How To Cast A Baitcaster? (A Guide For Beginners)

How To Cast A Baitcaster? (A Guide For Beginners)

When you first start out, it can be quite intimidating for people who are new to fishing or don’t know how to cast a baitcaster reel. To help you through the casting process and teach you how to cast like a pro, our BCFing expert Sammy Hitzke has put together this how-to guide.

The Basics

Among the three most common types of reels, the baitcasting reel stands out because its spool actually spins. As the line moves toward the target, this releases it. While the line coils off the end of the spool during the cast in both a spinning reel and a spin casting reel, the spool stays stationary. The baitcasting reel differs from the other two in that the spool rotates, and learning how to cast with one effectively requires a different method. As with a spin casting reel, the caster will hold the rod with the reel upright, depress the thumb lever while swinging the rod forward, and finally let it go to make a cast.

The similarities stop there, though. A pickup pin that holds the line for the user and releases it when released is connected to a push button on a spin casting reel. When the thumb button on a baitcasting reel is depressed, the spool is released and can spin freely. It is necessary to regulate this free-spinning motion to prevent an overrun or backlash on the line. Fortunately for us, the modern baitcasting reel has a number of improvements that reduce and regulate the spool spinning action beyond that felt by the thumb. We’ll talk about each modification and describe how it affects how the reel is used for casting and fishing, as well as its purpose.

You’ll see a dial with numbers on it on the side of the reel across from the handle. This is the magnetic brake adjustment dial. When the thumb bar is released during casting, the numbers determine how much magnetic force will be applied to the reel. Higher numbers indicate more magnetic force will be applied to the spool. There’s no need to worry if your reel lacks this external dial. If you have a centrifugal braking system, you can adjust it in the same way, but you will need to remove the sideplate of the reel in order to get to the dial and make the necessary changes.

Advantages Of Using A Baitcaster Reel

A great piece of equipment that works well for both casting and trolling, the baitcasting reel is highly regarded for its accuracy and added control. The baitcaster’s light weight and power enable it to easily handle a variety of fishing situations, including snag-diving for barramundi, swim baiting for flathead and Murray cod, and Australian bass fishing. It enables precision casting, allowing you to drop your lure exactly in the strike zone, by allowing you to feather the line as you cast.

The Three Parts Of Casting A Baitcaster

Each cast made with a baitcaster involves three steps. You must first comprehend how the cast functions in order to comprehend the angler’s role in each component. A baitcaster, once the spool is set in motion, feeds the line to the bait as it travels through the air, in contrast to a spinning reel where the bait pulls line off the spool throughout the cast. The spool will continue to feed line roughly at the same rate it did at the start of the cast even if wind resistance, gravity, or the water slows the bait down. Backlash is the term for the overrun of line that occurs when the angler doesn’t slow the spool as the lure slows.

Part 1: The casting process begins with the bait being launched from the rod tip. The moment the angler takes his thumb away from the spool, the bait can take line and the spool can begin to spin. Now is the time when the setting on the spool control knob is crucial.

Part 2: Wind resistance and gravity start to slow the bait down as it flies through the air. The braking system is then activated.

Part 3: The bait starts to descend and eventually touches down on the water during the final portion of the cast. This is when using the “educated thumb” is necessary.

The ability to control these momentum changes using the adjustable features built into the baitcasting reel, as well as your own timing and instincts, is the key to successful casting.


How To Cast A Baitcaster: Step-by-step

Follow these easy, step-by-step instructions to practice learning how to fish with a baitcaster reel.

  1. Make sure the appropriate rod is paired with the baitcasting reel you are using. Use a medium-heavy rod that is between 6 feet and 6 inches and 6 feet and 10 inches long.
  2. To learn the fundamentals of casting for bait, use heavy line. 15 to 17-pound monofilament fishing line will be the easiest for you to cast initially, and will help you avoid backlashes.
  3. For instructions on how to adjust the star drag and spool tension, consult the reel’s owner’s manual.
  4. To ensure that your lure falls slowly and smoothly to the ground, hold your rod out horizontally and press the thumb bar. This is a useful method for assessing spool tension prior to casting.
  5. To prepare for your cast, re-cross the rod over your shoulder.
  6. Press firmly with your thumb on the line spool while depressing the thumb bar. You should be aware that your line will release when you depress the thumb bar.
  7. Aim for your target.
  8. To help prevent the spool from overwinding and to help you avoid a backlash, apply firm pressure with your thumb on the spool as you begin your cast. Then, gradually release the pressure to feather your line out for the remainder of the cast.
  9. You can start fishing after reeling once or twice to activate the anti-reverse.

Your ability to cast a baitcaster reel should improve as a result of these detailed instructions. Learn a few additional tips on how to cast spinning reels if you want to work on honing your overall casting abilities and prefer to fish with smaller baits or lures.

How To Cast A Baitcaster Efficiently?

It’s time to actually make an overhand cast once the angler has a sense of how the weight of the lure pulls line off of the baitcaster’s spool. Make sure there are no obstacles in the way from behind you before pulling back the rod and disengaging the spool while firmly holding it in place with your thumb. Then, advance it with a soft lob motion. What makes a “Hail Mary” bomb cast preferable to a hard snap? They will follow later. Simply getting the lure moving forward is the objective right now. A novice angler can overpower or underpower the cast with a spinning rod and reel without experiencing any negative effects, but with a baitcaster, smooth operation and release are essential to preventing significant overruns.

An angler should keep an eye on the target while casting and follow through with the rod’s arc, but they should also be aware of the possibility that the lure might veer off course. A more skilled caster will eventually be able to feel when the lure is going too far, though initially this can be done by sight. The angler can then slow the spool’s rotation and the lure’s trajectory by lightly feathering the spool with the thumb. To ensure a feather-soft landing, use the same technique. The presentation can be made to appear much more natural by gradually slowing the lure down and then bringing it to a not-so-sudden halt at the water’s edge. If the lure is stopped too close to the target, it may make a loud “plunk” that scares fish away.

The angler must decide whether the lure requires additional line once it is in the water and when to start the retrieve. For instance, the angler can start retrieving or letting a topwater popper sit by immediately engaging the reel. On the other hand, they will need to begin reeling right away with a buzzbait that sinks at rest in order for it to begin working right away. The angler may need to carefully feed out line if bottom contact is important when fishing in deep water. If there is too much or too little pressure, the lure may pendulum back toward the boat, and if there is too little or no pressure, the reel may backlash. It’s always a thin line, but with practice, you can learn to tell where it is just by feeling.

A quick adjustment to the cast control and, in some cases, a slight modification to the casting motion are all that are required to maintain effective casting throughout the course of a fishing day as the wind direction or lure selections change.


After reading our step-by-step instructions, casting a baitcasting reel should be a piece of cake. Visit your neighborhood BCF store to find all the fishing supplies you’ll need, such as baitcasting rods and reels. Speak with our helpful staff of BCF fishing experts, who will help make your upcoming trip to the water a success.