The Biggest Baitcasting Reel MISTAKE (When Using Braided Line)


Braided line is great because it’s sensitive, can cast far, and has a thin diameter relative to its strength.

If you’re using spinning gear, 10 lb. braid can cast your lure a country mile and can handle most inshore fish.

But what if you’re using a baitcasting reel?

In this video, you’re going to learn the biggest mistake anglers make when they use braided line with baitcasting reels that will likely cost them many bird’s nests and headaches.

I made this mistake, too, but since learning how baitcasting reels and braided line work together, I haven’t made it again and I don’t want you to make it, either!

Check out the video below.

Biggest Baitcasting Reel Mistake With Braided Line [VIDEO]

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Thin diameter line is great for spinning reels, but if you’re using baitcasting reels, you don’t want to use anything under 20 lb. braid.

If the line is really thin, it’ll dig into the spool if you have a big fish on or get snagged, which can cause knots and tangles.

Also, if you get a bird’s nest, the thinner line is much more likely to snap.

I’ve had my line dig into the spool and then snap, and unfortunately, I had to replace the entire spool.

So if you’re using a baitcasting reel, remember that it’s not like a spinning reel, and be sure to avoid braid under 20 lbs.

Have any questions about using baitcasting reels for inshore fishing?

Let me know down in the comments.

And if you know someone who’s used to using spinning reels with light line and wants to try out baitcasting reels, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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1 month ago

Hey Luke,

I have a question regarding the FG Knot for Braid to Mono Leader. I’ve seen your recommendation that the FG Knot is preferred/recommended for tying a braided line to a stronger mono/fluoro leader. Is “stronger” referring to line rating (eg. 15 lb braid to 20 lb mono) or line diameter (eg. 30 lb PowerPro with 0.28 mm line diameter to 20 lb mono with 0.45 mm line diameter)? I use a baitcasting reel so I am limited to minimum diameter of my main line. I generally do not like going much smaller than 30 lb braid (30-40 lb is my sweet spot for castability as well as preventing the line from digging into the spool). I usually use 20 lb mono leader. Would the FG knot be appropriate in this situation or would I be better off using something like the Doubled-Over Double Uni Knot? Thanks so much for all the help and educational fishing info you all provide.

God Bless!

8 months ago

I recently tried braid on my penn 525 super mag beach caster reel, I went for the Monster W8 (8 strands) blue braid 50lb which has the equivalent diameter of about 15lb mono. Very strong but a bugger to cut.
Twice now I have been out and I am finding the braid quite heavy in the water and with the currents running quite strong the rod tip was moving around a lot which didn’t happen when i was using mono so I added a shock-leader which did seem to help.
I guess it may have it’s advantages for course fishing but I am not completely sold on it if using it for beach-casting. I am certainly not getting anymore distance than I was before even though I have upgraded the bearings in the reel.
But I will persevere with it just to give it proper chance.

8 months ago

The braided issue magnifies itself when casting into the wind.
Increasing poundage of line will challenge the gears mechanics. I lost many a rap or had to swim out later into the weeds to retrieve a lure due to above replies or casting the 5th time.
Some manufactures specifically mention no braided line in their reels.
Spincast / baitcasters been part of my success vs pike and larger walleye. I add a 6 inch leeader (which may add to the aerodynamics issues) as NP are known to slice lines in upper midwest lakes.

Bob Shepard
11 months ago

As a general recommendation–20 pound braid or higher–I tend to agree. I would though further clarify.

I select 10-pound braid for my baitcasters because of: 1) casting distance, 2) incredible strength for pulling fish out of cover, and 3) its nimbleness, i.e. does not interfere with bait action (watch a live shrimp hooked with 10 pound braid vs 15-pound fluorocarbon.) 10-pound braid is not problem free, but one can learn to manage the problems.

Take snap-offs–the line breaks while the bait is in flight to splash down–as an example. Snap-offs occur when line is no longer flowing freely off the spool because of 1) reel backlashes, or more rarely, 2) the line is buried deeply into the spool. Snap-offs will encourage one to learn how to tune the system to avoid backlashes. It also encourages one to recognize conditions that lead to line burying itself in the spool and taking corrective action by manually stripping line off the spool before making the next cast.

Snap-offs always result in loss of bait, which can get expensive.

Can one experience a backlash without actually having the line break? Yes. It is highly correlated with weight of the bait. I have found snap-offs do not occur when using 10-pound braid and a bait weight of 1/4-ounce. Similarly, a 1/2-ounce weight requires 20-pound braid and a 1-ounce weight requires 40-pound braid. This rule of thumb has worked for me 90% of the time.

But one other word of caution. I have noticed braid frays over time with repeated in-flight stoppages, no matter the braid line strength. The fray is typically midway between the reel and bait and is only found while retrieving the bait. It is easily repaired with a double uni knot, but if unnoticed will result in line breakage during the next battle.

One has to want to fish with braid in order to tolerate its imperfections, and 10-pound is particularly difficult to master on a baitcaster throwing light weight baits. Some are up for the challenge.

Thom Ray
11 months ago

Well done Tony. How about a video of the advantages of baitcasters vs. spinning reels. A little tutorial on when to use a baitcaster and when to use spinning reels.

Jason Calvert
11 months ago

Agree Tony. I have a Lews Inshore SLP and 13 fishing TXZ baitcaster and I put 30lb braid on them. I’ve had trouble even with 20lb so I bumped it up and 30lb seems to do the job. Doesn’t dig into the spool at all or breaking off.

Andy Hong
11 months ago

Here here! I use 50 lb Power Pro Maxcuatro on my Shimano Curado DC baitcasting reels — and all’s good. The 50 lb’s diameter is equivalent to 10 lb mono.

The first time I loaded a Curado DC with braid, I used 14 lb FireLine braid — and sure enough, birds nests galore!!! I almost returned the reel, but after some quick research, I learned that you should load baitcasters with braid that’s equivalent in diameter to the appropriate mono. After switching to the aforementioned 50 lb Maxcuatro, perfect casts every time.

Nick Terry
10 months ago
Reply to  Andy Hong

This is solid info – Just “switched to braid” and put 15# braid on my Curado DC and am getting obliterated. Will start testing weights between 30-50#.

Thanks for the tip.


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