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Do you fill up your spool?

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I've always filled up my baitcasting reels to their max capacity - right below the point where the spool tapers off.

I see pictures online a lot of times where guys fill up 1/2 or 2/3 of the way... Any benefits to this? I guess you don't use as much line, but you could just use backing to use less line instead.

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the problem with underfilling any reel is that you sacrifice your gear ratio and inches per handle turn.

because now you are winding the line over a smaller circumference with each handle turn vs what you would be if the spool was filled properly.

so I fill mine up to just below the spool lip, spinning or baitcasting.

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They are under filling the spool and you are filling it a bit too much,. Leave about 1/8 of an inch of the side of the arbor exposed. Under filling results in shorter casts, and less line retrieved per turn of the handle. Over filling can result in more bird nests, but if you are casting okay without much trouble maybe it is working for you. I like to fill my reel spools about 1/2 way with 14 pound Stren mono then add whatever main line I want to fish with. That helps with reducing the expenses of filling up a reel with expensive fluoro,, copoly or braid  

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Filling 1/16-1/8 below the spool lip is suppose to make for easier casting with fewer backlashes.  I suppose that could be true for newbies, but once your thumb is trained, I doubt it gives a rat's azz how much line is on the spool.  As stated, you will lose a few IPT.  Supposedly casting distance is a bit shorter.  I fill baitcast spools like you do.  If spooling with braid or fluorocarbon (or light mono or co-polymer), I always lay down some backing with a cheap 12# mono (12# being my preferred weight for MH rods so I have a lot of it).  Light mono may be cheap, but I see no benefit to having 300 yards of it on a spool when I can top off two or three spools with that 300 yards.

 

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I've learned from experience that filling the spool all the way full can cause problems with back lashes on a bait caster.  Like some have already mentioned, leave some room.  You might sacrifice a little line but you'll save headaches.

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21 hours ago, new2BC4bass said:

Filling 1/16-1/8 below the spool lip is suppose to make for easier casting with fewer backlashes.  I suppose that could be true for newbies, but once your thumb is trained, I doubt it gives a rat's azz how much line is on the spool.  As stated, you will lose a few IPT.  Supposedly casting distance is a bit shorter.  I fill baitcast spools like you do.  If spooling with braid or fluorocarbon (or light mono or co-polymer), I always lay down some backing with a cheap 12# mono (12# being my preferred weight for MH rods so I have a lot of it).  Light mono may be cheap, but I see no benefit to having 300 yards of it on a spool when I can top off two or three spools with that 300 yards.

 

Even with a trained thumb filling to much will cause problems. I have done it a few times and even though it didn't look it that little bit of extra line was the issue. 

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For me, 3/4 for ease of line management.  1/2 on my rigs that I use for pitching/skipping docks.

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Guys I'm not over filling. I have no problems. Lol.

Thanks for everyone's input though.

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I alway leave a bit of room on spool maybe 1/8 of an inch. I will fish until half of spool left to re spool new line. I dont use backup line since I use hybrid which pretty cheap by itself. Once a season, if the line still managable and still more than 2/3 left, I will re spool with the same line but rotate the end of spool out.

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It's possible that these pictures you're seeing aren't after they're freshly spooled. For instance, I only re spool once a season unless something crazy happens where I need more line. By the end of the year if you look at a lot of my reels I'm down to 2/3's maybe a little less. 

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Properly filled spool 

IMG_3840.JPG

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28 minutes ago, rippin-lips said:

Properly filled spool 

IMG_3840.JPG

 

Exactly.

Use backing or whatever it takes to get it there. I use the reel the way it was intended to be used by the manufacture.

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IPT goes way down on a spool that is less than properly loaded.

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I don't see one right answer to this.  If you have no problems with backlashes with a particular reel, go ahead and fill it up.  Got a reel that's a little touchy?  Under fill it a bit to tame it down.  Worried about IPT?  Fill it to the brim or use a faster reel.  There's all kinds of ways to skin this cat.

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How would an under-filled spool tame a reel down?  Not sure I understand this.  Seems like you could just set it up properly to "tame" it.

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I'm a classic over-spooler, much preferring the benefits of such. I would consider the pic above to be under-filled, though correct by manufacturers standards.

 

1 hour ago, J Francho said:

How would an under-filled spool tame a reel down?  Not sure I understand this.  Seems like you could just set it up properly to "tame" it.

