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slomoe

Birthday gift to myself.

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Hey guys, My birthday is tomorrow and I am going to order a new baitcasting set up that is on sale at bass pro. Its the citica and xps combo. Im very eager to learn how to use a baitcaster, so being that this setup is on sale, I want to take advantage.

I want this rod to be a good all around rod, but used mostly for plastics and jigs. I was thinking the 7' MH rod. Does this sound about right? I wanted to spool some braid on it and I will use leaders for plastics when needed.

Are there any tips you guys can give, as far as basic use that may not have been covered in the multitude of websites with begginer tutorials. I've already read reel mechanics website on basic setup. Also, I have a hell of a time spooling line onto my spinning reel as is (Recently tried braid, and even with drag tightened all the way, the entire spool of braid was spinning making even the smallest of dinks a 2 or 3 min fight ;D), Are there any tips or trick on how to spool a BC?

Thanks in advance.

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Only advice from someone who recently has been trying to learn is.... I hope your a glutton for punishment. Get a pick....

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Congrats! Happy B-day

But I think a Med rod would work for you all around

Forget the pick bring some snips and cut out the bird nest

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Either use mono backing when putting on braid or put a piece of electrical tape over the knot and first wrap of line around the spool.  Your line is slipping on the spool and braid will do that.

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Happy Birthday!

Regarding spooling braid: Either tape the end to the spool or tie on and spool a few yards of monfilament backing. Braid slips when tied directly to the spool.

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Looks like you got a good B-Day Tip of the Day too. :)

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Happy soon to be Birthday!! Take some time to practice when you get it. Who knows, you may be a natural? Start out with small controlled casts in your yard with your spool set to high. You'll get it in less than a few days I bet. Don't get frustrated with it. If it starts to bug you put it down for a hour or so and come back to it. Good luck and good choice on the new combo!! :)

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Thanks a ton guys. I did read about using mono backing and it said you may see a bump where the lines are connected so you can use electrical tape instead. Guess i'll just have to experiment. (hate to waste expensive braid though ;D) I also read that power pro can cause digging in because it too thin (can't believe everything you hear). the reel is spec'd for something like 10-14# test. I like the PP but haven't really tried anything else. Im guessing 40 or 50# test braid?

Also, you guys argee with the MH? or should I get the M.

Not trying to start a debate, Just opinions  ;D

thanks again.

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My soft plastics rod is Medium Power/ Fast Action. My jig rod is Heavy Power/ Fast Action. I don't own any MH Power rods. I think is is more a matter of personal preference and where you fish.

If most of the fish you catch are around 5 lbs or less, a Medium Power rod is more fun to fish. There is plenty of backbone to land bigger fish, but smaller fish are a little more interesting. For lures 1/2 oz or less, Medium Power is great, but for heavier lures you will want a stouter stick.

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sweet, I guess i'll be right in the middle.  ;D

Thanks again for everyones responses.

Tight Lines

-Allyn

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I'd go with the Medium unless you're planning on fishing your jigs in heavy cover. Mediums are a TON of fun for every day fishing, just not fishing in heavy cover.

I tried to learn a BC with braid, and for me, I hated it. You're going to get backlash, for sure, and for me, It's easier to get backlash out from mono then braid. Not sure if other people have this same experience, but I just threw some 12lb XL on there just to practice, and I got good fast.

Also, braid is much more expensive. If you back lash so bad that you have to cut your line , you just wasted a lot more money.

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Slomo,

Some tips for a baitcaster.....

1.  Don't overspool the reel.  Leave at least a 1/8th inch from the top of the spool; more space if you are comfortable with it.

2.  Set up your lure on the line and then point the rod tip to about 11 o'clock, release the bait via the baitcaster and watch the bait fall. The bait is to fall to the floor (not carpet) and the spool is to stop when the bait hits the floor.  You now have your bait and reel balanced.  Use the spool drag and the regular drag to have your bait fall slow to the floor without any backlashes.

Also be ready to adjust the spool while fishing based on the wind and other conditions.

And if you have to cast into the wind, get ready for some backlashes.  Or use a heavier bait.

I do not fool around with the magnets.  I put them all "off" so be sure to ask the people where you purchase the baitcaster how to know if they are "off" which can be confusing.

