Other than cranking the handle, most anglers only touch their spinning reel to open the bail before a cast. Well, there is a lot more that can be done to give your spinning reel a helping hand!
Your fingers can be used to adjust the distance of your cast by applying pressure to top edge of the spool as line uncoils. The amount and length of pressure will let you place the lure right where you want. This technique should be used in place of two common angling errors. The mistakes are quickly cranking the handle to close the bail and/ or jerking the rod. The use of your fingers to “feather” the line is far more accurate, effective and better for your reel.
Closing the bail by hand after making a cast is a great habit to learn. For starters, it will extend the life of your reel. Turning the handle to initiate the bail trip mechanism causes unnecessary torque on the reel that will lead to worn and broken parts overtime. Using your hand eliminates this torque, plus it is just as fast and efficient as turning the handle to close the bail.
Another bonus of closing the bail by hand is the elimination of most loose loops that can develop on the spool. These loops are caused by slack line at the end of the cast and often lead to a bird nesting tangle on the subsequent cast (especially with the small diameter GSP lines like Power Pro). When you use the handle to close the bail, the bail arm makes a partial revolution before closing which allows the loose loop to develop. The better alternative is to put your hand on the bail wire to close the bail manually.
A cause of the dreaded bird’s nest is cranking the handle when the drag is feeding out line during a battle with a large fish. This causes twists to form in the line which leads to tangles; therefore, it is important to remember not to reel when you hear the drag clicker.
It is often necessary to quickly put the brakes on a hard charging fish headed to break you off on barnacle encrusted pilings. In this situation, you want to apply pressure with your fingers on the spool to slow or stop its rotation. It is common for anglers to apply spool pressure with baitcasting or fly reels but for some reason people forget to use the same technique for spin fishing.
Give your reel a helping hand with these techniques. You’ll be fishing with less frustration and bring more fish to the boat!