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You've seen the pro's use them.  You've heard your fishing buddies rave about their ability to increase casting accuracy.  Maybe it's time you moved up in the world of fishing and got yourself a baitcasting reel.

Baitcasting reels give anglers more control over lure placement than other types of reels.  They enable you to place lures right up next to logs, within inches of the shoreline, or right in the middle of heavy cover.  Unfortunately, baitcasters also have a reputation for being more difficult to use than other types of reels.  However, with the proper technique, correct reel settings and state-of-the-art equipment, any angler can learn to use a baitcaster like a pro.

The firest step to successful baitcasting is to hold the reel properly.  Many anglers assume they should hold the rod so that the reel faces them in an upright position, but that's not correct.  After pressing the freespool button, hold the spool in place with your thumb and turn the rod sideways so the reel's handle faces upward.  The reel should stay this way throughout the cast.

Begin releasing thumb pressure about halfway through your forward casting motion to let line out.  To prevent backlashes in the line, you must apply just enough pressure on the spool with your thumb as the lure flies through the air so that the rotating speed of the spool never exceeds the speed of the line coming off of it.

The ability to apply the right amount of thumb pressure is primarily a function of practice, but you can also reduce backlashes if you set the reel's braking system properly.  Most baitcasting reels have centrifugal braking systems.  The brakes are activated by the spinning action of the reel's spool.  The faster the spool spins, the more tension the brakes apply to it.  Think of it as a sort of an automatic thumb.

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