Should You Use Spinning Reel For Musky Fishing?

Muskie fishing can turn into a boring activity filled with countless nasty experiences. You might have to wait longer than ever to get that rare species in your clutch. Because muskies are not like other fishes, they are sneaky and fast and so they need special treatment while you want to catch them.

Muskies usually prefer bigger baits. Their nature certainly presents them as the apex predator of their ecosystem. So thinking about the bait size it is normal to have that common question in your mind.

Should You Use Spinning Reel For Musky Fishing?Well, we all know that there is a difference between what ‘we can’ and what ‘we should’ do in certain matters. So I should say, you can use a spinning reel for musky fishing. But it is not the only option you have. You can use other reels for muskie fishing and in fact, other reels can be more effective in muskie fishing as some are specially designed for muskies.

Most of the anglers think about spinning reels considering the bait size for muskie fishing. But basically, bait size has nothing to do with the reels. In fact usually, it is not used by the expert anglers. The reason why it is not used is because of its fighting capacity with the fish.

Related: Best Musky Reel For The Money – [Under $200]

It can normally catch muskies. What it is unable to do is to throw and retrieve big baits nearly all day. That’s the reason spinning reel is rarely used for muskies. Yes, you can use it. But do you know what problem you will find using it?

While using spinning reels for muskies you have to expand the 10x energy of the reel and obviously, you will be 10 times tired which is same just like the angler who is using a casting reel and the longer graphite rod specially designed for muskie fishing.

Another problem is it is more difficult in spinning reel to figuring out the line and setting the hook. And most of the spinning reels and rods are not good for casting heavy lures. They can handle the landing of muskies but they are not appropriate for the whole task.

Spinning reels are generally light and their drag cannot bear the strength needed for muskie fishing. They cannot handle a big 30lbs muskie as it will run away straight towards the weeds.

What type of spinning reel can you use?

You can use the heavier saltwater reel for muskie fishing. But that does not guarantee you to give a comfortable experience. These spinning reels are capable of handling large muskies but their own weight will make you tired.

Even casing all day long to cover a lot of water is not that easy and fun. Another thing is these type of reel will limit the type of rod you can choose from.

Types of reels for muskie fishing:

There are basically three types of reels used by the anglers. They are spinning reel, baitcasting reel and spin-casting reel. You have already learned about spinning reel and how much effective it is for muskie fishing.  Now I will let you know about baitcasting and spin-casting reels and their acceptance in muskie fishing.

Baitcasting reels:

When you have to deal with heavy tackle or lures, baitcasting reels are always handy for you.  It is usually used by expert anglers. It requires enough knowledge about how to exert enough amount of inertia while moving the spool of the reel so that you do not cause any mass of tangles.

This type of reel is preferred by the anglers over the spinning reels for muskie fishing. They cover all the following tools needed for muskie fishing-

  • Line capacity
  • Tough drag
  • Higher gear ratio
  • Well built

Spincasting reel:

These type of reels are usually used by the kids. People learn to fish with spin cast reels as they are very simple and can be easily operated. You just simply need to press the casting button to start fishing. You don’t need to deal with any kind of bail or spool.

Spin-cast reels are good for catching small species and so they are not suitable for muskie fishing. Muskies are very large compared to spin-cast reels’ capacity. Their drag is very weak and cannot ensure the strength needed for muskie fishing.

While using spin-cast reels you will definitely feel that there is a lack of power for something above 5lbs.

Line capacity of muskie fishing:

Line capacity is a really important factor for muskie fishing. It ensures how can you perform well while fishing muskie. The ideal line capacity for muskie fishing is above 25 pounds. If you take a line under 25 pounds it will end up in fraying or breakage.

While thinking about line capacity you must consider the weight of muskies. The weight of the average muskies is 15-35 pounds. So you need to consider it seriously otherwise you will feel sorry for not being careful enough while choosing the line.

Rods for the reels:

These days muskies are very demanding. Their growing demand can be seen from the types of equipment that are designed for muskies. To complement the muskie reels there are new types of rods specially designed for muskies. Even different types of rods are available for different heights’ anglers. You will also find various types of rod for different muskie lures.

The best rods are those that are made of light components and can be adjusted with reels easily. Every equipment of fishing is related and dependent with one another. The proper combination of reels, rods and lines can help you to get various kinds of benefits such as long distance casting, lesser tiredness etc.

How to choose reels?

Well, muskie fishing requires choosing the right gear and using it with your skill. Muskie reel is the most essential tool among all the muskie types of equipment. As muskies are large you need to use the best quality reels for fishing.

No matter what type of reels you are going to use it is going to endure a lot of pressure in the process. So you need to invest in reels to make sure your reels can withstand the pressure. While choosing the reels consider the following things-

  • Determine which reels you are going to get. You can either choose baitcasting or spinning reels. But as you have already read the pros and cons of the reels, choose the one that will fit you more.
  • When choosing lines prefer 150-80 pound yard test for better results.
  • You also need to think which reels are better for you- left handed or right handed?
  • Consider the gear ratio of the reels.
  • Prefer stainless still bearing rather than brass.
  • Try to choose the aluminium parts and frames than the graphite ones to get better durability.

Targeting muskie:

Only the muskie reels cannot help you to get muskies. You need to know about muskies’ nature before targeting a muskie. Muskies’ anatomy is made in such a way that they can easily view the above surface even when they are in the deep.

Even it can judge easily the brightness of the outer surface. So the angler needs to make an environment where they can find their foods. If you can create that environment, they will sense the vibration easily and will automatically come to take the bait.

In this time an appropriate reel and the perfect technique can help you to get the muskies.

Weather condition for muskie fishing:

Weather condition plays a crucial role in fishing, no matter what fish you are targeting. But they don’t act similarly in the same situation. Muskies can easily judge the weather and can see the outside of the water level regardless of the weather condition.

You need to choose dark coloured lures in bright weather and light coloured lures in dark weather condition.  This will help the muskies to target their prey.


It’s obvious that every type of fish has different attributes and so they require different types of equipment to fall for your bait. Spinning reels are a very common type of reel and you can use them if you are not planning to catch muskies all day long.

But if you want to catch them like professionals you need to switch to baitcasting reels for better results. Though you need practice for baitcasting, it is worth it, right?