8 Baitcast Reel Problems and Solutions for Anglers [2024]

John Hunt
Owner at - FishingMet

John Hunt is a professional angler! He has been fishing for the last 12 years, he loves to participate in fishing tournaments everywhere with his...Read more

You may let your heart out to safeguard your baitcasting reel from every harm, but the reality doesn’t go hand in hand with your wish. No matter how carefully you use the reel, there will come days when you may need run repairing works for it.

But it’s best to be prepared for what’s coming, right? Having a clear idea of how things can go wrong will make you more efficient in solving the issues. So here we are at your service. In this piece, we will discuss some common baitcast reel problems and solutions to get well-prepared.

Baitcast Reel Problems and Solutions

Baitcast Reel Problems and Solutions

So here we are with some of the most common problems with baitcasters and how you can fix those problems.

Top 8 baitcast Reel Problems List:

  • Twisted Line
  • Bail Spring
  • Slipping Braided Line
  • Wrong Line Size
  • Level Wind
  • Damaged Paw
  • Bearing Getting Old
  • Corrosion

1. Twisted Line

One of the most common issues with baitcasting reel is the line twisting. There are a number of reasons why it happens. Often, if you are using the reel for a long-time regularly, then this is an issue you may face on a frequent basis.

Some of the lures can twist the line when the lure shaft is tangled. If the lure is spinning in the water when you are reeling the reel in, you can expect a line twist.

If you are spooling a new line all by your hand, this issue may occur, as well. If you are using a closed-face reel, there’s a greater chance of a line twist for you.

How to Fix It?

If you are facing a line twist problem, the best way to solve it is by using a new line by stripping the old line off.

2. Bail Spring

Another common problem is bail springs. This occurs when the return spring can’t flip back the bail open. Then the ball spring gets damaged instantly. The prime reason behind this is long-term use.

But don’t mix up the problem of bail functionality with the bail wire malfunctioning. Often the issue is with bail wire rather than the bail spring. Before you suggest the bail spring is damaged, you need to check the outer bending of the wire prior to opening the reel up for the spring repair.

How To Fix It?

The easiest way to solve it is by installing a new bail. But if you are using a back-dated model of the reel, it may be a bit difficult for you to find the exact replacement. In this case, you may need to consult a reel expert.

3. Slipping Braided Line

Although it’s becoming quite a popular day by day, braided lines are not stretchable. That’s why these lines are exposed to tangling more than any other lines. To make sure that the braided lines are acting fine, it needs some anchoring done before using.

How To Fix It?

When you have the tangling issue with a braided line, you need to apply backing straight to the reel that will be working as a grip for the line. There’s no harm if you use several wraps of monofilament at the bottom of the spool before you wrap it with a braided line.

4. Wrong Line Size

This is more of a wrong decision than a problem. Many anglers make this mistake by selecting the wrong line size for the reel. Never judge on your own; try to follow the manufactures’ recommendation while selecting the line for your reel. It will result in poor performance if the reel and line don’t sync.

How To Fix It?

Well, as we said, you need to make sure you are using the line that is recommended by the makers. You can find the line size recommendation on the spool.

5. Level Wind


Another common issue is the level-wind on the reel. This is kind of a tool that is applied to evenly spool the line in the reel. The level wind, however, regularly comes in connection to water, dirt, sand, etc.

This often causes the level wind to get clotted inside with some of the particles, and as a result, this limits the movement of it. This is a common problem for many anglers who fish in water that is dense with dirt.

How to Fix It?

The easiest way to fix it is a replacement. But if you are lucky, you can reuse it just by running a cleaning session. You should wipe the level-wind every time after use so that it remains clog-free. You should also disassemble the parts at regular intervals to clean inside.

6. Damaged Paw

When even a small amount of dirt enters the worm gear assembly, this can restrict the actual movement of the paw. It may even cause the gear to strip. Perhaps, you may even experience an uneven ride that may stick to the side. As a result, you can see that the line will pile-up. This is very risky as many parts may get damaged at the same time because of it.

How to Fix It?

As the paw is a very sophisticated part, you cannot fix it in any way. You need a straight replacement for it.

7. Bearing Getting Old

With time and use, bearing gets old. The main complaints will be about dirt and grit. When the reel gets submerged quite often, this is a likely outcome.

How to Fix It?

Take the bearing out and put it in a solution where you can use a metal cleaner. Submerge the bearing there to de-grease the dirt and grease.

8. Corrosion

If the reel is regularly exposed to saltwater or left open in the field for quite a long time – corrosion is a probable outcome. This is not only about the reel, but the fishing rod can also be subject to this issue if not taken proper care of.

How to Solve It?

If you are using it for saltwater fishing, you must clean the reel with fresh water every time you get back from fishing. Use a toothbrush to clean it. If the corrosion is all over it, there’s no option other than replacement.

Final Words

So there you go! Some of the most usual baitcast reel problems and solutions for you! If you can follow the solutions and hacks we have mentioned here, the chances of sudden and regular problems with your reel can hopefully be mitigated to a certain level.

Happy fishing!

John Hunt is a professional angler! He has been fishing for the last 12 years, he loves to participate in fishing tournaments everywhere with his favorite fishing gear. As a pro angler, he is sharing his valuable fishing guide with newbie anglers...

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