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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Martin Epperly
3 months ago

Well, this is an eye opener for me. I always thought thinner was better. I have recently spooled 20# SpiderWire EZ Braid on one of my Lews Speed Spool LFS baitcasters, and 20# Power Pro Super 8Slick V2 on another, and they are both getting backlash in mid cast. I’ve adjusted my spool tension and brake tension multiple different settings to no avail. I’m not new to baitcasters, but I never thought that the small diameter line could be the problem.

Fredrick Johnson
7 months ago


8 months ago

On bait casters why waste braid on totally using it, or where I have seen put a token amount of mono on, then braid? Why not fill it with mono, last 50-65 yard with braid.

You do have to shuffle it.

I have 2 old reels for this. First just taping the braid on, loading 65 yards, then fill with mono.

I then transfer it to an old saltwater reel, then to another, now the mono is on top. I simply attach it to the bait casters and wind it on, mono, then braid.

If an average cast is 30 yards or so, seems silly to waste braid that is just never used.

I add a 30 LB mono leader of about 15 feet, to the 40 lb braid, like fly fishing I may step down smaller diameters if needed with the leader.

I am just not trying to cast 100 yards plus with a bait caster.

Basically I only use 40/30 pounds for hang ups.

Justin Bradburn
1 month ago
Reply to  Jamesnn

Braid lasts much longer than mono and doesn’t stretch. The longevity of braid makes it cheaper than mono too.

11 months ago

This article is so outdated it is laughable. I just spooled 6lb braid on a KastKing BFS rod and reel. Cast side wind a good 70-80 yards, loose spool, brake on #2. These guys really need to get up to speed, products have changed monthly in 2022.

Joseph Simonds
11 months ago
Reply to  GPCobb

It all fairness, this article was published in 2020

11 months ago
Reply to  GPCobb

Now put that line on a reel that isn’t designed for BFS fishing and throw some heavy lures and see what happens. The problem isn’t the article not being “up to speed” the problem is you’re comparing apples to oranges.

Tim Wheeler
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

I agree 100% great article, and will help lots of people out that are having issues, but the comparison isn’t up to speed with the discussion here.

9 months ago
Reply to  GPCobb

Just shows that you’ve never brought in a nice fish that peels drag, and tried to cast right after…

Daniel Fonvielle
1 year ago

I have 2 baitcast reels with 15lb braid – 2 with 20 and one with 40. I fish fairly clear mostly shallow tidal creeks for trout – reds and flounder. Light line matters when it comes to trout. Recently my brother was using 10lb braid on a spinning reel and caught around 15 trout. the guy fishing with him was using 15 lb mono and caught 2. This how I make 15lb braid work on my baitcasters. At first I was just taking out the side to side movement on the spool and adjusting with the magnets. This works on braid down to 20 and most any mono. With the 15lb braid that method didnt work for me, to much spool speed. I started using the drop method according to the lure. adjusting until there was no spool spin when it hit the ground and then using the mag brakes. I lost a little in distance but have no problems with backlashing. I hope this helps

2 years 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!

11 months ago
Reply to  Mat

Albright is easier, never had one pull through with 12-15 wrapps

Justin Bradburn
1 month ago
Reply to  Mat

It isn’t about strength, it’s about the knot going through the guides. If you use a long leader like 10 feet, you gotta use an FG knot.

If you use short 2 foot leaders, yeah, double uni up. Surgeon knot though, much faster to tie.

2 years 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.

2 years 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
3 years 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.

11 months ago
Reply to  Bob Shepard

10 lb. and under is the most fun, adjust your reel for it, enjoy the fight. As Andy says when you can skip a baitcaster out of sight under a dock it don’t get much better than this.

Thom Ray
3 years 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.


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