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04Taco

Is it worth it to switch to bait cast?

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Hello everyone, I've become a much more avid bass fisherman than I used to be. I'm using an original 6'6" ugly stik in medium action and what was likely one of the cheapest spinning reels I could find at Walmart 4 or 5 years ago. It's a Mitchell avoacet 2. It feels like the reel is pretty close to blowing apart when I have a big one on the line. I've caught hundreds and hundreds, maybe thousands of yellow perch with this setup but it's not cutting it for the smallmouth I'm catching now, so I'm looking to upgrade. I throw mainly crank baits, weightless Texas rigged senkos and buzz baits right now and it's doing a good job. I'm perfectly happy with how my spinning tackle operates and it's second nature for me to use. Is it really worth it to "upgrade" to a baitcaster? I've tried them before and it's not been a good experience, I can't cast far and I've made quite a few birds nests. I personally can't see how anyone likes these things but if that's what everyone uses there's got to be an advantage right? So which should I buy? And why are baitcasters so superior?

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You can use spinning gear for just about everything.  I used to use spinning gear exclusively, but when I bought my first bait caster and learned how use it I switched to almost exclusively using casting gear.  The advantage I find is the ability to use heavier line and lures, cranking spinner baits and crank baits is easier, more power for heavy cover, casting is more efficient, more accuracy and just overall funner to use.  Disadvantage: addictive and potentially expensive.  Spinning gear is better for live bait and finesse techniques like drop shot, Ned rig, shaky heads, but I use bfs which is expensive.

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For me, and I use both baitcasters and spinning reels, I couldn't imagine doing a majority of my fishing with a spinning setup. The added control you have by thumbing a baitcaster on casts makes all the difference in the world to making the right cast, especially under difficult conditions. You also have more control fighting fish by thumbing. In addition, there's much added sensitivity by palming a baitcaster and/or having a finger on the line coming into the reel. Some people say spinning gear is best for light presentations. I think there are more spinning reels geared towards that simply because baitcasters get expensive for finesse applications, but you can find heavier duty spinning gear as well. Typically though, you'll have more cranking power with casting gear.

These may all seem like small things, but to me they're huge. I really only use spinning gear when I have to, which if I had to guess I'd estimate at around 1-2% of the time. 

If you're committing to trying to use a baitcaster, don't get a "cheap" reel! This is in my opinion the primary reason some people try it out and don't get the hang of it. If I was starting out, I'd pick up at least something like an Abu Black Max or a Lew's Laser. They're decent and not bad for getting the hang of things. A good reel will have a better brake system and bearings, which will make learning to cast soooo much easier. I'd use a reel like that (or better if you can afford it) on a decent MH or M rod. I'd start with mono 12lb ish line with a heavier, aerodynamic lure at first. You'll get the hang of it in no time.

I learned to bass fish on spinning gear, like you, but made the switch when I was about 10. I'm sure that made things easier on me, but I could never ever go back knowing what I know now. Some people are perfectly fine with spinning setups. They really can do anything you want them to do. But it's kind of like tightening a bolt with a crescent wrench. A socket set would make your job a lot easier. To me, a good baitcaster is the best tool for the job.

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You don´t "need" to "upgrade" to a baitcaster, what you need to do is to upgrade the quality of your rods and reels.

This dude, which has caught more big mommas than anybody in this forum and pretty much more big mommas than all of us who have caught several big mommas put together fishes exclusively with spinning gear:

Fiish%20Chris%2018.4.jpg

Fish%20Chris%2016.5.jpg

Fish%20Chris%20-%2017.1lb%20-%202008.jpg

That´s just a very small sample of his catches.

 

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In my opinion its worth it to get into a casting setup. The added control helps improve your accuracy (mostly distance accuracy) . I mean that by saying you want to cast right to the base of a tree but not hit it, a baitcaster makes that much easier. 

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10 minutes ago, Raul said:

You don´t "need" to "upgrade" to a baitcaster, what you need to do is to upgrade the quality of your rods and reels.

