Parts of a Baitcasting Reel: Everything You Need to Know

From some time to this part the publications related to fishing have reached a high technical level, and therefore it is often left to all the fishermen who join. It is easier for them to find information on the web on very specific subjects that will not be applicable at their level, than on basic aspects that may be much more useful to them.

Fishing with casting reels or baitcaster is something that people who are starting out may find difficult at first, and this article is dedicated to them because none of us were born learned.

Related Articles:

Best Baitcasting Reel For Bass
Best Baitcasting Reel Under 100
How to Cast a Baitcaster
Baitcast Reel Problems and Solutions

When and why use casting teams?

In general, it is advisable to use casting equipment when we are going to use lures or heavier techniques and therefore require more robust equipment.

The construction of the rotating spools allows them to work heavier lures and/or those that exert great resistance to the collection without their gears suffering.

Another very important aspect is that baitcaster allows us to store and cast thicker lines since they have a greater capacity and not as much casting distance is lost when using larger line diameters, compared to spinning reels.

Finally, the facility to control the line exit with the thumb makes casts more precise and the lure entry into the water more discreet.

Setup – Parts of a Baitcasting Reel

In summary, baitcaster parts are:

  1. Thumb Bar
  2. Spool
  3. Reel Brake
  4. Drag
  5. Pawl
  6. Handle
  7. Spool Tensioner
  8. Baitclicker or Line Alarm
  9. Fishing Line Guide

Baitcaster reel parts explained

Thumb Bar

The thumb rail is a mechanism that could help the reel take a break. This is one of the parts of a baitcasting reel that can be pressed to help the line come out.

It is simply a form of trigger release considered more advanced that can be found mainly in beginner’s fishing rods.

Slightly depressed means a slow release. But when fully depressed, all the tension and friction will allow the fishing line and reel to flow freely.


This is the major difference from the spinning reel, where the reel is fixed. In the casting one, the coil is rotary and it is operated by turning the crank. The force we apply to it is transmitted to the reel through a pinion (usually bronze), and this direct transmission is responsible for the greater force with respect to the fixed reel.

To start the cast, the coil is released from the pinion by pressing the trigger and is “floating”, free to rotate and release the line.

Reel Brake

On the other hand, the centrifugal brake is usually formed by “pins” attached to the coil and which brake it when it is over-revolved.

To activate these pins, they must be moved outwards, without removing them from the rods in which they are housed.

It is very important that the activation is symmetrical; the opposite pins must be opened, one in front of the other if there are two, in a star shape if there are three, two up and two down if there are four…


Basically, the magnetic brake consists of a series of small magnets placed around the coil.

By turning a numbered wheel or control on the side of the reel, the magnetic force can be varied, increasing or reducing the distance between the coil and the magnets.

The closer the magnets are to the reel, the greater the magnetic force exerted and the reel will turn at a slower speed.

Nowadays, magnetic brake systems can vary a lot according to the manufacturer, but they all work under the same concept of magnetic force.


It is the one in charge of unwinding the coil from the pinion to allow the cast. Once released, the coil is held by thumb pressure during the cast until it is released.


Normally double on most casting reels designed for freshwater and many of the marine reels. Manufactured in different materials such as duralumin or carbon, they have more or less long depending on the use they are going to be given.

The longer they are, the more strength they will exert, and the shorter they are, the faster they can be collected. The crank is connected by a shaft to the pinion that turns the coil.

Spool Tensioner

These systems of braking the rotation of the coil, are regulated depending on the wind and the type of cast fundamentally. If it is necessary to cast against the wind, the brake is increased, in calm conditions, it is decreased.


Another common feature that bait reels have over spinning reels is the baitclicker. This is a switch on the left side of the reel that creates a clicking noise that indicates increased line tension.

Its function is like an alarm that notifies the angler that a fish is catching the lure, but sometimes it can also mean that the lure is being hit or caught by an obstacle.

Bass anglers who like to fish with more than just a rod often find this feature useful, since the sound of the alarm means they can focus on another rod with the assurance that they won’t miss a possible catch.

Bait rods, while very similar in form and function to most other fishing reels, offer a remarkable level of control for anglers looking to improve their game and get more serious than the origins of their spinning reels.

Now that you are more familiar with all the parts and features that help you achieve this, it’s time you decided to give the fishing rod a try.

Fishing Line Guide

Mounted on an endless shaft, it is responsible for receiving the line and distributing it evenly across the width of the coil.

Setting the baitcasting

The casting reel needs to be properly regulated before a release.

  • The first step is to properly fill the thread spool. Whatever type of line we use, the spool should be full so that we get as many meters on the cast as possible. On many reels we will see a bevel or angle on the edge of the spool, that is the point to which we must fill. If we put less in, we will cast too little, if we go too far, we will get the turns out too easily.
  • The next step is to regulate the mechanical or pressure brake according to the weight of the lure we are going to use. The lighter it is, the looser we must leave it; the heavier it is, the tighter it is. A trick that can be applied is, with the lure hanging from the tip and the rod forming an angle of 45º approximately, to release the reel. If it is well regulated, the lure should go down smoothly and when it reaches the ground, the reel will stop by itself. This is a rather conservative setting, as you practice it you will loosen the brake more and more.
  • Finally, we will regulate the centrifugal brake. This is probably the most important step since a wig formed by a bad regulation of this brake can spoil us many meters of thread. We will mainly regulate it according to the wind; we will brake the reel more the more wind there is.

