What are the Parts of Baitcasting Reels? | The Ultimate Guide

Have you ever wondered what makes baitcasting reels that popular amongst many anglers? here is the answer, because baitcasting reels usually have more accuracy and casting distance when compared with other types of fishing reels.

Not only this, but they are also more lightweight than the other spinning reels, which are similar in line capacity.

Before getting to know the main parts of a baitcast reel, let me help you first know more about this kind of reel.

Understanding Baitcasting Reels

A bait casting reel might look complicated to beginner anglers. However, a common understanding of baitcasting reels can help deliver your casts to new distances.

If you are eager to leverage the fantastic benefits provided through baitcasters, the primary element you want to do is recognize the parts of baitcasting reels and what they do.

Feeling the fishing cord and upgraded accuracy and precision of casting could help bass fishers pull out those most desirable species, even the smallest types.

Baitcasting reels may be extra superior to their spincast reel counterparts, so understanding the anatomy of the reel body will be so helpful.

First, you need to know the two two baitcasting reels variants.

The Two Baitcasting Reels Variants

Low Profile Baitcasting Reels

They are constructed to offer ultimate comfort and lightweightness. including a small shaft that threads just on the top of the reel handle.

They tend to be much lighter than other alternatives. And they are great for bass fishing, as they offer the perfect performance for long hours of casting.

Round Spool Baitcasting Reels

They feature a large and heavy round spool, placed far enough from the rod compared to the low profile.

They offer a larger capacity and handle large weights, which is better for fishing situations demanding longer distances to cast and challenge large fish, such as surf fishing and catching catfish.

two baitcasting variants

Getting familiar with this sort of baitcasting rod is a great step in taking you from the newbie angler to the greater advanced.

Now it is time to check the functions and parts of bait caster.

Baitcaster Reel Parts Explained


The spool is probably one of the most important components of a baitcasting reel and is the fishing line’s website itself that is held and stored.

One of the baitcasting spool functions is that the spool rotates instead of shifting up and down.

Thanks to this layout, baitcasting spools can deal with extra stress making them a lot more appropriate to heavier set-ups or going after larger fish.

The spool layout of a baitcaster reel regularly makes it a favorite for experts in the sport who choose lures like jigs that sit deep in the water and are bumped throughout the bottom.

This fishing style typically requires a more sturdy and durable tackle as both cord and bait are probably to return into touch with underwater boundaries extra regularly.

Despite this advantage spooling baitcasting reels, particularly for a beginner, may be tricky. Ensuring a spool’s surface is smooth, soft, and freed from another material should be the primary action factor.

From there, the cord can be fed onto the spool with the use of moderate pressure and your index finger and thumb.

The most significant factor is spooling the baitcasting reels line when you set up your cord and rod on the reel. Any fishing line that has been spooled improperly or with not enough tension can quickly slide off the reel’s spool, causing tangling and breakage.

Spool Tensioner

Spool tensioners are employed to ensure that the spool stays firmly to the reel frame and that the fishing line glides freely on and off it.

Typically, placed on the bottom of the frame, the spool tensioner could be confused with the cast control knob, yet they are smaller in size.

It is better recommended to test the spool tension’s adjustability by joining the lead hook to the end of the line outside the water.

That will give you a chance to think about the tensions’ sensitivity and help you adjust it as close to your desired rate to be ready for your first cast.

This process is best suited for beginner anglers that are still new to baitcasting reels to prevent backlashes.

Permitting the bait to drop and hit the water floor without any excess line pulling’s sliding off the spool more than required.

Cast Control Knob

The same as reel brakes, cast control knobs are important in enabling you to maintain a soft cast without any backlashes.

It is utilized to adjust the line casting off the spool. Each design differs according to the manufacturer but can diverge from one single knob to many.

Commonly, they are placed right next to the handle itself. It can be referred to as the spool tension knob.

Typically, they need to be adjusted according to a specific lure. The cast control knobs are rotated using your finger to increase or decrease the speed of casting a fishing line with a lure on it.

They come in metal or colors to match the reel’s body, and they can be replaced according to the angler’s preferences for a variety of sizes and designs. They can be removed by rotating the knob completely until they are loose, just like the brake.


The brake system is responsible for controlling and preventing any backlashes from occurring, such as the tendency of line tangling and twisting.

