Using a Casting Reel for Beginners
By Jason Brenic | January 16, 2022
Making the jump from using a Spinning Reel to using a Casting Reel can be intimidating. I remember years ago, like it was yesterday. I was absolutely terrified to start using a Casting Reel in fear of failing and getting the dreaded “Backlash” that these reels are known for. Now, I love using my Piscifun Casting Reels for many different techniques to catch big fish. In this Article, I am going to walk you through how you can learn how to use a Casting Reel! Let’s jump right in and get started.
Learning about the parts of the reel
When learning how to use a Casting Reel it’s important to understand the different parts of the reel and what they do.
The tension knob
The Tenison Knob can be found on the same side of the reel as the handle. It is designed to put slight pressure against the side of the spool, allowing you to make minor adjustments in your casting based on the weight of the lure you are using.
Some Casting Reels like the Piscifun Carbon XCS are designed with both Magnetic and Centrifugal Brakes and others like the Alloy M, may only have a Magnetic Brake.
The Magnetic Brake works due to a series of powerful magnets placed on the inside of the side plate, when the spool spins there is a magnetic field that is formed. The closer the spool is to this magnetic field, the more it will slow down the spool at the beginning of the cast. This can be adjusted by using the dial on the Carbon XCS; the higher the number – the more magnetic braking that is being applied.
The Centrifugal Brake is a two-part system, is uses a series of composite brakes that are installed directly on the spool and a brass brake drum that is situated inside of the side plate. When the spool begins spinning, the inertia of the spool will cause the brakes to pop out of the spool and contact the inside of the brass brake drum, slowing the spool down at the end of the cast. This can be adjusted by sliding the tabs on the spool end inward or outward. All the way in means no braking, mid-way is half brakes and out completely is full brakes.
Now that we know what the brakes do, let’s talk about how to cast our casting reel.
The Drop Test
First, we will want to complete what I like to call the drop test. You will reel your lure up to within 1” of the tip of your rod, then you will press the thumb bar on your casting reel to release the line. If the lure falls quickly to the ground the Tension knob needs to be turned clockwise to apply more pressure to the spool. You will adjust your tension knob until you are able to do the Drop Test with the lure making a slow descent from your rod tip to the ground. Once you have achieved this, you are able to move on to setting your brakes.
We will want to set both of our Braking Systems to their middle range. For the Magnetic Brakes set to 10 and for the Centrifugal set them to half-way out. This solid middle range will allow us to adjust as we get started with our casting.
The biggest thing to remember when making a cast is that your thumb must maintain a very gentle contact with the casting reel throughout your cast. This will ensure you don’t get a backlash in your spool. When you make your first cast the brake settings will help you stop this; however, you will notice that your cast didn’t go as far as you would have liked. Once you become very comfortable with your current casting reel settings and you want to gain more distance, you will simply reduce your braking slowly and continue casting. As you master the skill of casting, you will slowly reduce your braking until you may not need your brakes at all.
Keep in practice
As you begin your casting reel journey, remember – it’s okay to backlash and its okay to make mistakes. The more you backlash, the better and faster you will become to getting them out of your reel. If you follow the instructions above, take your time and practice I think you will find that you will be able to go out very soon and catch some beautiful with your newfound casting reel skills!
Good Luck out there and be safe!