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Closed Face Spincast Reels - Any Good For Bass Fishing?

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Some years ago I acquired a few of those closed-face (push-button) spincast reels, hoping to be able to flip very light lures accurately into weed pockets.   They seemed to cast O.K., but I often had problems with the retreive, jamming, erratic reeling , etc.  Also they would often let out line when I was  starting to reel in. 

 

I gave up on them after a while, but I still have several of them around ( ABU) and was wondering if anyone else had any thoughts on the efficiency and reliability of these reels.  Are they really just for kids to learn casting.  Or can they also be used for some kinds of serious bass fishing?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I bought one of the best I could find at the time, a Daiwa Goldcast, for my wife when she started fishing. It was pretty worthless from the start as the drag was totally unreliable. I'd set it, then when she had a fish on, she'd be winding and winding and the drag would just slip. She could not reel in a fish more than 2 pounds because the drag just did not work. I switched her over to spinning gear and she had no trouble. They still sell the same reel today, but I don't know if the drag works any better. I sure would not want one for serious bass fishing.

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They can indeed be used for serious fishing, if one is willing. I know of people who that's all they know to use and they catch fish all the time.

 

I've tried it, a number of years ago, but it just wasn't as efficient as say, spinning gear, as far as my style goes.

 

2 cents...

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Used one when I 1st started bass fishing. The secret to consistent line pick-up? With your rod holding hand keep the thumb and 1st finger on the line just in front of the reel. Its a pain and why we use other gear.

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Only if you are a girl!!!!

 

If they are old they may be collectors items.

 

Personally, I hate them. Just cannot get the hang of using them.

 

But they are supposed to be good for youngsters.

 

I have better luck with a kid throwing a spinning rig.

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The Zebco 33's were what a lot of bass fishermen used back in the day. I still have a few of the older ones. If you can find the ones with the "screw lock" that allows you to remove the face, those are really good. Great for shooting docks! You really need good line to keep them from not picking the line up. I like Berkley XL, it seems to work the best for me.  Johnson made some good ones too but you have to get the older models as well.

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I bought the bigger Zebco Omega Pro for my girlfriend to use this summer. It actually feels really good for a spincast reel. Drag is smooth and will be plenty strong for bass. I actually stuck it on a Carrot Stik and its very light. So far she loves it, but we have yet to actuall fish with it. I admit I'd probably try to use it for skipping docks if I would have tried that out before learning to use baitcasters for skipping.

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I have 2 and i like them,  Diawa gold cast and an Abu Garcia 1271.  Both have caught many 4 lbers.   There are many that are not so good, but it depends on who and what they are doing.

I have 2 spincasters and 2 baitcasters as well. I find i use the and get comfortable with them doing different things.  Also a fly rod.

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Both my sister and mom use a zebco omega pro. The biggest fish my sister caught on hers was 6.5#.

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Just got my 5 year old a new one yesterday. I changed out the line, for some 10lb Berkley Big Game. He plans on catching bass, so it better work!

 

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Great shot, Shane!  :thumbsup_blue:

 

My daughter's boyfriend uses nothing but a spincast reel.  Says he can't use a spinning reel.  Find that hard to believe.  Doesn't stop him from catching fish.  My own limited experience with them wasn't good.  Personally feel that they are ok if that is the only ting you have to fish with.  Better than a stick and string.  :eyebrows:

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My opinion... it's like everything else... the right tool at the right time.

 

I fish mostly from a float-tube.  I fish heavily-weeded farm ponds.  I use mostly baitcasting gear, heavy braid, etc.  BUT, there are occasions that I like to cast LIGHT lures (i.e. weightless tubes, etc.).  And being here in Nebraska, it's ALWAYS windy! 

 

I've tried the less expensive spincast reels and most are junk... unreliable, noisy, etc.  But, on a whim, I bought a Zebco Omega Pro.  Oh my!  Smooth... and I can cast that tube just as hard as I need to, INTO the wind, and NEVER have to deal with a backlash or line-loops (like with a spinning reel).  Oh, I still use baitcasting AND spinning reels too, but feel that there IS a place for a high-quality spincast reel in bass fishing.  BTW, I use mostly mono... either XL or XT for them.

