How Do I Stop My Reel From Spinning Backwards? Latest Solutions 

Have you ever heard the term back reeling? If you have ever gone fishing with your father, he might have told you how it was in their time.

Backreeling was a practice used to catch bigger fish. However, due to revolutionary advancements in technology today, that practice has been replaced with a mechanical anti-reverse switch and drag control and this is where we address the question, “How Do I Stop My Reel from Spinning Backwards?” question.

The anti-reverse prevents your reel from spinning backward and the drag control calibrates a limit on the amount of pressure the switch will handle before letting the line lose and spinning backward.

How Do I Stop My Reel From Spinning Backwards

So, in short, the fishing reels are designed to spin both ways. However, when reeling in, if your reel starts spinning backward that is a serious problem. Because it is not supposed to do so.

There might be a mechanical error or an operational error. We will discuss these errors in detail and also how you can fix them to stop the reel from spinning backward.

Let’s Begin

How Do I Stop My Reel From Spinning Backwards? Some Problems and Solutions Addressed

Operation Errors

Operation error means fault at your end. If you are a beginner, then there is a chance you might be doing something wrong.

Fishing reels have mechanisms to stop the handle from spinning backward. For spinning reel, it is called bail and for baitcasters, it is the anti-reverse switch.

So, if you haven’t switched on bail or anti-reverse after casting the line, then the backward spinning is your fault.

Operation Errors

Drag helps you adjust the tension limit on your spool which you can control with your thumb in baitcasting reels. If you haven’t adjusted it properly, then even a slight pull from the fish will allow the reel to spin backward.

Hence, you must make sure that the bail or anti-reverse switch is on, and the drag is calibrated before checking for mechanical issues. You may also like to check Why Does My Reel Keep Spinning?.

Mechanical Malfunctions

If you are sure that the problem is not at your end, then there might be something wrong with the reel.

There are mainly three types of reel, excluding fly fishing and surf fishing special equipment.

Out of these three, spinning reels and baitcasting reels are the most popular among fishers and anglers.

Mechanical Malfunctions

Various problems can occur in their mechanisms due to which the reel can spin backward.

Here’s how you can identify these problems and fix them. Check Do Spinning Reels Backlash?

Improper Maintenance 

If you haven’t been giving proper maintenance to your reel, then debris can settle in which could have caused the malfunction which you are currently facing.

So, opening the reel and cleaning it properly should resolve the issue.

Improper Maintenance 

Also, you must be careful while greasing the components. Make sure you do not over-grease the mechanisms, as they might slip and start spinning in the backward direction.

Failure of Anti-Reverse Clutch

The anti-reverse clutch is a modern mechanism that allows the reel to spin both ways. The technology makes fishing more efficient, allowing users to cast and reel the spool easily without backlash or tangling.

However, sometimes these mechanisms can get jostled, which will cause the reel to spin backward.

Failure of Anti-Reverse Clutch

To fix the problem, you will have to open the anti-reverse mechanism and repair it.

Don’t worry, it is not a very complex process and can be done at home. All you need is a screwdriver and ½ inch socket.

Here’s what to do:

  • First of all, unscrew the housing cap using the screwdrivers and remove the spool washers.
  • Remove the rotor nut using the ½ inch socket and then remove the rotor assembly.
  • The clutch bearing cap has a series of screws. Unscrew them and remove the clutch assembly.
  • You must be careful not to touch or move the pinion while removing the clutch assembly.
  • Check to see if the anti-reverse clutch is broken. If yes, then replace it.
  • Realign the clutch bearing.
  • Reinstall the clutch assembly, then the cap, then the rotor assembly, then the rotor nut, then spool washers, and in the end housing cap.
  • Check to see if the problem has been resolved.

Faulty Bail

Bail serves two main functions, one of which is controlling the line and preventing the spool handle from spinning backward.

If there is a problem with the bail switch, then you might experience backward spinning.

To resolve this problem, you will have to take the bail mechanism apart and replace any broken components.

bail failure

The primary reason for faulty bail is the bail spring getting worn out. Hence, it won’t be serving the same function with efficiency as it was before.

All you need to fix the bail is a screwdriver and a replacement spring.

Here’s what to do:

  • Remove the screw at the base of the bail with a screwdriver.
  • Slowly pull off the base in a twisting motion and move it to the other side. No need to take it apart.
  • Remove the bail spring by first pushing it inside and then pulling it outwards.
  • Separate the pin from the worn-out bail spring and then insert the pin in the new bail spring.
  • Insert the bail spring with the pin back into place.
  • Bring the base of the bail arm back to its place and reinstall the screw you removed in the beginning.
  • All Done! Now check if the bail is functioning properly.

The drag is not working properly

The backward spinning problem can also occur if your drag is not working properly. Fixing your drag is not as difficult as fixing the anti-reverse as you wouldn’t require any screwdriver or socket.

However, you will need sandpapers, cleaner fluid, and machine oil. You may also like to check What Size Spinning Reel Should I Get

The drag is not working properly

Here’s what you have to do.

  • Unscrew the drag knob nut by turning it in the anti-clockwise direction.
  • Pop out the spring to release the drag washers.
  • Check for rust and dirt on the metal discs.
  • If there are any broken discs or too worn-out ones, you should replace them.
  • Use the sandpaper to remove all of the dirt and rust on the discs until they are squeaky clean and shining.
  • Then put these discs along with washers in a container and let them soak in cleaner fluid for about 5 minutes.
  • Also, use cleaner fluid to clean the inside of the drag, from where you removed the drag washers and metal discs. You can cotton ear picks to clean the area.
  • Now, place the drag washers back inside in the correct order.
  • Correct order: Soft—Hard (Round), Soft—Hard (Pointed), Soft—Hard (Round), Soft—Hard (Pointed).
  • Put a tiny bit of oil in the drag knob and then replace it.
  • Adjust the drag tension. It should work properly now.

Check Can You Use Spinning Reel For Trolling?

Frequently Asked Questions

Fishing reels are designed to spin both ways. But if after casting the line your reel is spinning in the backward direction it might be because of problems in the anti-reverse, bail, or drag system.

If your reel is spinning both ways at the same time, it might be because of a mechanical or operation failure. We have discussed these issues in detail in the above article. These issues are easy to fix and you can fix them at home.

Fixing the anti-reverse mechanism on the spinning reel might be a bit complex but it can be done at home. We have shared a detailed guide in the above article. You might have to buy some replacement parts in case any are broken.

Wrapping Up!

In conclusion, you can stop your reel from spinning backward by repairing bail, anti-reverse clutch, or drag. We have discussed detailed steps for each fix.

If you are finding it difficult to fix these problems yourself, you can always take your fishing gear to a professional.

Fixing the fishing reel that spins both ways can be a bit difficult, but with the right gear and guidance, you can do it easily at home.

Let us know in the comments if you were able to resolve the issue.

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