If at any point, you have been interested in fishing, you must have heard about fly fishing and spin fishing. The two have always raised a heated debate among anglers and other fishing enthusiasts. The main topic has been to try and distinguish which between the two is superior.

The answer to this question much depends on whom you ask, however. Those who are after a fishing method that allows them to test their fishing skills will be bold enough to claim that fly fishing is superior. On the other hand, anyone who wants to catch lots of fish with the least effort will claim that spin fishing is superior.

Since the ultimate goal is to land a bite, however, why should the differences raise a concern? It shouldn’t matter as long as your hook comes back loaded at the end of the day, right? Well, maybe not. There are some minor differences between the two types of fishing that can make a huge difference when it comes to choosing the form of fishing that is more appropriate for you.

That’s why you want to read on…


Fly Fishing Basics

First off, you should know that fly fishing does not involve using a real, living fly as bait. Well, no one said it’s impossible. However, such an approach would be quite impractical when fishing.

Back to the main topic, fly fishing uses an artificial fly as a light-weight bait to entice fish onto your hook. Unlike conventional fishing, the focus in fly fishing is that the fly floats to imitate a small aquatic or terrestrial animal.


Spin Fishing Basics

For spin fishing, on the other hand, the main thing to note is that it involves using a heavier lure that imitates small fish to entice the bigger fish to take a bite. This creates some minor differences between the two kinds of fishing. However, the lure used is not the only factor considered when trying to distinguish between fly and spin fishing.

Rods and reels also play a significant role as far as trying to differentiate between the two forms of fishing is concerned. You might also want to consider that a spinning rod makes use of a closed or open face reel, and lacks a trigger attached to the base, unlike the conventional rods.


Fly Fishing Vs Spin Fishing: Difference in Intent

Fly Fishing Vs. Spin FishingThe best approach to understanding the difference between these two types of fishing is first getting to know their intent. Once you know the purpose of each, it becomes easier to understand why other differences exist.

The intent of fly fishing is to fool the fish with an artificial fly. Since fly fishing is a little bit more complicated, the desire of the fisherman who uses this kind of fishing is to challenge themselves. They test their skills by using a more complicated form of fishing with the goal of catching as many fish as possible within the allotted period.

For fly fishing, challenging oneself is imperative to achieving the ultimate objective. Even though some fly fishermen used to claim that this form of fishing is for trout, that is no longer the case. Fly fishing can be used to catch just about any fish.

The intent of spin fishing, on the other hand, is to catch as many fish as possible without much effort. Those who use this type of fishing are known to capture a wider variety of fish, as the focus is not on a specific type of fish.

Also, some lures and crankbaits are only meant for spin fishing. This, to some extent, gives it an edge over fly fishing. It should be right, as such, to say that spin fishing is result-driven and involves less work compared to fly fishing. Besides, spin fishing is known to require less skill in comparison to fly fishing.

Simplicity in casting

As far as simplicity is concerned, spin fishing takes the lead. Anyone with some fishing skills can go out, cast, wait, and reel – mission accomplished. For spin fishing, a single cast is used when baiting the fish. Where the lure and bobber hit is where the hook should remain until you get a bite. Even though you can wiggle the line a little bit, you should refrain from moving it too much.

For fly fishing, on the other hand, much practice and learning is needed as far as casting is concerned. For this type of fishing, you will be required to use a special double-cast technique. The casting used in fly fishing is also referred to as a false cast since you make a backward cast followed by a forward cast.

This technique has to be used consistently, which is why the line and rod rarely stop moving. The casting process is also almost continuous until you get a bite, compared to spin fishing, where you let the whole unit stay until you’ve gotten a catch. Though the learning curve for fly fishing is considered to be steep, the experience gained can be a reason enough to develop a lifetime passion for this fishing technique.

Bait used

As mentioned earlier, the bait used in fly fishing is flies, which are made from different materials such as feathers and hairs. One can use wet or dry flies to catch fish at different times of the year. The bait has to be moved constantly to make the fish think that whatever’s at the surface is a real bug.

For spin fishing, you can use synthetic bait, lures, or live bait. The bait you use in spin fishing should be below the water surface, unlike in fly fishing. Synthetic baits are plastic bugs and worms, lures are made of metal, and live bait, as you expect, are real, live fish and other small animals.

The main thing to keep in mind is that different kinds of bait can be used to catch different kinds of fish. This is in consideration that fish have varying responses depending on the kind of bait used.

For even better results when fishing, you can find out more about the kinds of bugs and insects found at the desired fishing location at a certain time. You can then change the bait accordingly for both fly and spin fishing.

Equipment Used

Other than the kind of bait used in these two types of fishing, there are also some differences in the equipment used. A special fly rod is used in fly fishing. Fly rods are flexible and use a reel that doesn’t lock to make casting easier.

However, the line keeps going out, and as such, you might have to constantly reel it back if you want to make another cast. You don’t have to worry, though, because the equipment used in fly fishing is light enough. As such, you won’t get tired fast. Just be sure to get the best fly fishing kits, however, for better results when fishing.

For spin fishing, on the other hand, the equipment used is a bit heavier to enable the line to go farther, considering that you cast only once. The reel is also different in that it locks the line, hence you have to unlock it first to cast, and sometimes to reel in. Another significant difference as far as the equipment used is concerned is that fly rods are considerably more expensive compared to spin fishing rods.

If you are interested to have a good fishing rod, you should visit the article Best Fly Rod For Beginners.


While both types of fishing can be done on any body of water, spin fishing tends to be a little bit more popular on still water, such as ponds and lakes. Fly fishing, on the other hand, is commonly used in moving water such as streams or rivers. Spin fishing allows you to cover larger portions of the fishing area compared to fly fishing.


Final Thought,

After reading this, you now have what you needed to differentiate between fly and spin fishing. As a recap of what you just read, the main difference is in the casting technique, intent, equipment, bait, and fishing location.

Also, spin fishing tends to be easier compared to fly fishing since all you are required to do is cast and wait. Fly fishing can be quite challenging to learn and practice, and is more of a technique that requires a lifelong learning experience. However, both types of fishing can be learnt to perfection with enough passion, patience, and dedication.

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