How to Set Up a Baitcaster

How to Set Up a Baitcaster
Baitcaster reels have a reputation as being harder to use and master than spinning reels. True, an angler will have to practice to get proficient with this style of reel compared to a spinning reel (see Reference 1). But once mastered, an angler will appreciate the baitcaster's accuracy and speed. To make learning how to cast easier, it is important that the reel is set up correctly so the angler can concentrate on the basics of casting.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Baitcast rod and reel Fishing line Practice casting lure Screwdriver Spring scale
  • Baitcast rod and reel
  • Fishing line
  • Practice casting lure
  • Screwdriver
  • Spring scale
Step 1
Ensure the reel is securely mounted to the rod. Inspect the rod and reel for cleanliness and damage. Make sure the reel functions correctly.
Step 2
Spool the reel with new line. Add line until the spool is filled 1/8 to 1/16 inch from the lip.
Step 3
Attach a practice casting lure to the line. Set the centrifugal brake by first turning the brake knob fully clockwise. Put the reel in freespool and loosen the brake knob until the lure travels slowly to the ground.
Step 4
Adjust the drag with a scale. Turn the star drag clockwise to tighten. Set the drag at 25 to 30 percent of the line's breaking strength.
Step 5
Make a few practice casts to ensure the reel performs correctly. Adjust the centrifugal brake as needed.

Tips & Warnings

See the Resources for more on how to set the drag.

Article Written By Daniel Ray

Daniel Ray has been writing for over 15 years. He has been published in "Florida Sportsman" magazine. He holds an FAA airframe and powerplant license and FCC radiotelephone license, and is also a licensed private pilot. He attended the University of South Florida.

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