Is Fly Fishing Better Than Spinning?

Is Fly Fishing Better Than Spinning?

Although there are several different ways to go fishing, fly fishing and spin fishing are among the best ways to spend time in nature. Each one has its pros and cons, but which one is better?

Both fly fishing and spin fishing have different perks, and it depends on your wants and needs as an angler as to which one is better. Fly fishing is better when you are looking to challenge yourself and spend time in nature. Spin fishing is better if you are trying to put consistent food on the table. Finding out how fly fishing can benefit you is the key. 

Connection To Nature

Although fly fishing is a niche part of the angling community, it is relatively easy to learn and helps you connect with nature in a way that the other ways to fish struggle to do.

You usually aren’t on a boat. A majority of fly fishing occurs when you’re in waders and trekking through a stream or river. There is no better way to connect to nature than being fully immersed in it.

Although fly fishers can target several species, a few species are primarily sought out by these anglers. Here are some common species that fly fishers target.

  • Trout
  • Rainbow
  • Brown
  • Steelhead
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Grayling
  • Salmon
  • Carp
Brown trout while fly fishing

Plus, fly fishing is popular in some of the most beautiful areas in the entire world. Fishing for grayling in an Alaskan stream while surrounded by towering mountains or rainbow trout in Michigan’s dense forests isn’t uncommon for many fly fishers. It’s no coincidence the popular streams and waterways for fly fishers happen to be in beautiful places.

Does the connection to nature make fly fishing better than spin fishing? Well, if you are fishing to have a deeper appreciation for nature, then yes. Spin fishing usually occurs on a boat or on a vast water source where there is little physical connection to the water, fish, and surrounding nature.

Fly fishing allows you to get full into your surroundings and take every moment for what it is.

A Technical Angler

Another area where fly fishing reigns supreme is when it comes to being a technical angler. When you want to pick up fishing as a hobby or sport, fly fishing is an excellent option if you desire structure, technical, and art all being involved in the process.

There is not much technique or learning curve when it comes to spin fishing. Someone who has never fished before can grab a rod and probably get the hang of it in a few minutes. This usually is not the case with fly fishing.

Fly fishing isn’t hard, but there may be a long learning process included. Therefore, every catch you make means more than one when spin fishing because more work went into the process.

Is fly fishing difficult? Read our recent article to find out.

A big part of fly fishing’s identity is the idea of using a precise technique and an artificial fly to trick a fish and catch them. This is relatively unique to this type of fishing. Although all angling follows that same idea, this one never uses live bait.

Fly fishers are very proud of their gear, and having the best setup for them is usually a top priority. Some of the necessary components include:

  • Rod
  • Reel
  • Weighted line
  • Flies

Curious what you need for fly fishing, read, “What Does A Beginner Fly Fisher Need?

Fly fishing better than spinning

With other forms of fishing, the technique and art of casting aren’t focused on as much. It is all about catching the next fish. With fly fishing, the process of catching is as necessary as the catch itself.

Overall, fly fishers are very invested and like to break down the technicalities of the sport.

Fishing For Food

One area that lacks in fly fishing is fishing for food. Spin fishing is excellent for this. In most situations, fly fishing takes more time to get a good catch, whereas you can get on a boat and use live bait with a spinning set up to catch a larger volume at one time.

It is far more efficient to fill the cooler when using a spinning setup. With spin fishing, you can fish very quickly and use live bait to increase your chances. Also, when using a boat, you can easily navigate whatever waterway you are on very quickly. In comparison, a fly fisherman needs to trek to another location or find a new stream.

The average fly fisherman probably isn’t venturing out and wading through rivers just to put food on the table. There is nothing wrong with fishing for food, but it is a different fishing style that sticks with spinning a bit more.

Trout is one of the top targeted species for fly fishing. Trout is also a delicious fish when caught and harvested ethically and legally. So, it is reasonable to assume that some fly fishermen love grabbing a trout or two for dinner. However, this is probably among the minority of many fly fishers who do it for the love of the catch. 

Fishing As A Personal Sport 

Another significant aspect that separates fly fishing from spin fishing is the individual sport of the activity itself. As previously stated, fly fishing is all about using an artificial fly, often hand-tied, to entice a fish to bite.

What comes with this is the idea of personal sport. The idea of fishing as a sport is not uncommon, but usually, this is with a group or against other people. There are extensive fishing tournaments located all over the world.

With fly fishing, a lot of the competition is intrapersonal.

When fly fishing, you often compete against yourself to beat personal bests and improve upon your skills. This is a healthy way to grow as an angler and also enhance your existing skills. Plus, a big bragging point within the community is having a big “personal best” and showing that you are a successful fisherman. 

Anglers are a part of a very proud crowd. Going into nature and catching a trophy fish is the ultimate euphoria for a lot of people. 

In a way, this is also a sport against the fish itself. Since fly fishing is so involved and thought-out, the entire process is much more engaging than just casting a rod and hoping for a bite. When you break it down to its simplest form, you are there to trick a random fish into eating your fly or lure.


The type of fishing that best suits you aligns with what you are looking to get out of the experience. Fly fishing tends to bring a more fulfilling challenge that helps you connect with nature.

There is nothing wrong with the other kinds of fishing, but fly fishing brings a unique perspective that allows you to grow as both an angler and a person. 

Good luck, and have fun!

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