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Bait Casting Distance

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I just bought a low profile bait casting reel. It was really my first experience with anything bait casting. I found that I could only get the heavy lures to go far and I kept having trouble with rats nest because I could not get the hang of it. Any pointers on throwing lighter lures and just casting one in general.

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I'm also a beginner with bait casters. The biggest tips are to start with heavier lures and heavier line and progressively work your way down. I started with 17lb mono and throwing the biggest Pike spoons I had in my tackle box without the intent of really catching anything. Casting lighter lures is the most difficult part of a bait caster because most of them aside from the high end reels aren't built with throwing light lures in mind. However if you throw lighter flourocarbon (12lb) you can throw lighter lures easier but you are more likely to receive some brutal backlashes. The main idea is to take baby steps.

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When you say lighter, how light?

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The rod has to load up correctly. With 200 size reels, baits down to a quarter oz is not a problem. Practice with heavier and more aerodynamic lures first. Rattletraps are excellent for this, plus they're supposed to be good this time of the year too. Might as well try and catch something.

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Not sure what a low profile teardrop bait casting reel is.  What make and model is the reel?  What power is the rod you are using?  Can only give general advice without knowing those two facts.

 

I would never, never try to learn how to cast with fluorocarbon line.  Not only too costly, but too much memory even with a line conditioner.  17# mono is ok to learn on.  Personally I'd drop down to about 12#.  Use a softer line such as Sufix Elite, Trilene XL or Sunline Super Natural.  Softer lines have less memory.

 

You've got the right idea to start with lures near the high end of the rod's rating.  There are stickies on correctly setting up the reel and learning to cast.  Also do a search and you should find plenty of threads on learning to use a baitcast reel.

 

Smoothness is critical.  I would start with a side arm roll cast.  That will keep the rod tip loaded and help smooth out the casting stroke.  Do not try for distance at first.  I would start with 2-handed casts.  Actually I seldom make a one-handed cast.

 

The lighter the lure, the better your thumb and technique has to be.  I wouldn't go below 3/8 oz. until you gained some experience.

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I've also found while learning that pitching with a caster is fairly easy to get the hang of and helps build confidence with thumbing the spool to control line tension. Also had significantly less backlashes while practicing flipping and pitching. 

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Casting light lures with a baitcaster is as much about the rod as it is about the reel. Check the recommended lure weight on your rod. Then check your reel by adjusting the cast control until the lure drops slowly. If you have to back it off all the way before the lure starts to fall, the lure is too light to be cast by you.

Either way, casting distance should not be your objective when starting out with a baitcaster. Focus on setting the reel correctly and using your thumb to achieve accurate results. Distance will come with experience

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Practice and practice some more. Start with a good weight and play with the brake settings until you find what works for you. Don't worry about distance, worry about smoothness. Slowly, you and your thumb, will get the feel. It takes some time. Never throw a light weight into the wind. You will get back lashes but you will also learn how to pick them out. I cast shiners on a bait caster with #40 braded. I like the reel brake loose and the centrifugal brake on the max setting. My thumb does the rest. I cast underhand, side arm, and overhead, depending on the distance I need to throw. I get backlashes but I am an experienced backlash picker-outer :)

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I just bought a low profile bait casting reel. It was really my first experience with anything bait casting. I found that I could only get the heavy lures to go far and I kept having trouble with rats nest because I could not get the hang of it. Any pointers on throwing lighter lures and just casting one in general.

 

1. What reel?

 

2. How light are the weights you're trying to cast?

 

1st baitcaster is always a bit of a learning experience.  We've all been there once.  I learned in the 90s that I couldn't throw 1/16 oz sliders on a Pinnacle Vision 100 very far.     

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Concentrate on accuracy. That will put more more fish in the boat than bombing casts. Let the rod do the work. Muscling a cast is a shortcut to backlash city. This goes along with prior advice about using the proper rod. 

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Like others said, start with 3/8 ounce and up, work on accuracy vs distance, do not try and bomb long cast and practice keeping constant tabs on the spool with your thumb. In time, you will be able to back off the cast controls a bit. Then move down to quarter ounce lures and train your thumb to monitor your spool.

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Are you matching your line test and bait weight with the rod's parameters for maximum casting distance and performance?

 

Double check your line test and bait weight with what the rod says and the give it anoher whack.

 

If you want to go farther you can loosen spool tension knob and remove all of the brakes.

 

Just get ready for a really big backlash!

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