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How To Cast A Baitcaster | How To Adjust A Baitcasting Reel | Fishing Reel

How To Cast A Baitcaster | How To Adjust A Baitcasting Reel | Fishing Reel

Hey folks, Glenn May here with,
and today I’m going to talk to you about how to cast with a bait caster. Now, I know when
you’re first starting out, it can seem really difficult and real daunting, and even when
you’ve been using for a while, it can still seem kind of a pain in the butt to get it
dialed in and get it working correctly. So, let me show you a few tricks and tips, on
how to get there, and how to make sure that your casts are smooth and accurate, and backlash
free. First off I’d like to go through the different
types of anti-backlash controls that come with bait casters today, there’s basically
three kinds. One is the pin kind, the other is the centrifugal brake, kind, and the third
is the magnetic brake kind. And some bait casters come with a combination of two of
those, or even all three, which can make it seem even more confusing. So let me take you
through each one. The first one is the pin kind and the reason
I want to show that first is because regardless if your unit comes with just one or with all
three, the pin is the first one you want to adjust. And you can see in this one here,
I’ve taken the side plate off, it has six different pins. And if you look closely, you’ll
see that this one, right here, is sticking further out then the rest, except for the
one on the opposite side. I have two here that are out, and the others are in, or closest
to the center of the reel. So when it’s closest to the center of the reel, that’s off. And
if you click it, just stick your fingernail in there, you’ll feel a little bit of pressure
and you’ll feel it pop out, then it’s on. When it’s on, it’s going to give a lot more
resistance to the spool. It’s, it’s going to help cut down on back lashes. I recommend
when you’re first starting out, you want to have three, maybe four on, and always do it
in crisscross patterns. Don’t do 1-2-3-4 like that, you want 1, 2, 3, 4 in crisscross patterns,
Okay. Go with four, if you’re first starting out,
maybe three, and then you put the plate back on. Now those are brakes are always on, and
they don’t adjust or change at all throughout the cast. It’s important to know, and we’ll
get to that in a minute later. Now, I’ve been using baitcasters for a long
time, and you can see I had two on. Sometimes, people like one, sometimes people like to
free spool them. Once you get to a certain point in your comfort level, you can start
clicking them back, and turning them off, until you feel comfortable with them, and
maybe as time goes on, maybe with lighter lures, you might want to turn some more on,
or you might want to turn some more off. You can experiment, but it’s always good to start
with three or four on and then adjust from there. Next I want to show you, is the centrifugal
brake, which that’s always this knob on the reel handle side. No matter what make,
model reel that you’ve got, it’s always with, the one next to the reel handle. And all that
is, is a little knob here and you turn it clockwise to tighten, and counterclockwise
to loosen. You’ll notice as you get through this, there will become a sweet spot, where
just a little bit of incremental change forward or backward can make a big difference. And
what the centrifugal brake does, is that it applies some brakes internally on the reel,
on the spool on this side. And, again that applies brakes, all the way through the cast,
and that helps, again, to reduce some backlash. And the more you have it on, the, the more
brakes you’re going to have, the less backlash. And of course the more you have it on the
less distance you’re going to have, and perhaps the harder you’ll need to cast, and we’ll
get to that in just a minute. And then lastly, I want to show you the magnetic
brakes. I’m going to tell you in a minute how all this works together in harmony, I
just want to show you what these are. The magnetic brake, what it is, if you’ll notice,
there’s a centrifugal on this reel right here, and the magnetic is on this side, and that’s
always the case, no matter what make/model you have. The magnetic brake is over here.
This has a gauge, usually its one through ten, usually. What the magnetic brake does,
is it applies braking more toward the end of the cast than at the beginning. Very useful
for when you’re throwing light lures, or you’re throwing into the wind, it works real well
for that. So sometimes, I’ll have this dialed all the way up, if I’m throwing it in wind.
And sometimes, I have it all the way off. And oftentimes I have it for all kinds of
things in between. Depending on the weight of the lure I’m throwing, depending on the
wind conditions, and depending on the rod, and the type of casting that I’m doing. This
is what you use to fine tune your casting, once you get everything done. If you’ll notice, I’ve shown you progression,
in order that you adjust, as your setting your reel up; it’s pin first, centrifugal
next, and then your magnetic brakes. Some reels, I forgot about a fourth type, there’s
some reels where there’s just a knob over here, and that’s your centrifugal and magnetic.
They don’t make so many of those any more but there’s still some out there, you just
have one knob to adjust. That’s all there is to it, you don’t have to worry about that.
Same with the just centrifugal, that’s pretty popular as well. Just that one, you don’t
have to adjust anything else. Anyway, what you want to do, to adjust it
is, set your lure up, hang it 90 degrees, or parallel to the boat or to the ground,
release the button and let it free spool. It should drop at a slow controlled rate,