Certainly you can adjust properly, and that is pretty much a requirement, but under-spooling additionally takes advantage of less mass on the spool, therefore less momentum/inertia to have to deal toward the end of the cast. Another option was the old Ryobi/Lew's V-spools which allowed a maximum amount of line at the beginning of the cast while the lure velocity is at its greatest. Then, as lure velocity decreases toward the end of the cast, the “V” design reduced the available line to leave the spool per revolution. This automatic reduction acts similar to a spool speed governor.

-T9

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54 minutes ago, Team9nine said:

but under-spooling additionally takes advantage of less mass on the spool, therefore less momentum/inertia to have to deal toward the end of the cast

We might be "measurebating" here, but doesn't the spool have to spin faster to pay out the same amount of line?  I get reducing unsprung weight, but the means to achieve that weight goal seem counter-intuitive to the final goal, which is a good cast without back lash.  I guess whenever I've had a low, and I mean really low spool, the reel never really performed to it's potential, and I wasn't able to perform any kind of consistent cast.

 

And yeah, I'm an over filler too. 

:)

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I've seen similar photos.  I always thought the owner must have had a heck of a backlash, cut it out and hadn't taken the time to properly fill the spool with new line. Fill the spool to the bevel at the edge of the spool.  That's how the reel was designed to reach optimum performance.  

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1 hour ago, J Francho said:

We might be "measurebating" here, but doesn't the spool have to spin faster to pay out the same amount of line?  I get reducing unsprung weight, but the means to achieve that weight goal seem counter-intuitive to the final goal, which is a good cast without back lash.  I guess whenever I've had a low, and I mean really low spool, the reel never really performed to it's potential, and I wasn't able to perform any kind of consistent cast.

 

And yeah, I'm an over filler too. 

:)

Yes, assuming we are comparing equal casting distances/lure velocities, but most under-spoolers are not going to have near the same casting distance as a correct or over-spooler will, and will suffer if they try to. They will have slightly better control of their spool speed though. Someone above mentioned cutting back spool amount significantly for skipping - short range tactic where controlling spool inertia would help with overall control. Same would apply for those with not quite as much experience with baitcasters who want a little easier time initially. It really depends upon what you are trying to accomplish, I think. Hard to have it both ways, though one might make the case for JDM shallow spools - all the benefits of full spools plus the added benefits of less mass :)

-T9

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The only reel I regularly fill to less than capacity is the one I use for skipping jigs. Even then it's not under filled by much.

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After using my baitcast reels for the first season, I sent them to an Online friend for cleaning and a few upgrades on a couple of them.  All but one were Daiwas.  He told me I had too much spool tension on all of the reels.  He couldn't cast a 1/4 oz. weight as I had them set up.  He informed me that much tension could damage the plastic under the cast control knob on my Daiwas.

Also told me I was under-filled.  For best casting distance and best IPT I should fill to the bevel on the spool, and decrease spool tension to where there was just enough to remove side-to-side play.  I did as suggested, and had to learn to cast my reels all over again.  It was backlash city for awhile.

This guy also told me the drag would be better with the spools filled, but I don't understand how that could affect drag.

Anyway I feel it was worth learning to cast with the reels filled that way.

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i've always overfilled but just saw this vid and am about to try underfilling for skipping with my frog rod.  anyone try it?

 

 

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15 minutes ago, new2BC4bass said:

He informed me that much tension could damage the plastic under the cast control knob on my Daiwas.

Daiwas have a metal plate that contacts the pinion shaft.  The metal is cushioned by a soft rubber backing.  I suppose the pinion shaft could wear out, but I haven't seen this yet.

15 minutes ago, new2BC4bass said:

This guy also told me the drag would be better with the spools filled, but I don't understand how that could affect drag.

Drag is drag.  It's the same, either pulled directly from the reel, from a 90° mounted on a rod, or anything in between.  The size of the spool doesn't matter - or at least at these differences is negligible.  The only thing different is IPT - which means a half filled spool has to spin faster to pay out line at the same rate as a full spool.  So, maybe a drag washer wears out faster.  Unless we're dealing with really light line, doesn't really apply to bass fishing too much.

None of it bad advice, but it isn't a reason to fill your spools up.

If you want to skip easier - no brakes, and lots of spool tension.  Start with a Senko or Arkey jig.

Here's my best reason: it's like tucking in your shirt, putting on a belt, and tying your shoes.  It looks better. :P

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