The spool tension is always located right next to the reel handle. It’s a small knob that can be turned clockwise (to tighten) and counterclockwise (to loosen). The purpose of the spool tension is to apply brakes all the way through the cast. The most important job of the spool tension is, however, to stop the spool from spinning as soon your bait hits the water. If your tension release is too loose, the spool will not stop releasing line immediately after your bait hits the water, which will ultimately result in a backlash (also referred to as a birds nest). Mastering the adjustment of the spool tension is a vital skill to acquire when learning how to use a baitcaster. I’ll show you exactly how to do it further below!
Hold your rod approximately at the 1 o'clock position; release the spool to allow the weight to drop. Adjust the brake mechanism so that the coil stops rotating when the weight hits the ground. This setting reduces the likelihood of a game when you first cast. Once you can handle your baitcast reel with this setting, you can pull back on the brakes to increase the throwing distance.
If you do like to use backing (line under your main line so you only have to replace small sections of line), braid can be a better option for casting distance. You can wrap the line around the spool as tight as possible, and it's like increasing the diameter of the spool without adding as much weight. Braid allows the spool to spin faster, making it more efficient.
The rule of thumb I follow is to use spinning reels when I need to fish with light line (8-pound test or less) and switch to a baitcaster for fishing with heavy line (10-pound test or more). I do have some exceptions to the rule such as I fill my baitcaster with 8-pound monofilament when I fish suspended stickbaits for wintertime bass. Using lighter line helps my stickbaits dive deeper and I prefer the higher gear ratio of a baitcaster because I like to let my stickbaits sit still on a slack line and the baitcaster allows me to reel in line quicker to set the hook after I detect a strike.
Reel overview: Abu Garcia has been producing quality reel at a reasonable price. The Revo SX low-profile Baitcasting Fishing reel is no exception. It’s a mid-range budget reel aiming for the serious angler who is looking for top tier reel performance with a practical price tag. Premium material build quality, packed with nifty features and flawless performance put this reel at par with other high-end reels in the market.
The aircraft grade aluminum spool provides 35 percent more line capacity than the brand’s freshwater equivalent so that you can use a heavier line to target more powerful saltwater species. Other highlights include Daiwa’s Magforce Cast Control and wide T-Wing aperture (which helps to reduce line angles and friction). Available in right and left-handed models, the reel weighs in at 8.1 ounces and features a 100mm swept handle with non-slip EVA knobs. 
There is an argument to be made on the shape of these guides to enable efficient line guidance off the reel. Daiwa uses their patented T-Wing System where the guide is shaped like a T, it creates a wide section (top part of the T) when line is exiting and a narrow (bottom part of the T) when the line is returning. Anyway, don’t get too hung up on the shape but make sure the guide is made from a quality/strong metal.
Made from lightweight graphite, this lightweight breeze-fishing reel offers rugged durability that withstands severe saltwater conditions. The lightweight yet robust graphite edges and side panels provide safety against consumption and edge bending without disturbing the mast. Also, the reel with its treated steel pinion device and the basic bronze rigging allows a gentle tightening, even if it is under great pressure.
Continue to practice in the yard until your casting skills feel suitable for the water. Take your baitcasting gear out there with you and bring some backup gear, just in case. It’s very possible that you could make a critical casting error shortly into your trip that may put your reel out of commission until you get home and respool it. If it’s your only rod and reel combo then bring a knife and some extra fishing line with you, just to keep yourself from being disappointed.
Baitcasting reels are by far the stronger of the two major classes of reel. They allow for heavier lines and lures to be used, and you’ll be quite pleased to know that as a general rule they are quite durable and powerful. They’re perfect for prolonged fights with bigger fish, which makes them a great reel for a number of purposes. You’ll find that a lot of fishermen greatly prefer them for functions as diverse as going for catfish and trolling the open ocean.
Look for quality ceramic or stainless-steel ball bearings in your baitcasting reels. In general. the more bearings a reel has, the smoother it will cast and retrieve. Look for reels that are lightweight and use strong materials like aluminum, magnesium, or carbon composite materials. These are strong and durable materials that will give you the best performance as well as durability.
For a light-weight, light-duty, low-cost reel, the Okuma Citrix comes in with a good package of quality details. A diecast aluminum frame gives rigidity to the reel while graphite side plates cut the weight. A 10-bearing drive system produces a surprisingly smooth mechanical action for a reel at this price point. This high-speed machine weighs in at a mere 7.2 ounces but the reel still spools 130 yards of 12lb test line and pulls it in at 31 inches per crank with a 7.3:1 gear ratio.
The reel has a smooth design, and the durability is due to the overall structure, comprised of a one-piece graphite frame, a CNC machined double-anodized aluminum spool and graphite side plates. Thanks to the lightweight design and the recessed reel foot, the bait cast reel can handle long fishing days, and you can also handle it for longer periods comfortably.
   Setting up the baitcaster’s anti-backlash system is next.  “On a general setup I would pull out at least three of the centrifugal brake pins,” says Ponds. “On the right hand side of most reels is an anti-backlash dial. I would set that up by tying my plug on and back off that dial until the lure barely starts to drop and then turn it up just a little bit from there. As you progress you can loosen it up and also mash in one of the brakes.”  Even though he is a seasoned veteran with a baitcaster Ponds always keeps one brake pin engaged.  