This dude, which has caught more big mommas than anybody in this forum and pretty much more big mommas than all of us who have caught several big mommas put together fishes exclusively with spinning gear:

Fiish%20Chris%2018.4.jpg

Fish%20Chris%2016.5.jpg

Fish%20Chris%20-%2017.1lb%20-%202008.jpg

That´s just a very small sample of his catches.

 

Very true that you can catch huge fish with spinning gear. I can't say for sure because I don't know, but I'd guess he uses spinning setups because he's most comfortable with them. To each they're own and no argument from me about what someone's happiest with or has the most confidence in. 

However, for someone who is curious why to try casting gear, I wouldn't factor one lunker specialist in my decision. Look at the people making their living catching lmb and smb. They use almost all casting gear because it offers advantages over spinning.

That doesn't mean you'll like it better though. For me, fishing is about enjoyment. If you're the same, do what you get the most fun out of, and continue to have an open mind about new methodologies. Getting better also means having more fun for me.

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23 minutes ago, Raul said:

You don´t "need" to "upgrade" to a baitcaster, what you need to do is to upgrade the quality of your rods and reels.

This dude, which has caught more big mommas than anybody in this forum and pretty much more big mommas than all of us who have caught several big mommas put together fishes exclusively with spinning gear:

Fiish%20Chris%2018.4.jpg

Fish%20Chris%2016.5.jpg

Fish%20Chris%20-%2017.1lb%20-%202008.jpg

That´s just a very small sample of his catches.

 

Holy cow!  

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I think you are limiting yourself if you adamantly refuse to use one or the other. You can fish pretty much any bass fishing technique on spinning gear....or on casting gear. Personally there are certain ones I would never even consider doing on spinning gear but it can be done. Heck, for swimbaits I would guess you'd have to buy saltwater gear if you want to do it on spinning tackle. I fish spinning gear for more finesse applications and smaller lures (like a tiny jerkbait). 

But honestly, use whatever you feel allows you to best fish a technique. If you feel you can effectively fish a frog, punch mats, and throw a Hudd on spinning gear....do it. I personally feel baitcaters are the better choice for heavier lures and lines, and I can be more accurate with them. But there are guys on here that flip and pitch with spinning gear without issues, and guys who fish drop shots and 4lb line on casting gear.

Bottom line is there are advantages to each, but you don't "have to" fish one or the other if you don't want to. 

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I am definitely no expert, BUT, I will say that a bait caster when used for the right application seems much more efficient. I grew up with spinning and have always used either fly rods or spinning gear for trout and pan fish. Even still, I can probably get twice as many casts throwing a search bait with a bait caster than a spinning. If you get into flipping and pitching, GOOD LUCK with a spinning rod. I don't think you NEED both spinning and bait casting, but I think you are limiting yourself if you don't use both.

It definitely is a learning curve, but once you've got it, it's really fun to cast and really productive. Watch some YouTube videos and practice in your yard. Start with at least 12 lb. mono or fluorocarbon or equivalent line diameter braid- that seemed to help for me.

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I learned to use a baitcaster a few years ago and now use both spinning and casting. There are things baitcasters can do better than spinning and vice versa. As mentioned above most suggest upgrading to a better rod first. You really can feel more bites with a sensitive rod. Plenty of good ones under a hundred dollars. If you do try a baitcaster do a little research, pick a model then buy it used off this forum or Ebay. If you don't like it you have a very good chance to turn around and resell it for the same price. I learned on a Shimano Curado B which is now a little over 20 years old. They are still going strong with a loyal following. This means there are always used ones to be had at a pretty stable price. I cannot speak to other brands and what would be good used one to try but someone else here in the group will chime in with good information. 

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i find spinning gear easier to cast/manage when using lighter baits.  Once you hit about 1/2 oz the spinning gear starts to be a little cumbersome in that it can be more of a chore to reel, and, it can be noisy as well.  I tried to stick with spinning gear for everything by getting a MH Mojo Bass spinning rod and a H Shimano Clarus, but while they "worked" the mechanics of the entire system still didn't feel right or comfortable.  For medium and heavier baits I find it much more effortless and comfortable to fish when using casting gear.

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2 hours ago, bassbassontherange said:

Very true that you can catch huge fish with spinning gear. I can't say for sure because I don't know, but I'd guess he uses spinning setups because he's most comfortable with them. To each they're own and no argument from me about what someone's happiest with or has the most confidence in. 

