Parts Of a Baitcaster Reel – 2021 Detailed Guide

| Last Updated May 18, 2021

Fishing with a baitcasting reel is something that beginner anglers might find challenging. This article is dedicated to teaching you the basic baitcaster reel parts. 

Understanding your baitcasting reel is the first step towards casting properly.

What Are the Main Parts on a Baitcaster Reel and What How Do They Work?

Knowing the different baitcaster parts is important. It helps you learn and understand how the reels work. Let's learn of the vital parts of a baitcaster reel.


The spool is an important part of a baitcaster reel. It is the ring where the fishing line is held and stored. The spool is usually housed inside the reel frame but can open in the middle. It usually rotates when you turn the handle. Proper spool tension is important for your cast.

Thumb Bar

The thumb bar is part of a baitcasting reel that presses down to help the lead line out. You can think of it as a trigger release. It is commonly found in beginner fishing rods. The thumb bar allows for slow or quick release of the fishing line.

Reel Brake

The reel brake is a braking system on the baitcaster that helps slow down the spool spinning during casting. The correct braking power helps prevent backlash. The reel brakes control spool speed by rotating their respective dial and increasing or decreasing the brake force.


The drag system is a star-like object next to the handlers that helps anglers adjust the fishing reel tension. The drag helps adjust the tension in the line. It works by turning the star wheel for smooth and gentle operation.


This is a long gear that rotates and moves the line guide in a back and forth motion. You have to turn the reel over to locate the pawl. The pawl is found just over the spool. The reel will not function properly without the pawl.


The reel handle is turned to bring the line back to the reel. Most reel handles feature two knobs, making it easy to operate by the thumb and forefinger. Either knob can be used by anglers to grip the device and move it along.

Spool Tensioner

This controls the spool tension, which affects how much force leads the line out.

Baitcaster Reel Parts Diagram

Check out the diagram below to easily study the different parts of a baitcaster reel.

How to Disassemble and Clean a Baitcaster for Beginners

Cleaning your baitcaster means disassembling the parts and putting them together again. This is an essential skill because cleaning your baitcaster helps prolong its lifespan. It involves oiling and looping and greasing the various parts. The following are the simple steps to disassemble and clean a baitcaster:

Gather Necessary Items

Before disassembly, you need to have essential items and tools for the process. Get a stable platform and set your dirt reel. You also need an 8mm-10mm wrench to get the handle off. Other items to have included a toothbrush, paper tissue, Q-tips, a pair of tweezers, a screwdriver, a wooden chopstick, pliers, a vessel, and a degreaser.

Remove the Side Plate and Spool

Next, you need to remove the side plate and spool off and wipe them clean using a toothbrush and tissue or towel.

You also need to open the entire handle part and put everything aside. Make sure you keep the parts well-organized for easy assembly later on.

Clean the Inside

Go ahead and clean the inside, removing debris and vegetation. You can use a lubricant to clean the spool. The bearings need oiling, while grease should be applied to mesh parts. Once you are done cleaning and drying, reassemble your baitcaster reel taking care not to damage the parts.

Be sure to refer to the video below for a full overview of the cleaning process we have just described.


Cleaning your baitcaster reel should be easy and straightforward when you understand the various parts. Your baitcaster reel needs to be kept in excellent condition for efficient and long-lasting use.

People Also Ask

In case you have questions concerning baitcaster reels, see if we have answered them in this section. If not, we are open to questions and would love to hear from you. Just shoot them over. 

What Does the Brake On a Baitcaster Do?

A brake on a baitcaster helps regulate the rotation of the spool during cast. This is important to prevent backlash. It allows you to set how much friction you want when casting.

Why Do Baitcasters Have Two Handles?

The baitcaster reels need two handles to create balance. When casting big reels, you can accidentally engage the reel in the middle of the cast due to handling imbalances. Two handles provide better balance and allow for easy casting.

Photo credit: SpinHub.Com

What Parts Of Reel To Grease On Baitcaster?

Grease is best applied to all parts of the baitcaster that mesh together. Consider lightweight grease and use it in moderation. Some of the common parts to grease include the pinion gears, drive, drive shaft post, clutch pawl, and one-way roller bearings.

What Are Bearings On a Baitcaster?

The baitcaster reel usually features bearings on all components that rotate or spin. They are found on the spool, under drag washers, and pinion gears.

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.