How to regulate the centrifugal or magnetic brake

In quiet conditions

  • Magnets or numbered wheel centrifugal systems are graduated to half
  • In pin systems, take out three pins.

With a moderate or strong wind

  • Magnetic or regular numbered wheel centrifugal systems up to three quarters according to the numerical guides
  • On pin systems, taking out four pins is a good place to start.

Once we get used to launching, reduce by 15% or 20% the measures mentioned in the numbered systems. For the pin systems, 2 pins without wind and 3 when found is what most fishermen use.

Advanced casters can leave the reel free or barely braked and control the line output with their thumb, but we leave that to very experienced anglers.


The cast with baitcaster is done slightly differently than with a spinning reel. First of all, you should avoid casting abruptly. A smooth, wide and progressive rod movement will allow the reel to spin more smoothly and not to revolve too much.

The other critical moment in the cast is the time to release the reel. Just as in spinning the line is released when the rod is practically pointed at the target where we want to direct the sample, in casting the line is released much earlier.

A good reference is when the rod forms an angle of about 45º with the water surface, or as a friend said when teaching a new fisherman, cast to the moon.

What should you look for in a baitcaster?

A fantastic way to estimate the caliber of a baitcaster is by taking a look at the operation of its components. The particular characteristics you are going to want to search for in a baitcaster are based on what program you are going to use it for.

Additionally, you will want to select a reel made from graphite, because it is considerably lighter than aluminum.

If you are especially interested in lightweight software, you might also need to check out our review about the finest lightweight spinning reels.

Listed below are the main features to Search for in the Sections of a baitcaster:

High-profile vs spool: picking a baitcaster version

They’ve a little spool which nestles right in addition to the grip of the pole, and are inclined to be considerably lighter compared to other versions. This makes them ideal for extended hours of projecting, and that’s the reason they’re so popular for bass fishing.

Round bolt baitcasters: possess a sizable round bolt that protrudes more from the pole in contrast to low slots. They also have a tendency to be heavier. The round spool includes a larger line capability, which is excellent for programs with long-distance casting (for instance, surf fishing, by way of instance ). In addition, it works well with a more powerful pound test line, which can be helpful for catching larger fish (for example, catfish, by way of instance ).

Reel material

Baitcasters are ordinarily made of two chief kinds of materials: aluminum or graphite. Some reels utilize these two in various proportions. You have to be mindful that aluminum is stronger than graphite, but also thicker.

Many anglers have reported that a baitcasting reel foot made from graphite may break under intense strain, but I’ve never experienced this. Additionally, because graphite is a whole lot lighter, it is my favorite alternative for situations where I will be projecting a whole lot all day .

If you are intending to use your baitcaster for saltwater fishing, then you should search for a solid aluminum reel that’s been treated to make it resistant to saltwater corrosion.

Gear ratio

The gear ratio of a reel clarifies how many occasions its spool rotates when you flip the handle after. It’s normally known using a number like 6.1:1, or 8.0:1. The amount on the left side of this colon tells you exactly how often the spool goes for each and every turn of the deal. By way of instance, a 7.1:1 equipment ratio means the spool rotates 7.1 occasions when you flip the handle after.

1 benefit of baitcasters is they often possess higher gear ratios compared to spinning reels, which means that you may recover the line more rapidly. Any gear ratio over 7 is thought to be about the quick.

Quick reels can be advantageous to pull solid fish away from pay until they could get snagged. If you are not positive whether you are going to want a super fast reel, then go to get a gear ratio round 7.0:1, because this is at the center of the stove.

Slow reels have more torque, which is useful once you’re fighting large, powerful fish. As a result of this, large game reels (that are essentially super sized baitcasters), have two gears: a top gear for regaining the bait, and a very low equipment for combating the fish.

Brake system

Some baitcasters (mostly older versions ) just have one sort of steering, but some have both centrifugal and magnetic brakes.

We recommend that you start looking for a baitcaster with a centrifugal along with a magnetic brake that may be corrected surgically , by means of a dial on the face of the reel framework. This will provide you with the most level of braking impact, and the best extent for adjusting the braking system, which is really going to help avoid backlash throughout your own casting.

Drag force

The drag power of a chainsaw describes how much weight that the haul can hold while still working smoothly.

For many functions, a drag force of 7-12 lbs is a lot. Some reels have additional strong drags around 25 pounds drag power, which can be helpful for battling very major fish.


After everything we’ve explained, it might seem that using a casting reel is a very complicated thing. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Despite the many steps to follow and the fact that at the beginning the learning process can take some time, especially if you don’t have someone to help you on-site, soon everything becomes a mechanical process that you will carry out without hardly noticing it and in a mechanical way.

The advantages of this equipment for a multitude of techniques and the comfort of use far outweigh the disadvantages, and it is a real pleasure to use.