However, for someone who is curious why to try casting gear, I wouldn't factor one lunker specialist in my decision. Look at the people making their living catching lmb and smb. They use almost all casting gear because it offers advantages over spinning.

That doesn't mean you'll like it better though. For me, fishing is about enjoyment. If you're the same, do what you get the most fun out of, and continue to have an open mind about new methodologies. Getting better also means having more fun for me.

DUDE, THATS NOT A FISH..........THATS A HORSE!!! 

Very impressive.

Thanks for the tip on the Yo Zuri hybrid. Got some yesterday and looking forward to using it.

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I think I'm going to give baitcasting reels another shot... I believe I'm either going with an abu garcia black max or silver max, not totally sure yet. I'm a huge fan of abu garcia, as my dad has a very old cardinal and it is a butter smooth reel so I'm sticking with what I know is going to be a quality product. Thanks for all the advice guys. 

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1 hour ago, 04Taco said:

I think I'm going to give baitcasting reels another shot... I believe I'm either going with an abu garcia black max or silver max, not totally sure yet. I'm a huge fan of abu garcia, as my dad has a very old cardinal and it is a butter smooth reel so I'm sticking with what I know is going to be a quality product. Thanks for all the advice guys. 

I have a silver max. After comparing it to my revo SX it feels so-so at best. And I also have an MGX which  only feels a slight bit better than my SX In my opinion.

If you want to go the Entry level Abu route, I would get the black max instead because I believe the only extra on the silver max is one more bearing and a flipping switch which is useless. If at all possible I would try the pro max or maybe an SX. OR EVEN BETTER- If you could save up about $170 and wait for a sale, you could get a Revo STX or a shimano Curado.

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You could pick up a abu garcia silver max for around $40 to test out baitcasters. I did this last year, it took me about 3 days of practice before getting the hang of it. Only problem now is that I have added 4 other baitcasters to my lineup in less than a year.

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just use what you're comfortable with, I have a friend who will not use a bait cast reel,he has even tried but to no avail.I on the other hand will almost always throw a casting reel. so to each his or her own

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I think one of the biggest advantages of baitcasters is the large range in gear ratios. Have fun burning buzzbaits back to the boat on a 4 or 5 speed spinning reel for hours at a time. You'll wear yourself out. Meanwhile baitcasters come in 8 and even 9 speeds now. Does that mean buzzbaits CAN'T be fished on spinning gear? Absolutely not, as baitcasters back in the day were also only available in what we would consider low gear ratios by todays standards, and people did just fine on 4 and 5 speed baitcasters. But this is just an example of which tool is best for the job, in fishing it seems there are a lot of tools that all can be used for the same job, but there usually is a most effective/efficient one. 

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Don't switch, add. Becoming proficient with different types of tackle is part of the fun and provides options. 

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Welcome aboard!

If bait casting piques your interest, then
by all means give it a try. I actually pared
down my bait casting gear as I've been
using my spinning gear more again.

To each his or her own. Give it a try.

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Is it worth it? Yes. 

Spinning gear certainly has its place, and sure, you CAN do everything you want on it... but that doesn't mean it will always be the best tool for the job. 

As with anything in life, when you try new things and take the time to learn and grow, you will open doors and find rewards. What do you stand to lose by learning to fish with new and different gear? 

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Even the best bait casters still get a back lash or miss their target every once in a while.  Its like a professional in any sport or activity.  Even the best still make mistakes, but they tend to just make less of them.  Bait casters have such an advantage over spinning reels for heavier lures using heavier line.  Plus you can reel them in faster so you can cover more water if that's the tactic your using.  Try horsing a bucketmouth out of thick cover using a standard spinning setup.  It doesn't work very well.  There's a reason why muskie anglers ONLY use bait casters.  POWER like a wench.

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I would agree with most here.

ADD a baitcaster to your set up and keep the spinning one. Spinning for anything when it is very windy or when you are throwing lighter lures, baitcaster for anything else.
Personally I had been fishing with spinning gear only for many many years. Only now that I have been fishing here in the US I have tried a baitcaster. What can I say? It is much more accurate and also much more convenient and fun to use.
My total set up consists now of 1 spinning and 4 baitcaster set ups.
Add to your equipment slowly. Understand what you need and then add quality rather than quantity.

