How to Cast A Spinning Reel

Table Of Content

    Welcome to the fascinating world of fishing! Understanding how to use spinning reels is essential, whether you're a beginner angler or a seasoned fisherman looking to improve your skills. This guide will walk you through the technical details of spinning reels, a popular choice among anglers due to their wide range and ease of operation. But why focus on spinning reels? Their design makes them suitable for a wide range of fishing conditions, allowing both beginning anglers and expert anglers to cast successfully and handle a variety of fish species with ease.

    In this guide, we will walk you through the steps needed to select and set up the right spinning reel, as well as provide techniques for casting with confidence. With these basic skills under your control, you'll be well on your way to landing your next big catch.

    How To Choose The Right Fishing Gear For The First Time?

    When you're just getting started, the extensive range of fishing gear available can be overwhelming. The right equipment can mean the difference between a successful and frustrating day on the water. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right fishing gear for your first trip:

    Before you make your first cast, it's crucial to have the right gear. A well-balanced setup is key to efficient, tangle-free casting, maximizing both distance and accuracy. It's important to match the spinning reel size to your rod. Avoid pairing a heavy reel with an ultralight rod, or a small reel with a rod designed for larger fish like tarpon. Not sure what to choose? Manufacturers often offer matched sets, but always check line specs and recommended applications. Remember, the rod and reel don't need to be from the same series or manufacturer, but they should be compatible in terms of line and lure range.

    Understand your Target
    Different fish species and environments require different approaches. Are you leaning towards freshwater or saltwater fishing? Do you dream of bass in a pond or salmon in a rushing river? Tailoring your gear to suit your specific interests will ultimately make for a more enjoyable experience.
    Start with the Basics
    Invest in quality basics that can be used in a variety of situations. A versatile rod, reel, and line combination is a good place to start. Remember that fishing gear, like most things, ranges vastly in quality and price. You don't have to break the bank, but skimping on quality can lead to frustration down the line.

    How to Choose The Best Fishing Rod?

    Choosing the right fishing rod is an important decision that directly affects your casting performance. It's your primary tool on the water, and it must be selected with care. The length of your rod plays a crucial role in determining the success of your angling endeavors. Longer rods, with their extended reach, prove advantageous in open water scenarios. Not only do they facilitate longer casts, but they also offer improved hook-setting capabilities, enhancing your chances of landing that elusive catch.

    Conversely, shorter rods come into their own in situations where space is limited, such as fishing under docks or amid vegetation. These rods are particularly beginner-friendly, allowing anglers to navigate confined spaces with ease. When contemplating the perfect rod length, consider factors like the type of water you'll be fishing in and the specific environments you're likely to encounter. Striking the right balance ensures that your rod becomes an extension of your angling prowess, adapting seamlessly to the challenges presented by different fishing conditions.

    Action & Power of Fishing Rod: The 'action' of a rod refers to how much it bends when pressure is applied. 'Power' signifies the amount of force needed to bend the rod. Fast action rods bend mostly at the tip and are more sensitive, whereas slow action rods bend throughout the length of the rod. The power of a rod is usually indicated as heavy, medium, or light and should be matched with the weight of the fish you're targeting.

    How To Choose The Best Fishing Line?

    The market offers a variety of options, including braided, fluorocarbon, and monofilament lines, each with its unique set of advantages. The key lies in aligning your choice with the recommended specifications of your rod and reel.

    Braided lines, known for their strength and low stretch, are excellent for situations where sensitivity and power are paramount. Fluorocarbon lines, with their nearly invisible underwater presence, prove advantageous when targeting finicky fish in clear waters. Monofilament lines, on the other hand, offer versatility and forgiveness, making them an ideal choice for beginners.

    Determining the right line weight is a delicate balancing act. Opting for a line that is too light may result in breakage, while a line that is too heavy sacrifices casting distance. If you choose to incorporate a braided mainline with a fluorocarbon or monofilament leader, pay meticulous attention to the knot connecting them. A compact and reliable knot ensures smooth passage through the reel's bail, contributing to a seamless casting experience.

    Properly spooling your line is a critical step often overlooked. Ensuring the line is correctly wound onto the reel not only prevents twists and tangles but also optimizes casting performance. Take the time to understand the characteristics of each type of line and select the one that aligns perfectly with your fishing style and the species you're targeting. A well-chosen line complements your rod and reel setup, setting the stage for a successful angling adventure.

    If you need more information on How to Choose the Best Fishing Line InThe First Time, visit our Fishing Tips for Any Angler blog here.

    How to Set Up Spinning Reel

    Setting up your spinning reel properly is the foundation of casting and fishing success. Here's how to do it right:

    Attach the Reel to the Rod: Most fishing rods have a reel seat with two clamps. Place the foot of the spinning reel into the seat and tighten the clamps to secure it in place. Ensure it's fastened properly to avoid any wobbling during use.

    Spool the Line: The first step to spooling your line is to feed it through the guides on your fishing rod. Then, tie your line to the spool of the reel with an arbor knot or use the method recommended by the manufacturer.

