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Baitcaster Reel Operation and Design



In this article, I am going to explain the baitcaster reel operation and design parts so you will know what I am talking about in other articles. The tips will help you become very good with a baitcaster.

In the picture, I have numbered 5 items that you must know in order to make that perfect cast.

Baitcaster Brakes:

When you first get your baitcaster, a lot of times the sales person will set the brakes which is labeled

(Number 3) in the picture. When opened, it usually has six plastic brakes.

I like to set them one in one out and work my way around so I end up with three out and three in. Some reels will have a turn knob numbered 0 thru 9; set it on 5 and there is no need to open the side plate.

This will allow you to slow the spool (Number 5) down in conjunction with (Number 1).

baitcaster reel operation and design


Baitcaster Spool Control:

(Number 1) is your spool control mechanism. When you put your lure on the rod, hold the tip up to about 11 or 1 o'clock then push the thumb bar (Number 4).

You want that bait to stay at the tip of the rod. Now slowly loosen (Number 1) so the bait just starts to fall ever so slow; it should stop when it hits the floor. If not and it goes too fast and hits the floor, you will get a Back Lash; the spool will keep on turning.

Every time that you change the weight of your lure you must go through these steps to ensure that you will not get a back lash.

I do not expect you to get it the first time. It is like I said “It all takes a lot of practice". Once you do get it; you can cast without placing your thumb on the spool. At first, have it in hot stand-by until you get used to your new Toy.

Drag Control:

(Number 2) is your drag, and this is set to wear the fish down. When setting this, you want to be able to pull line out, but not break it. I will check this a couple of times during my fishing trip to ensure that it does not tighten up.

You do not want it so tight that when you do get that hog and he makes a lunge; he will snap your line. Here again, play with it and you will find the sweet spot.

Back Drag Off After Fishing:

Another tip and it is hard to remember.

When you are finished fishing for the day, back the drag all the way off.

It is made of a fiber washer and if left compressed, the washer will not spring back out and could cause you to lose the fish the next time you are out bass hog fishing.

When you get ready to go fishing again while you’re setting your spool control, you can set your drag at the same time.


Shimano Curado E Low-Profile Baitcast Reel - Model CU200E7These are some basic things you need to know about your baitcaster reel operation and design that you can control.

Take care of it and it will reward you later with that bass hog.


If your baitcaster reel needs repair, Bass Pro has a Reel Repair shop that does real good work and can get it back to the shape like when you first bought it.

Don't try and be a back yard mechanic. They have so many little parts inside the casing. Let the experts fix it.

I have had My Shimano Baitcaster going on five years and have yet to have a problem with them. I keep them oiled and change the line out frequently and when not in use they are in a protective bag.

To learn more about gear ratios, read my BaitCaster Gear Ratio article.


Good Luck and Keep the Hooks Wet!

Steve McGoldrick



Fishing Trip Check List...Things Not To Forget

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