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Spinning gets the nod


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I’ve tried. I mean really tried to get a handle on baitcasters. I even bought a KastKing Megajaws Elite with their Automag which is advertised as being birdnest free. B.S.! I’ve managed to birdnest every baitcast reel I own. Flouro, mono, braid made no difference. Yes, I went through them and made sure to set everything up properly from the get go. Still birdnested. Made sure to match the lure up with the proper rod. Birdnest. Sprayed Real Magic on the spools liberally. Birdnest. Side arm, overhead cast. Birdnest. Since the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result but getting the same outcome I think it’s time to park the BCs for now.

 

I can throw pretty much anything on my spinning setups with no issues whatsoever. Note: They all have Power Pro braid on ‘em. Some rods are 6’ 6” M/F, others are 7’ M/F and 7’ MH/F.

 

Yup, I’m probably doing something wrong but I’m darned if I know what. I used to be a machinist in another life dialing in machines and fabricating parts with tight tolerances. Dialing in a BC reel should have been a cakewalk. ☹️ 

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You're for sure insane.  A sane person wouldn't park the baitcasters for future consideration, he'd pack them up and send them to some old fart that's been fishing with the same old baitcasters he was using at the turn of the century.  PM me for my address.

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I prefer spinning too, except for froggin' and swimbaits. 

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@ScottW: you just need to take a break for now. Reels are tools so as an angler, it behooves you to be proficient with both. A basketball player who can only dribble with one hand is only half a player.  
 

that said, I can relate as I too came from a spinning background and unfortunately, mechanics are much more critical with bc reels than spinning reels. 
 

1) there is no such thing as a birdsnest free bc reel. No fancy schmancy electronics (ie, dc or other) replaces the thumb … period. ? 

 

2) bottom line, assuming the reel is properly set, your thumb has to stop the spool from spinning before your lure hits the water. That is right, stop it cold turkey. Feathering the spool with your thumb bearing the end of the cast may be used as needed. 
 

3) one of the hardest things spinning reel users must overcome when adding casting reels to their arsenal is making note of the timing and position of when the thumb comes off the spool at the beginning of the cast. Unfortunately, with a bc reel, the thumb comes off the spool much earlier than the forefinger does on a spinning reel. For the overhand cast: Picture a clock with 12 above your head and 9 directly in front of you. Your thumb needs to come off the spool when the tip of your is somewhere between 1:00 and 1:30.  If you release at or before 2:00, that will likely result in a cast that goes higher than it goes forward. If you release after 12:00, you risk having the lure slamming down about 10’ in front of you. If this happens, refer immediately to number 2. Stop the spool from spinning completely NOW! If your thumb fails to react before the lure hits the water that = birdsnest. Sidearm casts? They are exactly the same but your rod is in a different plane.

 

4) stick with lures that are at least 3/8oz for now. Also, don’t write off bc reels until you try a good workhorse. Others here will agree that if you choose the workhorse class reel from SHIMANO, Daiwa, or Lews, etc., your experience and learning curve most likely going to be “easier” 

 

5) casting mechanics - sometimes we spinning fishermen know we can get away with bad mechanics with spinning gear and it’s a bad habit. Casting gear won’t tolerate this. Ensure that on every cast the lure’s weight loads the rod and this will pay you dividends in excellent casts and in efficiency. Maximum casts with minimal effort and therefore less fatigue. 
 

6) take the time to understand your reel. Figure out its traits and limitations. When something goes wrong on a cast, ask yourself why it happened and what could be done to rectify that.

 

Example #1 from personal experience: Why in the #*#+}£} world is my lure always slamming down right in front of me? Solution - releasing the thumb too late. Learned that the release point is as I described above. 

Example #2 my first cast ever with new 30# braid slams into the ground in front of and the spool is spinning what seems to me to be way too fast. Why? Because no brakes were “on”. You idiot, and you wasted a brand new spool of braid. ??. Solution - turn on some brakes and use mono in between 10-14# test to learn on. Way more economical while learning. 


 

This mindset really helped me to learn how to use bc reels much more quickly than if I didn’t take this approach. 
 

