There are many advantages of using a baitcasting reel.
One thing about casting reels that discourages many from using one is the dreaded backlash also known as a bird’s nest.
In this post, we will give you some tips on how to cast a baitcaster without backlash.
First, what is backlash?
When you push the thumb tab on a baitcaster it puts the spool into free spin mode. This free spin mode allows you to cast your lure. When your lure hits the water, the lure slows down, but the spool does not.
When this happens the line has nowhere to go, thus you will have a big mess of tangled fishing line. This is known as backlash.
Another common name for it is a ‘bird’s nest’ because the end results look much like a bird’s nest. This is not exactly what you want your fishing reel to look like nor is this a good way to start your fishing trip.
With that in mind let’s discuss some tips that will prevent this from happening or at least make it easier to deal with.
How to cast a baitcaster without backlash?
Choose a heavy lure: Baitcasting reels work really well with heavy lures. When beginning to using a baitcaster choose a heavy lure such as a large swimbait or big crankbait. If you start with a light bait, you will find yourself backlashing like crazy.
This is because the light lure may not be able to take the line out fast enough to keep up with the reel. Avoid this problem by starting out with something heavy.
Choose the right fishing line: While practicing for the first time you will mostly like experience a backlash. Choosing the right line can make it easier to untangle a bird’s nest. For example, getting a backlash with braided line can be very difficult to get out.
Fluorocarbon, on the other hand, tends to backlash more than monofilament. Thus, I would recommend using monofilament at least why practicing. It won’t prevent you from getting a backlash, but will make it easier to untangle your line.
Don’t cast into the wind: When casting a lure into the wind your bait will slow down, but your reel will not and the results will be a backlash.
When first starting out it is always better to throw with the wind rather than against it. As you gain more experience and are more comfortable using the reel you can begin to cast into the wind.
Choose your fishing pole wisely: Choosing a shorter fishing rod rather than a longer one at first will give you more control. Also, if possible, you want to choose a rod with a medium action. The flex of the medium action will help get to cast your lure without a backlash.
Adjust the braking system: Most if not all baitcasting reels nowadays have an adjustable braking system. This system can be adjusted by a knob located on the outside of the reel. When used properly, it can help to prevent you from getting a backlash.
When first starting out set your braking system to the highest setting. As you gain more experience you can slowly lower the brakes to allow for longer casts.
Spool Tension: Closely related to the braking system is the spool tension. Having the spool tension set too high or too low will result in a backlash. Before casting make sure your spool tension is set just right. The correct tension will allow your lure to fall down at medium to slow speed. You don’t want your lure to fall down too fast or too slow.
Practice, Practice, Practice: Don’t wait until you are on the water to begin to experiment with a casting reel. This will only lead to frustrations. Rather, if possible try practicing in your backyard. Practicing in your backyard can at least give you some control of your surroundings.
Try an entry-level reel: There are many beginner baitcasting reels on the market. They are both inexpensive and some actually have systems in place that will prevent your reel from backlashing. Buying a beginner reel will give you a good feel for what it is like to cast a baitcaster without breaking the bank.
Watch the following video to see how to adjust your baitcaster as well as how to cast it.
Unfortunately, even following these tips we may experience a backlash or two. Watch the following video to see how to deal with a backlash when it does happen.
For further reading check out the following links:
Now it’s your turn. How do you cast a baitcaster without backlash? Share your thoughts in the comments below.