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Pikeman12

How necessary is a baitcast rig?

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Hey guys,

 

I have used spinning setups my whole life, very comfortable with them. Im usually throwing lures no heavier than a half oz on either a med/fast or med heavy/ fast spinning setup. Am I really missing out by just using these? I know high gear ratios are nice, and being able to throw big lures is great, but can spinning setups not be used for everything? I'm not tournament fishing, I just fish a lot. Been thinking about this because I am planning on buying another setup. 

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This last season was my first time with a bc. I don’t know if it’s necessary  others can tell you the pros better then I can. I’m glad I did it though it feels more efficient in certain things and it’s deffinitly more comfortable for me then a spinning set up. If you go a couple times a week it’s a real short learning curve. The way you hold it definitely feels more powerful with allot more leverage. Grab yourself some decent quality gear and go for it, I don’t think you’ll regret it. If you don’t like it you can sell it and get another spinning set up. 

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Like you I used a spinning setup exclusively for years and never thought twice about getting a baitcaster. Then one day I was in Dick's Sporting Goods and I had $10 in Dick's cash to spend plus Dick's also had a promotion they were running for a few hours that day that gave me $20 off if I spent $50 or more. And on top of that they had some combos on sale so there was no better time to buy a new rod and reel.

 

I ended up buying a Lew's American Hero baitcaster combo that cost me around $25 after the sales and incentives. That was one of the best fishing purchases I ever made because it got me into using baitcasters and I've never looked back. I still throw spinning gear now and then, but I prefer the baitcaster and I've purchased a few more since then.

 

I like everything about them although initially I had a hard time getting the cadence down with a right hand retrieve. But I overcame that in a day or two. I bird's nest a little now and then but that's usually because I forgot to reset the tension after changing baits or because I get a little too whippy with my casts.

 

Is it necessary? Not for the average bank angler. But I can tell you that for me it seems easier to fish than a spinning reel especially working different presentations with the right hand retrieve (although it feel feel awkward at first).  I guess the best way to describe it is that it "feels right", especially when your fishing a frog or a walking bait. Maybe that's just me.

 

Go ahead and give it a try. You won't be disappointed.

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   Spinning can do anything. Spinning gear catches marlin and tuna. It depends what you want, what you like, and what you expect.  1) Heavy-duty spinning gear is usually physically heavier than the same casting gear. The recently-introduced long fiber carbon spinning reels may change this, though. 2) With weightless presentations, spinning gear lets the bait sink vertically. Big advantage in my book. 3) Spinning gear is used by your strong side. This is a big advantage in high-torque presentations, like twitching, snapping and jerking. 4) Casting gear puts its weight closer to the fulcrum point of your hold, so it causes less fatigue with a high-resistance retrieve. Spinning gear can partially overcome this simply by aiming the rod at the lure and retrieving straight-line. You sacrifice the rod's shock absorption abilities, though. 5) Into the wind. This is the big one for me. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, soft plastic .... it makes no difference. You never have to worry about a backlash with spinning gear.  You may have to worry about wind knots, but that's another matter. 6) It's easier to design drag capacity into a spinner than a caster. For higher priced reels, there's not any appreciable difference. But on the cheap end, spinner drag is usually smoother. I don't know about you, but I appreciate a smooth drag that's low poundage much more than a strong drag that's erratic. 7) The one huge advantage casting gear has over spinning gear is handling large diameter mono/copolymer line. There are people on this site who religiously use braided line. They more or less have the opinion that mono is outmoded. For better or for worse, I'm not one of those people. I love monofilament line for situations that need "give". I also hate the abrasion characteristics of braid. So for heavier line, I use baitcasters only, and they're spooled with mono. You can use spinning gear for large-diameter mono, but see #1, above.

    Lots of people will tell you to give it a try, and they're right. Try it. But your original question was, "Am I missing out by just using these?" If you're talking about limiting yourself to 1/2 oz. lures, then YES. If you're talking about using spinning gear, then NO.   jj

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Necessary? Absolutely not. Will it make you more versatile or enable you to greater access to techniques more suited to a bc reel? Absolutely yes. 

 

Because it’s a given that you’re a life long spinning gear guy, you’re going to have to be willing to reprogram yourself to the timing of the mechanics of the cast. 

