Can I Use a Spinning Rod for Float Fishing? The Full Answer

Unlike with certain rods, the difference between a spinning rod and a float rod boils down to more than what is printed on the blank. Spinning rods and float rods have slightly different characteristics and behaviours. Can I use a spinning rod for float fishing? It’s possible, but here’s what you need to consider.

Generally speaking, you can use a spinning rod for float fishing, but your setup will be far from optimal. Spinning rods have a stiffer action than float rods. And they also tend to be shorter, which could affect casting accuracy and bait presentation.

All of the above said it isn’t impossible to have a good day out fishing. Here’s what you need to know…


What Is a Spinning Rod?

Spinning rods are a specific type of rod normally used to cast lures and baitfish imitations. They have a stiff to medium blank and a through action. They are normally between 7 feet and 11 feet in size. Other features will include a locking reel seat and a heavier casting weight.

What Are Float Rods?

Float rods are designed for fishing baits under the water’s surface, under a floating bite indicator. They are more flexible and whippy towards the tip. This is called a fast action. The rod is designed like this because float setups tend to be exceptionally light and require extra inertia to propel the float during the cast.

Float rods tend to be slightly longer, with sizes ranging from around 11 feet up to 15 feet.

What are the Differences Between Spinning and Float Rods?

Here’s a quick and helpful table showing you the main differences side by side.


Spinning Rod

Float Rod


7 – 11 feet11 – 15 feet


Through or progressiveFast

Locking Reel Seat


Designed to Cast

10 – 50g lures3 – 4g

Test Curve

3 – 3.5lbs1-2lbs


As you can see, spinning rods are generally a lot more robust and heavy-duty than float fishing rods.

What Fish Can I Catch with a Spinning Rod?

In theory, you could catch any type of course fish with a spinning rod. If you are using it primarily for spinning, this will be limited to predatory species that like to eat other fish, such as: –

Can I Use a Spinning Reel for Float Fishing?

You can use a Spinning Reel for float fishing. Unlike with spinning rods vs float rods, there is actually very little difference between the two. If you opt for a 3000 or 4000 sized fixed spool reel, you’ll find that it will be the right size to use for both disciplines.

Can I Use a Spinning Rod for Float Fishing? Final Thoughts

You can use a spinning rod for float fishing. Still, you’ll find your casting accuracy and general bait presentation will suffer, leading to a lower catch rate. Spinning rods are stiffer and shorter than float rods, meaning they don’t cope well with casting very light weights like you would see when fishing a waggler. If you are looking for a good waggler rod, here’s a great article with some really wallet friendly suggestions.