How To Cast a Baitcaster Reel (Step-by-Step Guide)

How to cast a baitcaster (For Beginners)

If you’re new to fishing, casting is one of the components of fishing that you would like to master to make your angling game satisfying and rewarding. 

There are different types of reel, spin-cast, spinning, fly, and baitcasting reel. There’s a notion that the baitcasting reel is only for professional anglers because it looks complicated to operate, but with patience and enough practice, you’ll become a pro at it.

A baitcaster is described to be a lightweight yet powerful fishing reel. To help you maximize its use, this article will teach you the step-by-step guide on how to cast a baitcaster to improve your fishing experience.

how to cast a baitcaster
Jon with his Lexa 400 down in Baja

How To Cast a Baitcaster Reel

Using a baitcasting reel can be challenging at first. But when you practice your casting and learn the basics, you can quickly master it for a stress-free and enjoyable fishing experience.

Here are the practical steps that all anglers with any skill level can do.

Step 1: Choose a Baitcaster Reel

To cast your baitcaster reel, you must first gather the right equipment. Different types of baitcasting reels come in different features like friction cast control, cast control brake, etc., that not all reels have. 

No matter what features your reel utilizes, you must choose the one that is comfortable to your hands and fits your fishing needs.

Step 2: Grip the Reel

Properly position your hand onto the reel with your dominant hand. By gripping the baitcasting reel correctly, you have greater control over the cast.

Your thumb must be on top while your other fingers are bent around the reel handle, just like you’re giving a handshake.

As a rule of thumb, the way you hold the reel must be firm but relaxed for easy control, adjustment, and comfortability.

Step 3: Reel the Line

Make sure that the reel handle is pointing up. The rod must be at a bird’s nest eye view with an angular distance of about 30 degrees or the 10 o’clock position. 

To do this, bend your casting arm until the rod tip goes slightly vertical so that the weight of the lure draws the line off the spool as it propels towards the target. 

The lure or bait should be positioned accurately 12 inches away from the tip of the rod.

Step 4: Cast out the Line

Before the reel hits the water, double-check the baitcaster’s settings. The spool tension must be tight enough because it will determine how fast the spool will maneuver when casting to reduce the chances of getting backlash. 

The ideal set-up of the spool is free-spool, wherein it can revolve easily without spool tension when casting or trolling. This can be done by turning the spool tension knob as high as it can go so you can control its speed.

By adjusting the spool knob, as soon as the lure reaches the ground, you can easily stop the spool from releasing more lines with your thumb and avoid backlashes.

Step 5: Be Ready to Bring the Fish in

Make sure that your body and fishing rod is facing the same direction where you plan to cast your lures or baits so you can easily maneuver when a fish bites.

Your head must be in the 12 o’clock position while your feet represent 6 o’clock. 

Being in a proper standing position also ensures your balance, especially if you catch a big and heavy fish.

Once you catch a fish, protect your rod from breakage by leading the fish away from its wanted direction. This will ensure that the fishing line would not go beyond the leader connection.

No matter what the size of the fish, raise your rod firmly. You also need to prepare the place where you want to land it.

Getting the Right Equipment

Choosing the gear in your fishing activity is one of the factors that greatly influence your performance. Baitcasting looks intimidating, so you need to find the one that you can easily get accustomed to. 

In choosing your reel equipment, it’s important to consider the correct gear ratio. The gear ratio calculates the speed of how the spool operates in retrieving lures.

Next is the spool size. The size that you would choose depends on the fish that you are targeting. You may need to have a large spool with longer casts if you aim to target larger fishes or if you are into bass fishing like small pond bass fishing

One of the parts of a baitcasting reel is the baits or lures that you would use. The choice would depend on the angler, but if you are targeting large fish, it is best to use the larger ones to make it more attractive for the fish.

Choosing a Location to Cast a Baitcaster

If it is the first time that you are using your baitcasting reel, you need to practice in an open area before heading out to the waters.

Explore the proper techniques that you will be using. Replace the actual lure with a rubber or anything that you can attach to the rod’s tip, so you can also try on how you would hold it with a weight.

In planning for the best location to fish, it is best to choose an area with no heavy brush to avoid backlash or tangling of your line.

It would also be easier to catch a fish if there are no barriers underwater that may also damage your gear. 


If you are used to using a spinning reel such as a surf fishing spinning reel, use a baitcaster to level up your casting skills. If you kept wondering how to cast a baitcaster, now is the time to master it because it can be a great addition to your fishing skills.

The Anglers Behind This Article:

Johanes Godoy

Jon Stenstrom

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Articles » Gear Reviews » Fishing Reels » How To Cast a Baitcaster Reel (Step-by-Step Guide)