How to Fix Backlash on a Baitcasting Reel


Baitcasting reels are easy to adjust and particularly effective for casting heavy lures and targeting heavy fish. But one of the main drawbacks of baitcasting reels is backlash, which occurs when the lure stops traveling and the spool keeps spinning. When backlash occurs, the line backs up and forms what some people call a "bird's nest." The angler must then spend time fixing the backlash instead of fishing.

  • Turn the handle clockwise to engage the reel and stop the spool from spinning.

  • Grab the line where it comes off the reel and pull on it gently. Pull as much line off the spool as possible. When you come to a point where you cannot pull any more line from the reel, stop pulling.

  • Locate the spot on the spool that is preventing more line from coming off. It usually is a small knot. Place your thumb over it and press down. Turn the reel handle one revolution with your other hand.

  • Pull line off of the reel until you come to another knot. Repeat Step 3, then pull line off again. Continue until the backlash is gone.

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