How to Use a Bait Caster

How to Use a Bait Caster
A bait caster rod and reel is a popular choice for anglers who demand great precision and accuracy in their casting. These attributes are also the same qualities that make bait casting equipment more challenging to master than other types of fishing gear. You can become proficient with a bait caster setup and hit your targets with precision by practicing and following these steps.


Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Hold the rod by the handle with your thumb over the open-face bait casting spool and locate the target for your cast.
Step 2
Raise the rod tip vertically and disengage the line by pushing the reel lock forward. The reel lock is on the right-hand side of the reel.
Step 3
Snap the rod tip forward with your wrist, and then gently ease pressure on the spool with your thumb to cast the line when the rod tip is pointed at your target.
Step 4
Use your thumb for feathering the line, applying greater pressure to slow down as your bait or lure approaches the target.
Step 5
Stop the line completely with thumb pressure to drop your bait or lure into the water, engaging the reel handle to lock the line and retrieve the bait.
Step 6
Adjust the star-shaped gear on the side of the reel clockwise or counterclockwise to tighten or loosen the line drag.

Tips & Warnings

Practice casting in the backyard until you are proficient hitting a target, then back up 30 feet and practice some more.
Do not take your thumb off the spool while the line is disengaged and spinning freely. Otherwise, you could end up with a backlash, which is a tangle of fishing line best cut off and discarded.

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.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.