Baitcasters are excellent tools for inshore anglers, offering capabilities not found in spinning reels.

These include faster, repeatable and accurate casts to pinpoint targets like bridge pilings or tailing redfish. On top of that, baitcasting tackle gives inshore anglers more power and control over their lures, enabling actions and presentations not possible — or at least very difficult — with spinning gear.

But the baitcaster comes along with every inshore angler’s arch nemesis: the dreaded backlash. If you want to see $12 of fishing line quickly turn into a bird’s nest, backlashing a baitcaster is an easy way to do it. 

But that really is no reason to reject casting tackle as an excellent tool for your tackle box.

There are many things you can do to prevent “professional overrun”, including the adjusting the magnetic/centrifugal brakes, the spool tension knob and even applying silicon lubricants. But if I had to pick one thing that would really help baitcaster performance, it would be the amount of line spooled onto the reel. 

So, what is the correct amount?

Inshore anglers need to strike a perfect balance between too little and too much line.

Too little, and there isn’t enough mass to keep the spool turning. But too much will leave the spool faster than it can leave the rod tip, resulting in a backlash.

With the perfect amount of line, you can hit the “sweet spot” for awesome casting performance, minus the nasty bird’s nest.

Whether I am using monofilament, fluorocarbon or braid, I like to put line up to 1/16-inch away from the spool’s beveled edge. Every reel, rod and lure combo is different, but I have found this to be the right amount of line to start with across the board for more casting success — minus backlashes.