How to use a breakaway cannon effectively

In an age of increasing numbers of anglers looking to go back to fixed spool reels, either with low diameter monofilament lines or braids, casting aids to avoid unwanted damage to ones fingers are of great importance. 

One of the most notable casting aids, that has been around a while, is the Breakaway Cannon – A bionic finger of sorts, that attached to the rod int eh conventional manner as instructed on the packet it comes in, replaces your index finger in the cast, ensuring any slipper braid doesn’t cut deep into your skin. 

For some, the Breakaway Cannon works when used as instructed, but many have been put off, not finding the action of releasing the index finger natural, finding the timing hard to master and as a result, not achieving anywhere close to the desired power or accuracy in the cast. 

This is why a growing number of anglers have opted to break away (no pun intended) from the instructions given, and attach the device on top of the rod rather than in the underneath position. The diagram that follows shortly will show this.

Independent review

Before we get into showing how to set this up, a brief review on this item from the Hookpoint editor – Grant Jones. 

‘I have been using the Breakaway casting aid for around 4 years now, since making the switch back from multipliers to fixed spools for the majority of my domestic fishing. 

The advancement in fixed spools has been outstripping that of shore fishing multipliers, save for some recent progress with the Penn Fathom II Casting Special. 

However, I really wasn’t getting on with finger stalls, nor casting with a bare finger when using heavy braid set ups. I invested in a couple of Breakaway Cannons, and put them to use. It was a nightmare! Releasing the cannon with your finger is an entirely different feel to releasing the line.

Fortunately, before putting them in the bin, a friend, Dave Lovelock, instructed me to try them atop the rod, using my thumb like I was casting a multiplier to release the cannon. It was a game changer! I have never looked back and see them as a must for all fixed spool anglers.’ 

Using a breakaway cannon on top of the rod
This image shows how to position the Breakaway Cannon. Stock image, not the recommended rod and reel!

How to install the Breakaway Cannon

If you want to install the conventional way, follow the instructions on the pack the cannon comes in. 

If you want to install it to use atop the rod, the image above is the perfect visual guide, just take the following into account:

  • You will be putting the Breakaway Cannon on the opposite side of the rod to the reel, i.e. atop the rod.
  • Position the Cannon so that the line leaves the reel and travels back along the rod at a 90 degree angle, or as close to this as possible. 
  • This should be positioned with the spool wound to it’s most compact position on the reel… you will put unnecessary stress on the spool spindle casting when it is in it’s extended position. 
  • Use some tightly wrapped electrical tape on both sides of the cannon to secure it in place, you want as little movement as possible. 
  • You only need wrap the line round the capstan once when it comes to casting!
  • This works in the reel up or down position!

Casting with the Breakaway Cannon

For anyone who has ever cast with a multiplier, this will now come easily and you’ll have the added freedom of putting everything into the cast without worrying about overruns! 

Preparation for the cast is simple:

  1. Ensure the reel spool is in it’s compact (not extended) position.
  2. Bring the bail into the usual casting position.
  3. Hold the line and release the bail.
  4. Wrap the line round the capstan of the Breakaway Cannon once, then press down on the trigger with you thumb – the rest of that hand should be wrapped comfortably around the rod. 
  5. You’re now ready to cast just as you would a multiplier, releasing your thumb as you would the spool. 

You will be absolutely amazed at how simple this is and the extra power it allows you to place into your casts, try it out!