I’m recommending you keep trying until you tame this beast. I use both reel types and I am not biased toward either. Both can do some applications fairly equally, but you will come to learn when and where one might outshine the other, regardless if it is by just a little or a lot. 
 

You can do this, young padawan ?

 

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You sound like me @ScottW, I had the hardest time with a bait caster. Every fishing trip, I’d end up bird nesting to the point I’d lay it down and pick up my faithful spinning rig. 
Then one day it just clicked for me, don’t let me sound like I’m bragging. I still get the occasional mess, just less frequent and, they’re not as bad.

Main thing is, fish want ya want. Get the bait in the water.

I am about 50/50 spinning and bait caster, still can’t skip a bait caster.

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One of the things I learned via trial and error is that a lot of my casts with spinning rigs were made by snapping my wrist, elbow, etc. Jerky casts and baitcasters are anathema. Pitching and flipping aside, casting a bait on a baitcaster requires letting the rod load up as the rod flexes backwards before casting forward. Snapping it normally results in some manner of bird’s nest. 
 

And while I do adjust my brakes accordingly, IMO nothing beats my thumb. Unless my mind wanders lol. 

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I use both but, continually pulling out overruns, while fishing, somehow defeats the purpose of fishing for me, which is relaxing having fun.  Haven't ever caught a fish on spinning and thought, that would have been much more fun on baitcasting.  There is a time and a place for both.  To each his/her own.

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6 hours ago, islandbass said:

@ScottW:

 

5) casting mechanics - sometimes we spinning fishermen know we can get away with bad mechanics with spinning gear and it’s a bad habit. Casting gear won’t tolerate this. Ensure that on every cast the lure’s weight loads the rod and this will pay you dividends in excellent casts and in efficiency. Maximum casts with minimal effort and therefore less fatigue. 
 

Using casting gear effectively for me is as much about the rod as it is the reel.

My objective is to be 'smooth' throughout the cast.

https://youtu.be/8x9A8IP3j7w

:smiley:

A-Jay

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My cousin whom I frequently fish with is 68 and has never thrown a baitcaster, no complaints.

My boat will always have a locker full of casting gear.

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I'm the opposite. Inevitably my spinning reels will unload a whole bunch of line at once . I rarely bird nest a bait caster to the point where I have to get the scissors out and thats usually because I hit something .

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It's not just about setting the reel up properly. That's simply step one. You also have to have proper casting mechanics and thumb control. The rod can be important as well (matching bait and technique to the rod), but I don't think it's as important as people make it out to be, and certainly not more important than mechanics and thumbing. Many of us frequently use light weight plastics like weightless Trick Worms on stout MH rods and cast them just fine despite the rod hardly loading, if at all.

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10 hours ago, ScottW said:

I can throw pretty much anything on my spinning setups with no issues whatsoever.

 

Then you already have effective tools. Quit fooling with that other stuff. 

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After 25 years using spinning gear I decided to try a baitcaster. Started with a $59 combo from Bass Pro and took only the baitcaster in the boat, leaving me no other option other than to learn how to use a baitcaster. In 2 days I was able to cast without (much) backlash. Never looked back - wasn’t that hard and there are 13 baitcaster setups on my back porch to prove it. Persistence. I’ve used both and I’m glad I learned how to use a baitcaster.

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11 hours ago, ScottW said:

I’ve tried. I mean really tried to get a handle on baitcasters. I even bought a KastKing Megajaws Elite with their Automag which is advertised as being birdnest free. B.S.! I’ve managed to birdnest every baitcast reel I own. Flouro, mono, braid made no difference. Yes, I went through them and made sure to set everything up properly from the get go. Still birdnested. Made sure to match the lure up with the proper rod. Birdnest. Sprayed Real Magic on the spools liberally. Birdnest. Side arm, overhead cast. Birdnest. Since the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result but getting the same outcome I think it’s time to park the BCs for now.

 

I can throw pretty much anything on my spinning setups with no issues whatsoever. Note: They all have Power Pro braid on ‘em. Some rods are 6’ 6” M/F, others are 7’ M/F and 7’ MH/F.

