Have you been on a fishing expedition but for some reason, failed to set up a baitcaster properly? Did the experience frustrate you that you don’t want to use it a baitcaster again? Don’t fret as I will teach you how to set up a baitcaster in this article.

Many experienced anglers will tell you that using a baitcast reel is one of the best ways to lure bass. As Bassmaster Elite Series expert Pete Ponds says, a baitcast reel can easily lure bass with so much accuracy.

Aside from that, a baitcasting reel can perform many fishing tasks a lot better than a spincasting reel. It’s one reason why it is the standard piece of equipment in bass fishing.

Pike, rod and baitcasting reel on a natural background

Pike, rod and baitcasting reel on a natural. 

Based on my experience, a baitcasting reel is very effective in fishing species like bass, muskellunge, and northern pike. It’s also possible to fish larger species like marlin and tuna with a larger baitcasting reel.

While casting a baitcaster can be challenging at first, it’s something you can master by following the steps below.

What will You Need?

In order to become an expert in setting up a baitcaster, you’ll need constant practice plus the following basic items:

  • Fishing line
  • Baitcast rod and reel
  • Casting lure
  • Digital or Spring scale
  • Screwdriver
Some Basic Facts About Fishing Gear: Articles O Karmic - occurso.info

If you already own a regular road with spinning wheel, you may buy a baitcaster to attach to it so that you can save some money. You may also purchase a combo rod and baitcaster reel if you desire a rod entirely for baitcasting.

How to Set Up a Baitcaster: Six Easy Steps to Follow

1 .Familiarize yourself with the baitcasting reel.

  • You should familiar yourself with your baitcaster reel so that you will completely know how it works.
  • Make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines particularly about the line and the lure weight.
  • Understand other aspects of the baitcasting reel such as the setting up of the spool system, the braking system, and the appropriate rod length.

Parts of Baitcaster Reel. Photo Credit: sharpreel.com

2. Spooling the line into the reel

  • Start by threading the line though the line guides.
  • Attach the line to the reel with an arbor knot.
  • Put the screwdriver through the eye of the line spool. Ask someone to hold both sides.
  • Reel in the line. As you start to retrieve, use your thumb and thumb in the opposite hand to add some tension to the line so that it would go straight and tight.
  • Fill the spool. There should be at least 1/8 of an inch margin from the top of the spool.

Here’s a good YouTube video to watch to help you better understand how to spool the line into the reel.

You may wonder if there’s kind of fishing line I would recommend. Based on experience, a heavy monofilament line is very ideal because it is easier to cast. Moreover, it is not that hard to pick out during backlashes.

You may also go with a fluorocarbon line but it can be a bit harder to cast.

3.Attach a Practice Casting Lure

  • Always choose and use a heavy lure. Many novice anglers prefer using a lightweight lure but a heavier one actually results to more success. Heavy lures can pull the line into the faster fast unlike a light lure that simply follows the wind, resulting to backlash.
  • Look for the tension knob, a small, round knob that keeps the tension on the spool shaft in check. Tighten it down until it is snug.
  • Push the thumb bar, a button on the reel located under the spool.
  • You’ll see the lure descending from the edge of the rod.
  • If the lure doesn’t move (which should not happen if you tighten down the tension), then you can slowly loosen the tension knob. The lure should start moving and line off the reel.
Heavy Weight Lure

Heavy Weight Lure. Photo Credit: Wikihow

4. Setting the braking system

  • ​Along with the spool tension, the other adjustment you must get right is the brake. The braking system of the baitcaster controls the braking of the line. It is typically located on one side, in the form of a wheel or dial.
  • There are two main braking systems used in baitcasters. Magnetic breaks are more preferred by novice users because these are easier to set up and control. Centrifugal breaks, on the other hand, are more efficient for expert users as pointed out by bass fishing expert Kevin Van Dam.
  •  Adjust the braking system to the highest setting so that you can have more control during practice.
  • You can lower the tension of the system as you become more familiar with it, and allow you to wait on longer baits.

2 Brake System for Reel

5. Setting the Drag

  • Adjust the drag of the reel turning the star wheel located under the handle of the baitcast reel.
  • Using a spring or digital scale, measure the drag slippage. The drag should be a quarter of the breaking strength of the fishing line that you are using.
  • To determine the breaking strength, secure the line to the scale hook. Then clutch the rod to an angle of 45 degrees. Check the scale reading the very moment the drag begins to slip.
  • Adjust the drag mechanism so that the drag will be of the same weight of the fishing line.
Drag Setting

Drag Setting. Photo Credit: fishingnoob

6. Practice, Practice, Practice!

  • Start practicing with short distances first. This would let you get used to the baitcaster.
  • Try it on the waters. Start sidearm before you try an overhand cast. Experiment a bit so you’d know the right tension and brake settings for you.
  • Don’t be discouraged by backlashes because everyone gets it especially novice anglers. Keep practicing so you will master using the reel!


Mastering the use of a baitcaster is not that hard. The first thing that you need to do is to familiarize yourself with the bait casting reel.

Then learn how to properly spool the line into a reel and attach a casting lure. From there, you can get acquainted with the adjustments in the brake system and how to set up the drag.I hope you understood the tutorial.

If you have any questions, feel free to write in the comments section below.



Hi! I'm Demi and welcome to my blog. Here, I will share everything I know about enjoying and surviving the outdoors. Whether you love to go outdoors, you will find interesting and informational articles on this blog.

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