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Casting ABC – some useful tips to start off with

Casting is one of the most popular forms of fishing and also a pleasant and useful pastime. Starting a casting hobby is easy and affordable: all you need is some basic equipment and you are ready to head to the nearest body of water to start your fishing career.

Casting equipment – this is what you will need for fishing with a spinning reel and rod

  • reel
  • rod
  • line
  • leader or snap swivel
  • lure(s)

    A suitable rod length is 7–8´ (210–240 cm) and rod size 3000–4000. Assembling the kit is easy and does not require tools beyond a knife or scissors.

Casting ABC

A video guide for beginning a casting hobby. On the video, Jussi Hutri from KuhanVetäsen Trolling Team, a partner of the Happy Angler online store, will explain and demonstrate in detail the basic information you need to begin casting. This includes the necessary equipment, how to wind line on your spinning reel, what knots to use for lures, etc.

Watch the video and you will be ready to go fishing!

Attaching the reel to a spinning reel rod.

The first thing to do is to attach your reel to the rod. This is done by untightening the reel seat a bit and placing the reel onto the seat. Once the reel is in place, retighten the reel seat. Tighten the reel seat enough to ensure that the reel does not wobble on the seat. Reel seats vary slightly depending on the rod, and the reel is secured by the front grip or a rotating cuff behind the reel.

Nearly all spinning reels can be adjusted for either hand. Changing the handedness is very easy. Open the screw holding the crank on the non-drive side of the reel. Switch the crank and the screw to the opposite sides and retighten the screw. The placement of the crank is based on the angler's personal preference. Whichever side feels better is the right side for you.

Winding line onto the spool: How is the line wound onto a spinning reel?

It is advisable to choose the thickness of your line based on the recommended thickness for your spinning reel. Most manufacturers specify a range of thicknesses that are suitable for the reel. 0.30 mm line is good for general casting, for example. Run the line through at least one line guide and tie it around the spool using a spool knot. Make sure that the bail arm of the spinning reel is open before tying the line onto the spool. Once the line is tied onto the spool, release the bail to allow the line run from the spool to the line guides behind the bail. Next, you can just wind the line onto the spool. While winding the line onto the spool, keep the filler spool in an upright position and the line slightly tightened to ensure that it winds onto the spool close, without slack or twists.

How much line to use on a spinning reel?

You do not want to wind too much line onto the spool. A suitable amount of line leaves two to five millimeters of the spool visible. A spinning reel with too much line is prone to twisted lines. On the other hand, if you use too little line, your casting length will suffer and the risk of running out of line with larger fish increases. Once you have wound enough line onto the spool, run the line through each line guide and tie a leader to the end of the line. Use a leader knot to secure the leader; a regular overhand knot will not last! Leaders come in various types and sizes. If your target is pike, we recommend using a pike leader due to its sharp teeth. 20–30 cm is a suitable length for the leader. Once you have attached the leader, your spinning reel combo only needs a lure to go fishing.

Reel operation and casting

When fishing with a spinning reel, the reel is always kept below the rod. The drag is adjusted at the front or the rear of the reel, depending on the model. When you start fishing, you should adjust the drag to a suitable tightness. This means that the line runs off the reel quite easily. When casting with a spinning reel, leave approximately 30 cm of line free at the end of the rod. Pull up the line coming off the reel with your index finger and press your finger against the reel seat. Open the bail arm with your other hand. Grab the rear grip of the rod with the hand you used to open the bail. Hold the rod with both hands when casting. Next, bring the rod over your shoulder and cast the lure forward with a relaxed movement. At the halfway point of the casting motion, lift your index finger to release line, thus allowing the lure to fly in the desired direction in a controlled arc.

Start the retrieve as soon as the lure hits the water. It is advisable to vary the retrieve speed, as this will produce a life-like irregular movement. If your first cast proves unsuccessful, just try again.

Patience is key in fishing!

You've got a bite – what now?

What to do when a fish bites down on your lure? The important thing to do is to remain calm and avoid panicking. It is also important to strike back. This refers to a quick jerk with the rod as soon as you feel the fish bite. Quickly pull your rod up and continue the retrieve. The purpose of the strike back is to ensure that the hook is properly secured. Many fish have bony mouths and thus the hook may not get proper purchase without the strike back. If the fish at the other end of your line is larger, you may want to adjust the drag. A heavier fish needs more line as it tries to break free. Otherwise the hook may come off or the line break. Remember to keep the line tightened at all times and point your rod up or to the side. The rod should never be pointed toward the fish during the fight, as this will focus the strength of the fish directly onto the line, without the rod flexing in between. A large enough net is the best tool for bringing in your catch. Pliers for removing hooks are also part of the standard equipment of any angler.

Remember to release any fish you do not want to eat!

Lures for casting

You should include a few easy and effective lures in your tackle box. Listed below are a few reliable options in different categories, which may lead to excellent results!

The Bete Lotto 12 spinner is slightly larger than traditional spinners due to its thicker body. But the most important thing to point out about Lotto 12 is that is really effective! Perfect for perch, pike, and salmonids! When plugs or spoons are not working, reach for Bete Lotto 12.

KuhanVetäsen Trolling Team is a partner of the Happy Angler online store. 

Kuusamo Räsänen  is probably the most legendary spoon in Finland. Pike, large perch, and salmonids are all crazy about Räsänen. And the extensive color chart has suitable options for any occasion. Enjoyable casting over longer distances. We particularly recommend trying Räsänen in the summer months when waters are warmer.

Bete Krokodil spoon is an excellent option for pike fishing in particular! The side-to-side action is irresistible to pike. One of the most effective pike spoons on the market!


Jussi & Tuomas Hutri
KuhanVetäsen Trolling Team



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