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Quantum Baitcaster Combo

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I bought my first baitcater today from Dicks.  From all I am reading it looks like I am going to need to practice for quite a while before I take it out fishing.  I am going to line it and practice casting it in my yard with a heavy weight on it to get the hang of it.  I don't want to fish with it until I get the fear of creating birdsnests out of me.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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A few things that helped me learn a baitcaster in the begining is

A) releasing the lure a fraction sooner then what you are used to with a spinning reel otherwise your lure would spike into the water a few yards from you.  

:P learning the proper wrist postitioning where your holding the rod and reel with your thumb facing sideways in the begining and the backcast then rotating upwards during foreward cast.

C) to help me clear out birdsnests a little easier, I peeled out about 20yards then placed a piece of electrical tape on the spool so that no more line comes out. This didnt make it nest up any less but it did localize the nest keeping it from going past the peice of tape.  Otherwise I had nests that took me forever to unwind.

and D) After tossing out the lure, I learned the point where the lure hit its apex in speed.  After that I started to apply thumb pressure to slow the spool down.  for me, if the lure was going slower than the spool, i noticed that was when I was nesting up the most.  So just before the lure slowed down in the air, I hit the tumb pressure.

Ohh! and setting the correct tension on the cast control knob.  Eventually this wont matter but in the begining, set it properly for better nest control.  To do so, let the lure drop off towards the floor and keep your eye on the spool.  Once the lure hits the floor, the spool shoulndt continue spinning to much more. Set the knob for that speed.  If you want to see why this is important, just keep the cast control knob really loose and then let the lure drop to the floor, it will be an instant nest. You will need to set the knob for each lure in the begining.

Again these are things that helped me learn better. Have fun! It was a blast for me :)


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A good place to start is that manual that came with the reel.  Lots of folks fail to read it.  Another good source of info can be found on ReelMech's web site.  He has a tutorial titled "Basic baitcast reel set-up 101.  

I got so frustrated when I bought my first baitcaster that I stuck it in the box and forgot it for a long time.  Now days that is all I use.  If you are a boat owner you have the advantage of more room to do your casts from the front of the boat.  Most of the time I am by myself so I don't have the problem of knocking someone's hat in the creek if I get carried away.  

One thing that I seldom do is an overhand cast.  Some folks seem to think you have to get carried away to get any distance in your cast.  Not so.  Most of the work is from your forearm and wrist.  I like to go sidearm and underhand.  I have better control that way.

I did practice keeping my elbow tucked into my ribs. It is difficult at first but with practice it will come naturally.

If you set up your reel properly for the weight of your lures and how bad the wind might be blowing you will be off to a good start.  That just might be the most important part of learning to use a baitcaster.

You will soon have your thumb "educated" and be well on your way to successful casting and just like the pro's you will not have any backlashes, just "professional over-runs"  :P


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