Why Is My Spinning Reel Not Casting Far: 7 Reasons

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There are several factors that cause your spinning reel to not cast very far. Sure, it might be because of the reel itself, or simply put, you might have a bad reel, but more often than not, there are various factors which can and do affect the casting distance of your reel.

The problem could be a lack of lubrication, a line or lure that is too lightweight, a brake system that is set too high, the wind, the number and quality of ball bearings in the reel, or it could have to do with the length and quality of the rod as well.


7 Reasons Why Your Spinning Reel Is Not Casting Far

Let’s take a closer look at each of these problems right now, and possible solutions to these issues as well;

1. A Lack of Maintenance & Lubrication

One of the first issues that could be causing your spinning reel to not cast very far is due to a lack of basic maintenance.

Yes, this is something which many people do not really think about. However, the fact of the matter is that spinning reels do need to be cleaned and maintained on a regular basis.

For one, you should be washing it with warm water every now and again, this is especially true if you use it for saltwater fishing.

Moreover, around once per month, or more, or less, depending on how much you use the reel, you should be taking it apart, taking out the components, washing and brushing them, and lubricating them too.

Sand, dirt, and other kinds of buildups will hunk up the bearings and other moving components, thus causing friction.

Therefore, to keep the reel running smoothly you need to regularly clan the components, then add reel oil and grease to keep things running smoothly.

It’s all about basic maintenance and lubrication.

2. Corrosion

Another issue which might be causing your spinning reel to not cast as far as it should has to do with corrosion.

Now, if you have a spinning reel that is made for saltwater, this should not be much of a problem.

However, with that being said, even corrosion resistant reels that are made for saltwater fishing can still corrode.

This problem is much worse if you happen to engage in saltwater fishing with a spinning reel that is not designed for it.

If you take your reel apart and notice that there is a lot of corrosion, you might be able to clean it off using special corrosion remover.

Moreover, you can then add some corrosion resistant lubrication to get rid of the friction which causes the decrease in casting distance.

With that being said, if the corrosion is very severe, you might need to replace various parts of the spinning reel, or you might even have to replace the whole reel.

3. Light Lines & Lures

Yet another thing which can cause your spinning reel to suffer from reduced casting distance is if you have a really light line or lure.

The problem is that a light lure, combined with overly light line, just does not create much forward momentum and velocity.

Simply put, a heavier object is going to cut through the air much faster and attain further distances when casting.

Therefore, if you are using a very light spoon with very light line, it might just not be generating enough force, and not have enough weight, to travel far distances.

Thankfully, the solution here is quite simply. Just try to use a slightly heavier lure when casting, which should pull the line out much better. If this still does not help, try increase the weight of the line.

This is a bit of a touch and go situation, as the lure should also be comparatively heavier than the line.

The heavier the lure is in comparison to the line, the further it should be able to pull that line through the air.

4. The Brakes

Although baitcasting reels commonly have a braking system, it is not that common with spinning reels.

With that being said, some spinning reels do come with a brake system. If your spinning reel has a brake system, it might be the cause of the reduced casting distance. The brakes are meant to provide tension on the spool.

In other words, if you have the brake system set really high, it will put a lot of tension on the spool, thus increasing the speed at which it can spin, and therefore decreasing the casting distance you can achieve.

While this can be good when it comes to casting accuracy, a high brake setting will definitely not do you any favors when it comes to casting distance.

If you have bad casting distance with a spinning reel, one with a braking system, try turning the brakes down to the minimum, or just disengage them.

5. The Ball Bearings

The next reason why your spinning reel might be suffering from decreased casting distance is because it does not have enough high quality ball bearings.

Ball bearings are very important no matter what kind of reel you are using. For one, you want to have very smooth and high quality stainless steel ball bearings.

These tend to be the best, especially when well lubricated. If the ball bearings are not of a high quality, it could explain the lack of distance.

Moreover, the number of ball bearings makes a big difference too. For instance, a spinning reel with 9 ball bearings is going to be much smoother and suffer from much less friction that a reel with only 2 bearings.

Unfortunately, this is a problem that can really only be solved by buying a better spinning reel with a higher ball bearing count, high quality ball bearings.

6. The Wind

The next reason why your spinning reel could be suffering from a lack of casting distance is due to the fact that you might be casting directly into the wind.

Yes, if the wind is blowing against you, while you cast into it, it will cause the line and lure to not go as far. It’s all simple physics.

The solution here is of course to just cast in the same direction as the wind, instead of casting against the wind.

7. The Rod

The final reason why your spinning reel might not be casting very far is due to the specific rod which you have it attached to.

For one, generally speaking, a longer rod can cast further distances. Simply put, if you have a 5 or 6 foot rod, and cannot cast far with it, you might want to get a longer rod. 7, 8 and 9 foot rods are known for having good casting distance.

Moreover, when it comes to the rod, to maximize casting distance, you want it to have a light, medium-light, or medium power rating.

You see, it takes a lot more force to bend a heavy power rod than a light power rod.

Therefore, when you go to cast, a heavy power rod cannot load very much, and therefore won’t cast very far. A lighter power rod will cast further than a heavy power rod.

Related to this, rod action can also affect casting distance. A super-fast action rod only bends in the front of the tip, and therefore cannot load much force either.

However, a medium or slow action rod bends a whole lot and bends a good way down the blank, therefore also loading more and generating more forward momentum when you cast.


The bottom line is that there might be a number of reasons why your spinning reel is not casting very far.

It could be one issue by itself, or multiple issues put together. It is hard to tell seeing as we do not have access to your specific reel.

With that being said, if you keep it clean, maintained, and well lubricated, use a heavier lure, cast with the wind instead of into the wind, have the ideal rod, the brake tension set to low or none, and if the reel has a good number of high quality ball bearings, you should be able to increase casting distance by a fair amount.

Jason Downs

I created Fishtackly to share my 30 years of fishing experience and knowledge with others with the aim to help, and hopefully get more people involved and educated in this fantastic hobby that I love.