How to Cast Spinning Tackle

Although its roots go back to the 1870s, the modern spinning reel was introduced in 1948 by a French manufacturer. Its fixed spool allows lightweight baits and lures to be cast, while other similar models can handle heavy-duty freshwater and saltwater fishing. It's versatile and a solid piece of hardware, if you know how to cast it.


  1. 1
    Grip the rod with your casting hand around the reel seat. Put your index and middle finger ahead of the reel and your other 2 fingers behind it.
    • Unlike spincasting or baitcasting reels, spinning reels are designed to be reeled with the hand opposite the one used to cast with. As most fishermen cast right-handed, most spinning reels have the handle on the left.
    • Spinning rods are also slightly longer on average than spincasting rods, without a recessed seat and with the guide nearest the reel seat somewhat larger than the other rod guides to permit the line to flow more freely when you cast.
  2. 2
    Reel in until your bait is 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 centimeters) from the rod tip. If you have a sinker or bobber attached to the line, it should be 6 to 12 inches from the rod tip instead.
  3. 3
    Crook your index finger to pick up the line ahead of the reel and press it against the rod.
  4. 4
    Open the reel bail. The bail is a loop of wire on the rotating rim outside and behind the reel spool. It gathers the line when you reel in and deposits it on the spool. Opening it moves it out of the way of the line so you can cast your lure.
  5. 5
    Swing the rod back past your shoulder.
  6. 6
    Sweep the rod forward, releasing the line as you extend your arm. To help you target your bait to the casting area, point your index finger at the place you want to release the line. You may find this technique difficult at first.
    • If you are casting with a long-handled spinning rod of the kind used in saltwater fishing, you'll want to use your reeling hand as a fulcrum from which to pivot the rod as you cast.
    • Some fishermen use closed-faced spinning reels (also called underspin or triggerspin reels), in which the reel spool is covered similar to a spincasting reel. On these reels, a trigger above the reel works similar to the button on a conventional spincasting reel. Grip the line in your index finger and hold it against the trigger as you pull the trigger back. The rest of the casting technique is otherwise the same as using an open-faced spinning reel.


  • Many spinning reels experience problems with the line twisting as it is retrieved. These problems can be relieved somewhat by using a snap swivel at the end of your line to attach your bait or lure.
  • Practice your casting techniques away from the water as well as on it. Away from the water, replace your bait or lure with a rubber practice plug or metal sinker. Practice in an open area, away from overhead trees.


  • When fishing, wear protective clothing to keep hooks from embedding themselves in your skin as the result of a bad cast or other accident.

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Categories: Fishing