Learning how to cast farther with a spinning reel can sometimes mean the difference in catching fish, or coming home empty-handed. The problem is, there are a lot of people who have never been taught the correct way to use this type of reel. The good news is that with a little technique, and a little practice, you’ll be casting like a pro in no time!
The fastest way to improve your casting distance with a spinning reel is to switch to a braided fishing line and take some time to learn how to hold the reel correctly.
I personally use Power Pro’s Super Slick 8 braided fishing line in 15 lb test. This lb test seems to give me the best performance when it comes to casting distance as well as the strength that I need for pulling snook and redfish away from the structure. In fact, you can get the exact color and size of the Power Pro braid that I use through this link to Amazon.com.
While these are the two most important tips for casting, they are just the “tips” of the iceberg.
In this article, we’re not only going to tell you what size and brand of braid that we like to use, but we’re also going to provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to hold your reel in order to get the maximum casting distance possible.
How to Cast a Spinning Reel
1. Hold Your Spinning Reel Correctly
The number one mistake that I see newbies make when casting with a spinning reel is how they are holding their reel.
I was out fishing the other the day at one of my favorite spots for catching sea trout. The trout are not usually keepers, but it’s still pretty fun none the less. The only problem is, you have to be able to cast your lure to a deep channel where the trout like to hang out.
After a while, this kid showed up and started fishing a few yards down from me. I kept hooking up but soon realized that the kid hadn’t caught anything yet.
After watching him for a minute, I immediately noticed that he was holding and casting his spinning reel completely wrong.
Because of this, he was having trouble getting his bait out to where the fish were biting.
After giving him a few pointers and showing him the correct way to hold his reel, he was casting like a pro and getting bites.
Just by simply holding your reel correctly, you can add 20-30 yards more of casting distance.
As the pictures above show, you want to make sure that the reel itself is facing the ground just before you rear the rod back to cast. At this point, the reel should be facing the sky.
Not only is this the correct way to hold the reel when casting, but it’s also the correct way to hold the reel while retrieving your line.
2. Use Braided Fishing Line for Maximum Distance
The braid vs mono debate continues!
However, unless you plan on using 6 lb mono on all of your reels, braid wins this battle hands down.
If you want to maximize for casting distance with a spinning reel, without sacrificing line strength, you really need to go with braid. A 20 lb test braided line is equivalent in diameter to a 6 lb test mono line.
Now, this doesn’t mean that just because braid is smaller in diameter than mono is that you should opt for the heaviest pound test possible. While it may seem like a good idea to go with a higher pound test since it’s the same diameter as 12 lb mono, the heavier braid can still hinder your casting distance.
For maximum casting distance, stick with no more than a 20 lb braid
As far as which brand of braid is the best, that’s really a matter of preference. I will say that the cheaper stuff seems to be stiffer than a higher quality braid. For most of my in-shore fishing, I personally love and use Power Pro’s Super 8 Slick braid.
3. Spool Your Reel With Enough Line
A common mistake that I see from beginners, as well as experienced fishermen, is that they either put too much line on their spinning reels or not enough. Either one can drastically decrease your casting distance.
Most of today’s spinning reels make determining the correct amount of line to be spooled on the reel a snap. There is a thin line around the spool that marks the recommended line capacity. This applies whether you are using braid or mono.
They also list the recommended line capacity on the side of each reel, which if you’re a beginner, I highly recommend that you follow. After all, they didn’t just come up with these numbers on a whim. I’m sure they spent a lot of time and money testing how much line to put on the reel in order to maximize casting distance.
With that being said, once you become more experienced, you can tinker with the test poundage of your fishing line and determine what size works best for your fishing conditions.
4. Choose The Right Rod Length
One of the most important things that you can do is select the right size rod!
While fishing rods come in many shapes and sizes, for casting, you’ll want a rod that’s at least 7 ft in length. I actually prefer a rod that’s 7 1/2 ft.
Those extra 6 inches can really make a difference in casting distance. However, there are some disadvantages to longer fishing rods. For one, if you are going to be casting into tight areas, things can get a little tricky! If you’re going to be fishing in close quarters, I would stay with the 7 ft rod.
With that being said, you will need a longer rod if you are planning on doing some surf fishing. The length of the rod will be determined by the size of your surf reel. If you need some help in determining a good size surf fishing reel, I wrote an article covering the best size spinning reels for surf fishing.
5. Use Heavier Fishing Lures
If you’ve followed all of our previous advice on “how to cast farther with a spinning reel”, but are still needing to gain a few more yards, you may want to think about using a slightly heavier lure.
You would be surprised by how much farther you’ll be able to cast just by simply switching from a 1/8 oz jig head to a 1/4 oz.
Also, the shape of the lure can also play a roll in casting distance. One of my favorite baits to use is a 5″ paddle tail swimbait. However, if I’m needing to cast a little farther in order to reach the fish, I’ll switch to a jerk bait. They seem to give me the few extra yards that I sometimes need.
6. Plan Before You Cast
Either having too much or too little of line hanging from your rod before you make your cast can also play havoc on your casting distance.
While the amount of line that you have dangling can change depending on which casting technique you are using, for distance, I like to have about two feet of line to work with.
If you don’t let out enough line before your cast, then you’re not taking maximum advantage of the weight of your lure. By letting the line out a bit, you’re using the weight of the lure to bend the tip of your rod on the back-swing.
This whip-like motion gives you a harder load on the rod, which in turn gives you more force to propel the bait outward, giving you more distance.
7. Use The Best Casting Technique
There are many different techniques when it comes to casting a spinning reel. There is the side-arm cast, the flip cast, and the skip cast just to name a few. However, if you want to get the most distance, the overhead cast is the way to go.
Not only will this technique give you the maximum distance, but it’s also one of the more accurate casting techniques.
It’s also the easiest way for beginners to learn how to cast a spinning reel!
8. Know The Direction of The Wind
Even if you are doing everything right, if you are casting directly into the wind you’re not going to be getting the maximum distance from your spinning reel.
For maximum distance, you need to have the wind at your back, or at least at your side.
Just keep in mind that with the wind at your back, your lure is gonna go much farther, so be careful if you are casting towards structure such as docks, bridges, and mangroves.
In my opinion, spinning reels are the easiest reels to learn how to fish with. They are what I learned on and what I’ve taught my kids to fish with.
However, if you are not taught how to use them correctly, they can feel really awkward to use. Once you have the basics down, learning how to cast a spinning reel will be a cinch!
If you have any tips that I forgot to include, please feel free to leave a comment below!