If you have ever used a baitcaster, you must be aware of the difference that baitcaster brakes make. These are designed to regulate the spool speed as you cast. Every reel features a baitcaster brake knob which allows the anglers to make adjustments.
But, what does a baitcaster brake do?
Well, as you cast with your reel, the spool starts rotating at high speed which requires timely thumbing. In case you miss the right time to stop the spool, the fishing line would accumulate on the spool. This is known as a bird’s nest and results in backlashes.
Baitcasting reel brakes ensure a controlled spool speed to eliminate backlashes even if you don’t thumb the spool on time. Backlashes are the most annoying thing that an angler experiences.
Therefore, to help with smooth performance, manufacturers use efficient baitcaster braking systems with advanced technologies. To find out the right baitcaster brakes for your reel, it is important to learn about various.
Read out more about the different types, how they work and where they are best used below.
Brakes On Baitcaster Reels
When it comes to the types of brakes in a baitcasting reel, there are only two. These include a centrifugal and magnetic braking system. There has been a long debate over baitcasting reel centrifugal brake vs magnetic and which works better. It is also essential to understand how to adjust baitcaster brakes for improved results.
In simple words, magnetic brakes are slightly more advanced than centrifugal brakes and easier to adjust. However, both are incredibly efficient and reduce backlashes while utilizing different working mechanisms.
Magnetic Braking System
The magnetic brakes on baitcaster utilize magnets and work on the principle of Lenz Law. In accordance with the law, these baitcaster brakes control spool speed using opposing magnetic forces.
You will find magnetic brakes on the opposite side of the handle on your reel. In some reels, these are covered under a side plate which you can slide and reveal the baitcaster brake setting. However, in other reels, there is simply a dial present with MIN and MAX labels for more convenient adjustments.
Beneath the dial, there are numerous magnets present. When you turn the dial toward higher settings, the magnets will move apart from each other and come close to the spool. This creates an incredibly strong magnetic force that is responsible for stopping the spool speed, resulting in eliminating backlashes.
Similarly, when you set the dial to the minimum value, the magnetic force weakens, allowing the spool to spin fast. Beginners love the baitcasting reel magnetic brake system because of its incredible efficiency.
On the other hand, some experts don’t prefer magnetic brakes since you cannot turn these off. Instead, these can only be adjusted between the MIN and MAX values.
Baitcaster Magnetic Brake Not Working? – Quick Fix
This could happen due to multiple reasons such as:
- Brakes are not appropriately adjusted.
- Brake pads are worn out or dirty.
- The reel may be damaged.
You can check the breaks by opening the side plates and revealing the magnets. Now carefully look if the magnets move as you adjust the dial. In case they don’t, that’s the problem. In such a situation, the magnets need replacement.
Centrifugal Braking System
While the baitcaster centrifugal brakes work for the same purpose i.e., eliminate backlash, these use pins instead of magnets. The location of the centrifugal brake dial is the same as the magnetic brakes. These are present opposite to the handle on a reel.
The working mechanism involves brake pads that apply pressure on a ring covering the brakes to create friction. As a result, the spool speed slows down and prevents any sort of backlash issues.
Many anglers, usually beginners are eager to learn how to set the brakes on a baitcasting reel themselves. This helps them to understand the mechanics and save lots of time. Luckily, this is not a challenging task to do.
For baitcaster brake adjustment with a centrifugal braking system, you will not have a dial. Instead, you will have to open the side plate and reveal the settings. Though it sounds like a daunting task, it isn’t.
Usually, the centrifugal braking system consists of four or six pins that you can turn on or off individually. There is a small lever on the inside that lets you turn these pins for each brake. As you lock every pin for the brake, it tells the reel to stop using that many brake pads.
For example, if you turn off two pins using the lever, two out of whatever number of brake pads the reel has will stop working. As a general rule, the more brake pads work together, the faster they would control the spool speed.
If your reel features centrifugal baitcaster brakes then you can also turn these off completely. Simply remove the side plate and lock every pin using the lever. This will prevent all the brake pads from working and you will have a free-moving spool.
Many experts excel in controlling spool speed and prefer turning the brakes off. This is because the brakes result in compromised casting distances. However, beginners should keep these on and enjoy a backlash-free experience.
Baitcaster Electric Brake
This is one of the most amazing technological advancements and the best baitcaster brake system. One of the renowned baitcaster brands Shimano has designed the digital braking baitcaster reels exclusively.
Unlike regular baitcasting reels, the Shimano DC baitcaster models don’t require thumbing and still cast impeccably.
Shimano named this technology I-DC, short for Intelligent Digital Control braking system. It features a microcomputer that measures spool speed and helps the system to make the right adjustment.
Learn more about the mechanics of this braking system in this video. Explained: Shimano DC Brake Technology
Baitcaster Brakes Vs Tension
The baitcaster spool tension vs brake is a common discussion topic among anglers. A lot of them tend to confuse the two terms with each other.
In simpler words, brakes work as soon as you cast the lure to keep the spool speed under control. The spool tension comes into action when the lure hits the water and the spool is still rotating.
You will find a spool tension knob beside the handle on your baitcaster. It enables the anglers to adjust the tension, stopping the spool right after the lure hits the water.
Magnetic vs centrifugal brake baitcaster: which is better?
While both the baitcaster brakes do the job tremendously well, most people prefer the magnetic braking system. It is because of the easy adjustments that this system offers.
How to set the brakes on a baitcasting reel?
If your reel has a magnetic braking system, you can set it using the external adjustment dial. Whereas, for centrifugal fishing reel brakes, an angler needs to open the side plates and turn the pins on or off accordingly.
Baitcaster brakes are one of the most crucial features of a baitcasting reel. Be it a magnetic or centrifugal braking system, both are incredibly efficient in reducing backlashes. Before you cast the lure, make sure to adjust the brakes beforehand for improved results.