Baitcasting Reel Parts Completely Explained With Diagram

The baitcasting reel requires the most experience when it comes to fishing reels, mastering the baitcasting reel can be challenging, but with experience comes enhanced control and precision in casting, making it a top choice for seasoned anglers.

To conquer this obstacle, it’s crucial to understand the workings of each component, you need to know how to operate each piece in every situation and be prepared for the worst. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of all the parts of a baitcasting reel, ensuring you’re well-equipped to handle every situation and tackle any challenges that may arise.

Also, don’t forget to check the list of 11 best baitcasting reels currently in the market that are loved and recommended by many fishing experts from around the world with a detailed comparison of each option.

Baitcasting Reel Parts Diagram

baitcasting reel parts

Parts of a Baitcasting Reel

As discussed above, each part has its specific function and way to use it. So, we will discuss each piece one by one and also talk about how to use it to your advantage in the best way possible.


We will start with the handle since it is a commonly used part and also one of the most important when it comes to casting. It is used to spin the spool.

Rotating the handle also rotates the spool but not at the same rate as the handle. The reel’s gear ratio determines the speed at which the spool rotates.

The handles of baitcaster reels are slightly different from that of spinning reels. The most significant difference is that baitcaster reel handles have two knobs while spinning reels have 1.

There isn’t any proven advantage of having two knobs, and you can permanently remove one of the handle knobs if you want your reel to feel even less light.

Having a good grip on the reel handle is essential. The reel handle is the part you would be using the most when casting, so it is essential to have a good grip. The grip should also feel comfortable since holding it for long might make you uncomfortable.

Most baitcasting handles have an EVA foam grip that makes your handle extremely com. The primary function of the handle is spinning the spool, so it must also be smooth to rotate.


The spool holds the line in your reel. The mechanism of baitcaster reel spools is simple. The handles rotate the spool. When you spin the handle, the reel also rotates, releasing the line or taking it back in depending on how you turn the handle.

Looking at the baitcaster reel parts diagram, you can see that the spool is not static, but it can rotate. It is different from the mechanism of spinning reels in which the spool doesn’t spin at all and stays still. Casting with a baitcaster reel is tricky if you are a beginner.

Sometimes when you cast the line, the spool will continue spinning even after the cord has touched the surface of the water. Moreover, it can result in backlash, and to stop it, you need to be experienced in controlling your reel’s drag.

However, this working mechanism of the spool is what makes baitcaster reels so precise and accurate. So if you can control the drag during casting, this reel becomes very easy and efficient to use.


As the name suggests, it allows you to slow down the spinning of the spool during casting. It is imperative to prevent backlash. Now, this isn’t exactly a single part but a complete system. It is why we call it the braking system.

It is of 2 types:

  • Centrifugal braking system
  • Magnetic braking system

Most baitcaster reels have a 6-way centrifugal braking system that helps slow down the rate of spool rotation. It is called 6-way because it has six different brakes settings. Adjusting the settings is very easy; you have to open the side frame and set the brakes to whatever value you like.

You can just set it to the max value (6). On the other hand, you can adjust magnetic braking systems without removing the side frame. You have to rotate the switch on the side of the reel.

Before fishing, I suggest that you test the braking system using different settings to see which one works the best for you.

Thumb bar:

The thumb bar is very important in casting. The mechanism is simple; you press the thumb bar to cast your line. Moreover, it causes the spool to start spinning and unwinding the line.

The gears that hold down the spool are also released. Using this correctly requires a bit of practice. You have to press it precisely at the right moment, or your bait won’t land where you want it.

The thumb bar is located at a position where it is straightforward to reach for the spool with your thumb. You can then control the speed of spool rotation during casting.

Line guide:

The line guide helps to spread the line evenly on the spool. Without the line guide, all the lines would overlap in a single part of the spool when unwinding.

You have to make sure that your line passes through the line guide for it to work. The line guide moves on the spool when you are turning the handle. Due to this, the line is evenly distributed across the spool and prevents the tangling of the line.


You can control the reel’s drag by a knob shaped like a star. Turning this knob changes the drag on your reel.

There isn’t a specific ideal value for drag. You have to adjust the drag according to your specific situation.

If you are setting the drag on high, you have to use a more robust line since you have a chance of snapping due to a powerful fish. On the other hand, if you set the drag low, it will be easier for the fish to release more lines.

So I suggest you practice and test the drag yourself and figure out what works the best for you.

Reel foot:

It is the part of the reel that is connected with the rod. The reel foot is connected directly to the reel seat (on the rod where your reel sits).

There is no other notable function of the reel foot apart from connecting the reel with the rod.

Spool tension knob:

The spool tension knob is similar to your braking system, with one big difference that it slows down the speed of your spool when the bait is about to hit the surface of the water. On the other hand, the braking system comes into play as soon as you release the line.

These systems work together to prevent the line from backlashing and give you a much smoother casting experience. The spool tension knob is located adjacent to the star drag system. To adjust the spool tension, you turn the knob.

I recommend trying it out before fishing to get used to the spool tension settings. You also have to keep in mind the weight of the lure you are using because that also plays a role in spool tension.

Spool tensioner:

The spool tensioner helps to keep the spool rotation smooth and accessible. Unlike the spool tension knob, which is found adjacent to the star drag system, the spool tensioner is at the bottom side of the reel.

I suggest you use a lead sinker and attach it to the end of the line. Doing this allows you to test the settings of the spool tensioner before getting your hands on a fish. This method can be very helpful in getting an accurate and precise cast without suffering from backlash.

Bait clicker:

It is a handy feature that most baitcasting reels have, absent in spinning reels. When your line experiences any tension, the bait clicker makes a clicking sound. It is located on the side of the reel. It allows you to detect bites quickly.

You can also work with multiple rods without worrying about missing a fish. When one of your fishing reels makes a clicking sound, you grab it and pull the fish out of the water.

However, it’s not always this easy. Bait clickers are not guaranteed to work precisely every time. Sometimes they might get triggered by something other than a fish or a small bite. So, before going into the boat, it is necessary to prepare your mind for everything.

Bottom Lines

You cannot be good at something if you don’t know how it works. That is why this article lists all the details about every part of a baitcasting reel. Baitcaster reels are much more challenging to use than other reels, so it is essential to know all their features. If you are a beginner, I recommend reading this article until the end before fishing with a baitcasting reel. However, just knowing about the functionalities of baitcaster parts might not be enough, it is recommended to do a lot of practicing as well!

Hope you got all your confusions cleared regarding parts of a baitcaster reel and if you liked this article or have any suggestions or request for an article then please do let me know in the comments.

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