Open Face Fishing Pole Vs. Closed Face Fishing Pole| Differences Explained

Choosing the right tool as an angler is the key to a successful day in the water. A fishing pole is a significant vocabulary used by anglers. Fishing poles are usually confused with fishing rods; some interchangeably use the two. Fishing poles are a simple form of a fishing rod and are mostly used to place bait quietly and precisely. The most outstanding characteristic of a fishing pole is a line attached to its tip.

On the other hand, fishing rods are meant for casting lures and have a reel seat with a reel attached and line guides. There are two types of fishing poles:  open face and closed face fishing poles. This article will capture the striking differences between the two and gauge which of them outstands the other. 

The main difference between open and close face fishing poles is the spool position.  In the open face, the spool is exposed, while in the closed face, the spool is covered.

 In open-face fishing poles, most moving parts are open, while in closed faces, the majority of the moving parts are placed behind the spool cover. The open-face pole has one side open, leaving the line and part of the spool exposed. The line is surrounded by a bail used to cast the distance. In a close face pole, both the line and the spool are enclosed. They lack the bail; thus, you need to press a button to cast the distance.

What Are Other Differences That Exist?

What Are Other Differences That Exist

Apart from the stated difference above, these fishing poles have other uniquely different characteristics. Here’s a summary of their other differences:

Characteristics Open Face Fishing PoleClose Face Fishing Pole
CostPricier due to its versatilityRelatively cheaper but less versatile  
BacklashEasy to backlash but easy to fixHarder to backlash and hard to fix
Accuracy and casting distanceMore control for distance and excellent accuracy guaranteedLess control over accuracy and distance
CastingRequire more precision and skill to castCasting is easier since the reel does the work when the button is pressed
FunctionalityIdeal for most types of fishing Most appropriate for children and beginners

 Now that you know the major differences, we’ll look at their features’ more in-depth detail. This section will also let you know which between the two wins in each element.

Cost Of Purchase

A close-faced pole consists of fewer components, is smaller, and is less handy, making it cheaper to purchase. Open face pole is more modernized, and it’s versatile in terms of use, making it relatively expensive to buy. The price of closed-face reels makes them a popular choice for children who are just learning since most parents are unwilling to invest so much in a hobby. If you intend to fish for a long time, open cast reels are a worthy investment.

Winner: the closed face is more affordable  


Backlash or ‘birds’ nests’ is a common frustration to anglers. It happens when the lure slows down after casting, but the spool keeps moving, resulting in a tangled line.

 When using a light lure or casting into the wind, the line may tangle on the spool or around the tip of the pole. Backlash is more frequent when using an open face reel, but you can avoid it with practice. Backlash is not common for close face reels, but sometimes, the line can form knots or tangles around the spool, which can be a nightmare to repair.

Verdict: open face poles are more likely to suffer a backlash

Accuracy And Casting Distance

with lots of practice, open face reels provide an excellent degree of accuracy compared to close faced. As a novice, you will need time to perfect this skill, but you enjoy better accuracy once you do. Open face poles also allow you to have more lines on the spool, which translates to the distance you can cast. Casting distance is almost directly proportional to the size of fish. The longer the length, the more likely you are to catch bigger fish.

Winner: open-faced poles

Ease Of Casting

Close-faced poles are more straightforward to cast with since the reel does most of the work when you press a button. Most beginners and children use these types of poles because of their ease of use. The casting process is more complicated for open-face poles than closed-face poles. They require you to open the bail and guide the line using your thumb. It takes time to develop these skills, but these reels become very easy to use once you do.

Winner: close faced poles


As an angler, you need to get the most versatile pole to enjoy fishing in different conditions. Close-faced reels are limited in versatility since they have low hauling power and limited line capacity. If you intend to catch bigger and heavy fish, which is every angler’s dream, we recommend an open-faced pole. Open-faced reels also work well in areas with lots of vegetation, and that’s a plus.

Winner: open-faced pole

Final word

Are you wondering which fishing pole is better between the open-faced and closed face? Both of them have outstanding characteristics based on your specific interest. If you need an affordable pole that’s easy to use, then close Face is the one for you. Most beginners and kids are better off starting with these types because they are easy to use.

If you are focusing more on durability and casting long distances or catching heavier fish, then an open face reel is the one you should go for. Open-faced poles also offer better accuracy and are great for seasoned anglers. Open reels are more complex and need practice and skill, but they are the best once you get the hang of it. 

The reel you end up choosing will depend on your budget and personal preference. If you have already used close-faced poles, we recommend getting open-faced and learning the skill. For most anglers, once they get used to open poles, there’s no going back. We hope that this article helps you enjoy your fishing adventures with the best fishing pole for your specific need. Happy fishing!

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