3.  Use scotch tape to help stop backlashes.  Fill the spool as above in #1, go outside, and cast as far as you can with your bait.  Then, pull off another 10 to 15 yards and put a piece of Scotch tape over the line on the spool.

The guys use other materials to do this (as do the pros) and I know they will have suggestions for you to consider.

By doing this, you stop the backlash from going deeper than the Scotch tape or electrical tape, etc.

4.  Use "filler" line as the base of your line and then spool about 60 to 70 yards of your good line onto the reel. Be sure to tie the good line onto the older line.  Check out Reel Mechanic's knots to find the correct knot to use.

5.  Use Kevin VanDam's Lure and Line Conditioner or pure silicone sprayed on a washcloth and run the line through the "wet spot" when spooling the line onto the reel. This will help condition the line and help it lose the memory it gets after being on the original spool.

And don't spool the line too tight.  Just snug.

Use a "spooling" setup, like the $30 one from Bass Pro Shop.  Great way to spool baitcasters.

Also, you will have to decide how to tie the line to the spool, which is a pain. Have some tweezers ready to pull the line under the spool and then from the eye to be able to tie it onto the spool. I use an Arbor Knot, as per the Reel Mechanic, and it works very well.

6.  After you are ready to fish, grab the line and pull on it to set the drag. The correct poundage is about two and a half pounds to draw line but as long as you are happy with the drag leave it alone.  Be sure the drag is set strong enough to hook the fish but loose enough to give him some play.

7.  Use your thumb to control the cast.  Practice stopping the spool as the bait hits the water or before it sails into the trees or brush. With practice you will master this technique and no one will realize what you are doing and they will think highly of you.  Maybe.

8. Do not attempt to repair your baitcaster.  Have a pro, like the Reel Mechanic, do it for you.  Also, read how to service your baitcaster via the Reel Mechanic's posts and web page.

9.  Practice your casting but also practice pitching and flipping.  I like to pitch and also do some flipping during the hot days when I can get real close to cover or the shore.  But you need to know how to pitch the bait in additon to casting.

10.  Start off with the 10 or 12 pound "extra smooth" line as it casts better. You can then go to a heavier test or extra heavy line and experiment as to which line and set ups you like best for specific conditions and techniques.

11.  Practice, practice and practice. You can master the baitcaster in about two or three sessions of good practice.

I actually have mastered the baitcaster but when I was a teenager first learning what to do I was a disaster. A total disaster.

And one more tip, take along another baitcaster with you when you go fishing. It is a lot easier to replace one baitcaster that has a very bad backlash with a second baitcaster than to sit in the boat and try to dig out the backlash.  

I take all my baitcasters with me and change them out as necessary.

Good luck and have some fun.

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As always, Sam is right on target with his advice.  As the others have said, I'd avoid the braid as a beginner.  It is SO hard to dig a backlash out of and you'll have a few of those.  Really, the get your knife out and start cutting type.  Mono fishes great, doesn't twist like on your spinners, and can be respooled a bunch of times from one $7 Big Game 1/4 pound roll.  I only use braid for specific techniques, usually where there's thick grass or black brush involved.  One more thing if you do decide to go braid, do not jerk against the spool to free a snagged lure.  What I mean is resist the urge to put your thumb on the spool and pull to free the bait.  This can turn a butter smooth new Shimano into a rough cranking reel in a few jerks.  big

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I'd go with the Medium unless you're planning on fishing your jigs in heavy cover. Mediums are a TON of fun for every day fishing, just not fishing in heavy cover.

I do fish a lot of water with heavy vegitation and slop. There is only one spot I fish that is a rocky sandy bottom. And I really want to commit to learning the jig with this setup. Im thinking MH would be better, not to say medium isn't a great all around rod. If I get the Medium Heavy and I hate It I'll fly over to Cali and let you kick me in the butt! ;D

Use scotch tape to help stop backlashes. Fill the spool as above in #1, go outside, and cast as far as you can with your bait. Then, pull off another 10 to 15 yards and put a piece of Scotch tape over the line on the spool.

Thats a really cool idea. Thanks for all the tips Sam.

As the others have said, I'd avoid the braid as a beginner

Brokejew and Big I think I'm definitely going to start with Mono. Thanks for saving me some $$ in the long run. :)

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