Why Does My Fishing Reel Go Backwards

Why Does My Fishing Reel Go Backwards
Why Does My Fishing Reel Go Backwards

Fishing reels are constantly being updated with the latest technology. Altogether, this provides for a great experience.

Though fishing technology is there for improvement, complications may arise. As fishing reels become progressively complex, it gets harder to operate them.

This is exactly why many people have problems with fishing reels today. Sometimes it seems like you just can’t get your fishing reel to function properly. More specifically, many people have had problems with their fishing reels going backwards.

Though this is not uncommon, it is still something that needs to be dealt with. Other people have lots of trouble with their fishing real going in both ways.

Thankfully, this problem is easy to identify and almost as easy to solve. It all comes down to 3 different parts on your fishing reel. To make sure you find the right answer to your problem, we have listed the possible solutions below.

  1. Check the Switch

The most common reason for this problem comes down to the anti-reverse switch of your fishing reel.

Sometimes, the whole anti-reverse is the problem.

We will mention more about this later. While this is an issue, it does not have to mean that your anti-reverse is broken. The Anti-reverse on a spinning wheel is an important feature. It keeps the real from going backward engages the drag.

Sometimes the Anti Reverse on a fishing reel comes with a switch. This switch will allow you to choose if the feature is engaged or not. The main function is for “back reeling” as opposed to letting drag fight the fish.

However, back reeling is not always the best option for fishing. While it is great for smaller fish, it’s not something you would use for larger saltwater fish. This can be dangerous if the fish is just too large.

For this reason, the switch exists in the first place. The anti-reverse is supposed to spin backward, but not always. This is why you should check the anti-reverse first to see if it is engaged or not. However, if you still have problems with your anti-reverse going both ways, there are several things to go through.

  1. The Bail

Fishing reel going backwards because of the bail

The Bail acts as a gate for the line on the spool. When you engage the bail, you prevent the line from unwinding from the spool. The bail releases the line from the spool for casting when you disengage it.

This U-shaped wire is important concerning your anti-reverse. Though your reel should be able to go both forwards and backward, it shouldn’t be able to do both at once. Whenever your bail is in closed position, it should stop the handle and spool from spinning in reverse at all.

When it is open, your spool and handle will spin in reverse if it works properly. Check the bail to make sure that it is installed properly. If your reel is still going in both directions at once, you have a problem with the interior mechanism of the bail.

If this is the problem, the next step is to unscrew the bail, take it off and look inside of it. Begin by making sure all of the inner parts are in the right condition. If you find anything broken, this will probably be the culprit of your anti-reverse fishing reel problems. If this is the case, take a gander to your manufactures website and see how to fix the issue.

  1. Setting the Drag

Your fishing reel issues may be due to the drag. This is an issue that many people have had trouble with.

The drag controls the amount of pressure a fish may put on the line in your reverse direction without pulling the line out. This drag system will generally work well with your anti-reverse up to a certain point.

Once you reach a certain pressure point, the drag can’t stop your reel from going in the wrong direction. If a fish applies more pressure than your drag can withstand, the reel will let the line out of the handle and spool. This ultimately makes sure the fish will not snap your fishing line.

The opposite would be setting the drag too low. This will lead to fish pulling out the line early and the spool spinning in the wrong direction once more.

The best way to fix this is to make sure your drag setting is calibrated the right way. The best way is to keep in mind the size of the fish you choose. All in all, if this does not work, you may be dealing with a broken drag. Once again, you will need to open up your drag system to see the components. Make sure to clean the inner parts of your drag system and replace any broken pieces. You may need help from a professional to do this the right way.

  1. Anti- Reverse Problems

The Anti-reverse is also one of the most common problems when it comes to your reel going backwards. The whole point of the anti-reverse is to stop the reel from going in the wrong direction. Make sure to check for a switch on your anti-reverse before moving on to other possible problems. As mentioned earlier, keep the switch on to stop your reel from spinning backward. This will ultimately stop it from spinning in both directions if your anti-reverse is not broken.

If this does not fix the solution, your switch or your anti-reverse may be broken as a whole system. The first thing to do is to take your reel apart, looking for misaligned or damaged components. Since a broken anti-reverse is such a common problem with backward fishing reels, we have included a step by step process to fix the issue:

  1. Make sure the anti-reverse is not stuck to the off position. If this is the issue, take apart the anti-reverse to get a look at the inside.
  2. Unscrew the hose cap and take it off. After this, remove the rotor nut and spool washers. The goal is to find the clutch bearing. Take off the rotor assembly and unscrew all the screws around the bearing cap.
  3. Remove the entire clutch assembly. Also, be careful not to move the pinion. This is a very important and sensitive piece that you should not work with without the help of a professional.
  4. Check if the roller clutch sleeve is set inside the large-diameter bushing. Make sure to attempt to readjust the sleeve so it can set in the bushing the right way. By aligning the clutch bearing to the anti-reverse clutch, you should be able to fix the solution. This is probably the problem with fishing reels ant the anti-reverse in most cases.
  5. Also, check to see if any piece mentioned above is broken. If this is the case, you will need to replace them. Usually, this is the point where you should leave further repairs to professionals.

A Few Last Words…

All in all, it is important to know the components of your fishing reel as well as possible. This will ultimately help you figure out the exact problem of your fishing reel and why it may move backward or in both ways at the same time. By taking a look at the issues and solutions listed above, you should have no problems and should be able to fix it. Don’t forget that sometimes it is best to leave the repairs to a professional if the process becomes overly complicated.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

fourteen + 14 =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.