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Baitcaster setup for a kid

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My son is 8 years old and will soon be 9. He told me that he wants to learn how to use a baitcaster next summer. He's very good with spinning gear so I figure it shouldn't be too hard to teach him how to use one. Now I'm not all too experienced with them myself but by next summer I should feel confident teaching him.

So I need recommendations for a rod and reel that he could handle that would be ideal for teaching a kid to use. My budget would be topped out at around $100. It absolutely has to be a 2 pc. rod  unfortunately as I have a small car. I'm clueless as to what reel to buy but cost and ease of use are key. I don't really plan on buying a setup until christmas or maybe after the new year but I really want to get a head start on the selection process. My one big concern I guess would be rod length (just not sure what he'd need for his size). He loves throwing soft plastics and shallow cranks if that helps in recommending an action.

Recap: 9 year old boy - 2 pc baitcasting rod - sturdy but cheap reel - $100-$120 max total

Any suggestions are welcome and thanks ahead of time.

 

 

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:fishing-026:

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I read a good chunk of that but wasn't sure it'd apply to a kid. Is it that cut and dry?

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I learned on an older Shimano Curado 100D. I bought it used on Ebay. $100 right now seems to be a pretty good deal for a well cared for but not perfect one. I always suggest going the pre owned route for a first bait caster for several reasons. You get a better reel for the money. Better reels are easier to cast well. The finish is already pre dinged so he won't feel guilty when he puts one in it. If he doesn't get the hang of it you can sell it pretty much for what you paid for it. Glenn has a very good video on how to cast a bait caster and he details the different braking systems available today. Look for it in the video section of this site. I like the Shimano. It is very simple and forgiving. Some say set it and forget it and in the older reels like I am recommending that is pretty much true. My last tip will work with any bait caster and will take a lot of frustration out of learning. After you spool it up with cheap mono pull out a decent casts worth of line and put some masking tape on the spool. The inevitable back lash will stop at the tape and not ruin a whole spools worth of line. When he can cast to the tape just move it deeper in the spool. I even fished with the tape for a while. Good luck. You didn't mention if you yourself know how to cast with a bait caster and can teach him or if he is learning on his own. Just curious.

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I can do alright with my baitcaster in my opinion. I grabbed an Abu Garcia silver max at Walmart for dirt cheap a couple years back but only recently took practicing with it seriously. Most of my backlashes now are hitting a tree behind me or trying to cast too hard. Maybe once every 2-3 hours of use.

I'll be teaching him when he comes up from Tennessee for the summer next year.

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Very nice! I just have no experience with any other brand so I can' t speak for them

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Maybe the Cabelas bargain cave might have a combo, it changes so look back every so often.Abu or shakespear offer combos in that price range.look around an good luck.I'm sure you will give him great memories fishing with Dad.

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By the way, my dad has a little Toyota Corolla from the early 2000s, it's a pretty tiny car, and I can fit all my 7'0 or smaller rods in it (I use shorter rods than most, I know, I like them short for bank fishing). I don't know how long of a rod you want to get for him, but if you think outside the box you can fit rods inside most vehicles, unless you're driving a Smart Car lol. 

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I would wait until BPS has their fishing classic or whatever it's called and get a Pro Qualifier and pair it up with whatever rod you can find.  Although over your budget, if they have a Pro Quailifer/Carbonlite combo, it would be worth looking at as many of the Carbonlite rods are available two piece.  Probably get you in the $150 range though.  Medium fast would be my choice as an all around. I just think the Pro Qualifier when it is on sale is tough to beat.  

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How long is your son's spinning rod?  I do not want to set him up with too long a rod for his comfort, just as I am looking for a rod with a shorter handle again for his comfort. The choices are a little tougher because you want a 2 piece rod.

My first suggestion is a Abu Garcia Black Max combo and can be found here:https://www.amazon.com/Abu-Garcia-BMAX3-661M-Baitcast/dp/B01IZXKC8S/ref=sr_1_8?s=sports-and-fitness&ie=UTF8&qid=1469748527&sr=1-8&keywords=abu+garcia+black+max+rod 

The combo is okay, but I think it would be much better to consider these two independent pieces instead, for a reel go here: 

https://www.amazon.com/Abu-Garcia-PMAX3-Profile-Fishing/dp/B011LV0H4A/ref=sr_1_1?s=sports-and-fitness&ie=UTF8&qid=1469749598&sr=1-1&keywords=abu+garcia+pro+max+3 or you could choose this:

 http://www.gandermountain.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?pdesc=Lews-Laser-MG-Speed-Spool-Baitcasting-Reel-LSG1SHMG&i=924808

As for a better rod look at the Abu Garcia line again, but this time lets look at the Abu Garcia Veritas in a 6'6" 2 piece Medium action with a fast tip. Go Here.http://www.tacticalwholesalers.com/search.asp?keyword=Veritas&search=  I personally fish two longer rods in this series although they are one piece.  They are really good rods and he will not outgrow it, like he might with a starter combo. If you choose the Veritas [lus a ProMax it would cost $115  if you choose the Lews and he Veritas it would run $135. One is in your price range and one  is just slightly above but include a very good rod. 

