How to Use an Ocean Baitcast Reel

How to Use an Ocean Baitcast Reel
Baitcast reels are typically the weapon of choice when it comes to reels for big water ocean fishing. The direct line to spool contact with the reel as well as heavy-duty gearing, construction and design combine to give baitcast reels the competitive edge over spinning reels. Fishing with a baitcast reel designed for ocean use is similar in many ways to traditional freshwater baitcast reels. However, one feature of ocean baitcast reels allows bait to move or be taken freely by a large fish before the spool is engaged.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Braid fishing line
  • Large circle hook or similar bait-holding hook
  • Bait
Step 1
Place live or fresh-cut bait on the hook. The bait and method of rigging the bait are based on personal choice and species of fish. It is important to make sure, regardless of rigging method, that the hook is securely inserted into the bait so that it cannot be easily taken on a strike.
Step 2
Adjust the drag star wheel forward (or clockwise) so that it is tightened. Reduce the tension one turn or so and pull on the line to determine if it will spool from the reel. A good initial starting point is with the line not moving at all from the spool when tension is applied.
Step 3
Hold the rod and reel with a good grip. Your dominant hand should hold the reel with your thumb resting on the spool. Press the spool release button on the frame of the ocean baitcast reel and bring the rod back and to your side. Maintain pressure on the spool as you bring the rod forward and then release the line as the weight of the hook and bait pulls line from the spool.
Step 4
Turn the handle of the reel one turn to engage the spool. Locate the drag switch and set it forward to engage the drag. With the drag engaged the line will spool from the reel based on how you previously set the drag. With the bait clicker on, line can spool from the reel allowing live bait to swim and a large fish to take the bait. A clicker will also sound indicating a strike.
Step 5
Watch the line and rod tip closely for a strike. When the clicker is on, listen for an ever-faster series of clicks. Allow the game fish to take the bait and turn before you attempt to set the hook. Before setting the hook, switch the drag on, raise the rod tip and reel in the line.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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