8 Casting Techniques to Use A Spinning Reel

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Written By Russ Egan

Russ is a professional fisherman with over 20 years of experience. He has fished all over the world for more than two decades, primarily for saltwater game fish but also for local trophy fish. Russ comprehensively tests and reviews all his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. There is nothing he prefers than heading down to his local tackle store, buying the latest fishing reel, and taking it to the water to test.


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To use a spinning reel, hold the rod with the reel facing downward, grip the reel stem between your fingers, and rest the line on your index finger. Open the bail, cast by releasing the line during the forward swing, close the bail, and retrieve the line by turning the reel handle. Adjust the drag as needed for smooth operation.

For beginner anglers, casting a spinning rod can be intimidating. So we have put together 8 tips to learn how to use a spinning reel properly like a pro.

To start, a spinning reel is one of the best and most popular reels for most anglers as it is easy to handle and comfortable. Recreational Fisherman tends to use this reel for a few key reasons. The most common of these is its general ease of use.

Besides, you will be set up within a few minutes without any extra labor, and other reels can take long hours of wasted time to setup.

It is also possible for an amateur to learn how to cast a spinning reel accurately fairly quickly and easily.

How to Use a Spinning Reel
How to Use A Spinning Reel

How to Use a Spinning Reel

The spinning reel is known for its open face reel to the angler. This versatile reel is designed to manage various fishing techniques and tools. It’s fixed spool doesn’t allow rotation while casting the reel. The gear layout noticeably reduces the gear ratio, giving the angler a smoother cast and retrieve.

It’s necessary to set up carefully at the beginning to get better results. To become a successful angler, read the instructions carefully to save time and unnecessary work.

Take Out Your Equipment

You’re going to learn how to use a spinning reel, so first things first you need to purchase one. There are various fantastic spinning reels in the industry – just choose the one that suits you naturally and smoothly. You can contact a professional angler to get the best fishing reel or check out a review.

Recognize The Important Parts Of The Equipment

After gathering the necessary equipment, you must understand the critical components and how they work.

It’s time to look forward to getting an idea of the parts of a fishing reel and how they work.

Parts of A Reel:

  • Spool: The fishing line becomes wound around the spool.
  • Handle: The handle is spun around to retrieve the line onto the spool.
  • Bail: The bail is used to stop the line coming out of the spool when a fish is hooked.
  • Reel Foot: The reel foot connects the rod to reel.
  • Drag Knob: When the bail is closed, the drag knob allows the line to slowly come out of the spool. You can set this at different drags – this is used to prevent the line from snapping when you have a monster fish on the hook.
  • Line Roller: The line roller guides the line accurately onto the spool.

Parts of A Rod:

  • Rod Tip: Rod tip a small, thin portion at the end of the rod, which helps to feel whether a fish bites.​​​​
  • Guides: The guides are set to keep the line near the rod.
  • Real Seat: The real seat secures the reel to the rod.
  • Handle: The handle is the base of the rod that you grip. It is often made from a softer material like foam or cork.

Connect the Reel to the Rod

Using a spinning reel on a casting rod is a good combination to accurately place your lure or bait. Luckily, you’ve got an idea of how it all fits together. Now it’s time to connect reel to the rod. Initially, you must loosen the reel seat to make it big enough.

Then place the reel foot onto the seat. To ensure its stability, you need to tighten the reel seat until it is tight.

Abu garcia zata spinning reel being used

Spool the Reel

Spooling means putting a line on the reel. It’s challenging to execute but is the vital step. More significantly, it needs some experience and awareness to spool the reel correctly. Firstly, you must open the bail to place the line on the reel. Then you have to tie a knot with the line and cut the loose piece. After that, close the bail and tighten the line with the reel.

Then wind the reel handle to take all the excess line off your spare spool onto the reel. This sounds easy in writing but can be tedious.

String the Rod

The next step is to string the rod. You should grab the tip of the line and open the bail arm. Then consistently place the line through the rod guides. Make sure you don’t miss any guides.

Set the Drag

Setting up the drag knob at the start of fishing is important. The type of drag knob depends on which kind of fish you’ll catch. By turning on the drag knob, you can set it up to your requirements.

If you set the drag too tight, the fish could break your line when it strikes. Too loose and you will have trouble landing the fish.

Cast the Lure

There are different types of baits and lures, such as plastics, hard bodies, spinners, etc. For this purpose, the process of casting lure is virtually the same.

  • Open the bail arm and release around 1 foot of line.
  • Hold the line against the rod with one hand.
  • You can quickly swing the rod toward your target with a whipping motion. At the peak of your cast, release the line being held against the rod.
  • When the lure has landed and no more line is released from the reel, close the bail arm.

Remember – practice makes perfect

Reel in the Line

You have to reel the line often while fishing. Whenever a fish is hooked or the bait is lost, you will need to reel in the line. So, you will become experienced at retrieving line very quickly.

Enjoy Your Fishing

You’ve now learnt all the necessary processes of using a spinning reel. Now it’s time to implement and take action. Follow the structure and enjoy your fishing.

Penn Wrath Spinning Reel in action on the water

How Does A Spinning Reel Work?

Fundamentally, the spinning reel is different from other reels. It’s designed to consider the overall demand and requirements of an angler. Likewise, a conventional reel, it has a fixed spool as opposed to a rotating spool. Around the spool, a spinning rotor and bail are mounted around the spool to guide the fishing line back.

It has internal gears to drive the rotor to spin spontaneously during the spool oscillation. When casting the reel, the line gets drafted over the angler’s finger. The angler can cast the lure by releasing the line from the finger.

A spinning reel is going to be the best friend to an angler. To add more, it has plenty of advantages to go for. Due to their comfort and ease of use, spinning reels are easy to handle even for inexperienced people.

It doesn’t need any extra care to use and learn. I hope this will help you in your fishing adventure. Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.

Also, you can check Saltwater Fishing Tips

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