How to Cast a Baitcaster-Accurate Casting Guide

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A baitcaster is relatively more difficult to cast compared to a spinning reel. There is a possibility that you will fail at first, but that should not intimidate you. Keep on trying, and you will realize how baitcasting technology allows you to cast even faster than any other reel. 

Also Read : What is the Most Accurate Baitcasting Reel? 

Choosing the Right Equipment 

Before you learn how to cast, it is imperative to ensure that you choose the right equipment. Having the right equipment makes your work easier by half. Here are several factors you should consider before buying a baitcasting reel.

Gear Ratio

The gear ratio generally determines how fast your baitcaster will retrieve the lure. The spool of a baitcast reel turns over when you rotate the handle. The number of times it rotates is what is referred to as the gear ratio. If the gear ratio of a reel is 7:1, it means the spool will turn over seven times once you turn the handle. 

The higher the number of rotations, the faster the retrieval of the lure. A 5:1 gear ratio is considered average while 4:1 is a bit slow, and 6:1 is above average. When choosing the gear ratio, you should also consider the lure you will use. For example, a large lure will require slower retrieval, while a soft lure will require average retrieval. 

Spool Size 

While choosing the spool size, be sure to consider the type of fish you plan to catch. If you plan to catch large fish, it means you will need a heavy line. The line is heavy, which means it will take more space on the spool, meaning you will need to go for a reel with a deep spool that can hold a heavy and long line. 

If you plan to catch smaller fish, a reel with a smaller spool is good enough. If you choose a reel with a large spool and you plan to catch smaller fish, it may affect your accuracy. On the other hand, If you are not sure about how to spool a baitcasting reel, check out this video.


While choosing a baitcaster, don’t forget you are it choosing for yourself. Don’t concentrate a lot on the spool size and gear ratio, and forget what is most important. Your comfort should be above everything, so be sure to choose a reel that feels comfortable. You will know a comfortable baitcaster when you try one.  If you are interested to buy a good quality saltwater baitcasting reel, you may take a look at our content on Quality Saltwater Baitcasting Reels

How to Cast a Baitcasting Reel 

If you have found yourself a comfortable baitcaster, you have already won half the battle. Now all you need to do is to practice in your backyard before going out. Practicing will give you confidence and obviously enhance your skills. Here is how to go about it:

Step 1: Reel in the Line 

The first thing you will need to do is reel in the fishing line at least 30 centimeters from the rod tip. If your line has a bobber, ensure that it is at least 30 cm (12 inches) from the tip. 

Step 2: Hold the Reel the Right Way 

Ensure that your hand is wrapped around the rod, and your thumb rests on the spool. Please make sure you purchase a reel for your dominant hand. There are left-handed and right-handed baitcasters available. 

Tip: Instead of resting your thumb flatly on the spool, make sure it rests on an angle. That way, you will have more control over how the fishing line flows when you cast. 

Step 3: Ensure the Handle Points Up 

To do this, turn the rod. If you use the opposite hand to cast, ensure the handle points down. 

Step 4: Release the Spool 

Baitcasters are designed in such a way that a press on the spool disengages it from the handle. This ensures that the handle does not turn while casting, which makes it easy to cast over long distances. Modest baitcasters have a release button behind the spool. You can press this button with the thumb while it’s resting on the spool. 

Step 5: Bend Your Arm Properly 

Bend your arm at the elbow such that your arm’s crook will look almost like a right angle. While at it, raise the rod to a point where the rod tip is just past vertical. When you do that, you will be in the right position to release the fishing line. 

Step 6: Sweep the Fishing Rod Forward 

Now, sweep the rod forward to the point where it reaches your eye level. The rod should be about 30 degrees horizontally above. While at it, lift the thumb from the spool to allow the lure to pull the line out of the spool towards the ground.

Tip: If you are using a long-handled fishing rod, make sure to use the other hand as the fulcrum to pivot it. 

Step 7: Stop the Bait 

Once the bait hits the ground, press down the spool to stop it. It is pretty much the same as in a spinning reel only that you need to act faster with a baitcaster reel. If you don’t press down the spool as soon as the bait reaches the ground, the spool will continue turning, causing a “bird’s nest.” If this happens, you will need to straighten the “bird’s nest” first before retrieving the lure.

Handy Tips While Practicing 

As stated, you will need to practice for some time before you can go out to use your baitcaster reel to catch some fish. Here are some tips to help you during practice.

Don’t Practice Near Water 

While starting, you might want to do your practice away from water. With time, you can then think about practicing in the nearest pond. When practicing on the ground, don’t use your fishing bait or lure. Replace them with a metal sinker or rubber. 

Avoid Bushes 

You should choose an area with minimal bushes, especially ones with overhead trees. The fishing bait can get in the trees, and it will take you some time to retrieve it. Also, if the lure gets stuck on the trees, it may lead to a bird’s nest, which is a serious problem. 

Go to an Isolated Location 

It goes without saying that it is quite dangerous practicing how to baitcast in place with hundreds of people. Check every time before releasing the line that there is no one passing by the area. That way, you will not end up snugging passers-by with the lure. It will be more fun when there are fewer people in the area. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Baitcasting Answered 

Baitcasting is not easy, and even hours of practice will not make you a pro. Because of this, there are many questions surrounding it. Here, we attempt to answer the most common ones.

How Can I Cast My Baitcaster Reel Without Birdnesting?

Birdnesting is not something that always happens, but it does more often than not. With hours of practice, you should be able to do it well. Watch this video to help you minimize the risk of Birdnesting as much as possible.

How Can I Cast a Baitcaster Without Backlash?

A backlash usually happens when the lure shows down after the cast. If your lure is heavy, it will, in most cases, pull the line faster than you can control. Similarly, if you are trying to cast over long distances and the lure is too light, a backlash will probably happen.  To prevent a backlash, follow these tips:

  • Ensure your braking systems are set appropriately. The braking system in a baitcaster is as important as car breaks in a car. As a beginner, set the brakes at the highest level. That way, the tension will be lower, and so will be less possibility of a backlash.
  • Choose a heavy lure. A heavy lure will not be easily moved by wind. Yes, it will move quickly, but the possibility of a backlash is higher when the lure is moved by wind than when pulled faster. The braking system will help you prevent a backlash with a heavy lure, anyway. 
  • Adjust the spool tension to your comfort. 
  • Follow the wind. Instead of casting against the wind, cast with it. 
  • As a beginner, don’t start casting over long distances. The shorter the distance, the less the likelihood of a backlash.
  • Purchase a high-quality baitcast reel.

How Can I Cast My Baitcast Reel Accurately

Baitcasting is known for its accuracy, but you may not appreciate the accuracy much when you are new to it. These tips can help you cast your baitcast even more accurately:

  • Don’t bring the rod behind you while casting. Always ensure that it is in front of you.
  • Use little of your forearm and more of your wrist. 
  • Use your thumb to control how fast the line leaves the spool. 
  • Practice, practice, and then practice again. 

This video may play a significant role in your practice. Be sure to watch it.

Final Words

Baitcaster reels are the most common among experienced anglers, but it does not mean beginners cannot enjoy their benefits. To master how to cast a baitcaster reel accurately, you will need to practice aggressively (Learn More about Spinning vs casting reel). With time, you will see the fruits of your hard work. I hope the above guide will make your practice even easier and enjoyable.

Now you have already learned about casting a baitcaster, If you are a beginner, you should take care in choosing the right rods, reels, or combos for a perfect action. No worries, you can surely master the art of fishing soon.


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