How to Cast a Spinning Reel: The Best Techniques and Steps to Take

The first experience of beginners learning how to catch fish will likely be with the combination of a spinning reel and rod. Spinning reels offer a lot of flexibility. This makes it ideal for beginners considering the tackles you'd want to insert at your line's end. However, if you find the right lure for your line, it's all in naught if you don't know how to cast a spinning reel. This article is the only guide you need to cast a spinning reel correctly.

Spinning Reel Basics

Starting from the basics is an excellent way to learn how to use a spinning reel. You must know your spinning reel parts and when to use your spinning reel. This section explains both adequately.

Spinning Reel Parts

You must know the parts of a spinning reel before you know how to use it. Knowing these parts and how they work will help you understand the needed motions and steps to cast. The following are the parts of a spinning reel

  • Handle: The handle of a spinning reel is the rotating feature through which anglers provide power using their hands to spin the reel and spool in line.
  • Spool: The spool is made of anodized aluminum or graphite. The primary function of a spool is to keep the fishing line in place. The fishing line is wrapped around the spool's axis. The spool rotates on the spindle during the retrieval and casting process.
  • Bail: This part has a semicircular shape. And it is attached to the body of the reel. Its primary purpose is to release the fishing line when casting, keep it in place, and draw the fishing line in when reeling.
  • Drag Adjustment: The drag adjustment of a spinning reel can be found on the spool's top. It is typically a twisting instrument used to loosen or tighten the drag.

When To Use a Spinning Reel?

Spinning reels are used for several applications. These include surf casting, spin fishing, and offshore fishing. However, you can't use the spinning reel for heavy applications.

You can only use spinning reels when you have light lures. As earlier stated, spinning reels, unlike baitcaster reels, are not designed for heavy fishing. They are also not made to be used with bulky lures or baits.

How To Use a Spinning Reel Properly?

Learning how to use a spinning reel properly is a skill many anglers don't have. And this depends on the casting technique you use. Your casting technique will determine how well you cast your spinning reel when you use it. Let's look at the different casting techniques and how they work.

Casting Techniques

You can use several techniques to cast your fishing line with a spinning reel correctly and successfully. In this section, we will discuss the most common three casting techniques.

Overhead Casting

Overhead casting is typically the fly casting's primary method. This is the casting that most anglers prefer because of its flexibility. Before this casting, you must have enough space behind and in front of you. We advise you to keep the same distance in front and behind before attempting the overhead casting, particularly for beginners. For instance, if you want to cast 20 feet in front of you, you should have 20 feet behind you.

To do overhead casting, you must first grip your fishing rod with your right hand. Toss open the bail using your left hand and hook a line's section. When you want to hook a section of the line, ensure you do it as it leaves the spinning reel before it gets to the first eyelet.

Apply some pressure on the line using your index finger's first joint. Then, toss the rod over your head and swiftly throw it forward at your target. Your rod will sway with your action as you flip it forward. Then, release your finger once the rod starts bending in the opposite direction.

One important thing to note is that you might not get the perfect cast at your first few trials. Those casts can go into the ground or air. But you don't have to worry. Just keep tossing until you become better at it.

Two-hand Overhead Cast

The second most common casting technique is the two-hand overhead cast. It is an advanced technique of the overhead cast. Having as much room at the back as you have in your front is advisable. The only difference between the overhead cast and the two-hand overhead cast is that you hold the spool's line to the first eyehole using your left hand.

It would be best if you moved your left hand as you cast your rod using your right hand. Then swiftly release the line from your left hand as your rod tip stretches forward.

Another technique employs a similar one-handed or two-handed method. However, this technique is incredibly beneficial in overcoming barriers on the water, such as cattails, overhanging tree limbs, and other anglers. So, instead of casting overhead, this technique requires you to cast sideways around any water obstruction.

The releasing and trapping of the line are the same with your left hand or index finger. Casting sideways instead of using an overhead motion is the only difference.

Rod Cast

The final cast we will be talking about is the rod cast. This casting technique uses the rod to thrust your line. While it is generally referred to as a rod cast, some anglers call it a bullet cast.

You have to be extra careful when using this cast. A fish hook might be stuck inside your finger if you don't follow the correct procedure. The rod cast technique will come in handy when casting in cattails, heavy willows, or other places where your terrain limits your range of motion.

Take your hook or lure using your left hand. Please, ensure the sharp point of your hook is facing away from your fingers. Move up and carefully release the bail of your spinning reel using your left hand.

Hook the line with your right hand's index finger and grip it tight. Use your left hand to pull back the lure and bend the rod until you feel a lot of pressure on it. Then, concurrently release the lure using your left hand and the line using your right hand's index finger. The rod will throw the line and lure directly through its end as it straightens.

How to Cast a Spinning Reel

Learning to cast a spinning reel is as essential as knowing the various casting techniques. In this section, we are going to highlight the step-by-step process of how to cast a spinning reel properly.

Step 1: Hold Your Rod with Your Dominant Hand

It doesn't matter if the rod is a right or left retrieve; we advise that you cast with the hand you are comfortable with. Grip the rod using its handle to allow for comfort and better casting.

Step 2: Ensure Your Lure is 6 to 18 Inches Below Your Rod's Tip

6 to 18 inches is the ideal distance you must have between your lure and your rod's tip. Suppose it's longer; reel the lure until you are in range. Release the lure a bit if it's shorter. Doing this is essential because that's the only range you will get a powerful and precise casting.

Step 3: Use Your Index Finger to Press the Line

Grip the line above the bail and press the line against the rod using your index finger. When doing this, ensure the line cannot be pulled out again. Open the bail while maintaining your grip on the rod. Then, carefully retrieve your rod's tip to the position comfortable enough to cast.

Step 4: Cast Your Rod

Swiftly cast your rod's tip ahead towards your target. Release the line from your fingers and let the lure's weight cast the line toward the fish you aim for.

Step 5: Manually Close Your Bail

Close your bail manually immediately after your lure hits the water. This will allow you to reel in your bait quickly.

Below is a handy casting guide for beginners.

Tips for Beginners

Here are some helpful tips for beginners learning how to cast a spinning reel accurately.

Start With a Monofilament Line

As a beginner, you should not start with a braided line because it requires expertise. It is advisable to begin with a monofilament line. Besides monofilament lines being safer than braided lines, they cost less and knots better. For example, you can easily tie knots with the Berkley Trilene XL Monofilament Fishing Line without worrying about kinks and twists.

Consider Your Spinning Reel Material

Spinning reels are usually made with two materials; graphite and aluminum. As a beginner, it's better to use a graphite spinning reel than aluminum. This is because granite is a lot lighter than aluminum. Aluminum spinning reels are rugged, more resistant to impact, and heavy.

As a beginner, you must prioritize lightness over strength, especially if you often use your spinning reel.

Maintain Your Reel

Maintaining your reel is essential. And one of the best ways to do that is to oil it. Your spinning reel is susceptible to corrosion if you use it regularly. The proper fishing reel oil will help to reduce friction and temperature. It will also protect the parts of your spinning reel from corrosion. With its anti-corrosion properties, CLENZOIL is an ideal option.

Final Thoughts

Casting a spinning reel is easy if you know the proper steps to follow. A rule of thumb is choosing a casting technique and practicing until you are a pro. Then, use the guide in this article to learn how to cast a spinning reel correctly. If you follow this guide, you will be a professional at using spinning reels in no time.


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