Do It Right: How To Cast A Baitcaster Without Backlashes

A baitcaster is an angler’s friends. It makes casting and retrieving the fishing line easy, and it will ultimately lead to a greater fishing success. But casting a baitcaster is no child’s play, you should learn how to cast a baitcaster properly.

For anyone to have a shot at fishing, you must have these essential tools: a rod, a fishing line, and a lure. If you miss any of the three tools mentioned, your success on basic fishing on quiet rivers and lakes is slim.

What about on a larger scale like open seas? Of course, when it comes to the competitive casting and angling sport aimed at bigger water bodies, a fishing reel is also a must-have.

Fishing reels have two types: the spinning reel and the baitcasting reel. Spinning reels are the common ones used by anglers aiming for medium-sized fishes. This kind of reel has a fixed line spool on the rod’s tip which is drawn out by the weight of the object dangling on the spool.

This particular reel is best used for light baits and tackles. On the other hand, a baitcasting reel can support heavier lures. Baitcasters provide a more accurate and controlled casting as the lure rotates while you cast. However, the only drawback of using a baitcaster is the fear of a backlash.

A baitcasting reel is perfect for heavy lures and tackles

Have you tried using a baitcaster yourself? How’s your first time? I bet you had a backlash back then.

For those who have no idea what a backlash is, a backlash happens when you push the tab of the baitcaster that turns it into spin mode while casting it at the same time.

As the lure eventually hits the water, it slows down because of resistance, but unfortunately, the line does not thus it continues to draw out from the spool. So what do you have now? A big mess of tangled lines or what we fondly call as a “bird’s nest”.

To prevent backlashes when using a baitcaster, you must know how to cast a baitcaster properly. It’s a skill, and it will take you a few practices, but once you perfect the art of baitcasting, you’ll be able to cast the lure more accurately exactly where you want it.

Some Tips To Prevent Backlash While Casting The Baitcaster

1. Adjust the reel’s brakes

Modern baitcasters come with an adjustable braking system feature. This braking system prevents a backlash by adjusting the speed at which you cast and the length of the line drawn out from the spool.

For first timers, set the brake knob to the highest setting and keep practicing until you get the hang of it so you can move to loosening the brake.

2. Don’t cast against the wind

If you cast against the wind’s direction, the wind will slow down your bait’s motion but then again, your reel will continue rolling thus a backlash will likely happen. The smartest thing to do is to find where the wind blows and throw the lure in its direction for a smooth casting.

3. Use heavy lures

Baitcasters are ideal for heavy lures. Since the weight of the lure sinks the line down, if you cast with a light lure, chances are you’ll have a crazy backlash because the lure may not be able to draw out of the line fast enough to compensate the rolling of the reel. You can try a large swimbait and/or a crankbait.

4. Use a monofilament line

Not to be negative but I’m sure you’ll get some backlashing with your first baitcasting. Okay, since you’ll be having a bird’s nest, the least you can do is to choose a fishing line that’s quite easy to untangle.

The best fishing line to use is a monofilament because it’s the thinnest and the easiest to untangle, followed by a fluorocarbon line and lastly, the braided line which will take you some time to untangle.

Keep those tips in mind on your first try, and you’ll do fine. I can’t guarantee zero backlashes but if you follow these tips, it’ll be minimized. Just keep on practicing often and in no time, you can baitcast like an expert. Sounds good?

Now that you know how to prevent a backlash let’s now learn how to cast a baitcaster correctly. Shall we?

How To Cast A Baitcaster Correctly


Adjust the braking system of the reel according to how strong the wind is. If you’re casting into the wind, tighten the knob all the way down. Likewise, tighten it down for casting light lures.


Adjust the tension knob and star drag. How fast you want your lure to drop depends on how loose or tight your tension knob is.

Likewise, a star drag allows you to pull or halt the line out of the spool based on its tightness. Adjust both settings while feeling the line to select the setting that best suits you.


To start casting, reel your lure up and tighten the tension knob to hold the lure in place.


Loosen the tension knob to let the lure fall until it’s 8 to 12 inches away from the tip of the rod.

Here’s an instructional video of adjusting all the reel settings. Watch carefully and adjust the settings according to your preference.​


Hold the reel properly by pushing the button behind the spool while resting your thumb over the reel spool simultaneously. Rest your thumb lightly but firmly over the spool for a better control of the line during casting.

Rest your thumb on top of the spool while pushing the button behind it at the same time


Grip the reel and point the lure towards the water. Lift your thumb and let the spool draw out the line and rest your thumb over it again as soon as the lure hits the water to stop the reeling. Practice Steps 5-6 for a few times.


Do the overhead casting. Lift the rod up into the air and tilt your arm holding the reel backward at a 45-degree angle, so it goes over your head. Press your thumb on the reel.

Now, throw the lure forward and lift your thumb over the spool halfway through to release the line. Don’t be afraid to whip the lure!

Watch closely the as the entire line moves downward and press your thumb over the reel once more as the lure touches the surface of the water or the depth at which you want it to suspend.


For the finishing touches, feel the rate of the lure’s drop, wind resistance, and the speed at which the spool withdraws the line as you practice your casting. Make adjustments on the reel to your preference.

Guys, here’s a concise summary of the steps on casting a baitcaster properly. May this video below guide you better.

Hey there! Have you prevented backlashes on your first baitcasting? How’d you do it? Teach us master! For other tips and tricks on baitcasting, share your secrets with us below.

How do you feel about sharing this article? Let’s help other anglers out there struggling with backlashes and other stuff about baitcasting. Hope this helps. Cheers!

John Morris

Hi, I’m John Morris. I’m an avid outdoorsman and fisherman, blessed with an awesome wife and 2 kids. Fishing is not my passion, it is my lifestyle. I fished before I knew how to walk! I’m obsessed with all things related to fishing, even the fishy smell. I’m always willing to extend a hand to novice anglers looking for fishing tips and tricks thus I created this blog. This blog is a collection of my experiences, knowledge, and also research from other blogs.

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