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streamwalker

New To Bait Casters Please Help!!!

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hey all just recently joined and as title says im new to bait casters ive been fishing open face all my life and really want the quickness of a bait caster so i piked me up a shimano rod fairly cheap ( reason why i got it ) and now im looking for a reel i think i will stick with a shimano product. so maybe someone can point me in the right direction there. also what line should i use? what pound of line? my past experience with my pflueger bait caster is not good! bird nests every time!! but im determined to start learning with a nice new reel. this rod will only be used for topwater jigs so any requests would be nice just need to know what reel, line , pound of line, and any tips on how to not bird nest haha! thanks guys.

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The citica is a reasonably priced shimano reel and from what other people say, is pretty good. As for line. I think 10 or 12lb mono would work. As for bird nests, they are going to happen. Just tighten down the breaks so that when you just press the button it falls steady and the spool stops spinning when it hits the ground. Or even tighter if you are having trouble.

To get rid of the birds nest:

-Pull line out till you can't anymore because of the line being messed up.

-Tighten the drag and put pressure on the spool with your thumb and reel.

-After a good turn of the handle, press the button and pull the line out. That will straighten out the loops so you can undo the bird nests

-repeat this till you get it out

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We don't know the type of water you fish but Scorcher214's suggestion is pretty good. If it is weedy or woody you might want to go heavier. There is a good tutorial at the beginning of the Rods, reels, line section of the site. Read that and the instructions with your reel.

Prepare yourself to practice and cut off some backlashes. Best practise spot is not on the lake where you should be concentrating on catching fish not learning how to cast. Work on accuracy then accuracy and distance.

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The citica is a reasonably priced shimano reel and from what other people say, is pretty good. As for line. I think 10 or 12lb mono would work. As for bird nests, they are going to happen. Just tighten down the breaks so that when you just press the button it falls steady and the spool stops spinning when it hits the ground. Or even tighter if you are having trouble.

To get rid of the birds nest:

-Pull line out till you can't anymore because of the line being messed up.

-Tighten the drag and put pressure on the spool with your thumb and reel.

-After a good turn of the handle, press the button and pull the line out. That will straighten out the loops so you can undo the bird nests

-repeat this till you get it out

This is some good advice. You can look on youtube to see a video of how this thumb trick works to get bird nests out if you need more of a description. I have used it many times and it really works. The one thing that I would add is that with a baitcaster you get what you pay for. In my opinion there is a big difference between a $80-$100 baitcaster vs. $130-$200 baitcaster. My suggestion would be to save a little extra money and get into a Curado E7 if you can. This is a very nice reel and will make your baitcasting experience that much better. I used to be strictly spinning and like you tried a cheap baitcaster and hated it. Finally decided to invest in a curado years later and now don't pick up my spinning reels much at all. It's good with light baits and you can dial it in so that it very rarely gets bird nests. You can find them on the web for around $130. If I had to stay under $100 then I would go with the Citica for sure. Let us know what you get when you make that decision. Tight lines!

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A Daiwa Strikeforce or Shimano Caius are great beginner reels, well made and last a long time.

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A great reel for a beginner would be a BPS Pro Qualifer, on sale right now for $80. I was throwing into 20mph wind and not a hint of backlashing.

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If you go with a BPS reel stick with the Pro Qualifier, Shimano with the Citica. They're user friendly reels that will last and you won't "out grow" them as you get better at casting. To limit bird nests pull off a liitle more than a full cast worth of line and run a strip of tape across the line and rewind. When you do backlash it won't go any deeper than the tape. Check out one of the many baitcaster setup articles and videos to be sure your adjustments are correct when you start. Good luck!

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thanks everyone for all the help i will most likely end up going with the citica. i might try the tape too. i really wanna master this style of fishing o thought heaver line was better for bait casters like 17pound or something but i also thought heavy line was bad for top water because the line sinks and messes up the action. also what brand of line? i dont really care what i use on my spinners but dose it matter with a bait caster? thanks guys

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Fluorocarbon lines sink so some people avoid them for top water. You'll go through some line in the beginning so keep it simple and affordable. Trilene XT or Big Game mono in 17# will get you started. In the meantime you can read the thousands of posts about line choice.

