How To Cast With A Spinning Reel

For beginners, the spinning rod & reel combo is often recommended for learning to fish for bass as its design makes it easier to learn to properly cast than a baitcaster due to less moving parts.

In this guide we'll go over how to cast a spinning reel for beginners and include tips to improve casting accuracy and distance.

A Step by Step Guide on How to Properly Cast a Spinning Reel

  1. Start by gripping the rod in your dominant hand holding the rod horizontally with the reel facing the ground. Grip the rod with the reel mount between your ring and middle finger.
  2. Reel the line in so there is about 6-12” of fishing line between the lure and tip of the rod.
  3. Adjust the line roller on the bail so it is inline with the rod.
    • The bail is the u-shaped metal wire on the top of the reel.
    • The line roller is the bearing attached to the bail that helps pick up the fishing line when cranking the handle.
  4. While holding the reel in your dominant hand, use the tip of your pointer finger to grab the line and open the bail. The lure should not fall to the ground. You're now ready to cast.
  5. Ensure the area around you is clear of anything or anyone, and then hold the rod out horizontally on your dominant side.
  6. Swiftly sweep the tip of the rod so it points in the direction you intend the lure to move, letting go of the fishing line with your pointer finger as the rod tip approaches the targeted direction.
  7. Once the lure lands in the water, let it sink to your targeted depth and then close the bail with your hand. Avoid using the reel handle to close the bail as doing so can create wind knots in your spool.

How To Cast a Spinning Reel Farther And With Accuracy

New anglers can find it difficult to cast a spinning reel far and with accuracy. Letting go of the line at the right moment takes a bit of practice to master and if you let go too soon or late, it will significantly change the trajectory of the cast resulting in your lure landing off target.

When learning how to cast a spinning rod, focus on accuracy and not distance to start. As you gain confidence from placing the lure exactly where you intended it to land, start moving the target out another 5 feet.

Casting farther and with accuracy is simply a matter of practice. Make a habit of spending a few minutes practicing casting your lure accurately each time you're out fishing and over time the distance will come with it.

Frequently Asked Questions About Casting A Spinning Reel

How To Cast Light Lures With a Spinning Reel

Light lures can be difficult to cast with distance even with a spinning reel. Casting distance has a lot to do with loading the tip of the rod up during your cast and this usually requires some weight.

Loading the tip of the rod simply means the rod tip is flexed from the combination of lure weight and your movement. As you approach the end of the cast, the rod tip rebounds from its flexed position helping to propel the lure forwards. To make sure you can properly load the rod during a cast, you need to match the lure weight to the right rod.

Fishing rods are designed to be used with a specific range of lure weights. While you can sometimes get away with lure weights just outside this range, it's best to stick within it. To cast a light lure farther you'll need to use a rod designed for it. For more information on pairing rods with lures you can check out this guide to fishing rods and reels.

How Far Can A Spinning Reel Cast?

The average fisherman's casting distance is about 25-30 yards. While that may not sound very far, go measure it out and you'll be surprised how far it actually is.

While you may be able to cast farther than that, doing so often requires a sacrifice to accuracy, which may be acceptable in some circumstances. However, ask most professional anglers if accuracy or distance is more important and most will advocate for a well placed lure over a further cast.

Can You Pitch and Flip With a Spinning Reel?

It's common to see anglers pitching and flipping with a baitcaster, but can you do it with a spinning reel?

While I don't find it nearly as easy as flipping and pitching with a baitcasting setup, it can be done. It just requires a lot more practice, at least in my case. The process is pretty much the same but instead of feathering the spool with your thumb, you have to grab the fishing line near the first rod eye to control the distance. Here's the video I used to learn how to do it: