Many people are intimidated by the baitcasting reel or they just aren’t comfortable casting them and experience backlash all too often when casting. For this reason we are going to write this brief instruction post on how to use a baitcasting reel and hopefully it will address any fears that you might have of using one.

Once you have your baitcasting rod and reel set up and spooled with line you need to set it in preparation to cast. Changes will need to be made anytime that you change baits/lures to ensure a proper cast and limited ability for backlash.

First thing you’ll want to do is attach your bait and for beginners we recommend a heavy bait like a jig or plug until you get used to the baitcasting reel.

Take the centrifugal brake, a dial which is usually found on the side opposite the crank, and turn it all the way off. Now tighten the spool tension knob which is found right under or next to the drag on the cranking handle side of the reel.


Now hold your rod out straight or at about a 45 degree angle and slowly loosen the spool tension knob until your bait just starts to fall. Once you do that, tighten the centrifugal brake about halfway or slightly more and you are ready to cast.

There are a few ways you can cast the baitcasting rod and reel, overhead, side cast, and flipping, but for beginners Freshwater Fishing Rod Reviews recommends an easy side arm cast to start. Later you can move on the overhead and flipping casts once you are comfortable.

Holding your rod out in front of you press the casting button down and hold it down with your thumb against the spool. If you don’t press on the spool the line will roll out on you. Then bring the rod back ( side arm ) and in a smooth motion cast it forward, without whipping or snapping it.

Release the thumb as the rod tip comes in front of you (about one o’clock) but very gently keep your thumb so you feel the spool without stopping it. As the lure hits the water stop the spool with your thumb to prevent any backlash.

Now if you get a little backlash don’t get frustrated, it will happen, it happens to the pros. You can have everything set correctly and then cast into the wind which will slow down the lure but not the spool causing backlash.

Remember to practice casting and to always adjust the spool tension knob every time that you change lures/baits.

These tips should help you begin use a baitcasting rod and reel confidently and without any fear of backlash.

Remember to practice, practice, practice!

Here is a baitcasting combo that we feel might be a good match to start baitcasting with, check it out.