Have fun!

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On 5/31/2016 at 10:31 AM, 04Taco said:

Hello everyone, I've become a much more avid bass fisherman than I used to be. I'm using an original 6'6" ugly stik in medium action and what was likely one of the cheapest spinning reels I could find at Walmart 4 or 5 years ago. It's a Mitchell avoacet 2. It feels like the reel is pretty close to blowing apart when I have a big one on the line. I've caught hundreds and hundreds, maybe thousands of yellow perch with this setup but it's not cutting it for the smallmouth I'm catching now, so I'm looking to upgrade. I throw mainly crank baits, weightless Texas rigged senkos and buzz baits right now and it's doing a good job. I'm perfectly happy with how my spinning tackle operates and it's second nature for me to use. Is it really worth it to "upgrade" to a baitcaster? I've tried them before and it's not been a good experience, I can't cast far and I've made quite a few birds nests. I personally can't see how anyone likes these things but if that's what everyone uses there's got to be an advantage right? So which should I buy? And why are baitcasters so superior?

Taco, upgrade your reel and rod. Buy another set up for more options. Get a good cheap baitcaster to learn. Take your time and be patient. You will make mistakes at first but you will improve. 

I recommend any baitcaster under 75 bucks and get a $40 rod. No need to get expensive stuff. If you don't like it, no big waste and sell it to me for $50. LOL 

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My buddy used to use medium spinning combos exclusively. And he catches a lot of fish, and big ones at that. When we started fishing together he commented on me bringing 4 baitcasters and 2 spinning combos every time out. I told him they do different things well and gave the rundown based on rod action, rod length, reel speed, line type, etc.. He has since bought the first BC combo (a MH 6'6", of course) and loves it and is talking about getting another soon.

On another note, I simply do not feel like I get as good of a good hookset with spinning equipment. Since I hold the spinning rod out in front, I seem to be relying on my wrist for the leverage instead of holding the reel and planting the rod butt in my stomach or chest. From years of computer work, my right wrist is weaker than the left. My leverage is a lot better with BC equipment that I hold with the left hand. But I'm right-handed so my left lacks the dexterity to burn a spinning reel all day if I needed to. And the BEST thing about a BC reel is it won't twist your line.

I would not go too cheap with the first BC reel or you probably won't like it very much. At a minimum, I would look for one with a 1-pc aluminum frame. I've had 2 composite framed reels take a dump on me, and it won't happen on a small fish. And look at the ratings on Cabela's, BPS, Tackle Warehouse, etc. before deciding on one.

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1 hour ago, the reel ess said:

My buddy used to use medium spinning combos exclusively. And he catches a lot of fish, and big ones at that. When we started fishing together he commented on me bringing 4 baitcasters and 2 spinning combos every time out. I told him they do different things well and gave the rundown based on rod action, rod length, reel speed, line type, etc.. He has since bought the first BC combo (a MH 6'6", of course) and loves it and is talking about getting another soon.

On another note, I simply do not feel like I get as good of a good hookset with spinning equipment. Since I hold the spinning rod out in front, I seem to be relying on my wrist for the leverage instead of holding the reel and planting the rod butt in my stomach or chest. From years of computer work, my right wrist is weaker than the left. My leverage is a lot better with BC equipment that I hold with the left hand. But I'm right-handed so my left lacks the dexterity to burn a spinning reel all day if I needed to. And the BEST thing about a BC reel is it won't twist your line.

I would not go too cheap with the first BC reel or you probably won't like it very much. At a minimum, I would look for one with a 1-pc aluminum frame. I've had 2 composite framed reels take a dump on me, and it won't happen on a small fish. And look at the ratings on Cabela's, BPS, Tackle Warehouse, etc. before deciding on one.

Not under normal circumstances.  Line twist with braid is possible, tho.  I had to change out the braid on my STX do to excessive line twist.  Twisted like you wouldn't believe.  I messed it up in about 5 hours of fishing.  Line had been on the reel for about four years before that with no problem.

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