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Magnetic Brakes: How Much Affect Do They Have On


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distance, backlash elimination, and should they even be used?

 

AdamsEye stated in another thread that if you were using brakes, you hadn't learned the proper way to use a b/c reel.  You were using the brakes as a crutch instead of properly training your thumb.  I have no idea what the "Proper" way is.  Don't know about others, but I had to teach myself.  I knew no one who used a b/c reel when I bought my first one...or 10th one.  I've only fished a few times with one other guy that uses b/c reels and he is strictly a Shimano guy.  We've never discussed brakes or the proper way to set a reel up.  At least not in a meaningful way.  We've only mentioned how we normally set our reels.

 

His post made me think, so I did a little informal testing when I went out today for some casting practice.  My Zillion 50th Anniversary has been supertuned by Ian Shields and had the bearings upgraded to ABEC7s.  My TD-Z 103ML is as I bought it used.  I feel quite certain its bearings have been upgraded.  I've got enough factory and supertuned reels to tell the bearings are ceramic. I have no idea what else may have been done to the reel.  I spent about 2 to 2-1/2 hours practicing today.  It is the first I have been out in at least a month and a half.

 

I run enough spool tension to remove side-to-side play.  Only on very few occasions have I increased spool tension.  Today both reels were set with 7 brakes on when I started using them.  I was able to go down to 3 on both reels with no backlashes or overruns.  Once I went to 2 you can guess what hit the fan.  Leaving at 2 and increasing spool tension put me back in business, but there was no increase in distance that I could see on the water at this setting versus 3 and minimum spool tension.

 

It seemed to me that casting distance between the lowest setting I used today and 7 resulted in a virtual tie.  I'd be interested in the results any of you may have attained while determining the best place to set your brakes at.  I am not a machine.  Therefore I can't guarantee each and every cast had the same amount of force used, and were equal in smoothness.  I can get as much or more difference in casting distance from cast to cast with no changes made to the reel.  I compromised on 5.  Why take a chance on backlashing at 3 if the distances are equal?  Unless you want bragging rights.  In that case I could turn the brakes off, increase spool tension and brag that I don't need brakes.  However, exactly what would I gain in casting performance from doing so?

 

I reached 2 conclusions today.  1.) It is highly unlikely my thumb will ever be good enough to handle zero brakes with minimum spool tension regardless of time spent practicing, and 2.) I don't understand why using the spool tension knob is the correct way to control the spool while relying on the brakes to accomplish the same thing is wrong.  AdamsEye did mention that the spool tension had to be adjusted properly for different lures.    Personally I feel that using more spool tension is going to result in a slightly shorter cast than using more brakes.  Can't prove that though. Logically I would think that spool tension is going to remain constant throughout the cast while braking force isn't thus resulting in a slightly slower spool speed overall and a resulting shorter cast.  Also I would think that a little more thumb may be required at certain points in the cast when using minimum spool tension....provided I am understanding correctly how brakes work.  When I was previously practicing with my MagForce 3D reels with no brakes on and minimum spool tension, I noticed that the middle of the cast 'fluffed', but straightened itself out at the end of the cast.  However, I feel 100% certain that Longcast still exerts braking force otherwise I would have been backlashing the everlasting out of the reel.  :cry3:

 

Thoughts?  Opinions?  Also I don't want AdamsEye to think I was singling him out for some  :punishment:   He raised questions in my mind.  So far I have to respectfully agree to disagree with him.  :teeth:

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Brakes of any design are not intended to eliminate the need to thumb the spool but rather as an aid to control spool start up and over run to get the most out of the reel. There's no right or wrong just experiment and find what's right for you

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I get the impression that AdamsEye is trying his hardest to convince everyone that if they use brakes on a baitcaster, they suck at casting. They didn't learn the right way (his way) and they are making all kinds of mistakes (I didn't know I was making all of these mistakes) when I am out there casting lures for bass. There are millions of baitcasters in service all over the world and I don't know of any that do not come with brakes. The brakes are there to be used so use them and don't let a guy with 35 posts get into your head cause I can guarantee you that he won't get into mine.

