How to Fish With a Baitcaster

How to Fish With a Baitcaster
Baitcasting equipment gives anglers a great deal of control over the accuracy and distance of their casting. Mastering the cast is also the hardest part of baitcasting for most anglers. Following these tips will help you become proficient in using the equipment so you can get down to the business at hand: catching more fish.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • baitcasting rod and reel spooled with line
  • tackle
Step 1
Disengage the line by releasing the lock lever on the right-hand side of the reel and prepare to cast by placing your thumb lightly over the spool to keep the line from unspooling too fast.
Step 2
Maintain light pressure on the spool as you raise the rod tip overhead to a 45 degree angle behind your head, then snap your wrist forward and ease your thumb off the spool at the same time.
Step 3
Release the line when your rod tip is pointed at the spot you wish to reach with your cast.
Step 4
Manage the speed of the cast by controlling the spool with thumb pressure, which is called feathering.
Step 5
Turn the rod in your hand sideways so the reel is on the side, and snap your wrist to cast so the rod is parallel to the water when you need greater aim in tight spots such as overhead branches.

Tips & Warnings

 
Practice casting in the yard with a 1/2-ounce sinker weight on the end of your line with a plastic float or colorful streamer to help you see the trajectory of your casts.
 
Practice "feathering," which is the technique of applying thumb pressure to the line spool to prevent a backlash, a heart-sinking situation where the line spins backward over the spool and becomes entangled. Backlashes occur when the line comes off the reel faster than it can shoot through the guides on your rod, causing the line to flip over on itself and rewind backward on the spool.
 
Tighten the drag setting clockwise and pull on the line to test it. You want the drag firm enough to be able to set the hook in a fish's mouth, yet not so tight that your prey snaps the line with its first long run. If the line pulls in short bursts without stretching or breaking, your drag is set correctly.
 
When there are no obstructions and you need some distance, such as fishing from the banks, use a two-handed overhead cast. Hold the rod behind the reel with your feathering hand. Place your free hand on the rod grip ahead of the reel with your fingers curled underneath and thumb resting on top. If you use your right hand to control the reel, plant your right foot forward and your left foot back to get the most leverage from a two-hand overhead cast.

Article Written By James Clark

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.

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