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How To: Spinning Reel Distance and Accuracy

by Tom Melton 29 Nov 2022

How far can you cast your spinning reel? How accurate is your cast with your spinning reel? These are two questions that every angler is aware of, and at the same time are always trying to improve. I for one am a distance and accuracy fanatic. Whether I am using a 6-foot, 10-inch Speed Demon rod for trout and finesse baits, or a beefed up 11-foot Lamiglas surf rod on the open beach, accuracy and distance are my main concern! Spinning reel accuracy is a tough feat, but with practice can be easily achieved. Distance on the other hand is a simple formula where the line, rod and spinning reel, plus angler effort equates to distance. Let’s take a look at what you need to do, to become a proficient caster where accuracy and distance come to play.

Load it up!

The flat out bottom line where distance comes into play on a spinning reel is how much line you have on the spool. For maximum performance, the spool needs to be loaded up to within 1/16 of an inch from the spools lip. By loading the spool in this manner, you will allow optimum amounts of line to flow off the reel without the spool’s depth hindering the line.

On the backside of things, loading a spool can cause issues if you are not attentive. Loading a spool to the maximum means line is ready to fly off on the cast. The most important part of a spinning reel loaded like this is to pay attention to the spools firmness. After several casts, feel the spool and make sure the line is "tight" on the spool. If the line feels squishy or soft, make the next cast, then hold your line between your thumb and forefinger and apply tension when reel in in. This will retighten the spool. A tight spinning reel spool will lessen wind loops forming on the cast.

Rod, Finger and "You"

The remaining three factors that will give you ultimate casting distance is the spinning rod, your finger and "you". The spinning reel needs to be matched up to a fishing rod that will give you distance. A stout fishing rod will not give you anywhere near as far as a longer rod. There is a reason casting competition anglers use long rods and gold driving distance champs use longer clubs – longer equals farther!

Making sure your spool is extended and you grab the line with just the tip of your finger will greatly increase the distance of your cast.

On the "you" factor means that you have to learn how to cast to get optimum distance on a spinning reel and rod set up. Casting is an art. You don't just rear back and throw. On longer fishing poles your feet are critical when you set up to cast. On shorted fishing rods, the top and bottom hand location is important as is the "whip" you create when casting.

The last is finger and spool placement. To get the maximum distance on any cast, your spool would be fully extended so the line will not be impeded at all by the bail. And your finger needs to be holding the line with just the tip, so when the cast takes off, the line snaps off your finger quickly.

Whether you are using an ultra-light reel or a heavier and larger surf reel like the KastKing Elite Spinning Reel, making sure your spool is at maximum capacity is important.


I see so many anglers totally miss the mark when casting. And, I see so many anglers just cast with no intention to hit any mark. When using a spinning reel, accuracy is important most of the time when you are fishing. You may need to hit a "rip" line off the beach to get the lure to work into the strike zone. On a lake, you may need to put that cast within inches of a blow-down or hole in the lily pad field.

Accuracy on any rod is the set up. You have to set up in your mind where you want that cast to land. You need to pick a target and aim at that target. Most anglers cast side arm or off to one side of their shoulder or the other. For accurate casting with a spinning reel, you need to come straight over the top with the lure and rod.

When working on accuracy, casting directly overhead and straight towards your target will aid in hitting your mark.

Casting is like throwing a baseball. If you come straight up, the ball will usually go to where you are pointing on the follow through. In fishing, the closer you come to over the top and aiming at the target you want to hit, you will either hit the target, or come up a little short or long. The distance to your target is just going to take time to learn how far you can cast with a specific spinning reel and lure/bait set-up.

It is really easy

Distance and accuracy are not hard items to achieve when using a spinning reel. They may take a little practice to being attentive. However, as long as you have the reel spooled up high, you take the time to aim at your target and be attentive, you will be casting farther than anyone, and hitting your mark every time!

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