If you’re a beginner or even an experienced baitcaster then I’m sure you know all too well how difficult it can be to cast lighter tackle. I had troubles with this for a while but have been working on it quite a bit and in this post, I’m going to be talking about how to cast light lures with a baitcaster.
How do you do it? The first thing you’ll want to do is get a fishing rod that has a fast action tip and a fishing reel that has a lightweight spool. You’ll want to use a braided fishing line instead of fluorocarbon and you’ll want to use as heavy of a hook as you can. I like adding some sort of weight to my line and then all you have to do is cast using the right technique and use your thumb to control the spool speed.
If it all seems a bit too complicated then you can always stick with a spinning rod but I do prefer using a baitcaster myself and it’s something that can be done. Continue reading or watch the video below for the full details on how to cast lighter tackle using a baitcasting rod.
Rod & Reel
The first thing you want to look for is a baitcasting reel with a light spool. If you go to the store you can compare the different reels and you’ll notice that a lot of them are heavier than others. If your spool is lighter then it’ll be easier for a light lure to spin the spool. When you’re first starting out you’ll want to make sure you have the brakes turned on. It won’t cast as far but you’ll get way fewer spool tangles. You can take them off as you get better.
The next thing you’ll want to get is a medium power rod with a fast action tip. If you’re going to be casting lighter tackle then you’ll need a rod tip that has a good amount of bend. That’s what’s going to help you generate the distance. One of the worst things you can do is try to throw the rod too hard. Let the rod, reel, and lure do most of the work.
For complete beginners, I’d recommend you start with a braided fishing line. I’d recommend avoiding fluorocarbon because it has a lot of memory and I just found it didn’t cast as well. You can use it as you get more confident but I’d suggest using a 20 lb braided line (I normally use a fluorocarbon leader). It’s what I use 90% of the time anyway so it’s pretty convenient.
If you’re fishing an area with a lot of cover (weeds, branches, etc) then I’d go with a braided line because it’s going to be a lot stronger if you get snagged. If you’re in a spot that’s pretty open then you can go with a monofilament line if you like. If you’re going to use monofilament then just make sure it’s one of the softer ones. It’ll be much easier to deal with.
The first thing we’ll talk about is the hook. If you can use a heavier hook then you’ll have an easier time casting your rod. You can get a weighted hook or simply use a larger one. If you’re using a spinner or some other type of lure where you can’t really change the weight but you can do a few other things which we’ll talk about next.
Let’s talk about adding weight. If you’re able to add weight then you’ll have a much easier time casting. If you’re using soft plastics then you can use circle or nail weights and put them right on the plastic. If you’re using a fly or spinning gear then you can use a bullet weight and swivel. I like putting a bullet weight on my main fishing line and then connecting my leader using a swivel. They’ll both add a bit of weight and it seems to work pretty well.
How To Cast
The first thing you’ll want to do is set your tension knob. This is super important because if it’s not set up correctly you’ll get a lot of spool tangles. The first thing you’ll want to do is turn off your brakes and tighten your tension knob. After that, you’ll want to press your casting button and slowly loosen your tension know until your lure starts falling. The right tension will be when your lure hits the ground and your spool stops spinning. All you have to do now is put your brakes back on.
The cast you’ll want to use is a long sweeping sidearm cast. Don’t cast overhead and don’t try to power cast because it’s not going to end up very good. Let the reel, rod, and lure do most of the work. Here’s what you do:
- Double the amount of slack you’d normally cast with (24-26 inches).
- Put your thumb on the spool and click the casting button.
- Use one hand and take the rod back parallel to the ground.
- When the slack is gone, you’ll want to lob it out using mostly your wrist (like swinging a tennis racket).
- Press the spool with your thumb when your lure hits the water.
You’ll want to avoid casting it way up in the air because that’s when a lot of tangles with happen. When you cast it up in the air it’ll start losing speed but your spool will keep going. When your spool keeps spinning and there isn’t enough force bringing line out then that’s when you’ll get a bird’s nest. Keep it lower to the ground so it can maintain speed until it hits the water.
If you’re still getting a lot of spool tangles you can either press your thumb on the spool when it hits the water or you can tighten your spool tension. Once you gain confidence you can loosen the tension knob and use turn some of the brakes off (you’ll be able to cast longer).
Until next time, happy fishing. If you want to catch more fish, use more hooks.
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