How to Use a Baitcaster - for Beginners


Fishing is an activity many people resort to for different reasons ranging from the relaxing benefits one gets to enjoy when engaging in such an activity to the catch itself. If you’re looking for a quality baitcast reel to help you with that, you might want to check out our recent post for more on popular models and if you need to learn how to use such a product, today’s post might be of help.

Setting and casting a baitcast reel might seem difficult at first yet many things and activities are so when one is a beginner. By following a few relatively simple steps and practicing them, you will get to master the baitcaster sooner than you think. We have highlighted below the basics of baitcaster use to help you enter this field with greater ease.

Getting the right gear

Using quality equipment that is appropriate for beginners is actually the first thing to start with. Finding a good rod and a quality baitcaster that will make it easier for you to explore this activity is thus essential. If you think of baitcasters, then you will first need a decent bass-fishing rod. There are many models available for sale at prices tailored to suit various budgets.

As far as baitcasters are concerned, the things you should consider are related to the brake system featured and the way the unit feels when you hold it. You need a baitcaster that you will be comfortable with and that’s why it is best to try out several models before buying. The one that you can handle with ease should be added to your shopping cart.

The brake system has a lot to say as well. The market offers two main types including the magnetic and centrifugal brake systems as well as hybrid models. Some anglers prefer magnetic brake systems because they have a knob that can be easily accessed and adjusted.

Centrifugal brake systems can be accessed by removing the side plate of the reel where they are located. Underneath this plate, you will usually find several pegs or pins that you will have to adjust according to your needs.

Each type has its advantages and, in the end, it comes down to what you feel comfortable with. No matter the type you go for, backlash problems can still occur if the item is not properly adjusted.

The type of line you use holds great importance as well. There are various types you can use yet professional anglers recommend monofilament if you’re new to this. You will also find braided line and fluorocarbon line yet they might make it a bit more difficult for you to enjoy successful casts if you have no previous experience. The baits you should get depend on your preferences and what you intend to catch with them.


Make the necessary baitcaster adjustments

Once you’ve found the baitcaster that best suits your needs, you have to set it up and adjust it in order to cast successfully. Different brake systems require different adjustments, so it is always best to follow the instructions provided with your baitcaster. When it comes to magnetic brake systems, they have a dial placed on the outside of the side plate.

This dial usually reads 1 to 10 or MAX to MIN. The higher the setting, the more brake you will apply. Centrifugal brake systems include several pegs or pins located under the side plate. The closer the brakes are to the center, the faster the spool will spin.

You will also have to adjust the tension knob. It should be located on the same side as the handle and adjusting it will increase or decrease the tension going to the spool. The tension should be adjusted depending on the weight used for bait casting and until the bait takes 2-3 seconds to hit the ground.

Setting the drag calls for great attention as well. When choosing the baitcaster, keep an eye on the drag specs provided. A higher drag will enable you to place a greater force when pulling the fish.

Don’t forget about the gear ratio ensured by a baitcaster. This number refers to how many times the spool turns with each turn of the handle. Therefore, 8:1 means that the spool will turn eight times per turn of the handle.

Casting a baitcaster reel

Once you’ve found the right location to practice, you can start casting by following a few simple steps. Gripping the baitcaster properly is the first thing to do. If you’re right-handed, then wrap your right hand around the handle and the reel. Your thumb should rest on the spool as well as the spool release button. If you’re left-handed, then make sure you do that using your left hand.

Holding the baitcaster firmly without your comfort being affected will help your casting. You need to be able to easily and comfortably control the spool. A proper grip will help you disengage the spool easily. Many baitcasting reels available for sale these days come with a release button that is placed behind the spool that you will have to press with your thumb.

It is best to try out a baitcaster before you buy and see how it feels. You may like a model that comes with extra features that would enhance your experience yet if, when you try it out, it doesn’t feel comfortable enough, you might want to check some other models, too.

The reel handles should point up in order for you to be able to use your wrist when casting. To send the line out properly, you will need to adopt a certain position. This means that you will have to bend the arm you use to cast at the elbow until the crook of the arm is close to a right angle.

Once you’ve done that, make sure the rod is raised enough for its tip to go a bit past vertical.   Then sweep the rod forward until you get the 10 o’clock position or the rod is at your eye level. While you do so, lift the thumb off the reel spool in order to allow for the bait weight to pull line off the spool while being propelled toward the fish you’d like to catch.

Once the bait has reached the fish you’ve targeted, use your thumb to press down on the spool in order to stop the bait. Doing so at the right time will prevent unwanted events as if you delay this moment even for a few seconds, the spool will keep on turning after the bait has reached the water. This will lead to an overrun that will have to be straightened out before you retrieve the bait.

The way you cast depends on a variety of factors ranging from your experience to how comfortable the model you’ve chosen feels and the weather conditions. If you’re a beginner and the cast is not perfect even after a few attempts, don’t worry. This takes time and practice yet with the right gear and perseverance, you’ll enjoy that successful cast soon.



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