How To Use Baitcasting Reels With The Overhead Casting Technique

Who loves fishing? I think almost everybody does. It’s quite fun, relaxing and rewarding after hours spent waiting for a great catch. When I was a kid, I used to make fishing rod out of bamboo long enough to reach my desired area to cast my bait. Lucky for us, baitcasting reels are now available and affordable.

It offers longer casting distances, accuracy and better control of the spool. Though it looks complicated to use, I will show you how to do it step by step and you will be baitcasting in no time.

To do that, we have to understand what is Baitcasting Reels and its components. Basically, it’s a small gadget or device with a crank handle and gearing mechanism that once you make a turn, a revolving spool inside turns multiple times.

It is designed to fit your hand and uses heavier line and heavier lures. Some are made of Aluminum or Stainless Steels. Features like level-wind mechanism and Brake System are modern day fishing innovations that the baitcasters reel possessed.

Things and Components that You Will Need

So these are the basic components of a Baitcasting Reel. To achieve great performance and compatibility, tuning and adjustment of each component is essential.

  • Spool

It is designed to wound and keep all the line in a fishing rod, as the line unwinds the spool also spins. This is where all your lines is being kept in order.

  • Drag

Commonly referred to as star drag, this tool is essential on keeping your tension on the line, and that tension will put you hooks on the fish’ mouth.

It looks like a small wheel and by proper setting it allows you to forcibly pull the line so that the hook punctures the fish’ mouth. The tension on the line should depends on your reflex enough to react on the fish biting the bait.

  • Thumb Bar

It’s a trigger release allowing you to relieve the tension on the fishing line thus allowing you to free the line from the reel. Gradual pressing on the thumb bar results to slow release.

This control allows your bait to go deep. This component allows you to release, loose or unwind your spool during casting.

  • Handle

It is designed to spin using you finger and thumb. Usually have two knobs for you to grip and by spinning it or cranking you activate the gear mechanism thus spinning the spool connected to the line.

  • Spool Tension Knob

This small knob limits you if set correctly from having a backlash or bird’s nest. It allows you to have have tension on the line during casting.

Basically, it gives your spool resistance during casting by turning clockwise or counterclockwise.

  • Brakes


This is adjustable depending on the desired range . As a starter you can set the brakes in between the highest and lowest range.

Adjustments of this break varies depending on the line used, lures’ weight, Rod type and condition of the wind. It has 2 types of brake system:

  • Magnetic type uses magnets to react on a non-magnetic aluminum spool. The closer the magnet to the spool the greater the brake power and vice-versa.
  • Centrifugal type uses pins that when adjusted causes tension to the spool. Commonly 2-6 pins are used for this type of braking system.

Step by Step Procedure for Baitcasting

The Overhead Casting Technique is the most common and useful when you are in an open area and you wanted a longer cast. Before starting this type of casting use the clock position as your reference for casting.

1. Reeling the line

After fixing the lure on the line, you have to reel the line in by turning the handle. This will place your lure inches or a foot away from the tip of the rod.

2. Adjust and Tune up your reel

Make an adjustment on spool tension knob clockwise (tight) and then counter clockwise (loose) doing it while the thumb bar is in released position.

This is to test the tension of your line during casting. If it’s too tight your lure will not go anywhere and if too loose your spool will keep on spinning and you don't want that.

Adjust your brakes dial located on the side of the reel if its magnetic type and if it’s centrifugal type make the adjustment on the spool or inside the reels sideplate.

The ruling is that, the heavier the lure, the lesser brake you will need. Set the brake halfway first, remember that the higher the brake the higher the resistance thus limiting your casting distance but less likely for you to have backlash.

3. Grip and Hold the rod

At the back of the reel hold the rod steadily while your thumb lying on the reel spool. Just acquaint your thumb slightly on the spool to give you more control of the line during casting.

Point your rod at 90 degree radius forward or nine o’clock position aiming your desired area to cast your lure.

4. Press the thumb bar

By doing this you will be releasing the spool, but be careful cause upon release your spool will flow freely so make sure that your thumb rest on the spool for control.

5. Pronate your wrist

By rotating your casting wrist inward, your rod and reel is now positioned almost horizontally to the ground. In this way your wrist is being ready for easier lift of your rod backward.

6. Flex your Arm at Elbow point

Bend your arm bringing your rod backwardupon your rod reaches 60 degrees radius backward or at two o’clock position bring the rod forward with enough speed .

Then quickly stop the rod upon reaching 60 degrees radius forward or at ten o’clock position which is a little higher from where you started.

7. Release the Spool

Now release your line to launch you lure, with you thumb to controlling the spinning of your spool. Upon your lure reached the water stop your spool from spinning using your thumb to avoid backlashing.

Failure to stop the spool will cause overspinning and will leave your line entangled to one another.

Dos and Don'ts to Remember

  • Try practicing Baitcasting in an isolated area before trying it on the water. An open field or backyard perhaps with minimal bushes or trees is a nice choice.
  • Make sure that there’s no people around when practicing specially at the back cause you tend to cast overhead.
  • You can use a practice plugs or metal sinker as replacement for you lure and bait during casting tryouts.
  • Go for a short cast first then farther and farther as you master longer distances.
  • Acquaint your thumb with the line everytime you make a cast and press as soon as the practice plugs hits the ground. This thumb practice improves reflex and prevent overspinning thus avoiding tangles or backlash.
  • Try making targets by drawing a circle on the ground at varying distances and location to improve accuracy.
  • Practice plus Patience results to Mastery.
  • Find your Rhythm in doing your casting until you become comfortable with it.

Final Thoughts

A wide variety of Baitcasting Reels are available in the market specially at outdoor shops with great designs and new features.

Choosing a Baitcasting Reel must fit to your fishing needs and must be comfortable to your hands. Try holding some of the reels to test the grip and comfort before buying one.

Buy the right lures or bait and also don't forget to buy protective equipment such as Waders to avoid bruises and cuts and at the same time keeping you dry.

I hope this article showed you how the Baitcasting Reel works in its simplicity. It is always important to have fun outdoors enjoying the the quiet and serene waters all day.

Remember, practice is the key element to perfection when using Baitcaster reels.

Did you enjoy this article on Baitcasting Reels? Do you have any helpful tips in Baitcasting? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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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