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Shimano is a brand that deserves to be on lists like this. This reel, much like many Shimano products, pays attention to detail. Above that, it wants you to have a reel that lasts. So the main points for the Calcutta are durability and design. Let’s start with that word, design, the Calcutta B is a beautiful reel. Now sometimes that might not look like much – definitely not on paper – but in person, this reel is gorgeous.
This low profile baitcaster is thoughtfully designed and built for strength, durability, and performance. It features a graphite composite body, carbon fiber drag washers with a star drag adjustment, precisely machined brass gears, shielded bearing system, double line winding shafts, an easily removable side plate and a side-plate oil port for easy maintenance. An extended 4-1/3inch handle with EVA knobs offers power, leverage, and comfort.
Robert is a professional fisherman and his hobby is fishing! He has been fishing for last 6+ years and he loves using fishing accessories outing as well. Based on his experiences with different types of accessories; He is sharing his opinion about various fishing accessories So that the beginner can get started right away. Find him on here. Happy reading!

Shimano is a brand that deserves to be on lists like this. This reel, much like many Shimano products, pays attention to detail. Above that, it wants you to have a reel that lasts. So the main points for the Calcutta are durability and design. Let’s start with that word, design, the Calcutta B is a beautiful reel. Now sometimes that might not look like much – definitely not on paper – but in person, this reel is gorgeous.


The gear ratio quickly summed up is the speed of your reel. The ratio is represented by x:1, and the x represents how many times the spool rotates for each single crank of the handle. For example, a gear ratio of 6.2:1 means the spool will rotate 6.2 times for each handle crank. Depending on the type of fishing you’re doing a higher gear ratio is typically more advantageous. For example, when covering a bunch of water, you’ll want to do a lot of casting and that means quick retrieval to get your lure back to the boat and out for another cast. A higher gear ratio speeds this process up to ensure you’re getting the most line in for each crank of the handle.
Hi there! My name is Reese, an avid fishing enthusiast. I created this site with the purpose of sharing my knowledge and journey that involves the wonderful sport of fishing. As a professional angler I have tried many different products over the years, and continue to experiment with new technology and methods as I get older. So if you are looking for a personal opinion on a specific type of product or if you need tips to improve your technique, then feel free to browse around the site and product reviews. Thanks for stopping by!

These are silky smooth reels and will remain that way through hundreds, and hundreds of fishing trips. All models have a 7+1 sealed bearing system. The bearings are corrosion resistant and provide incredible smoothness during retrieval and also play vital roles in supporting the digitally designed gear system. The anti-reverse bearing gives the reel absolutely no back play.


The most important part of casting a baitcaster is developing a smart thumb. Your thumb rides on the spool of line and controls it, so you must educate your thumb. You can do this while watching television. Tie on a fairly heavy weight, like a nut or 1-ounce sinker, and sit down. Loosen up the freespool control until the weight drops freely, and use your thumb to stop it just before it hits the floor. Do this over and over until you get a feel for feathering the spool with your thumb and stopping the weight just before it reaches the floor.
This Kastking Maximus metal Spartacus Low profile Baitcasting reel is at the 4th position of our best baitcasting reels for the saltwater list. This baitcaster is extremely powerful and comes up with a maximum of 25 Lbs drag power. For giving the maximum, this reel uses carbon fiber drag system. This system can easily handle the saltwater monsters.
As you inspect a baitcaster, it will give you a maximum drag specification. This number tells you the highest amount of force the drag system can put against the spool. Anglers typically fish between half and ¾ of that number. The higher the max drag, the more force you will be able to place against pulling fish. To set the drag, you either turn a star dial or push a lever.
This reduction in weight should allow you to cast lighter lures farther. It uses a mag4 system, a magnetic braking system which is adjusted via an external dial with adjustments from 1 - 10. You never have to open the side plate there is no chance of anything getting in or you dropping the side plate quick adjustments made easy. Swept handle - a 90mm handle which is….(moves paddles closer to the reel’s center of balance) resulting in a more powerful retrieve.

Materials: The only two materials you should see used in the body and frame of a quality baitcasting reel are high-grade aluminum or graphite. Graphite is much lighter than aluminum but is not as resistant to flexing and can’t produce as much cranking power. If you’re looking for a baitcaster on an ultralight rod for some creek bass fishing or use with panfish, than graphite is a better option. If you’re looking for larger bass or most other gamefish, we would recommend the stronger aluminum bodies. If you are going anywhere near saltwater, a full aluminum reel is the best choice.
Sometimes a big open-face reel like this one is the best way to go. The C3 is far less sensitive and tangle-prone than the newer low-profile reels and much easier to work on in the field. If you fish deep water, drop off of piers, or troll big baits, you need one of these reels in your collection. The price point is really good for a reel that will last for years and the C3 scores 8th place in our review.
Along with reliable drag, you will need a responsive braking system. Abu Garcia Ambassadeur S round reel offers 4-pin centrifugal braking system for responsiveness and consistent braking power. Instant anti-reverse allows perfect back Reeling and puts less pressure on the drag system. For longer castability and line management, it has a level wind system. Truly it deserves to be the best Abu Garcia round reel.

