give both of them a shot, you will need to get twice the equipment.
Spin fishing is good if you are looking to cover a larger range of water and do it fast. However, fly fishing is more used because it lets you get a more precise representation of sources of food, and as a result, brings more fish in. It’s ideal for catching trout, as these fish are big on the consumption of bugs.
But remember, you can catch way more than trout. So long as you have the right equipment and can imitate their food, you’re good to go. Meanwhile, spin fishing really shines in saltwater excursions.
Also Read: Casting Rod vs Spinning Rod
So, What’s the Major Difference?
The biggest difference between the two forms of fishing is, well, the gear needed. When you do fly fishing, you will need a leader and tapered fly line to move to your target.
Meanwhile, spin fishing is going to require you to cast a weighted hook to get it where it needs to go. You can’t use the same equipment for each style of fishing.
Spin fishing is going to allow you the chance to cover a wide space of water in a quick way, but fly fishing is going to make it easier to mimic the foods local fish enjoy eating.
This means that fly fishing gets you more results than spin fishing, which makes it more enjoyable for anglers, especially when they work hard, creating and tying a fly that gets them a good catch.
If you get to your fishing spot and you see plenty of fish popping up to eat flies, a spin fishing rod won’t get you the results you want. You aren’t going to be able to mimic what the fish are consuming, which will leave you with nothing in your bucket once the day is done.
So, learn about your location ahead of time, and if you’re unsure, come with a fly rod so you can catch fish for hours and get great results.
Fly Fishing Means You Gotta Understand….
Fly fishing, suggest some enthusiasts, requires you to have a good understanding of the body of water you are fishing at. You have to be able to “read the water” in order to figure out where the fish are, and really study the water conditions closely.
Many anglers find that this is actually quite relaxing and rewarding.
When it comes to spin fishing, you don’t need to know as much. You just have to master your position with spin fishing so you can perform accurate casts.
Bodies of Water, Gear and More: Differences
When it comes to rod types… for fly fishing, you will use a lightweight rod you use by false casting, and for spin fishing, you use heavy rods to cast monofilament line using single casts.
When it comes to lures… fly fishing makes use of flies, such as streamers, nymphs, and emergers, mimics what fish like to eat. Spin fishing uses heavy lures that imitate fish.
When it comes to line type…. Fly lines and leaders are used to cast the weightless flies. Meanwhile, spin fishing uses a monofilament line, which is used to cast out heavy lures.
When it comes to bodies of water, fly fishing is best for water that moves, but you can still fish on still waters. Meanwhile, Spin fishing is mostly done on still waters. It is also worth noting that you’re going to want to do your fly fishing in an open area.
Your flies can and will get caught in the nearby foliage or even rocks nearby, so be prepared for these mild frustrations!
When it comes to presentation, fly fishing is ideal for upstream and stealth presentation. However, spin fishing is good when you want to mimic crawdads or baitfish and allow for presentation in multiple water depths.
Which One Should I Try?
This is all going to be up to you. You should really try both of these styles of fishing out. Only by doing this will you be able to see which one is best for you and which one you enjoy the most. Learning both will also help you be prepared for ANY scenario or trip you’d like to pursue.
If you are well versed in spin fishing, try out fly fishing. You might really enjoy it. The same goes for fly fishermen. Try out spin fishing for the chance to experience some fun and pick up on new skills.
If you enjoy saltwater fishing, it’s likely that you will enjoy spin fishing and get better results that way, but we’ve seen fly fishermen do well in saltwater, so anything is possible!
If you’re fishing for your supper and you are on the lake, a spin rod will probably be your best bet. But if you’re fishing on a stream or river, fly fishing is great for these types of environments.
So, what’s the point?
My point? Try out both kinds of fishing. This is the only way you will learn which of these styles is right for you.
Spin rods don’t cost a lot, but fly fishing can get up there in cost so ask a friend or family member if they are willing to loan you the supplies or let you try their setup first so you can make sure you really enjoy it before dropping a ton of money on the gear.
Even so, fly fishing really pays off once you get the hang of it. So, if you decide to make that investment and pick up that gear AND take the time to learn and enjoy the technique, you are going to find that it all becomes worth it in the end.
Buying the right gear means you are going to get many years out of your stuff and many hours of enjoyable and fulfilling moments on the water.
What Is the Approximate Cost?
Spin fishing is relatively cheap. For under $100, you can get a decent setup that will have you enjoying a fun day with friends and family on the water. It’s not going to be pro at that level, but it won’t be total junk.
Meanwhile, fly fishing is probably going to be about twice that price, as you are going to need not only a rod, line, and reel, but also some waders so your clothing stays dry and you have a comfortable fishing experience.
None of these items are cheap if you demand decent quality but keep this in mind: This is an initial investment. As time goes on and you get better at the sport, you will be glad you invested in quality stuff.
And, once you learn how to tie a good fly, and do it well, you will find that you are tying these flies for as cheap as a single dollar! You can even get good and make them at home and sell them if you like, for some return on your investment .
What Do We Think?
Everyone is different, and the differences are great. However, we believe strongly in fly fishing. We find it to be very enjoyable and fulfilling, plus we love a challenge, so there’s that, too.
You feel great after mastering and learning the skills involved, and the peace the water brings you is second to none. Fly fishing is timeless, and you don’t need to be super in-shape or young to learn and enjoy it.
You can also use a fly to catch any fish on any water, anywhere, technically. Just do some learning about where you are going and get the right gear. Grab yourself a good fly rod, fly line and leader, and flies that look like stuff the local fish eat.
Plenty of tutorials are available online, but it’s more fun to connect with a friend or relative in real life and share the experience together. No matter what you do, have fun, and enjoy your trip from start to finish.