It is considered a unique part of the baitcasting reels. It facilitates the beginners to face such challenges when setting up the baitcasting reels, which discourages them from using such rods.

Baitcasting reels typically feature either centrifugal brake systems or magnetic brake ones, with each of them performing a little bit differently.

As the magnetic brake tend to be much straightforward to operate than the centrifugal brake versions, they make them more overpriced.

Reel brakes are placed on the side of the reel. This place gives the angler the chance of being simply approachable for the hand, allowing the readjustments to be direct and quick.

This permits the primary spool speed to adjust quickly and maintain control over the rate of decreasing the speed. Because carrying that process quickly can result in messy line tangling or twisting.

The brakes’ job is carried out through two major parts of baitcasting reels: the initial brakes, which are more adjustable and larger, and the deceleration brakes.

The centrifugal brakes employ an inside ring of blocks to limit friction. This permits the force of the brake and the speed of the spool to be proportional.

Magnetic brake controls are responsible for slowing down the spool speed through the moving metal magnets and the electromagnetic forces.

The dial on the side is responsible for the tighten or loosen the speed during the cast. This dial sometimes comes numbered and sometimes not depending on the preference of the manufacturer or specific models.

The brake is also commonly adjustable and can be modified by adjusting one or two screws on the fishing rod frame to reach the baitcasting reels metal parts.

Drag Control

The drag system control is typically a button or a knob that looks like a starfish. Sometimes, it may be referred to as a star drag because of that shape, placed right side of the rods near the cast control knob.

And the tensioner responsible for the friction control. This component also helps adjust and exceptionally control any backlashes or problems and illuminate the time wasted on fixing any tangles or twits of the fishing line.

The drag system is important for challenging an aggressive and pulling up the line back and forth with the catch.

A line adjusted with a lot of tension with a minimal drag setting can break much easier than a line with a medium tension setting and a little drag control that allows a bit of a line release when pulling a big fish off the rod.

Trying the setting of a drag system can be accomplished by just trying to pull it by hands and try struggling the line to figure how much tension you need to apply for your cast.

A factor that can cause many backlashes and problems is when a line is buried into the spool with a little tension to give.

Ensure that the drag control is adjusted with enough ease to the point where minimal tension can dramatically enhance an angler’s catch rate.

Thumb Bar

The thumb bar, also referred to as a reel clutch, works conjointly with the ball bearing system, the spool, and the anti-reverse of most baitcaster reels.

Replacing a thumb bar on a rod can be tricky, although they are inexpensive because they must match with the reel manufacturer and change it themselves.

And where they are placed inside the reel’s body, choosing different sizes and dimensions that will not fit the thumb bar can create an excessive adjustment problem.

Line Guide

The line guide is a vital feature of the baitcasting reels that permits the fishing line to slide smoothly from on in the water by casting and retrieving the line with a catch.

This part’s principal function ensures that the line does not unspool unevenly, creates tangles and twists, maintains the friction level to its minimal range, and limits any line breakage.

It is the guide in which the first place the cord passes through on its course to the last loophole on the reel. It is also a fundamental factor that the line guide functions properly and correctly as manufactured as a part of the reel frame.

It is placed on the spool’s front, making it a moving part to a baitcaster reel, and shifts up and down as the fishing line is spooled on and off the reel.

Equivalent to the power roller on a spinning reel, the line guide swifts up and down, left, and right as the angler turns the reel handle. This movement is commonly described as an old typewriter.


The reel handle is a noticeable part of any fishing reel. It is the main boundary between the hand and the reel itself to ensure the line’s performance.

The handle on a baitcasting reels function does not differ from any regular handles, in charge of moving the interiorly placed gears and pulling in the spool.

The reason behind that most rods manufacturers always makes sure that the handle is comfortable. As this part of the reel, the anglers will be using and get tough most of the time.

Baitcasting reels handles are the same as the spinning reels, and they commonly include two knobs for the forefinger grip and the thumb. As for the material, the baitcasting reels handles are made of the same material as the reel frame.

Although the handles are replaceable, they vary in quality depending on the material they are constructed from.

The standard handles on baitcaster are commonly made of aluminum, and they perform well in holding up for long periods.

Reinforced metals are placed on the top end of the money value of the market. They offer a very sturdy and reliable material that professional anglers require for more heavy-duty fishing rods.


The pawl is a long gear run all along the length of the reel. They are placed above the spool and can be located by flipping the reel over, right under the line guide.

