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How to Cast

You should learn how to cast with spinning reels if you like to fish with smaller baits or lures. If you prefer to fish with heavier lures, you should learn to cast with baitcaster reels.

The first step in learning how to catch fish is learning how to cast. Each of these techniques takes a bit of practice. Practice, whether in your backyard or the neighborhood park, will make reel casting second nature, if you give it some time.


Spincasting reels are ideal tools for fishing for beginners and among the most popular beginner casting reels due to their relatively low cost and easy maintenance. In fact, when learning how to fish, spincasting is often the easiest reel casting method to master. Unlike open-face spinning reels, spincasting reels come with the line enclosed in a plastic housing designed to minimize tangles. While less powerful and less accurate than open-face spinning reels, spincasters can still be used to cast both light and heavy lures without breaking your fishing line. Basic equipment includes a 7-foot rod, a spinning reel and 6- to 10-pound test line for casting 1/16- to 3/4-ounce lures.

  1. Hold the rod at about waist level, grasping it so that the reel is below the rod, and the stem of the reel feels natural between your fingers. The bait or lure should be hanging 10 to 18 inches below the end of the rod.
  2. Hook the line with your forefinger, and open the bail, continuing to hold the line.
  3. Pull the rod tip back so the tip sweeps over your dominant shoulder, and then bring it forward swiftly pointing the rod tip at your target. As the rod comes forward of your shoulder release the line with your finger so the weight of the lure pulls line off the reel.
  4. Close the bail with your hand, and you’re ready to reel using a retrieve technique.


Baitcasting is a style of reel casting that relies on the weight of the lure to extend the line into the target area. Baitcasting involves a revolving-spool fishing reel or "free spool" mounted on the topside of the rod. Learning how to use baitcasting reels is an acquired skill, however, once you get the hang of the technique you will be casting your lures right on target into the structures where fish are feeding and hanging out with these popular saltwater reels.

  1. Begin by holding the rod about waist level, grasping it so that the reel is above the rod, and your thumb falls naturally on the bottom of the spool. The bait or lure should be hanging 8 to 10 inches below the tip of the rod.
  2. Push the button to put the reel in free spool while holding your thumb against the spool to prevent it from unwinding.
  3. Pull the rod back so the tip sweeps over your dominant shoulder, and then bring it forward swiftly, pointing the rod tip at your target.
  4. As the rod comes forward over your shoulder let your thumb off the spool so the lure can pull line from the reel.
  5. Place your thumb back down on the spool as the lure splashes into the water.
  6. Reel once or twice to engage the anti-reverse and you’re ready to fish.

Now that you know how to cast, learn how to reel in a fish in our next section.