Fisherman casting a spinning rod.

How To Cast A Spinning Rod Easily

You have decided to put down your old button-operated spincaster for a while. You finally decide to take out that shiny and new spinning setup that your older brother got you for Christmas last year.

After being removed from the back of the closet, it is likely that you have questions about where in the world the line release button is supposed to be.

Figuring out how to cast a spinning rod seems to be a lot harder than you originally thought. Spoiler alert. It doesn’t have one. Even so, you are still determined to make it work, somehow. With the correct knowledge to put into practice, casting as well as using a spinning rod becomes so easy that anybody could do it. There are a few simple steps that you need to follow to make sure you cast correctly. It isn’t merely pushing a button either.

There are generally many wrong ways to do things as well as a single or a few right ways. This happens to be one of those topics. Doing things improperly can cause tangles in your line and even damage your reel or rod, so be careful. We will go over the steps that you need to take to make casting incredibly easy and efficient.

 Tie On A Practice Plug Before Training Begins

The same is true for many subjects. Practice makes perfect. This goes without saying that the more you practice a certain activity, the better you get at it. As your mind adapts to the subject matter at hand, you start to get used to it. You start to think less and less about how to do it. Your mind stops focusing on how something is done and starts shifting the focus on how to improve the subject matter.

The exact same can be said about fishing as a whole. This is why it is imperative that you practice first before you actually get out on the water. To do that, a great idea is to use a practice plug. A practice plug is nothing more than a piece of plastic or rubber that closely mimics the weight and profile of many fishing lures. Practice plugs do not have any hooks on them whatsoever.

This is crucial when you were just starting out because the last thing you want is to have to pull barbed hooks out of someone you love or care about, including yourself. Take it from somebody who has been there. The lack of hooks prevents you from having to open your emergency fishing kit to treat any wounds. Some are shaped like triangles, some like small fish, and even wacky designs exist.

They will all work well. You need to purchase a practice plug and tie it onto your fishing line. After that, go to an area where you will have more than enough room to chunk the plug. Pretty much any place will work as long as it is free of trees, vertical structures, and has plenty of open space. You can actually take it to the water to practice or you can practice in your own backyard.

How To Cast A Spinning Rod To Catch More Fish

The very first thing you want to do is get comfortable with your rod and how it should be held in your hand. Consider which one of your hands, right or left, is your dominant hand. Typically the one you use to write with is the dominant one. This hand is the one you will hold the rod in. When you hook a fish, all the power is in the correct hand. Ensure the spinning reel is sitting below your hand as you hold it.

Since the size of reels, as well as hands, can vary greatly, you will have to hold it in the way that feels the most comfortable. The reel foot should rest between two of your fingers. Regardless if it’s between the pinky and ring finger, the ring finger and middle finger, or the middle and pointer finger, they will all work. As long as it’s comfortable for you as a person, you will be fine.

You can also change which hand you reel with by unscrewing the knob on the side, removing the handle, inserting it on the opposite side, and reattaching the knob on the same side. That makes the spinning reel ambidextrous. You should worry more about how comfortable it is because you will be messing around with it too much on your fishing trip if you feel uncomfortable.

Position The Line On The Reel In The Proper Manner

You’re going to have a tough time getting anything done unless you properly position the fishing line on the fishing reel first. Way too often, many new anglers come into the sport and completely forget to properly position the fishing line. What exactly does this mean? Simply put, it means that the fishing line on the reel should be positioned close to the rod blank.

If that doesn’t make sense, try considering the mechanics of the spinning reel itself. When a person turns the handle, the line is winded onto the center spool. During that process, it is designed to stop at the end of every handle rotation if it is not in free spool. In other words, every time it turns around, the fishing line should stop right near the rod. This part is imperative if you want to cast right.

This is because you will be using your finger to grab hold of the line in just a minute. You need to be able to put your finger on that line without stretching it at all. Also, make sure it is not in free spool. If it is, flip the knob or switch and verify that it isn’t before continuing. Trying to continue with a mechanism that doesn’t lock will make the line jump off and you’ll never get all the tangles out.

You should also remember to make sure that your rig or fishing lure sits around five to seven inches below the tip of the rod. If it is not and the lure is touching it, pull out some line until you can make it five to seven inches below it. If you don’t want to pull the line out manually, just put the reel in free spool by lifting bail, taking the line out, closing it, and reeling back in until you get it right.

Grab The Fishing Line With Your Finger

The next part may seem basic and straightforward and it is. After you have verified that your rod is not in free spool and that the line is right near the rod at the end of a rotation, it is now time to grab the line with your finger. You don’t want to squeeze it against the rod handle because you could put kinks in it. Instead, just hold it under enough tension to where it is tight.

Which finger you use doesn’t matter too much but I have found that the index finger is generally the most useful for this. You can hold it down with one finger, two-fingers, or all four of your fingers. It really is your preference. The only issue though is your control at that point. Using all of your fingers to hold it down may make you drop the rod. It results in less control.

