How to Cast a Fishing Rod for Beginners [The Complete Guide]

 The primary step of learning how to fish is how to cast a fishing rod. For starters, get fishing gear. Setting up is not a problem as they can help, but throwing a fishing rod is something you need to do solo. Well, you can try looking at what they do, but the effort is entirely on your side.

Fact is, there’s no way you are going to catch the fish without casting the rod. So yes, it’s essential! Also, casting is not just throwing the rod in water; it requires techniques, strength, and basic knowledge of the rod components.

Sounds hard? Don’t worry, as the below guide will show you how to cast a fishing rod. So, you don’t have to bail on the much-anticipated excursion.

Read on.

Read also: The 5 Best Casting Rods in 2022

Basic Casting

For beginners, body positioning is a crucial factor in casting a fishing rod. Also, it would help if you learned hand and arm coordination for accuracy. So how should you position your body when casting a fishing rod?

Before you start:

  • Make sure no one is near you.
  • In case you are fishing with loved ones, maintain an ample distance to avoid hitting someone.
  • Be on the look for nearby trees and shrubs that can get in the way to keep a distance.

Let’s begin!

  1. Stand with your feet with all the toes and shoulders facing the target.
  2. Aim the tip of the rod at the target. You can hold the rod with both hands for beginners, unlike experienced anglers who can comfortably hold it with one hand.
  3. With your thumb, press down and hold the release button on the reel.
  4. Quickly but smoothly, bend your arm at the elbow, then raise the hand holding the rod to eye level.
  5. Make sure your thumb is still on the reel’s release button.
  6. The rod should be in a straight position all the way.
  7. The plug’s weight will bend the rod down, and as it bends, use a slight wrist movement to move your forearm forward.
  8. Still, your thumb should be on the release button.
  9. Sweep the rod forward, making it bend with the motion.
  10. As the rod moves before you at about a 10 o’clock position, release the thumb on the button.
  11. The bend in the rod will cast the bait and bobber out.
  12. Stop the fishing rod when it’s pointing a little above the target.

Hurray, you just made a cast!

NOTE: the timing of releasing your thumb from the button is vital. It will regulate how high or how low the lure falls on the target.

Don’t know how to cast? Fear not! You can start by practicing with a ping pong or tennis ball. Toss it overhand to the target area. All this while maintain your shoulders square. How you release the ball is the same way you remove the thumb when casting.

This is the essential and ideal body position and method for casting a fishing rod.

Advanced Casting

The advanced casting of a fishing rod is by using specific fishing reels. Before beginning, always get into the above body position. Read on.

Casting with a Spinning Reel

Spinning reels are perfect for both beginners and pro anglers because of the low price and easy to use aspect. Most times, when beginners learn how to fish, they use the spinning reels for convenience. Get started.

  1. To hold a spinning reel entirely for casting, slip your hand around the reel seat. Use two fingers in front and two fingers behind. This way, you will have an excellent casting grip with your forefinger free to hook the line as you swing the rod for casting.
  2. Allow an adequate amount of line to hang from the tip to provide a little weight, preferably about 5-15 inches. Hold the rod handle in a comfortable waist-level position.
  3. Extend the first finger of the reel hand downwards to the spool to collect the line in front of the bail arm. The line will retrieve back up against the rod grip to where your finger traps it. This causes enough slack to allow successful casting.
  4. Do not let go of the line until you launch the cast.
  5. Using your free hand, open the bail arm, ready for casting. Make sure not to open the bail before you secure the line. This will cause the line to spill from the spool creating a mess.
  6. Pull the rod back and over the shoulder of the arm you are using to cast. Move both hands holding the rod (or one for an expert) up and out. The rod tip should be faintly (30 degrees) above the target.
  7. Make sure the rod moves on a horizontal path rather than up and down. The casting stroke should begin slowly and accelerate as you finish by drifting forward ahead of you.
  8. Release the line as you sweep the rod in front of you. Snap the rod back until both hands are at the chest-level. To enhance your accuracy, maintain your index finger pointing towards your target.

Casting With a Spincast Reel

  1. Rotate the reel crank clockwise until the bait is about 1 foot from the rod tip. This length is perfect for a strong cast. But add the line’s size if you are using a sinker because it can make your line too short, causing a low cast.
  2. Place your thumb slightly before the reel button and grip the handle of the rod. To make sure your grip is secure, wrap your index finger on the projection. Make sure you are holding the rod with your dominant hand.
  3. Press firmly on the reel button using the thumb of the dominant hand holding the rod. Once you press, the line will fly out of the spool. Make sure you press the button firmly for the line to go far.
  4. Raise your casting arm till your hand is on your face-level. Ensure the movement comes from the elbow, not the shoulder, to achieve a better snap after casting. The rod handle should maintain above the waist always. Also, don’t lift your arm too high as it will strain your shoulder.
  5. Reverse your hand with the rod a bit and quickly sweet the rod past your face stopping at 30 degrees above ground. Make sure your movement is easy and smooth. Forceful sweeping can lead you off balance.
  6. Let go of the reel button. This will propel your lure to the target area.
  7. Push the button immediately your bait lands on water. This time around, your bait will fly slowly, dropping down nicely to where you want it. Hence relax and wait for the fish to hook on the lure.

Casting With a Baitcasting Reel

  1. Adjust the tension and drag of the reel. Adjust to a level that’s convenient for you before using it. Simply rotate the magnetic wheel on the back of the grip to your desired feel. Your desired feel will make the line fly effortlessly when you cast. It’s a complex device, but preferably set resistance level to 9 for first-timers.
  2. Allow an adequate length of the line to hang from the rod tip. Preferably, hang your bait 0.30m from the end. This way, you will have sufficient momentum when casting.
  3. Position the reel crank and spool facing upwards to use your wrist to achieve a satisfying snap when you are casting.
  4. Grasp the rod with your thumb over the spool. This will give you more control over how the line is running in the cast. If you prefer to reel and cast using the same hand, you will need to switch the grip after casting.
  5. Release the button to allow the spool to run freely for the line to throw a perfect great distance. When you reach the maximum spool release, place your thumb on the spool to prevent unwinding.
  6. Raise your casting arm up and back your shoulder.
  7. Sweep the rod forward as you release the thumb from the spoon wheel. Whipping and removing the button in time will cause the line to fly in the target’s direction. Maintain a relaxed and bent arm throughout.
  8. Break the reel spool using your thumb just before it reaches the water. Make sure it stops entirely before landing.


Congratulations! You are ready to cast a fishing rod with the above casting reels. This puts you ahead of your game, and you can comfortably indulge in any fishing trip. However, this is not a one-time thing. Practice makes perfect hence keep practicing to have it all at your fingertips. It would be better to learn to cast a fishing rod with even more casting reels, as successful fishing can require various varieties.

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