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spinning vs baitcaster

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I've got a $100 gander mountain gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket. I've only used spinning rods and most of my fishing is for panfish. Thinking about trying a baitcaster. I've always thought that unless you were using tough heavy line in alot of cover there was no reason for a baitcaster. But as a shorefisherman about the only way for me to catch bass is to rip heavy lures and line through the junk. Am I thinking right? I'm prepared for the learning process of using a baitcaster. I'd appreciate anyone else's insight on which situations call for spinning and which a baitcaster.

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Baitcasters at first take a little practice, be prepared to get frusterated a few times, but they are a great asset for the conditions you mentioned. I'm sure people will say that they have all the control in the world with spinning gear. I have found it so much easier with a baitcaster to drop the lure/bait right where I need it. The best way to learn is to just go out and buy one and start casting. You will want to have the tension screw (usually on the right side on a righthanded reel, by the handle) set so that your bait just barely drops in freespool mode. Most reels also now have an external magnetic control (on the left side). You might want to start on a higher number and work your way down. Just remember "professional overrun" happens to the best, and it WILL happen.
I would say you will probably have to spend at least $40 to get a decent reel. Whatever you do, don't go out and buy a cheapie, you'll regret it.

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Baitcasters are a great reel to use. It will take some practice to get use to it. I like to use powerpro on mine so if you get a backlash it isn't that had to get out b/c it has no memory. I also find it easier to place a lure with a baitcaster than with a spinning reel.
My favorite kind of baitcaster is the Abu Garcia C3 and C4. They are nice but run around $80.
If you use it a lot make sure you keep the maintenance up on it. It will pay off.

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FISHSTUNNER

[This message has been edited by fishstunner (edited 01-05-2003).]

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Baitcasters are great. The hubby and I both have two apiece. We use them for bass and northern fishing. Like the others said be prepaid to get frustrated sometimes and a big 'ole birds nest once and a while. I like to go out in the yard take the actual spoon we would use for fishing northerns take off the hook, set the fall rate with the magnetic setting, and then actually cast it. The big thing I have learned and the hubby is still learning is THUMB CONTROL. Lucky me gets to undo his birds nests rolleyes.gif . You always want to make sure that your spool quits spinning once your lure hits the water. If it's still spinning and the lure is in the water that's when you have to potential to get the backlash. Also when your just learning NEVER cast into the wind until you've mastered the technique, I myself have learned that one the hard way. We love our baitcasters, we use Abu Garcia's 5500 C-3's. Baitcasters are definitely the way to go if going for bass or northerns. We use spinners for walleyes and panfish. Good luck and have fun! grin.gif

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Fishn'Lady

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For fishin' the heavy cover, and the "slop" for bass, yes, get a good casting rod n reel, medium heavy to heavy 7 ft. spool up with 30 lb fireline and some rubber frogs or weedless jigs and get ready for some fun.
If you are not fishin the thick stuff, or throwing heavy lures, you may have more fun fighting those fish on your spinning gear. Even more fun sometimes is a fly rod and some popping bugs smile.gif

Best fishes!

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you are getting the best info ! the only thing i would suggest is after you get one i would put some mono on it at first for practicing. you may get a birds nest that you get tired of picking at and just cut it out . when you are ready to start fishing then get the better line. del

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Del, thats a good idea. Another birdnest buster would be to pull out about as much line as the distance you want to cast, then put some tape on the spool there. now you can't get bad over-runs smile.gif

Set the hook!

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[This message has been edited by Cyberfish (edited 01-05-2003).]

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Get the baitcaster. I'm also an Ambassadeur fan. I have 5500 and 6500 series reels. And you rarely have to worry about overrun if you keep three things in mind.

1. Make sure your spool is tensioned correctly. A lure dropping on freespool should stop when it hits the resistance of the water. Your reel directions will tell you how to adjust. And you need to adjust the tension each time you change to a different weight lure, or it won't cast as well.

2. Don't snap your wrist as sharply as you do with a spinning reel. That gets the spool spinning too fast too soon, and that's one way you get overrun. Use more of your arm and shoulder and body in the cast. You'll get the hang of it.

3. Thumb your spool just before the lure lands. The spool will never keep spinning after the lure hits the water if you plant your thumb on the spool just before it splashes down. In fact, I often start reeling just before the lure lands, which means it lands and is already moving back toward me (that's a little tricky, but practice will make it work).

Baitcasters don't suffer the same line twist problems as spinning reels, either, and $60 to $80 will get you a very nice new Ambassadeur. For bass, I'd go with a 5500 series. The only difference between the 5500 and 6500 series is the line capacity, and you don't need 10 miles of line for bass fishing.

Good luck.

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If you use a superline like fireline or powerpro, put some mono backing on your reel first. That way when your (I'll say) fireline gets wore out you dont have to take it all off.
It can also help your casting.

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