and once it hits the floor, the reel shouldn’t backlash. It’ll spin a little bit, but not
much, it shouldn’t backlash. If it backlashes too much, readjust as necessary, until you
get it to the point where it just stops spinning right when the lure hits the floor. Then you
know you’ve got it set up, at least initially, you got it set up correctly. But you know, once you have it set up, that
doesn’t mean that, guess what, I’m good to go, I won’t have backlashes anymore. No. These
brake mechanisms are not silver bullets, they’re not going to prevent all backlashes. And as
a matter of fact, a lot of issues people have with casting bait casters has nothing to do
with getting it set up properly. So, let’s go through some of the other issues you can
have, and how to overcome those, once you have your bait caster setup. Okay, so, now we have the bait caster set
up right, we’re ready to rock and roll, what are some of the other issues you may have?
Well, first of all, when you are casting, couple things to remember. The release point,
when you cast, you want to let go between the 12 o’clock to 2 o’clock positions. And
how you can tell if you’re releasing too soon or too late, when you cast, if the lure goes
really high, comes back down, you released a bit too soon. A big huge arc is a good indication
of letting go too soon. Conversely, if you cast and the lure lands
right in front of you, or lands in a straight line really hard into the water, typically
that results in a backlash, then you released too late. So pay attention to when the lure
hits the water, and how it hits the water, what kind of arc it has, and that gives you
an idea of when, of your release timing, and whether you need to release sooner or later. One other thing to keep in mind is that with
most bass casting techniques, it’s all in the wrist. It’s not with the forearm, and
it’s not with the arm. We’re not here to do passes, we’re not throwing touchdowns here,
so don’t do any of this… I don’t want to see the rod way back behind you, and your
throwing it. No. Doing that, you’re going to throw it too hard, and you’re going to
because backlashing issues. Okay. Part of the reason why that you’re getting backlashes
is because you’re throwing way too hard. As a matter of fact, when you’re first starting
out, a lot of people get obsessed with their distance. Please don’t do that. Please, please,
please don’t do that. With bass fishing, particularly, it’s all about accuracy, not distance. So
don’t worry about your distance. As a matter of fact, as time goes on, and as you get more
and more practice, your distance will get there. It’ll come. It’ll come later. Don’t
worry about it. If you try hard right now to throw as far as you can, I guarantee you
will get a backlash. So, first off, forget about your distance,
it doesn’t matter. What matters is technique and accuracy. As a matter of fact, a great
way to do this is to practice in your backyard. Set up a target and aim for it, one that’s
not very far away. Don’t try to hurk it all the way across your yard, you’re going to
be disappointed about the results. Focus on something within your range, and focus on
that accuracy. Now when you cast, again, it, it’s wrist.
And you don’t need to bring the rod, way past, over here behind your head. No. Because when
you do that, you don’t know in which direction it’s going to go, and it’s hanging back here,
who knows, when you fire forward, it’s going to go somewhere. Keep it right in front of
you, Okay? Keep the rod, right in front of you. That’s the best way to keep it accurate.
So all it is, you might go a little bit past your shoulder, but it’s just a little cast
like that. It’s really light. It’s not much. It’s all in the wrist. Watch my wrist again.
It’s just… wrist. Okay? Very simple, straight forward. You don’t have to throw it really
hard, it’s just simple wrist. And one other thing; it’s a lot harder when
you shake people’s hands, to move your wrist like this, than like that. So don’t cast with
your wrist like that. Put it like that. See that, I’ve got it up and down, the real handle
is up. I’m right-handed, if you’re left-handed, you’re going to have it the other way, but,
right-handed, your wrist, you want it the way you would when you shake someone’s hand.
It’s very easier to cast that way. Okay. A lot easier to cast that way, straight up and
down, versus, trying to do it like this. Okay. It, it’s a little small thing, but the spool
then is on its axis, and it will spin a little bit easier. It’s a minor thing, especially
when you have a reel that has nine or ten barring’s. It’s pretty much such a minuscule
improvement, it’s not much. But, it does give you a little bit of a performance advantage. Keeping your wrists straight up and down,
using your wrist, not bringing it back and not throwing it as hard as you can. Just practice
on that release point, and practice, how much pressure to use with your thumb on the reel.
Initially when your casting, you want to use quite a bit of pressure on the thumb, right
on the reel, to make sure it doesn’t spin really hard. And as you practice, you can
start letting it go a little bit more. But even, I’ve been doing this for 40 plus years,
I can tell you, I always have my thumb at least resting on the spool when I cast. I
can feel it. After a while you can tell, if you start to get a backlash, use your thumb
to apply more pressure to prevent it from happening. Okay? So that’s it. It’s very simple, straight forward.
A couple of things to keep in mind. Get that skill adjusted correctly, and then start practicing
with short targets. And, I guarantee you, you will get better and better, and you’ll
love your bait casting outfit. For more tips, and tricks like this, visit