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Stay away from Fouro line until you have confidence in the baitcaster; flouro is going to be worse about backlashing. Stick with heavier baits; less than 1/2 oz and you're probably better off with your spinning rig anyway. Get some practice plugs and throw across the street at a mailbox for a while. Reel Magic on the line will help with the backlashes; spray it on the spool befor eyour first cast of the day.

BPS has a Johnny Morris reel, supposedly made by Pflueger, that they put on sale from time to time for $80. The Pflueger version is supposedly around $200. Anyway, it has both centrifugal and magnetic drag, is a very nice reel for the price. I tried one a year ago, now have four.

Good luck and welcome to the forum!

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You don't have your location in the profile. Here in Pennsy I feel 12 lb. is plenty. A friend has tried different line weights on his reels and feels 15 lb performs best on them. I just put 12 lb on and go fishing. Works for me. :) I would start with mono for a couple reasons. Price and it floats. Braid also floats and should work well with a top water jig.

I thought topwater jig was an oxymoron...jig=lead, lead= sink, sink not = topwater, so I did a little research. Not much on it, but I did find a video using a feathered topwater jig for panfish. Most of it looked like they were standing on a dock or bridge, and fishing it straight down, and hopping it off the surface. Any jig I've used has been off the bottom. However, i just bought some swim jigs to try.

I'd also like to extend a welcome to the forum. Great place for all kinds of fishing information. Have you noticed all the articles? Makes for some fine reading on a cold night. :P

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Stick with mono for starters. Buy some cheap 20 -25 pound test for practice. IT will not backlash as badly. If you get the Citica follow the manual and use all the brakes available. Use the tape on the spool that DVT instructed. Practice casting with a spinnerbait rather than just a sinker. I think it is harder when a single heavy weight is used, it seems to develop too much spool speed too quickly.

Mike

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I know some of these guys say get some cheap line cause you will have to cut some out and what not but... Consider getting some decent braid and start using that. Never ever ever have I had to cut braid. Its d**n near impossible to mess it up with kinks and knots like mono. Any thing that does happen to it really is not going to be significant enough to make it break when you have a fish on. In my experience there is 2 types of backlashes. 1 you can just pull straight out and that will fix it. 2 it gets wrapped under you line and you have to find the piece that is you main line and pull it out from under the line wrapped over it from inside the spool. If it is really bad you can cut you lure off and feed it back through till its untangled. I can always fix braid and have never had to cut it.

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Like most have stated buy yourself a decent baitcaster. When I started baitcasting, I ordered a Bionic Blade combo with the old Bionic reel and it sucked. The reel had no magnetic brakes just the dial on the side but I learned (painful) on that. A trick that helped me immensely was to pull out as much line as you would use for a typical cast and about 20 feet more and put a piece of tape on the spool. If and when you backlash, it will not affect all of your line and it will be a heck of a lot easier to unravel until you master using your thumb to feather the casts. Once I transitioned to a Shimano Citica there were no issues. Currently, I have Citicas and Curados but have owned BPS pro qualifiers and have one Carbonlite reel...good reels for the money and something that you can grow with. Hope this helps and good luck.

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I'll just add that you should pick a baitcaster with a handle on the side that you are already accustomed to. Unlike spinning reels, the handle on casting reels is NOT insterchangeable. If the handle is on the left side of your spinning reel you are 99.999% most likely be comfortable with a casting reel with a handle on the same side. Just speaking as one who is ahead of you on your path who bought a right handed reel because I am right hand dominant. Nope! I prefer (but can now use) casting reels with the handle on the left side. Since you're sticking with Shimano, I would also recommend the Citica.

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an earlier post said there may be a price drop on revo... I have a Revo Stx and can't remember the last time I backlashed it... and a great drag on it... super smooth reel....

it's so light, but tough and dependable at the same time... it's smooth as butter... and of course the shimanos mentioned are super reels...

What I'd do is go to bass pro if available and they have a display of each reel... and you can reel on them a while and see which one feels better to you...

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