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How light of a lure can a BFS setup throw? What rod do you need?

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I have been searching up as I really want to get into BFS. I know there is a lot of hate on it as many dont see the point in spending so much money on a casting reel where a cheap(er) spinning reel can do the same. I understand that but I just really like fishing with a BC reel. 

 

I've searched a ton on the reels and know that a small sized reel with a shallow spool will get the job done, either off the shelf models like the aldebaran BFS XG or something like a after market spool from Avail. Maybe get the hedgehog air bearings to improve the castability of lighter lures.

 

However, I was wondering about the rod. How true are the lowest limit on BFS rods like the Zodias, *** or MajorCraft. What rod properties will benefit both catching bass and throwing lighter lures? Do you get a rod with a softer back? One with a faster taper? Any rods you guys would recommend checking out to cast true 1/8oz lures? Maybe some that is alittle lighter, like smaller minnows of weight ~2-3g?

 

Or is casting 2-3g with a BC setup wishing too much?

 

Thank you all

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Welcome! Members Bootytrain, John G, thehooligan, and jrob78 are all guys that come to mind that would be great resources for BFS. 

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I've heard lots of guys saying they get good casts with the daiwa air reels with under 3 gram lures.  It all depends on the rod with bfs

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3 hours ago, kickerfish1 said:

Welcome! Members Bootytrain, John G, thehooligan, and jrob78 are all guys that come to mind that would be great resources for BFS. 

Thank you! Will check those guy out :)

8 minutes ago, timsford said:

I've heard lots of guys saying they get good casts with the daiwa air reels with under 3 gram lures.  It all depends on the rod with bfs

Yea, I find that reels are alot easier to find compared to rods for BFS.

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I can say with confidence that I cannot cast lures that light on a bait casting outfit.  Whether with or against the wind.  And I don't know whay anyone would want to.  It simply is much easier and more reliable with a spinning outfit.

But if one wants to try, the best rod will be a light power that loads fairly well with the light lures and a moderate action to load over more of the rod's length and to slow things down so they are easier to coordinate/handle.  Moderate rather than fast or extra fast actions are easier to cast regardless of the weight.  With more weight, however, other priorities can be handled with faster actions.

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Don't know what BFS means but from the light weight lure discription of less than 1/16 oz bait casting reels are marginal. The problem is line diameter verses lure weight verses air resistance causing the lure to stop in mid flight. You need a rod approaching ultra light to flex with 1/16 oz.

3/32 oz is possible with 50 size baitcaster, 6 lb /.008D line using ML or M moderate or fast action rods.

Tom

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Looked into the same thing not so long ago.  I finally come to the conclusion that my best option would be to go the custom route with a rod built on a spinning rod blank.

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I did this this spring...Went with a Abu Garcia LTX and a 7' 1" St. Criox Rage rated for 1/16 - 5/16 oz lures.  Worked great.

Then I broke the tip off the rod.  Was going to be not far from the St. Criox Factory a couple days later, so I stopped by...they have quit making that rod...so even though they had a couple stll in stock, I went with a 6' 10" Avid with the same lure weight ratings.

It works well too.  It'll toss a weightless Senko a stupid distance.

I'll be curious what rods get recommended.

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Your best bet for a rod is going to be something made by one of the Japanese companies. BFS is a lot more of a common technique for them.  There is a Zodias rod in the lineup that will work but it's not sold in the states. It comes in a 6'4 or 6'8 light power. Major Craft makes some nice rods and so does Megabass. 

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8 hours ago, MickD said:

I can say with confidence that I cannot cast lures that light on a bait casting outfit.  Whether with or against the wind.  And I don't know whay anyone would want to.  It simply is much easier and more reliable with a spinning outfit.

But if one wants to try, the best rod will be a light power that loads fairly well with the light lures and a moderate action to load over more of the rod's length and to slow things down so they are easier to coordinate/handle.  Moderate rather than fast or extra fast actions are easier to cast regardless of the weight.  With more weight, however, other priorities can be handled with faster actions.

I can agree with this, but I also understand the OP's desire to use b/c gear.  I've had the same desire, but have to admit spinning is so much easier.  My personal opinion is that it takes dedication to use b/c for 1/8 and lighter.  Lots of practice and more than a modicum of skill. 

