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buzzfrog

Thumbing A Baitcaster Or Not

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fishing with a bud, I set my thumb on spool every cast before it hits the water. he was fishing big weights with T rigged worms, he told me since the weight is bigger he doesn't put his thumb on spool till it crashes through the surface of water. said sometimes he gets a small loop once over in his spool if ever. Conversation ended. I chewed on that all day. IMO and as explained since I was a newbie that the spool doesn't know when to stop, or is there a science in difference of weight and way it breaks water. nothing big but wonder why he'd not thumb it before it hits water.

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Not sure, but I do the same as you and thumb it right before it hits. Maybe it's just an experience thing and it'll change as we get better.

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He probably just has his brakes and spool tension set tighter than you.  That's why he doesn't get any overrun.  I prefer my reels pretty loose and always thumb the spool.

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Well, I'm new to baitcasters too but I have noticed it's a lot easier to cast heavier lures.  Not sure why but with lures in the area of say 1/2 and up, I don't have to worry about my thumb control as much and rarely backlash.  Something to do with the velocity of the lure flying through the air maybe?  But then you'd think the spool would still keep going and overrun.  Who knows? 

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For me it depends on what bait I'm throwing. 1/2+ oz I find that i dont touch it until the end. Dropshotting or wacky rig I like to thumb it the whole way.

I've only been using it for a month but I fish almost every day. I'm starting to feel more comfy with setting the spool a little looser and not having much brake. I have mag brakes and this is the only BC I've ever used. Maybe a centrifigul brake is differnt I have no idea.

I do have backlashes but not as much as before. Sometimes when I'm just trying to get as much distance I watch the spool and I can see the line loosening and think backlash but the line eventually comes off in time before it hits the water. Like your buddy on the heavier baits it may overrun just slightly.

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I always use my thumb.  I like my spool loose also, and I hate having to adjust the tension everytime I change baits.

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I learned on reel that only had a spool tension knob so using my thumb is only natural. I also set minimum brakes and keep the spool tension light so I need to feather the spool with my thumb for the entire cast not just as it hits, I find I get more distance this way but it only takes a slight error to cause a mess but it is just how I learned.

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I learned on reel that only had a spool tension knob so using my thumb is only natural. I also set minimum brakes and keep the spool tension light so I need to feather the spool with my thumb for the entire cast not just as it hits, I find I get more distance this way but it only takes a slight error to cause a mess but it is just how I learned.

 

X2

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Your thumb is your backup to stop the bait when necessary to either 1) place the bait where you want it; 2) stop it from flying into the trees or brush; and 3) to stop the spool from turning after the bait has hit the water.

 

If you "balance" your baitcaster setup your spool will stop when the bait hits the water's surface without any help from your thumb stopping the spool from turning.

 

We have discussed "balancing" your baitcaster setup on this site before but if you don't know how to do it please lt us know and we will tell you how to do it.

 

I "balance" every bait when throwing a baitcaster. Even my heavy Carolina rig. Rarely have backlashes unless I hit a bush, the motor or windshield when casting.

 

Setting up your baitcaster so that you can start the retrieve as soon as the bait hits the water or allowing the bait to sink is very important to successful baitcasting fishing.

 

Also, you can out cast your hook setting power if you cast too far. So know your hook setting power and "balance" your baitcaster and you will have few, if any, backlashes with our without using your thumb.

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Hmmmmmm..........I did not know it was possible to use a baitcaster without thumbing the spool as a form of braking :Idontknow: .  I learned something new today.

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Good post, Sam.  I want to add that I guess you can be accurate without using your thumb but if you want pinpoint accuracy I think the thumb is essential.  I also think that it allows you to feather the bait into the water creating less commotion if that is desired.  I always use my thumb just before the bait hits the water. 

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Absolutely thumb the spool right before it hits the water. Backlashes are one reason, presentation is another. Your friend either has the brakes set tight or is thumbking the spool before he thinks he is....

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hmmm, with properly adjusted breaks and spool tension i don't touch the spool until AFTER it hits the water, but withing 1/2 second or so. if i need extra distance i release all spool tension and then i have to watch the spool, depending on the lure and how i cast i may need to thumb it a bit.

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I don't use any spool tension.  I'm not sure whether my thumb is on the spool before or after, though It's probably before.

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If you "balance" your baitcaster setup your spool will stop when the bait hits the water's surface without any help from your thumb stopping the spool from turning.

 

We have discussed "balancing" your baitcaster setup on this site before but if you don't know how to do it please lt us know and we will tell you how to do it.

 

I "balance" every bait when throwing a baitcaster. Even my heavy Carolina rig. Rarely have backlashes unless I hit a bush, the motor or windshield when casting.

 

 

 

maybe I know it as a different name or not at all, but would like to hear more details or link to an old thread please?

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Brian, this is a pretty good one.  When Sam speaks of balancing I believe he is talking about setting the cast control knob for the weight of each lure you attach to your line. 

 

http://www.***/education/baitcaster-setup-101.html

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Brian, this is a pretty good one.  When Sam speaks of balancing I believe he is talking about setting the cast control knob for the weight of each lure you attach to your line. 

 

http://www.***/education/baitcaster-setup-101.html

 

ok then I do that.....well I should say I learned that lesson the hard way, LOL.

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Almost always thumb it unless I'm trying to cast a big crank a long ways, then just at the end.

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my few baitcasters that i have dont have brakes especially my trinidads but really just learn how to use your thumb a bit and set it loose and let it fly...IMO brakes are for people who are inexperienced with the thumb

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my few baitcasters that i have dont have brakes especially my trinidads but really just learn how to use your thumb a bit and set it loose and let it fly...IMO brakes are for people who are inexperienced with the thumb

If you can cast a modern bass baitcaster with the brakes turned all the way off and the spool tension not cranked all the way down, you're a much better caster than I am.  Trinidads and heavy salt gear are a completely different animal and not really what we're talking about.

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He probably just has his brakes and spool tension set tighter than you.  That's why he doesn't get any overrun.  I prefer my reels pretty loose and always thumb the spool.

 

+1. Very loose breaks. Thumbing all the way.

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Excellent Sam ;)

While fishing a B.A.S.S. Top 150 Denny Brauer stated that is how he flip/pitches.

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mag brakes on zero, tension knob loose, so i'm thumbin'

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