A pawl functions as another moving part of the baitcasting reels, and it is the exact part of the line guide responsible for shifting the line back and forth to make sure to get an even distribution of the cord on the spool. Damaging this part of the reel can result in massive knots and reel damages.


A Baitclicker is another advantageous feature that baitcasting reels have over spinning rods. It is also referred to as the alarm line, which is placed as a switch on the reel’s left side. It creates a clicking noise signifying increased pressure on the cord.

This alarm is responsible for notifying the angler if the fish is pulling the lure, also sometimes it may indicate that the winded lure bumped or been caught on an obstacle.

Most bass anglers tend to use more than one rod simultaneously, so they typically find this feature significant as the alarm sound suggests that they can concentrate on another reel knowing that they will not miss a fish.

Although, baitcaster rods are hugely similar in the features and functions as many other alternative rods.

However, they provide a significant way of a  control level for anglers seeking to plan for their game and get more other spinning reels.

Foot and Seat

The foot is a common feature in almost every fishing reel, and it is the point that joins the fishing rod to the reel. They are typically having the shape of a rectangle or a square to fit on the rod holder’s frame.

The baitcasting reels foot must be sturdy, tightly fixed, and durable enough to hold up with the pressure and casting and retrieval wear.

On a baitcaster reel, you will notice that the foot is attached to the rod’s tip, which is different from a spinning reel. It is placed at the bottom.

The reel should also line up with the guides, which are the metal loops the line passes through the way till the top.

This place ensures that the cord is thread straightway from the guide into the water for a softer and relatively friction-free cast.

Also, on baitcaster, the foot must go along with the reel seat. This is the rod that stores the reel and the backing that moves downward by hand to attach the separate reel in place.

Making sure that these two parts of baitcasting reels go along is important to ensure that neither will separate.

The last factor to consider regarding the foot is ensuring that the nut is fixed tightly on the socket. Pro anglers advise double checking this before making your first cast into the water.

FAQ About the Parts of Baitcasting Reels

1-What to Consider When Buying Baitcasting Reels?

Reel material

baitcaster reel is commonly made of 2 premium materials, graphite, or aluminum. Some models combine both materials but in different quantities. However, you need to understand that aluminum is sturdier than graphite, yet it is also heavier.

It has been stated that reel foot crafted from graphite tends to break when huge stress is applied since it is much lighter, so it is preferred for fishing situations that demand a long time of casting.

But, if you plan to go saltwater fishing, it is better to go with an aluminum reel with the feature of being treated to make it saltwater corrosion resistant.

Gear ratio

The gear ratio is an indicator for the number the spool rotated for one turn from the handle. One advantage of baitcaster reels over alternative rods is that they are more likely to have higher ratios, offering a quicker way for cord retrieval.


Typically, the older versions of baitcaster reels include one type of braking system. More advanced types have both magnetic brake and centrifugal.

It is recommended to buy a baitcaster reel with both types of brakes that can be altered externally through the way a dial on the frame’s side. That will provide the most amount of braking effect, in addition to the biggest chance for altering the braking.

These will assist in avoiding any backlashes of tangling or twisting during casting.

Drag force

The drag is responsible for allowing the cord to be pulled from the spool when challenging a strong fish preventing any breakage.

The drag force refers to the weight that a reel can drag and hold up to while still performing softly. It is recommended to go for the rods that provide the maximum drag power up to 25-pound test to challenge big fish.

2-How to Maintain Your Baitcasting Reels?

Typically, there are three components employed for the baitcaster reel maintenance:

  • Oil: before you apply any oil, it is advised to use a type of oil designed especially for your baitcasting reels model. You need to go through your reel’s guide to know the exact type of oil that serves best your baitcasters.
  • It is forbidden to use any WD-40 oil, machine oil, 3 in 1 oil, live oils, or any thick or thin oil. Most manufacturers provide specialized oil when buying your baitcaster reel.
  • Grease: although grease is not frequently consumed as much as oil, it is equally important. Grease is utilized for cleaning the internal parts of baitcasting reels. However, you must ensure not to drop any small amount of grease on the main gear.
  • Alcohol: using alcohol must be after mixing it with some warm water, so it is not strong for the reel. You can apply some on a cloth or put it in a spray bottle and wipe the reel with it. It enables you to remove any residue from the reel.

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