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To set the system, turn the brake knob tightly clockwise, then press the freespool button. Your lure will not descend. Now turn the brake knob slowly counter-clockwise until the lure starts to fall. Fine-tune the knob so the lure falls slowly, without having to jiggle the rod, when you take your thumb off the spool. Remember that you must repeat the process whenever you tie on a new lure with a different weight.
Although a help, the ability of centrifugal brakes to prevent backlashes is limited.
In recent years, however, newer reels have been developed with magnetic spool braking systems that minimize backlashes far better than the older centrifugal systems. Many newer reels have internal magnets that exert precisely the right amount of tension on the spool during a cast. Magnetic brakes are more effective way at automatically increasing or decreasing drag at different spool speeds so the line has less tendency to get out of control.
Like centrifugal brakes, magnetic brakes are adjustable. How much control you should apply depends on your skill level and the conditions under which you are fishing. If you're just learning to cast, you'll probably want to set the reel for a high degree of magnetic tension. Once you get the hang of it you can select a looser setting, which will enable you to cast further. Also, if you're using heavy lures or casting into the wind you might want to increase the magnetic control because these conditions have more potential to create backlash in the line.
Even though magnetic braking systems are more advanced, many anglers still prefer centrifugal brakes in certain situations. That's why some baitcasters feature both systems. You can operate the reel's magnetic or centrifugal brakes independently or use them in conjunction with each other. Whether you need tight automatic braking or you want to control most of the tension yourself, there's a setting for every condition and skill level.
So put aside your fears of using a baitcasting reel and
get the tackle that will improve your fishing success.
With the right equipment and a little practice, you too will be casting
like a pro.