As technology in the fishing industry evolved over time, many new products took the market by storm. One of the biggest of which is the baitcaster reel. A baitcasting reel elevates both freshwater and saltwater fishing efforts in a way that the founding fathers of fishing could have never imagined. Today, we will be breaking down what a baitcaster reel is, how to fish with one, the best lines, and the best baitcasting reels!
What is a Baitcaster Reel?
Before we can break down any specifics, it is important to understand what a baitcaster actually is. A baitcaster is a casting reel that allows you to control part of the spool’s movement, allowing for further and more accurate casts.
Although there are saltwater reels that look like small drums that are considered to many to be baitcasters, today we will be diving into the freshwater version. However, take this with a grain of salt as just about any baitcaster can be used in both situations.
On either the left or the right side, there is the handle, and the spool and release button are in the middle. There are a couple of other components, but they will be mentioned later on.
How to Fish with a Baitcasting Reel
The hardest part for beginners to understand is how to actually fish with a baitcaster. If you fall into that category, tune in, because we are going to break it down.
There are three basic phases of casting with this type of reel.
1. The launch
This is when you push down on the release button and sit your thumb on the spool. Then, you crank back and let the lure fly from the tip of the rod out toward the water. In that process, you let go of the spool and let it fly.
The next step is fairly hands-off on your part. The internal braking system of the reel is at work to ensure a smooth cast. If the spool spins quicker than the braking system can handle, then you get a bird’s nest. This is when the spool of line tangles up and creates a huge inconvenience for you.
The braking system is also preparing the reel to receive the landing in the water. This leads to the final step.
3. The landing
The key to a perfect landing is how you thumb the spool. The braking system is working to give you the best possible results, but you have to know when to hit the spool and stop it from moving. Unless you have your reel perfectly calibrated, allowing the lure to enter the water without thumbing the spool will result in a bird’s nest.
3 Best Baitcasting Reels
Shimano is an industry-leading brand and makes super high-quality reels. The Curado is a little expensive but is one of the company’s best reels.
Like Shimano, Quantum is a household brand, especially in the bass fishing world. The Smoke is a model that delivers excellence on a consistent basis. A good perk is that the Smoke is an entire line, so you can pair it with the accompanying rod for maximized performance.
Diawa is another international brand that sells really well in Asia. The Japanese engineering and materials are used to craft the Coastal TW into an incredible baitcaster for you. Although it is a little pricey, it is a reel that will last a very long time as long as you take care of it.
Best lines for baitcasting reels
Along the same timeline where the fishing reels evolved, so did the technology of fishing line. It used to be as simple as string. Now, there is so much science that goes into the product. So, if you do not have a great grasp of the fishing line market, it can be very overwhelming to understand. Here is a breakdown of the best lines baitcasters!
Braid has become a favorite for a lot of new-age anglers, whereas the traditional ones tend to be a little apprehensive. Braid is woven materials such as cotton, linen, and a lineup of strong, man-made fibers.
Braid works better on baitcasting reels than any other reel out there. It comes out of the smooth really smooth and has nearly no give to it. This means, the more you use it, there is almost no stretch or line movement.
Monofilament is probably the most common and popular line for baitcasters across all demographics. This is because the classic line in the modern fishing world is mono. When thinking about fishing line in general, this is the type that comes to mind.
This is also the cheapest of the three kinds of line. This is probably partly why mono is so popular. It is accessible for a lot of people and is available from a number of the leading brands. Brands that are in the braid space will also be invested in mono.
Similar to braid, fluorocarbon is a fan-favorite when it comes to the line on a baitcaster. Fluorocarbon is crazy smooth when it comes out of the reel and has a thinner diameter than mono. This allows you to pack more into the reel and get more reach with your cast without giving strength.
It also has less stretch than mono, so it is set to last longer. You can set more hooks without the integrity of the line being diminished too much. Fluoro is a bit expensive and can be compared more so to braid rather than mono in that aspect. There are Japanese fluoro lines that can fetch top dollar but are incredibly durable and good for baitcasters.
Best fluorocarbon line for Baitcasters
Now that you have an idea of what fishing line is best for baitcasting reels, we will lay out some of the best fluorocarbon options that are on the market today. This will give you a sense of the price points, brands that carry the products, and how you can go about buying some spools for yourself. Here are some of the best fluorocarbon line options for your baitcaster.
Seaguar is a fantastic brand that sits between the high-end and mid-range parts of the price spectrum. Red Label is the best all-around fluorocarbon under the Seaguar umbrella. It is highly-rated and comes in weights between 4-20 pounds.
P-Line is similar to Seaguar in the sense that it is highly-rated in the fluorocarbon space, but it is a little more affordable. The weight range is 2-30 pounds and comes in varying lengths of spool size. This is a great option for mid-range budgets who want a line that will last a long time.
Fluorocarbon line is known to be pricey, but there are still some great budget options out there. One of which is the Berkley Vanish. These can be found at a majority of retailers and are fairly affordable, compared to others on the market. The weight range is very broad as it sits from 2-50 pounds. However, you will probably find the popular 5-20 pound range in most stores.
Spiderwire is an affordable brand that isn’t the best but can get the job done in a pinch. Plus, it can be found just about anywhere for not much money. The weight ranges from two pounds to 50 pounds, but like the option above, the middleweights will be found in most cases. This line also comes in a couple of different lengths, so you can plan on getting more than one spool threaded up with one purchase.
How to Put Fishing Line on a Baitcasting Reel
Once you know what baticasters can handle and what goes into the line that you use, it comes time to outfitting the reel with the line. Although it can seem mundane, it is important to know how to put a fishing line on a baitcasting reel. If you do it incorrectly, you can be in for a world of hurt down the line. Thankfully, the process is fairly simple and does not require a ton of work.
There are spooling tools, but these are not necessary all the time. Simply keep the line through the rod’s eyelets, through the baitcaster’s front guide, and tie the end of the line to the spool. Then, keep the pressure on the line and reel in. Make sure to guide the line onto the spool so there are no snags or kinks. That is really all there is to it. Be sure to overfill or underfill the spool so you can optimize the casting capabilities.