Why Is My Bait Caster Not Reeling – Causes and 6 Solutions

Why Is My Bait Caster Not Reeling

A bait caster is a kind of fishing reel that is created to provide fishers with more splendid authority and exactness when casting. Yet, there is a numeral of explanations for why a bait caster might not be reeling properly.

Some of the considerably familiar reasons contain improper spool tension, points with the line guides, or a malfunctioning drag system.

To resolve the root causality of your bait caster’s issue, it’s essential to reckon each of these elements and make any vital adjustments or restorations. By understanding why is my bait caster not reeling, you can take steps to get it back in operating order and relish a thriving day of fishing.

Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.

Henry David Thoreau

Why Is My Bait Caster Not Reeling

It’s momentous to prevent these characteristics if your bait caster is not reeling inappropriately. If you are unable to resolve the issue, it is advised to confer with an experienced or manufacturer for the grant.

By apprehending why is my bait caster not reeling, you can take steps to get it back in performing order and enjoy a successful day of fishing.

Spool Overrun

Spool overrun in a bait caster reel happens when the line evolves twisted and uncontrollably dribbles off the spool while casting. This usually transpires when the spool alternates quicker than the line can be taken in, yielding it to twirl up in a chaotic mess.

Spool overrun can result in frustrating and time-consuming line clean up, and can also sabotage the line or the reel. To dissuade spool overrun, anglers should take their time when casting, be aware of the quantity of line being let out, and adjust the drag and spool stress as required.

Line Twist

Line twist guides to the wrenching or winding of the fishing line on the spool of a bait caster reel. It ensues when the line is ripped off the spool unevenly, resulting in it curling up into tangles or traps. This can occur when the angler casts too fast or when the line lashes an obstruction while being recovered.

Although people ask frequently why is my bait caster not reeling; so line wrenches can cause a variety of difficulties, including lessened casting distance, reduced accuracy, and advanced line breakage. To prevent line twists, anglers often use methods such as back lashing, slow and smooth casting, and winding the line evenly onto the spool.

Incorrect Line Tension

Incorrect line tension in a bait caster reel directs to the improper adjustment of the spool’s drag design, forcing the line to arrive off the spool unevenly. This results in bird roosts, backlashes, and other frustrating issues for anglers.

If the line tension is also tight, the spool will not disentangle the line smoothly, guiding to entangled messes. If the line stress is too flexible, the line will come off the spool too fast and smoothly, causing backlashes.

To evade incorrect line tension, it’s critical to adjust the spool’s drag technique perfectly. This concerns changing the centrifugal brakes, changing the spool tension knob, and containing the line’s thickness and diameter.

Keeping the correct line tension is required for a booming and pleasant fishing adventure. The improper line tension can generate frustration and can even result in lost fish.

Dirty or Damaged Line Guide

A dirty or injured line focus on a baitcasting reel can have a substantial effect on the implementation of your fishing reel. The line guide is the component that guides the fishing line from the spool onto the rod and allows control tangles or knots.

If the line direction is diluted or damaged, the fishing line can evolve frayed or kinked, making it demanding to launch and recover your line. In extra, a dirty line compass can also cause friction, which can slow down the line, making it more difficult to set the hook or recover your catch.

To manage a dirty or damaged line guide, you can first prim the guide using a soft cloth or brush. For stubborn dirt or grime, you may need to use a solvent such as chafing vinegar. If the line guide is impaired, it may be replaced.

It is influential to regularly maintain and clean your line guide to ensure optimal performance and longevity of your baitcasting reel.

Incorrect Brake Settings

Incorrect brake grounds in a bait caster reel can result in severe outcomes such as backlashes, overruns, and spool twists. If the brake is too secured, it will prevent the spool from rotating, leading to backlashes, and if it is too loose, it will cause overruns. If the brake is not adapted appropriately, the spool will rotate too fast, resulting in spool twists.

However, incorrect brake settings can also impact the casting distance and exactness. To avert these issues, it is important to appropriately adjust the brake according to the weight of the bait and the fishing circumstances.

Worn Bearings

To keep a bait caster reel working smoothly, it is necessary to regularly examine the bearings and return them if required. This will guarantee that the reel resumes to function optimally and extend its lifespan. Worn bearings in a bait caster reel guide to the ball relevancy that has been worn out or damaged over the moment and are no protracted functioning suitably.

