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Ohio Dave

Set Up Advice For Guy Pretty New To Baitcasters

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I have only very recently started using a baitcasting rod and reel.  Not super smooth at using it like I am with spinning reels but am sure that over the rest of summer and next year I will get up to speed and like some of the extras that bait casting seem to provide over a spinning set up

 

I have a medium sized 6' ish medium weight and very bending tip johny morris rod with matching reel.  

 

for most of my life I have been a worm guy but not very serious of a bass fisherman. I like the weight-less senko type worms (actually use a poor boy brand version that I like very much)  but want to use crank baits more often and learn spinner baits.   

 

could you all give me some general tips as to lenght, weight, and action for a rod and reel for worming, crank baits, and spinner baits

 

there  is a pretty cool bait shop in Indiana near where a fair share of used rods and reels come through at prices a poor old teacher can afford but don't want to go in clueless

 

thanks in advance for the knowledge

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Getting a better quality reel 2nd hand will make learning less frustrating. Look for a Shimano Citica, ABU Revo S, BPS Pro Qualifier or Pflueger. I feel centrifugal brakes are more user friendly than magnetic brakes but either way you'll need to learn to feather the spool with thumb pressure to get the best performance. There are articles and videos on the site here to help get a baitcaster setup and adjusted, check them out for more tips.

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Being very new to them myself, the best advice I got was just someone explaining to me that it was almost all based around thumb control of the spool. Just that little bit of knowledge, just knowing is what's keeping me so far from having any major backlash. If I feel like something is getting away from me in the cast, bam...thumb on the spool and it seems to save whatever issue was going to happen. It turned out to be far easier than I ever expected. I then felt like a dope for fearing them for so long and never giving them a try. I feel ike I have far better control and accuracy with it.

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I second MX-9's wisdom. I like the idea of being able to at any time control my cast and prevent backlashes.

 

I'm sort of in the same boat. This year is my first year with a baitcast setup, and I only got it in June. The best piece of advice I got was that your casting motion is very different than a spinning setup. Whereas a spinning cast is more of a whipping motion, the baitcaster requires a very smooth arc-ing cast. Until I learned to do that I was having poor casting ability and had many backlashes.

 

Keep at it, I've had the best fishing year yet with this baitcaster, I'm a believer in the technology.

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sounds like very good advice and thanks for sharing.

 

how about rod choices: a good bait casting rod for basic worm fishing   one for crank baits   and one for spinner baits

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I'll take a stab. I like a Medium power-Fast or XFast action for worms. Spinnerbaits would be Medium Heavy power-Fast action. Crankbait rods are usually, not always, fiberglass and have Moderate to Moderate-Fast actions.

 

To be honest, a lot of it is personal preference. 

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why fiberglass??

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For most treble hook lures and especially crankbaits the recommended action is moderate or slow.

Fiberglass has come a long way, but rod makers have also introduced graphite rods with these actions,

too.

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why fiberglass??

Fiberglass is more forgiving.  However, there are now plenty of graphite rods suitable for crankbaits.  As stated, it is a matter of preference.  You want a slower action rod to keep the fish pinned with treble hooks.  A Medium power Fast action will work as long as you take it easy on the set, and don't have the drag locked down.  I personally feel a Fast action rod is the most versatile...for me.

 

Rod selection has many variables.  First how much do you want to spend?  What weight lures do you normally use?  What kind of cover do you fish?  Do you fish from shore or a boat?  It is very hard to make a specific recommendation without knowing these facts.  However, we can make general recommendations.

 

The rod you describe should work fine for crankbaits with one covet...distance.  It probably won't cast as far as you would like.  A long cast is preferred to keep the bait in the strike zone longer.  If all else is equal (rod power, action, blank material), a longer rod will cast further.  Most feel 7' is minimum for a dedicated crankbait rod.  One of mine is 7', another 6'9", but I fish for pleasure.  Missing a fish because I can't get the distance doesn't bother me like it would a pro.  Power of rod requires knowing how deep you fish.  It is best to have 2 different crankbait rods...one for shallow and mid-depth, and one for deep divers.  First would be a Medium power and the 2nd a MH.

 

Being shore bound may require a 6' rod.  Heck, I've fished where a 4' baitcast rod would be too long for me unless I pitched.  :teeth3:

 

I would love to be able to walk thru that store.  :teeth:  I don't mind buying used.  You get more value for your money.

 

You could use the same rod for worms and spinnerbaits.  I often do.  A 7' MHF makes for a good all-around rod.  So does a MF, but at lighter weights.  A MH rated for 1/4-1 oz. would be my first choice...provided it could actually handle 1/4 oz. weights.  I have a 7'6" MH Villain rated from 3/8 to 1-1/4 oz lures that I wouldn't throw less than 1/2 oz. on, and much prefer staying heavier than that.  There are no standards so a MH isn't the same from manufacturer to manufacturer.