 

I highly recommend you read and research all of the threads related to anglers coming from a spinning background learning to use a bc reel here. Many, including me, have repeated posted on this topic every time it surfaces. 

 

This will shave a ton of time off of your learning curve.

 

Also, the bc reel is one tool you CANNOT afford to skimp on in quality. Higher quality bc reels not only perform better and last longer, the also make learning to use a bc reel much easier. Trust me. No, you don’t need $300 reel, but don’t make things more difficult for you by learning on junk. 

 

I too come from a spinning background. If you put in your due diligence and start off with a decent bc reel, I can guarantee that you will kick yourself in the rear and ask why you didn’t do this earlier. 

 

Good luck and keep us posted on your journey. 

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Can a box end wrench do everything and is it worth getting a ratchet.  Yes factually it can, but there is a chance your experience could be improved by trying new things.

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I grew up on spinning.  Never used a baitcaster until age 60.  I now have 5 spinning and about 12 baitcasters.  In my opinion, they are all needed, based on the time of the year, conditions of the day, wind etc., the mood of the fish. Each has advantages and disadvantages as listed above.  It's fun to have options.

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Necessary? No. There is very little you can do with one and not the other. If you are happy with spinning throwing what you throw, so be it. Of course trying  a BC to see if you are missing out on anything is a pretty simple matter, so why not.

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I wouldn't worry so much about the reel type as I would what you're throwing to the fish.  Use what's most comfortable for you, but don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.

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The only real world advantage a baitcaster has in my opinion is the ability to easily control the distance of your cast.  But that can be kind of a big deal.  If you have never owned one, it's worth checking out.

 

Like Islandbass said, don't get the cheapest reel you can find.  Learning a baitcaster is usually pretty frustrating, but even worse if you don't use decent quality gear.

 

 

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jimmiejoe covered most of my thoughts and sentiments. If you had to use one or the other, silliness of course as no such limitations exist, spinning gear covers everything either better . . . or at least functionally. Not so with bait casting gear.

 

I will say that I have seen anglers who can use a casting reel for almost any possible circumstance or occasion. They are not common in this respect.

 

But, the new casting reels are getting closer and closer to solving most of their limiting issues.

 

One thing, for certain at least for me, that a casting reel does better is the rapidity of recasting. So, if I am firing off a crankbait or some similar power presentation and my intent is to go "KVD" on the fish in an area, I think a casting reel can make consecutive casts quicker. For me, 2X, that is, I think for every 5 casts I make with my spinning tackle, I could make 10 with a casting reel. It rarely influences me since I am more finesse than power.

 

Brad

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17 minutes ago, LionHeart said:

The only real world advantage a baitcaster has in my opinion is the ability to easily control the distance of your cast.  But that can be kind of a big deal.  If you have never owned one, it's worth checking out.

 

Like Islandbass said, don't get the cheapest reel you can find.  Learning a baitcaster is usually pretty frustrating, but even worse if you don't use decent quality gear.

 

 

I learned on an old Shakespeare direct drive knuckle buster given to me by my grandfather when I was a kid 30 some years back.  No fancy level wind tech, no bearings, no brake, no drag, just a spool tension knob.  I placed a bucket in the yard and tied on a 3/4oz sinker and had at it.  I got some nasty bird nests early on, but got fairly good after a few days of practice.  I feel learning on such a primitive reel made me able to pick up any baitcaster and fish it effectively.  The reels made the last 60 years are far more advanced than what I learned on, but the simplicity and lack of 'training wheels' of the knuckle buster made me great at spool control.  I still fish that reel from time to time.  Nothing like having a steelhead make a run for it and the only drag you have is your thumb.  Such a raw and unadultered feeling.

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I fished my entire life with spinning and didn't try a bc until I was 47 years old.  It's definitely worth it for many presentations.  As @Koz pointed out:

 

5 hours ago, Koz said:

right hand retrieve (although it feel feel awkward at first). 

There is a learning curve with this...but I fixed that by buying left-handed baitcasters.  That is just as natural as can be for me.  I'm just surprised at how many guys prefer the right-handed and switching hands with the rod.  If you decide to go for it, borrow a lefty from someone and give it a try before you buy your reel.  

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Use what you are skilled at casting with. Gary Yamamoto used spinning tackle successfully as a pro bass angler.