Using a baitcaster, the angler releases the line by removing his thumb then must immediately bring his thumb back to bear on the line. Not to stop it, but with just enough of a touch to slow the spool. The reason? If the angler doesn’t do this the spool will spin faster than the release of line. This will cause the line to backlash, putting over wraps, under wraps, and knots throughout your spool. The minimum effect of backlash is a temporary halt to fishing. Worst case scenarios require a new spool of line.
To get started with learning to use your baitcasting reel, mount the reel to the rod and string the line through guides. Heavier lines are easier to learn with so use a line with a breaking strength in the upper end of the line range that is recommended for the reel. On the end of your line, tie on a 1/2oz casting weight to practice with instead of a lure. The easiest thing to use as a casting weight would be a lead sinker. Have a few of them in various sizes handy.
Since every bait cast reel comes with a complete mechanism, braking systems are also included. They are responsible for adjusting the rotation of the spool when you are casting, so that it does not get out of hand. Otherwise, if it did not exist, you would forever be experiencing backlash (the knotted line that remains with you when the spool continues revolving, even after the lure stops moving forward).

Materials: The only two materials you should see used in the body and frame of a quality baitcasting reel are high-grade aluminum or graphite. Graphite is much lighter than aluminum but is not as resistant to flexing and can’t produce as much cranking power. If you’re looking for a baitcaster on an ultralight rod for some creek bass fishing or use with panfish, than graphite is a better option. If you’re looking for larger bass or most other gamefish, we would recommend the stronger aluminum bodies. If you are going anywhere near saltwater, a full aluminum reel is the best choice.


Lever Drag Baitcasters – Instead of using the star dial, these baitcasters have a lever on the  outside of the reel frame. Lever drags will first push to the strike setting, then all the way down to the max setting. They do usually have a dial for fine adjustment. The bonus of a lever drag is it sets in an instant by simply pushing the lever. As you push the lever, it should gradually gain resistance all the way up to strike and then again up to max.
The only disadvantage to using a baitcasting reel is that they’re a bit more difficult to master than a spinning reel and a bad cast can end up landing you with a bird’s nest of tangled line that may leave you a bit flustered. These reels require a bit of practice, but if you make the investment of your time you’re sure to find out why so many people swear by them.

To get started with learning to use your baitcasting reel, mount the reel to the rod and string the line through guides. Heavier lines are easier to learn with so use a line with a breaking strength in the upper end of the line range that is recommended for the reel. On the end of your line, tie on a 1/2oz casting weight to practice with instead of a lure. The easiest thing to use as a casting weight would be a lead sinker. Have a few of them in various sizes handy.

Congratulations! Your spool tension is now set. Now, remember, the spool tensions needs adjusting as soon as you change bait with a different weight. Step 1-5 is a method you will be using a lot as a baitcaster, especially if you like to switch baits often! Bear in mind, that the above-mentioned setting, where the bait is slowly dropping towards the surface is a beginners setting. As you get more experienced, you will want to gradually loosen up the tension spool, which will enable you to do longer distance casts.

Now it is time check if the brake settings suit you! You will only know this after making some casts, so now it’s time to go fishing! If you’re far away from the nearest water but still want to practice, you could try to find an open field (this is often a good idea when practicing, because it is easier to focus on technique and best practice when there are no chance of catching fish).
Weight is an important consideration when choosing a baitcasting reel as it affects a reel’s usability. A lightweight reel that weighs under 7 ounces is comfortable to handle and you can use it all day without discomfort. If you’re casting and retrieving using a heavy reel, the arm and wrist fatigue you will experience will have you ending your excursion earlier than planned.
For beginners, the spinning reel would be appropriate, if you are finesse fishing and have enough patience. However, even the less experienced angler can find a baitcast reel suitable with a little practice. The choice is ultimately yours and which reel suits your style of fishing and the situation you’ve found yourself in whether you choose a baitcaster or spinning reel.
With 11+1 MaxiDur shielded bearings that are corrosion resistant; this baitcasting reel claims to offer anglers the smoothest and powerful performance. Its drag system features 3-disc drag made from carbon fiber that makes the reel durable. According to the manufacturer, the drag system is capable of delivering up to 18 pounds stopping power. If the claims are true, then the reel can handle even the biggest and most vicious fish.
This Kastking Maximus metal Spartacus Low profile Baitcasting reel is at the 4th position of our best baitcasting reels for the saltwater list. This baitcaster is extremely powerful and comes up with a maximum of 25 Lbs drag power. For giving the maximum, this reel uses carbon fiber drag system. This system can easily handle the saltwater monsters.

This year, I changed my mind after watching others and here I am with 30+ years of fishing experience, but can't use a baitcaster. So I took the reel off the rod, and bought one of these. Still didn't want to get anything pro with 4x the price of this, because I was afraid, that this will also ends up in the garage or the trash and didn't want to waste to much money.

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