Learning to Fish with a Baitcaster Rod

Learning to Fish with a Baitcaster Rod
Some anglers tend to shy away from learning to use a baitcast reel and rod. Having learned to fish with either a spincast or spinning rod, the open-reel design of a baitcast reel can be intimidating. However, the control and increased accuracy of a baitcast reel cannot be overlooked and can be a significant addition to the angler's arsenal. By following a few simple adjustment steps and tips, anglers can learn to use a baitcast reel with ease.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Baitcast reel and matched rod
  • Monofilament fishing line
  • Weighted practice plug
Step 1
Adjust the cast control knob located beside the handle of the reel. Locate the small knurled knob typically located to the side or just below the reel handle. Turn the knob so the control is completely tightened. Extend the rod in front of you and press the spool release. Loosen the spool control until the weighted plug slowly drops to the ground.
Step 2
Turn the brake control, located on the opposite side of the reel from the handle, to a middle position. Depending on the manufacturer, the control will typically be marked with numbers. Set the control between 5 and 7, with 7 providing greater brake control.
Step 3
Hold the rod handle with your index finger around the trigger of the rod and your thumb resting on the spool of the reel. Grip the handle of the rod with your remaining fingers. Assume a comfortable grip that will provide control for fishing with the rod and reel.
Step 4
Turn the reel sideways with the handle facing up and the open top of the reel to the side. Maintain this position while you cast to reduce over run and backlash. The forward and down motion of the free spinning spool can pull the line down into the spool during a cast resulting in overrun and a backlash.
Step 5
Place the pad of your thumb on the spool of the reel. Press the spool release and raise the rod tip back and to the side. Bring the rod tip forward toward your target on the water. Release the line by slightly raising your thumb half way between the raised back point and the forward horizontal position.

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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