The ball bearings in a bait caster reel play a crucial role in ensuring smooth and efficient performance of the reel, so when they become worn, the reel may undergo a range of topics, including:

  • Advanced friction
  • Poor casting skit
  • Noisy procedure
  • The reduced lifespan of the reel

Dirty or Damaged Drag Washers

Dirty or damaged drag washers in a bait caster reel can negatively impact the reel’s version and lead to fishing line breakage. The drag washers, which are generally made of felt, cork, or other materials, supply a friction surface to permit direct the spooling rate and application tension to the fishing line.

If the drag washers evolve dirty or damaged, they can stick, causing the line to come off the spool unevenly, or even causing the line to break under pressure. In some cases, the drag washers can become tight, losing their capacity to deliver adequate tension and friction control. Dirty or damaged drag washers can be cleaned or replaced, depending on the dimensions of the damage, to restore the reel’s interpretation.

Incorrect Spool Tension

Incorrect spool tension in a bait caster reel occurs when the tension on the spool is too loose or too tight. When the spool tension is too loose, the line will slip off the spool easily and cause birds’ nests or tangles.

On the other hand, if the spool tension is too tight, the line will not be able to flow off the spool smoothly, causing the lure to drop too quickly and negatively affecting the accuracy of the cast. Maintaining the correct spool tension is essential for effective fishing and avoiding frustration. 

How to fix a baitcaster bird’s nest?

A “bird’s nest” is a common problem with baitcasting reels, which occurs when the fishing line gets tangled in the spool. By following these steps, you should be able to successfully fix a bait caster bird’s nest. If you continue to have trouble, you may want to consider having the reel serviced by a professional. Here are the steps you can follow to fix a bait caster birds nest:

Stop The Spool

As soon as you notice the bird’s nest, stop the spool from rotating to prevent the tangle from getting worse.

Remove The Line From The Spool

Carefully take the line off the spool and try to remove as much of the tangle as imaginable. You can use scissors to cut any knots or tangles, but be cautious not to cut the line itself.

Clean The Spool

Use a cloth or paper towel to clean the inside of the spool to clear any debris or dirt that may have contributed to the bird’s nest.

Reset The Line

Once the spool is clean and clear of tangles, you can begin to reset the line. Make sure to use enough line accommodation on the spool, and try to lay the line evenly and smoothly.

Adjust The Brakes

If the bird’s nest was driven by the brakes on your reel being too tight, adjust them so that they are looser. This will help to prevent future tangles.

Test It

After you’ve reset the line and changed the brakes, test the reel by casting a few times to make sure the line is coming off the spool smoothly and without twisting.


In conclusion, there are several reasons why a bait caster may not be reeling properly, including line tangles, problems with the spool tension, worn or damaged components, or issues with the brakes. To settle these situations, you may need to adjust the spool tension, wash the reel, supersede worn parts, or adjust the brake settings.

It’s also important to ensure that you’re using the correct line for your reel and that you’re casting and reeling with the proper method. If the issue continues, it may be best to take the reel to an experienced fishing supplies repair shop for further examination and repair. I hope you find the best results of your query related to why is my bait caster not reeling.


Why is my bait caster drag not working?

If you are unable to resolve the issue with the drag on your baitcaster, it may be best to take it to a professional for repair or replacement. However, here are some typical reasons why baitcaster drugs may not be working:

  • Line twist
  • Dirty drag washers
  • Improper adjustment
  • Worn parts
  • Lubrication

How to fix drag on bait caster?

>> Open the side plate of the baitcaster to access the drag system.
Check the drag washers for any damage or signs of wear.

>> Clean the drag washers and the surrounding components with a clean cloth.
Lubricate the drag washers with quality reel oil or grease.

>> Adjust the drag system to the wanted setting by wresting the drag knob or adjusting the star drag.

What happens if you put too much line on a bait caster?

If you put too much line on a baitcaster, it can cause several issues:
If you have too much line on your baitcaster, the spool may become overloaded and cause line wrenching’s, tangles, and bird nests.

With too much line on the spool, the baitcaster may not be able to generate sufficient speed and distance during a cast.

Overloading the spool can also reduce the sensitivity of the line, making it complex to detect bites or feel when you have a fish on the line.

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