By setting the braking system correctly you can significantly reduce the amount of overspool on a baitcasting reel. Nowadays, most baitcasting reels have centrifugal braking systems. The brakes are activated by the spinning action of the reel spool. The faster the spool spins, the more tension is applied to the reel by the brakes.
To set the system, turn the brake knob tightly clockwise and then press the freespool button. Your lure should not descend at all. If you then continue to slowly turn the brake knob anti-clockwise, the lure will eventually descend slowly to the ground. Fine-tune this so that the lure falls slowly without having to jiggle or shake the rod when you remove your thumb from the spool. This process should be repeated whenever a lure of different weight is used.
Although they assist, the ability of centrifugal brakes to prevent overspool is somewhat limited. In recent years, new reels have been developed with magnetic braking systems that reduce overspool far better than the older centrifugal systems. These have internal magnets that exert the precise amount of tension to the spool during the cast. Magnetic brakes are a far more effective way of automatically decreasing the chance of drag and thus overspool at different spool speeds so the line has less a tendency to get out of control.
As for centrifugal brakes, magnetic brakes are also adjustable. Depending on your skill level and conditions you are fishing in will depend on how much tension you wish to place on the reel. If you are just starting out, you may want to place a far greater amount of tension on the spool. The same can be said if using heavier lures or casting into the wind as these conditions tend to create overspooling on the line. Once you get the hang of it, you can loosen the tension and allowing you a further cast.
Although magnetic braking systems are more advanced, many still prefer the centrifugal brakes in certain situations. Now, some baitcasters feature both systems. You can operate the reel's magnetic or centrifugal systems independently or use them together. Whether you want tight braking or wish to control most tension yourself, there is a setting for every condition and skill level.
Put aside your fears and you can soon be casting like a pro.
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