How to Adjust a Baitcaster

How to Adjust a Baitcaster
Baitcaster reels are a favorite of experienced anglers who target larger fish species like bass, muskie, pike and walleye. While often more expensive than other reel types, baitcaster reels afford anglers the opportunity to manually adjust their reels to maximize performance in certain fishing situations. Baitcasters can be adjusted as frequently or infrequently as an angler desires. To learn how to adjust a baitcaster, read on.


Difficulty: Moderate

How to Adjust a Baitcaster

Things You’ll Need:
  • Baitcaster reel
  • Rod
  • Fishing line
  • Lure
Step 1
Spool fishing line onto the baitcaster reel. Start by threading the line through the tip of the rod and each of the guides until the line is ready to go on the reel. Then put the line through the line guide at the front of the baitcaster reel. Wrap the line twice around the reel spool, then tie a knot so the line is tight against the spool. Turn the reel crank to add line to the spool until the line is about 1/8 inch below the rim of the spool.
Step 2
Attach a lure that weighs about 3/8 oz. to the end of the fishing line.
Step 3
Adjust the drag on the baitcaster. The drag is the star-shaped piece on the handle of the reel. Turning the drag clockwise will tighten the drag, turning it counterclockwise will loosen the drag. In most instances, the drag should be set so that it takes a firm tug to make line come off the reel.
Step 4
Adjust the magnetic resistance. Depending on the reel, the magnetic resistance is on the side of the reel opposite the handle (it's a circular dial that will click when you move it), or on the same side of the reel as the handle, in which case it is a button you turn. To increase the magnetic resistance, which allows for more control of the spool, but decreases casting distance, turn the magnetic resistance clockwise. Turning the magnetic resistance control counterclockwise increases the distance you can cast, but also increases the likelihood of backlash.

Tips & Warnings

When you are just starting to learn how to use a baitcaster, keep the magnetic resistance tight. While it will decrease the distance of your casts, it also will reduce problems associated with backlash. As you become more confident working with the baitcaster, lower the magnetic resistance.

Article Written By Larry Anderson

Larry Anderson has been a freelance writer since 2000. He has covered a wide variety of topics, from golf and baseball to hunting and fishing. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, including "Fargo Forum" newspaper. Anderson holds a Bachelor of Arts in print journalism from Concordia College.

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