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Baitcasting Reels?


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Hi,
I've never owned and barely operated a baitcasting reel, but the advantage of direct-cranking, and really accurate drops looks appealing. Anybody want to give me some introductory info on these critters? What to look for, how they operate, compare/contrast to spinning reels? Whatever ya'll could tell me would be appreciated.
Thanks,

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RobertC

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A general rule when baitcasting...lines up to 8# test; spinning tackle is best. Line 10# and heavier; baitcasters are preferrable.I'd recomend starting out with a good quality baitcaster with a magnetic spool brake (adjustment for overruns). These also include the standard friction brake that applies direct resistance to the spool shaft but uses magnetic force to decelerate the spool as the bait looses momentum on the cast. Much easier to learn the casting techneque with. Quantum MG series or the Shimano Crestfire or Chromica reels make excellent beginner reels for a reasonable price. I have a Shimano Bantam Mag Plus 250X that's about 18yrs old and the only thing I've had to replace is the pinion gear last year from making a million casts or so with it! Good luck!

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Probably the biggest thing I found, is don't go cheap. Now cheap is a relative term, so let me explain. There are a lot of reels out there from $29-$599. From my experience, go at least $80+ on any baitcaster you buy. Anything less, and you will find yourself fighting the reel, and not enjoying the use of it.

I tried several "cheap" reels...about $30-$50, and I shouldn't have wasted the money. Once I ponied up $129 for a Curado, I really started enjoying baitcasting. I didn't have to think about casting or reeling, it just "flowed". The rod and reel became an extension of my arm. I have gotten pretty precise in my casting and pitching, now that I am not constantly fighting the "professional over-runs", and only keep a couple of spinning rigs in the boat for drop-shotting and light presentations.

I now have as my tournament set of reels, 2 Shimano Curado's (100 and 200), an Abu Garcia Torno 3004HSI and 2 Spidercast 500's. I keep a BPS Extreme Tournament Pro as a backup in the locker, but it gets limited use, if at all.

As far as rods, Once you find a rod you like for a given application, stick with it. But when deciding on a rod, don't be afraid to go to the toy store and bring your reel with you. Most decent places will let you put your reel on the rods and check the feel. Only then will you know if it will work for you.

You don't need to spend a fortune on a rig, but I have found that if you put at least $150 into each baitcasting rig, you won't go wrong. Spinning gear will run you a little less, so for that, I would say no less than $100 per rig. A $50 setup will certainly catch fish, but it will wear out in a couple of years, and you will be fighting your equipment all the time.

It will take some time to become proficient with a baitcaster. I decided last year to try and move to mostly casting gear, and the biggest factor was time on the water, and getting decent gear. By the time the tournament season was over, I didn't need to even think about casting, it just came naturally.

I hope this helps.

Glenn

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Also, you have to set the spool tension every time you switch lure weights.

On my Ambassadeur 5500s and 6500s, that's set with the small knob that sits just next to the shaft on the side with the handle (the right side with my right-hand reels).

You set it so the lure (if is has hair or rubber skirt, drop it in the water first) falls freely when the reel is in freespool, but stops completely when it hits the water.

I also have an older Shimano that has the tension adjustment as well as the magnetic-anti reverse the other guys mentioned, which sits on the left side.

Not having any new Shimanos, I don't know if they've combined the spool tension adjuster into the magnetic anti-reverse. To some degree, they both do the same thing.

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To help prevent those time consuming ratnests, make a long cast and put a pice of black eletric tape over the line on the reel. This way if the spool starts to overrun the tape will stop it from turning into a ratsnest.

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My first bit of advice comes from past experience. Spend the extra coin to get one with at least 4 bearings. It will treat you better the more bearings it has. My second bit of advice is once you find a baitcaster that you like, stay with the make and model. They usually have a variety of styles set for crankbaits, spinners, etc. Keeping with the same make gives you the similar feel from each model.

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God bless,
Judd Yaeger
Yaeger Guides (Twin Cities Guides) www.yaegerweb.com/guide

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