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Kwoui

Fine tuning a baitcaster

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I recently got my hands on my first baitcaster, a daiwa fuego ct. I did my research on how to cast and setup a baitcaster without getting birdsnests and to my surprise I'm doing surprisingly well.

 

I set it up as suggested:  spool has a slight left to right play and with the magnetic brakes on 10. I was using 1/2oz tube, casting North with 20mph wind coming from the North-east. The only time I got a backlash was when I switched to a spinnerbait with my brakes on 8 and did a overhead cast ( I'm pretty sure the spinnerbait caught in the wind and that's what caused it)

 

The problem is mainly when it comes to fine tuning. For example, if I set the brakes to 8 I still manage to cast without a birdnest but I do sometimes feel the spool giving me too much line mid cast and need to use my thumb to slow it down. I guess my question is does slowing down the spool with my thumb hurt my casting distance more than having my brakes set up higher would? Am I simply "playing with fire" by trying to minimize the brakes?

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An educated thumb is more beneficial than relying on mechanical braking in my opinion. 

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Just now, Heartland said:

An educated thumb is more beneficial than relying on mechanical braking in my opinion. 

What do you need to do if your thumb is a non educated like mine????

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No one comes out of the womb with a college degree, there is grade school, middle school, high school, and finally college.    Pay your dues, practice a variety of casting techniques both on and off the water.   It won't take long and you will have a degree.

 

 

 

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34 minutes ago, Heartland said:

An educated thumb is more beneficial than relying on mechanical braking in my opinion. 

 

26 minutes ago, Heartland said:

No one comes out of the womb with a college degree, there is grade school, middle school, high school, and finally college.    Pay your dues, practice a variety of casting techniques both on and off the water.   It won't take long and you will have a degree.

 

 

 

 

I completely agree with that, practice makes perfect!

 

That's why I was asking because my fishing partner was telling me to tighten the spool to where it wouldn't backlash when letting the bait drop then setting the brake to where it doesnt backlash at all even without my thumb. And it works great, the casting distance was good ... but if there is room for improvement, why not go for it.

 

My thumb probably isnt "educated" enough to be better than the brakes but I'd rather be practicing right from the start than picking up bad habits.

 

I'm all about learning, I even put the brakes on 0 and casted just to see what it would do.... it wasnt pretty

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20 minutes ago, Kwoui said:

 I even put the brakes on 0 and casted just to see what it would do.... it wasnt pretty

 

:rofl_red: I've done that unintentionally with a new reel.  Set cast control, but forget to set the brakes.  What a mess.  :cry4:

 

Best to learn the right way.  Leave a bit of side-to-side play with the spool.  Sounds to me like you are way ahead of the curve in relation to when I was learning.  I call it 'fluffing' when the spool is spinning a bit faster than the lure is taking out line and loose coils build up (fluff) on the spool.  Often the spool slows down enough to eliminate the fluffing near the end of the cast without any help from me.  Probably because my brakes are up around 8-10.

 

I learned to use a baitcast reel by over tightening my cast control on my original Fuego.  The guy who worked on it for me between seasons said he couldn't cast 1/4 oz. with the reel because of how tight I had the cast control.  When set up properly the next year, it was almost like learning to cast all over again.

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Casting reel brakes are an aid to the thumb not a replacement. Adjusting settings is trial and error. Too many variables for anyone to tell you exactly what you need. 

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6 hours ago, ike8120 said:

What do you need to do if your thumb is a non educated like mine????

practice more

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I'm new as well and I tried a different grip which has helped...   Try choking up with your grip..? Instead of holding the rod with your first finger against the rod use you middle finger. This will allow your thumb further up on top of the spool.  It has helped me with my thumb placement also allowing my my finger to rest along the pole as a pointer.

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9 hours ago, Kwoui said:

my question is does slowing down the spool with my thumb hurt my casting distance more than having my brakes set up higher would? Am I simply "playing with fire" by trying to minimize the brakes?

You are playing with fire by not using you thumb when you start to nest up. Better to start every day at 2/3 your normal casting range (if you are looking for distance). Then work up to full distance. Mainly because the line casts different after it’s fully wet. It is not a good idea to hope to save a bad cast without just cutting it short. A half cast is better than a half day lost to a birds nest.

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If the spool is giving line faster than your lure is taking it, slowing the spool with your thumb does not reduce casting distance.

