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Baggerman

looking to learn......

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Look at picking up my first bait caster, any suggestions on a good reel and rod to get started with? sold separate or a combo? I'd like to keep the cost around $150. I am a complete novice to bait casters and I can use as much info as possible. thanks

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In my experience the higher quality reel the easier to use effectivly, my thoughts on combos are none are matched well at all....

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Since you are a complete novice, try to find a reel with magnetic cast control. But they seem to be rare.

Abu Garcia is a good brand with some reasonably priced reels. Personally I like the round ones like the 5500C3, but many like the low profile ones better. I grew up with round reels so that is what I like.

I looked a little and the Black Max or the Silver Max by Abu Garcia looks like a reasonable first reel. (Similar but one more bearing in Silver)

And it will take practice to be able to cast without frequent backlashes. So plan on that.

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I would suggest the Bass Pro Shops Pro Qualifier Baitcast Reel (read the reviews...on sale right now) and a Mojo Bass St. Croix Casting Rod. With that said, there are many good quality rods for a little cheaper than the Mojo.

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I have had Bass Pro Qualifier for years and still works great, keep it maintained and cleaned works great and very forgiving. I have others that are much more complicated and would not suggest for a novice. I would watch all the videos on u-tube about casting the baitcaster and how to remove the birdnests. I also suggest that now that there is time before open water put some inexpensive heavy wieght mono on the reel that you can cut and abuse without going broke, the larger diameter of the mono is easier to untangle the birdnests stands up to abrasion on bare ground, and stand in the yard cast to laid out targets at different distances to learn the feel of the new reel and rod. Even stand on a slightly ellevated platform to simulate the casting platform in your boat as you cast to these targets. And also use a wide variety of weights as each change how the reel reacts as you cast.

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I should clairify that I have have a Pro Qualifier round reel, very similar to a Shimano Curado, I have larger hands and am very comfortable with the larger profile of the reel but equally comfortable with the low profiles. I use the larger profile round reel for heavier baits and low profile for plastics and finess. I also would suggest the longest rod you are comfortable with, the longer swing of the arc of the rod tip seems to prevent the fast snap of the lure and line leaving the reel and you can thumb it quicker before the lure stops and line wants to continue off the reel, thus the birdnest. Works for me.

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thanks for all the info, keep it coming. I will be practicing in the back yard before it ever sees the water. nothing worse than fixing line when out on the water. I will practice with mono. but how does braid work with reel. like I said before complete novice

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With a baitcaster, I would suggest putting as much money as you can afford into the reel. I would recommend the Shimano Curado. I have 2 of them and I love them. I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone that doesn't love their Curado. You didn't mention what you are going to use it for. Muskies? Bass? Casting? Trolling?

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Im going to sound like a sales man here, but dont spend less than that $100 mark.. I know you put your budget at $150, and thats good. Dont skimp on that.. Im going to disagree somewhat with an above poster. Whom stated to get one with magnetic control. There are some on the market that use centrifugal force that work fantastic.

No matter what reel you get, get to know its anti backlash system.

Ok.. now for some tips...

Start with just a jig or even just a sinker. 1/2 oz is nice. Never a spinnerbait or Crankbait for starters, they enjoy making your life miserable till you get the hang of it. Find some inexpensive 10lb mono to start with. Dont over fill the reel to start, maybe even slightly underfil till things start feeling more confident. Before you begin, walk out one long cast and add another 5-10 feet then put a small piece of tape over the spool, but not touching the edge of the spool. This way WHEN(Not if) you do backlash, the backlash will stop at the tape and not all the way to the end of the spool.

Next, start slow, start with small casts, and work on extending them slowly. cast with the wind if possible.

Enjoy!!!

A great reel in your price range is the Shimano Citica($120ish) and Curado $170ish.

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The Shimano Citica is great reel and a great price point. If you shop around, I am sure you could get it around $100. Even if you extend your budget by say $20, you will be able to find a very decent baitcasting rod and reel combo to get you started.

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It was I who suggested magnetic control. Why do you recommend against it? I have a couple of them and like them. They certainly cut down on backlashes while not affecting length of cast very much.

I started out baitcasting with a Pfleuger Supreme and a steel rod, so I have been around the block a time or two.

the bay might be a place to look as well. And I disagree with those who say you have to spend $100 to get something worth using.

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It was I who suggested magnetic control. Why do you recommend against it? I have a couple of them and like them. They certainly cut down on backlashes while not affecting length of cast very much.

I started out baitcasting with a Pfleuger Supreme and a steel rod, so I have been around the block a time or two.

the bay might be a place to look as well. And I disagree with those who say you have to spend $100 to get something worth using.

Agreed! I also disagree with those who say "dont spend less than $100"... Simply, that is bad advice. Get what you can afford and there are lots of great baitcasters/rods in your price range. Also, the magnetic control is a great tool to use.

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With a baitcaster, I would suggest putting as much money as you can afford into the reel. I would recommend the Shimano Curado. I have 2 of them and I love them. I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone that doesn't love their Curado. You didn't mention what you are going to use it for. Muskies? Bass? Casting? Trolling?

casting and trolling but mainly casting. I want to be better in tight areas also. The Shimano Curado? whats a good price for one?

