Casting Reel Parts

Casting Reel Parts
Casting reels are open-face-designed fishing reels used to catch a variety of saltwater and freshwater fish species. Casting reels are manufactured by a variety of companies in different sizes and materials. The casting reel is operated by pressing the line release and casting the line with a thumb on the line spool for control. Understanding the parts of a bait casting reel is important for operation and maintenance.

Reel Body

The body or frame of a bait casting reel may be constructed of aluminum, titanium or plastic, depending on the model and price point. The frame encases the working gears, and the spool mechanism and provides protection from the elements. The frame attaches to the reel seat of a fishing rod by the reel foot. The foot is typically 3 to 4 inches in length, is narrow and is commonly made of metal for durability. The foot is either cast or molded with the frame or attached with screws.


Line Winding

To cast and retrieve fishing line, the line-release button, handle and level wind are used. The line release is the large button at the top rear of the reel just behind the line spool. This button is depressed, allowing the fishing line to spool from the reel. The handle is mounted to either the left or right side of the reel, depending on the preference of the user. Handles are either plastic or metal and typically are covered with a rubberized material for added grip.The level wind is at the front of the reel and may be enclosed or open. The fishing line feeds through a small ring that is mounted to a vertical slide. The ring moves side to side across the face of the spool as the handle is turned. The level wind distributes the fishing line evenly across the spool surface.

Drag and Friction Adjustments

The drag and friction adjustment knobs are used to fine tune the release of fishing line as well as the amount of tension or resistance applied to the line. The drag is adjustable for more or less resistance on the line. Increasing the drag prevents line from easily being spooled from the reel as a fish is being played or fought. Reducing the drag will have the opposite effect and allow line to be released from the reel during play. The friction adjustment controls the braking of the reel in regard to casting the line. A low-friction setting allows the line to easily spool from the reel during casting and requires more thumb control on the spool to prevent a back lash. A greater setting will apply braking and reduce the ease in which line is released. This setting often helps reduce backlash and is a good starting point for beginners.


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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