100 comments on “How To Cast A Baitcaster | How To Adjust A Baitcasting Reel | Fishing Reel

  1. Today your site and videos killed 2 birds with one stone, well I mean I purchased a baitcasting system and I had no idea how to set it up and second how to cast and use it. No long trip to Bass Pro Shop. Awesome Thanks again, Rob

  2. Great work.
    Just some points I have found invaluable when teaching student.
    -Side casting to start with… they tend to keep their casting to a subtle toss as apposed to throwing the lure.
    – Have beginners use their dominant arm/hand to cast and other hand to turn the reel
    – Have new students learn to keep their thumb in contact with the spool/line. This is a great habit for getting the "feel" of any backlash and if they stop the lure at a specific target.
    Thanks again for the great explanation of the breaks and spool drag

  3. Excellent tips! I can adjust and fine tune my reel, practice short targets and apply some pressure to prevent a backlash! Gonna watch this AGAIN!

  4. You should put up an amendment to explain that your so-called pins are the actual Centrifugal Brakes. Centrifugal Force is the force acting at 90 degrees to the centre of rotation ie pushing the weights outwards. Yes, you have put up an amendment to correct your naming of the Pin Tensioner, you just need the extra note. Otherwise, GOOD video!

  5. Excellent video. I've been fishing for 50 years and picked up a few new tricks with your video.

    Look forward to seeing your other videos.

  6. Thank you for those clear and useful tips. I have only tried a baitcaster once and I was horrible at it. Now I know why. Looking forward to getting reacquainted with mine and learning how to use it.

  7. Mr. Dude, you didn`t even mention the very basics of how to cast. You mentioned something about "release" but seem to take for granted i already know what this implies. I do not. I`m a total newbie and don`t even know in what position that thumb brake thing is supposed to be in when i cast or if i`m supposed to use my thumb as a brake on the spool. May be elementary for you, but the title of this video do state "how to cast a baitcaster" So as far as rods, will i be needing a pistol grip for my Shimano Cruxis 200 baitcasting reel? I`m righthanded and the crank thing is on the right side. Is this the correct side for me? Thanks.

  8. Thanks man this video really hit the nail on the head and when I first got the baitcaster I kept trying to throw it far and it keeps bird nesting on me and I came across this video and think I'm gotta better thank what I was 馃槀馃憤so I appreciate u for making this video really had a lots of details馃拤

  9. I am just planning to buy a baitcaster because it seems interesting, althought it is not popular in my country.聽May I ask you why are you holding the rod in left hand while playing the fish if you cast it with the聽right hand? Wouldn't be more simple to use a "left handed" reel and keep the rod in the right hand all the time? Thank you for your answer.

  10. Does braided line frey? Do you know of any lubricant you can apply to the line to help it come off the reel easier

  11. The round-shaped knob near crank-handle is mechanical brake, not centrifugal brake. Centrifugal brake should be inside side-plate, replacing magnetic brake.