Try experimenting to see what works best for you. Once you find the happy spot, leave it alone and stick with it. Again, don’t create any death grips here. You just want to hold it under tension. Just under enough tension where you can open the bail and it not fly off the spool on you.

Open The Bail Arm Wire With Other Hand

The last step was an important preparation for this step. You are now in the safest position to open the wire bail arm. Make sure it is with your opposite hand too. You are trying to replace the bail with your finger. If you do it right, the line won’t come off in the process. By opening the bail, you are releasing what keeps everything tight on the spool. You should open the bail with your non-dominant hand.

Do not try to be a wizard and open it with your dominant one either. You will likely get a really bad backlash or tangle if you do. To clear up any preconceived misconceptions, the reel handle has absolutely nothing to do with opening or closing the bail. It is very possible to start turning the handle while the bail is open to close it but it is certainly not recommended.

We will explain that in further detail and touch on it a little bit later about why you shouldn’t do this. To make a very long story short, it causes twists and loops to form into your line without you being aware of it. It leaves a little slack in the line when the handle is turned. You could be casting well one minute and everything just turns into a mess of tangles without your attention the next.

Identify Where You Want To Cast

You will generally have a lot more accuracy on your casts if you point the tip of your fishing rod at the place you want the bait to go. This is much easier with shorter fishing rods. Longer ones can be a little more problematic. If you are actually curious about how this helps with the accuracy, consider that you are throwing a football or baseball.

If you point either in the direction they need to go before you throw it, it is so much easier to get more precise accuracy. Do the same process with your fishing rod. Fishing rods are no different. I first started practicing in my backyard with a casting plug and I put a paper plate on the ground. My sole aim was to put the casting plug on the paper plate.

Not only did it help me with my accuracy but it also helped me with the force I needed to use. Repeating scenarios like this gave me the confidence I needed to be able to throw lures into tight spaces on the water. Point the tip of the blank at exactly the place you want to put the fishing line. Point your rod tip at it if you can.

Going In For The Cast – Practice Makes It Perfect

Next is the part that can become a little difficult unless you try, try, and try again. There is a ton of surrounding controversy centered around how you should bring the rod up before going in for the cast. Some will suggest that an overhead cast will just cause the new angler to get caught up in the trees the whole day. Others will suggest that a sideways cast is the right way.

Someone could always avoid the trees if they took care not to practice near trees to start with. Still, there is a wrong way to do it as well as many right ways. That comes with the caveat that there is no best way to do it. It is only what works best for you and your specific situation. The most simple to understand as well as the easiest to master for a beginner is the basic, overhead, cast.

I really want you to consider giving this one all the attention first. It will be hard to understand any others unless you master this one first. To begin a basic overhead cast, bring the fishing rod and lay it over your dominate shoulder until it lays parallel to the ground. It should rest at around 9 o’clock to 11′ o clock when looked at on a clock.

Man casting a spinning rod

From the 9 or 10 o’clock position, bring the rod forward to the position at 2 or 3 o’clock, passing every number before it. Do it swiftly too. It does not need to be as fast as throwing a ball but it cannot be much slower. When you get towards 3 or 4 o’clock, remove your finger from the line. You will know you have done it right when the lure flies far outward into the distance.

The lure going straight up into the air happens because you are releasing too late. Remove your finger slightly earlier. If you don’t get anything special and the rod bends under the force, you released too early. Wait a little longer next time.

It is very possible to make long casts with very little movement once you know how it all works together and get the timing right. You can branch out into using bigger or smaller rods too. Try not to over complicate bringing the rod forward as you go in for the cast. It is actually pretty easy to do.

Close The Bail Right Before The Bait Hits The Water

You have three options once that lure is going where you want it to go. Two of them are right and one is so wrong that it causes problems that frustrate people. I think it is better to review the wrong way first just so you don’t do this when you don’t have to. Well, you need to close the bail so you can reel it in again. How you should close that bail is very important though.

When you start to reel, it engages the bail for you. Do not ever do this. It creates a very microscopic amount of twisting in the line. While this is not directly damaging in itself, it will eventually twist so much that the line just starts twisting up and bouncing off. You will lose a ton of money because you keep sawing off precious threads after you spool your spinning reel.

The next two ways are pretty similar but both work. The first way is to close the bail manually with your opposite hand. Try doing this around two seconds before the bait hits the water. This keeps everything tight and neatly spooled. The second way is to wait two seconds before the bait hits the water and grab it with your finger. This way works well too but is slightly less convenient. Your fingers may be too small to reach the line. In that case, go with the first way. It fits every person.

Putting It All Together – A Brief Summary

For a brief recap, learning how to cast a spinning rod is not that hard. It just takes some devoted learning. Some can learn it in a weekend. Others may take longer to achieve the same results. All you have to do is orient the line correctly, hold it with your finger, raise the rod behind you, propel it forward, let go, and manually close the bail. Although it is not as simple as a spincaster with a push button, we suggest that the results are better. All in all, you need to practice, practice and practice some more. Nothing can replace actually getting out on the water and using them yourself.

Don’t forget to let us know in a comment below how YOU like to up your casting. How do you do it? Why?

 

 

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