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New2bc4bass, I'm more intrigued by your statement that you haven't fished in a month and a half!  Bro, how can this be?  I'd be going absolutely nutty from withdrawal, LOL.

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I can tell you about spool tension and centrifugal brakes on my reels (all of them are Shimanos) in case you're interested.

 

My spool tension is set probably a little tighter than yours. Eliminate side to side play, and then some. But, it's still loose enough so that if I let the lure free fall, and actually hit the ground/ water, there'd be an overrun/ backlash.

 

Brakes are almost always set at 2 out of 6 (VBS), and 2 out of 4 plus ~50% (SVS). Unless I'm casting into something like 25+ mph winds.

 

I do have to thumb a little once in a while depending on how aerodynamic the bait is.

 

I have tried with higher braking (eliminates thumbing 100%, but kills distance), and lower braking (more thumbing, and hardly any difference in casting distance).

 

I think I like to catch fish more than I like to practice my thumbing skills.

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I believe your correct in saying the tension has an effect during the entire distance of the cast. Centrifugal brakes work during the peak speed of spool movement which I believe has more effect during the middle area of each cast. Magnetic brakes I believe also have an effect on the middle fastest spool movement as well.

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I am bit confused on why people are using tension knob, but not the breaking system. The tension knob puts a constant break pressure, hampering the cast, no matter what the cast is; where the breaking system is based on speed of the spool. Doesn't it make sense to use the breaking system and no tension knob? People are trying to be too "hipster", relying on outdated technology LOL

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Reels are pretty goodtoday. I can outcast my hook setting ability on some applications. I think getting a good feel for the reel is what works. I use probably 75% centrifugal breaks 25% thumb. I guess. I'm pretty sure the engineers @ shimano design breaks that work more efficiently than my thumb can.

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I learned on a reel with no brakes, only spool tension so to get distance you had to decrease the tension and allow your thumb to feather the line. Magnetic brakes do more for the last 1/3oz the cast while centrifugal brakes help during the middle stages and your spool tension is for the beginning of a cast. When you increase spool tension it slows the spool, the most important part of the tension is at the beginning of the cast so your spool doesn't spin faster and have more line fly off than what the lure is pulling. Brakes allow you to less the tension because when you had no braking you had to feather the line with your thumb throughout the entire cast, not it is just at the very beginning. If you watch a long cast completion with casting reels, you'll see them launch their plug and as it is flying they begin to loosen the spool tension so you have a free spool but it is only after it is in the air that they do this because even the most educated thumb will need assistance at the very start.

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To the OP, fish your way..... what works for one person may not work for another. You should focus on getting out on the water more often than being concerned on how someone else uses their reels. 

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New2bc4bass, I'm more intrigued by your statement that you haven't fished in a month and a half!  Bro, how can this be?  I'd be going absolutely nutty from withdrawal, LOL.

 

Fishing in my area sucks.  I decided not to spend the time and money to drive a half hour or more for what usually winds up to be casting practice so I starting practicing at a local boat ramp on the river.  I've caught a few fish there, but some years not even one.  Been through there on a friend's boat, and the bottom is pretty barren in this area.  Think fish I caught were migrating through the area.

 

I stopped a time or two after getting back from Florida, but work is hectic.  The other lathe programmer quit and the company has no plans to hire a replacement.  So instead of handling 20 lathes (of which 6 seldom needed a program), I now handle 27 lathes by myself.  Plus I am the only guy in the shop right now that knows how to set up the 3 lathes with Fagor controls.  Luckily these 3 lathes are among the 6 that seldom need a program, and 2 of them don't run very often.  Also luckily the only Mitsubishi controlled lathe we have runs different dash numbers of the same part which only requires changing the center drill and drill.  Operator can handle that.  I'm the only one familiar with setting this lathe up.  The foreman who could set these lathes up retired 2 years ago.