Two of my rods are fairly far apart in cost.  I use a Falcon Expert Light and a ML Crankin' Stick...both rated for 1/16 but my skill level isn't there yet. 

EDIT:  How light?  Some claim 1/20 oz.  I'm about ready to admit anything less than 1/8 oz. Is automatically going on a spinning rod for me. 

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BFS can mean bank fishing system or baitcasting finesse system, I will assume you all are discussing baitcasting finesse systems. In that case Don Iovino is an expert with finesse bait casting reels and rods being the Father of Finesse fishing.

Don super tunes legacy 2500C reels and has a signature Major Craft rod on the market, start there. If you think you know more about finesse bass fishing your kidding yourselves.

Daiwa Pixie, Sol and Fuego all can be super tuned for use a finesse bait casters. I use a Feugo that easily cast 3/32 to 1/8 oz lures.

Tom

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4 hours ago, WRB said:

BFS can mean bank fishing system or baitcasting finesse system, I will assume you all are discussing baitcasting finesse systems. In that case Don Iovino is an expert with finesse bait casting reels and rods being the Father of Finesse fishing.

Don super tunes legacy 2500C reels and has a signature Major Craft rod on the market, start there. If you think you know more about finesse bass fishing your kidding yourselves.

Daiwa Pixie, Sol and Fuego all can be super tuned for use a finesse bait casters. I use a Feugo that easily cast 3/32 to 1/8 oz lures.

Tom

While I like what you're preaching, I am going to disagree with you.    I own all of the reels in the list that you mentioned and have them supertuned with spools and bearings and polishing and everything else you can throw money at.  With that said the best of the bunch you mentioned is the Pixy.  The Fuego is a cheaper version of the TDZ-100 and the stock spool is the equivalent of a Stock TD-Zillion, good at heavier baits around 3/8 oz but not a finesse spool by today's standards.   You can upgrade the spool if you can find one to the Giggas 100M, hypercast  or PE longcast spools and gain a little performance but not enough to touch many of the modern reels in terms of finesse.    The Sol never had an easily replaceable spool without using spacers and even then the option was the Pixy spool,  while the Pixy was the leader in finesse casting at one time it has long been surpassed by lighter spools and better braking systems.    Today you can upgrade the spool of the Sol with an SV105 and it makes for a very nice little reel, but even with that the SV105 is far from being in the league of some of the better BFS reels today.     So that leaves the Pixy in all of its configurations, one of the best reels of all time but not up to today's standards.    

We have to face it Tom, as much as we love the reels that ruled the roost only what seems like a few years ago, they have been surpassed by lighter spools, better bearings and more advanced braking systems.      I truly love all of the reels you mentioned, but time marches on brother.  Let one of these young guys share some information on some of the new BFS gear that is leading the game.

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12 hours ago, Molay1292 said:

Looked into the same thing not so long ago.  I finally come to the conclusion that my best option would be to go the custom route with a rod built on a spinning rod blank.

Blanks are blanks, so any can be built into anything one wants.  The only potential restriction is that some brands void the warranty for fly blanks built into spinning rods.  Note that Point Blank doesn't even call their blanks "casting" or "spinning."  I don't know why manufacturers have separated their blanks into the different groups based on the reel, but it's probably to help us find what we most likeliy want for that reel.  It is wise when one cannot find the characteristics he wants in one group for him to look into the other groups.  I agree that for this technique you are most likely to find the blank you want in the "spinning" section.

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Blanks are blanks but rod makers rate the blanks differently for spinning verses baitcasting. Medium power spinning rod is about equal to a medium light bait casting rod off the shelf.

If you tell a custom rod maker they will select the right power blank for the application. BFS appears to use a 1 1/2 power rod and highly tuned 50 or smaller size reels where a spinning out fit would normally be used. Very niche group of anglers. I will stay with spinning for light line presentations, bait casting anything over 8 lb line.

Stated earlier that didn't know what BFS was.

Last trip out my son picked my Fuego Loomis PR845C to small 3/32 oz ball head jig and Flashtrix minnow and caught 3 stripers and nice 4 lb class LMB feeding on tiny 1 1/2" long silversides because he was bored using the spinning outfit. I see the attraction and understand pushing the bait casting envelope.

