Which reel should you use? It is completely up to you. What do you feel comfortable with? I have seen seasoned surf fishermen using both kinds. I also use both. For the longest time, I only used spinning reels because I didn't want to deal with the birds’ nests that conventional reels will produce after a backlash. I was adamant that I would never buy a conventional reel. I received my first conventional reel as a Christmas gift. After using it a few times, I fell in love with them and eventually replaced almost all of my spinning reels with Penn Squalls.
You see, as a surf fisherman, I was dead set that the further you can cast, the better off you are (I was wrong about this but we will get to that later). This thought process led me to replace my monofilament line with braid because it will allow you to cast further. Well, braided line, spinning reels and long cast attempts will lead you to bloody fingers. When you sling an 8oz weight with a spinning reel on a 12ft rod as hard as you can the braid will cut you 95% of the time. Next time you drive down a Texas beach, pay attention and you may be lucky enough to see a fisherman walking around with duct tape on their fingers. Those are the spinning reel long cast champions.
So, if you buy a Penn Squall with a reel tensioner or an Avet MC Cast with the magnetic spool brake, will you still backlash? Absolutely. But, you know what? Your fingers won't get all cut up casting your baits out.
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