What are the parts of a baitcaster reel, and how to use them?

Baitcaster reels are an excellent choice for anglers heading out to streams and lakes hoping to land their next bass. Anglers can pull prized fish, no matter how small or big, by feeling the line and casting accurately. The technology behind baitcasters is often more advanced than the technology behind spincasters. Therefore, if you are going to use one, you must understand its various baitcaster reel parts.


Baitcaster Reel Parts Explained

Having a thorough understanding of baitcaster reel parts is essential. This can assist you in learning how the reels work. So, let us look at the main components of a baitcasting reel.


Potentially, the reel’s spool is its most important component. It contains and stores the actual fishing line. Baitcasting spools rotate rather than move up and down. This is one of the unique features of baitcasting spools.

Because of this design, they can accommodate more pressure, which makes them more suited for heavy setups or chasing bigger fish.

Professionals often favor baitcasters because of their spool design. Fishing in this style will generally require more durable and robust gear. Because several underwater obstacles will likely come into contact with both line and lure during fishing.

Although baitcasting reels have many advantages, they can be challenging for beginners to spool. Also, it is important that a spool’s surface is clean, smooth, and free from other materials before anything else. The line can then easily be wound onto the spool using your index and middle fingers and your thumb.

It is important to spool the line before setting up the rod and reel. Incorrectly spooled or under-pressured line quickly loops off the reel, tangles, and breaks.


Baitcasting reels have unique brakes. They are efficient for controlling backlash. Backlash is one of the challenges of using baitcasting reels, which tends to discourage beginners.

There are centrifugal and magnetic breaks in baitcasting reels. Each operates differently. Since magnetic models tend to be easier to operate, they tend to cost more than centrifugal models.

The brakes on the reel are on the side. Anglers can adjust quickly and timely at this location since it is easily accessible to their hand. They can adjust spool speed quickly at this location. Moreover, it controls the deceleration rate at the waterside as well.

There are two major components of brakes; the first is the initial brake and the second is the deceleration brake. A centrifugal brake reduces friction by using a system of blocks within a ring. The brake force is therefore proportional to the square of the spool speed.

Magnets and electromagnetic forces are used by magnetic brakes for slowing the spool speed. An adjustment dial usually located on the side of the reel is used to tighten or loosen this system during casting. It may be numbered, depending on the model and the manufacturer.

Star Drag

Baitcasters normally have a knob in the shape of a star located right next to the handle of the reel. Thus, it is known as a star drag. When you’re fighting a strong fish, you can adjust the drag pressure with ease due to this configuration.

A too-loose drag system will mean that the fish can easily pull a line from the reel. You will have trouble steering them away from the cover if you do that.

Another possibility is that a strong fish could break the line if the drag is set too tight. Therefore, it is crucial to know how to adjust the drag pressure using the star drag knob.


It connects a reel to a rod. Depending on the frame of the rod holder, it may be rectangular or square. In addition, the foot of a baitcasting reel needs to be solid and firmly attached. As well, it can withstand the force and torque associated with casting.

With baitcasting reels, the position of the foot is visible. A reel should also line up with a rod’s guide since it is attached to the top and not the bottom like a spinning reel. In this manner, the line will originate from the guide. The cast is smoother and relatively frictionless since it passes through the water.

A baitcaster’s reel foot and reel seat are paired together. This is where the reel lives on the rod. A threaded keeper fixes the detachable reel to the reel arm by hand. In order to make sure that neither part separates, these two parts must match up.

The last thing to remember about the foot is to make sure that the rear socket nut is tightly tightened. It is a good idea to double-check this before casting your first line into the water.

Spool Tension Knob

It allows you to adjust the rotational speed of the spool. The knob is present on the reel handle side.

At the end of the cast, before the lure hits the water, the spool tensioner will slow down the rotation of the spool. As a result, the line is no longer pulled off the spool.

The spool tensioner will fine-tune the rotation speed of the spool, Therefore, adjust the brakes before adjusting the spool. Next, adjust the spool tensioner.

When using lures of different weights with different spool tension settings, different results will be obtained. Due to this, every time you swap lures you’ll have to adjust the spool tension.

