Do Spinning Reels Backlash? Everything You Should Know

To answer in a Yes or No regarding “Do Spinning Reels Backlash?” Yes, they do. Backlash is one of the biggest problems you have to face when using a spinning reel.

The choice of a reel has crucial importance in a good fishing experience. However, the quality of the reel alone is not responsible for backlash. 

Although one cannot deny the significance of a good spinning reel, other factors like the amount of line on the spool, flipping of bail, and location of your index finger also impact the backlash. 

Do Spinning Reels Backlash

Hence, if you are facing backlash during fishing, the reel might not be the problem. I was able to come up with some of the most effective methods to prevent backlashes during my fishing experience. 

While their methods are not foolproof, they certainly reduce backlash on a spinning reel. 

Do Spinning Reels Backlash? How It Happens?

Backlash refers to the tangled mess which is created by the rattling or jamming of the line against the first guide.

So, if you have caught a fish but noticed a tangled mess while reeling it in, it can be termed as a backlash or is commonly called a bird’s nest (referring to its appearance). 

Backlash can also occur during casting. Even seasoned anglers and experienced fishermen have faced this issue. 

When casting a line, you might notice that the lure has slowed down but the reel is still moving with the same speed, which will cause the line to gather in form of a tangled mess. 

Backlash on a Spinning Reel How It Happens

It can also occur when the sack line gets wound on the spool near the mouth of the reel. 

Many anglers let go of spinning reels after facing such problems, thinking there was a problem with the equipment. You may also like to check Why Does My Reel Keep Spinning?.

While that is a possibility, it might not be the case every time. So, to help you out, I will be sharing some of the most effective methods that can help you prevent backlash on a spinning reel. 

How to Prevent Backlash on a Spinning Reel?

There are five important factors that you must take into account to prevent backlash on a spinning reel. 

How to Prevent Backlash on a Spinning Reel

Choose the Right Equipment

Choosing the right equipment has crucial importance and certainly plays an important role in preventing backlash. 

Choosing a low-quality reel, or using the wrong reel, rod, and line combination can mess up your fishing experience. 

So, if you are a beginner and don’t know much about fishing reels, you can read our extensive guides to learn more about them. We have a team of experts who test and review the most popular spinning reels in the market. 

Only after you have done thorough research and inquiry, you should select the fishing equipment. 

Avoid Putting Excessive Lines on Spool

Spinning reels and baitcasting reels differ in their spool. Unlike baitcasting reels, spinning reels do not have spool inertia that can slow it down with the lure. 

So, if you put too much line on the spool, it can cause backlash on the spinning reel. 

The spinning reel spool is sensitive and can go off even at the tiniest amount of pressure. When casting with an excessive line on the spool, the spool will keep on spinning even when the lure has slowed down. 

Hence, the line will spew out and get tangled causing the dreaded bird’s nest in your spool. 

So, you must avoid putting too much spool on the line. Check How Do I Stop My Reel From Spinning Backwards?

Flip Bail With Your Hand

If the bail is flipped by turning the reel handle, it often becomes the very cause of slack on the first revolution. You won’t observe any loose line that is about to be wound on the spool. 

Turning the bail by hand keeps you aware of the loose line and allows you to reel it back before closing the bail manually. 

Manually closing the bail also reduces the stress on the bail spring, which often becomes the very cause of reel failure. 

After you have used the reel for some time, the bail spring weakens which causes the bail to not fully close on its own. Hence, the first revolution will cause slack on the spool which can lead to a backlash. 

Check What Size Spinning Reel Should I Get

You can use the hand that is not placed on the rod to flip the bail manually and prevent any risk of backlash. 

Place Index Finger Near Spool Lip

You can also prevent the line from leaving the spool by applying a little amount of pressure with your finger. 

Place your index finger near the spool lip or mouth. When you cast a line, make sure that you allow the spool to run only till the lure has hit the water. 

Once the lure hits the water, you can apply some pressure on the line using the finger to prevent it from going any further. 

So, you will be able to reduce the amount of slack and prevent backlash. 

This method is not 100% fool-proof but it is very effective and allows you to significantly reduce backlash on a spinning reel. 

Raise the Rod Tip

Raising the rod tip a little bit before retrieving is one of the most effective and technical methods to reduce the frequency of backlashes. The method was used by Tom Mann who was among the pioneers of the tournament in bass fishing. 

Tom lifted the tip of the rod several inches before retrieving the line. Upon observation, it became obvious that he did it to reduce the slack in the cast line. Check Can You Use Spinning Reel For Trolling?

When lifting the rod tip, it automatically extends the line between the rod tip and reel which has little tension. Hence there will be fewer prospects of a tangle. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, it is definitely possible to get backlash on a spinning reel. It is one of the most annoying factors because, unlike baitcaster reels, spinning reels do not have spool inertia for precise and accurate lure control. 

There can be a lot of reasons that are causing your reel to backlash. It might occur because you have put too much spool on the reel, haven’t chosen the right equipment or the bail is not closing correctly. Read the above guide for more details. 

Choose the right equipment, avoid putting too much spool on the reel, put your index finger near the spool lip while casting, manually close the bail and raise the rod tip while retrieving the line. These methods will surely reduce the chances of backlash. 

There is no surefire method to fix the backlash 100%. You can read the above guide to learn about possible methods that can reduce the chances of backlash on a spinning reel. 

Wrapping Up!

Backlash is one of the common flaws of spinning reels, which they have considerably improved using advanced technological features. However, it still happens from time to time.

While these tricks will not completely eliminate backlash from your spinning reel, they will certainly prevent and reduce the number of unnecessary backlashes. 

With time, I understood the significance of these small but efficient tricks that helped me get rid of the backlash problem. Hence, I decided to share them with you. 

I hope these methods are able to help you out just like the way they helped me and allow you to enjoy a wonderful fishing experience. With no backlash, you will be able to catch fish like a breeze.

If you have any questions, you can drop them in the comments section below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

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