 

I picked up a couple Falcon Originals at a mom and pop store in Deland, FL while visiting...$35 apiece.  These rods run $110-$110 new depending on length.  They are good rods for the money.   Great rods at $35.  :teeth3:  If you can find a Fenwick Elite Tech Smallmouth rod at a good price, grab it.  I'd be willing to buy it from you if you didn't like it.  I prefer them to the *** Black which is the current hot item.

 

I don't own any Powells, but they get great reviews.  Used would be your only option unless you opt for a Diesel model.

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thanks very much for the thoughtful post.  It helps

 

Here is what I can answer for you

 

I have a tiny jon boat that I am able to fish a few places with.  some ponds are timber filled (old flooded wooded areas) but most are weeds and grasses.   The man made stuff is rock bottom in the flat part of ohio.  I still fish a fair amount from shore too  

 

I generally don't use big baits but am looking to expand what I do and take the sport a bit more serious.  I used to fly fish more but have developed more interest in bass fishing right now.

 

I  like the medium action on the baitcast rod I have but wanted to hear what most folks think about rod type when selecting.  I know I would not like that much bend on a rod that I am casting worms or craw type creatures on 

 

I was able to stash away a couple hundred bucks that was outside the family budget and would like to be able to find two good used set ups or one really good one and keep using the spinning rod for the other types of baits 

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$200 for two setups isn't much.  I have no idea of used prices at the store where you will be shopping.  I can suggest H2O Mettle casting reels from Academy Sports...$50 new (less during their Reel Riot).  There is a used one in the Flea Market for $40 tyd.  The H2O Ethos rods are also well thought of.  Buy during their Rod Riot.  Both get very good reviews, but I have no personal experience with either.  New Berkley Lightning Shocks go for about $50 and the regular Lightning for $10 less.  Sometimes can be found on sale at Walmart...tho not at my Walmarts.  :sad78:

 

Shimano Sellus run $50-$60 at TW depending on rod length and also get good reviews.  I have a regular Lightning 6'MH that transmits vibration to the reel with a 1/2 oz. spinnerbait.  I think that is a function of how short the rod is, but don't have a longer model to verify that.  I just know my reels don't vibrate on longer more expensive rods.

 

Dick's Sporting Goods carries the Field & Stream line of Tec Spec rods.  The original (black) is $60, the Elites (blue) $80.  I have an original and it is also a good rod for the money.  Love the looks of the blue Elites.

 

I would suggest sticking with aluminum frame reels.  The Mettle has an aluminum frame.  I think I can safely guarantee that you will appreciate better gear if you get heavy into this sport.

 

I would suggest starting with one good combo, and then add another later.  Spend as much as you can on a good bottom contact rod.  Add an aluminum frame reel.  This combo would be pretty versatile unless you bought a rod with an Extra Fast tip instead of a Fast tip.  Besides bottom lures, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, swimjigs....basically any single hook presentation could be handled by this rod.  Well, unless you were fishing live worms.  :teeth3:

 

EDIT: Some used reels to look at are Shimano Citicas and Curados, Revo S, Pro Qualifier and no doubt a few others I have left out.  Ambassadeur round reels are a good option if you don't mind round reels.  I have some older Black Max 1600s.  These would make a great cranking reel.  They can handle light baits, and also throw into the wind amazingly well.

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looking at new prices makes,  200 for two set-ups unlikely   so I am focusing on just getting one for that money 

 

how about rod length?  I like my spinning rods around 7 feet but the one bait caster I bought is shorter  it feels weird to me  but would like to hear length preferences from you (all) please 

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I prefer 7' or longer.  My 6'6" rods don't get used near enough.  Two years ago I made the mistake of buying 2 MH 6'6" rods because my others were 7' or longer.  Thought I needed both sizes.

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I was sort of thinking the same way: that the shorter rod would not be as likeable and end up in the back of the rack.  I have a couple of spining rods that I rarely pick up as I have fallen in love with the longer rod even though its a bit harder to get around in a short bed pick up truck or the wife's crv

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Great thread. I myself am pretty new to bait casting, starting last Summer. I tried when younger, but being an impatient Yank, it didn't work out so well.

I'm stuck on shore, and while I have a good job, I don't have tons of extra $ to spend on myself. I bought 2 BPS Pro Qualifiers and am really happy with them. I use one on a 7' MF BPS Carbonlite & the other on a 6'6" MF Veritas (2-piece) that I keep in my truck. Both setups were around the $200 mark mentioned above and for a novice like myself, they cast great and have handled all the Bass I've caught to date, which average a couple of pounds.

Best of luck with your bait casting choices.

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