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uwecsteeple

Easiest line to learn baitcasting?

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Hey all,

I am looking for recommendations for the easiest line to learn how to use a baitcaster. I have tried a fairly stiff 14lb. Stren mono and 20lb. PowerPro and have had it with the birds nests and am about to through the thing in the garbage. I was thinking I should get a fairly thick and limp mono, something like Berkley Triline XL in 16-20lb test.

Any recommendations on a line would would be fairly forgiving while I am learning to thumb the reel and set the tension.

P.S. the reel is a older version of bass proshops extreme baitcaster on a 7ft m-h IM7 rod.

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I don't think the line will make a huge difference. If you are getting birds nests then there maybe some adjustments that need to be made in your reel or casting technique. As far as line goes, it needs to get broken in typically for it to cast better, whether it be spinning reels or baitcast. Maybe scale down your line diameter to 12 lb in a mono. Practice, practice, practice.

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Steeple,

It's all in the thumb! LOL

I used to fear baitcasters and now I would not have anything else. I now know what they talk about when they say, an educated thumb. My advice to you would be to go with a 17 to 20 lb super line or braided. Crystal, Power Pro ect. They tend not to bind as quickly and if they do you can usually pull them out. Birds nests are just part of the fun, but the trade off is worth it in no line twist. I started out learning how to flip and pitch underhand using garbage can lids as targets and a casting practice plug, maybe 3/8 or 5/8 oz and get really good at hitting your targets to about 30 feet. You can also practice hitting your targets while standing under a tree with low branches which will teach you how to skip and flip. Then try casting short before you go for the home run swings! Also go directly over head with your casts, no side arming until you get really comfortable with your casting, and then it is practice like Prov said. I still get birds nests from time to time! Good Luck.

Windy

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The line should be the least to blame for bird nesting. First and foremost is probably user error. I've only been using a baitcaster for a little more than three years and it's usually because I don't account for lure type. Casting a jig is different from casting a spinnerbait or crankbait. You get air deflection and the line pull slows down while the spool spins faster then it, you backlash. The line unspools and becomes loose, but you have to be able get enough cast distance to unspool it enough so the remaining line stays packed, when you retrieve it from your first crank.

That may mean a little rod pull to the side to put some tension and pick up the slack before you start your cranking.

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as many have said, line plays only a very small roll..

I always suggest that someone buy the 12 lb line, and use the cheapest stuff you can find... As you may end up cutting it all off a few different times... Find a 1/2 oz weight and turn on all the cast control knobs and then tunr them off as you get better.. .stay away from spinnerbaits and crankbaits till you are ready, as they are evil and will cause backlashes the most.

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14lb mono is what I learned out. The thicker diameter makes it easier to untangle a birds nest when they form. just remember when you get a backlash to put a little pressure on the spool and slowly pull the line until your backlash is out of the reel. then reel it in and try again.

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The first step is to set the magnets. Take your rod parallel to the floor with what ever lure or crank you will be using. Push the line release. Set the magnets and the free spool to stop your lure when it touches the floor. This is a good starting point. The heavier the lure the easier it is. Light jigs and cranks are harder to launch. This is where the thumb comes in. I found using braided tip up line with 10ft of mono of choice was really an easy way to learn. The inevitable rats nests were easily pulled out with a small pick. Hope it helps. I have not bought a new baitcaster for years so I may be out dated here. I would hope the new ones are easier.

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All the others have said what I would say. When I got started in baitcasters 6 or 7 years ago, I just tied on a 1/2 ounce lindy rigging weight and picked a target. Some say stay away from side casting and go over head. I started the opposite practicing side arm pitches around 10 to 15 yards casting into a rope set up in a circle with around a 5 foot diameter. As I did this, I'd set up the reel to minimize backlashes and then would practice practice practice. Then I'd make the rope circle smaller and ended up setting it out 20 yards or so and did the same thing over again. You'll soon get the feel for the lure weight and how you'll need to use your thumb to slow the spool down. Another key is to initially stick with the same weight. When you go with lighter weight, you'll have to adjust, so get good, confident and consistant with a 1/2 oz weight first. Figure you'll be using 1/2 oz a lot of the time in real fishing anyway throwing bass jigs, carolina/texas riged plastics. Try to just cast 15 minutes a day or so, the short sessions don't take much time and can be fun. Before you know it you'll be getting a handle on it all. As others said, DON'T your regular balsam wood shad raps, they are NOT conducive to baitcasters. If you want to throw a crankbait, stick with larger X raps or DT cranks first and go to smaller baits as you get better casting. Those smaller ones really require a good thumb sometimes. Finally, make it a point to never cast into the wind at first. Even the best baitcasters with the best gear will backlash into the wind in many situations.

