Using baitcasting reels is quite challenging than using a spinning or spincast reel. Because of greater learning curves, not everyone can excel in a baitcasting reel. Therefore, before you officially hit the waters, it is essential to learn how to use baitcaster reel.
The most important thing about a baitcasting reel is its casting. Once you know how to cast appropriately without any line tangling, you have gone past more than half of its learning curve. Furthermore, it is also crucial to spool the right line to avoid backlashes.
Depending on the water conditions and your fishing technique, a baitcaster reel requires fine-tuning of its drag and brakes. Our team of experts has compiled a detailed guide to educate everyone determined to learn using a baitcasting reel.
If you are eager to know how to use baitcaster reel and what steps should you follow, let’s read along.
Step-By-Step Guide – How To Use Casting Reel?
Below are the series of steps that will help you learn how to use baitcaster reel and achieve amazing results. Make sure to understand and follow each carefully.
How To Put Line On A Baitcaster?
If you did wrong in this first step, you can’t enjoy a good fishing experience. Putting the line on the spool is extremely easy if you do it right. Set up your baitcaster combo and if you have a two-piece rod, dismantle its pole part for better convenience.
Now take your line, grab its end and start pulling it through the rod eyelet and insert it into the line guide of the reel. Starting from the rod eyelet is actually a pro tip to prevent line tangling. Usually, people run into the trouble of messed up lines when they start spooling otherwise.
Many baitcasting reels come with a level wind mechanism that puts a leveled line on the spool. It moves back and forth as you rotate the handle. Rather than bunching up on one side, the line loops around the spool evenly. This ultimately helps with casting the line at distances.
After inserting the line through the guide, try pushing the line below the base of the reel’s spool. The simplest way to do this is by twisting the line as you push it through the line guide. As you see the line coming out from the base of the spool, grab it beneath the click bail.
You will have the tag end to work with so, take that and run it back through the base of the spool. Ensure that the line doesn’t go between any of the mechanical parts of the baitcaster. Grab the tag end as it passes through the base and comes out from the other side. Doing so will leave you a full loop around the reel.
Grab the main line from the spool and tie a clinch knot to secure the line from running out of the spool. Clinch knot is the most common practice by anglers including the pros. Here is how you can do it easily.
After you have tied the clinch knot, tighten it around the spool and double-check for its tautness. Once done, cut the excess tag end of your fishing line using scissors. It might be difficult to cut a fishing line using regular scissors. We recommend Gerber scissors or any other fishing pliers.
Take your main line up and hold it around 12 inches above your baitcaster and start rotating the handle slowly. Since almost all of the baitcasters come with a level wind mechanism, you will notice it rolling the line evenly in a back-and-forth motion.
While you spin the handle to spool the line, make sure to apply constant yet slight pressure on the main line you are holding in your fingers. If you hold the line too tight during the spool, it will make casting incredibly difficult.
It is also crucial to adjust your drag while loading the spool so that the line doesn’t run off easily while fighting heavy species. Don’t leave the drag too loose, nor overtight it.
As you keep spinning the handle, ensure that you don’t overfill the spool. Doing so will again have a bad impact on your casting. To determine the right amount, put your thumb on the spool and move it back and forth to check if it is even with the spool or not.
If the line levels then, you have put too much line. However, if it seems a centimeter or two below the spool, that is the perfect amount of line. Another way is to make sure that the line doesn’t overlap with the bearings.
Finally, cut the desired amount of line and pass it through all the eyelets. Don’t forget to double-check if you didn’t miss any eyelets. Once done, you are all set to hit the waters and catch your favorite species.
How To Cast Baitcaster Reel?
In order to understand how to use a baitcaster reel, learning how to cast is utterly essential. It is suggested to always fine-tune your baitcasting reel before casting. The two most important adjustments include the spool tension knob and the brakes.
Begin by pressing the button and let the reel free spool. As you do this, your lure should fall onto the ground without a backlash (see the image on left above). You will only achieve a backlash-free free spool if adjustments are proper. If the spool knob is too loose, there would definitely be a bird’s nest (as shown in the image on right above).
