How to Cast Spinning and Baitcasting Reels for Beginners

Spinning reels are always the better choice for beginners. They’re easier to deal with and much less complicated. Yet, although you can use them for fishing anything, they shine more when it comes to simpler preys such as bass.

On the other hand, baitcasters are for more experienced anglers that know exactly what they’re doing. So today, we’ll show you how you can cast both these reels properly.

How to Cast a Spinning Reel

Let’s start with the model that came first, the spinning reel. 

1. Choose Your Line

First of all, you need to choose the proper line. Lines come in different types, pound tests, and different lengths. Thankfully, all of this information will be provided on the packaging of your reel so that even if you forget them, they’ll be written for you.

If you’re going to go with a braided line, make sure that your spool is braid-ready. Otherwise, don’t go for it, or you’ll need a lot of backing. Besides, if you go for fluorocarbon, keep in mind that it does have significant memory that you’ll have to deal with.

2. Lubricate the Reel

Just like any other mechanical device, a reel is full of gears on the inside, which need constant lubrication, specifically after exposure to fresh or saltwater. This step will undoubtedly make a massive difference in the smoothness of your casts.

3. Adjust the Drag System 

The drag system represents the resistance that the prey will be faced with when it catches on your bait. Adjusting your drag dial correctly is the difference between your line snapping, being too loose, and actually managing to capture your fish.

Consequently, don’t forget to adjust it accurately; some drag systems actually have micro increments. So, take your time with this step

4. Decide on the Anti-reverse Switch

Some anglers prefer to reel backward when they’re bringing in their prey. If you’re one of those fishers, make sure to turn off the anti-reverse switch. On the other hand, if you only like to reel forwards, then turn the switch on.

5. Hook Your Lure to the Line

We’re almost there now! Find your favorite lure, one that’s most suitable for your target right now, and hook it snugly to the end of your line. Ensure that your lure is viable and visible.

6. Reel in Your Line

Now, you need to start adjusting the details. You don’t need too much line hanging from the tip of your fishing rod. Hence, for spinning reels, you’ll reel in the line until only 6-16 inches are hanging down the end of the rod. 

7. Find Your Target Spot

Whatever waterfront you’re frequenting, you must focus on one spot when using a spinning reel.  Put it right between your eyes, and make sure that you know its boundaries quite well, because that is where you’ll be pointing the tip of your rod as you cast.

8. Adjust the Handle 

One very economic advancement that has come to reels, in general, not just spinning reels, will have to be ambidextrous handles. Ambidextrous means that it works on the rod’s left and right sides.

With a simple screw, you can adjust the handle however you prefer so that you’re casting and retrieving with your dominant hand at all times. So, make sure you take care of that before we proceed.

9. Hold the Reel in Your Dominant Hand

Now that you’ve adjusted the handle to be able to cast and retrieve with comfort, you need to hold the reel properly. How?

Put it in between your middle and ring fingers while your other fingers rest on the shaft, holding the line to it but not suffocating it. You need to give a little bit of leeway for the line to move when you cast.

10. Swing the Reel Backward 

While holding your reel and rod, bend your arm so that it’s in a vertical position or a little bit beyond. The angle of your elbow will be around 90°.

11. Swing the Reel to the Front

Now, quickly, swing forward with all your might to cast in the spot right in front of you.

12. Release the Line

Remove your index finger from the line, and let it travel freely till it hits the water.

13. Close the Bail

Once your line has hit the water, you must close the bail so that you’ll stop the line from leaving the spool anymore. If too much line leaves the spool once the lure hits the water, many nests will be formed underwater. This might even happen without your knowledge, so you’ll be wasting your time.

How to Cast a Baitcasting Reel

Onto the slightly more complicated baitcasting reel. We’d like you to keep in mind that although your baitcaster has a learning curve, don’t let that discourage you, as baitcasters do really take your fishing trip to a whole other level.

1. Adjust Drag

The drag system in baitcasters is the same as in spinning reels. You need to adjust it to control the tension in your fishing line whilst you’re warring with the fish.

The different bit here is the drag adjustments themselves, as you’re using various lines, and targeting different places. Sometimes, you’ll have to go up to put more energy on your side, and sometimes you’ll have to go lower in order to avoid your line snapping on you.

2. Adjust Brakes

Now, this is entirely new. The magnetic brake system installed in baitcasters works on stopping the line from flying away once your bait has been cast.

The goals here are to create as little backlash as possible, avoid underwater knots, and focus on the prey. For beginners, a 5-7 adjustment will work fine. Nevertheless, you do have a range of 1-9, with one being the slowest and nine being the fastest to choose from.

3. Reel in the Line

Once you’ve got your line spooled and bait hooked, leaving around 12 inches of it hanging down the rod, reel in the rest of your line tightly.  

4. Hold the Reel 

Holding a baitcaster is completely different from holding a spinning reel. Primarily due to the fact that a spinning reel sits under the rod, while a baitcaster sits on top of the rod.

What you need to do is to grip the reel while allowing your thumb to sit with an angle on both the line release button, and the fishing line itself. That will increase sensitivity, and allow you to press the button whenever needed.

5. Wrist Up

The thing is, you don’t cast this way. With baitcasters, it’s preferred for you to turn your wrist up so that your thumb is facing upwards, while maintaining the position of your hand over the reel and spool.

6. Press the Spool Release Button and Bend at the Elbow

With your thumb optimally placed on the spool release button, press it just as you’re getting ready to bend your elbow. That’s when you hold the rod vertically.

7. Flick to the Front

At the very same minute, and with as much momentum and energy as you can possibly muster, and of course, while keeping your target in front of you, flick your elbow to the front, allowing your bait and lure to fly forwards.

8. Control You Line

Once your line has touched the water, press your thumb down on the spool to stop the line from flying out.

How to Cast Better, Longer, and Steadier?

Lastly, we’ll give some tips concerning how you can improve the quality of your casts and retrievals.

Choose Right Gear

This is paramount, and there are so many variables that go into making choices for the correct gear. For instance, your level of expertise, your size, your power, your budget, what type of fishing you want to practice, the waterfront that you frequent, etc.


More often than not, you’ll find rods sold as a part of a  combination, and that’s always a great choice. You won’t need to overthink it; just make sure that you’re correlating the length of the rod to your own height. You can’t be five-four and dealing with a rod that is taller than you.


Fishing lines come in different types; monofilament, fluorocarbon, copolymer, and braided. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages, so make sure that you study that properly before deciding on one of them. You’ll also have to correlate your line to your reel as not every line is compatible with every reel.


We have spinning reels, baitcasters, and spin casters. Spinning reels are great for beginners because of their simplicity, baitcasters are great for veteran anglers, and spincasters are kind of in-between. However, having any of them in your fishing gear is never a loss.


To recap, the casting technique is not entirely different between spinning reels and baitcasters; it’s actually the steps you go through for preparation that make the most significant difference.

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