    Straighten the Line: After tying the line to the spool, hold the line taut and close the bail (the metal wire alongside the spool). Wind the handle slowly to spool the line, ensuring it goes on straight. You can keep the line taut by pinching it between your fingers as you crank the handle.

    Add Tension: Fill the spool almost to the edge, leaving about 1/8 inch or the width of a coin gap. You can add tension by putting a pencil through the line and having a friend apply pressure on the line while you spool it.

    Cut the Line: Once the spool is filled, cut the line about 6-8 inches from the tip of the rod. This length is ideal for most purposes and allows for the addition of a leader if needed.

    How to Cast a Spinning Reel

    Now that your reel is finely tuned, let's explore the art of casting with spinning reel. Begin with the bail closed, ensuring that the line is smoothly threaded through the guides on your rod. Securely tie your lure or bait, adhering to the weight recommendations of your rod and reel. For beginners, the overhand casting technique provides a solid foundation for effective and accurate casts.

    Grip the rod handle with confidence, positioning at least your index finger before the reel foot and the remaining fingers behind it for stability and control. As you hold the line against the rod with your index finger, open the bail. Developing a balanced grip is crucial, as it sets the stage for a smooth and controlled cast.

    Draw the rod back over your shoulder while maintaining your hold on the line. Before executing the cast, double-check for any potential obstructions in your casting path. Focus on your target, and with a controlled forward snap, release the line at the 12 o'clock position, directing your lure precisely toward the desired location. Timing is paramount here – a well-timed release ensures both accuracy and distance in your cast.

    Why do some people pull extra line out after finishing a spinning reel cast?

    The moment after your cast is a critical phase where anglers can exert control over the trajectory of their lure. For beginners, experimenting with spool control techniques can significantly influence the lure's path. Simply cupping the spool or swiftly closing the bail can alter the course or halt the lure, providing strategic advantages in different fishing scenarios.

    Adjusting the line immediately after the cast is a nuanced skill that enhances your overall fishing finesse. If your objective is to allow the lure to sink to a specific depth, carefully feed the line through your fingers, maintaining control over the descent. Conversely, if you're employing floating lures, promptly closing the bail by hand is crucial to prevent line twists and loose loops, which can hinder future casts.

    Top 12 Best Spinning Reels For Any Angler

    *Click the product name to purchase on Amazon

    #12 13 FISHING - Axum - Spinning Reels - 6.2:1 Gear Ratio (Saltwater +

    #11 Shimano Vanford F Spinning Reel

    #10 PENN Spinfisher VI Spinning Fishing Reel

    #9 Pflueger President XT Spinning Fishing Reel

    # 8 PENN Pursuit IV Spinning Fishing Reel

    #7 Okuma Ceymar Graphite Lightweight All Purpose 8BB Spinning Reel

    #6 KastKing Sharky III Fishing Reel

    #5 PENN Slammer III Spinning Fishing Reel

    #4 Lew’s Custom Inshore Speed Spinning Reel

    #3 Shimano Stradic FL

    #2 Penn Battle III Spinning Fishing Reel

    #1 Daiwa BG Spinning Reel

    For more information on reviewing and testing all of the Spinning Reels listed above, please visit our "Baitcaster Vs Spinning Reel - Which Fishing Reel Is Right For You?" page. Check out the "Top 10 Spinning Reels From Our Expert Review" blog here.

    Top Recommended Best Fishing Lines For Spinning Reels

    *Click the product name to purchase on Amazon

    Monofilament Fishing Line

    KastKing World's Premium Monofilament Fishing Line

    Berkley Trilene XL Monofilament Fishing Line

    KastKing DuraBlend Monofilament Leader Line

    Berkley Trilene XT Monofilament Fishing Line

    SF Monofilament Fishing Line Premium Spool

    Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

    Berkley Vanish Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

    KastKing Fluorokote 100% Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

    Seaguar Blue Label 100% Fluorocarbon Fishing Line Leader

    Seaguar InvizX Freshwater Line 600 Fluorocarbon

    Rikimaru FC 100% Fluorocarbon Pure Shock Resistant

    Fitzgerald Vursa Fluorocarbon Fishing Line

    Braided Fishing Line

    KastKing SuperPower Braided Fishing Line

    Reaction Tackle Braided Fishing Line

    Spiderwire SpiderWire Stealth Braid Fishing line

    Beyond Braid Braided Fishing Line 

    UMONE Braided Fishing Line

    If you need more information on How to Choose the Best Fishing Line for Spinning Reel InThe First Time, visit our Fishing Tips for Any Angler blog here.


    Casting a spinning reel doesn't have to be complicated, but it does take practice to do it well. With practice and the right equipment, casting a spinning reel can become a second nature, greatly enhancing your fishing experiences. Remember, fishing is not just about catching fish; it's about the experience, the learning, and the challenge. Take your time to practice the techniques and experiment with different setups. Enjoy the process, and the catches will come. Happy fishing, and may your next cast lead to a great catch!