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Baitcaster ratio as a second rod for river smally

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Hi members,

 

I am currently using medium, fast spinning rod, which seems to be a good set up to throw most lures for river smallies

 

I am looking to add a baitcaster as a second rod to supplement my spinning rod, for crankbait, spinnerbait, topwater..

 

My question is what gear ratio will be appropriate? 

 

I appreciate any input!

 

 

 

 

 

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If the river you are fishing is over 10 feet deep and you want to throw deep running cranks to get down that far, a baitcaster can come in handy. If your crankbaits go down less than 10 feet, your medium spinning rod should work just fine. 

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9 minutes ago, Scott F said:

If the river you are fishing is over 10 feet deep and you want to throw deep running cranks to get down that far, a baitcaster can come in handy. If your crankbaits go down less than 10 feet, your medium spinning rod should work just fine. 

Thank you for the input! I just edited my question to be more specific, but its good to know my current setup may do it all... Maybe I dont need baitcaster..

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To each his own. Hard to tell someone what will work for them. It has to feel right for you. I'm a river rat and my baitcaster set ups are the St. Croix Premier series Crankbait rods with Shimano 5.4's. I like the softer type tip for crankbaits. I like a moderate to moderate fast tip.  I max out on crankbaits at 1/2 - 9/16 oz. But 1/4 - 5/16 oz. Shad rap types I throw with spinning stuff. 

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8 hours ago, hahmmo said:

Hi members,

 

I am currently using medium, fast spinning rod, which seems to be a good set up to throw most lures for river smallies

 

I am looking to add a baitcaster as a second rod to supplement my spinning rod, for crankbait, spinnerbait, topwater..

 

My question is what gear ratio will be appropriate? 

 

I appreciate any input!

 

 

 

 

 

Usually a M to MH power rod and I prefer a faster gear ratio to pick up slack and bc smallies like to run fast I would go 6:3:1 or higher 

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23 - 25 inch retrieve rate per handle revolution

 

oe

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I use a Lew's Tournament MB in 5.6:1 gear ratio when fishing crankbaits for River Smallmouth.

 

For most other lures I use a 7.1:1 gear ratio reel.

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3 hours ago, Spankey said:

To each his own. Hard to tell someone what will work for them. It has to feel right for you. I'm a river rat and my baitcaster set ups are the St. Croix Premier series Crankbait rods with Shimano 5.4's. I like the softer type tip for crankbaits. I like a moderate to moderate fast tip.  I max out on crankbaits at 1/2 - 9/16 oz. But 1/4 - 5/16 oz. Shad rap types I throw with spinning stuff. 

 

I just wanted to choose the right tool for the job:) So I see the baitcaster may be better at handling heavier lure.. But other than that, is there any advantage of baitcaster over spinning reel with similar gear ratio? For example my spinning reel gear ratio says 5.6.. Will it perform as well as baitcaster with 5.4? 

1 hour ago, Ksam1234 said:

Usually a M to MH power rod and I prefer a faster gear ratio to pick up slack and bc smallies like to run fast I would go 6:3:1 or higher 

Thank you for the input! What lures do you match with the rod? 

1 hour ago, OkobojiEagle said:

23 - 25 inch retrieve rate per handle revolution

 

oe

That would be 5.x range? Will it handle topwater well on river too? 

1 hour ago, NYWayfarer said:

I use a Lew's Tournament MB in 5.6:1 gear ratio when fishing crankbaits for River Smallmouth.

 

For most other lures I use a 7.1:1 gear ratio reel.

Thank you for the input. My spinning reel is 5.6 gear ratio as well.. so will it serve similar function and lures as 5.6 baitcaster? If so it will make sense to get 7.x baitcaster to supplement my spinning reel..

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13 minutes ago, hahmmo said:

 My spinning reel is 5.4 gear ratio.. so will it serve similar function and handle lures as 5.6 baitcaster? If so it will make sense to get 7.x baitcaster to supplement my spinning reel..

You are correct. I throw smaller lighter crankbaits, like my rebel Bluegill on spinning gear. Bigger cranks are what I use the 5.6:1 baitcaster for.

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Some guys will give you the argument that the high speeds are better. But I feel the lower speeds of 6 and under are great for crankbaits. My set up are used for 3/8 oz. or heavier and for lighter I have spinning rods that I would not call fast or x-fast. I don't throw heavier than 9/16 oz. cb's with a BC setup presently. On the river I crank to about 13 ft. 