  12. Any tips for casting weightless senkos and other soft plastics. They are the only lures I get backlashes on. I have everything set for the light weight but still get backlashes…

  13. Dude the one you are calling a centifugal brake is a spool tension knob and is use to do just that it's not a brake

  14. Hello Glen !
    Thanks for great tutorial video.
    I recently got my first baitcaster, as I always wanted one, but decided to get something budget friendly, in case I turned out to be hopeless with it. I got an Abu Garcia Blue Max, left hand profile (it's relatively cheap here in UK), and I paired with a Shakespeare GX2 Ugly Stick 6'6" casting rod (medium heavy). Spooled it with a 10lb mono (it's enough for the fish I'm catching).
    I Tuned it – using your tutorial, so that my lure will slowly drop to floor, and the spool stops rotating.
    I took it to local river (Thames) to test, and do some predator fishing (Perch and Pike), and while I had no problems casting from side, I had loads of problems (guess I need to practice more), with the over-head cast, with lures weighting round 12g .
    any advice you could offer for getting better casting lures like that with this combo (I find this particular reel a bit tricky to tune) ? I'm not giving up on baitcaster yet. In all fairness for the few hours fishing (in freezing cold) I did get only a handful nests, and they weren't completely hopeless (removed every single one without cutting line). I might however get an upgrade (better reel), with better tuning (maybe the Silver Max series)…. So all in all your videos did help me a lot. Would however like to get some more beginner advise – regarding the above issues mentioned.
    I guess – ice building up on line guides during my session was not helping with the learning curve either, right ?

  15. Hello Glenn and thank you for all of your typically great instructional videos. I am still pretty new to baitcaster reels myself, having only used them for maybe a couple of years at the most so far, so I'm not trying to be negative or a "know-it-all" by any means by making this comment… but I feel that this is very important to point out so that no other newbies get confused in the baitcaster world. When you refer to the "pin" braking system that is opposite to the reel handle, that is actually called the CENTRIFUGAL braking system… and what you refer to as the centrifugal braking knob is actually the "SPOOL TENSION CONTROL knob". Everything that you said about what those parts do, what part of the cast they control and how you should adjust them was true though. I just don't want others to get them confused by mismatching the names of the specific controls because I started to second guess myself when I heard you call them what you did. Again, I'm not hating on you, just trying to clear things up for those that may have gotten confused like I started to. Perhaps you could do an updated vid with corrections of this later. Thanks!

  16. I am new to baitcasting,I have 3 rods with spining reels,used those my whole life,and recently but new rod with baitcaster. Today was my first day with baitcaster and it was really bad,I set it up to not get bird nest and that was ok,but I have other problem.
    When I am casting,while bait is still in the air reel just stops and there is like a snag noice and it stops. Why is this hapening,anybody help?

  17. Great video. Very helpful I'm new baitcasting and u made easy to understand how to make adjustment to stop backlash

  18. How to fish with a baitcaster…. step 1, remove the reel from the rod, step 2, apply a hammer to the reel until it resembles the bad day of the last time you took it to the lake. Step3 take reel to the trash can and proceed to drop the reel into the trash can and set the trash can on fire, you should be feeling pretty good at this point. Step 4, go to a sporting goods store and buy a good quality spinning reel. Step 5 save your bragging rights for the fish you catch on your spinning reel and not on the fact that you can cast a bait caster without getting a birds nest in your reel every fifteen minutes

  19. What you are calling the centrifugal brake–isn't. A centrifugal brake using the spinning or "centrifugal force" to engage the brake. As you mentioned, the knob on the right always is engaged to one degree or another.

  20. You have some clubbing of your fingernails. That means you have low oxygenation of your blood. This may lead to cardiac issues. If you haven't before, I would suggest seeking medical advice.

  21. Whaaaaaat I thought the centrifugal brake was called a tension knob and the pin brakes were called the centrifugal brakes. I need to find the video I watched a few years ago and tell people not to watch it lmfao

  22. Yes, I accidentally transposed the names of the centrifugal and spool tension names. Oops! LOL!!!

  23. Finally someone who broke it down Barney style!!!!!!!!! awesome video and thanks for taking the time to post!!!!!!!

  24. Man , Glenn……I learn so much watching your video's. I'm really , really new to the baitcaster reels ( Just got the Lew's Mach Crush reel / rod combo ). I haven't been able to fish with it yet , because I can't stop the backlash stuff I'm getting. I bought a practice weight today and am going to the park to get some practice in. Anyways…..thank you for all the tips on these things , and also all your other helpful videos you have posted.