 

 

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Academy has combos from 40-100

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Are you set on getting him a new combo?  The reason i ask, when i was 12, my dad gave me one of his rod an reel combos(bait casting). He used it fishing tourneys. I was so excited that my dad gave me one of his combos that he thought so much of. He taught me how to cast, and i was hooked for life. I still have it and always will :)

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4 minutes ago, Catt said:

Academy has combos from 40-100

Store brands are a good option at that price and the Mettle reel and H20 rods get good reviews.  Sports Academy also runs sales.  Not being in a hurry can save you a chunk of change.  I haven't checked to see what they offer in a 2-piece rod in the H2O Express lineup.  If your car has split seats in the front, then you should have no problem with a one piece rod of at least 6'6" unless you have a Smart Car as Senko lover mentioned.  Provided no youngster in the back seat is going to grab a rod tip to play with.  :D

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I would recommend a Shimano reel that utilizes the VBS breaking system. They are very user friendly and easy to adjust. For a hundred or less I would highly recommend the Citica 200E. You can also look at a Curado 100D, Curado 100B. Even a Citica G or Curado G would also be good options for right around $100 or less.

The Daiwa Tatula CT or the standard version are also very good reels to learn on as they have a very forgiving Magforce Z braking system.

The only other reels that seem to be good for beginners IMO would be a Daiwa reel with a SV spool or a Shimano reel with a DC breaking system but they are at least 2x your $100 budget.

Despite some like Dual Braking reels like the BPS PQ for beginners I think that dual braking reels can me harder to get dialed in and some can be finicky.

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Thank you all for the replies so far. His spinning rod is 6'. Sadly, I only have one baitcaster so I can't gift him that one without then having to pick out a new one for myself.

I'm not buying it for a while unless a ridiculous deal pops up (black Friday maybe) so my budget may go up by next summer. The original figure was based on me not wanting to buy him a setup more expensive than all of my individual rod/reel combos. That just wouldn't be fair! Lots of good suggestions so far.

The one thing I definitely want to stick with is the 2 pc. aspect. Its just more convenient logistically because his sister is usually back there with him and I don't want rods anywhere but the trunk. Less chance of a mishap that way.

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Just for an example I picked up a used Citica 200E for $70 a few years ago. You should have no problem finding a BPS or Cabelas house brand rod that is in a 2 piece variety for around $30-50.

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2 piece spinning rods are easy to find. 2 piece baitcasters are not so easy to find, almost all of them are one piece. Bass Pro's Tourney Special comes in a 6'6"Medium for $49.00. There are a couple of others but they run from $75 to over $100 for just the rod.

That Tourney special would be good with an Abu Garcia Silver Max 6.4 to 1 reel for $59.99. Again it is available as a 2 piece rod and is a quality piece not junk. That would fit in your budget as well.

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My boy, also 8, uses a Black Max, older style low-profile. I rebuilt it and found that the magnetic brakes on this one are stronger than most other reels I've seen.

I'm keeping the magnets turned up and, as his control improves, they will be slowly turned down.

Josh

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Abu Garcia silver max with either Berkley lighting rod or cherrywood. Perfect combo to learn on. I still use my 5ft 6 medium cherrywood my dad started me on baitcaster make with. It's 15 years old and has probably caught more fish than any rod I own, and it's still going strong 

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Well now that I've gotten much more comfortable with baitcasters and put together two more combos recently, I've picked out his baitcast combo. I'm just going to give him the silver max that I already have. I figure if I can learn on it than so can he. I'll just keep the brakes tight and maybe he'll learn a little more patience in the process as he waits for the brakes to be loosened.

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If the goal is to teach him how to cast with it, I think most of the budget should be going towards the reel, and then get some store brand rod for cheap. If he ends up liking the baitcaster you can always upgrade the rod later. But a cheap reel to start might make learning more difficult and possibly discouraging. I'd try and keep an eye out for some deals and get a 100 dollar reel for like 70 if you can. 

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You might check out some yard sales or some auctions.  Sometimes you can find quite a bargain.

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Betkley Lighning rid 6' Medium and have DVT put a ferrule to make it 2 piece $40 plus DVT cost.

Both Okuma and Quantum makes good bait casting reel in the $50 price range.

Tom

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I'd look at stores for clearance deals on rods like dicks, bass pro, cabelas,  or look at used stuff like maybe a *** *** *** piece. As far as reels the h20 mettle or a quality used reel like a pro qualifier, citica d or g,  or shimano and daiwa both have good reels around 60 and change online.  Shimano has the caius and daiwas exceller is a little over 60. I'd definitely do something like the used *** black or maybe a bps bionic blade or cabelas pro guide or h20 ethos from academy with the exceller or caius or citica d. I'd say you could do that right around your budget if you shop around. I'd definitely get as good a reel as I could though and as far as rod a 6'-6'6" med or med heavy fast would probably be the most versatile

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