 

The extremely poor fishing in this area is why I have so many different rods and reels.  It is what keeps me going out.  If fishing was like the area I came from, I'd probably only have 5 or 6 combos because I would be out catching fish instead of trying new combos.  :cry4:

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Okay let me help out first, tension and brakes are two totally different animals. Tension is a constant force, all that means no matter what that spool is doing, stopped, spinning, the tension force does not change. Brakes are a reactive force, that kick in after the cast and are dynamic. The amount of force they put on the spool varies from the amount of brakes you have on, to the speed of the reel.

 

Before I go any further let me clarify, brakes are not a bad thing, and I don't care if you use them.

 

Being that brakes affect the results of the input from your cast/swing, they can be really good at hiding any flaws in your swing, or casting mechanics that create a backlash in the first part of your cast. Spinning rods are very forgiving, it's not just the reel that you are going to have to learn how to use. You are going to have to learn the impact of not knowing how to swing a rod efficiently.

 

The whole reason I say not to learn with brakes and on tension, is because it is going to show you and teach you a lot more about the cause and effect of a good cast or bad one. It is going to make you start off with smooth gentle sidearm cast that won't go far, but you are going to learn way more about yourself doing it this way then by jacking up the brakes and the tension so you can cast overhand.

 

You can learn how ever you want, for me I like to start off with all new things making sure I use the best techniques I can. This makes the first few cast more difficult, but it also in my option is going to force you to slow down and learn far more then just setting the tension and brakes so that you can go fishing with it.

 

To me buying your first baitcaster and thinking you should be able to cast with it right away is just not the way you learn. That is the way you get to use the reel, and casting.

 

I think a lot of people are stuck on the reel aspect too, if you can't use a rod, it is only going to make using a bait caster that much harder. 

 

When I am fishing, and looking for long casts, I drop the brakes, and as much tension as I can. My casting style is smooth, and graceful, I don't whip with all my might to over power my tackle and waste energy. In my experiences the more brakes you use the the less thumb you need, but even a high tension with no brakes still needs a thumb.

 

It is not two equal forces, and lowering one and raising the other might net you the same results, but brakes whole purpose is to decrease the energy that you put into the spool the more energy the harder they work. Sounds to me like you can correct this problem for the most part with the rod and a smooth cast and for the most part be a much more efficient fisherman by not using brakes at all. Allowing you to fish longer with less fatigue.

 

I do know the lighter the spool is, the less resistance to spinning it has and less force it takes to start moving it. I also know that overruns are a simple case of the spool having more energy and motion then the line or the lure. Given that I would say focusing on learning good mechanics from the start is a much better option then the instant gratification you might get from brakes.

 

Again this was about learning to cast, and not about how to get the most from your reel.

 

For me I can cast any reel with no brakes, I don't need to turn them on in order to cast far, or be productive. I also find that even when I take a little tension off with brakes on, I can not cast as far as when I have the brakes off. I have to  use more effort in my cast with brakes to hit the target even with less constant spool tension.

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Lots of fun can be had experimenting with different reels and their controls.

I take each one of my combos and go out on dock and adjust the brake/spool tension for the baits that I initially rig them with to load the boat

Then I pick 6 combos to put in the boat that day. Each totally different but ALL ADJUSTED and ready to go.

I may have a Steez 103, a Pixy Airy red, a TD-Z, a Shimano Chronarch 50 and so on.

They all have different combos of brakes and need to be brought to my best casting practices and movements.

My THUMB is the control factor. More thumb on some, less to none on others. And I love the differences of each combo.

Like playing different instruments in an orchestra.

I DO have friends who take IDENTICAL setups (3-4) so the instant they pick it up it is just like the other. No need to adjust the next cast at all.

Hang in there, Dale, you'll get better. You just need to find what's best for you.

Down here in the swamps it's never how FAR you can cast but how ACCURATE you are. ( Can you place that frog between those 2 Cypress knees?)

And, it's time to work less and fish more!