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For those who say you can get away with less than $100, we will simply have to agree to disagree. I have worked on the retail side of the fishing world for a short 16 years. The number of people I have talked to over those years who did buy a low end baitcaster and hated it and gave up on it are far too many to count. I agree with you on the spinning aspect of reels, you can get a very quality spinning reel under that $100 price tag. But again, far too many stories of people who gave up on baitcasters because they bought some $50 reel and expected it to be great. Hated it and then never touched another.

As for the magnet deal, they do work, but you can never turn a magnet off. Yes I have owned magnet reels in my life, and they do work, its just not the only pony in the show is all.

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also with the Curado whats the difference between the 100 and 200 series?

There is no 100 series any more.. just 200. But size is main difference...

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A C3 is a fine reel, and is under $100. And I had a ryobi vmag that was cheap, with magnets back in the day and it was a fine reel until some bushings wore out.

The people you dealt with I would guess weren't that interested in bait casting in the first place, so they went out and got some backlashes, blamed the reel, and gave up. Not nearly as easy as it looks on TV.

And that is why I suggested the magnet reels, to make it easier to learn with fewer backlashes. Like I said, I learned with braided nylon and a pflueger supreme that was direct drive, not even free spool.

So yep, we will have to agree to disagree.

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Braid works on the reel fine, I use it but I wouldn't recommend learning with it. The smaller diameter allows the outer layers of line to dig into the layers underneath easily thus creating a different variety of the backlash(birdnest) that you can't pick out with a line pick,I use a crotche neadle. The mono is larger dia. and the smoother surface of the line is easier to to untie and cheaper to replace when you give up and cut it out. I forgot about the tape trick, works great, and also agree with under filling the reel. Sometimes as the line loosens on the reel, and it will because not every cast will be identical to the one before, a loose loop will find itself in between the spool and the main body of the reel, more of a problem with small dia. lines.

It's all in the smoothness of the reel, more expensive reels are machined to closer tollerances and have better or more bearings in them making them much easier to use and with less fatigue. If you are truly serious about this deffinately go with the most expensive reel you can afford. Get with someone who has these setups and get a little hands on with both styles so you have a better idea which one you will be more comfortable with.

Also don't be afraid to look at a major store brand line of reels, Cabela's are made by Daiwa and Bass Pro are made by Shimano, just case colors are changed and logos, often are priced less.

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One more thing, it's just like having a new puppy, lots of patience and keep working at doing the same correct thing over and over until it just comes natural. Then as you get onto the water you find all the things you did wrong in the backyard first and reremmember to not do them again.

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We can agree to disagree, but I totally agree with Dietz. With a spinning reel you can get by much cheaper, but with a baitcaster I would not go less than a Citica in quality and price. My experience is that you are wasting your money if you buy a cheap baitcaster. The reel should be your primary concern, and spend as much as you can afford. The rod should be secondary, as you can always upgrade it latter.

Good Luck!

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Wah, I guess I am not discerning enough. I don't think I own a baitcaster that cost more than $100, except maybe for the revo sx that came as part of a combo with a fenwick rod on super duper clearance at Gander a couple years ago. Might have paid 100 for the combo.

Once again not one of the cool kids. Story of my life. But I still like my C3's.

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my first baitcast was $50 the lure weight knob adjuster threads stripped to a point were adjusting made no difference. Learned the hard way, made me better I think at using a baitcast. Skimp out dont it does not matter as long as you have the lure weight adjustment brake adjustment and a drag adjustment you will learn. Go through all the backlashes and all the trouble and eventualy you will learn at any price whatever you buy it all catches fish no one will outfish me simply because they have a better reel it comes down to only knowing how to fish and how to use your own gear and maintain them. Im now looking into also getting a new baitcast, my first one ever baught is getting dirty and such but still great on fishing Id just like to spoil myself now with a new one.

I still backlash here and there you get rusty here and there when you have not fished in a while.

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well I almost doubled my budget and went with the LH Curado. and then a nice Mojo bass to top it off. $3.39 for 900 yards of eagle claw 15lb test to practice with. then I spent the better half of the afternoon in the back yard.(it went better than expected) I even caught a 65lb bulldog.(no hooks) Thanks for all the info. i'll try to post my first outing with it but it might be a while before it hits the water.

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well I almost doubled my budget and went with the LH Curado. and then a nice Mojo bass to top it off. $3.39 for 900 yards of eagle claw 15lb test to practice with. then I spent the better half of the afternoon in the back yard.(it went better than expected) I even caught a 65lb bulldog.(no hooks) Thanks for all the info. i'll try to post my first outing with it but it might be a while before it hits the water.

Nice set up. You'll be happy with it.

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Wah, I guess I am not discerning enough. I don't think I own a baitcaster that cost more than $100, except maybe for the revo sx that came as part of a combo with a fenwick rod on super duper clearance at Gander a couple years ago. Might have paid 100 for the combo.

Once again not one of the cool kids. Story of my life. But I still like my C3's.

AND WHEN WOULD THIS HAVE BEEN?!?!

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