 

When sitting low in the water (in a tube), I also find them a little easier to cast that a spinning reel... but, that's just me.  I grew up in the 50's/60's and there weren't a lot of quality, easy-to-cast baitcasting reels back then.  I learned on the old Abu 160's and 170's.  They came spooled with 17lb. test line.  I never had any problem with line pick-up's nor with casting accuracy.  By touching the line as it came out of the hole in the cover, I became VERY accurate. 

 

I stil use them today... two baitcasters with braid/heavy stuff, and two Zebco Omega Pro's from my tube.  Love 'em...  :angel500:

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Just realize spincasts limitations and you should be fine.

 

The drawbacks to spincast are primarily 2-fold:

They tend to have slow line retrieve rates and thus are not suited for some techiniques.

They tend to lack cranking power in terms of torque. This is an issue with spinning tackle too actually, but less so. Nothing beats a baitcasting reel for cranking torque. For heavy cover flipping, crankbait fishing (esp deeps) and for spinnerbait fishing a BC'er is requisite IME.

 

A third issue is quality/durability, as few are made that actually stand up to the rigors of bass fishing.

 

Another issue, not often an issue among bass fisherman is the fact that SC'ers are prone to freezing up in firgid weather due to ice up. This became a major issue for a buddy trying a high quality model out for winter steelheading.

 

The above said, there are some good quality spincasters out there for light to med duty bass fishing and with retrieve speeds that are enough to cover all but the faster applications. My son uses an ABU 170i which is a pretty solid little reel. So far so good. I upgraded the 12lb XL it came with, with 12lb Sensation -a stronger lb/dia line. NebraskaBasser's post above on the Omega Pro is encouraging.

 

Just realize the limitations: retrieve speed, torque, and mid-range power (lb test) applications. Oh, and buy quality, with spincast especially.

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Bass Pro has a new Extreme Spincast Reel, 4.6:1 ratio, can handle braid, star drag, and not too heavy. It casts well as I threw lipless cracks just as far as my spinning reels. And it's under $30. Not bad for a reel to mess around with. Works well around docks. I will definitely use it along with my others. The fish don't know the difference!

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/sarcasm on

Bass refuse to bite baits cast at them on spincast reels.  You will never catch trophy fish on a spincasting reel, guaranteed.  

/sarcasm off

 

Ok, seriously.  The fish don't care about the rod and reel that present the bait to them.  You can catch just as many fish on a spincaster as you can on anything else.  That doesn't mean it's the equipment best suited to any particular kind of fishing.  For example, you lose casting distance over an open-faced spinning reel.  And, most spincasters are geared low - you don't have to reel hard to retrieve against a fish, but you also don't get a lot of line back per crank.  

 

Assuming you're willing to accept its limitations or work around them, I think you'll find that you can catch plenty of fish (and, yes, bass) on a spincast setup.

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Don't knock good spincasters.. spent alot fo trial and error putting together my spincast outfit and its very productive.

Catch 3 lb+ LMB all the time on my Daiwa Goldcast GC120 outfit working anything from light swimbaits, crankbaits, worms, topwater frogs.

35-40 yd casts with 20 lb braid.

If I go back to mono no doubt I could add another 10+ yds to those casts.

 

I do carry a spinning outfit also but the Daiwa GC outfit is by far the most trouble free allowing me to fish more of the time.

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The main reason I don't like them is because of how they feel in your hand. They can really hurt your wrist after a long day of crappie fishing. As for bass fishing, I've only used the cheap one's and wouldn't trust them. That's not to say that one made of quality fish aren't any good but they definitely aren't as good as any $100 baitcaster although I can't afford one of those. However, for the cost of a quality spincast reel you could get a great spinning reel or an h2o xpress mettle.

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Yes spincasters in general have some overall issues.

However, Daiwa GCs I've used have reduced most of those.

Larger aperature reduces line friction.. I also mirror polish the line contact areas with a dremel to lower resistance.

The larger model has an oversize spool so it can hold more line and higher # .. still not as much as a baitcaster tho.

4.3:1 is a decent gear ratio can pull good line on each turn

Oscillating spool means I load it with braid

 

I do have a quality spinning reel but my spinning setup is not as trouble free as my spincast..

Trouble-free means I get to spend more time fishing going after the big ones!

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It looks like some of you had good experience with Daiwa Gold Cast, which is hard to believe after my experience with Silver Cast.

