Beginners’ Guide to Casting and Retrieving a Spinning Reel

June 22, 2023
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Once you have set up your rod and selected where to fish, you are ready to start casting. Casting correctly allows you to explore different areas of the water where fish might be lurking. With a little practice you’ll soon be able to control your casting and place your bait or lure right where you want.

How to Cast a Spinning Reel:

Step 1: Hold the rod handle with your casting hand, with the guides and reel pointing towards the ground. Wind in your line until you have about 15 centimetres (six inches) between the tip of your rod and your terminal tackle (float or lure). The rod should be pointing upwards slightly from the ground. Look behind you to ensure that no one is in your way.

Step 2: Hold the line against the rod handle with the tip of the index finger of your casting hand, and then use your other hand to flip the bail over until it ‘locks’ in the open position. The reel is now ready for casting.

Step 3: Smoothly bend your arm at the elbow, and raise your hand holding the rod. When the rod is brought past your head, it will be bent backwards by the motion and weight of your tackle. At this point (about the “two o’clock” position), without hesitating, move your forearm forward with a slight wrist movement similar to throwing a ball overhand, and gently sweep the rod forward in one smooth motion.

Step 4: As the rod moves forward to about the “10 o’clock” position, release the line from under your index finger, allowing the line to go free. When your terminal tackle hits the water, wind the reel handle about one turn; the spring-loaded bail will unlock and flip over on its own, allowing you to continue rewinding your line onto the reel spool. Reel your line taut between your rod tip and the tackle.

Quick tip: Practice your casting in an area that is open and clear of both people and objects in front of and behind you. Also, be safe when practicing by using only a weight, or removing the hook from your lure before casting. Be sure to use enough weight when practicing.