Baitcaster Backlash – Why It Occurs and How To Avoid Backlash

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

It’s the nightmare of countless beginner fishermen all over the globe. The scary bird’s nest, the baitcaster backlash! When you are casting the line with your baitcaster reel or reeling the line in, the line sometimes gets ridiculously tangled and messy. It takes the form of a bird’s nest and looks quite screwed up.

This is commonly known as baitcaster backlash or bird nest formation. It’s not something rare, and pretty much every angler has faced it, whether a pro or a novice. So, it’s not that it can’t be resolved or is not preventable.

In this article, we will look at why backlash happens and how to avoid it.

What Does Baitcasting Backlash Mean?

What is backlash? No matter what brand of reel you are using, it always has a thumb button to push out the line. If the spool is quite tight enough, it will release the line slowly, and it will not travel far enough. On the other hand, if the spool is a bit loose, the line will be excessive and will cross a greater distance.

But this loosened excess line can sometimes create a mess. When you reel in or spool out, you can see that the lines are getting disassembled on the spool and causing a terrible tangle. This is how backlash looks like.

But thanks to modern reels, they come with an anti-backlash system. You don’t need to push your budget further to get a reel that has this amazing feature. So, if you have one with you, make sure you are setting the anti-backlash system well.

How To Fix Backlash On A Baitcaster?

Now, when you have a backlash bird’s nest on your reel, it’s creepy, but nothing to get scared of or panicked about. You need to stay calm and follow a few simple steps to get rid of it and allow the line to return to its old format. So here’s how you will untangle the tangled line.

  • Step 1: Who cares if there’s a backlash? Simply pull out the lines as far as you can. Try to take out the lines by your hands and make sure that the tangled lines are reducing with you pulling the line.
  • Step 2: Now, that’s not going to be as sweet as it sounds. There will come a point when pulling the line will make a halt. It will be stuck at some point, and remember, don’t pull hard to resolve it. Stop pulling and try to engage the reel here.
  • Step 3: Now that the reel is engaged, simply press the top of the bird’s nest with your thumb. Don’t press too hard; make sure you’re doing it gently but with a level of precise pressure.
  • Step 4: Now turn the handle to a certain extent when you are pushing the line and also spinning the reel spool at the same time.
  • Step 5: Now start pulling like step 1 again. Continue pulling the line until you have to stop again for a tangle. No wonder you need to repeat the same process from step-2 to 4, all over again.
  • Step 6: As you continue to do so, you can feel that the more you push with your thumb, the more it is untangling the tangle.
  • Step 7: Now, you need to only repeat this entire process 2 or 3 times to finally free the lines from the bird’s nest. It may take a while for you if you are doing it for the first time, but as you experience more and more backlash, it will eventually be an easy task for you with time.

What If This Doesn’t Work?

That’s an interesting discussion. In most cases, this trick will definitely work. If you are paying proper attention to what you are doing or keeping your patience, the thumb trick has no chance of not working. But if the mess is a terrible one that really is nasty, there’s a possibility that you may struggle to clear up the tangle.

In that case, if the line is not that expensive, a straight-out solution is to cut the line from the tangled point. It may cause you some loss of line, but it will eventually solve the problem in seconds. But remember, this only applies if you have to cut a short length of the line, only.

How to Avoid Backlash on Baitcaster Reel?

They say prevention is better than cure. It’s always a safer approach if you actively try to stop the backlash rather than solve it every time it occurs. So here are some tips to avoid backlash.

Choose Right Equipment

Use the fishing gears that will cause the least backlash. A short fishing rod will give you more control over the backlash than a long one. Plus, use monofilament as your line as this type of line has the least chance of causing a backlash.

Again, don’t use very light lures as it will not pull the line towards it. Heavier lures will pull the line with it prevents backlash.

Adjust the Brake System

As the reels come with the brake control system, take full advantage of it. Adjust the brake to a certain level so that it doesn’t break the line loose. Almost all modern reels come with a brake adjustment system.

Short Distance Practice

If you are a beginner, then try fishing in short distances. Don’t throw the lure and line to a greater distance that may cause instant backlash for you. Make sure you master your control over the line in short distances, so get ready for long-distance fishing.

Use The Wind

Unless you are a pro fisher, don’t cast the line against the wind, rather throw it with the wind so that it naturally unfolds. This will make it easy to avoid backlash.

Practice and Practice

Finally, there’s no second option to practice. You have to practice hard to take control over the line as much as possible. The more control you have over the line, the less chance for a backlash will be there.

Final Words

So that was all we had on baitcaster backlash. Before solving a problem, it’s evident that you need to have a good grasp of the problem itself. Having a precise idea of how a backlash forms and why it occurs makes it a lot easier to solve it.

We hope this article has delivered the required insights for this purpose. Have safe 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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