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I get the impression that AdamsEye is trying his hardest to convince everyone that if they use brakes on a baitcaster, they suck at casting. They didn't learn the right way (his way) and they are making all kinds of mistakes (I didn't know I was making all of these mistakes) when I am out there casting lures for bass. There are millions of baitcasters in service all over the world and I don't know of any that do not come with brakes. The brakes are there to be used so use them and don't let a guy with 35 posts get into your head cause I can guarantee you that he won't get into mine.

 

I don´t pay attention to his post count, I think AdamsEye is full of it and for his information, I can cast, consistently without backlashing with zero brakes and just enough tension to stop the spool from moving sideways but not everything and anything, I do eventually have to make use of the brakes with certain baits, for example, spinnerbaits have the aerodynamic properties of a kite and you will need a little braking or the spool will overrun. That comes from a dude that has been fishing with bait casters for several decades.

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I learned on a reel with no brakes, only spool tension so to get distance you had to decrease the tension and allow your thumb to feather the line. Magnetic brakes do more for the last 1/3oz the cast while centrifugal brakes help during the middle stages and your spool tension is for the beginning of a cast. When you increase spool tension it slows the spool, the most important part of the tension is at the beginning of the cast so your spool doesn't spin faster and have more line fly off than what the lure is pulling. Brakes allow you to less the tension because when you had no braking you had to feather the line with your thumb throughout the entire cast, not it is just at the very beginning. If you watch a long cast completion with casting reels, you'll see them launch their plug and as it is flying they begin to loosen the spool tension so you have a free spool but it is only after it is in the air that they do this because even the most educated thumb will need assistance at the very start.

 

The Centrifugal Brakes help control the spool in the beginning of the cast when the spool is at it's highest rpm's and the friction control / cast control knob help control overruns at the end of the cast. The pic below is from a Shimano instruction manual. 

med_gallery_15539_351_86258.jpg

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My old Abu 4600's I use to use the smallest brakes that came with it and loosend the tension knob all the way. I could outcast everyone I fished with distance wise , even if they had Lews or Shimanos  . When people use to  tell me  they didnt like baitcasters because of the backlashes I would  get a 4600 out and cast as far as i could then lay the reel on the ground with lure in mid air and it wouldnt backlash.  I cant do that with any of my reels today.  Today's reels I still leave the tension loose but I have to rely on brakes. I like the brakes on the BPS Pro Qualifier a lot .

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I'm not terribly coordinated and muscle memory isn't a strong point.  I can cast fine with little to no brakes for a time with no problem.  But one little hitch in a cast, or a other small flaw and backlash results.  Not a huge deal, but picking out each backlash probably consumes enough time to lose 3 to 10(?) casts.  I will gladly risk sacrificing a yard or even 10 of maximum distance for control, confidence and more casts.

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Okay let me help out first,

 

OK, dude, stop for a second.  I'm going to criticize you but it's meant to be constructive.  I think you could be an asset to the board and would like you to stick around.

 

You're giving the impression of trying too hard to be an expert.  There are folks here who know far more about reels than you ever will.  I'm damned good, and their knowledge would put me to shame.  They do it for a living so they have to be good.

 

My advice is simply this:  Chill.  Don't write books.  I'm guilty of this myself, and I consciously watch it -- you're not the only one to do this, is what I'm trying to say.

 

Choose your battles.  There are sometimes things said here that make me want to bang my head.  This is when I just don't respond.  Then there are those who do things completely opposite of how I do 'em.  Know what?  It works for them.

 

When I tune out my reels, I require they cast 50 yards given the rod is capable.  This is with the tension set to allow the line to fluff for any given weight of lure when dropped from 4' high, and with three brakes on (one a six brake system.) 

 

Know what?  It's not how you (or most others!) do things, and that's OK.  If you don't want to use brakes, that's OK too.  It's not a big deal.

 

Step back, dude.  Just don't reply.  Hang out for a bit and gradually become helpful.

 

Regards,

 

Josh

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