How To Set Magnetic Brake On Baitcaster: Detailed 2021 Guide (With Videos)

| Last Updated April 13, 2021

The one major problem for beginners and occasional anglers is achieving the proper setting of a magnetic brake on a baitcasting reel. Sometimes, most beginner anglers do not even realize that their baitcaster reel has a braking system.

It is important to learn how to set a magnetic brake on a baitcaster because the braking system helps avoid the dreaded backlash.

If this is something you have been struggling with or had no idea about, be sure to read this article to the end.

How Does A Magnetic Brake System Work On A Baitcaster?

Most modern and advanced casting reels feature a braking system to slow spool speed. While most manufacturers will not indicate the details of the magnetic brake, these brakes play a crucial role. 

What Do Magnetic Brakes Do On A Baitcaster?

The magnetic brakes on a baitcasting reel weigh down on it to help slow the spool. When anglers rotate the dial placed on the side of the reel, they control the closeness of the magnet from the spool. When the magnet is too close to the baitcaster, it exerts a magnetic pull that slows down the spool spinning.

Baitcaster brakes serve two major purposes: Adjusting the initial spool and rig flying speeds, and controlling spool deceleration

Adjusting the Initial Spool Speed and Rig Flying Speed

The brakes help adjust the initial spool speed and speed of the initial flying rig. When you swing a rod and release the finger spool, the accelerated rig pulls the lines into a spin. Because of the laws of inertia and the recoil from the spool, the rig flying speed is reduced to levels lower than the spool spin.

It's important to use the brakes so that the spool won't have a huge backlash. The power applied to the brake is relative and usually depends on the balance of the spool weight.

Controlling the Deceleration Speed of the Spool

When casting, you need the spool to brake to prevent overrunning and causing a backlash. While flying rigs receive some air dragging effect to reduce the speed, this is not always the case. Rigs that are heavy and shaped like a rocket with a tapering end receive little drag. Such rigs need more braking to reduce speed.

Beginner Guide To Setting Up Baitcaster Brakes

If you're just getting started, you need to practice a lot and forgo distance for some time. Beginners first have to learn the basics and understand how your baitcaster works. 

Below we discuss the steps to setting up baitcaster brakes.

  • First, you need to understand the caster parts and how everything works.

  • Get to know where the adjustments for the brakes are done.

  • The dial rotates to increase or decrease the drag.

  • Spool tension control knob adjusts by turning it towards or away from you.

  • Consider the baitcaster type and check for the magnetic braking system and centrifugal braking system.

  • The magnetic breaks are easily adjusted using the dial on the outside with a rating of 0-9.

  • The baitcaster disassembles with ease for oiling and repair.

  • You can make a few practice casts and notice the difference in the braking. The magnetic braking system works as a secondary braking system to the centrifugal braking system.

For a fuller insight into the setup process, be sure to refer to the video below.

How Do You Adjust The Magnetic Brake On a Baitcaster?

Adjusting the magnetic brakes on a baitcaster is pretty simple when you get used to it. But first, let's learn the steps and key tricks to doing this.

  • Twist the little dial on the exterior of the magnetic brakes to alter the position of the side plate and take it off. In some baitcasters, this action does not detach the side plate.

  • Use the adjusting knob to bring the brakes closer or further away from the spool.

  • Mount the aluminum spool into place.

  • Rotate the aluminum spool to generate some current that opposes the magnetic field of the magnets to slow down the spool.

  • Create enough of the current by adjusting the aluminum spool to counter the force of the magnets since it is this opposition of forces that help slow down the spool.

For a full overview of the adjustment process, ensure you refer to the video below.


Overall, setting up magnetic brakes on a baitcaster should be a simple task once you understand the different baitcaster parts. You need to learn how to increase and reduce the magnetic force. Apart from the magnetic brakes, you also need to learn about the workings of the centrifugal brakes and the spool tension knob.

People Also Ask

In this section, we will cover some of the frequently asked questions about setting a magnetic brake on a baitcaster. The section gives answers to questions that most beginner anglers ask, and which go unnoticed and answered as some more experienced users often dismiss them. But we don't. 

Do the Magnetic Brakes On a Baitcaster Affect the Casting Distance?

There is minimal braking when the magnetic brakes are set at zero. Once you increase the magnet number on the baitcaster, the magnets get too close and create a stronger attraction. This subsequently reduces the casting distance for your fishing rod. However, several factors come into play, like the force applied, wind conditions, and your ability to use the thumbs properly, since they also function as powerful brakes.

Do You Turn Off Magnetic Brakes On Baitcaster When Adjusting Spool Tension?

Magnetic brakes are easily adjusted using a dial knob on the exterior of the baitcaster. The dial is rated from a minimum of 0 to 9 or more, depending on the baitcaster reel. Turning the dial to zero brings the magnetic effect down to minimal. Turning the dial on the other side increases the magnetic brakes. However, even at zero, there is some minimal magnetic effect. For most methods, you have to turn off the magnetic brakes on the baitcaster when adjusting the spool tension.

How To Use Magnetic Brake On Baitcaster

Using magnetic brakes on a baitcaster is easier to understand since the brake system features a dial on the outside. The dial features a minimum and maximum reading where you adjust to reduce and increase the brake effect accordingly. Turning the dial to the lower side disengages the magnetic brakes while twisting the dial to the side with higher values increases the working force of the magnetic brakes.

My name is Caleb and I am obsessed with hunting, fishing, and foraging. To be successful, you have to think like your prey. You have to get into the mind of your target - and understand Big Game Logic. If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at Read more about Big Game Logic.