How to

Reels for lure casting

Good reels for casting are available in both spin and overhead versions. Spin reels are generally easier to cast with, however, casting with overhead reels can be mastered with some practice.

Personal preferences aside, there are some other factors to consider…

A spin reel is better for casting lighter weights, as line moves off the spool more freely when the bail is open; whereas the line on an overhead must revolve the spool as it’s cast out, which requires more momentum – and that can be difficult when using a lightweight lure or sinker.

For light and ultra-light lure casting, a small spin reel usually weighs less than a small baitcaster, so it also reduces angler fatigue.

A spin reel’s ‘freer line’ advantage diminishes as the lure or sinker weights increase, as with more weight comes more momentum, regardless of which reel type is used. This is when the decision of choosing a spin or overhead reel is less critical.

A baitcaster is a popular overhead reel for lure casting in rivers, lakes, estuaries and inshore. This style of reel allows extra precision via direct contact between the thumb and spool, allowing you to place a lure or bait exactly where you want it to go. This direct thumb contact also allows you to apply extra drag – for emergencies such as stopping a big fish from powering towards a snag. This extra ‘feel’ and control is a massive advantage in many situations.

Casting situations where big line capacities are required – such as when land-based fishing from beaches and rocks targeting large pelagic species – are often dominated by overhead reels. Land-based fishing specialists learn to control big overhead reels and can cast impressive distances.

It should be noted: modern anglers who prefer small spin reels are achieving similar precision (as those who use baitcasters) by using their index finger for the same contact on the spin reel’s spool. The effectiveness of this is limited to small spin reels and is also determined by the size of the angler’s hand relative to the reel size.

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