Baitcasting Reel Parts Name and Diagram- Explained For Beginners

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

When a predatory fish, a big bass, for example, is on the other side of the line, a baitcasting reel might be the most appropriate tool for seasoned anglers to obtain a valuable trophy. Round baitcasting reels are very popular among professionals.

Even if you are a beginner, baitcasting reels can be really worthy but it will demand a moderate learning curve. We are about to break a baitcasting reel down into the smallest to introduce you to all the baitcasting reel parts names and diagrams.

If you are into fishing, bass fishing to be more specific, take a closer look at baitcasting reels.

Basic Parts of a Baitcasting Fishing Reel

Basic Parts of a Baitcasting Fishing Reel

Here are the components of a baitcasting reel you will get to buy.

Reel Foot and Reel Seat

The foot is usually the attachment place where the reel and the rod join together. On baitcasting reels, the foot is usually placed on the top side of the rod. The foot is also aligned with the guides (which we will discuss in a moment) on the rod.

The reel foot is also joined with the reel seat. A reel seat is a part where the reel is placed. The reel can be detached from and attached to the housing with the help of a threaded keeper.

A perfectly fitted combination of reel foot and reel seat is crucial. Make sure the reel foot is strongly fixed to the rod, otherwise it won’t withstand much pressure while casting.

Brake System


You might have heard of backlash or bird’s nest. It is the situation where lines get tangled. Braking is the only way to get rid of this issue. This is why baitcasting reels have a braking system, either of centrifugal type or magnetic type.

Brakes are fitted on the side of the reel so that you can easily reach the brakes with your fingers. In the centrifugal braking system, you need to adjust everything before casting.

Magnetic braking is a more modern system and reels with magnetic braking will generally cost more than their centrifugal counterparts.

Where blocks inside a ring are used in the centrifugal braking system, metal magnets are used to brake in the magnetic braking system. You can control the braking with a dial placed on the side. The benefit is you can adjust the braking while casting.

Cast Control Knobs

Cast control knobs also work as a kind of braking. There can be one or several knobs to control casting and make it smooth. These knobs are usually designed to sit next to the handle. Though they might be familiar to you as spool tensioners, let us assure you they are not.

You can adjust the line speed by rotating cast controls knobs with your fingers. It will increase or decrease the speed of the line accordingly and prevent them from backlashing.

Cast control knobs can be detached from the housing completely, in case if you want to use a different-sized knob.

Spool Tensioning Knob

A spool tensioner is used to adjust the tension of the spool and it is usually done before casting. To make sure the line can be cast or retrieved without much friction, the spool tension knob comes in handy.

It is usually placed at the bottom side of the reel. Often, they are mistaken with cast control knobs. You can adjust the tension of the line by tying a lead sinker to the line.

Explore a bit for the perfect tension of the line.

Drag Control or Star Drag

It is called star drag because of the star-shaped knob that is placed between the handle and the reel body. The benefit of the star knob is you can adjust the drag setting with just a little push of your fingers.

If you are after a large and strong fish and set the system to have the minimum drag, possibly the fish could break your line off. But if you increase the drag a bit for the fish to pull a bit more line, it will be easier to guide the fish.

But if the drag is more than required, the fish will pull a lot of line off the reel. You might not be able to steer and guide the fish properly in that case.


The spool is probably the most visible part of a baitcasting reel other than the handle. It basically stores the fishing line. In baitcasting reels, the spool rotates the cast and retrieve line.

The amount of pressure and torque these spools can withstand is greater than spinning reels. This design of spool in baitcasting reels is suitable for professionals who are usually after bigger fish.

But you need to make sure the surface is smooth and clean before you spool the line properly. If it isn’t spooled with the right pressure, the line can easily tangle or break while casting.

Thumb Bar or Clutch

The name came from how this part is used in baitcasting reels. It is positioned in such a way that you can engage or disengage the clutch by pressing it with your thumb.


Handles are probably the most visible parts of baitcasting reels. Turning handles move the gears inside and hence spins the spool. Usually, baitcasting reels have two knobs for better ergonomics.

They can be made of metal or plastic and covered in foam for better comfort. Metal handles are more robust and durable than plastic ones.

Final Thoughts

This was just a short introduction to the baitcasting reel parts name and diagram. Hope you have learned something new from the write-up. Many of you might think that this is unnecessary to read theories about baitcasting reel parts.

But you could only be a good angler once you have enough knowledge about how different parts of baitcasting reels work together. Only then you can control the baitcasting reel in a fish-ful way.

With so many parts on baitcasting reels, you need to put attention to several factors at the same time. The capability of doing this makes difference between seasoned professionals and beginning anglers.

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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