 

Yup, I’m probably doing something wrong but I’m darned if I know what. I used to be a machinist in another life dialing in machines and fabricating parts with tight tolerances. Dialing in a BC reel should have been a cakewalk. ☹️ 

Toss the Real Magic in the can.

The casting motion is very different using bait casting reels vs spinning reels. It should be mostly wrist with minimum arm movement and let the rod launch the lure....slow down the back cast motion....no whip casting.

If spinning works for no reason to fight bait casting.

Tom

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Yep, as @BrianMDTX and @A-Jay have stated, smooth and fluid is the route to success here. Jerky, erratic casting almost always fails at some point. You want to use proper mechanics throughout the whole process, and primarily let the gear do the work. I find that when I try to bomb a cast, it usually doesn’t work. Similar to swinging a golf club. When I swing too hard, the shot usually sucks. Swing smooth and easy, let the club do the work.

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Some of us started on reels that had no mag brakes. Only one spool adjustment on the old ABUs. After you picked out so many backlashes you learned a good casting form, and how to use your thumb.          Newer reels seem easy by comparison.

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no harm in trying!!  kudos.

 

i do admit, there is a special joy in feeling, watching, hearing a big fish peel line from a spinning reel.   there is no substitute.  

 

i have had big fish on BC reels, but it seems so less dramatic.  probably my subconcious thinking spinning is supposed to be for UL stuff.  

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Spinning rods are great for catfish or panfish. 

 

Have you tried anything but cheap baitcasters? Some of the 200 dollar ones are near foolproof...

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13 hours ago, papajoe222 said:

You're for sure insane.  A sane person wouldn't park the baitcasters for future consideration, he'd pack them up and send them to some old fart that's been fishing with the same old baitcasters he was using at the turn of the century.  PM me for my address.

Hahahaha! Three KastKings with a side order of birdnest to go? ?

1 hour ago, JediAmoeba said:

Spinning rods are great for catfish or panfish. 

 

Have you tried anything but cheap baitcasters? Some of the 200 dollar ones are near foolproof...

I’m retired, on a fixed ‘budget’ and my boss (wife) had us buy a camper recently. So if I pursue this further it’ll be something I have to save up for.

 

8 hours ago, islandbass said:

2) bottom line, assuming the reel is properly set, your thumb has to stop the spool from spinning before your lure hits the water. That is right, stop it cold turkey. Feathering the spool with your thumb bearing the end of the cast may be used as needed.

I call myself feathering the spool but if I’m being honest I’d have to say I’m mucking it up most likely.

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Sometimes some folks don't like the feel of a casting reel sitting on top of a rod, as opposed to a spinning reel hanging below. And keep in mind that lots of folks use spinning reels for all bass fishing. The newer spinning reels are up to the task.

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15 hours ago, NavyToad said:

Started with a $59 combo from Bass Pro

 

You get a lot more for $59 dollars today than you once did (in terms of a baitcaster) but I still caution against a cheap baitcaster for a beginner. Poor tolerances, bad bearings, sometimes useless brakes....these things really hamper your chance to learn a baitcaster without quitting out of frustration.

 

And, yes, I was also one that bought a very cheap baitcaster at first. ?

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My 13 year old son has been throwing them since he was 8. Any adult with an ounce of coordination should be able to.  Get a casting reel from Lews, shimano, or daiwa and you’ll be fine. 

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Good advice from everyone, including the ones saying not to worry about it so much and just use what works.

 

The only thing I can add is start with your brakes set a little heavier than normal. If the reel has a magnetic brake, start with it on the max and slowly lower it as you get the feel for it. If it has centrifugal brakes, start with 1/2 to 3/4 of them turned on and back it down from there as you improve. Even if you are getting short casts.

 

Learn the mechanics of casting a baitcaster, then loosen it up for more distance later!

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I learned on baitcasters so it's second nature to me. Spinning gear was the tough one for me to learn. Anyway, I saw Bill Dance once teaching how to cast as BC and in addition to adjusting the brakes properly and all of the above mentioned things, he says when making a cast with a BC to turn your wrist inward as you are making the cast, much like a quarterback passing a football.  I used to have lots of trouble with BC's until I started doing this.  Hope this helps.  Tight lines!!!

 

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