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D4u2s0t

Baitcasting tips... from a beginner???

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So today was my first foray into the world of baitcasters. How does that qualify me to do a writeup with tips and advice? It doesn't. But within 2 dozen casts I was getting more distance and better accuracy then I could ever hope to achieve with a spinning setup. Here's what worked and didn't work for me. Hopefully someone who is just starting out, or even someone that has tried but couldn't get it, can learn something from this.

Let me preface by saying that I have done weeks of research, including reading various websites, watching tons of videos, etc. So I went into this having a very good idea of how to use a baitcaster, and the concepts involved. The problem I found was that everything I had found was written by people with loads of experience and knowledge, and they often left out the "small details" that seem like common sense to someone with years of experience, but make a world of difference to someone just starting out. Here was my experience.

I started out with the brakes high (read your manual to learn how to use the brakes) and using a 3/8oz spinnerbait. First cast, huge birdsnest, and the spinnerbait rocketed a solid 10 feet off the dock. A dozen more casts resulted in the same thing, which required me to go home and completely re-spool my line. I put the pole down, and picked up my spinning reel. But I wasn't ready to give up. Where I went wrong was the lure was too light and had too much wind resistance for someone just getting their feet wet. Understanding how the spool works and what makes it different from a spinning reel is important. When you are first setting up your baitcaster, click the botton to free the spool. Now, give the spool a spin. You'll see that it continues to spin for a long time, even with a very light push. What does this mean? This means that you have to keep a constantly tight line on the cast, because when your lure starts to slow down, the reel is still moving very fast. When the lure slows down, you must in turn slow down the reel. Much of what I read said that you pretty much only use your thumb to stop the spool once your bait is near the water. I found that to be very wrong. It would be like casting a spinning rod, and with the bait in the water turning your reel to reverse, and spin it very fast. You would never do that, because frankly, it would be silly. Similarly, you need to keep that tension on the line to prevent the birdsnest. Jump ahead to after I respooled and got to the lake...

This time I tried a different setup, texas rigged worm with a 1/4 oz bullet weight and 1/8 oz keel hook. More aerodynamic. This is where it came together. With less wind resistance on the worm, I was really able to get a feel for how the baitcaster was working. After a few more casts, and some picture-worthy birdsnests, I was ready to rock. I was gaining confidence which helped a few key things. At first, I was finding myself expecting a birdsnest, which had me watching my spool and not my bait. That no doubt made things worse. I had to keep a conscious effort to watch the bait instead. After a few more solid 10 foot casts with no birdsnests, I was ready to up the ante.

I decided I was ready to easy up on the brakes, so I closed all but 2 of the 6 centrifugals, and loosened up the tension on the spool. I was confident, and ready to go. The first cast had the worm sailing way out there, significantly further than I could get it with a spinning reel, even though I casted less than half power. Just as the bait was getting close to the water, I started applying more and more pressure with my right thumb on the spool to start slowing it down, and just as it hit the water I was stopping the spool completely. After about a dozen succesful casts, my confidence was very high, and got the best of me. I decided to try and skip my worm under a dock. Bad move. I wasn't ready for that. After fixing my line, I went back to normal casting, again with great success. By the end of my outing I was able to put the bait exactly where I wanted by applying pressure to the spool as it sailed through the air, something that you can't do as easily with a spinning setup. With the baitcaster, you can very easily slow the spool down and still put it where you want, also with less splash. I'm glad I took the time to practice and figure out what was going on, and I see myself getting a ton of use out of this reel. I was quickly ready to give up, but was glad I didn't. Even if you don't learn how to use a baitcaster from this, let it be a lesson on how to approach learning new reels, lures, techniques, etc. Don't just blindly go to the water, examine what you're doing, what works, what doesn't, and why. But most importantly, don't give up!

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You may never be a great fisherman but you're going to make a heck of a  "HOW TO WRITTER."

Pretty good little article you wrote .

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I thought that was pretty well written as well.  I'm slowly making the transition to baitcasters from spinning reels and am getting some confidence but will still leave the baitcasters alone most of the time.  I might have to try cutting back on the mechanical brakes and not casting as hard as I do with the spinning rods to see if that helps.  My big problem is casting accuracy with the baitcasters.  They still feel awkward and I'll end up with some casts missing the target by 10 yards to the right or left.  For spinning reels, you can slowly cup the line as your are casting so the line is slapping your palm and fingers to try to improve casting accurracy when you are about to overshot your target.  Closing the bail always snaps the lure back at you or breaks your line!  But cupping the line, almost like an extra rod guide right up close to your reel will improve your control.  You can cup the line tighter if you need to slow it down quicker.

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For spinning gear you can actually "finger" the spool to slow the line, much like you thumb the spool on the baitcaster. ie. it isn't necessarily an all or nothing if you cast too far with a spinning outfit. It's easier and more precise with the baitcaster but it is doable with a spinning outfit as well.

Btw, what baitcaster are you learning on?

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Nice writeup  :D

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Really well written, and congrats on a new skill. ;D

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thanks guys, and yea was a hell of a deal for 25 shipped.  Also goes to show you that you don't always have to spend big bucks on your rigs.

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