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I never use baitcasting reels


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 I'm probably in the extreme minority here. Over the years I tried baitcasting reels but never warmed up to them. Finally decided I'm happier using my myriad of spinning outfits and old Zebco 33s. I know there are advantages to baitcasters, but as a non-professional bank fisherman, and an older guy set in his ways, life is too short to force myself to use something I don't care for. Wondering if I'm the only one who gets by without baitcasting reels?

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I use spinning rods a lot. I’m doing way more finesse fishing than I used to. Hey what ever you like there’s no wrong way to go after em. Plus spinning reels have came along way since the 70 s. That’s when I got my first one 

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I rarely use a bait caster. I bought it to be able to cast Texas and Carolina rigs. Now I find that you can cast those with spinning rods. I use the bait caster for plugs and chatter baits. I am not very adept with the bait caster. I have never caught a single fish with a chatter bait or plug. I do much better with spinning equipment and finesse plastics. So, I use the spinning equipment 98% of the time. I have buyer's regret for the bait caster. I would try to sell it, but I guess I need to keep it so I will have one in case I later repent.

 

On the Zebco 33, the spincast reels are getting better and better. Better drag systems and better gear ratios than in the past. The spin cast reels cast magnificently even with cheap rods and are very forgiving. I bought my grandchildren cheap spin cast reels and looked at the specs. Then I wondered why we are buying expensive spinning and casting reels. The spin cast reels do not hold as much line and still don't have as much drag as spinning reels, but how much line and drag do you really need for ordinary fishing? A good spincast reel is able to handle a 5 pound fish. 

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I still use spinning reels a lot also, for the reasons you mentioned. I am a lefty, and the very first spinning reel I ever got was a gift from my mother. It was a HySpin brand that actually came in a left hand set up...back then there was no such thing as a convertible type spinning reel. I loved that thing. By todays standards it was a piece of crap. It had a wire bail. No line roller. I eventually wore right through the bail wire. I doubt that it had any ball bearings.  I am sure that comparatively speaking, my mother paid a lot for it. My second spinning reel was an Abu Garcia 301, that I bought with my paper route money. I think I paid about $20.00 for it. A small fortune for kid back then. I eventually wore that out completely out.  Good memories.

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  • Super User

I was only bait caster guy and being in SoCal it made sense, But as I grew to fishing now I cant leave home without spinning. But I cant think of not using bait caster. But hey what makes you enjoy your fishing, Doesn't matter spinning or bait caster. good luck.

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Skipping and finesse is where I use exclusively spinning.

BUT I do believe baitcasters have there advantages in some cases.

Getting a bait moving apon entering the water " Spinnerbaits/buzzbaits " are done much more efficiently with casting gear and the drag system is smoother.

 

If baitcasters were eliminated, wiped of the earth, I'd still fish but I'd miss them.

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1 minute ago, Bird said:

Skipping and finesse is where I use exclusively spinning.

Yep, same here.

 

I consider them tools in the fishing realm, and you need to use both effectively for the jobs at hand. A flathead screwdriver would work for Philips screws, but a Philips screwdriver works better.

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If you turn the clock back to the 1980’s 99% of experienced bass anglers nationwide used bait casting outfits. 

What happened is finesse bass fishing using 6# to 8# test light line created the spinning outfits for bass anglers. 

Before that era spinning was used mostly for trout anglers.

The 1% of bass anglers using spinning back in the day were live bait anglers and a hand full of finesse anglers like Garry Garland and Gary Yamamoto who used spinning tackle as far back as the 70’s.

Zebco came out with Abu Cardinal rear drag spinning reel followed by Shimano and Daiwa with quality reels in the late 70’s and early 80’s....game changers for finesse bass anglers.

Phenix introduced Split Shot graphite rods designed for bass anglers. The Daiwa TD SS 1300 with Phenix Spilt Shot rod was “the” combo for finesse bass fishing. 

Don Iovino started to customize the Abu 2500 bait casting reels and Phenix Doodle rods fore runner of BFS.

Spinning is now nearly 50% of today’s bass angler combo’s.

Tom

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The fish don’t care what type of real you have. Use whatever you feel comfortable with and have confidence in. Don’t let other people’s “reel pride” affect your choices.

I’ve won tournaments using a “sissy stick”. Half of the combos I take with me are spinning. I’d rather catch a big fish on spinning gear because I love the scream of the drag. 

 

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Spinning gear was very popular here in Tennessee when I was growing up and when I started choosing my own gear in the 1970s.  Billy Westmorland and Charlie Brewer had a big influence around here.  I didn't start using a bait caster for bass fishing until the early 90s.  I now use both every time I fish.  I probably use spinning gear the most.  I would not be happy using just one.  I think it's important to fish your way.  There's not a right answer.  Do what works for you where and how you fish.

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1 hour ago, 33oldtimer said:

 I'm probably in the extreme minority here. Over the years I tried baitcasting reels but never warmed up to them. Finally decided I'm happier using my myriad of spinning outfits and old Zebco 33s.

 

Seems you are intentionally missing out on some fishing fun then. Try a proper BFS  rod with a Shimano Aldebaran BFS reel or a Daiwa Steez Air BFS reel and you’ll understand.

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4 minutes ago, QED said:

 

Seems you are intentionally missing out on some fishing fun then. Try a proper BFS  rod with a Shimano Aldebaran BFS reel or a Daiwa Steez Air BFS reel and you’ll understand.

You don't need to spend nearly that much for great baitcasters these days. Most bass anglers aren't dropping $500 on a reel, let alone "old Zebco 33" users. That's crazy man. 

 

I am interested to know what baitcaster the OP tried because there are definitely a lot of trash options.

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I'm from the northeast and it's common a lot of people largely only use spinning reels (usually with appropriate lures)

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2 hours ago, Clumsy fisherman said:

I rarely use a bait caster. I bought it to be able to cast Texas and Carolina rigs. Now I find that you can cast those with spinning rods. I use the bait caster for plugs and chatter baits. I am not very adept with the bait caster. I have never caught a single fish with a chatter bait or plug. I do much better with spinning equipment and finesse plastics. So, I use the spinning equipment 98% of the time. I have buyer's regret for the bait caster. I would try to sell it, but I guess I need to keep it so I will have one in case I later repent.

 

On the Zebco 33, the spincast reels are getting better and better. Better drag systems and better gear ratios than in the past. The spin cast reels cast magnificently even with cheap rods and are very forgiving. I bought my grandchildren cheap spin cast reels and looked at the specs. Then I wondered why we are buying expensive spinning and casting reels. The spin cast reels do not hold as much line and still don't have as much drag as spinning reels, but how much line and drag do you really need for ordinary fishing? A good spincast reel is able to handle a 5 pound fish. 

Lots of nostalgia over the 33s. My friends and I all wanted them when we were kids and soon got them. I still have a 40 year old 33 Classic that works great. I agree the newer ones are very nice and solidly built. My newest one I bought as a combo with 6.5 foot cork rod. I used it the other day with a finesse spinnerbait and caught seven bass on it. The 33s take the place of baitcasters for me as they cast very accurately and have some horse power to pull in fish. I use my spinning outfits for most everything else. A 33 Platinum combo and 33 Black combo are on my wish list.

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My dad grew up grappling catfish in Muddy Canal - when I was growing up, we had some fine times running trotline there all night.   When Zebco was introduced, he was their market demographic (20 y-o).  He fished nothing but 808, lake and inshore, until I was old enough to buy baitcasters for both of us  (Lew's, which was synonymous with baitcaster, Falcon rods, which were peerless when graphite arrived).  Before that, when he got a new 808, I'd get to pick my tackle (Mitchell 300), and to this day, he doesn't know how (or want) to use a spinning reel.  

1CbyEbk.jpg FgeWXlE.jpg

(78th birthday weekend, 90th birthday weekend)

My girls began on Zebco UL-1 and Eagle Claw Featherlight glass rods, and didn't take long for them to pick up spinners and fly rods.  

xronHUa.jpg a8juGz2.jpg

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Use what works in your situation.  In the spring and fall, I'm using more baitcasters.  During the summer I use a lot of small plastics, so I use spinning more. 

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I’m 50/50 on using spinning verses bait caster….. I use what ever meets my needs at the time.

It doesn’t  matter what ya use just get the bait in the water.

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You should use what you are most comfortable with fishing. When I started fishing, casting reels were what everyone used. The Mitchell 300 changed that for me.  Spinning reels allowed us to cast plastic worms, which where new at the time. This changed bass fishing forever.  I never liked closed face spinning reels myself, but many people do.  I think you would be better off with a modern open face spinning reel, but the choice is yours.  The bass don't care what reel you use.  The main difference between casting and spinning reels is in the line.  This has changed somewhat with braided line.  Formerly, spinning reels were limited to lighter line and casting reels could handle heavier line.  The other difference is in the retrieve ratio.  Generally, spinning reels are faster.  This means they take up more line with each turn of the handle.   I find it easier to fish slow with a casting reel than a spinning reel. In salt water fishing, spinning reels are preferred because the fish want a faster moving bait.  Open face spinning reels cast lures farther and with more accuracy than a closed face reel.  Casting reels are better at precision casting and power fishing. 

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I have noticed a lot more spinning gear in the hands of guys fishing for a lot money recently!  When I was in the walleye world, it was almost all spinning.  I do prefer baitcasting now, but carry 6 spinning outfits most trips out.  Panfish is all spinning as well. 

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I'm the opposite. I rarely use spinning gear except in throwing really light stuff, sometimes paddle tails on my jig and worm spinning rod. 

 

Ive never used a DC reel but apparently they can be really good for either beginners or people that struggle with mastering baitcasting reels. might be worth a look. 

 

there are certain baits that are tough to fish on a spinning rig, mainly deep diving crankbaits, big inline spinners and big spinner baits. Spinning reels just don't have the torque. you end up waring your arm off trying to retrieve em lol

 

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I’ve always been straight spinning and had no reason to change till last year. Getting older and arthritis in the hand joints causes a lot of pain after a few hours throwing  heavier baits and pinching the line to the rod to cast. In an effort to continue fishing spinbaits and jigs I borrowed an old baitcaster setup to try out. Big difference, no more joint pain, also no more accuracy! So I use both now, BC for heavy lures, spinning for everything else.

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Last weekend (a week ago today).  we had a 3-old-man paddle on East Flats.  

We paddled and fished 8 mi.  

bzPIuIG.jpg T6rxaxL.jpg

Jim is 79 and fished longer and harder than both of us 65-y-os.  

Swinging my 3 baitcasters, BFS, ML, MMH, I never played out.  

My buddy Steve quit fishing because his 3 spinning set-ups, finesse, ML and MH, were taking their toll on him.  No question jerk is part of spinning cast

(while jerk = backlash on b/c).  

It was mostly a paddle watching small tailing reds until we got into the last drift heading back in - then we got into dinks on every cast.  His good fish this trip was on a finesse spoon.  

 

I brought a spinning rig this trip for one purpose.  Fishing off the RV park channel lighted bulkhead at night, casting light lures into coastal wind (got some action).  

wg8ksDH.jpg

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