Inshore insights: Easy tip to prevent a backlash

Spooling the correct amount of line is key

Baitcasters are an excellent tool for inshore anglers, offering capabilities not found in spinning reels.

These include faster, repeatable and accurate casts to pinpoint targets, like bridge pilings or tailing redfish.

On top of that, casting tackle gives inshore anglers more power and control over their lure, enabling actions and presentations not possible (or at least very difficult to do) with spinning gear.

But the baitcaster comes along with every inshore angler’s arch nemesis: the dreaded backlash.

If you want to see $12 of fishing line quickly turn into a bird’s nest, backlashing a baitcaster is an easy way to do it.

But that really is no reason to reject casting tackle as an excellent tool for your tacklebox.

There are many things you can do to prevent “professional overrun”, including the adjustment of magnetic/centrifugal brakes, the spool tension knob and even silicon lubricants.

But if I had to pick one thing that would really help baitcaster performance, it would be the amount of line spooled onto the reel.

So what is the correct amount?

Inshore anglers need to strike a perfect balance between too little and too much line.

Too little and there isn’t enough mass to keep the spool turning. Too much will leave the spool faster than it can leave the rod tip, resulting in a backlash.

With the perfect amount of line, you can hit that “sweet spot” for awesome casting performance, minus the nasty bird’s nest.

So how much line should you put on the spool?

Whether I am using monofilament, fluorocarbon or braid, I like to put line up to 1/16 of an inch away from the spool’s beveled edge. (Please refer to the picture for reference.)

Every reel, rod and lure combo is different, but I have found this to be the right amount of line to start with across the board for more casting success — minus backlashes.

Questions or comments? Chime in below.

Editor’s Note: Devin Denman is an avid inshore fisherman who writes the Louisiana Fishing Blog. To read more of his articles, visit

Subscribe now, get unlimited access for $19.99 per year

Become the most informed Sportsman you know, with a membership to the Louisiana Sportsman Magazine and

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply