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How Do You Stop The Backlash On A Spinning Reel? (4 Easy Steps!)

Having a fantastic fishing experience depends on several factors. However, a simple thing like the backlash on a spinning reel can deteriorate the experience.

I have come across anglers with decades of experience who still face issues like backlash. If there’s one thing I learned from my grandfather and dad, it was that you need to pay attention to your equipment.

How Do You Stop The Backlash On A Spinning Reel?

The best way to stop the backlash on a spinning reel is to avoid putting too much line on the spool. Along with that, I recommend flipping the bail by hand and adjusting the brake system and spool tension. I cannot emphasize enough on how important it is to choose the right equipment before you begin. Furthermore, try and adjust an index finger next to the top end of the spool for a better experience. 

A fishing reel is arguably one of the most critical elements of a good fishing experience. However, purchasing the best equipment isn’t enough. There are a couple of other vital factors to keep in mind for those who want to gain optimal pleasure from their fishing expedition without the worry of a backlash.

Trust me, I have tried all these methods and had surprising results. I was able to lessen the backlash on my spinning reel without much hassle, helping me enjoy a wonderful fishing experience and getting the best catch. Read on to find out more about how I did it.

Ways To Stop The Backlash On A Spinning Reel 

Imagine that you’ve caught a nice, fat, juicy one and are eagerly waiting to reel it in. Suddenly, you notice the long skein of line rattling or getting jammed against the first guide, causing a tangled mess. This messy line is known as a “bird’s nest” because of its highly disheveled appearance. 

It can also occur when the lure slows down after casting, but the spool remains in motion. This can be a nightmare for most anglers, and even the most experienced and talented anglers have experienced this phenomenon. 

Personally, even after decades of experience with different reels and rods, I sometimes face the dreaded backlash on my spinning reel. This often occurs when the slack line gets wound on the spool near the mouth of my retrieve. 

I have observed several anglers shying away from using spinning reels due to this problem. However, I have come up with a couple of solutions that can help you prevent or reduce backlash on a spinning reel. 

Here are some of the best solutions I have found, which you can try and follow for a better fishing experience. 

1. Avoid Putting Too Much Line Onto Your Spool

One of the primary reasons you may be facing gear trouble, such as backlash, can be due to excessive lines on the spool. Unlike baitcasting reels which offer more precision and control, spinning reels have an absence of spool inertia, which can cause the spool to remain in motion even after the lure has slowed down. 

Putting too much line onto your spool can cause it to slip off at the littlest of pressures. If the spool does not slow down in time, it will carry on spinning with the same inertia. This will cause loose loops of line to spew out and get tangled amongst each other, causing the dreaded “bird’s nest.” 

2. Try Flipping The Bail With Your Hand

You can try and flip the bail by gently turning the handle of the reel. Doing this will automatically alert you of loose or slacking lines that can get wound up onto your spool. Try and manually pull the bail into a closed position using the free hand which is not holding the rod. 

Furthermore, adjusting the bail by hand helps reduce unnecessary stress on the bail spring. This is a major cause of most spinning reel failures, which you can expertly avoid using your hand. 

3. Choosing The Right Equipment 

I cannot stress this enough – you must research thoroughly and choose the right equipment before you begin. Do this by reading reviews, guides, and blog posts by other experienced anglers. You can also watch videos online to find out the right ways to use your new equipment. 

If you are a beginner angler, I recommend using a short-sized rod as it gives you greater control. Once you are adequately experienced, move on to a medium action rod which then helps you cast the lure without the dreaded backlash. 

Another essential tip is to select the right lure. While heavier lures are fine for baitcasting as a beginner, try and customize it between a light and heavy one as you gain more experience. 

4. Place An Index Finger Near The Mouth Of Your Spool

This is a trick I learned after losing dozens of beautiful fish to backlash. Since the spool continues to move with the same speed and movement, placing an index finger near the mouth of the spool puts a little bit of pressure against it. 

This, in turn, reduces the speed of the lure. It helps you prevent or at least minimize how much slackline you get at the end of the cast. Use your finger pressure to prevent any excess line from spewing out of the spool and causing slack. 


Most of the tricks I’ve mentioned above are tried and tested methods, and they have helped me immensely in preventing unnecessary backlash. In fact, I noticed my father and grandfather using some of the same tricks when we would fish earlier.

Of course, back then, I did not completely understand the value of these little tips and techniques. 

I hope this guide helps you prevent backlash from your spinning reel and enjoy a wonderful fishing experience. Don’t forget to comment below and let me know if it helped!