hand hold a baitcasting rod

How To Cast Light Lures With A Baitcaster | The Inside Information

Baitcasters are beloved my many in the fishing community, but many have trouble casting light lures with them.

So, how do you get any distance on those light lure casts and keep from getting a bird’s nest?

Well, it’s obviously a challenge, because the lure is very lightweight. So, challenge, guys, because there’s very light weight. You have to really get the spool on your baitcaster turning in order to get momentum so that you can get distance on your cast.

So, I’m going to show you a few tips that are really going to help you cast little bitty light lures with a baitcaster!

First things first… the proper fishing rod

Before we get into the actual reel itself, one of the most important aspects of casting lighter lures with a baitcaster is to make sure you have the proper rod.

For a longer cast with lighter lures, you ideally want a 7’4″ rod with a very fast tilt.

joshua taylor holding a st croix baitcaster fishing rod
To cast lighter lures with a baitcaster, you should aim to have a 7’4″ rod with a fast tilt. This is the St. Croix Legend Xtreme, which is only a 7-foot rod, but it has a very, very fast tilt. I can still cast a light lures a good distance by making a few small adjustments. I’m also using the Concept TX reel, from 13 Fishing. It’s one of the smoothest baitcaster reels I’ve used.


Reel adjustments for casting light lures with a baitcaster

Once you have an appropriate rod for baitcasting smaller lures, you’ll need to make some adjustments to your reel.

Adjust the magnetic brake

One thing that you have to do is adjust your magnetic break control. Now, this is going to be different for each reel, so you really need to get to know your baitcaster reel very well.

Now, ideally, you’re going to want to reduce the amount of breaking when you’re casting light lures. There will be a sweet spot and you’re going to have to play with the reel breaking to find where that is. I typically turn the breaking down to the 2 setting (on a reel with a 0-6 range). I find that setting works best for me. But you are going to want to adjust that to see where that sweet spot is for you.

making magnetic brake adjustment on baitcaster reel
On the Concept TX reel from 13 Fishing, the side panel has a small wing that you press and it will open up so you can adjust the magnetic brake.


Adjust knob tension

Now, the other thing you need to adjust on your baitcaster reel is the tension knob. (If you want to learn more about how to tune your Baitcaster, I go into complete detail).

Adjust the tension knob on your reel so that when you press the button to release the line, the lure will be able to hit the ground and not cause a massive bird’s nest.

adjusting tension knob on baitcaster
You need to adjust the tension knob so that your lighter lure can fall to the ground freely without causing a large bird’s nest in your line.
man holding baitcaster after adjusting tension knob
The key to adjusting your tension knob is to be sure you are not getting a bird’s nest when the lure hits the ground.

Proper light lure casting techniques

Once you have everything dialed in on your reel, you need to be sure you have the proper mechanics and technique to be able to maximize the distance on your light lure casts.

Longer leader length

One of the important factors when you’re trying to do a light cast or cast lighter lures is line leader length. You want to make sure that when you cast, your leader is actually hanging down a little longer than normal.

Typically, 8 to 10-inches from lure to the rod tip works well with a baitcaster. However, when casting a really light lure, you can let out 2 to 2-1/2 feet of line, so that you can get more momentum on your cast, resulting in a great cast distance.

I can absolutely guarantee you that longer linger leader length will work and help give you that leverage you’ll need to cast farther.


Try a wider spool

In addition to longer leader length, you should try to find a reel that has a larger spool. There a many on the market, and I have found that larger spools will allow you to increase your distance because the spool has to turn fewer revolutions to disperse the line.

So, if you have a smaller, skinnier spool, you’re not going to get as far of a cast as you would with spool that has a larger diameter.

Casting mechanics

When you’re casting lighter lures with your baitcaster, you’re going to make sure that you’re not over powering the throw or you’re going to have overruns resulting in a bird’s nest.

You have to use not only your wrist and your arms, but you want use the full momentum of all of your body. This includes your legs, back and torso.

man casting light lure with baitcaster
When casting the baitcaster, use both your wrist and your arms.
man casting bait caster and following through
I’m using not only wrist and my arms but also my legs, back, and torso. If you use your entire body, in sync, you can cast very light lures. Then, you can adjust to drop-shots and other weighted baits. The key is not to overpower it, but to finesse cast using your entire body.


I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to cast light lures on a Baitcaster.

Remember, it’s not very complicated. It just really boils down to making sure that you’re practicing and that you understand the mechanics of your reel and your rod.

Fine tuning your baitcaster is one of the most important things in getting the the range out of your light lure casts.

joshua taylor of salty scales
Joshua Taylor

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Joshua Taylor

Joshua is the owner of Salty Scales fishing apparel, who creates protective UV garments and outdoor gear. He is also an author, influencer, and licensed captain.

Comments (1)

  • Zack Taebel


    Hi Joshua, I was wondering if you could explain why you want fast action for a light lure baitcaster. It seems to me like moderate action would be better to generate more load and get farther casts. Was hoping you could clarify why fast action is the way to go. Thanks!


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