Tom

 

 

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I think I agree more or less with @WRB

 

Even without super tuning my reels, I have no problems throwing 1/8oz baits or even most weightless worms on a Medium power Fast action St Croix Rage and size 50 Chronarch.  I suppose I could spend money on bearings, but I don't see a reason.  Most of the finesse fishing I'm doing isn't going to be on 50 yard casts (whose is?), so I don't see a reason to need to cast a senko like a full sized Zara Spook.  I think once you start going much below 1/8oz, baitcasters tend to lose any real advantage in presentation.  I even prefer the much slower gear ratio of my spinning gear for finesse presentations because it forces me to slow down and keep the bait in the strike zone longer.   Just my .02

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  I use a abu ltx reel with a ltb ml rod .  I throw 1/8 with no problem. I have even used it trout fishing.  I cannot say about the diawa,s  but it does throw better then the 50 shimano in my opinion.  Problems pricy and low line capacity  But I like it.

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1 hour ago, Turkey sandwich said:

I think I agree more or less with @WRB

 

Even without super tuning my reels, I have no problems throwing 1/8oz baits or even most weightless worms on a Medium power Fast action St Croix Rage and size 50 Chronarch.  I suppose I could spend money on bearings, but I don't see a reason.  Most of the finesse fishing I'm doing isn't going to be on 50 yard casts (whose is?), so I don't see a reason to need to cast a senko like a full sized Zara Spook.  I think once you start going much below 1/8oz, baitcasters tend to lose any real advantage in presentation.  I even prefer the much slower gear ratio of my spinning gear for finesse presentations because it forces me to slow down and keep the bait in the strike zone longer.   Just my .02

Have you ever weighed the baits to see if it's a true 1/8oz?  You might be surprised by your findings. Here are some things I regularly throw on my light 2 power casting rod. I have trouble seeing a medium power rod getting any usable distance on a 4g bait.  A 4 and 5 inch senko are pretty heavy and isn't difficult to throw with today's gear. Even a weightless trick worm will come in near 6g with a hook. Still plenty doable.

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image.jpeg

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28.35 = 1oz, devide dy 32 for 1/32' 16 for 1/16 etc., the weights shown above are correct.

What needs to be taken into account is wind resistance , 1/8 oz balsa  Rapala will cast differently than a 1/8 oz Senko.

I mention my Loomis PR 845C casting rod, this is a 5 power rod with a 2 1/2 power upper 1/3rd popping rod and can cast 1/8 lures very well. I use this rod both small 1/4-3/8 crank baits and structure spoons that weigh up to 1 oz., very unique rod construction.  The PR843S spinning rod blank could be ideal for BFS if the blank isn't to heavy weight to balance with extremely light weight reels. The PR 843S should have about 1 1/2 power upper 1/3rd based on the power ratio of my 845C?

After hooking a good size bass you need to be able to control it and not over tire the fish so it will servive.

Tom

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I was gearing up to post a thread like this, hopefully the OP will not mind if I edge in on his.  

I just bought a used Dawia PX68 off of ebay on a whim.  It will arrive tomorrow and assuming it checks out, I would like to order a rod then.  So far I have been looking at most of the brands mentioned in this thread, but I don't really feel confident in my knowledge yet to place an order.  

From my readings, it looks like a stock PX68 should cast down to 1/8oz.  What I am likely to throw on it is mainly t-rigged 4" finesse worms with a 1/16th weight, small 1/8oz spinners and inlines (for perch and schooly stripers), 1/16oz finesse jigs w/ small trailers, Ned Rigs/MWF lures, and small crankbaits.  I would rather lean towards a Fast action as I suspect I will fish the worms and jigs more often then the hard baits.  I am mainly a spinning rig guy but love finesse techniques so I think having a BFS setup will get me to spend more time getting skilled with casting rigs in general.  

The only sticking point with most of the rods mentioned is length.  I cannot transport a rod over 6'6" without the tip being in constant danger and I usually roll around with 2-3 rigs in my car at any given time.  My current casting rods are both 6'9" and that extra three inches really does make a difference.  My idea is a rod in the 6'-6'3" range.  If there is really nothing suitable I can live with a longer rod, but would use it more often if it were shorter.  