Tom

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If you do go for it, reel in the line with the same hand you do now. I feel it will be more natural. I’m a lefty who always held the rod with my left hand. I didn’t know people even held the rod in their off hand until I started reading here. IMO it’s more natural and they have the reels for it now, for the people just starting out. 

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No it's not necessary. I used spinning gear my entire life for finesse presentations. When I started developing a love of power fishing about two years ago I picked up a baitcaster again.

 

I encourage everyone to give baitcasters a try. I assume you would encourage someone who has only ever used a spincast reel to try a spinning reel. It's the next step and it gives you more than one tool in the toolbox.

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At this point in my bass fishing career, is a spinning rig necessary? Outside of dropshotting for smallies on Erie, I rarely find myself picking up a spinning setup.

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2 hours ago, livin2fish said:

I grew up on spinning.  Never used a baitcaster until age 60.  I now have 5 spinning and about 12 baitcasters.  In my opinion, they are all needed, based on the time of the year, conditions of the day, wind etc., the mood of the fish. Each has advantages and disadvantages as listed above.  It's fun to have options.

I was 61 when I got my first low profile casting reel.  I know of at least 2 people on here that only use spinning gear and I can guarantee they catch more fish than I do using both types.  :(

 

OP:  If you were to turn out like me, then I would suggest you don't get a baitcast combo (unless financially well off).  I've bought enough baitcasting rods and reels to be able to put a nice down payment on a bass boat in the (almost) 10 years since buying my first baitcast reel.  And...no...I don't have a bass boat and probably never will considering my age and finances.  I put too much money into baitcasting rods and reels.  :rolleyes7:

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It's pretty funny. I use spinning gear about once or twice or year, mainly because I own it so I might as well use it. Spinning gear offers nothing that I can't do better with baitcasting gear, including ultra light fishing. I hate spinning gear and don't care if I ever use it.

 

My point is, use what works for you but don't limit yourself to one thing without at least seeing what the other has to offer.

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My two cents:

 

1.  Baitcasters are more suitable for heavier line

 

2.  Baitcasters are more comfortable for retrieving "moving lures"

 

I use spinning tackle exclusiively for finesse presentations 

 

:fishing-026:

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8 minutes ago, Jrob78 said:

It's pretty funny. I use spinning gear about once or twice or year, mainly because I own it so I might as well use it. Spinning gear offers nothing that I can't do better with baitcasting gear, including ultra light fishing. I hate spinning gear and don't care if I ever use it. 

I don't even have THAT spinning gear use concern! When decided to get serious about bass fishing I gave up my Zebco 404, and decided to get good with one type of reel. A baitcaster just seemed right. Never looked back or anywhere else. I can throw everything from unweighted soft-plastics to 3 oz swim-baits. Yea, they are higher maintenance, but I like that too...

 

Karl

 

 

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7 minutes ago, diehardbassfishing said:

Yea, they are higher maintenance, but I like that too...

 

Karl

 

 

That's much of the the draw for me as well.  I like to tinker, and there are so many ways to fine tune a baitcaster.  When the dead of winter sets in, I'm in my workshop disassembling my reels and getting them ready for spring time fishing.

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First off thank you for all of the amazing feedback. I should mention I’m not totally unfamiliar with baitcasters as I use 1 for catfish, but as far as casting lures go, totally unfamiliar. I’m thinking a medium heavy would be good for the heavier lures over 1/2 oz and could be used as a top water rod at least. 

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21 minutes ago, Pikeman12 said:

First off thank you for all of the amazing feedback. I should mention I’m not totally unfamiliar with baitcasters as I use 1 for catfish, but as far as casting lures go, totally unfamiliar. I’m thinking a medium heavy would be good for the heavier lures over 1/2 oz and could be used as a top water rod at least. 

These days lure companies make lures in all sizes and weights, so a baitcaster isn't necessary. I got a friend I fish with that only uses spinning gear and he catches just as many fish as I do. Never more, cause that would be wrong. :D

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I started using baitcast setups in 2014.  I'm glad I did.

 

I can't say baitcasters are necessary, but for me, they provide a better overall experience for the following reasons:

  • better accuracy.
  • more comfortable.
  • no line twist, especially with flurocarbon line.
  • longer casts, in most cases.

 

I use spinning gear at night and when it's very windy.

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