April 15, 2017

The Right and Wrong Way to Hold a Baitcaster

This is how I hold a baitcaster. Actually, there are a couple techniques I use, depending on the lures and presentation being used.

For me, a baitcaster is the gateway to mastering artificial baits.

While only a tool in the toolbox, and not "better" than other inshore equipment, a baitcaster has capabilities that, when mastered, offer superior lure presentation.

I love baitcasting equipment and use them more than I use anything else. If I do use spinning tackle, it is almost exclusively for popping corks, which are something like the Ak-47 of the Louisiana marsh.

How I hold a baitcaster

Over the years, I have learned there are different ways I like to hold a low-profile baitcaster, and at least one way that anyone should definitely not.

Conventional Grip

This is the grip most people use when throwing any kind of lure.

I like it for sightfishing redfish, tossing topwater lures or throwing crankbaits.

Note that I keep my thumb over the reel, so it can do duty "thumbing" the spool as a lure is flying through the air.

Normal Grip for Baitcaster

Here is how it looks on the underside.

Note the trigger is between my middle finger and ring finger.

Conventional Grip for Baitcaster

See that the trigger of the reel seat is between my middle and ring fingers.

Palming the Reel

"Palming" the reel is a technique I use for jigging, or any kind of lure presentation where I need to "feel" the line.

I do this by moving my hand up the reel seat, putting the side of the reel into my palm, then running a finger under the line so that I can feel any vibration, tick or tap.

I already use high quality, sensitive rods but palming the reel gives me that direct line to the business end of my tackle.

Grip for Jigging with Baitcaster

When I jig for speckled trout, this is how I hold my baitcaster.

Note my entire hand is forward of the trigger.

Palming the Reel

This is how I was holding my baitcaster when jigging for trout in this fishing report.

How not to do it

Baitcasters aren't meant to be held like this. It's not how I hold a baitcaster.

Wrong Way to Hold a Baitcaster

It's just unnatural and puts too much weight forward of the wrist, increasing fatigue.

Plus it yells "I'm a newbie".

How Not To Hold a Baitcaster

You're wrong if you have a fistful of rod.

What works for you?

Ultimately, you have to figure this out for yourself. I know anglers who never palm a reel because it is so uncomfortable for them.

I know other anglers who only palm reels, even if they are fishing in a manner they don't need the extra sensitivity.

What I do here is what works for me. It's how I hold a baitcaster.

Find what works for you.

Captain Devin

About the Author

Devin is a former fishing guide and lifelong inshore angler. He founded Louisiana Fishing Blog in 2012 to share his ideas as a charter captain and still writes in it today. Since then he's created a fishing university — LAFB Elite — where he teaches inshore anglers how to safely navigate Louisiana's coast and catch more fish.

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