 

I've held that Abu "Winch" in my hands a few months ago. What's not to like about it. It's 4.7 I believe. Maybe I'll ask for it as a Christmas present. My fishing has changed this year. I've made a local lake my new home because the river I grew up on and spent my whole life on is under some major issue due to Mother Nature. 

 

I'm not gonna set here and tell you Shimano, Abu and St. Croix are the next best thing to sliced bread. You are smarter than that. If it's something you don't need right away make a winter project out of it and have yourself the ultimate setup for spring. Will give you a long time to see a lot of stuff. I want to get to a guy that has the Abu "Winch" rods, I hear they are 7 ft. and have a real moderate action. Supposedly they don't break the bank either. I won't but a rod or reel sight unseen. You'll find it but the whole package has to feel right in your hands. 

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2 hours ago, hahmmo said:

That would be 5.x range? Will it handle topwater well on river too? 

 

My Pixy 68L has a 6.8/1 ratio and nearly full spool retrieve of 25"... reels will vary, I measure the inches of retrieve (which will vary with how full the spool is at that moment).

 

oe

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Usually a baitcast reel with the same ratio as a spinning reel will bring in less line per handle revolution. Not actual numbers but just as an example, If a 5.5:1 spinning reel brings in 27" of line, a baitcast may only bring in 22" of line, but the baitcast retrieve will vary more depending on the size of the spool and how much line is out. You can usually find this on the spec sheet for the reel. 

 

I tend to like Baitcast reels with 7:1 or higher ratio for most things except crankbaits. For most 10+ft cranks I like a 6.5:1 reel. I will run a squarebill at certain times on an 8:1, but deeper diving crankbaits need a lower ratio or you just hurt yourself trying to reel them. 

 

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You really want to look at inches per turn rather than ratio, and that will vary based on reel sizes (50 vs. 200) and how full the reel is. The biggest advantage to having a higher geared/more IPT reel would be to keep up with a fish swimming downstream towards you after hooking up.

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On 10/25/2018 at 8:14 AM, Ksam1234 said:

Usually a M to MH power rod and I prefer a faster gear ratio to pick up slack and bc smallies like to run fast I would go 6:3:1 or higher 

^^^this^^^

you definitely want a faster ratio reel because of those speed demon smallies! 

I like using a baitcaster for target casting cover while kayaking rivers. MUCH better accuracy than a spinning reel. I use a pair of older discontinued BPS Carbonlite CL10H's (the gold colored ones).

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On October 24, 2018 at 11:31 PM, hahmmo said:

I am looking to add a baitcaster as a second rod to supplement my spinning rod, for crankbait, spinnerbait, topwater..

 

My question is what gear ratio will be appropriate? 

A good compromise for all these presentations would be a reel that recovers 26 or 27 IPT (inches per turn). 

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I second a 6.3 ratio. I also believe it would be a great middle ground for the different applications you intend on using it for:) 

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Lots of good thoughts, ideas.

 

I'd only add as a reminder that spinning gear is generally designed to fight the fish using one's rod, keeping a taut line, a flexed rod, less reeling action . . . until any "drag" session in the tug-of-war with the fish is over for a round (drag is not releasing line) and the rod tip has been raised high or pulled fully in to the side. Then, we reel down very fast to take up line keeping pressure on the line, rinse and repeat until the fish is along side our boats.

 

So, if you use this traditional spinning technique, the gear ratio is a bit less important than it is with casting gear simply because it is more "rod intensive," less so on the reel side of the equation. I have never had an issue reeling down on and dropping my rod tip to prepare for a subsequent "round" with a fish.

 

But, noted above, at least one response mentioned that picking up line fast is a factor if the fish is running at you. I buy that. It happens. I see no disadvantage, at all, in just opting for the higher gear ratio available to you for the series of reels you are considering. Most of the time, you will use your reel to pick up line, not move the fish toward you.

 

Brad

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When comparing spin to cast it probably makes more sense to compare inches of retrieve per handle revolution.

 

The only advantage of a low ratio bc, like a 5:1 that I've found is that it keeps me from retrieving too fast.  Might be similar for deep cranks + the torque advantage.

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