To make a cast, allow your lure to hang down nearly 8 to 10 inches below the rod tip. The next extremely crucial thing to keep in mind is the thumbing on the spool. Learning how to thumb a baitcaster is pretty simple.
Right after free spooling, place your thumb on the spool gently, don’t press it too hard. Throughout your cast, you should use your thumb to feather the spool until your lure hits the water. Press the spool to stop it as soon as it is about to hit its destination, doing so will always save you from bird’s nest.
The reason why anglers encounter backlash is that they don’t thumb the spool right when the lure hits the water. Therefore, you should not miss the right time to thumb.
Furthermore, casting is also improved when you swing your arm sideways or overhead in a proper arc. However, the sidearm cast is much easier than the overhead cast as it reduces backlash chances.
How To Tune A Baitcaster Reel?
When learning how to use a baitcast reel, you must always learn how to set a baitcaster reel. No one likes running for professional help to fine-tune their baitcaster before every fishing session. Knowing it yourself will not only save you time but also level up your casting game.
To understand how to adjust drag on a baitcaster reel you should know its location. The drag knob on baitcasters features a star shape and is easily visible. It is present near the handle and regulates line tension.
For tightening it, turn the knob in a forward direction however, if you wish to loosen it, turn it backward. Keep the drag balanced, neither too tight nor too loose.
2. Spool Tension Knob
It is another highly important adjustment to make before casting. You will find this beside the star drag kno on your baitcaster. A spool tension knob is responsible for tightening or loosening the spool. As a result, it keeps the spool speed under control.
To set it correctly, follow these steps:
- Take your baitcasting combo and hold it up at 2’o clock direction.
- Start spinning the handle and bring about 10 to 12 inches of line out.
- Now tighten the spool tension knob by pushing it forward.
- You will start feeling little pressure, press the thumb bar at this moment.
- Your lure will hit the ground on its own and it will indicate that you have set the spool tension appropriately.
These are designed to control the spool speed in case you miss thumbing the spool at the right time. Don’t forget to carefully learn these adjustments if you wish to understand how to use baitcaster reel like a pro.
Generally, manufacturers use either of the two types of braking systems i.e., Centrifugal and Magnetic.
- Centrifugal Braking System
This type of braking system work by utilizing pins. To adjust the centrifugal brakes, you can either opt for the dial or a lever. The dial is responsible for unscrewing the side however, to release the plate, the lever is used.
As you uncover the plate, there are numerous movable pegs of multicolor that you can adjust. When turned ON, the centrifugal brakes will send more force on the outside. If you turn it to MAX, it would prevent backlashes but can reduce the casting distance. So, adjust accordingly.
- Magnetic Braking System
These use magnets to control the spool speed and are externally adjusted. Setting these is extremely simple since the dial features MIN and MAX labels. For better casting distances, experts set these brakes lower than 50%. However, beginners are suggested to set these at 50%. This will ensure a backlash-free experience but with a compromised casting distance.
check out related guides on baitcasting reels
- Baitcasting Reel Parts – A Detailed Guide
- Best Baitcasting Reels Under $100
- 10 Best Baitcaster Under 200 Reviews In 2023
- What Is A Spincast Reel? Are Spincast Reels Any Good?
- Best Baitcaster For Casting Distance
1. How to put a baitcaster reel on a rod?
Grab your baitcaster and place the reel seat on the rod. Find the groove on your casting rod where the reel seat would go in. after inserting the reel seat in the groove, screw down the top part and secure the baitcaster. That’s it, you have assembled the combo.
2. How to cast a baitcaster without birdnesting?
The only thing that will help you cast without birdnesting is the timely thumbing of the spool. It is recommended to practice as much as you can. During the practice, make sure to stop the spool just when the lure is about to hit its destination. Also, make sure to adjust the reel appropriately.
When it comes to understanding how to use baitcaster reel, things could get a bit challenging. However, with a detailed guide from the experts, you can actually master the art of baitcasting. The key to learning how to use a baitcasting reel like a professional is to tune it correctly. Once you have got the combo adjusted, spool it nicely and start your fishing adventure.