 

I bought my daughter a Silver Cast a couple of years ago, so that she can use some of my casting rods to go to a lake where larger bass are found. It has the same lager hole design as Gold Cast. This reel gave me nothing but trouble casting. I would cast and for some unknown reason the line gets locked midair. I was using the line size within the recommended range. I  tried a couple of different ones with no luck.

 

My first reel when I was boy was a Daiwa's spin cast. I didn't have any problem with it. So I didn't see this coming and was very disapointed. One other person I met on other fishing forum had exactly the same problem.

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Spin-cast reels come in a range of prices and qualities same as other reels. The better ones will handle some bass fishing applications. They are fussy about line similar to a spinning reel so just keep an eye on that.

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Heard that about Silvercast somewhere before.. think ad to do with small clearance it had for the line and maybe just for the smaller Silvercast models..Also Silvercast doesnt have oscillating spool and line has better chance to dig in..

 

Silvercast or even Goldcast .. I'd stay away from the smaller models as the spools are low capacity and when the spool is low the angle at which the line needs to go gets steep and casting distance from there suffers..

 

But to say spincast cant catch bass is silly..its just a fishing tool..its still about the man behind the tool.. besides when spincast was in its hayday in the 60s, 70s, 80s .. they caught lots of bass everywhere on those old Johnsons and Daiwas.. like any tool, it has its plusses and minuses and some variations and models are better than others..

 

I recently pulled in a 21" LMB on my GC setup/composite rod.. had no problem pulling in that 4 pounder..

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I keep a zebco reel on a telescopic with some lures under my motorcycle seat. I have two ultra light zebco reels on ultra rods. There a blast to use on panfish.

We used the zebco reel "202" on a short rod for freshwater fishing and saltwater fishing too, when were kids for many years. We actually wore one reel out per year. The shafts with no bearings would wear so bad the teeth would skip engagement. But we hammered these reels with saltwater fish too. We caught fish from flounder, harbor blues to 6' eels. Way beyond the panfish they were made for. These reels kept us fishing as kids.

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Some years ago I acquired a few of those closed-face (push-button) spincast reels, hoping to be able to flip very light lures accurately into weed pockets.   They seemed to cast O.K., but I often had problems with the retreive, jamming, erratic reeling , etc.  Also they would often let out line when I was  starting to reel in. 

 

I gave up on them after a while, but I still have several of them around ( ABU) and was wondering if anyone else had any thoughts on the efficiency and reliability of these reels.  Are they really just for kids to learn casting.  Or can they also be used for some kinds of serious bass fishing?

 

I fish mostly with spincast reels. The Garcia Abumatic 170i has an oscillating spool and is probably the best one you can buy now (just over $50 on ebay). I have a couple of older models that are similar (Abumatic 475 and 1275), and they have worked great for a long time. I like fishing weightless Senkos in weed-choked parts of the Potomac, and pinpoint casts are easy with these reels. I have tried lots of other brands, but I think those without oscillating spools have all the problems you mentioned. I have had a couple of Zebco Omega Pros, and they work well, but don't seem to be as durable as the Abumatic 170i. 

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Interesting topic.  I had not used a SC reel in 20 years and when my daughter in law moved here I bought a fairly expensive one for her to use.  I was very disappointed.  I thought by now that they would be better. 

 

We used them when I was a kid for bobber fishing but for lures, they are very limited.  slow retrieve and they twist the line.  For some reason, I guess the oscillating reel, spinning reels work much better even though they also twist the line.

 

I'll be on the lookout for some of these better reels as my grand-daughter is almost old enough to start fishing with paw-paw. 

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Havent tried the Abu but all the top-of-line spincasts should have oscillating spools..Abu, Zebco.. I just like a larger aperature so I went with Daiwa.

 

I think plenty of guys fish with spincast but since there seems to be some stigma about it being a beginner reel kids use & most dont come out and certainly dont boast of it.

But when I hear knocks against spincast, I just have to say its the best setup I have even tho it took me forever to find the right combo for effective fishing.  Not saying it right for everyone by no means (and it may be too heavy for kids) but its right by me.

4.3:1 retrieve isn't as fast as my Trio30s by any means but its plenty good..

 

Daiwa GC120 (12oz)

Sufix 832 20# Braid (I dont like dealing with mono memory issues esp in spincasts)

Use it on my Crucial flippin stick and yes call me crazy but also on my swimbait rod..

 

If weights an issue, GC100 is 10oz and I'd probably pair that with 10# 832

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