How To Set Up A Baitcaster Reel? – Simple And Easy Steps

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

Switching from a traditional fishing reel to a baitcasting reel isn’t an easy transition. The conversion is quite a challenging one, especially if you’re a new user to such a reel. One of the common issues that drive every use crazy is the backlash. The tangling of the line is really a painful one if you can’t set up the reel right.

Having a sound idea on how to set up a baitcaster reel for beginners or how to adjust a baitcaster can ease it up for you. When you make sure that the reel is perfectly set up, it’s time to enjoy a break-free fishing session! Here’s a complete guide on how you should set up the reel.

How To Set Up A Baitcaster Reel For Beginners?

Long story short, you need to follow the following basic steps to adjust and complete setting up your baitcasting reel.

Choosing The Suitable Line

The first thing you need to do is select a suitable line for your reel. And the best one to start with is a monofilament. If you are going for braid or fluorocarbon, it’s not going to be an easy learning phase for you at the beginning.

Monofilament is a bit softer than fluorocarbon. That’s why it experiences fewer backlashes while you cast. In the case of braid, the issue of backlash is even worse. In these cases, you may even need to cut a large portion of the line to start all over again.

You can simply use 13 to 15 pounds of monofilament line at the learning phase. There’s no need to think that it’s inferior to other types. It delivers the same performance when it comes to catching fish.

Try to fill the reel near the spool of the reel. When you’re done, simply tie a lure to that. You can use a 1/4oz jig or Texas rig if you like.

Engage The Spool Tension

After you have selected the suitable line, the next important thing to do is adjust the tension knob. You can find it around the same side of the handle of the reel.

To do this, you need to hold on to the fishing rod in a slightly angled way.

Now reel the lure to the point until 10-inch of the line gets out. Once done, slowly tighten the tension knob until you feel a bit of pressure. When you can feel it, just press the thumb bar and release the lure.

It will drop quite slowly, or it may not even drop. At this point, you should slowly withstand the pressure using the tension knob until the lure starts falling freely. Repeat this process unless the lure falls within 3 seconds, max. If you can set it up correctly, you can see the line will not overrun the moment the lure hits the surface.

By the way, if you’re changing the baits, you will need to run the process again. This is because not all the baits are of the same size and weight. You can’t expect the same tightness of the tension for a 1/4oz jig and a 1/2oz spinnerbait, can you? If you can work it out fine a few times, it will take seconds to run the process.

Adjust The Brake System

Now comes the tricky part. Adjusting the brake system is one of the most crucial steps of setting up the baitcasting reel. Although the brake comes in two general types – centrifugal and magnetic, you can’t expect the brakes to look and work the same in every single model.

So you need to check a number of brands and types to figure out which one suits your baitcasting reel well. Here’re what you can find as magnetic brakes.

Centrifugal Brakes

To initiate a brake, this system applies tiny weights inside the slide plates. You can access the side plate by using a dial or simply unscrewing the side of the reel. You can even find a lever that opens up the plate, as well.

Inside the plate, there are some colored pegs that are arranged in an even manner. These are arranged either as an ‘In’ position or an ‘Out’ position. You can arrange these pegs ars you want.

The ‘out’ position refers that the weight that is placed on the outside position of the brake can initiate higher centrifugal forces to slow down the spool. You have to turn the pegs in a symmetrical fashion. Try 2,3, or 4 pegs on for a good result.

Magnetic Brakes

The magnetic brakes are less complex than the centrifugal. You can easily get it better than the previous one. You can use a dial that is placed outside the reel to increase or decrease the brake’s power. You can read the dial as MAX and MIN, or numerically put – 1 to 10.

As you can get, the higher the dial, the stronger the brake, and the lower the dial, the looser is the brake. As a beginner, it is advised to start at 70-75% of strength.

Hybrid Brakes

Apart from the common magnetic and centrifugal brakes, some big names in the industry like Abu Garcia and Pflueger are adopting the hybrid braking system. As you can tell, the hybrid brake system is a fusion of both centrifugal and magnetic brakes.

The process of adjustment in the hybrid brake is not that different from the previous types, except that the starting will be from a bit lower point. If you don’t have confidence in this new concept, we would advise you to simply avoid it and go for the traditional two types.

Drag Set up

And finally, you need to set the drag up in your baitcasting reel. You can locate a dial that comes in a star-shaped look placed between the body and the handle. You can dial it forward to make the drag tighter and backward to make it even looser. Make sure it’s not super tight to not give anything at all, but somewhat tight so that it won’t slip.

Final Words

There you have it! We have explained in the simplest of ways how to set up a baitcaster reel for a beginner. If you’re about to go for your reel set up, we believe this piece will make it extremely easy for you. Make sure you follow each step one at a time to get the most out of it!

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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