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My first experience with baitcasting and with the Carudo DC reel. This post will probably be amusing to bait casting veterans but possibly helpful to people thinking of giving it a go for the first time.

 

The only fishing I've ever done is with a spinning reel. And I've been using them for awhile. Recently I decided to try bait casting. The only casting reel I've ever had was a 1950ish model at a time when if you wanted one you could use any brand as long as it was Shakespeare. It still hangs in my garage on a solid nylon rod and I last used it when I was about ten years old. I'm 64 now.

I recently got a sweet deal on a Dobyns 735cb glass and decided to pick up a Carudo DC.  Why? I looked online and everyone loves whatever brand reel their using so I guess they're all good.  I had to make an educated choice and went with the Curado.

 

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I've never cast one of these reels. I figured the DC ones might let me ease into it more easily. Today the reel finally came in the mail. I set it up on the rod with 14# monofilament line. I read that it will be more forgiving to learn with. Later on I can change it out if I want to. As you can see in the picture I'm casting a medium sized  Strike King shallow water crank bait to try this out. I cast off the pier at my home on Mousam Lake in Southern Maine.

 

Initial casting tries

I set the dial to 4. This is the one that keeps the most control over the cast. You can't cast too far but the chance of a nest is the least. I cast sidearm first. At the end of the cast I had a fuzzball. After working it out I did this a few more times and still the same result. I had adjusted the tension knob so that there was no side to side play in the spool as I had seen. At this point, after a few dozen casts, I became a manual bait caster using my thumb to brake and stop the spool upon hitting the water to avoid a tangle. Great... I had no nests and I learned to bait cast. The thing is what about this DC thing? I could have bought a standard reel for a lot less and used it like I will this one. Something was wrong. It's as if the dc thing wasn't working.

 

Adjustments

I decided to adjust the tension knob tighter. I did the drop test. I adjusted it so that the lure would slowly drop to the ground when it was released. I cast.... Better but still a moderate nest. After trying this a bit I adjusted it so the lure dropped more slowly. I cast; no nest. I cast several more times without my thumb. No nests at all. It's funny how I had trained myself to use my thumb in about a half hour and now I had to concentrate not to use it to see what would happen. These casts on the setting of 4 were about 50 ft.

 

Going out on a limb

I moved the setting to 3. A bit more chance of nesting here. Several casts and no nest. The lure was casting a bit further though. I moved the dial to 2. Casting revealed a substantially longer cast and still no nesting. After several casts at each of these settings with success I decided to try the lightest setting of 1. I checked the tension knob adjustment again just to make sure as I expected a nest. I kept my thumb ready and kept my eye on the reel as I cast. d**n. no nest at all. I tried a more aggressive cast overhead. No nest at all at the end. The only thing I noticed is a little loosening (fuzzing) half way into the cast but it quickly settled down.

 

Pushing my luck

I was casting about 125 feet. I know this because I know the distance between docks along the shore where I live. They are 50 feet apart. I thought that I would try releasing the tension knob a bit more to see if I could cast on the setting of 1 without nesting. My lure dropped faster when released. I cast and at the end of the cast it nested. Just about an 1/8" turn of the knob was all that was needed. I did try the looser setting using my thumb to control the cast and it worked good and got a longer cast but I put it back to the 'safe' location.

 

After casting on a setting of 1 with the tension knob adjusted properly I did about an hour of casting with no flare ups at all and without using my thumb at all. I'm not getting 200 ft but I am doing about double the distance of my spinning outfit.

 

Observations

I came away from the water thinking that I really liked this thing. I can cast further and it's working well. With a little more use I will probably increase my distance. My fishing time is usually about 5-6 am. If I go in the morning and I get a fish I'll be able check out the feel of the rod too. I will want to work on shorter accuracy casts too. At least I shouldn't have to worry too much about the backlash if I do. Just concentrate on the cast.

 

One thing I've noticed about this setup. The entire thing feels really different from my spinning outfit. A spinning rig with the reel hanging down has some heft to it with a center of gravity at the reel that you notice. My spinning outfit is a Shimano reel on a Dobyns 705 graphite. The casting outfit feels much lighter, even though it's glass, with no pivot point at the reel like a spinning reel has. Not a bad feeling just very different between the two.

 

Also, I have the 7.4.1 gear ratio. I needed to crank in much slower than my spinning reel for the crankbait to have that just right tick-tick feeling on the rod tip while retrieving. I got the 7.4.1 because everyone seems to say that if you will have only one then that is a good middle of the road gear speed to have.

 

So, that's my first dc bait casting (or any bait casting for that matter) experience. It took place in a period of two hours just a few hours ago. Maybe a fish on it in the morning... would be nice.

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200 ft with a squarebill? Wow, that's awesome

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8 minutes ago, jbsoonerfan said:

200 ft with a squarebill? Wow, that's awesome

Ha... no I'm not doing 200 ft. It was an expression to mean that it's still not that great yet. I said, "I'm not doing 200 ft but I am doing double my spinning outfit distance". But have you seen those reel comparisons on youtube where guys will put a 3/8 oz weight on and cast 200-210 feet to test reel distances. I think they're using stiff 8 ft poles though.

