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DereKL

Reel binds when I hook a fish

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Hi all,

I have used a spinner reel my entire life. I recently decided to try a baitcaster because most of the higher end frogging rods only come in a baitcasting model. I bought a middle of the road reel ($150, Pflueger Supreme XT, 7.1:1). I LOVE the reel. I can cast a mile and it retrieves fast. However, I took it out for the first time tonight, and the first fish I hooked (5.5 lb largemouth), I couldn't reel it in. 

I'm not sure if it's my reeling technique (since I've used spinning reel my whole life, larger spinning diameter since the handle is longer) or the reel, but as soon as I have a fish on the other end, I cant seem to get the handle around. I flail as I try to spin the handle, and it feels like it's somewhat binding as the handle jarringly spins. Has this happened to other people? And how do I fix this? Do I need to buy a reel or aftermarket handle that is longer?

Also, I'm using 40 braid, which the reel can easily hold.

Any help would be much appreciated since if have a $350 setup and I can't seem to reel a fish in with it!

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Something is wrong with the reel. From reading your post I am guessing you just recently bought the reel new. I would talk to the place you bought it or take it to a nearby tackle store and ask someone there to play with it for you.  There should be someone familiar with a baitcaster so they could tie on a heavy weight, toss it and reel it back in under pressure. I am not sure since you are new to a baitcasting reel but did you tighten down the drag correctly and adjust the spool tension correctly.  If this is a brand new reel and you have just purchased it, then I would contact the dealer first.

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Making sure the drag is tightened is the only thing I can think of other than there's a possible issue with the reel. I have a Supreme XT baitcaster as well and it's a very nice reel, you shouldn't be having an issue like that with it. If it's not the drag you can contact Pfluegar, they have excellent customer service. 

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Showing it to an expert as a first step is good advice.

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It sounds like to me your drag is not set tight enough? And as you are trying to reel in, the drag will be slipping, if not tight enough. It will actually feel like something is wrong with the reel, when actually theres not. Back your drag all the way off,spin handle few times. Then tighten drag all the way down, and see if that takes care of it. Also, when you put braid on, even if you used backing, it has to be wound on tight. Or it will slip and dig into it self. Other than that, with out seeing i dont know.?

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To clarify, by "binding" do you mean you are unable to turn the handle at all. Or you turn the handle and it spins but the spool does not spin?

If its the handle does not spin it sounds like it just the using of heavier line with the drag tightened down it will be harder to turn not by an issue but just because you are trying to turn against a higher weight.

If its the handle spins but not the spool, either the drag is not tight enough or the braid spinning on the spool. Did you use backing when you spooled the braid?

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Sounds to me it's either a problem with the braided line slipping or the drag not being setting tight enough. If you're close to the store, take the rod & reel back to them and ask for advice.

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Thanks guys.

To clarify, I am familiar with how baitcasters work because I have done a lot of research on them before buying one. I am an engineer, so you know all of the stereotypes that go along with that. So... The drag is not the issue, the tensions are all set correctly, and the line is not spinning on the spool because I used backing and spooled the line personally using a professional line spooler. 

To me, it doesn't seem like it's an issue with the reel as much as maybe it's my technique or something, since it works flawlessly until I hook a fish.

Does anyone have experience with a longer handles? Could it need some lube?

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Tie the line off to something like a soda bottle full of water. It's a way to simulate the load of a fish, and then see if you can narrow it down to being your technique. If your drag is set tight and there's backing on the reel then you can probably throw out slipping. 

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The handle is not the issue. I think it is an internal problem. I had suggested getting someone else to play with it as an option before contacting the manufacturer or the dealer you purchased it from. If you have owned it too long to get warranty on it, I would see if you can talk to a local tackle shop. They often know people or employ people that repair reels.  That is unfortunately the direction you will need to go.

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Ahhhhh....Engineers.  If you are using this to frog in slop and you don't have the drag turned all the way up, you're doing it wrong.  You may have it set right for other applications but with froggin, your reel basically becomes a winch.  If you are turning the handle and it's turning but the spool isn't, crank that drag down.  You don't "play" fish in slop.  You get em the heck outta there.  Fast.

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