Do you have problems transitioning from a spinning reel cast to a baitcaster? Are you new to angling and wondering how to cast baitcaster? Or have you been wondering if you can ever cast a baitcaster reel without backlash? This tutorial might just be the easiest guide you will ever come across.
Casting a baitcaster is not rocket science and it is simpler than it seem with little patience and know-how. At first, with the series difficulties – such as backlash breaking of lines – experienced by some newbies and even seasoned anglers, most condemn the baitcaster reel as archaic and difficult to use whereas, it is arguably more fun, effective and easier to use than the spinning reel and other angling tools.
Read on to find out the tricks and tips on how to effortlessly cast your baitcaster reel.
Parts of a Baitcaster Reel
Before we delve into casting a baitcaster, there is a need to know about its major parts and their roles in its operation. These parts include:
One of the most important parts of a saltwater baitcasting reel, the brakes play a major role in the control of backlash (tangling of the line which is a major challenge to newbies). They are usually located at the side of the reel for ease of accessibility and control. They are of two types: centrifugal and magnetic brakes.
Spool Tension Knob (STK)
Like the braking system, the spool tension knob controls the speed of spool rotation and as a result control backlash. It acts as a kind of brake that reduces the speed of the spool rotation towards the end of the cast thereby, stops the pulling of lines from the spool when the lure is just about hitting the water surface.
Note that the spool tension knob only serves as a fine tuner and as such, you should apply the brakes before the STK.
The thumb bar helps to release the line when you want to cast your lure. All you need to do is press the thumb bar and the reel will rotate freely by the disengagement of the gears from the spool. Note that there should be no delay in the timing of pressing the thumb bar when you need to release the line at the time of casting. This is to prevent backlash and some other problems.
A rotating part of the baitcaster, it is the location of the fishing line. It is as important as any part of the baitcaster as it can make or break your fishing experience. It is important the spool’s surface is kept as smooth and clean as possible to avoid tangling and breaking of lines.
It ensures that your line is spooled neatly on the baitcaster spool. Hence, it is important you spool your line via the guide before threading it to the guide of the baitcaster.
How to Cast a Baitcaster Reel
Below is a step by step guide on how to cast a baitcaster
Step 1: Spool your Baitcaster correctly
As earlier discussed, the line guide helps to neatly spool your baitcaster and as such should be paid attention to. The line guide moves back and forth as you turn the handle of the spool while rotating the handle of the caster, leading to even distribution of the line on the spool. Hence, the line guide should be the first point of the spooling.
Step 2: Reel the line in
Reel the line into position where your lure or bait is only about 12 inches away from the tip of the rod.
Step 3: Grip the reel correctly
The ease of control, adjustment and your comfortability depends on your grip of the reel. Hold the rod reel to position your thumb on the reel spool with your other fingers wrapped around the grip. Also ensure that the spool is facing up as you press the spool button all while your thumb is placed against the line.
Step 4: Position the rod forward
You need to position the rod almost at your eye level that is, let the make an angle of about 30 degrees above the horizontal from your hand to the eye level. Reduce the pressure of your thumb on the reel spool until the weight of the lure is enough to draw the line off the spool.
Step 5: Halt the flow of the line just before the bait hits water
Apply pressure back on the spool by pressing your thumb against it to stop the flow of the line just before your bait hits the water. Crank the reel handle forward afterwards to lock the spool in position. This enables you to easily drive in your bait.
This step is crucial in the prevention of backlash as the effect of wind and surface of the water might affect the line if it is released at the same speed as before upon getting to the target. This causes entanglement otherwise known as backlash.
How to Cast a Baitcaster Far
Casting far is one of the major benefits of the baitcaster which lots of newbie and amateur anglers have not been able to explore. Below is a useful tip you need to cast your baitcaster far and angle long distance.
Tip: Get the right balance between the rod/reel and the line
In order to get the most out of your casting distance, there must be a nice balance between the characteristic of your baitcasting rod and reel and line. If your rod is too light, it won’t have enough thrust to drive a lure over a long distance. Also, if the rod is heavy, the loading will be difficult and affect your distance.
The ideal rod specifications for long distance is a 10-to-12-footer that can cast 1 to 8 ounces or more weight. Also, you should consider the rod action and power ( a medium-heavy power should do) for long distance casting. The reel should also have a large capacity albeit without levelwind. A reel with a line capacity of about 300 yards should do, due to the casting distance and some water body activity.
Lastly, the line should also be on the lighter side of the spectrum but not too light. Lines of 10 or 12 pounds should do the trick of casting long distance with the strength to fish heavy fishes.
How to Cast a Baitcaster without Backlash
The reason why backlash becomes a major problem for beginners and less of an issue for professional anglers is simply attention to details. Below are pro tips and key points on how to cast a baitcaster without backlash:
Tip 1: Take note of the Spool control knob
If at the early stages of casting, you have your spool control knob too loose, you will experience backlash in the early part of casting. The first thing you have to do is to tighten the spool control while you make sure the bait is placed at about your eye level. Note that, irrespective of the pace at which the bait falls, there will be backlash when the bait has no more downward momentum and as such you should ensure you thumb the spool just before the bait hits water. This is what is known as active breaking.
Lastly, you need to find ways to reduce the tension of the spool control knob to enable the bait to flow freely. It is important you keep a nice balance between the knob being too loose (causes backlash) and being too tight (affects distance) at this point.
Tip 2: Adjusting the Braking System
If you have gotten the balance of your spool right, then you can work on adjusting the braking system. The easiest way for beginners is to start by setting the brake at maximum setting ( brakes are usually from 1 min which is very free to 9 max which means very tight). The main target is to ensure the braking system controls the spool’s rotation at the time when your lure is traveling upward or forward in the air at full speed.
This target can be achieved by backing down your brakes by one increment until the bait can travel naturally without being disturbed by the brake and the spool giving out more lines than the bait needs. At this point you can be sure that you won’t experience backlash.
How to Cast a Bait with a Light Lure
Amidst the pain points of anglers that enjoy using a baitcaster is the use of a light lure. However, with these easy tips, casting a baitcaster with light lures could not be easier.
Get the right Rod and Reel
Tip 1: A flexible, fast action tip, medium or medium heavy-powered rod of length 6 ft. 6 inches to 7 ft. 7 inches should get the job done. Also, round baitcasting reels of high quality is needed to complement the rod.
Tip 2: Off the magnetic brake, turn down the drag until the lure starts to draw the line out of the spool at which point you should adjust your brake back to halfway.
Tip 3: Allow the gravity to be your weight by dropping the lure with close to 30inches of the line flowing through the tip.
Tip 4: Avoid quick whipping action you would normally do with heavy lures.
Tip 5: Employ a slow, long and smooth cast as well as releasing the lure a fraction before you would usually do with other lures. This enables the rod to provide the power needed to cast your bait.
Tip 6: Lastly, fight the urge to throw the lure hard. You should not use your arms or shoulder to cast, instead make use of your wrist.
Casting a baitcaster might be the easiest thing to do with the right equipment and technique. However, the experience can get pretty ugly in seconds if the details are not properly executed. As a beginner you shouldn’t be deterred by this, instead, you should take the backlashes and breaking lines as valuable experience and go again following guides and tutorials such as this.