Anglers new to baitcasting have a lot of questions about how to use their baitcaster effectively.
You may wonder how to avoid backlash, how to pitch with a baitcaster, or what to do if you get a bird’s nest.
These baitcaster tips will answer your questions and help you become an expert baitcaster in no time.
Baitcaster Tips and Tricks
Sit back and relax, as we take you through our list of the best baitcaster tips and tricks.
Baitcaster Beginner Tips
When you buy your first baitcaster, you might feel overwhelmed and not know where to start. Below are some beginner baitcaster tips.
We recommend using a baitcaster that has dual braking. A reel with this feature has both magnetic brakes and centrifugal brakes. Having these systems allows you to fine-tune every lure you use and helps prevent backlash.
Properly Setting Your Brake
The lower you have your brake set, the more over-spool you will get. Make sure to thumb the spool to help prevent this problem.
However, you will also be able to cast further. If you’re looking for distance, set your brake to one. This setting can cause many backlashes, so only use it if you’re very comfortable with casting. Otherwise, stick to a higher brake setting.
Using a dry line can cause problems. Condition your line with KVD Line and Lure or a similar product. Shake up the conditioner, squirt the line once, and then rotate your spool. Repeat this process two more times.
Matching Line and Lure Weight
The lighter your lure is, the lighter your line and rod should be. Matching your line to your lure weight helps you cast further and prevent backlash. If you’re cranking, you may use a light line and a heavier rod to achieve more depth. Otherwise, you should always follow this practice.
An excellent way to practice casting with your baitcaster is to use a light line with a heavier weight attached. The heavier weight pulls the line out while giving less backlash. Having less backlash is ideal for when you first start practicing. For this method, use ⅜- or half-ounce lure plugs on a 12-pound line.
Baitcaster Reels Tips and Tips for Casting a Baitcaster
Properly setting up your reel with a line can be a daunting task. Follow the baitcaster tips below to get a perfectly spooled line that sets you up for effortless casting.
Using Backing Material
Using backing material in addition to your main line will save you money. You will need to buy a spool with fewer yards, which costs less.
You want to use enough material to allow you to make a full cast with your main line on top of your backing. How much backing you need will depend on the pound test you’re using.
Putting on Line
Put your line on the same way it comes off the spool. This technique is better for line memory. Line memory is when the line develops curls. These curls reduce casting distance and increase the chances of getting a bird’s nest.
Tighten your drag before you start spooling. If you don’t do this, your line won’t be on as tight as it should be.
Putting the Connection Knot in the Middle of the Spool
If the knot connects your backing and main line on the edge of the spool, the reel will have a more challenging time with the spool moving back and forth. To make sure your knot lands correctly, pull some line off the spool and reel it back on until the knot hits the middle.
Filling the Spool Full of Line
Having less line on your spool will mess up your gear ratio and cause you not to cast as far. More inertia is required to pull your line off the spool. Make sure to fill the spool with a line to prevent this problem.
Tips on How to Pitch a Baitcaster
Pitching is a fishing technique used for bass fishing in shallow water. Pitching allows for accurate placement of your lure in areas where you couldn’t get it with other casts. Below are some baitcaster tips for pitching.
Tension Knob Setting
For pitching, you should keep your tension knob loose. You want the lure to fall at a fast rate. Keep in mind that, as a beginner, you might need to increase the tension to avoid backlash.
Amount of Line to Use
While pitching, anglers like to have lines anywhere from halfway up to more than the rod’s length. As a beginner, we recommend having your bait a few inches above the reel.
Pulling on the Line
While pitching, you shouldn't pull on your line. If you have a lot of tension, you will damage your rod or hurt yourself. You can give slight pressure if you’re going for a long-distance pitch.
Hold your rod with the tip pointing up and press the release button. Grab the lure with your hand and hold the rod up to your shoulder. The rod tip should be pointing downward.Release the lure while lifting the rod tip. When the bait is parallel to the water, let the line go off the spool.
Using the Wrist
When you're pitching, you don’t want to cast with your arms. Throwing your line this way will cause more backlash. Using your arms also creates big ripples in the water that scares away fish. Instead, you want to throw with your wrist.
Baitcaster Bird Nest Tips
Bird nests are a common issue for beginners. Follow the baitcaster tips below to help prevent this problem.
You can help prevent bird nests by adequately tuning your baitcaster to your lure. Different weights release the line in different ways. You need to retune your reel every time you switch bait.
Start by setting your magnetic brake to zero and turning your tension knob up. Click the release button and lightly lower your tension until your lure drops at a slow and steady pace. Then put your brake back up.
You should always lightly thumb the spool while casting. This pressure keeps the line from birds nesting. Right before the lure hits the water, apply more pressure.
Don’t overload your rod. Too much weight on a rod will cause the fishing pole to bend. This overloading can cause the spool to spin too quickly when you flip your pole.
What equipment you use affects your chances of getting a bird’s nest. Using a shorter rod can give you more control. A medium-action rod is the best for reducing backlash.
You can also use a heavier lure that will pull the line into the water quickly. This weight reduces hang time, which in turn reduces the chance of backlash.
Advanced Tips With a Baitcaster
Once you have learned how to avoid bird nests, you can begin working on improving your accuracy. Look below for some advanced baitcaster tips.
With a baitcaster, you should use a 30-pound test or lighter. This weight will allow for easier casting and won’t be bulky on your reel.
You should also have about 12 inches of the line outside the rod tip. This length will allow the weight of the lure to flex the rod when casting.
When holding your baitcaster, your thumb should sit just above the spool. This positioning will allow you to both push the release button and thumb the spool. You can also angle your thumb, which provides more control. You don’t need to put your other hand on the rod for a short cast.
When overhand casting, you want to start your cast with your rod 45 degrees over your shoulder. If the reel is further back, you’ll create too much speed. You also want to end your cast 45 degrees over the water.
Watching the Target
Don’t watch your lure while casting, because you won’t hit your target. Stare at your target, lock your eyes, and launch your rod. This technique will ensure your line goes where you want it to go.
Tips to Control Backlash Baitcaster
When backlash happens, it’s easy to get frustrated. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can end up making the knot worse. Follow the tips below to free your line easily.
If you pull on your line hard while trying to fix a bird’s nest, the line will cut into itself. This digging in of the line will make freeing the knot more difficult. Pull gently on your line to prevent this problem.
Thumb the Spool
While fixing a bird’s nest, you want to keep the pressure on the spool with your thumb. This action will prevent the line from backlashing more as you work.
Focus on “U” and “V” Shapes
When you have a bird’s nest, some lines stick over the main line and form a “u” or “v” shape. These lines prevent the main line from moving. You should focus on attacking these directly.
Focus on Underneath Loops
Loops that go underneath the main line are what cause backlash in the first place. You should also focus on directly attacking these by gently picking them out.
Push and Twist Method
In this method, you hold your thumb lightly on the spool while doing a half-twist of your reel handle. This twisting unravels the tangled strands. Then you pull as much line free as you can before repeating the process.
Be very careful using this method on nylon lines. The crimping that can occur in this strategy will make these types of lines weak.
Using a baitcaster as a beginner can be confusing. Now that you know tips and tricks, you can effectively use your baitcaster and catch fish like an expert.