 

It sounds like you have the reel properly set up, but you still need to keep your thumb at the ready.  If you feel line start to fluff up on your spool during a cast, catch it early with some thumb pressure.  

 

A spinner bait is one of those lures that will slow down dramatically the longer it is in flight.  You will learn to anticipate this, and apply the appropriate amount of thumb pressure.  

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Under-filling the spool by 3/16" will help maintain line control.

 

oe

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I've been using baitcasters for 30 years and I guess I'm just lazy. I have several fuego and tatula ct reels. I tighten the cast control up to where there is no side to side play and run my brakes on 10 or 12. I know this may not be ideal but it works for me and I can bomb anything as far as any other reels I've used or been around. I'd rather not have to worry about thumbing the spool if I dont have to. One less thing to have to be conscious of. Honestly the braking system is what brought me to the daiwas. As stated I always have my thumb ready to stop any catastrophe but with these reels I dont find that I need it often.

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It sounds like you have it set up really good. What I will say is that in the wind, I like my brakes set 1 or 2 notches higher than what I really need. This is more my own casting style, but I really whip my casts especially in the wind to get that bait up to speed and get some distance before the wind can knock it down, which means there's a lot of acceleration at the start which requires more braking. Once the bait slows down like halfway in the cast I'll lean on my thumb more than the cast control knob.

 

For example with your spinnerbait, they catch a lot of wind so I really try to fling them hard into the wind but keep my brakes high. I find if my brakes are high I can put more "umph" into the cast without worrying about the backlash or using my thumb at the start. Then at some point in the cast the wind just completely catches it and they die out pretty quick. That's where you have to watch your thumb. 

13 hours ago, Flatrock said:

I'm new as well and I tried a different grip which has helped...   Try choking up with your grip..? Instead of holding the rod with your first finger against the rod use you middle finger. This will allow your thumb further up on top of the spool.  It has helped me with my thumb placement also allowing my my finger to rest along the pole as a pointer.

I also do this. I'm usually actually pressing the thumb bar down with the joint of my thumb. 

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22 hours ago, Flatrock said:

I'm new as well and I tried a different grip which has helped...   Try choking up with your grip..? Instead of holding the rod with your first finger against the rod use you middle finger. This will allow your thumb further up on top of the spool.  It has helped me with my thumb placement also allowing my my finger to rest along the pole as a pointer.

yeah, I've always held my rod ( even spinning) with my middle finger, it just feels more comfortable to me.

 

13 hours ago, LionHeart said:

If the spool is giving line faster than your lure is taking it, slowing the spool with your thumb does not reduce casting distance.

Thats actually a good way to see it

 

Thanks everyone for the input! I'll keep educating my thumb and slowly pushing the limit as I improve!

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On 4/20/2019 at 3:47 PM, Kwoui said:

That's why I was asking because my fishing partner was telling me to tighten the spool to where it wouldn't backlash when letting the bait drop then setting the brake to where it doesnt backlash at all even without my thumb. And it works great, the casting distance was good ... but if there is room for improvement, why not go for it.

This is good advice for everything that isn't a daiwa. Not trying to be snarky; apparently the Daiwas have a different setup process. 

 

 

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I have five really nice baitcasters (an older Curado 100b up to an Ald 50 and Bantam MGL). They get lots of use in the front yard but when I go fishing I almost always grab one of my spinners. BC certainly has an important place in certain situations but for me it's nice to not have to be an engineer and fisherman at the same time.

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I was taught to adjust the spool tension knob based off lure weight. Let it fall at a good rate, not too fast and not too slow. Then adjust brakes accordingly. So is there a new school of thought where I should just loosen the spool tension until the spool has side to side play then cast? 

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2 hours ago, Gorris317 said:

I was taught to adjust the spool tension knob based off lure weight. Let it fall at a good rate, not too fast and not too slow. Then adjust brakes accordingly. So is there a new school of thought where I should just loosen the spool tension until the spool has side to side play then cast? 

Diawa reels should have the spool tension loose enough to have a little side play. My Shimano’s I adjust the spool tension according to the lure weight.

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1 hour ago, Gorris317 said:

I was taught to adjust the spool tension knob based off lure weight. Let it fall at a good rate, not too fast and not too slow. Then adjust brakes accordingly. So is there a new school of thought where I should just loosen the spool tension until the spool has side to side play then cast? 

This is the correct way to set up many reels...just not Magforce Z. 

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