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Guys who own cabins tend to be good at baitcasters. See, we get to fish every weekend we get up there, so there is no pressure.

Crows nest? Set the rod down and mow the lawn.

Crows nest? Cut some wood.

The point is; don't pressure the situation. Have fun. Cast short distances at first.

And for the record, guys who fish with level wind baitcasters all the time get backlashes to. What seperates them is their ability to pick them back out again! grin

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I've worked really hard the last couple months on learning baitcasters and now feel fairly comfortable using them. Stick with it - once I got use to it I prefer it over using my spinning rods for most things except smaller cranks or lures less than ~~3/8 oz lures.

Line, it can make a difference based on my early experience. As a beginner, definitely stay away from stiff mono/copoly and flourocarbon - guarenteed birds nests if starting out. Braids can be easy to casts but as mentioned can be expensive if you have to cut out. Limp mono in my opinion can be practical start - I recommend Gama or maybe XL 12#. If you have some Reel Magic line conditioner - spray your spool generously before using (not necessary with braided line). It can help a lot.

For getting out backlashes, search youtube. There is a decent video that might help. In a past thread someone recommneded pulling out as much line as your longest cast +, then put tape on spool to prevent the backlash going to deep into your spool - may be worth trying.

Good luck!

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When getting the “backlash”, first thing is not to panic grin. Panic and a wrong move can mean something that should have took 30 seconds-minute, is now going to take 5 minutes wink.

I have been using 80 Power Pro, so the tangle is not as bad as say 6-10 mono, but still can be a mess. What I do to get a backlash out (I have had many, but have not cut the line yet) is when it happens, keep free spool on. Spin spool backwards to find the last loop around the main line going out of the front of the spool. Rotating the spool backwards helps to free the tension caused on the tangle by the last moments of the cast. Once you find the wrap around (loop/U) on the main line running out the front eye on the reel, pull back on the wrap around, while letting spool free spool a little to allow tangel to get loose. Than pull line out the front of reel slowly and most times it comes free, even in the worst of tangles. If you feel it stop, do not yank, just start over again.

Good luck and welcome to the baitcaster world smile

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as NC Laker states, that does work quite well.. Pull off a long cast, then use a piece of electric tape and tape the spool, then as stated, if you do get a backlash, it only goes down to the tape...

Secondly, if you do get a backlash.. Tighten your drag as tight as you can get it and dig your thumb nail into the spool hard... then try to turn the handle of the reel.. This will take up some of the slack in the under windings... This will help in the overall backlash when you do start to pick it out.

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Thanks for all the replies!

Last night I tied on new 14lb mono and tied a catnip mouse on the end of it. I spend most of the night casting around the yard and having my cat chase the mouse...fun for both of us. I think a lot of my problem was that I was trying to cast lighter cranks and should start of with a jig or something a little heavier.

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Jigs are very good, try one with not a whole lot of skirt, or at least dont cast against the wind... Cranks can be hard as they have a tendency to catch the wind and tumble, when this happens its almost a for sure backlash.. Now a DT16 or some big crank should not be a problem.. Spinnerbaits are the other evil.. one cast they will be fine, the next you can hear the blade start to spin. Next second your pickin out a backlash.. LOL

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I thought I was the only one! Unless the wind is at my back I always have problems casting those for more than 15yds. It's nice hearing how others handle the frustration of backlash. I made quite a rat's nest last night on one cast and a bass pounded my lure as soon as it hit the water....nothing like throwing the rod down and setting the hook by hand! Stick with it though.....baitcasting isn't too big of a monster.

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Thanks for all the replies!

Last night I tied on new 14lb mono and tied a catnip mouse on the end of it. I spend most of the night casting around the yard and having my cat chase the mouse...fun for both of us. I think a lot of my problem was that I was trying to cast lighter cranks and should start of with a jig or something a little heavier.

Some other lures that work well for starting out(cast far, less backlash issues):

- Larger lipless cranks (#7 Rattlin Rap, Strike King Redeye Shad, etc)

- Chatter baits

- Spoons

I think you have a MH power rod. When you are ready to tackle lighter lures, I would recommend picking up a Medium power rod. For line, may want to consider going to 10-12# mono/copoly or 20# Powerpro.

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