Line Guide

It is useful to have a line guide on a baitcasting reel. In the cast and retrieval, the line can freely exit and enter the water. Its primary function is to prevent the line from unspooling irregularly and tangling. Additionally, it reduces friction and breaks.

This is the first part of the rod through which the line runs before it reaches the last eyelet. As such, it is important that the reel’s line guide has an ergonomic design and functions properly.

A baitcasting reel’s line guide is also a moving component. It is located in front of the spool. As the reel is fed line on and off, the line guide shifts forward and backward.

Thumb Bar

When you cast your lure, you release the line using the thumb bar. And, when you push the thumb bar down, the gears will disengage from the spool, allowing the reel to freely spin.

So, when you release the line during casting, you must press the thumb bar at the exact moment. Using this tool, your thumb will be close to the spool. During the cast, you can manually slow down the spool rotation with it.

Gear Ratio

A reel’s gear ratio indicates how often its spool rotates. Numbers like 6.1:1, or 8.0:1 are common terms that describe it. Each handle turn rotates the spool a certain number of times.

Baitcasters have an advantage over spinning reels because they usually have a higher gear ratio. The line is also easy to retrieve more quickly with baitcasters. A gear ratio of more than 7 indicates that the baitcasters are fast.

Strong fish are pulled away from the cover using fast reels without getting snagged by the cover. If you are uncertain whether you will need a reel with a fast gear ratio, go with a gear ratio between 7.0 and 7.1.


Every reel has a reel handle. This handle is the main point of contact between the reel and the hand. It ensures that the line will work. The handles of baitcaster reels function as those of regular fishing reels. This component moves the interior gears and, consequently, the spool.

Often, the angler will be touching and using the handle the most, so it’s important that it’s comfortable. Due to this reason, baitcasting handles have thumb and forefinger knobs. A similar metal to that of the body is present in the handle.

Handles are of different materials, so their quality varies. Baitcasting reels tend to have aluminum handles by default. Furthermore, they hold up well for a long period of time.

Metal reinforced with steel is more expensive. Additionally, they provide an extremely durable and reliable material for keen and professional anglers who need more substantial rods.


Aluminum and graphite are the two main types of materials present in the baitcasters. Both types are also present in different proportions in some custom reels. The downside of aluminum is that it is heavier than graphite, but also it is more durable.

The graphite foot of some baitcasting reels may break when subjected to extreme stress by anglers. You should buy an aluminum reel treated against saltwater corrosion if you want to use your baitcaster for saltwater fishing.


Just below the line guide, you will find the paul. The pawl is also a moving part of a baitcasting reel, just like the line guide.

It is this part of the line guide that ensures the even distribution of the line on the spool by moving the line back and forth.

Drag Force

When a strong fish starts fighting back, the drag on the baitcaster allows the line to pull it back from the spool. Hence, it prevents the line from breaking. As the name implies, drag power is the amount of weight the reel can hold without seizing up.

7-12 pounds of drag force should be sufficient for most purposes. However, the extra drag power of some reels may be helpful if you need to wrestle very large fish. But, damage to a reel and monster knots is often the result of this section of a baitcaster reel breaking.


Baitcasting reels also have a bait clicker feature that spinning reels do not. Increased line tension is indicated by the clicking sound produced by this switch on the left side of the reel.

The function is similar to an angler being notified that a fish has taken the lure with an alarm. In other cases, it is also to signify that the lure has been bumped or is caught up in an obstruction.

This feature is often useful to bass anglers who use more than one rod. When the alarm sounds they can shift their focus to another rod confident they will not miss a catch.

Baitcaster Reel Parts Diagram

The following diagram illustrates the various parts of a baitcasting reel.

Final Words

It is always good about knowing the different baitcaster reel parts before going on your first fishing expedition. This article will surely help you in understanding the basic parts of a baitcasting reel.

If you are a beginner then there is a good chance that you are quite nervous about using a baitcasting reel for the first time. However, there is a need not to worry about anything.

This reel is much more advanced than Spinning Reels therefore you will need some extra knowledge before using it. However, once you have a grip on the working of these reels then you will become an expert in no time.

1 thought on “What are the parts of a baitcaster reel, and how to use them?”

  1. can u fix a bait caster with apoxy what is above the line guide that little thing the line guide go through to put out the line and to cast it out
    cause mine cracked in half


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