My budget is around $175.  I have a custom rod maker that I like but he usually takes a month or two to turn a rod around and I want to make the most of this fall.  I am fine with buying a used rod and also fine with spending a bit more to get a nicer rod that I will have an easier time selling if I find that I really want a shorter custom rod made down the road.  

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Another thing to consider is the line you are going to use with that setup. Some baitcasters even higher ended ones have an issue if you use too lite of line. The line can actually get between the spool and the housing either on the cast or on the reel.

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11 hours ago, nickles said:

  I use a abu ltx reel with a ltb ml rod .  I throw 1/8 with no problem. I have even used it trout fishing.  I cannot say about the diawa,s  but it does throw better then the 50 shimano in my opinion.  Problems pricy and low line capacity  But I like it.

I went to braid on my LTX...solved the low line capacity issue.  I use the bright green Suffix 832 so I can watch my line better...there's a 6' - 8' leader on there, either fluoro or co-poly.

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6 hours ago, Bunnielab said:

I was gearing up to post a thread like this, hopefully the OP will not mind if I edge in on his.  

I just bought a used Dawia PX68 off of ebay on a whim.  It will arrive tomorrow and assuming it checks out, I would like to order a rod then.  So far I have been looking at most of the brands mentioned in this thread, but I don't really feel confident in my knowledge yet to place an order.  

From my readings, it looks like a stock PX68 should cast down to 1/8oz.  What I am likely to throw on it is mainly t-rigged 4" finesse worms with a 1/16th weight, small 1/8oz spinners and inlines (for perch and schooly stripers), 1/16oz finesse jigs w/ small trailers, Ned Rigs/MWF lures, and small crankbaits.  I would rather lean towards a Fast action as I suspect I will fish the worms and jigs more often then the hard baits.  I am mainly a spinning rig guy but love finesse techniques so I think having a BFS setup will get me to spend more time getting skilled with casting rigs in general.  

The only sticking point with most of the rods mentioned is length.  I cannot transport a rod over 6'6" without the tip being in constant danger and I usually roll around with 2-3 rigs in my car at any given time.  My current casting rods are both 6'9" and that extra three inches really does make a difference.  My idea is a rod in the 6'-6'3" range.  If there is really nothing suitable I can live with a longer rod, but would use it more often if it were shorter.  

My budget is around $175.  I have a custom rod maker that I like but he usually takes a month or two to turn a rod around and I want to make the most of this fall.  I am fine with buying a used rod and also fine with spending a bit more to get a nicer rod that I will have an easier time selling if I find that I really want a shorter custom rod made down the road.  

Zodias has a 6'4 light that you can get for about your budget. They also have the 6'8 in a 2pc and that would be my choice. That reel will benefit from a good set of bearings. 

2 hours ago, adrenalizd said:

Another thing to consider is the line you are going to use with that setup. Some baitcasters even higher ended ones have an issue if you use too lite of line. The line can actually get between the spool and the housing either on the cast or on the reel.

I've never had that happen on any casting reel I've owned. I've used down to #10 braid and #6 fluoro

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I loaded one with #4 mono to try to see how it would do. I became very adept at removing the spool. Now  I know #4 mono is not a prime choice for a baitcaster but if you are trying to throw very small lures, it may come into consideration. 

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13 hours ago, Turkey sandwich said:RB

I think once you start going much below 1/8oz, baitcasters tend to lose any real advantage in presentation.  I even prefer the much slower gear ratio of my spinning gear for finesse presentations because it forces me to slow down and keep the bait in the strike zone longer.   Just my .02

While many spinning reels have a lower gear ratio, their IPT is actually higher than many baitcasting reels with higher gear ratio's.    The reason being is spool diameter of a spinning reels tends to be larger than that of a casting reel.    So many times you are actually retrieving more line.

 

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Wow! This thread exploded with information. Yea, it seems like JDM company is the "go-to" for BFS rods as of now. Some companies that I am looking into to get my rod from are MajorCraft, Shimano (Zodias) and Jackson (trickster / wretched).

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