How to Cast a Baitcasting Reel

Fishing is a wonderful sport; it helps you build your muscle strength along with your mental tolerance. In addition to providing you with a lot of peace, it also hones your focus like no other sport. Moreover, it boasts a wide array of subcategories, each one of them designed to suit a certain level of expertise. 

The main three categories are Spin-casting, Bait-casting, and Trolling, each one of these categories will need a specific reel system that will be designed differently and complements certain casting angles better.

Bait-casting vs. Spin-casting

How to Cast a Baitcasting Reel

Spin casting is the most basic type of fishing; it is comprised out of your standard reeling system and your typical everyday steps, nothing out of the ordinary, which makes it the first choice for beginners. With spin-casting, you can cast at any angle as it is very versatile.

On the other side, bait-casting can be labeled as the next step. It is mostly for intermediate to advanced fishermen who have already mastered the art of spin-casting. They already know how to deal with the rods and how to handle the reeling system. 

Hence, they can move on to the next level. Bait-casting offers you better functionality as it is a lot more precise. In simple words, you will land your bait exactly where you want it.  

With bait-casting, you use your thumb on the spool and the setting of the drag to determine the amount of pressure applied to your thread, which later on determines where it will land. Such control is the source of the precision that we have previously mentioned.

One last thing about bait-casting is that it is mostly used for big catches. Hence, when purchasing a new lure for it, try to go for heavy action lures such as microfilaments that will withstand the wars that these fish will wage on you.

You may also read: Spinning Reel vs Baitcasters: Which is Right for You?

How to Cast a Baitcasting Reel

Components of a Bait-caster

1. Spool Tension

The job of the spool tension is to make sure that the line is tight in your rod and that it can fly freely into the air yet does not go crazy underwater, causing birds nests in your thread. For every lure, you have to set the setting of the spool’s tension in order to allow the thread to move freely in the air and hit the water just right.

2. Brakes

They are either magnetic or centrifugal. Their job is to prevent backlash at the end of the lure’s journey in the air. What it does is that it controls its speed and, more importantly, the speed of its deceleration. For beginners, you should always try to set your breaks as high as possible to prevent birds’ nests.

3. Drag

The job of the drag comes after that of the brakes. However, you set the drag to decide how much freedom the thread will have after you lock it underwater. Too much drag on the thread will cause it to snap if your catch puts up too much of a fight.

Preparation of Your EquipmentPreparation of Your Equipment

Spool’s Tension

This is something that you have to do for each and every lure that you are going to purchase and use with a bait-caster. The spool tension’s job is to allow the lure to fly freely into the air; however, it will stop when it hits the ground or the water to prevent the formation of birds’ nests. Hence, the calibration of the spool tension in relation to the lure has to be figured out individually.

  1. What you do is that you set the spool’s tension to a maximum.
  2. Hit the spool release button. The thread won’t move at all.
  3. Slowly go one level at a time down the spool’s tension until your lure starts moving.
  4. It has to move yet must stop when it hits the ground, and that’s the setting for this lure.

Steps of the Actual Fishing ProcessSteps of the Actual Fishing Process

The most important thing that you need to know about bait-casting is that it all depends on your thumb. When you practice enough so that your thumb knows when to release and when to feather the lure, that’s when you will get the hang of bait-casting. 

Also, you must keep in mind that the goal behind using a bait caster is to keep feeding lure into the rod constantly, which gives you consistency and, therefore, precision.

Consequently, at first, it would be the minimal spool tension setting that is allowing such free winding of the thread. Afterward, when wind and gravity start doing their thing, it will become magnetized breaks’ job to keep feeding the spool without tangling it. And the last but key control of the thread will be your trained thumb.

1. Holding Your Rod:

  1. Hold the rod with your dominant hand.
  2. Set your spool tension to your known setting for this lure.
  3. Place your thumb above the spool so that it can control the amount of pressure that’s placed on the lure.
  4. Bend your elbow so that your forearm is approaching the 90° angle but not there yet.
  5. Make sure that your bait is dangling it 6 to 12 inches from the rod’s tip.

2. Starting Your Cast:

  1. Start setting your brakes however you wish to, preferably as high as possible to prevent bird nests.
  2. Press the spool release button.
  3. Cast using your entire arm, not by just flipping your wrists.
  4. Move the rod so that the reel is looking upward and keep it in a vertical position.

3. Ending Your Cast:

  1. As the lure’s trip in the air starts coming to an end, that’s when your thumb comes into play.
  2. You will start controlling it by just feathering the line to decide how fast or how slow it will go to capture your prey.
  3. When you start feeling the tugging of the fish on your thread, start setting the drag to allow it enough freedom to war with your prey comfortably but still not letting it get away from you.


When you first acquire your baitcasting rod, try to practice as much as possible in your backyard or anywhere away from the water. Do that till you get the right feel for the drag and the reeling system as a whole. 

Staying away from any waterfronts will protect your lure from sinking and getting blocked by anything underwater, which mostly happens when you don’t apply enough pressure on your thread.

Also, try to practice in places that are relatively empty of people and any structures that could block the route of your thread. Make sure that there are no trees or buildings around you and most importantly no humans.

One thing you can do is to place certain objects at different distances from you and try to hit them, which will improve the feel that we have spoken about. 

Another thing is to practice side casting as it lessens the probability of your lure getting tangled up while above casts tend to knot your thread as it makes its way towards the water.

If for any reason your thread tangles, then start pulling it out of the spool until all that’s left is the properly winded thread and then retrieve it back slowly.

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Final Thoughts 

As we have said, bait-casting is mostly for intermediate and advanced anglers. It offers you a lot more accuracy and allows you to go for big catches such as Trout and Pike. Don’t forget the fact that practice makes perfect and keep trying your hand at the new reel system until you master it just to make sure that you won’t lose your thread out there or even worse; cause injury to yourself or someone else.