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1 minute ago, DanielG said:

Ha... no I'm not doing 200 ft. It was an expression to mean that it's still not that great yet. I said, "I'm not doing 200 ft but I am doing double my spinning outfit distance". But have you seen those reel comparisons on youtube where guys will put a 3/8 oz weight on and cast 200-210 feet to test reel distances. I think they're using stiff 8 ft poles though.

My reading comprehension sucks, lol. I was super impressed.

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Just now, jbsoonerfan said:

My reading comprehension sucks, lol. I was super impressed.

Ya, that would be something. At that distance who would need a boat!

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Dude how long did it take you to write the OP? I gave up after about 2 sentences and my jaw dropped when I had to scroll down for 30 seconds. Bottom line is training your thumb. It's not like you take it to the gym or scroll down peoples long posts. It means you stop the spool before the bait hits the water and you also let your thumb ride just above the spool, and if you feel line bouncing, you know a backlash is coming. I dont know when I learned to use a baitcaster but I didnt touch a pole in 20 years and my thumb knew exactly what to do when it was reacquainted with a BC a couple years ago.

 

 

To me, the DC is pointless, but I have one just because it's new and expensive. Yet another example of me wasting my money in this game. I can cast lures half the cost much further. If you rely on a computer to stop your reel you will learn nothing. 

 

TL:DR

 

The art of fishing boils down to one thing... confidence. If that DC makes you confident, you will catch fish.

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Well, I took a few casts this morning from the boat after trolling to a couple of good locations. No thumb, no backlash, the darn thing works. I let the tension control go limp and did use my thumb. It worked okay but it's nice not to have to bother with it. I think I'll keep it. The first photo was of my early start view from my house.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Mikeltee said:

Dude how long did it take you to write the OP? I gave up after about 2 sentences and my jaw dropped when I had to scroll down for 30 seconds. Bottom line is training your thumb. It's not like you take it to the gym or scroll down peoples long posts. It means you stop the spool before the bait hits the water and you also let your thumb ride just above the spool, and if you feel line bouncing, you know a backlash is coming. I dont know when I learned to use a baitcaster but I didnt touch a pole in 20 years and my thumb knew exactly what to do when it was reacquainted with a BC a couple years ago.

 

 

To me, the DC is pointless, but I have one just because it's new and expensive. Yet another example of me wasting my money in this game. I can cast lures half the cost much further. If you rely on a computer to stop your reel you will learn nothing. 

 

TL:DR

 

The art of fishing boils down to one thing... confidence. If that DC makes you confident, you will catch fish.

 

How long did it take me to type this? About 10 minutes. I type fairly fast.

At a standard size 12 font it's about 8" long. You must have your font size set at about 150 if it took 30 seconds to scroll the post!

 

I trained my thumb. It took all of about 30 minutes. Then I set the reel and forgot about my thumb. I didn't need it. I thought, "this is cool". 

 

The DC isn't "pointless". It has a very specific point. It controls the cast and does it pretty good. It may be irrelevant if you don't want it but it's not pointless. I can start my boat motor with the pull cord but the electric start is nicer. Not pointless, just nicer. You can start the motor with a pull cord if you want. I'll turn the key. Just a choice.

 

Why do I have the DC? Well, it works quite well. And I like techie stuff. Like a lot of people these days, my lights go on if I ask them to in the morning.  They turn themselves off when I go to bed. My coffee makes itself when my house senses that I'm up etc.

 

I posted this experience for people like me who chose a DC and have to learn how to run it. Not necessarily for people who don't have one or don't want one. I didn't waste my money because it was "new and expensive" like you said you did. I researched it and decided that the new was something I wanted to experience and I was willing to shell out the expense for it.

 

You said I learned nothing. Actually I did learn something. 30 minutes to learn to cast using my thumb, and about 5 minutes to learn to adjust a DC reel to cast without using it. There is a learning curve to casting a digital reel. A small one but still I learned something.

 

Fishing is about confidence? The DC reel doesn't give me confidence. If that were the case I'd use my spinning reel. I can do that good. The art of fishing is more about location, conditions, and to some extent luck. The fish will still bite on my worm if I'm confident or not. I don't think they know me well enough to tell.

 

Note: This took me 7 minutes to type. It's 5 inches long on my screen.

 

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Thanks for an interesting post.  I have a DC reel and I like it.  I think it's important to remember that the greatest breaking system ever invented is the thumb.  The DC breaks can help on those occasions when your thumb goes to sleep on the job.

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58 minutes ago, Tennessee Boy said:

Thanks for an interesting post.  I have a DC reel and I like it.  I think it's important to remember that the greatest breaking system ever invented is the thumb.  The DC breaks can help on those occasions when your thumb goes to sleep on the job.

Yup.... It's nice when I want to really loosen it up to get long casts. I still use my thumb but the break helps a bit especially in mid cast, and after that when in everyday mode I don't have to deal with it much. Still getting used to it though.

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