Learning how to cast is one of the first steps to becoming a good fisherman. It’s is important to learn how to cast correctly from the beginning. Bad habits can set in and over time cause you some issues with your casting. The better you are at casting, in terms of distance and accuracy, the more fish you are likely to catch. There are quite a lot of factors that can affect your casting outside of technique but let’s start with the basic steps of how to cast a spinning reel and we’ll talk about other factors later.
So how does a fishing rod actually work? Let’s get into the physics behind it so that you can understand the bigger picture around casting and know what it is you are trying to achieve. Your rod is most probably made of graphite or carbon fiber and it’s bendy. The rod is designed to bend and hold power in it from your cast. When you see the rod bending is when energy and power have been transferred into it.
The idea of casting is to transfer your energy into the rod by moving it. Then channeling that power through the rod in your cast to the lure, so that it flies far and in the direction you want it to go. The power going into the rod is called, in fishing lingo, “loading the rod”.
When you cast, you move your rod from horizontal to vertical and pause. This first step makes the rod bend and loads power into it. After you pause, you then push the rod back from vertical to around 45 degrees, transferring the power of the rod into the lure and in a given direction. Simple right? Well, not really. There is a lot of timing involved to get this right.
Here is a step by step guide on how to cast a spinning reel.
Firstly, assemble your rod, making sure the eyes all lineup straight. Then attach your reel and secure it tightly in the reel seat. If you haven’t already spooled your reel, here is how to do it. Now thread the line through the eyes of the rod and tie on a hookless plug for casting practice, we don’t need any hooks yet. Set the drag on your reel so it’s at about half.
Take your rod holding it with the reel facing the floor. Take your dominant hand and grip the rod where the reel sits. The foot of the reel usually goes between your ring finger and your middle finger. This is not a rule if it feels more comfortable using other fingers, then go with that.
You always want to start your cast with about 1-2 feet of line coming out of the top of the rod. If it’s too shot you won’t have enough momentum, too long it’ll be hard to manage and cast.
Pull line off the reel or wind some in until you have about 1-2feet of line out of the tip-top of the rod. Now slowly turn the reel handle until the line roller on the bail arm is directly under the rod.
Pinch the line against the rod with the inside of your index finger on your strong hand. You’re doing this so you can open the bail arm without the line going loose.
Open the bail arm with your other hand.
Point the rod where you want your lure to go.
Start with your strong hand holding the rod around the reel and your weak hand holding the butt of the rod. In one smooth motion, pull back with your strong hand and push forward with your weak hand. This will move your rod from horizontal to vertical. Once you arrive at vertical, pause and allow the rod to flex (or bend), this is when the rod loads. Once loaded, and you will feel the rod load, start to push the rod forward. Push forward with your strong hand and pull back with your weak hand. Once the rod arrives at around a 45-degree angle and is pointing at your target, release the line you’ve been holding in your index fingers. This is where timing is really important. If you find that your lure has landed by your feet, you have let go too late. If there lure went high in the air with no distance, you let go too early.
When casting, you are using your elbow and wrists not your shoulder.
Close the bail arm with your weak hand and wind in your lure.
Repeat all the steps above again and again. The more you practice the more natural it will become and the better your timing will be. In no time you’ll be casting a great distance and with accuracy. Here is a little video demonstrating it.
There you have it, how to cast with a spinning reel. Once you’ve got your head around the steps and how it should feel, it’ll become easy. If you want to learn how to cast even further, check out this article.