  25. I just ordered a Bass Pro Shops Pro Qualifier 2 rod and reel combo, what is the braking system on it? Would it be true that it doesn鈥檛 have pins on the inside? It has the centrifugal knob along with the dial that says dual braking system

  26. I so suck with a bait caster, the "birds nest" made my 86 year old grandfather cry.


  27. As others have said, great video, clear instructions, thanks! I have tinkered with baitcasters for years now off and on but I still have much to learn. I like the subtle casting technique, but for some reason I just can't make it work. The lure always land 10 or 15 feet in front of me no matter when I release. I really have to bring it further back over my shoulder to get a decent cast. Oddly enough, I can get a great cast with my spinning gear using this technique. Any advice?

  28. I don't get the whole left handed/right handed thing, if you are right handed, why do you retrieve with the right hand? That way you are using your weak arm for leverage.

  29. This is the first video I've watched that actually mentioned letting the bait hit the ground or water to test for backlash. They only talk about the rate of fall. 馃憤

  30. Stupid question here, but in simple terms what are the advantages of baitcasters? If there is such a learning curve to them and they are so notorious for backlash, what is driving the masses to baitcasters? I want to know because I have a gift card I'm wanting to spend and I'm trying to decide between buying a baitcaster bass combo or a spinning walleye outfit.

  31. Odd. Baitcaster, cast right reel right, left feels uncoordinated. Spinning reel, cast right reel left feels natural. Don't know why and never worried I would miss a hookset.

  32. I never turn them off, thats why they are there, so you never have to deal with backlash, and as I got older I realized that sometimes I'm in a conversation or I'm always looking or searching for the next spot while casting, and it allows to not have to watch the lure all the way to the water….in other words I dont have to pay attention as much as when they are off, and thats a nice freedom to have.

  33. Thnx for the video man I'm thinking of buying my very first baitcaster rod and reel, for 25 yrs I've used spinner reels I want to learn something different lol…

  34. Yeah, that centra phugal brake is the one that gets me! Heh, 40 years?! That's nothing, I've been casting over 60 years, still backlash like crazy. I'm going to start a Backlash Tournament漏. Whoever can never get his line untangled and has to cut it off and put on new line wins! Sponsored by Any Line Company.

  35. Thank goodness for this video. I almost threw out my shoulder trying to get distance in my first bait caster.

  36. Okay…i know that with baitcasters that higher gear ratios pull the line in quicker. But what is the difference between the gear ratio and the bearings ? Is that the same thing? Like if i have a 10 ball bearing system is that huge lol

  37. I started bait casting in the 1960s with ambassadors and my thumbs where condition to thumb the spool sides but now the center of the spool and the pistol grip rods hook sets where closer to the chest with shorter pistol grip rods, I am gonna pull out my old 5000 and see if I can old school bass fish your introduction is right on thank you

  38. gr8 video! learnt the hard ways of using a baitcaster XD haha but after watching this, now i understand why i've been having problems and i've had a good practice run too.

  39. Why do you throw with your right hand and then put the rod in your left? It looks awkward. You should benefit from having a left hand reel.

  40. Advantages over spinning reels? I've always preferred spinners bc I dont have to switch hands after casting and it feels more natural. I can cast a baitcaster decently but I will birds nest it at least once and then I think why do I bother. What's the advantages of using a baitcaster?

  41. That was the best explanation of how to properly cast a bait casting reel I have ever seen- very well done. Most ppl tell you how to set the spool tension and brakes but that's really it, the stuff about using your wrist and turning the rod over like that, keeping it in front of you- I had never heard, and my casting is atrocious so, I'm sure it will help tremendously. I think some how I always knew I would be a kayak fishermen because I started from the beginning casting side hand, it's easier to avoid backlashes this way for some reason. Now it comes in pretty handy cause that's sorta how you have to cast a lot of the time from a kayak but, I still need to learn to cast properly. I don't always fish from my kayak, I fish from the bank a lot, and eventually I hope to get a real boat.

  42. New to bait casting. It seems both the brakes and the spool tension do the same purpose …. to stop the spool from spinning when needed. What is the difference? In theory shouldn't you be able to have no spool tension as long as you have your brakes set higher? View versa if you have your brakes all the way off… shouldnt you be able to just tighten the spool tension to compensate ? All the videos I've seen so far they are doing the same purpose and just confused why there are 2 different settings that do the same purpose . Thanks for anyone who explains:)

  43. None of the knobs effect my baitcatser at all. It casts pretty good but none of the knobs do anything. I could take them all off if i wanted to. Could this be because its a cheap reel?

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